These little gingerbread houses are so much fun to make! Just like making a real gingerbread house the first thing you do is gather, or in our case make and pre-bake, all of your candy decorations.
We’ll also pre-bake liquid bakeable Sculpey in the color Pearl to resemble icicles dripping off the roof of our house.
Then it’s time to make our gingerbread “cookies” that will form the body of the house. Just a couple simple techniques will make these truly resemble baked gingerbread cookies. The fun part comes after that, the decorating!
One thing I neglected to mention in the video is that after I glued my prebaked “icicles” to my roof I went back in with some more of the liquid bakeable clay and filled in all the gaps around the edges before baking one more time. This gave a much more smooth and finished appearance.
It’s been so much fun making these polymer clay Christmas ornaments for you all! I especially love these pink poinsettias. I was inspired by a Fire Mountain Gems advertisement that came out a few years ago with red poinsettias on clear glass balls, but I wanted to make mine a bit different.
I decided to make shaded canes for the leaves and flowers (bracts I think they are technically) to add the detail that I wanted.
Shaping the flowers is really just simple, basic sculpting. What’s fun about these is that once the polymer clay is baked it peels right off of the ornaments. You can then glue the pieces back on the ornaments in whatever configuration you want. This is much easier than having to place them precisely while trying to hold onto a round ornament.
Make sure that your balls are glass so that they can go in the oven and not melt. Also, if you’re not sure if the ring around the top of your ornament is metal or acrylic, remove that too, just in case.
Another really pretty combination would be to make white poinsettias with a bit of green in the centers, and perhaps put them on red glass balls. I can see those with a little bit of gold mica powder dusted on the edges. As usual, so many ideas and not enough time to do them all. 🙂
Some curling, twisting ribbons add a graceful touch, be sure to watch the video for a cool trick for cutting perfectly straight strips of clay for the ribbons.
Tools and Materials:
polymer clay in pinks, greens and white (or pearl)
These snowflakes are a relaxing project to do with older children or with friends, but they’re also kind of nice to work on by yourself! It was fun digging through all of my small shape cutters and finding different combinations that would work to make interesting designs.
I love to hang these on my windows with suction cup hooks and very fine gold thread. If the light shines on them they sparkle, and if they’re back-lit the silhouettes are pretty.
Here’s another tip: If you’re going to make spirals or scrolls, make one first, then gently unroll it and measure it. Cut five more clay pieces to that length and they all should end up being the same size.
If any of the shaped bits fall off after baking, which may happen since they are so small, just use a little dab of super glue to stick them back into place.
Also, I didn’t mention it in the video, but if you use a mat like mine with the blue printed lines, make sure to design your snowflake on the side without lines. You may have noticed in the video when I flipped one of my snowflakes over that it had blue marks on it. My lines came right off onto the clay, oops!
There are so many different combinations that you can make, the possibilities are endless. Don’t forget that you can also brush portions or the entirety of your snowflakes with mica powders. Perfect Pearl would be a great color, or perhaps a pale blue like Interference Blue would be pretty. You could even cover these with flocking powder after baking for a really interesting look. Have fun creating and designing!
This year I decided instead of making charms I would make ornaments, The first of which is this cute little gingerbread man. These were so much fun to make that I couldn’t stop at just one! I kept thinking of new and different ideas and things to add. I didn’t have time to do all of my ideas which included giving them festive striped scarves, Santa hats or chefs toques. How about a baking pan with cookies on it? Kind of ironic, but still funny and cute.
I got a wonderful note back from Sculpey regarding the problem with the icing cracking. Here’s what they had to say:
I think it is because you are baking the pearl squiggles on the ceramic tile for 15 minutes at 275°F is the issue. I don’t think you are getting full fusion of the liquid Sculpey because of the ceramic tile. We have noticed that when baking items on glass or ceramic, the glass or ceramic takes a long time to heat up versus using other baking surfaces like metal or paper.
The ceramic tile probably takes a good 10 minutes or more to heat up to the 275F, so really the Liquid Sculpey side that is on the ceramic tile is not getting baked properly and is really only baking at 275F for 5 minutes or less at 275F. I think this is causing the breakage. Since you are bending the squiggles to put them on the cute gingerbread figures, if the piece is not fused properly, it will break.
You should try baking the pearl squiggles for longer – 30 minutes at 275Fand see if that helps.
Keep increasing the time by 5 minutes until you get the pieces to not break. Or you might have to bake the squiggles at slightly higher temperature to get full fusion.
I am sure you are doing this – but use or recommend that your viewers use an oven thermometer on the inside of your oven to make sure that the oven is accurate.
That’s such great info! I never thought about having to heat up the tile first, before the clay even starts baking, but it makes sense.
cartoon by Dave Coverly
One thing I forgot to mention in the video is how to turn them into hanging ornaments. Once you have baked your ornaments you just want to find the center of balance so that they will hang the way you want and then gently screw in a screw eye, starting the hole first with an awl. Once the screw eye is in, back it out, add a drop of super glue and then screw it back in. Add a ribbon and you have an ornament for your tree.
Today I have for you a rather different type of video that I usually do. I was looking around my craft table and studio and realized I had a lot of bits and pieces that I’ve been gathering for future projects. In fact as I’m putting together this blog post I realize there are several more things that I didn’t include in this video. Lots going on!
I’ll leave it up to you to let me know in the comments if you like this type of video and would like more like it or if you prefer that I just stick to tutorials. 🙂
Here’s a better view of the fairy garden lamppost that’s featured in the latest Polymer Café magazine. This tutorial was a fun one to put together. I made two variations, including one you can stick into the ground in your garden and it won’t topple over.
What I didn’t mention is that the flowers are made out of glow-in-the-dark clay. I just love turning off the lights and admiring them. 🙂
Here are links to the things I could find links for. Let me know which you found interesting and helpful.
Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have a new tutorial available! It’s for how to make this cute little fairy garden house. This is a downloadable PDF tutorial.
The tutorial is nearly 20 pages long with plenty of full color photos and detailed step-by-step directions. I show you how to make these realistic looking faux stones, how to texture the leaves and make a real leaf-like roof, plus how to construct and put the whole thing together.
There’s also an adorable bonus coloring page at the end. It’s a fairy garden house, of course. 🙂
There are so may details that bring this charming little house to life: vines, leaves and flowers twining over the roof, a touch of gilding and a paint technique that totally makes your faux stones look real!
This week I have for you part two in making this cute autumn themed candle holder.
It was really fun going through my selection of small cutters and finding ways to combine the shapes to make just what I needed. I spent quite a bit of time trying to cut out the triangle eyes and nose from the pumpkin with the craft knife before I realized that the heart cutter would work perfectly.
My favorite section of this candleholder is the cat, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those of you who know me. I doubt that you have ever seen me put a dog on any of my projects, but I do love the kitty cats!
Don’t ever be afraid to try using things in new and unexpected ways. 🙂
Here’s a fun fall project for you without anything ghoulish or gory, just cuteness!
I’ve always been fascinated by silhouette designs and thought it would be fun to create a candle holder with the silhouettes as the primary focus.
For the candle holder I used a stemless wine glass. You could also reuse one of those jar candles, or even make a small version on a votive holder.
My favorite thing about this piece is how the cut-out eyes glow in the candlelight. Later I may add a dab of yellow or orange alcohol ink inside the eyes to make them really stand out.
In the video I show how to use basic Kemper cutter shapes to create more complex shapes. If your clay is being difficult to cut, you might want to flatten and shape your heads, then let the clay sit for a while. It will be easier to cut after a rest of an hour or so.
I also show how you can create texture using unexpected tools like those for leather, wax or dentistry.
Keep in mind that you can certainly use colored clay, the silhouettes will still be there when the candle is lit. I’m toying with the idea of accenting my textures with some Gilders paste. If I do, I’ll be sure to share a photo.
Don’t be afraid of the long list of tools, once you have them you’ll find many different uses!
Gilders paste is one of those things that I fell in love with the instant I first tried it. If any of you read Polymer Café magazine and have seen my Fairy Garden Accessories series in the past few issues you might have noticed that I use Gilders Paste in all of them.
It adds just a subtle touch of glitz and is so easy to apply. But you don’t only have to use metallics, Gilders Pastes come in a whole range of colors.
As I mentioned in the video there are several more colors that I want to acquire, and you might be surprised at which ones you end up reaching for again and again. The chart above shows the 28 colors currently available.
One thing I forgot to mention in the video is the drying time. Depending on the thickness of the application these take anywhere from 6 to 72 hours before they are completely dry, so patience and a safe place to keep them while waiting is required. 🙂