Introduction: Dirty Clean Dishwater Indicator

Picture of Dirty Clean Dishwater Indicator

One of my son's daily chore is to load the dishwasher.  However, he would often put dirty dishes in with the freshly washed dishes.  To prevent this, I created a sign that clearly marks the status of the contents inside the dishwasher. 

Oddly enough, my parents sometimes have problems remembering if the dishes in their dishwasher are clean or dirty too.  I will probably create a different sign in Vietnamese for them later too.


Material:

Balsa wood - I selected balsa because it is so light
Polymer clay - I used Fimo Classic, Fimo Effects, and Fimo Soft
Sculpey Translucent Clay
Colored chalk
magnet - I purchased a long roll of magnets from Hobby Lobby. 
Varathane Polyurethane High Gloss Varnish
Glue

Step 1: Create Base

Picture of Create Base

Create the base for the sign.

Mark the halfway point on the wood.  I used a piece that was 3 in X 4.5 in, so I marked 1.5 in down from the top.

Flatten a piece white clay and cut into a retangular piece to fit the top half.  The clay should overlap the edges of the wood.  Smooth the clay over the edge of the wood and onto the back.

Flatten a piece fo blue clay and cover the bottom half of the wood.

Roll a long blue sausage of clay and outline the perimeter of the wood

Step 2: Dirty Cat

Picture of Dirty Cat

Body and head -
Roll an orange ball of polymer clay and cut in half for the head and body.  Place the body on the wood to make sure it fits.

Mouth -
Cut a hole for the mouth. 
Flatten a piece of Fimo metallic mother of pearl and cut into the shape of the mouth. 
Place the white piece of clay in the hole.  Take an exacto knife to lightly score the teeth. 
Roll a small orange sausage and outline the bottom of the mouth.
Roll a small ball of Fimo metallic gold and cut in half.  Pinch and elongate one end of the cut clay to shape into the muzzle.  Place the 2 pieces above the mouth. 
Roll 2 small ball of Metallic Gold and cut in half.  Shape the cut ball into a half moon shape and place it at the end of the muzzle.

Eyes -
Roll a ball of metallic mother of pearl. 
Cut the ball so that the back is flat.
Shape the ball into a triangle with rounded corners.
Take an exacto knife and cut the eyes in half.
Take a small ball tool to make small indentation for the pupils.

Ears -
Roll a ball of orange clay and shape into a triangle.  Take a taper tool to create an indentation in the ears.

Napkin -
Flatten a piece of metallic mother of pearl and cut into a triangle for the napkin.  Pleat the napkin and place under the neck.

Arms and hands -
Roll a orange sausage piece of clay.  Take an exacto knife to shape the fingers.  One had will be shaped to hold a bowl.

Feet -
Roll an orange ball of clay and shape into an egg.  Cut the egg shape in half.  Take an exacto knife to shape the toes.

Spaghetti -
Roll a metallic mother of pearl ball and cut in half.  Cut the the ball in half again.  Take a large ball tool to make an indentation at the top for the bowl.
Roll a long piece of translucent clay.  Color the clay with some brown and yellow chalk.  Coil the spaghetti on top of the bowl.
Roll small balls of brown clay and take a piece of foil or ball tool to create texture for the meat balls.  Add the meatballs to the top of the spaghetti.
Take some Sculpey translucent clay and add some red chalk.  Add the mixture to the spaghetti and splatter some on the napkin around the cat's neck.

Donut -
I had originally planned to make the wood rotate over another piece of wood, and used a metal brad in the middle.  However, I had problems with the weight of the wood and opted to remove the bottom piece of wood.  To hide the metal brad, I created a donut. 
Roll an beige ball of clay and flatten it into a donut shape.  Take a taper tool to create a hole in the middle.
Mix some Sculpey translucent clay with dark brown chalk.  Glaze the donut with the mixture.  Chop small pieces of clay for peanuts and add to top of donut.

Step 3: Clean Cat

Picture of Clean Cat

Body and head -
Roll an orange ball of polymer clay and cut in half for the head and body.  Place the body on the wood to make sure it fits.

Mouth -
Roll a small orange sausage and outline the bottom of the mouth.
Roll a small ball of Fimo metallic gold and cut in half.  Pinch and elongate one end of the cut clay to shape into the muzzle.  Place the 2 pieces above the mouth.
Roll 2 small ball of Metallic Gold and cut in half.  Shape the cut ball into a half moon shape and place it at the end of the muzzle.

Eyes -
Roll a ball of metallic mother of pearl.
Cut the ball so that the back is flat.
Shape the ball into a triangle with rounded corners.
Take an exacto knife and cut the eyes in half.
Take a small ball tool to make small indentation for the pupils.
Take a think strip of orange clay and lay over the eyes.  Cut to shape of eyelids and smooth the seams.

Ears -
Roll a ball of orange clay and shape into a triangle.  Take a taper tool to create an indentation in the ears.

Outfit
Flatten a black piece of clay and cut into a retangle.  Add it to the top half of the body. 
Cut another piece of black clay for the skirt.  Add a small strip of white clay at the bottom of the skirt.  Fold the retangle into pleats and add to the bottom half of the body.
Flatten a piece of white clay and cut into an apron.  Add small strips of white clay on either side of the apron for ties.
Cut another piece of white clay into a moon shape for the head dress.

Arms and hands -
Roll a orange sausage piece of clay.  Take an exacto knife to shape the fingers.  One had will be shaped to hold a feather duster.

Feet -
Roll an orange ball of clay and shape into an egg.  Cut the egg shape in half.  Take an exacto knife to shape the toes.

Feather Duster -
Roll a small piece of white clay into a sausage shape.
Roll 3 sausage pieces of pink clay.  Take a ball to to dot and drag around the edges to create the feather shape.


Step 4: Writing and Finishing

Picture of Writing and Finishing

Roll thin sausage pieces of white and blue clay.

Use the sausage pieces to write on the base.

Bake the clay as directed.

Take some black acrylic paint and a fine brush and paint stripes on the cats.

Coat the clay with  varnish.

Cut a piece of magnet to fit the back and glue to the back of the board.

Finished!

Comments

GarageGuru (author)2014-02-02

We use a similar sign, not nearly cool looking as yours, but it's been very helpful. Nicely done!

loangb (author)GarageGuru2014-02-03

Thanks so much!

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Bio: I love making things and keeping busy. I prefer making things rather than buying the finished products. People say to me 'you know, would have ... More »
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