Hi all, we’re back with Day 4 of our handmade Christmas extravaganza. The good news is our house is getting more Christmassy by the day, so we are excited to keep the ball rolling with today’s project. I have a secret passion ….. and I’ll admits it’s a bit of a strange one, but I really really super love working with ……. Fimo! (see I told you it was odd!)
Before I start I should say …. Phil and I weren’t payed or perked to chat about Fimo (actually, we are never perked to chat about any products on the blog) we just share good things when we see ’em, and I think Fimo is a good thing!
For those of you who don’t know what Fimo is, Fimo is a brand of polymer clay. So, what is polymer clay? Its a type a type of sculpting medium, an awful lot like plasticine. I’m not going to pretend to understand the science of how it works, but just like plasticine you can make anything you can think of, and even mix colours however you fancy, to make pretty little models. Then, once your happy with what you made you pop it in the oven and it will set hard and keep for years.
So this year I decided to bust out my collection of Fimo of all different colours (I have a lot of the stuff on the go) to make our own little nativity for the tree! It is worth saying before we get started that although Fimo is usually available at most craft shops, it is not super cheap. It usually runs to about £2 per 25g block, but the good news is all you really need are black, white and the primary colours and you can make any other colours you fancy. Also to make all our little ornaments I used less than 50g of Fimo in total so they didn’t break the bank.
Polymer Clay Nativity
1) Mold your nativity people.
This is a pretty tough one to describe. I didn’t really have a plan as to how my nativity people would look before I started, I just took some clay and began to mould it and play with it untill I was happy (I may have started over a few times before I was happy). In basic terms the people are made of a round ball of clay for their heads and then a cone shaped body. Oh, Fimo tip of the day!: If you have used a dark colour make sure you wash your hands before you make anything with the white clay, otherwise the residual colour on your hands can rub off on the white and make it look a bit grubby.
From that basis you can make any person you want. I thought about adding arms and legs but it ended up looking too busy so I decided to scrap the limbs and just go a bit abstract. I gave each model its own personality by adding different crowns for the wise men, a beard for Joseph and a little blue veil for Mary. I used the sharp end of a pin to poke the eyes and smiles.
2) Bake your models
Once I was happy that my nativity family looked all set I preheated the oven to 130ºC (265ºF) and once it was warm, put my models in for 20-30 minutes. If you have an oven which runs a bit hot be careful and put them in a little cooler as the clay will crack if they bake on too high a heat (which is sad once you have spent time making your models!).
Also, use a little bit of caution when you first take them out of the oven as the clay stays too hot to touch for a few minutes and is quite brittle until it’s cool.
3) Make them into ornaments.
After your models have cooled, they are ready for stringing to the tree, although you totally don’t have to use them for the tree, they are equally cute used as Christmas cake toppers (decorative, not edible obviously) or as table decoration.
I used white ribbon on my models, which I attached to the back of their heads so they would hang nice and straight, using just a dab of superglue. Then I glued a little button over the raw ends of the ribbon to keep them looking tidy.
Ta dahhhh! Finished!
Don’t forget, you don’t have to make a nativity, you could make ANYTHING! – A Santa, or a little Christmas town, or little candy canes, or a model of your dog! Thats what I love about modelling clay. The only limit is your imagination.