Introduction: Matchbox Pet

About: Welcome to my profile! I am a 16 year old self-taught polymer clay artist that have been working with polymer clay for around 6 years now. I have learned a lot in the time I have been sculpting and hope to lea…

I just recently received a pet tortoise for Christmas. Although he is a handful to take care of, I would just love to take him wherever I go! And now I can! With this easy and fun craft you can take your mini pet wherever you go! You can also customize this to look just like your pet!


Any sculpting tools you feel comfortable with
Dirt, fine sawdust, animal bedding
A cup or container that you can throw away
Polymer clay (any colors you would like)
Acrylic paint (any colors you would like)
Fine tip paint brush.

Small pebbles
Any accessories you would like to add to your cage

Step 1: Starting Your Pet

To start your pet, I recommend finding something oven safe that you can easily hold your pet on while sculpting. For instance I used a wooden doorknob. If you are making a tortoise, you can start by flattening a small oval onto your workspace. This will be the bottom of your shell. Then roll out a teardrop and pinch to form the head, then place and blend onto the clay.

Step 2: Giving Your Pet Legs

To add front legs to your pet tortoise, roll out two long teardrops and slightly curve them, then place and blend next to the head. Roll out a very small teardrop and place at the opposite end of the head. For the back legs, roll out two smaller teardrops and then place and blend next to the tail. Also add a small hole for the eye.

Step 3: Adding a Shell

Gently flatten a teardrop shape and place on the back of the tortoise. Grab one of your tools and create lines on the back of the shell as a design. Also add any other details to the shell to your liking. If desired, you can take a tool with a point and draw scales on the legs and head. Then once you are done you can bake it according to your package's instructions.

Step 4: Painting Your Pet

Once your pet is cooled of, you can start by adding a small amount of black paint to a small amount of water. Mix up then apply liberally to all the tortoise. Let dry for a few minutes then gently wipe off the excess. You should have black paint leftover in the cracks and crevices. I like to use this method because I feel it really brings out the details. Note that you might need to do this a couple of times to get it just the way you want it. Then paint the shell, legs, face, and tail according to the way you want it. I decided to make this little tortoise look like mine so I tried my best to copy the design on his shell. I will leave a picture of him above If you would like to copy also.

Step 5: Making the Cage

To make the cage, mix your dirt, fine sawdust, animal bedding etc, with white glue that dries clear. I chose to use a little bit of my tortoises clean bedding to give it that extra touch. Then place a thin layer of your mixture into the bottom of your matchbox. You can then add any other accessories to the cage that you like. I chose to add small glass pebbles and a toothpick that I colored with markers and then cut down to size. Let dry then add your pet! You can also decorate the outside of your matchbox if you want but i choose not to.

That's it! That's so much for taking the time to read through my Instructable! I hope you enjoyed it! God bless you!

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