How To Sculpt Miniature Clay Mushrooms
Learn how to make polymer clay Amanita Muscaria.
A mushroom pin Elizabeth made.
Hello! Welcome to Miniezshops how-to-sculpt series with myself Elizabeth. Today's blog walks you through how to make a mini clay mushroom (amanita muscaria). These can be made into many usable art pieces like charms, ornaments, pins, earrings, plant stakes and more. Here’s what you’ll need:
A work mat to protect your table top. You don’t need anything fancy, this can be a piece of paper.
Red clay & white clay. I use a brand called Cosclay. It’s definitely my favorite but you can use any brand or any colors you’d like.
A silicone dowel tool. This is the one I use and here's another option. However, you can also use a pen tip or the tip of a pencil covered in saran wrap, so the graphite doesn’t mark the clay.
A potter's needle is helpful but you can also use a toothpick.
An x-acto knife is also useful, or a knife with a blunt edge, but you can get along without one.
Potentially some baby wipes, clorox wipes or rubbing alcohol (to clean the clay off your hands).
A baking sheet & an oven.
I might earn a commission if you purchase from any of those links but you can definitely use what you have and get creative with the tools.
A photo of the tools and clay, minus the knife.
Once you have your materials gathered it’s time to get sculpting:
Step 1: Make sure your hands are clean and don’t have dust or debris on them.
Step 2: Take your red clay and warm it up, kneading it in your hands until it’s easy to work with. We do this thoroughly so the clay doesn’t crack in the oven.
Step 3: Take as much red clay as you would like your mushroom cap to be. The size is all up to you. Roll it into a ball. You can roll the clay into a ball between your fingers, between your palms or on your work surface. Make sure your motions are circular, going side to side will make the ball into an oval shape.
*Tip: if there are visible creases or lines in your clay, smooth them with your fingers so they disappear. Then continue to roll your ball.
*Sizing guide: For mini plant stakes the ball I make will usually be an inch wide, for charms it’ll be about ¾ inches wide and for stud earrings, about ½ an inch. That being said, you can make yours larger or smaller. If you’re limited on clay or want to make an extra large sculpture; wad up some tinfoil into a loose ball. Then cover it with clay and roll it around until it’s a smooth ball.
*If you’re making a stud earring set, make sure to duplicate each step.
Step 4: To make a 3d sculpture, such as a charm or an ornament, leave the ball as is. To make your sculpture into stud earrings or a pin, slightly press the ball between your fingers so the back is flat. Try to keep the front rounded but set it on your work surface to make sure it lies flat. Having an even back will make it easier to attach the hardware posts later.
Step 5a: Make the ball into a gumdrop shape. Set the ball on your thumb, holding it secure with your pointer finger or another finger on the same hand. Take your other thumb or pointer finger and press/pull the edges of the ball down to your thumb, all the way around the ball. If it looks bumpy you can keep it that way or tap the bumps slightly with your fingers to smooth them down. Then twist the base of the gumdrop on your table top so it’s even. Set aside
Step 5b: Similarly for a stud earring or pin, set the flattened ball on your thumb. With the flattened back facing away from you, pull the edges down to make a gumdrop shape. Use your fingers to tap any harsh edges down so they’re smooth. Again, press the base of the gumdrop on your table top to it’s even. Set aside.
Step 6: You may have noticed your hands now have a red hue. If you have baby wipes, clorox wipes, rubbing alcohol etc., wipe the clay residue off your hands with those. Here’s a more in depth blog post I wrote about cleaning clay off your hands. Make sure your hands are dry before continuing to the next step.
Step 7: Warm up your white clay. Take a little bit of white clay, between a sixth and a quarter of the amount you took for your toadstool top.
Step 8: Now we’ll make the under cap portion of the mushroom. For the 3d mushroom, roll that clay into a ball. For the pins or stud earrings, roll the clay into a ball and then roll it back and forth to make it into an oval.
Step 9: Press the ball or the oval between your fingers so it looks like a puffy pancake. Keep in mind it will need to match up to, or be smaller than, the edges of the bottom of your gumdrop.
Step 10: Set that puffy pancake at the base of your mushroom cap and tap it around to secure it. The more you press it the flatter it will look, so it depends on your preference.
Step 11: Take your sculpting tool. This can be your silicone dowel tool, pen tip, toothpick etc. Make a little indent in the very center of the white under cap of your mushroom. This is what the stem or stalk of the mushroom will go into.