Clay Critters

Polymer clay is squishable, comes in dozens of colors, and hardens permanently once it's baked. Have your children try their sculpting skills on this zoo of supereasy critters!

by Laura Torres
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Polymer Clay Basics: Simple tips and techniques for creating these clay creatures

Selecting clay brands: A number of varieties and brands of polymer clay are sold in craft stores. We find that Sculpey III and Fimo Soft are the softest and easiest for little hands to mold.

Choosing colors: If you can't find the color you're looking for, just knead together different clay colors to get the shade you want. If you're using different colors that you don't want to mix, however, be sure to use a damp cloth to wipe your hands when you switch clays.

Sculpting the creatures: Clay fuses during baking, but the better you press the pieces together, the better they will stay together.

Using wire: The wire in these projects is 22-gauge, permanent-colored copper wire (we used Artistic Wire brand). It is oven-safe, can be cut with scissors, and is available at most craft supply stores or online at artisticwire.com.

Safe handling: Follow all the precautions on the clay packaging and be sure to always bake your creations according to package directions.

Making repairs: If any parts fall off your clay critter after it's been baked, you can use a little piece of unbaked clay to "glue" the pieces back together and bake it again according to package directions. Crafter's Pick The Ultimate! glue also works with clay.

Have fun building your menagerie of Clay Critters:

 

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