How to Make a Koala Bear in Polymer Clay
This project was so much fun to do and to create! It is now my joy & pleasure to share it with all of you! I really love any kind of animal that has that cuter than cute look about them … and the Koala bear is definitely one of them. This koala bear tutorial can be done as shown above or as a free standing sculpture, the choice is yours. Without further ado … let’s get started!
As with all the tutorials in the Friesen Project, please remember that these tutorials are done in an abbreviated format, with Christi Friesen’s expressed permission. These tutorials are written and designed to be used in conjunction with the Beyond Sculptures Book 5: Down Under.
- Christi Friesen’s Beyond Project Sculpture Series Book 5: Down Under
- Your choice of polymer clay
- Tissue Blades
- Mica Powders (Several Options – My preference is Perfect Pearls as they are permanent & do not require a finish due to the resin )
- Perfect Pearl Set (I recommend the set with bluish palette called “Cafe”)
- Variety of Chalks & Inks to use as accents
- Acrylic paint in a dark color – my preference is brown or sienna
- Acrylic paint brush (please use a different brush for mica powders, chalks, paint, & gloss finishes)
- Baby wipes or soft sponge
- Tiny-medium sized beads and/or gemstones for eyes and embellishments
- Metal Craft Wire (I prefer 24-28gauge but any flexible soft wire will do)
- Sculpting tools
- Craft Oven (I use a Toaster Oven)
Koala Bear Tutorial Instructions:
Making the Koala Bear:
If you want to add your Koala to a jar as in my example for this tutorial, complete instructions for covering a jar in an organic fashion are detailed here.
- Gather your polymer clay in any color you wish your Koala to become (greys and tans work best and are most realistic).
- Condition all your clay.
- Begin by creating a background for your Koala in any manner you wish.
- My Project: My background was a covered jar, get the tutorial for that here.
- Make “wood grain” or trees for your Koala to sit, perch, eat, or sleep on – this is a separate tutorial that you can find here (photo is in the upper left).
- My Project: For my Koala I made trees for him to sit back, chill, and eat some grub on.
- Make a basic “egg shape” for your Koala’s body.
- Make another “egg shape” for your Koala’s head and an “S” shape for your Koala’s leg.
- View this tutorial to make your legs – they are similar to dragon legs.
- Once your leg is shaped do not forget to add his toes … he can’t climb trees without toes!
- Make a large black nose and set it about halfway down.
- Then make two circles and attach for ears.
- Add little pink dots of clay or use mica powders to add some pink inside your little guy’s ear.
- Make two very small white circle for behind his eyes and afix to your Koala’s head, directly opposite the nose and close to it.
- Now make two arms from snakes and add fingers, see this tutorial to make an arm.
- Using Christi’s book on pages 21-22 add hanging Eucalyptus flowers to your Eucalyptus tree.
The difference between an artist and a crafter are the details!
- Now comes the fun part … the details!
- Use your imagination and be creative …
- If you are stuck, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my Koala doing? Eating, sleeping, climbing…
- What is my Koala thinking? I’m hungry, I’m ornery, I’m scared…
- What kind of an attitude does my Koala have? I’m kind, I’m gentle, I’m hyper…
- If you are stuck, ask yourself these questions:
- My Project: My Koala was hungry and lazy …. so I wanted to portraying him relaxing in a tree and eating tons o’ leaves! So I put a branch in his arms with leaves everywhere.
- To make the Eucalyptus leaves for your Koala bear, you can make the leaves direct from Christi’s book on pages 18-19.
- Other leaves: If you want to add different leaves, go to this tutorial and add some of these little guys!
- Add as few or as many leaves as you want.
- TIPS: Make some coming out of random places, nooks & crannies of your tree design, or add some directly to your Koala’s hands!
- NOTE: REMEMBER THAT YOUR PIECE IS NOT PERMANENT UNTIL YOU BAKE IT – IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, TRY AGAIN!
- You will notice that my Koala’s head changed positioning … why? Because I thought he looked to “fake” staring straight at me … so with the removal of an ear and the rearranging of his head … now that looks better!
- Last but not least – Add the gemstones baby!
- I used chips of the following: tigers eye, agate, goldstone, jasper, & jade.
- Bake in an oven covered with foil at 265 degrees for 60 minutes.
- Finish off your piece by sealing your entire project in a coat of varnish.
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The Friesen Project
The Friesen Project is done in conjunction with Christi Friesen. All tutorials are retaught here with her expressed permission. Please make sure to read about the project here, and get answers to the most common FAQS here.