Halloween preparation is firmly underway in this house; with 5 costumes to get ready we always need plenty of preparation time. So thoughts are turning to witches and spooky things and after running a workshop with some kids this week, I wanted another go at making a polymer clay witch of my own.
I was really pleased with how she turned out and so very glad I took photos as I went along. So here is a proper tutorial. She really wasn’t hard to do at all; all the kids (aged 8-12) managed her really well. You need black, flesh, hair coloured and green polymer clay (my preference here is Fimo Soft for the black and colours and Fimo Classic for the Flesh) plus a wadge of scrap clay. If you don’t have that, you can use any colour or roll up a tight ball of tin foil and work around that.
First make the scrap into a tube, slightly wider and rounded at each wand. I made a strip of clay in black and blended it around the bottom and underneath to give her some knickers. The skirt is flared and you don’t want scrap clay showing.
The skirt is a big ball of black, flattened into a rough circle. Make sure you don’t pull any bits too thin, but don’t worry about making it too perfect. Drape it over the scrap and arrange it into folds. It can kick and flare a bit and will give nice movement too her dress.
The arms are two big sausages. This is a cartoon witch so proportion not important. Stumpy and chubby is cute.
Bend the arms into two right angles in opposite directions. People make the mistake of making arms with curved elbows – make sure she has points!
Next flatten her upper arms so the outside edge is rounded and the underside is flat. Dig your nail, or a tool, into the elbow creases to give the impression of folds in the fabric.
For the sleeve cuffs, I gently press my thumb into the back of the sausage and form a thinner piece for the hands to sit into. The side that isn’t there will be up against her body and will look like her fabric is pushed away from her hands.
Now press the arms lightly to the body and arrange to suit the attitude you want.
I flattened a small ball into a circle and dug my nail into the edge for a frill and gave her a lacy collar. She’s shaping up to be a friendly witch.
The hat is a cone; gently pull out the brim from the fat end of the cone and then give the top a cheeky twist. I twisted a sausage of fimo and put a cord around the brim and I always dig my thumb knuckle into the underneath in the middle. This gives the hat some realism on her head as the head sits in it rather than the hat perching on top of her hair.
The cauldron is waste clay covered in a circle of black which is then blended till its flat and trimmed at the top with a knife or tool. I also made a thin sausage of clay to be a brim and 3 balls for feet. Two small bits of sausage make handles, one of which covers the join. (See below).
Now wash and scrub your hands. That black gets everywhere. I always wash then uses a small ball of flesh or white had play with it in my hands a while to get rid of bits of black that spoil the next stage. Baby wipes are also excellent.
Faces. I hate faces. I tend to keep them simple or even blank if I’m doing arty. So here goes. Roll a ball of flesh (I favour Fimo Classic) and then make two small holes for eyes. I put little beads in to the holes, but two small balls of black fimo work too. Just keep them the same size or they look odd! I carved eyebrows and mouth in with a small blunt tool and the nose is a triangle stuck on. It’s big, but she is a witch! Nostrils underneath not on top – she’s not a pig!
For hands on a simple model I just make two balls of flesh clay and press for lines into them. It’s an impression of a hand, not a hand.
For a model with a hat, a half cocktail stick is an invaluable assistance to not becoming headless, which would be a whole different Halloween model!
Hair. There are loads of ways to do this as you can see at the bottom. One version is strings of clay and the other is the shaped pancake which you can see above. I used my nail to make a texture round the edge and a tool to rough up the top. No need to be too careful, it will mostly be under her hat.
Put her together with her hat on and she’s ready. All that’s left to do is mix up some scrap green and blues, make little balls of it and get that cauldron bubbling! Oh and press some button shapes into her front. I did that with a pointy tool.
As you can see from this photo, the weight of her head pulled her neck back a bit while she was cooking. Luckily, thanks to the cocktail stick, I can correct this by lifting it off and dropping a ball of black over the stick. The head will drop back in place and squish down on a new supportive collar and I will know better next time!
More Halloween ideas on Pinterest!