How to Make Sculpted Bug Legs Easily




Bug legs can add a creepy element to any and all monster-making projects. Insects have always been my favorite things to recreate in sculpture, and I hope you try out these simple to make bug legs and use them in your projects too!

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Step 1: Materials

*Polymer Clay (2oz will make at 4-8 depending on size)

*Wire cutters

*Wire (you can find 2in precut pieces like mine on Amazon or in craft stores)

*Acrylic paint in your color of choice (I used mainly dark brown and white)

*(Not pictured): Aluminum foil and access to an oven

Step 2: Roll Clay Into a Log

roll out logs of clay to the desired width of your legs, making sure to taper one end

Roll out the clay into a log of the desired width of your leg. Make sure to taper one end to a near point.

I made mine about 1 3/4 inches long and 1/4 of an inch wide.

You can always change the length and width depending on what size you need.

Step 3: Cut and Insert Wire

I used 2 inch headpins for mine, but you can cut wire to any size that you need.

Insert the wire into the wider end of the leg and make sure to leave some exposed so you can attach it to your project.

Step 4: Adding the Joints

Now, use wire cutters to make indentions in the clay. This is for the leg joints.

Twist the segments to separate them.

The clay will stick to itself even after this step, don't worry about the sticking. This isn't the final separation.

Step 5: Bake and Separate Joints

For the Sculpeys clay I used, I preheated the oven to 225 degrees and baked it for 30 minutes. Putting it at a lower temperature takes longer than the package instructions, but prevents cracks in the clay. I make a small aluminum tray to bake my projects in.

Let the clay cool to the touch and then bend the segments gently. It will snap on the indention you made and you'll be ready to paint.

Step 6: Paint

Now you can paint the clay however you desire, and you're done with your legs!

I used white and dark brown paint for mine.

Step 7: Attach to Your Project

You're done!

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    8 Discussions


    8 months ago

    Very nice work! I hope you continue to do sculpting. Do get some clay tools, those will aid you in doing fine details you want for this size work:) Keep it up! I know I enjoy sculpting too! Here are a couple of insects I have done for a nature centre where I am the artist. One was a wall cave (it had 4 other walls showing the different insects in soil for good and they were 8 feet tall) The other one shows the huge bumble bee for a save the pollinators set. It is being reused for another exhibit. I was using insulation board for all this work. However, you can see roots in the first panel that is also coated wire:) It is not finished, so you can see a bit of the process. I will see if I can find my file on the building of those insects. Enjoy!! Keep up the good work too!

    3 replies

    Reply 8 months ago

    Wow! How do I become a resident insect artist? That is my dream!


    Reply 8 months ago

    Get a good education. Set design etc opens doors to modeling fields. Have a look around in your city for chances to use your talents. Learn all kinds of building techniques, as that will aid in your work. Learn to weld too! :). All kinds of trades help with construction. Study work of other such artists. Get involved with your local nature centre and volunteer in helping with displays if possible. All theses things will get you on your way. Don't stick to just one species! ) I gave had to build more than one topic in my work. Good luck, and jeep your dreams! You might work on a movie set one day!! Digital art is another place to explore as well. Don't ever give up on your talents!


    Reply 8 months ago

    Awesome thanks for the advice! I am currently working on a commission monarch butterfly for a kids museum. Thanks Tangski and Sculpture Bug!