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How gorgeous is this flower headband made entirely from sculpey?!?! I wish I could take credit for it, but it was actually the inspired creation of an amazing nine year old student in my sculpey class. I know! Kids are amazing and I am totally in love with this headband. It definitely took some time and careful planning, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. She thought about all the layers, paid close attention to color choices and took her time to get each diamond shape just right. I just love love love it!
Each diamond was cut from sculpey first pressed in a craft machine. You can find a link to the sculpey craft machine here. The top orange layer was done first and then each color layer was attached from the bottom side in between the petals. The flower was then baked and attached to the headband with a glue gun. You can find the headband at most drugstores or supermarkets. A little blue flattened ball was added to the center of the flower for the final touch. It was a totally clever project that required great attention to detail and patience. I absolutely love it and am so proud of my sculpey students!!
I can’t say enough about how much I love sculpey. It’s just the most awesome polymer clay for kids and adults. (Check out this collection of Alien Army figures I made one summer pre kids) It’s one of my absolute favorite art materials and though on the pricey side, I find it to be well worth it. I’ve taught a sculpey class for years at my school and always the biggest hit of the class is this seven layer cake. It’s looks really sophisticated to make, but is surprisingly simple, even for the kindergarteners. Most of the kids in my class, ages 5-12, leave with a pretty delicious buffet of seven layer cakes to enjoy.
Here’s how to make them. Start with seven sculpey balls in your favorite colors. You can do a pattern of a few colors as well. Balls are the most basic sculpey shape and usually start most sculpey projects. You can roll the sculpey on the table under your open faced palm or between your two open palms. Once you have 7 balls, you flatten them each with your thumb like a pancake and stack them one on top of the other. This is the bases of your cake. Next is the icing or “fondant,” as I like to call it with the kids. They’ve seen enough cake making shows to know exactly what I mean. I put a small handful of sculpey through our craft machine, which is similar to a pasta maker. If you don’t have one you can easily use any sort of roller or even your palm to flatten out the sculpey. The fondant is the trickiest part. You wrap the 7 layers in the fondant sort of like a wonton. Flatten it all around by pressing the fondant onto the 7 layers and then pinch or trim off the edges. Sometimes I roll the cake on it’s side to press the fondant to the cake. I have to help the younger kids with this part. The final step is to add decoration to the cake. The little kids tend to like simple sprinkles, where the older kids add more elaborate flower petals. The kids come up with some pretty fabulous ideas. When the cake is finished an adult can slice a piece with an exacto knife. If you use a dull knife, like a butter knife, it will not come out clean, like you see here, but it will still look cool. It’s more of a marbled affect. Some kids prefer it. Get ready to hear some serious oohs and ahhs.
We’ve turned some of our cakes into necklace pendants and even earrings. You can find all the necessary hardware at Michaels. Mostly, the kids just love to make cake after cake for a collection. I can’t say I blame them. They are so darn pretty! Happy cake making!
Did you know that this week is Random Acts of Kindness Week? Yup, it is. My favorite saying in sculpey class is “A little goes a long way.” It’s a mantra I have the kids repeat so they don’t try to use too much sculpey in one class period. That stuff is expensive! So, for sculpey class this week, we took all of our left over sculpey, put it through the craft machine (sort of like a pasta maker) and used a heart stamper to make tons and tons of beautiful little marbled hearts. I quickly baked them so the kids could hand them out to their friends and family or secretly hide them in random places for a great surprise. I was so touched over how excited the kid’s became over this idea. They made tons and tons of hearts. One third grader, after making every member of his class a heart, said “I’m so glad we’re doing this.” He got a heart from me for that comment.
This is such a nice project. I’ve been slipping hearts into pockets, onto keyboards, and in purses all day. I love the idea of an unexpected little gift, something small and pretty. Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. What’s something small you can do for someone else to spread the love this week? No sculpey necessary. A little note with kind words would be perfect. Or how about putting quarters in random meters. Or picking a bouquet of flowers (it’s so warm in LA right now!) and handing them out at work or your local super market. It’s amazing how once I started a few random acts of kindness, it felt so good I didn’t want to stop. I’ve got to make some more hearts!
I know I’ve mentioned my sculpey art enrichment class before and how awesome it is, but I don’t think I’ve explained why I think the kids in my class love it so much. With the holidays coming up, I thought it would be a good time for an Ode to Sculpey post. Here are the top 5 reasons sculpey class totally rocks.
1. Sculpey play is successful for kids at any skill level. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with this stuff. Some kids are able to create intricate, detailed sculptures that require advance fine motor skills, while other kids can roll sculpey into long skinny worms and poof, they have a rainbow. In all the years I’ve taught sculpey, which I think is about 7 now, I’ve never once heard a kid say “I can’t do sculpey.”
2. Sculpey play is open ended. This is perhaps the most exciting thing about sculpey. Anything goes. Each class I come prepared with a project that the kids can choose to learn, like this Dreidel necklace for Hanukah pictured above, or kids can do free choice with the sculpey. Some do a little of both. Often, the project I teach leads to other, more elaborate or creative ideas. Other times, the kid’s ideas become the driving force of the class. Right now we have a layer cake sensation going on and I didn’t even teach layer cakes this session. The kids from previous years taught the news kids and now they can’t get enough of these cakes. Each class they are coming up with new ways to decorate the cakes and make the insides more interesting. Go kids go.
3. Sculpey colors are totally inspiring. Polyform Sculpey basically comes in every color under the sun, which is just so much fun for kids…and adults. You can mix the colors, swirl them, layer them, cut them, cane them, build a full blown basketball court with them. The possibilities are endless. Whenever I bring out a new pack of sculpey the ewws and ahhs are fantastic.
5. Sculpey is great for building muscle strength and fine motor development. Some colors are harder than others for some reason and kneading the clay until it is ready to be worked with is a great activity for kids. In fact, as a teacher, I often recommend sculpey to parents with children who need a little fine motor strengthening.
Sculpey isn’t cheap, which is a bummer, but it does last a while, especially if you get the value pack, which I recommend. You can also use a Michael’s coupon for 50% off and then it’s not bad at all. There are a bunch of places to order in online for slightly less expensive if you don’t have a Michael’s near you or a coupon.
So there you have it folks, the Top 5 reasons why sculpey totally rocks and will make a fantastic holiday gift for the kids in your life. Oh, I forgot one more thing. It keeps kids busy for HOURS. So, it’s a gift for you too. Happy holidays!
About five years ago I started teaching a sculpey art enrichment class at the school I work at. Out of the countless art classes I’ve taught over the years, this is by far the most popular. The kids LOVE this class. I give them a lot of freedom, which I think is part of the appeal, but also Sculpey is just so much fun. This week the project was finger puppets, thanks to an amazing 8 year old I know. They were so much fun to make and really great to play with afterwards.
The steps are pretty simple. Make a ball a little bigger than your thumb. Stick the eraser end of a pencil in the ball almost halfway down and remove. Stick your finger into that hole and form a mushroom top over the top of your finger. Set it on the table to flatten and smooth the bottom a little bit. Then, add whatever details you’re in the mood for. The kids really liked the ghost, which is the most simple. I am all halloweened out, so I’m glad there are a lot more options than just ghosts. I love the long hair on the one above, made by a first grader. The amazing Miss Piggy below isn’t a finger puppet, but it’s totally awesome and I just wanted to share it, since the creator gave me the idea for the scupley finger puppets. Thanks Frankie! Keep the ideas coming.
I was searching for projects for my sculpey class and I came across this link. I was inspired by the little guy’s face in the middle and thought he needed some buddies. I made a sample and sure enough the kids in my class were inspired as well. I love the babies they made. On the back is a small round magnet so they can go right on the fridge. So cute.
My class has an age range from 5 to 10. Everyone was successful. We first made a ball for the face, followed by flattened balls for the eyes and skinny snakes for the mouths. The nose is a ball of sorts. The kids had free range on the hair. Most of them tried to create mini versions of themselves. It was fun trying to get the hair to look curly.