Introduction: Polymer Clay Chess Pieces

Hello everyone,

This instructable is about how to create your own chess pieces out of polymer clay, either to play with or just as a decoration for weddings or celebrations. I created one set of chess pieces, one side being very simplistic and following the famous Bauhaus Style, the other side being very detailed little dragons. This project is great for beginners or more advanced polymer clay creators. I hope you have fun with my instructable!

Step 1: Materials

Materials you need:

- 4 x 75g packs of white polymer clay

- 4 x 75g packs of red polymer clay

- aluminum foil

- knife

Step 2: Creation of Bauhaus Style Chess Pieces

To beginn you need to know what exactly the Bauhaus Style is. I added a picture of how the chess pieces should kind of look like. For these pieces I used the white polymer clay.

Eight of the pawns should only be small square blocks.

The rooks should be two bigger square blocks.

The bishops should be an X. Start by creating a square block and then cut out the X with the knife.

For the knights start by creating another square block and then cut out a smaller square out of the top part of the big square and another smaller square out of the bottom. I have added a picture to clarify how the knight is made.

Finally the king and queen are made by starting to create a square block. For the king create another smaller square and put it on top of the bigger square. Create a small sphere and put it on the second square block for the queen.

Step 3: Creation of the Dragon Style Themed Chess Pieces

To beginn to create dragon style themed chess pieces you need to create the outline of the dragons by scrunching up the aluminium foil and forming it into the shape of the dragon which you want to create just as shown in the first image. The next step is to wrap the aluminum body with the red polymer clay and form it into a dragon just as in the second image. Flatten out a piece of white polymer clay and attach it to the frontside of the dragon as in the second image.

Then you need to shape the head of the dragons a bit more and add the eyes. The horns just as in the second image also have to be added as well as the small ears. Repeat this for the other seven dragons which will be the pawns.

Repeat the first step of creating the aluminium body for the bishops, wrap it again with the red polymer clay and add the white clay part. Turn the tail of the dragon outwards and add the horns, eyes and ears. Then take a piece of white polymer clay and roll it out so you have a long piece. Then roll the piece so you get a small staff like in the fourth picture. Finally white spots are added to the whole dragon.

For the rooks the first few steps have to be repeated, however the tail has to be turned inward and no white polymer clay piece has to be added. The eyes will also not look like the eyes of the other dragons but just be slits since the rook dragon is sleeping. Also add two small ovals for the arms and attach them under the dragon body. Add some final spots and the rooks are done.

The next step is to create the knights. Start by following the general steps but when you create the aluminium body add the feet parts already. This will make it easier for you to create the final dragon when the polymer clay is added. Add the red clay and form the dragon so it has to feet and a tail, as well as small arms. The next step is again to add the white clay part and then the horns, eyes and ears. Add three spots on each foot as the toes of the dragon.

Finally to create the king and queen the aluminium body has to be wrapped with polymer clay. However the tail of the queen dragon is to the right while the tail of the king dragon is to the left. Add the white polymer clay, arms, eyes, horns and ears. The ears of the king and queen have to be bigger than the ears of the other figures which can be seen in the last image. The last step is to roll several small snakes which then need to be attached to the end of the tail. To finish the tail you need to create several small ovals and add them to the tail to hide where the white part of the tail connects with the red part.

Step 4: Burning the Polymer Clay

To burn the chess pieces heat up the oven to 80 C and wait until it is warm. Then put the figures into the oven and keep them in the oven for a whole hour. After the oven is turned off the pieces can still be left a bit longer in the oven to become really hard.

Step 5: Painting the Pieces

Finally you can paint the chess pieces if you want. The eyes of the dragons can be painted black and to the dragon bodies, dots in different colours can be added. I only used a permanent marker to colour in the iris of the dragon eyes black, because I had already added spots with polymer clay to some of the dragons, before burning the chess pieces.

Step 6: Other Ideas

Of course you can also create other dragons for your chess board. These are just my ideas but you can also just use your imagination and come up with your own dragons. This also goes for the type of polymer clay used. Finally you can also just create the dragons without making them for a chess board and just use them as decoration items for weddings or birthdays.

I hope you had fun with my instructable and that it helped you to create an amazing chess piece set!