Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tiny Town Tutorial

In addition to painting rocks for the possibly-upcoming-WeHa Artists Emporium - treasure-hunt-thing, I also made some tiny towns.

I made the little houses and trees out of polymer clay and hot glued them to rocks.  I think they are so cute!  So far, they are my favorite! 

Want to make your own Tiny Town?  Here's a wee tutorial.

You're going to need:
Polymer Clay
something to slice
something to make indentions
white acrylic paint
black acrylic paint
glue (I used my hot glue gun)
glaze or clear nail polish

Step 1: Pinch off a grape-sized chunk of clay.  The color isn't super important, but go with something house-like.  No neon green. 

Warm it up in your hand.  Then work it into a tall cube shape.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

Step 2: Texture looks good on these houses, so find something around the house that has a bit of pattern.   I used a little piece of screen.  Lightly press your clay into the texture piece, front and back, but don't worry about the sides.

Step 3:  I used a thin flathead screwdriver (like crazy-small) to make indentions for a door and a couple of windows.  This will smush your cube out of shape a bit - don't worry.

Step 4:  I have a clay slicer.  It's a little piece of plastic/metal (I don't know) that is very thin and slices through clay cleanly.  Maybe you use a knife or a credit card or a thin spatula - whatever.  You want to slice off the bottom, the sides, and angle the roof.  This will give your tiny house nice, clean edges. 

Now you're ready to bake.  Follow directions on your clay packaging, but baking for 15 minutes at 230 F is pretty standard.

Here are my tiny houses and tiny trees ready to go into the oven.

Step 5:  Bake and cool.

Step 6: Paint.  I did a light white-wash to all my tiny houses to give them a uniform feel.  I used a light coat and I wiped off heavy parts.  I wanted them to look a bit cottage-y, a bit weathered.  Also, if you do press some texture into the clay and you lightly paint over the top, the deeper part of the texture will remain unpainted.  It looks nice.  I painted most of my roofs black (although I painted a couple grey and a couple red.) Use a THIN brush and paint the windows and doors black.

Allow to dry.

Step 7:  Glue your tiny houses and trees to your rock.  Find a flat rock so your houses are all wonky.  Or, if you have a bumpy rock, shape still-soft clay houses to fit on the bottom.  When you're ready to glue, use a permanent glue like hot glue or Gorilla Glue.  Dry.

Step 8:  Finish.  I cover my tiny towns and rocks with either a semi-gloss coating for polymer clay or clear nail polish.  You just want something to give it a little shine and bit more stability.  I paint this liquid over the entire top half of the rock.  Let dry.

Enjoy your Tiny Town!

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