Introduction: Clay Bird House
My bird house was created from Orginal Sculpey oven-bake clay, Aluminum foil, wire, mod podge and acrylic paints.
Step 1: Prepping the Jar
I pulled the corner of the foil up and folded it over the edge and then pulled the next corner up and folded it over the rim of the jar. Using my thumb and starting at the bottom, I smoothed the foil between the two corners before moving on to the third corner, repeating the process all the way around the jar.
Step 2: The Door/mouth
After rolling out a snake of clay, I gently pressed it into a circle on the jar.
Step 3: Creating the Shell
Using a rolling pin, I rolled out a circle of clay for the bottom and then for the sides of the jar. Making sure all the seams were well joined. This step does not need to be neat as it will be covered later.
The clay I am using needed to be baked at 270 degrees for 15 minutes.
After it cooled, I removed the jar and I knew going in that jar was not going to come out without cracking, as the top was a bit narrow compared the bottom.
Using little bits of clay I patched the shell, baked it again, and then I was ready for the next step.
Step 4: The Lid
I started by putting foil on the bottom of the jar and my plan was to bake it and then try to attach it to the shell.
I placed it on the shell to make sure I had the right size and realized it would be easier to attach it before baking.
After the edges were sealed, I baked it again at 270 degrees for 15 minutes.
The center was bowed, but I ended up happy with it being bowed instead of straight across for attaching the mushrooms, more on that later.
Step 5: Mushrooms
The wire: I cut my wire to desired length using a wire cutter. Using a wooden dowel, I shaped my wire by wrapping it around. The center mushroom I used a longer wire and wanted the stem to be where I could insert twine for hanging it.
The foil: Starting with a rectangle of foil I folded 1/3 of it down creating a two layer square. I folded the top two corners in to the center, and then rounded the edges on that side.
I pulled the single layer side into the middle, leaving the single layer loose so I could insert the wire. The double layer on the side I squished and shaped into the other half of the round mushroom cap.
The single layer next to the cap of the mushroom, I twisted slightly before inserting the wire and then wrapping the wire going down the stem.
It worked very well and was easier than it sounds. No glue was needed.
Step 6: Clay Covered Mushrooms
Starting with the cap of the mushroom I covered it in thin clay.
Under the cap I used a silicone clay tool to etch in the gills of the mushroom.
Down the stem I etched lines.
Step 7: The White Dots on the Mushrooms
With a lump of clay I scratched at the clay with a 2 prong clay tool, while I should learn the names of the tools I still have not. The second picture shows the tool, if you know the name of this tool and want to share in the comments it would be appreciated.
With short scratching movements, I roughed up the clay and then set it on the side, of the edge of the clay lump to attach to the cap after I had a few ready to place.
Step 8: The Bottom of the House
On the bottom of the shells I applied a thin layer of fresh clay.
After raiding the medicine cabinet I used different sized lids for the circles for the rings of the tree stump.
I etched lines in between the circles.
Step 9: Attaching the Mushrooms
After some thought I decided to use hot glue to attach the mushrooms. I went into it knowing that it would not hold up in the oven, but it held well enough to get a layer of clay over the wire end. I covered the entire lid with clay.
Before baking, I propped up the mushrooms with wire.
I bake it at 270 degrees for 15 minutes. When the timer went off I, shut the oven off and opened the door. Letting it cool completely before removing it from the oven.
I applied another layer of clay to the lid and smoothed it into the stems and baked it again.
Step 10: The Eyes
I purchased a bag of eyes off of amazon and this set was part of that collection.
I applied a thin layer of clay and pressed the eyes into it.
Step 11: Tree Bark
I used snakes of clay to create ridges for the tree bark.
After going around the entire trunk and pressing the edges into the shell with my silicone tool, I drew lines in the bark.
Step 12: The Face
Using different sized snakes of clay, I went around the eyes and mouth and built up the cheeks.
I molded a lump of clay to resemble a nose and add some snakes of clay on each side of the nose. Using my clay tool, I etch lines for bark and gave the nose nostrils
Step 13: Painting the Rings
I painted the bottom-Apple barrel, classic caramel with a burnt umber wash over the top.
Step 14: Painting the Trunk
I painted a base coat of Apple barrel, burnt umber on the trunk.
Step 15: Mushroom Caps
Folk art, Cardinal red over the entire cap
Step 16: Stems and Under the Caps
Apple Barrel, granite grey
Step 17: Dry Brush the Bark
I dry brushed five four colors on the trunk and went over those with the same Burnt umber as the base to help blend and complete the look.
Folk art, old ivy
Apple barrel, classic caramel
Folk art, metallic gold
Apple Barrel, white
Apple barrel, burnt umber
Step 18: Darkening the Rings
I watered down the Apple Barrel, Burnt Umber and brushed it on over the classic caramel, and then wiped most of it off leaving it mainly in the rings.
Step 19: Dark Edges on the Caps
Using Apple barrel, barn red I painted around the edge of the caps.
Step 20: Stems
With thinned out, with water, Apple barrel, khaki I painted it on the stems and wiped it off with a paper towel, only leaving a little behind.
Using a black wash, drop of black paint, water and jet dry, I went over the stems and under the caps. Black wash goes on dark, but when it is dry it is very subtle.
Step 21: Black Wash the Caps
Using the black wash, I dotted it on just the raised bumps and let it completely dry before painting the white.
Step 22: Add White Finishing Touches to the Caps
With a small brush I painted the raised bumps white.
As I made this project, I considered making the mushrooms a different color, but I am really happy with the classic red and white.
Step 23: Preparing the Lid
Generously I applied mod podge.
Step 24: Adding Moss
I added clumps of moss and added strands of moss with more glue.