Sculpt Your Own Gnome

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Introduction: Sculpt Your Own Gnome

About: I graduated from Cardonald College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 1999. He has worked as a Tattoo Artist, Community Artist, and Freelance Artist ever since. I like making instructables that ev…

Hellooo Instructables!

Everybody loves a good gnome but why settle for someone else's idea of what a gnome would be doing in your garden when you can make your own.

In this instructable i am going to share how to make your own gnome from polymer clay, it doesn't use any difficult techniques or specialised tools, so anyone can do it :)

lets begin.....

Supplies

Materials

Polymer clay roughly half of one of the big blocks (I should note that you could do this instructable with multiple colours of clay to make the skin, clothes etc but I am doing it this way as its a bit cheaper).
Arcylic paint.

Tin foil.

Varnish.

Wet wipes or a tub of water for smoothing things

Tools

Sculpting tools. These can be toothpicks and paper clips, you don't need specialist tools.

Craft Knife.

Paint brushes.

Oven.

Also handy but not essential, a rolling pin or glass bottle to roll out clay.

Step 1: Starting Off

Our Gnome is going to be made of 7 pieces, head, body, arms x2, legs x2 and of course the hat.

Head and body
To start make two balls out of tin foil, one about the size of a walnut and one a bit bigger (think kinda like when you are building a snowman)

Flatten out some clay and wrap it around the two tin foil balls

The legs

For the time being just roll two solid balls of clay a bit smaller than the head. No tinfoil needed.

The arms
Roll out two long tear drop shapes, use your judgement for the length.

The hat
make a cone shape

Step 2: Getting a Head...

Place your head sphere onto the body and roll out a thin snake of clay long enough to wrap around where the head and body meet. Do so and then smooth it into place.

Next up we are making the belt (we do this now so that the beard wont get in the way later)

Roll out a long thick snake and then flatten it out. You may want to trim the side to keep it neat.


Starting at the front of your gnomes belly (about where you think the belly button would be) attach one end of the clay and then wrap it around the body.


Once it is all the way round let it overlap a bit and then trim of the excess into a point.

Attach a square at the overlap like a belt buckle.

Step 3: Getting a Head Part 2.

There looks like there are a lot of steps to this part but all of them are very simple, so dont worry.
We are going to start with the beard and work up the way.

The Beard

Roll out a flat piece of clay and cut it into a rectangle, roughly the length you want the beard to be across the shorter length of the rectangle (I hope that make sense)

Cut the rectangle into long triangles. if you alternate the "base" of the triangle as you cut it you will get more from your clay.

Once you have several starting from the outsides and working your way in, attach the lengths of the beard along the "chin" making sure they are well attached.

The Lower lip.

Roll out a snake of clay and attach over where the beard attaches to the chin forming it into a smile or what ever mouth shape you want (who says it needs to be a happy gnome)

The Teeth

Simply make some teeth shapes (squares, rounded....pointy?!?) and attach them overlapping the lower lip slightly

The Moustache.

Cut out to small rectangles, each one about half the length of your gnomes mouth, shape it a bit and attach them slightly overlapping the teeth.

The Nose.
Tear drop shape attached overlapping the moustache a bit

The eyes and eye lids

For the eyes roll out a small ball, cut it in half and place them either side of the nose.

To make some eye lids make 4 small snakes. Place one below the eye and blend the points at the end in. Repeat with one over the top of the eye (if you overlap the lower lid a bit it looks a bit more realistic)

Cheeks and ears.
Pretty much the same as the eyes but for the ears you may want to flatten them out a bit and when attaching them make sure the edges are smoothed in.

The hat
Take your cone and make the base slightly concave so it will sit on your gnomes head rather than "float" above it. You an also sculpt creases in the clay to make it look more like its cloth and bend the point over a bit (personal choice, you dont need to)

The Eyebrows
As you did with the moustache but above the eyes. If you overlap onto the hat it give it a bit more of a cartoony feel.

Step 4: Best Foot Forward.

Take the two leg balls we rolled earlier and cut the ends off them. Only enough to give it a flat "base"

Take one of the bits you have cut off, half it and the attach them to the legs like shoes.

Roll out two long snakes long enough to wrap around the base of the gnomes legs and over the shoes and do so (so it looks like trousers)

Attach these to the body making sore to smooth in the edges (if needed you can do the same thing you did for the head and body)

Step 5: Up in Arms

Almost there.

For the arms we want to take our long tear drop shapes.

Roll out a snake appropriately thick enough to be fingers for these and cut 10 bits long enough to be fingers (you will need to use your judgement here again as I'm assuming everyone's arms may be a bit different.)

Start attaching these to the bigger end of the tear drop along one edge (not the middle) smoothing the ends in and bending the fingers into the desired position.

I then added little lumps as knuckles and a slightly larger lump as the elbow.

Now roll/cut out a rectangle big enough to be a t-shirt sleeve for your gnomes arm and wrap it around the "shoulder" shaping it to look like a t-shirt sleeve.

Attach the arms in your desire pose.

You may want to add additional touches and details now.

Now its ready to be baked as per your polymer clay's instructions.

Step 6: Paint It Up

Once it has baked let it cool and I dont think you need a step by step here, Paint it as you see fit :)

Once the paint is dry give it a coat of varnish (mainly if you are going to have them outside)

And we are done!!!

You have made a gnome! Possibly the first in your gnome army.

As always I hope you enjoyed this instructable and as always, thoughts, comments and even photos of your own Gnomes are always welcome in the comments section below.

Happy sculpting!

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    17 Comments

    0
    babygoatguy
    babygoatguy

    1 year ago

    Do you think you could explain how to make gnomes in different positions?

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey!
    First off my apologies for not replying sooner (was on a bit of a online hiatus)

    My general approach to this is just to either make a rough sketch first (just using the basic shapes of the feet, arms, body) or just to have a play about with the position as I am making it (I do it this way most of the time). Sometimes you can have a plan but you just happen to like the way a bit of it is sitting after you sculpt it :)

    0
    half-n-half
    half-n-half

    1 year ago

    Hands down these are adorable!

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    aww shucks, thank you ;)

    0
    mwachtler
    mwachtler

    1 year ago

    Can this be put outside.

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, If you are painting it you will want to give it a coat of varnish or the paint will fade. The paint will fade eventually as with most things left outside but the polymer clay has no issues being exposed to the elements (at least the brand FIMO doesn't)

    :)

    0
    TD56
    TD56

    1 year ago on Introduction

    Hi I loved your video but could I ask you maybe move the microphone nearer yourself or turn the music down? I could only hear you clearly when you dubbed in that the neighbouring unit had just turned power tools on. Remember when you’re making your voice projection is towards where you’re looking so looking down at your project your voice sounded very quiet which made the repeat of the music more annoying if that makes sense? Not meant to be a gripe just a constructive comment. Hope it helps. Keep up the lovely work. Stay safe.

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi,
    Not taken as a gripe at all, thanks for the feedback. I am aware I need to project more and will work on it :)

    0
    TD56
    TD56

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you. The written word can be read in many ways, I just wanted to make sure I hadn’t offended. Love the red hair that kept coming into shot too. 😜It must be very difficult to remember not to be ontop of your project and instead having to sit back clear of the camera. Maybe if you turned the camera round so we see your arms and hands and then you would be facing the mike a bit better too maybe? You could even wear a self designed apron to promote yourself lol.
    good luck with it all. Take care, stay safe and be well.
    TD

    0
    vbanaszak
    vbanaszak

    1 year ago

    So cute! I especially love the hands. He looks like he wants to be picked up like a small child.

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Ha! Now that you mention it :)

    0
    DaniloB1
    DaniloB1

    1 year ago

    Very nice post! Thanks for sharing

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you :)

    0
    Hippo13
    Hippo13

    1 year ago

    Very well written instructions. You're very talented, thank you for sharing.

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you, that's really kind :)

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    1 year ago

    They're perfect! Love their expressions :D

    0
    Barry Neeson
    Barry Neeson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you :)