Set up your workspace. This includes materials.
Here's my workspace. The kitchen table. Of course, you can do your work anywhere that you're comfortable and not afraid of getting something messy.
Items I have gathered are:
Chalk pastels to colour the clay. This is my preferred method, though I will also show the paint method.
Tiny cookie cutters and plastic measuring spoons. I got the cookie cutters as a set at Hobby Lobby for about $3, and the measuring spoons were some el-cheapo ones that my mom got for me at a local grocer.
The clay! I'm using Delight brand air dry clay here. Hearty is good as well, but I have problems finding it. I got the Delight at Micheals.
A thin, square wood board (gotten at Hobby Lobby again) that I've covered with wax paper, a small paint brush, Steve the stiletto, a sewing pin, a tooth pick (these last three are used for making designs on the biscuits/cookies they each make a different sized dot/hole), a razor blade (be careful with this kids!), eye pins (Hobby Lobby or Micheals), and a pair of pliers with a wire cutter function at the joint. I have a special pair of jewelers pliers somewhere, but I can't find em at the moment.
Liquitex gloss medium and varnish (Hobby Lobby or Micheals). I prefer this to any other gloss method because a) it isn't tacky when it dries, b) it doesn't yellow after it dries and ages, c) you can mix it with paint to colour it or glitter if you want to make something glossy AND glittery, and d) you can thin it with water. This stuff works on paper clay and scupley and pretty much anything else. You can also remove it from paint brushes fairly easily, just like regular acrylics. Since I have a nasty habit of letting this stuff and paint dry on my brushes, I also have a huge ass bottle of Windsor and Newton brush cleaner and restorer (not pictured) on hand to clean my brushes, but this isn't necessary.
Glass of water. Not for drinking! This is highly useful. The wonderful thing about air dry clay is that if it dries out while you're working with it, you can use water to moisten it back up again. I've even added allot of water to my clay before to make a kind of paste, but I don't do that anymore, it's pretty messy. You can also use the water for thinning your gloss or paint, or cleaning stuff off of your hands. I usually have a piece of paper towel sitting with my water, just in case.
Something to roll the clay out with. In my case, it's a glass candle holder. I have one of those little plastic clay rolling pins somewhere, but I can't find it. Pretty much anything round and smooth will work. Oh, and clean!
Corn startch! Yay! I find this useful for dusting my work surface and rolling pin (candle holder) to keep the clay from sticking when rolling it out. I also lightly dust my cookie cutters and measuring spoons to keep the clay from sticking to them.
Music! In this case my Sansa Fuze and my pair of pink Skullcandy Lowriders. This way I have something to listen to while I'm working. Or watch if I ever get any lengthy videos put on here.
Not pictured: Red and Brown acrylic paint. I use liqitex paint, but you can use any other acrylic paint you want. Drink, to keep me hydrated, in my case Dr. Pepper. Don't keep snacks around here, since those will just make your work area messy.
Now it's time for actually making stuff!
Part A: Biscuits/Cookies
Tear off a chunk of the clay. The larger the piece of clay, the more cookies you can make out of it. This amount will make 3 cookies with a little bit left over. Also, take out a light brown and a dark brown pastel.
Using your razor, shave off some of each pastel into a pile. More of the lighter pastel than the darker one. Here, I shaved off too much of the dark brown.
Here you can see that I slid some of the darker brown out of the pile, since I didn't want that much.
Pat the ball of clay ontop of the pile of pastel dust to pick it up, then work it into the clay until it's even. If the colour isn't as dark as you want it, repeat step 2 and 3.
If you can feel the clay starting to dry out, dip just a bit of it into the water and work the water into the clay. You'll probably have to do this often, since the pastel shavings will help dry out the clay.
Once the clay is smoothly mixed and at the colour you want it to be, dust your workspace and rolling pin with cornstarch. Here you can see the cornstarch dusted on my board before I smoothed it out. This will help keep the clay from sticking from your workspace and your rolling pin.
Next, roll your ball of clay between your hands until it's nice and smooth on the outside, then put it in the center of your dusted workspace. Then roll it out till it's as thin or thick as you want it, and all the same thickness. For my biscuits I usually keep the clay at a couple of millimeters thick.
Now, dip your cookie cutter of choice into the cornstarch, knock off the excess, then push the cutter into the clay, making the shape. Yay! Wasn't that easy?
Here are the three biscuits and the excess clay I made with this ball of clay. Don't throw that clay away!!! You can use it to make strawberries, which I'll teach you later in the tutorial. If you want to do that later, wrap the clay in some saran wrap and set it aside.
Step6: (This one is optional. It's for if you want to turn the biscuit into a charm for cell charms or necklaces and the like. Like I said, optional.)
Now is time to put in an eye hook for attaching to cell straps or things. The eye pins that are sold in craft stores are much too long for this, so you need to cut them down. I usually cut mine down to about half an inch for the biscuits. Once you have it cut, stick it where you want it to go in the edge, making sure the cut end does not poke through the front or back of the biscuit. That would be bad. If you're afraid that they'll come out, you can put a bead of super glue where the pin goes into the clay after everything’s dry.
Next it's time to put the design in! You know those little holes that are in biscuits and crackers and such? Here I’m using Steve my stiletto, a sewing pin and a toothpick. You can use whatever pokie thing you like to use. My design on these heart shaped biscuits is big dot, medium dot, small dot medium dot and big dot again, following the scalloped edge with the big dots in the bumps and the little dots in the 'valleys', if that makes sense. Your design can be whatever you want it to be! Be creative!
Now it's time to wait! You want to wait for the biscuits to dry a little before you shade them, or else the shading won't, well, shade when you smooth it out. It'll just stick there and not look pretty and even. I usually wait for the outside to be dry to the touch, but that it's still a little soft on the inside, that way if I felt like adding more little dots or something, I still can. So go watch TV! Go play with a kitty! Go do something!
Time to colour! First, grab those light brown and dark brown pastels again, and shave some off. In one pile have allot of light brown with a little dark brown mixed in, and in another have just dark brown.
Dip your paintbrush into the light brown mix first and dust that around the edges of the biscuit. Then grab just a little bit of dark brown and do the same. I usually use my finger to help even everything out and blend the colours together. If you get too much colour towards the center of your biscuit, then take a bit of wet clay and pat the area you want to lighten a bit. The wet clay will pick up the pastel. I also shade the sides of my biscuits, to help everything look more realistic. I don't bother with the bottoms. They usually wind up looking pretty nasty anyways.
Yay! You're done! Don't those look so cute! ^^ Now let's make some other things!
Part B: Macarons
Repeat steps 1 and 2 of the Biscuit part, except this time with just one pastel colour. (that's RED pastel in that pic, not orange. >.<)
Once your clay is mixed, roll it into a smooth ball and place it on your work surface, making sure your work surface is dusted with cornstarch again. Dip your measuring spoon of choice (depending on he size you want your macaron) into the corn starch then knock off the excess. Now, press your measuring spoon down onto the clay until it almost touches your work surface. Lift your measuring spoon up now, to make sure it doesn't stick to the clay, and lay it back on top of it lightly. Use your measuring spoon to lightly hold what will become the macaron while you tear away the excess clay, making sure there's a little left on the macaron to give it that fancy edge. Lift it away and now you have something that looks like that last picture.
Use something nice and flat (In my case the bottom of my candle holder) to smush your macaron down a little so that it's got a flat top. The further you smush, the flatter and wider it'll be.
Repeat steps 1-3 for the second macaron half. I'll show you how to fill later.
Part C: Ice cream!
This is quite a bit similar to Macaron
Once more, prepare your clay. You can use however many colours you want, though I usually stick with two per ice cram flavor. With this, I'm making Choco-mint (brown and light minty-blue), Strawberry-lemonade (Yellow and pink), and Choco-lemon (brown and yellow). I'll be using Choco-mint for most of this section of the tutorial.
Choose which will be your primary colour and which your secondary colour. Make a fat snake out of your primary colour, and a skinny snake the same length out of your secondary colour. Twist them together.
Now, loosely mix the two colours together and make a rough ball. You don't want it to have a smooth surface.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 of macaroon from the point of dusting your board. This time, leave a little bit more clay when you tear the excess away, and roll that up towards the main part of the ice-cream.
Yay! You have ice cream! Doesn't that look yummy!?
These are TINY, but you can use this method for larger strawberries too. Take a little bit of clay (I usually use my leftover, that's why it's pink in this pic. It can be new clay though)and roll it into an egg shape. Use your poking tool of choice (in my case a tooth pick) and poke little holes in the surface of the clay for the seeds. Let dry.
Paint red! Yay! Aren't they pretty? But, we aren't done yet!
Find a container that you don't mind getting all messed up, in my case it's an old tea light tin. Mix a drop or two of brown paint with approximately a tablespoon and a half of the gloss medium.
My setup here is I took a sewing pin, stuck the sharp end into the fat end of the strawberry and then stuck the ball into some clay to make a bit of a stand. This helps to allow you to let the strawberry dry without getting your fingers messed up, or anything else messed up for that matter. It also makes it easier to dip the strawberry. Once you have your setup of choice, dip your strawberry into the brown gloss about halfway, and let it dry. This makes your strawberry look like it's chocolate coated. You can skip this and go straight to step 5
Gloss the rest of the strawberry. I actually, after this first strawberry, just left the strawberries on their dipping stands and dipped them in the non-tinted gloss and after I removed some excess gloss left them to dry, it was allot easier. Now you have strawberries!
Part E: Cupcake base
Once more, colour your clay and get it into a smooth ball
Use something flat to help you roll your ball of clay into a disk that is wider at the top than it is at the bottom.
Use something thin to make cup-ridges on the side of your disk. Here I used Steve. You can use the edge of a piece of cardboard, a tooth pick, or anything else that will work.
Let dry and you have a cupcake ready for frosting! I'll show you frosting later. ^^
Part F: The paint method.
I don't really like this method for colouring clay, cuz it gets pretty messy. It's good for brighter colours, but you still need quite a bit of paint.
Get your ball of clay and your acrylic paint colour of choice. Here I have brown.
Squirt a bit of paint onto your clay, and then mix it together. Add more clay if you want it darker.
Here's my tinted clay, and my fingers. You can see (even in the bad lighting) that my fingers are pretty messy and covered in paint here. It took me quite a while to get the paint out from under my nails too. While with this method you don't have to worry about the clay drying out, it's pretty messy and sometimes the clay gets too wet if you have to add more paint.
I know I had orange slices in my intro post, but I think I'll make a separate tutorial for that, since the polymer clay caneing that I used for those is VERY involved. That, and I want to perfect it a bit more. lol
Well, now that you have biscuits and ice cream and cupcakes and things, time to learn how to make the whipped cream, right? Right!
Silicone!!!!! Yay! *needs a puppet to do the 'yay’ thing Kermit the frog style*
Before I start taking you through the steps, you have to prepare your work space for this.
You want to be OUTSIDE for this, or at least somewhere very well ventilated, like your garage. Thus this lovely picture of my deck with some of my supplies on it. Yay!
Here is what I've chosen for my work space, with my knee in the shot as well. Sexy, yes? Anywho, the rundown is.
My wok board, this time covered with saran wrap. Why saran wrap you might ask? Well, because the silicone peels fairly easily off of the plastic.
My pearls, Swarovski rhinestones, hair clips, and eye pins. All from hobby lobby, and on sale! Yay sale!
A compartment from my tackle box that I use as a supply box. This compartment has tons of pearls and beads in it. Yay!
My pliers once more, and a pair of tweezers. The tweezers help in putting the tiny pearls and rhinestones on without getting silicone all over your fingers.
Here we have various cake decorating supplies. These I all got from Hobby Lobby as well. We've got a big box of disposable plastic icing bags, which are a must. This way you don't have to worry about destroying an expensive, fancy fabric bag. Also, we have several different decorating dips and two couplers. I highly suggest the couplers, cuz it makes it easy to set up the bags, and you can easily switch out tips if you want a new tip without getting too messy.
The tube of silicone and a caulk gun. The caulk gun is a must, because without it you can't get the silicone out, or store the unused stuff.
This shows you the type of silicone I'm using, and the type you should use too. Not necessarily this brand, but make sure it says that it's 100% silicone on there. This stuff is made for windows and doors. Also make sure you get white.
Not pictured: Paper towels and a bowl of water, to keep clean. My stiletto and a nail, the stiletto to help clean out my icing tips, and the nail to puncture the seal on the silicone. Heavy duty scissors, to cut the tip off the silicone tube and to cut the pastry bags. Marker, to, well, mark stuff. Primarily the pastry bags.
Now to the good stuff.
Your coupling comes with two pieces, a ring and a 'body'. Unscrew the ring from the body.
Put the body in, narrow end first, into a pastry bag and all the way down the tip of the pastry bag as far as you can get it.
Mark on the pastry bag where the threads for the ring end. Take out the coupling.
Cut the tip of the pastry bag at the mark. Yay!
Put the body piece of the coupling back in. It should be nice and snug.
Put your tip of choice on the body, and screw the ring on. The ring should catch a bit of the pastry bag. Set this all aside for now.
(I forgot to take a pic of this)
Put your silicone tube into the caulk gun. It's pretty easy. Just put the back end in first, sliding it back to the trigger end, and the nozzle should just slide into the notch that holds it.
Remove the cap off of the nozzle and put it somewhere safe. Don’t' throw it away. Cut off the tip of the nozzle and put a nail inside it to puncture the seal. Really, the more you cut off, the easier it is to squirt the silicone out, but since I wanted to put the cap back on since I knew I wouldn't be using all my silicone I just cut off enough to make a big enough hole to get the nail in and the silicone out.
Get a brand new pastry bag and stick the caulk gun into it so that the nozzle is down to the tip. Start squirting away, filling the bag with the silicone till you have the amount you want to work with. I use a fresh bag to make clean up a little bit easier on me.
Cut the tip off of the pastry bag from step 9, and stick that pastry bag into that bag you set aside during step 6. Make sure that you have the tip of the new bag all the way down to the tip of the old one. I didn’t do that in this picture to show you what to do.
Yay! You're ready to pipe!
Practice a little. I make the swirlies by piping a circle and spiraling into the middle of the circle as I pull the bag up. If you want to see more on this check out cake decorating sites or, better yet, videos on youtube. Of course, some of the information at these places won't help, but the basic like how to change out tips, and how to do basic shapes with star tips and line tips will help.
Once you're comfortable enough with making those dollops of whipped cream, you can put them on things like your cupcakes and biscuits and the put things in the silicone, like beads and rhinestones. I'll try to get pics of this tomorrow.
Macarons are a little different. Snag one half of a macaron and place it flat edge up. Pipe some silicone around the outside edge and a little in the middle.
(Sorry the pic is blurry, I was holding it too close) Put the top on. Be careful not to squish the pieces too hard together, or else you'll just squish all your silicone out.
Now decorate your silicone. You also want to add any hooks for turning it into a charm now. Same thing with cupcakes. If you wait till later the silicone will be dry and you won't be able to get the hooks to stay in.
Yay! you have cute yummy things now! Let them sit for a while to cure. It'll probably take a day or two for them to be fully cured, so you want to keep them out of the way.
If there are any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!