Introduction: Kodoma Planters
I decided I'm going to start my succulent garden. I'd like to make various planters based on movies, cartoons and video games. The first planters I'm starting with are a couple Kodama from Princess Mononoke. What better to plant in my garden than mini Forest Spirits!
You will need:
Black paint marker
White appliance paint
And an oven
Step 1: Make Clay Bodies
Start by making the body. Roll a piece of clay into a circle and then stretch the top to make a neck. Pat down the bottom to make it level. Next I made the arms and legs by rolling out thin clay pieces and attaching small hands and feet.
For each planter I need a head with an open spot for the succulent plant. To do this I rolled a piece of clay into a ball then created a hole in the top and widened it to my pot size. (Of note: It's important to make the outer walls thin here so they do not crack when baking.) I made sure to shape the heads like the characters so some were deep and others more round. I then added eyes and mouth to each character's head.
I attached the heads to the previously made bodies and set them down on a flat surface. Next I adjusted the bodies so that the succulent plants could sit in them at a cute angle and still collect water.
Lastly I made a small drain hole at the back of each head.
Step 2: Bake
Next I followed the directions on the polymer clay package and baked my polymer clay planters at 275°F for about 30 minutes. Then I let them cool. I was left with planters that were white but a matte white and I wanted a shiny white like the characters in the movie.
Step 3: Paint
In order to get the shiny white that I wanted, I needed to paint the clay planters. I don't have a kiln and I didn't use clay that would survive a kiln. I also needed something that could withstand various conditions based on where I wanted to put my succulent garden. I decided on white appliance paint. It's tough as nails and super shiny. I tied a string to the back of each planters head then dipped them in the appliance paint. I hung them up to dry 4 hours and repeated the process for three times to get a nice even layer of shiny white. Afterwards I let the whole thing dry for 24 hours. Then I took my black paint marker and painted on the eyes and the mouths.
Step 4: Paint and Enjoy
I let my planters try for another 24 hours just in case there was any wet paint. After I was sure they were dry I planted various small succulent plants in each planter and placed them in my garden.