Bug's Life Paperweight - Flik

paperweight measures 2.50” x 3.25”

paperweight measures 2.50” x 3.25”

Here’s a paperweight project that can work as a reminder to kids to stand up for themselves.  Flik, the industrious and inventive hero ant from the movie, “It’s a Bug’s Life” did just that when against tremendous odds, he succeeded in defying his foe and saving his colony.  Create this paperweight from polymer clay and bake it in your kitchen oven.  Made by joining clumps of clay, the finished project is hefty in weight and cute as a bug.

Before you begin, condition all clay colors.  Cutting should be done on plastic film which will allow you to easily rotate the work when necessary.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE - Setting numbers vary on clay conditioning machines.  On my machine the thickest setting is 1 and the thinnest is 9.

Directions

step 1 - Roll 1 oz. of conditioned blue clay in your palms to form a sphere approximately 1.50” around.  Squash the ball slightly.  The mound should not be flatter than .75”.  With a blade, cut off one rounded end.  Cut the center face shape.

step 1 - Roll 1 oz. of conditioned blue clay in your palms to form a sphere approximately 1.50” around.  Squash the ball slightly.  The mound should not be flatter than .75”.  With a blade, cut off one rounded end.  Cut the center face shape.

step 2 - Roll two pieces of white clay into eye shapes.  Because I was running short of white clay, I used blue then covered it with a thin layer of white.

step 2 - Roll two pieces of white clay into eye shapes.  Because I was running short of white clay, I used blue then covered it with a thin layer of white.

step 3 - Roll a small piece of black clay on the #2 setting of the conditioning machine.  Do the same with a scrap of blue.  Cut two black eye circles using an eyelet or other small object.

step 3 - Roll a small piece of black clay on the #2 setting of the conditioning machine.  Do the same with a scrap of blue.  Cut two black eye circles using an eyelet or other small object.

step 4 - Nestle the white eyes into the curves of the center face. Position the black and blue circles on the eyes down and left of center.  Place a tiny fleck of white clay in the upper right corner of each black circle.  Roll a .50” wide strip of blue clay on the #2 setting of the conditioner.  Create a frame for the eye by attaching one end of the strip inside of the top center face piece.  Bring the strip down under the bottom center.  Cut off excess and create a frame for the other eye.

step 4 - Nestle the white eyes into the curves of the center face. Position the black and blue circles on the eyes down and left of center.  Place a tiny fleck of white clay in the upper right corner of each black circle.  Roll a .50” wide strip of blue clay on the #2 setting of the conditioner.  Create a frame for the eye by attaching one end of the strip inside of the top center face piece.  Bring the strip down under the bottom center.  Cut off excess and create a frame for the other eye.

step 5 - Blend black and green clay to create a dark green. Rollabout 1 oz. on the #1 setting.  Cut a rectangle base to measure2.50” x 3.25”.  Center the ant on the base.  On the machine’s #2 setting, roll a piece of the packaged green clay.  It should be large enough to cover the bottom of the face and reach across the base as shown. Pull a comb with sharp, close teeth across the light green clay to shred it.  Imprint leaf designs into the clay with a rubber stamp or texture sheet.  Read how to make your own!  Drape the clay across the ant’s face.

step 5 - Blend black and green clay to create a dark green. Rollabout 1 oz. on the #1 setting.  Cut a rectangle base to measure2.50” x 3.25”.  Center the ant on the base.  On the machine’s #2 setting, roll a piece of the packaged green clay.  It should be large enough to cover the bottom of the face and reach across the base as shown. Pull a comb with sharp, close teeth across the light green clay to shred it.  Imprint leaf designs into the clay with a rubber stamp or texture sheet.  Read how to make your own!  Drape the clay across the ant’s face.

step 6 - In your palms, roll out six pieces of blue clay for the fingers.  Cut them at different lengths. Press a thin knitting needle or an Etch N Pearl tool across each.

step 6 - In your palms, roll out six pieces of blue clay for the fingers.  Cut them at different lengths. Press a thin knitting needle or an Etch N Pearl tool across each.

step 7 - Tuck one end of the fingers behind the ragged leaf.  Press the fingers in place.  On the work surface, roll out thin tubes for antenna and position them on the dark green base.  Create two more ragged clay pieces for the leaves at the top of the project.  Gently press all four edges of the frame to bond the layers together.  Use a tissue blade to cut the excess clay to match the base size.  Pinch the frames of the eyes and bend them away from the face slightly.

step 7 - Tuck one end of the fingers behind the ragged leaf.  Press the fingers in place.  On the work surface, roll out thin tubes for antenna and position them on the dark green base.  Create two more ragged clay pieces for the leaves at the top of the project.  Gently press all four edges of the frame to bond the layers together.  Use a tissue blade to cut the excess clay to match the base size.  Pinch the frames of the eyes and bend them away from the face slightly.

step 8 - Smooth sharp edges and nicks in the clay with your finger where necessary.  Add details to the center blue clay with white pearl Mica Powder applied with a brush.  With a thin brush, paint the inside of the eye frames, the lower eyeballs, and the depressions of the fingers with a mix of blue and black acrylic paint.  Make a wash of copper paint and brush it on the leaves.  Wipe away the surface color leaving the paint in all the crevices to accentuate the leaf shapes.

step 8 - Smooth sharp edges and nicks in the clay with your finger where necessary.  Add details to the center blue clay with white pearl Mica Powder applied with a brush.  With a thin brush, paint the inside of the eye frames, the lower eyeballs, and the depressions of the fingers with a mix of blue and black acrylic paint.  Make a wash of copper paint and brush it on the leaves.  Wipe away the surface color leaving the paint in all the crevices to accentuate the leaf shapes.

Step 9 - Bake the project on a piece of card stock in a 275 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Allow it to cool completely before handling.

Step 10 - Apply clear acrylic gloss paint to the entire eye with a brush.


Supplies

At Amazon

  • Sculpey Clay - Sky Blue, White, Leaf Green, Black
  • Sculpey Clay conditioning machine
  • Sculpey Super Slicer blade set
  • Sculpey Acrylic Roller
  • Sculpey Etch N Pearl Tool
  • Ranger White Perfect Pearls Mica Powder
  • Aztek Blue, Black, Copper, Clear Gloss acrylic paint

Miscellaneous

  • plastic wrap
  • card stock
  • craft knife
  • paint brushes
  • sharp tooth comb
  • leaf texture sheets or rubber stamps
  • eyelets or circle cutters in two sizes

 

 

 

 

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