I’ve been experimenting with homemade clays recently. This is one of my favorites. It is porcelain smooth, kind of like Fimo dough but without the baking and toxicity. Miniaturists and model railroad buffs have been using this clay for years.
- six pieces of white bread (cut off crusts)
- 3 Tablespoons of white glue
- a few drops of dishwashing liquid
- food coloring
- pin back (optional)
- frame (optional)
- wooden skewer
- table knife
- cookie rack
- hot glue gun
- nail polish (optional)
Put bread in a food processor and mix until crumbs. Add glue and dishwashing liquid. If the dough is dry, add more glue. Place dishwashing liquid on your hands and knead until dough is smooth and non sticky.
Divide the dough into fourths and add a drop of food coloring to each section. Knead until the color is completely integrated. Add more color if greater intensity is desired, however the color gets darker when it dries. The dough can be placed in the refrigerator in baggies at this time or you can begin to create your flowers right away.
For the Poppy: flatten a small ball of blue and make indentations all around the circle with the back of a table knife. place a tiny ball of yellow in the middle. Roll and flatten 4 pea-sized red balls. Pinch to obtain irregular shaped petals. Make parallel indentations on each petal with the table knife. Combine the 4 petals together in the middle. Place the blue circle in the center.
For the Calla Lilly: mix yellow and red doughs to form orange. Pinch a large pea-sized ball of orange into a long oval shape – wider at one end. Roll a small ball into a snake shape and place it in the middle of the orange oval, lengthwise. Roll the narrow end around the yellow snake, flairing out the wider end.
For the long chartreuse leaves: mix yellow and green doughs. Roll a pea-sized ball into a cone shape and pinch to achieve the long leaf shape. Place the back of the knife in the middle and fold the leaf in half then allow it to fall open.
For the rose: flatten and pinch 6 or more pea-sized balls until they are the thickness of paper. Roll one up to form the center. Wrap the other petals around the center, flairing the outer petal to form the rose. Just use the center and 2 or 3 petals to form a bud. Use the green dough to form the calyx.
For the Hydrangea blossoms: Roll 4 tiny blue balls and one tiny yellow ball. Flatten the blue balls and press together in the middle. Cover with the yellow ball. These flowers are invaluable for fillers. Make lots.
For leaves: pinch off a peas-sized green ball and roll into a cone shape. Flatten then use the back of the table knife to form veins.
Place your flowers on a cookie rack. I placed some of the leaves over the handle of a wooden spoon to give them some dimension. Allow to dry for about 24 hours.
There are so many things you can do with these flowers; fill a tiny terra cotta pot, cover a headband, or cover a napkin ring to name just a few. I decided to make a brooch by taking a plastic circle that I punched out of a milk jug and hot glueing the flowers to it.
Gorgeous! Glue on a pin back and you are good to go.
I painted my brooch with pearlized nail polish. It’s and interesting look but I think I might prefer my flowers plain.
Finally I glued a bunch of flowers to a crackle – finished frame. I’m thrilled with the result. (You can probably see that I mixed more colors and made different flowers like morning glories and sweet peas. Check out the pea pod too.)