Make Your Own Polymer Clay Chameleon
Another Friesen Friday is upon us (three cheers for the weekend)! Are you ready for the weekend? Today’s project is a great one. It’s fun, cute, and best of all, you can make this really any way you want. In many ways, this project is similar to our Dragon Project from Christi that we started on at the beginning of the year. So get excited and make yourself something fun this weekend.
For the complete tutorial, please see Christi’s Steampunkery Book starting on page 32 for the “Chameleon Bead” Tutorial.
DIY Polymer Clay Chameleon for the Friesen Project of 2013 http://t.co/723aiHWwcZ Come get this FREE tutorial & make your own chameleon
— Kater’s Acres (@katersacres) September 25, 2013
- Christi Friesen’s Steampunkery (begins page 32)
- Your choice of polymer clay in metallics but mostly greens for the chameloen(You could also use vivid brights or any other color … after all, chameleon’s change color all the time!)
- Steampunk gears, gadgets, & gizmos and lots of them!
- Mica Powders (Several Options – My preference is Perfect Pearl Set as they are permanent & do not require a finish due to the resin )
- Acrylic paint in a dark color to use to add an “antique” effect – 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
Let’s Get Started!
Project Note: Since I do not wear jewelry (or sell jewelry) I made my chameleon much larger. I made mine a tree ornament from my brother who loves reptiles and other ugly creatures for Christmas.
Making the Body Shape
- First, condition your clay by creating a signature “Lookat Blend” in the Christi Friesen style. GO HERE to get the instructions on creating this blend.
- Divide your clay into two sections (about 2/3 and 1/3 each). The largest section will be for the body, and the other for his arms, legs, etc.
- Next make a tapered log with a pointed tail and triangle shaped head.
- Using a tool make a dent in the head, just behind the tapered nose.
- Smooth out and curl up your tail or leave it flat and dangly, your choice.
Remember those creepy knights that are in dark corners of creepy castle/kingdom movies from the 80’s? Yeah, you’re going to recreate that….
- What would your steampunkish-ness awesome chameleon be without some body armor?
- Roll out a metallic colored clay (Christi used gold, I used silver, you pick your own color) and cut it into strips.
- Then wrap those strips around the tail of your chameleon and join them in the back.
- Tip: Blend all your seams in the back for a professional look.
- Before you finish your armor, add an eye to your chameleon using this method. CLICK to go to the tutorial on adding beads to your designs.
Make a Buckle
One of the most fun parts of all Steampunk designs (in my opinion) are all the buckles. WOW!
- First run brown or metallic brownish copper clay through your pasta machine on the 2nd thinnest setting.
- Then cut your clay into strips.
- Next slide a jump ring onto the strip of clay.
- TIP: Hide the join of the jump ring inside the clay for a finished and polished buckle look.
- Pinch the end of clay over the jump ring and gently “smoosh” it closed.
- Repeat for the other side.
- Attach to your creatures body wherever you want.
Add Arms, Legs, & Final Details:
- To make the arms of your chameleon, turn in Christi’s book on pages 38-39 to see how to make the arms & legs.
- You can also go to this tutorial to see a detailed description on how to make arms and legs for just about any creature (dragon, reptile, etc).
- For the finishing details, take all those sprockets, cogs, gears, watch parts, fun stuff, nail heads, and whatever else you’ve managed to gather up and add them however you’d like!
- Detailed in production shots of my ever evolving Chameleon show some of my steps of adding fun bits of wonder to my Chameleon.
- Depending on the type of clay used (premo, sculpey, cernit, kato, or pardo): bake in the oven at 265 degrees, covered in foil or a paper tent, for approximately 45-60 minutes.
- NOTICE: Check your clay package instructions for appropriate baking times & temperatures.
- Add a antique finish to pick up the details of your gorgeous piece!
- Varnish this piece with a clear coat varnish, being careful not to get the varnish on any beads or cogs.
- NOTES: You do NOT have to varnish this piece if you choose not to. However, if you have used Pearl-FX powders, they will rub off over time, so varnishing your piece would help. If you have used Perfect Pearls (my favorites) they contain a built in resin and are permanent after baking. In other words, they will NEVER rub off.
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.