Polymer Clay Tutorial: Christmas Whimsical Lightbulb
Posted on December 18, 2010 in Tutorials by Katie Oskin
Just In Time for the Holidays
Polymer Clay Tutorial:
Whimsical Christmas Lightbulb Ornament
Skill Level: Basic Knowledge of Polymer Clay
Minimum Supplies Needed: Basic Supplies & 1 Cup of Coffee
Time to make 1 ornament: Approximately 20 minutes from start until ready to bake
First thing is first: Get a cup of coffee!!
Gather your materials:
These are the basic materials that you WILL need, everything else is optional.
2 colors of clay, TLS, Ceramic Tile to bake on, Misc tools, Cutter, & a cup of coffee
Next pick out any two colors of clay.
The bright color for the light bulb and the metallic color (or dark color) for the top of the bulb.
Next, condition your clay.
You can do this many ways. I use a pasta machine as it’s the quickest.
You can see that this clay is not conditioned enough. Though it’s now soft and pliable, it’s also flakey and falls apart easily.
This clay is fully conditioned! It doesn’t flake anymore, it’s pliable, and it has a shimmery sheen to it.
Now I’m almost ready!
Take your “bulb” color of clay and form it into a pear shape.
Next, roll a smaller ball of your second color.
Take your second color ball and roll it into a thin snake.
The snake does NOT have to be even. This adds to the whimsical look of the finished design.
Add the snake to the bulb.
Add a tiny drop of TLS to the top of the bulb.
Next, place and pat down your snake to the top of the “bulb.”
Make a loop on the top of the bulb with the clay.
Then, wrap the clay around the top of the bulb to make the “light bulb” topper.
Now add the details.
I like to add the basics first, eyes, nose, mouth…
Remember that you want each and every piece to be different…play around and have some fun.
Here I have used seed beads for eyes and I put them on using my custom created needle tool.
Add more details to personalize your bulb.
Add a coordinating color of nose a few shades darker or lighter, or add a completely different color of nose, the choice is yours.
Now give the light bulb a big old smile (or a frown if he’s a grumpy lightbulb)!
Add some color.
This step is optional. I like to add lots of details and color variations to my pieces that clay does not have on its own.
Here I am using InkaDoo Artists Chalks. This set was approximately $20, but you can find cheaper ones with less colors. I generally use a soft paint brush to apply my colors.
I chose a medium shade of pink to give this little cutie some rosy cheeks.
Tip: Use gentle, simple strokes going over the same place multiple times until desired color is achieved. Start with a soft touch or the color may turn out too dark on your piece or worse, you’ll “dent” the clay…not good!
Here’s the finished chalked piece. He has brighter yellow accents around his eyes and on his nose, as well as rosy cheeks.
I also added pin dots near the cheeks for personality and glitter on his rosy cheeks to make them sparkle.
(This was done after this picture was taken, see the final picture for full details).
Here I’m getting ready for the next light bulb.
To make more, just repeat the steps above, giving each piece its own character and its own personality.
Remember NOT to make them all the same size or the same shape. Variation is important!!!
Here’s my finished set of lightbulbs. These are “pre-glazing” condition. I will add white paint to certain parts of the bulbs, then glaze then ornament in its entirety so that it sparkles while on the tree.
Here’s a view from the other direction.
The best part about making something from polymer clay is that when you mess up….just squish it up and start over! I hope that you found this tutorial insightful! Comments, suggestions, or tips are always welcome!
Love this idea and don’t have time to make it yourself? Go to our store and purchase one here:
Thanks for joining me today,