Introduction: Creature Making in Clay

How to make a whimsical creature out of wire and polymer clay. First start with a sketch of how you would like your figure to be standing. Get your supplies ready and let's have fun.


Will need small gage wire, wire cutters, small pliers, a wood base (can be any flat bottomed piece of wood), two plastic eyes, tin foil and polymer clay.

Step 1: Forming the Wire Base

Cut a long piece of wire that will be as tall as you want your creature to be. I have bent mine in the basic shape that is his leg and back up to the head. You will hammer this piece to the center of the wood. make sure to get it nice a secure as it will be the foundation to the whole project.

Step 2: Form the Wire Skeleton

The next step will take a while and lots of different sizes of cut wire. Just continue to add wire on top of itself to make the shape of a skeleton. Start with the legs, arms and head very basic. Then add more to make it strong. remembering that the head will be the heaviest part and will need the support of the rest of the body. When you can put some pressure on the head and feel resistance you are on the right path.

Step 3: Add Tin Foil to Bulk Up Appendages

Using your tin foil wrap it around the feet, hands and head. This will bulk it out so that when we cover with clay it will not be too heavy. Form the sizes you want for these features. You can always clip some of if it off later if it is too big so don't be afraid to make them a bit on the larger size. Also larger features add to the whimsical side. I also covered the wood in tape just to keep it clean while I work with clay.

Step 4: Starting the Head

Need together the clay and roll out flat. Wrap clay around the tin foil smoothing it to a round head. I made a small wire and bent into the shape I want his nose. Add nose wire to middle of face. Pick out 2 eyes that you like. I got a pack of plastic eyes. Place the eyes on and push in a little. Roll out two log shaped pieces of clay for each eye. Place one on the top of the eye and one on the bottom to help hold the eye in. Add clay to the wire nose and fill in to make the basic shape you would like for the nose. I made mine larger to give a goblin like look.

Step 5: Shaping the Face

To shape the face add one layer at at time. First add the outer line of a mouth. Then add the cheeks. put in another layer of the mouth. Add in his chin.

Step 6: Finish the Top of Head

To add height to his head without adding too much weight cut the top off. Add a bit of tin foil to create the dome shape. Then cover with clay and smooth out. Add some wrinkle lines above his eyebrows line.

Step 7: Add the Ears

For the ears you will make a wire shape that you like. I used a type of elf shape. Then cover the wire in a thin layer of tin foil. Attach the ear to the head and cover with clay layer. Then add some more clay to get the 3D ear look. Smooth out the back.

Step 8: Add Details to Head

Use a tool or even a coin to add small lines to the head. This will give detail to him and will add a lot of pop when you paint it.

Step 9: Make Hands

First add a layer of clay to the hands covering the tin foil. Then cut some small pieces of a wire, five for each hand. Push the small wire one by one into the hand to add fingers. Roll a small ball of clay and push one onto each wire. This will be his fingers. Then add another rolled ball to the end of the finger for the nails.

Step 10: Make Feet

Cover the tin foil feet with a layer of clay. If you need to trim some foil off to get the shape right that's no problem, you can just recover with more clay. Roll out small balls of clay and add to the top to form toes. Smooth it together to attach. Use a toothpick to add the toenail shapes. Add some lines on the bottom to give detail. Add a small ball of clay on the outer side of the feet to form the ankles.

Step 11: Smooth Out for Final Looks

Give your guy a final look adding details and lines to the clay surface. Bend the wire back if he is wobbly or drooping too far down. I added some clay to the butt area to help balance him out. This will be covered up later so it doesn't have to look perfect.

Step 12: Bake a Cool

Remove tape from the wood base and cover in tin foil. Bake in the oven at 250F for about 40 minutes. Keep checking on him during baking. Make sure top of head and ears don't burn. When done set in the window to cool like a pie.

Step 13: Enjoy!

When he has cooled off you can enjoy. Paint using acrylic paint and you can dress him any way you like. Can use doll clothes, scrap fabric or even leaves for a nature look. Have fun and thank you for reading!

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