Introduction: Haunted House Clay Painting

About: I am an artist, author, and collector of smiling frogs.

This ghostly 3-D painting is made entirely of polymer clay applied to a pre-stretched cotton canvas.


5" x 7" pre-stretched cotton canvas

2 Sculpey III black 2 oz. blocks of polymer clay

assorted colors of Sculpey III and Premo! polymer clay

a large piece of acrylic or a smooth working surface

waxed paper

small circle cookie cutter (used for clay only)

clay tools: needle end pointer, triangular blade, thin blade/slicer, acrylic roller

Sculpey clay machine

small paint brush

12" ruler


1 sheet of paper

glass baking dish (used for clay only)

cookie rack (used for clay only)

oven mitt (used for clay only)

Sculpey gloss glaze

Step 1: Draw Picture

On a plain piece of paper, draw a 5" x 7" rectangle which is the same size of the pre-stretched canvas.

Then draw a haunted house scene as shown.

Step 2: Prepare Clay

Taking a block of black clay, run it through the clay machine until it is smooth and pliable.

Set the clay machine at #8 or #9 to get a thin sheet of clay.

Step 3: Cover the Canvas

Put the white canvas on a sheet of waxed paper to keep the painting from sticking to the work surface.

Drape the thin black sheet of clay over half the canvas.

Make a second sheet of black clay and drape it over the rest of the canvas.

Step 4: Wrapping the Canvas

Wrap the black clay along the sides and back of the canvas as shown.

Using a thin blade, slice off excess clay for a neat finish on the back of the canvas.

Step 5:

Using a roller or fingers, gently smooth out the middle seam of the clay.

Step 6: Tracing the Picture

Place the picture over the canvas and lightly trace over all the lines.

The picture is transferred to the clay-covered canvas.

Step 7: Add Moon and Clouds

For the moon, roll out a piece of yellow clay with the acrylic roller. Cut a circle with the cookie cutter and place on the painting.

For the clouds, make long, thin log rolls and attach to the painting by flattening the rolls with a clay tool.

Step 8: Building the Haunted House

For the 3-D effect, roll clay out to approximately 1/4" in thickness before cutting the individual pieces.

Using the drawing, trace the desired part of the house onto the clay.

Cut clay and add to the canvas. Continue to make and add pieces to complete the house.

Step 9: Adding Details to House

With the clay tools, add details on the roof and windows as shown.

Also add some bats flying by the moon and two ghosts coming out of the haunted house.

Step 10: Trees

Trace and roll out the outline of the tree. Cut out piece and apply to the black canvas.

For added texture, make long, thin log rolls of two different shades of clay.

Apply the long log rolls as shown, leaving a hole in the trunk.

Roll out thin log rolls for the branches.

Wrap the trunk around the side of the picture for a 3-D effect as shown in the third picture.

Add another tree to the other side of the painting.

Step 11: Graveyard Lawn

Using green and brown clay, put it through the clay machine multiple times to mix and condition the clay.

When the colors are somewhat blended, add the clay to the canvas.

To create a grass-like effect, score the clay with a needle end pointer.

Step 12: Fence, Graveyard, and Ghosts

Fence: Mix white and black clay to make a light gray. Roll a log for the two fence posts. Then roll 1/2" flat pieces for the fencing. Add small, thin pieces to connect the fence.

Graveyard: Use granite colored clay to cut out the headstones. Add some fringed clay for a 3-D effect to look like dried grass.

Ghosts: Shape clay as shown and add two black eyes.

Step 13: Adding Details

Using clay, cut out leaves, make a jack-o-lantern, and add eyes looking out of the hole in the tree.

Also make an owl sitting in the tree like the one in the painting.

Step 14: Bake and Cool

Put the painting in an oven safe glass dish and bake for approximately 1 hour at 275 degrees F.

Using oven mitt, remove the dish from the oven and set on a cookie rack to completely cool.

Step 15: Gloss

Add gloss where desired, but do not put gloss on the black background as it adds contrast to the painting.

Step 16: Display Picture

Now the ghostly painting is ready to be displayed on the wall, on a mantel, or on a small easel.

Happy Halloween!

Step 17:

1000th Contest

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