Make It Your Own!
DIY Polymer Clay Dragonfly Tutorial
This project is a spin-off of the project in Christi’s “Steampunkery” Book on page 22.
This project is done in conjunction with The Friesen Project of 2013.
Polymer Clay Dragonfly Tutorial – Katers Acres http://t.co/BAvn7yxmKV A great & fun weekend project for your studios. Come get the tutorial
— Kater’s Acres (@katersacres) September 24, 2013
- Christi Friesen’s Steampunkery (begins page 7)
- Your choice of polymer clay in metallics (golds, bronzes, coppers, etc.)
- An up-cycled baby food jar or an jar you have around the house.
- 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
- Exacto Knife
Polymer Clay DragonFly Tutorial Instructions & Photos
Making Your DragonFly Body
- First, gather all your materials as listed above.
- Next, condition your clay.
- Notes: For my project, I wanted a marbled blend. You can condition clay by marbling & mixing, you do not have to condition each color first and then create a marbled blend.
- Begin by making a ball with the color blends of your choice for the dragon fly (shown bottom right).
- Notes: For my dragonfly body I used Alarian Crimson, Gold, & Red.
- Using your hands, roll your ball into a tapered log (shown top left).
- Following the instructions in Christi’s book, use your fingers to separate the head section (shown middle left).
- Roll tiny balls of clay in your color choice (I chose black) and add them for your dragonfly’s eyes (shown bottom left).
Making Your DragonFly Wings
- Begin making your wings in the same way you made the body above.
- Gather your clay colors and create your marbled blend.
- Using your hands, roll your ball into a log (shown top left).
- Using your exacto knife, divide that log into four sections, one section for each wing (shown middle left).
- Note: These sections do not have to be equal sizes or perfect. Having them different adds to the natural, organic look, of your dragonfly.
- Using your hands, roll each section into a ball (bottom left).
- Take each section and using your hands roll out tapered four logs.
- Take two of these tapered logs and place them next to each other, smashing down gently (shown upper right).
- Now take your wings and place them onto the body of your dragonfly (shown bottom right).
- 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 DragonFly show some of my steps of adding fun bits of wonder.
- Note: Don’t forget to add additional metallic effects with mica powders!
- 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.
Finish Your Masterpiece in Style!
I want to show you how big of a difference adding an antique finish can make to your overall designs. Check out my dragonfly before being antiqued (top left) and the difference after being antiqued (bottom left and right side). WOW! Whether or not you antique your piece is your choice, in many cases however, I like the added dimension that the antiqued effect gives.
My Finished DragonFly Brooch
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.