Thursday, September 26, 2013

Witches Stitches – Clay Snowman Noses

I love making snowmen and there are all different items I use for their noses.  I have used antique rusty nails, twigs, but my favorite item to use is handmade clay noses. You can make these any size you choose and in any shape. They are really easy and if you make a whole bunch of all different sizes you will have whatever size you need whenever you need one.

I use oven bake clay to make my noses. I use white clay that I paint later. You can use clay that is already colored if you want. I use the white because I can paint them different colors when needed.

Take the clay and divided it into smaller pieces this makes it easier to kneed and shape it.
Take a piece off each section and roll it into little balls make the balls all different sizes. 
After they are all rolled into balls, take them and roll them between your fingers into a log. Don’t make it to thin or when you shape the nose it will break.  After you have a log, take it in one hand and start to twist with the other. Very slowly, you will see the shape appear. You can then bend them any way you want or leave them straight.

After you are all done with this step, it is time to bake them.  I use an old cookie sheet that I use only with clay. I cu a sheet of parchment paper to fit the inside of the tray. Make sure you use the parchment paper or the metal try can cause the clay to have burn marks. Separate them by size. Keep all the ones that are around the same size together. When you bake them they have to be done by size. The smaller they are the quicker they will bake. I bake all my clay items at 250 degrees.  The small noses I bake for 10 min the larger ones for 15 min. Make sure you set a timer or you may over cook your noses.  A little over cooked can still be ok, but if you leave the clay in the oven to long or set your oven to high you can burn the clay. If his happens you will see a dusty coating on them. Once this happens they can’t be painted, the coating will come through the paint. If this happens I am afraid the pieces are no longer usable. The last thing you want to do is make a dozen noses, just to have to through them out and start over. So please don’t overcook them.  Once they are done and you take them out, they will be HOT don’t try to remove them from your cookie sheet right away. Wait a few min they will not stick.

Now you have them baked you are ready to paint them any color you want.  When I want to use them I just put a little slit in my snowman and use touch of glue.

Enjoy and as always if you have any questions give me a shout,