Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2014 Blog Event – see the beginning HERE!)

Here’s a cute couple of ornaments for you – a penguin and a robin…

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Aren’t they adorable?! I’ve made the penguin to gift to my Dad for Christmas, the robin is for our own Christmas decoration collection!

Want to make some too? Here’s how it’s done…

Step 1: Gather your materials. You’ll need some air-dry clay, kebab sticks, wire cutters. You’ll also want some gesso, paint, paintbrushes, blu-tack/plasticine, mod-podge and sandpaper (not pictured). I printed some images of penguins and robins to refer to as well:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Pull off four evenly sized lumps of air-dry clay:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Roll them into smooth balls:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Use your fingers to shape one ball into a robin shape. Start by elongating it to make it more egg-shaped, then pinch out a beak:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Keep pinching and shaping, including making a little tail, until you are happy with the robin shape:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Repeat with another ball to make a penguin shape, with no tail, a flatter beak, and a taller body than the robin:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Shape the other two balls into fat oblongs, to make bases for the birds, and cut some lengths of kebab sticks to be the legs. Push them together, with short legs for the penguin and tall legs for the robin, and make sure they balance okay:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Wet your fingertips and smooth over the cracks in the clay, until they pretty much disappear:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Once you’ve smoothed it all over leave the birds to dry for a few days – I left them standing up for 2 days, and then laid them down for the last day, so the base would dry underneath:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Apply a couple of coats of gesso all over the birds and bases:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 11: Paint two layers of brown paint on the robin and base, and two layers of black paint on the penguin. I used Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paints for my birds:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 12: Take the legs out to paint. You might have got some lumps of paint on them:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 13: If so you can use sandpaper to smooth them out:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 14: Stand the legs in a lump of plasticine or blu-tack, then paint the penguin legs orange, and the robin legs yellow:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 15: While they are drying, paint white eyes and bellies onto the bird. Then paint the penguin an orange beak, and the robin a yellow beak:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 16: Add blue waves to the penguin’s base, and green grass to the robin’s base:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 17: When all that is dry, use a pointy end of kebab stick to poke mod-podge into the holes on the birds and bases, so you can stick the legs back into place:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 18: Paint pupils on the eyes (small ones for the penguin, large ones for the robin), give the robin a red belly, and paint some lighter colours on the bodies for wings:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then your clay birds are ready to gift or display! You could also give them a coat of varnish if you are worried the paint might chip off, the Martha Stewart paint I used is quite sturdy so I didn’t bother:

Cute Clay Penguin and Robin Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

These make me smile!

Be Inspired:

Use a robin or a penguin on your next project

Use some clay (air dry or fimo/sculpey) to make an embellishment

Make two of something, one for a gift, and one for yourself

Would you keep these birds for yourself, or do you know someone who would love them?!

See you again in 60 minutes!

Jennifer x

15 Comments
  • Jackie Edwards
    Reply

    You are so talented Jennifer!! Must admit playing with clay if not my thing!! But love your robin and penguin!

    November 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm
  • LesleyG
    Reply

    So very cute, i wouldn’t have the patience to mould them, then leave to dry etc so wouldn’t have one to give away!!!

    November 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm
  • Anita
    Reply

    They are fab Jennifer, so cute! Not sure if clay is my thing but if I ever have a pay I will use these for inspiration!

    November 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm
  • I knew those sticks had to be for some sort of legs!! Soooo cute.

    November 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm
  • They are super cute, make good paper weights 🙂

    November 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm
  • Jean Bullock
    Reply

    How cute and clever. Good idea to use the clay for the stand as well.

    November 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm
  • very cute

    November 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm
  • haha…they are cute!! Is there no end to your talent. I love that your event covers all sorts of crafts x

    November 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm
  • well I didn’t go with legs so didn’t do as well with this guess but the birds look amazing!

    November 8, 2014 at 6:45 pm
  • oh my, these are soooo cute!! I absolutely adore birds!
    Love both the penguin (which I’m sure your dad will love!) and the red robin. Another fantastic idea and easy instructions!!!

    November 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm
  • Robins sure look different in England than they do here in the states!!! (Thanks for including the photos!) Another thing that is certain is how they’d *really* look…umm…”different” if I tried to make some!!! lol…

    Love your sweet little birdies!! You did a fantastic job on these. Love how the base is painted to be true to that bird’s environment, too. So fun.
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com
    HerPeacefulGarden.blogspot.com

    November 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  • Sarah
    Reply

    So sweet! I just wouldn’t have the patience for working with clay and all the details to be painted but yours do look great!

    November 9, 2014 at 10:05 pm
  • They make me smile, too 😀

    November 9, 2014 at 10:37 pm
  • They are very cute. Being an ornithology nerd I could just work my way through a bird book until I had one of each species!!

    November 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm
  • Sue D
    Reply

    So fun–great job painting.

    November 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm

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