Tuwhitt Tuwhoo Here's Looking at You! Make Cute Polymer Clay Owl Buttons. | Nicola Duffy | Skillshare

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Tuwhitt Tuwhoo Here's Looking at You! Make Cute Polymer Clay Owl Buttons.

teacher avatar Nicola Duffy, Designer Maker and Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Tuwhitt tuwhoo Introduction

    • 2. Preparing Your Clay

    • 3. Rolling Sausages And Achieving Uniformity

    • 4. Crafting Owl Body

    • 5. Making Eyes

    • 6. Feathers and Wings

    • 7. Putting it all together

    • 8. Expert Tips and More about Baking

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About This Class



This beginner polymer clay class will teach you easy techniques for working with polymer clay to create repeatable, high quality items.  With your creations you can make buttons, hair clips, wine glass charms, brooches, earrings etc.

No experience or special equipment necessary.


Meet Your Teacher

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Nicola Duffy

Designer Maker and Teacher


Nicola Duffy - creator of Buttons by Benji and Ginger Mint. 

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As a child I spent hours creating Fimo pieces, most of which were heavily dusted with gold powder 'for extra beauty'. Ten years ago I rekindled my love affair with polymer clay and started creating buttons galore. Tens of thousands of buttons later, I'm just as passionate about polymer clay and I'm constantly seeking to push the envelope with what I can create. 

Seven years ago I started dreaming. Maybe I could replace my part-time job with button making. Maybe I could turn it into a booming home-based business with customers all around the world. Maybe I could work when I want to and do something fun and cre... See full profile

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1. Tuwhitt tuwhoo Introduction: Hello, everyone. I'm Nikola Duffy. Welcome to my class, twit Work here's looking at you today. I'm going to teach you how to make cute little polymer clay owls. This class is suitable for everyone, including beginners. Let's get started. And this class, we're going to learn the basics of clay handling and sculpting. Well, look, a preparation of your play rolling sausages, achieving uniformity and all. She has some expert tips that I wish I'd known years ago. We'll put those all together into a fund. Our project, our project today, is to make thes our buttons. You can make these in a variety of colors and sizes. Once you've mastered buttons, you could move on to other our lightens. Such a sees little our charms that you can hang on your bag, purse or phone. You can also turn your that allows into jewelry. I used some stealing silver ear wise to make Navy and pull out earrings. Then I made a larger AL as a matching Nicholas. For today, though, we're going to be making buttons. Let's take a look at the materials and tools that you will need for this class and project for this class the first essential troll that you will need is a flat surface to work on. I like this style left over from a bathroom renovation, as it's very smooth, but deflects surface will do. You'll need polymer clay and four colors, including a small amount of black and white for the eyes. Of course, if you have more colors, he'll be able to make a greater variety off owls you need. A sharp blade is thin as possible, such as a hobby knife blade for lifting the playoff. Who Flat surface. Be sure to protect your table if you're working directly on that, I have this need picked or from court rules. But for beginners, a pin and toothpick will work just fine in annex. Listen, we're going to look at what you need to do to prepare your clay for working. 2. Preparing Your Clay: Welcome back in this. Listen, we're going to be covering the very important steep off preparing your clay for sculpting experience. Clay crafters may wish to skip this lesson and move right on to the next listen or the one after to begin their project before we begin. His a reminder of the materials that you will need. Polymer clay in four colors, a pen and a toothpick, the sharp blade for cutting and lifting, and a flat surface to work on. Now let's prepare a clay. Many clays are quite hard, and some are crumbling. When you first open that packet, it is very important to condition your play ready for your creation. Conditioning simply means softening in working the clay to ensure that it is a pliable and can be shaped without cracking and crumbling. The amount of conditioning required varies from brand to brand scalping. Make clay softener, which you use sparingly to soften very hard or crumbly clase. But most plays don't need a softener. Just a bit of time. In a lot of rolling, some people speed up the process using a dedicated, pester roller, which you roll the clay through over and over until it is conditioned, but most of us start out the old fashioned way by warming, enrolling it in their heads. If you're plays particularly cold, see my expert tip to create a clay bubble to help you while you work, you may watch the expert tips. Listen in any order, so skip to the next of cold, Crumbly Klay is a problem for you. Squashing, squeezing and rolling sausages that you fold in half and roll again are all good ways to soften your clay. It will take longer to condition larger pieces of clay, so you may need to condition smaller pieces and then join them all together. Once you conform a bull and squash it into a little smooth dome that doesn't crack around the ages, then your play is conditioned enough to use. Clay only needs to be conditioned when you first opened the packet. Although if allowed to sit for a period after conditioning, particularly somewhere cold, it will still need some warming up before a will sculpt easily. It will be a much quicker process is second time around for mixing play. We use the same process. However, it could take even longer to fully blamed more than one color. It is a good idea to bling place that are at the same stage of conditioning. So if you are blending, two colors take either to place that have had no conditioning or two plays that have been conditioned. It is possible to mix fresh play into a condition play, but it's generally easier of both. Clays are at the same stage in this video. The yellow claim was warm from recent use, whereas the white clay had been previously conditioned but was cold and more crumbly because they have both being conditioned. It is no problem to bring them together, and you can see that the white clay very quickly achieves a similar pliability to the yellow. Once again, we squish squash roast sausages unfold. Repeat this process over and over until your colors begin to blend. Even before your play is fully blended, you'll start to see with your hitting fuel desired color, and you can add more clay at the stage if you realize that you're too dark or light etcetera. I find orange K to be extremely strong compared with other colors, so go easy with orange. If you wanted to add just a touch of it. After a few orange disasters, I started quartering the amount that I thought I would need a net saved for the disasters. It's always easier to EDM or later. But once your color goes too far in one direction, it could be had to pull it back without using heaps of clay. Don't despair that if you end up with a color you weren't expecting, you'd almost certainly find a use for it eventually, even if it's hidden under something else in Annex. Listen, I'll be teaching you about rolling sausages and some tips for achieving uniformity. My clay is finally blended. See you in the next lesson. 3. Rolling Sausages And Achieving Uniformity: Welcome back. Now they have gathered your tools and materials and your clay is prepared. You're ready to roll sausages and learn about uniformity. Often, when you're working with polymer clay, you can use a fairly relaxed See how it goes approach to deciding how much clay to use for your creations. That's half the beauty of the process, and it means that each item is unique. Sometimes, though, such a swing crafting earings or patterns, you may want to achieve a degree of uniformity, and that's where clay sausages come in very handy. Without lots of fancy tools, you could easily create items that are very well matched, starting with soft conditioned clay present so that it is roughly along gate and then begin to roll a sausage on your flat surface. You can roll it with one hand or two. Is your sausage grows longer? If you want a very thin sausage, slowly work it out from the middle towards the ends so that it becomes thinner and thinner . Hurrying. This state may result in your sausage breaking in the middle. If uniformity is really important, you can even use a ruler to measure the diameter of your clay. That way you can come back and roll the same diameter sausage time and again, and you know you will be able to create items off the uniform size. Once your place sausage is the diameter that you are looking for, you can head in another measurement to help with uniformity. Cutting links of the same size will give you uniformed pieces for constructing your creations. You can use the ruler to measure your links or just cut your first piece and use it to measure subsequent wings. For our project, we will need a variety of sausages. So once you've mastered this deep, you're ready to move on to beginning at Project. Join me in the next Jason, crafting your Al's body. 4. Crafting Owl Body: welcome back and listless, and we're going to be crafting the body or their owls. We're going to start with the main body color and roll a sausage. That's one. Seem to me to think this will give you a button that is around 25 millimeters by 20 millimeters. You can adjust the thickness if you want to smaller or larger button. Once you're clay is around one centimeter in diameter, you're going to cut slices that air once in two meter length. Describe the ends of your sausages. They often are little thicker. Will thinner now a good role. Each segment into a little ball. You can roll it between your palms or on a flat surface. Once you've rolled each segment into a little ball, you're going to point the ins a little bit like an EEG. So tune it in your fingers, pointing it gently until it's sort of like Appointee ik in shape and do that with each of your bulls. Now you're ready to press your little bulls into the al shape. So you going to pris each one flat on your flat surface and they will stick if you're using something like a tile, which can be quite helpful. Keep pushing all the way around until they're relatively smooth. And even next we're going to cut. Forget at the top that will form the little our horns. Your ovals are actually upside down now. So looking at your overall, if you're going to cut two slices with your sharp blade at roughly this orientation, because the angle is quite shop between those two slices, we're going to use that pen to cut between them for a staff so just moved, using an up and down motion moving inwards to the scene to from each of those slices, and we'll finish off cutting right through with the blade. So I just used the pen to cut towards the middle from the end of those two slices. Now take the sharp blade and use it to finish off the cut in to remove the clay at the same time. You could do it all with the blade, but I have a team that see that cut my horns off until I used the pin to lift her hours off the tile. Use a beckoned Ford sawing motion so that you congenially remove it. And now we're going to do the final sculpting and fix up all those refuges from the cussing , going to use toothpick like a little rolling pin. So just originally rolling that back and forth between the horns, tidying up all the rough butts, and then you can use your fingers to gently point the horns out. Be careful not to pull them out at the base that you can pull them right off, just turning the tips of the mount, squeezing a bet together. If it starts to get a bit wide at the top, doing any final rolling that will smooth off the top and then this. Our body is really to go. So you repeat the same process with all of the other little bodies, lifting them gently with a sawing motion off the tile, I mean, but not to pull the horns. But just to ease the tips of the match. Your little toothpick makes a perfect many size rolling pin when you're using a blade to lift, playoff the tile. Keep it almost fled to the tile so that you don't accidentally cut into your item. All that would allow bodies are ready to go in there next. It's a wig to be making eyes. See you in the next lesson 5. Making Eyes: Welcome back and this. Listen, we're going to be making eyes. I'm going to teach you a four layer system that will really make your little owl's eyes pop . This diagram will become clear as we work through. It's just these reminders off our sizes if we want to be quite precise. So we have a black 2.5 diameter sausage and we're going to cut two millimeter links and one millimeter links. And we have a want 2.5 kilometers sausage with a very thin aimed. From that, we're going to cut 1.5 millimeter links and from the very sunny, and we're going to cut the tiniest slice we can manage. Watch on. It will become clear. Here I have my 2.5 millimeter diameter sausage, the first thing I'm going to cut 12 slices off about two millimeters length. Obviously, I only need thine eyes for five hours, but my expert tip is always do a couple extra, then you can discard a couple of they don't look right. Once I have my 12 slices, I'm going to roll them into little balls between my fingers and squash them on to a tray you want to work on the surface where you will be able to slide them off with your shop blade. So if you're working on a vanished tabletop, you may wish to use a slice of plastic or something like that to protect. Your table will work on any flat surface that you have to slide your knife under in between using black and white. I'm using this piece of scrap white to claim my hands that will keep my good white nice and clean. Now I'm going to take a 2.5 millimeter diameter white sausage and I'm gonna cut links of about 1.5 millimeters long. I'm not using the rule of this time because I know it's about 3/4 of the length of the black ones, so I could do it by I just like the black ones. These want to going to be rolled into visual rounds and then they're going to be pushed on top of the black. If you've got your sizing right, then the black is going to form a little line around the edge of the white. Don't worry if it takes you a few goes to get these right. I've had lots and lots of breakfast making eyes. When you see them all together, you will know system. They're not completely uniform, but that's OK because we can match them up. And the beast met appears when we put them on their Els. Now we're going back 12 black sausage and we're going to cut one millimeter links. This will form the food layer off their full of eyes. You know what you doing by now? It's exactly the same role Little bulls and press them down on top of the white circles. This time, I find the easiest to roll them between my fingers because they're really quite small. If I notice that some of my little balls have ended up slightly larger, I'll look around for the eyes that is slightly larger, and I'll match those up. Now they're really starting to look like eyes cleaning my hands again. Before I used the white again. This is the final stage of four Lay arise and I'm rolling the white sausages. Then, as I can possibly get it, it will be a lot less than a millimeter Bricktown from elevator, and I'm going to cut really small little slices off it, too. This is to form the doctor in the eye, and it's a very small part. All the little slices are sticking to the bike because it's so tiny in life, but it makes him quite easy to pick up. You may or may not need to roll these. Sometimes you can prison straight on, and they form a nice little round to try the mountain. You've got a couple of spears, and if the press straight on that will save you having to roll them. If you do need to roll them, you have to use a very light touch. They're so tiny you can easily squish them toe almost nothing between your fingers, unlike the last two layers of position. Centrally, these little dots position right at the age off the black, almost touching the white or just touching the white that will form the little glint in the owl's eye. Once the roommate, I choose the piers ago beast together, so big ones with big ones, smaller ones with small ones, etcetera. So, for example, this one is a good match with this one and his enlargements, this one in this one in an express, and we're going to be making feathers and wings. See you there 6. Feathers and Wings: Welcome back in this. Listen, we go to be making feathers and wings. Pop the eyes aside for a while will come back to those later. You're going to need a two millimeter sausage off the color that you would like your feathers and wings. I mixed some dark pink and some white to come up with a light of pink. You need to score show for such slightly not to flit just a little bit. I'll show you an overview of what we're doing, and it'll slow it down. For retail, you need teen slices of your little Fleischman sausage. These are positioned on the out and rows of four, then 32 and finally one and they over let like roof shingles. Let's slow that down and have a look at the positioning from top to bottom. You're going to position your first overall, so that sits just above the halfway line and from left to right. If you imagine a line down the center of your our, you need to fit two ovals and on the left of that into in on the right. Want to get to a second row? You're going to position in the local so that it lies on the midline between the two above . And then it's easy from the Iran. You just keep positioning ovals on the mid lines so that each row needs one lease. Liken. Envision pyramid. I make sure they're in the right place first, and then crystal down, and your toothpick is really good for picking up the slices. They just seem to stick to it for some reason. Then you can get them in place, move them around, give them a little half push and fully pushed him down. Once they're alone, keep cutting slices in, positioning them until all the hours have they give a zone you may find when you start to position them that you really need three across the top. Or perhaps you need five. That's absolutely fine. Just adjustment to suit the size of the ovals that you have made. They're all the owls have the feathers. Now they're really for their wings. I have really wrote my sausages so that it's two millimeters again, and round and cattle, one centimeter length. This is going to be pointed at one end and in flesh unsightly to resemble a flesh and carrot using the blade to pick it up off the tile again and also to pick up your owls, which will be sticking after the feather squashing. Position your wing so that it's the top of slightly above the top of the feathers and the pointed bottom eat reps around towards the front. If you notice like I did that, your faucet isn't actually that even. Just adjust the lengths that you cut accordingly so you can see my links get a bit shorter because my sausage got a bit better, you could reroll it. But once you get your eye and you can just a gesture, links and then roll them a little bit longer at this point so that they will end up roughly . Even once I've positioned my wings properly, I make sure they well pressed on so that the finished product has a nice secured bond between the wings and the Al. And then next listen will be putting it all together, and you'll finally get to see your beautiful, finished owls. You're nearly there 7. Putting it all together: welcome back and this. Listen, we're going to be putting it all together. Take your eyes that you previously sick society they're still stuck down to the surface that you made them on using the age of your blade and a back and forth sawing motion gently eased them off the surface. It's important to go slow at this stage because you don't want to damage your little eyes. The fact that they've been sitting for a little while will help because they stiffen up a little bit when they're not being worked once again. Your truth. Because a handy tool for moving pieces around and getting them in position. Now you're going to choose the eyes and well matched peers. So look around for two that are almost the same size and have a similar sicknesses to their black and white circles. Position them carefully before you priest. Either them down. The most important thing with position them is to get the little white dots lined up. I generally have my looking either to the right on the lyft, and I like to do a mixture within the seat of batons, but you can try having them look up to the corners. Damn, as long as you haven't Kristen Dan. You can always move around now take a two millimeter thick yellow sausage and point to the end of it by rolling it slightly on your surface. Cut off a little short carrot, and there's a very easy bake. Position it between the eyes and press it down well, a little lower. Continue working through all of the els, choosing well matched eyes and in making the little bigs, you could also use the dark. Pink is a big if you didn't have any yellow in this color skin when you're choosing your eyes before you've pressed it down. If you realize that there was a better match, simply change it like I do in this example. Now I'm down to the last four and I look around for the two Wise, which are the least matching. These two go into my scrap pile, ready for another project. I never throw any clay out. There's always a use for them now that all of the little owls have their eyes and bigs there really for their buttonholes. So take your pen, going slightly off center to the lyft and around the mid line from top to bottom. Chris, your pen in, and then you're just going to work it around in a little circle until you form a nice hole that's going to be big enough. Fuels freed. You can check the back before you put them down to make sure that the hole is the same size on the back. Continue through all of your al's and then you're ready to bank. Check your manufacturer's instructions for how long and what temperature to bake your pals most Kleiser between 121 150 degrees Celsius for 15 to 30 minutes. Keep watching for my final listen on expert tips and some more information about baking. I really hope that you have enjoyed this class. I have a whole page full of ideas for further classes that keep me awake at night to keep an eye out. For those, I welcome your feedback and questions, and I'd really love to see photos of your finished project. Thank you very much. I'm Nikola Duffy. Ginger Mint Don't indeed 8. Expert Tips and More about Baking: Welcome back to our final listen on expert tips into more about baking Before we start into those. Let's take a little look at the key of your buttons. You can hand or machine washed them and speak them regularly to ensure that their well attached to the government the non toxic. However, they should not be truthful, sacked by babies or toddlers. And like all small objects, unattached buttons are choking hazard for small Children, so take you with buttons and small Children or babies. Expert Tip. Creating a clay bubble. This is an easy to make it home tool. Using items from your kitchen, which will help if you'll play, is particularly cold. Or if you live in a cold climate or have cold hands, it's much easier to work with clay that's slightly warm. You will need a part, some boiling water and some cold tap water. A plate, a plastic container to form your bubble, a cup Tunisia and your clay. Start by pouring two cups off boiling water and heading into a part following it up with one cup of cold tech water. Don't be teamed to tooth or boiling water, or you may cook your clay. I recommend trying it out with a little piece of play before you add a large amount to ensure that you're achieving soft, warm, easy to work clay, not slightly cooked clay. After the boil water, put your cup of cold tap water and then put your place on top. Place your clay on the plate and cover with your bubble. Now you're clay can stay warm until you need it. Let's talk about baking after all, your if it making your creations, you want to make sure that they cooked correctly. You can cook them in your kitchen oven or understand alone. Beach top oven like I do. This represents your oven, and he is your tray. With your little ice and sitting on top, Evans tend to hate at full temperature and go on and off once they reach the design temperature. This could be a problem for polymer clay because it can receive searches of hate that a greater than the recommended cooking temperature. You can protect your items by sitting them on something like a ceramic tile or baking dish , and by covering them with an aluminium teen. This allows the hate to reach your items in a more even fashion and means that they won't get too hot in potentially discolor. You can also consider using a standalone thermometer all candy thermometer, as they is unlikely to be more reliable than the built in thermometer. The use of an aluminium team will help. And if it's your first time cooking, I would recommend checking first with a small piece of clay to ensure that your oven as behaving as you expected to. Let's take a look at my seat up. Here's my very cheap bench top oven, and this is my aluminium foil teen. It's made of about four or five layers of aluminium, just enough so that when it's folded into this shape, it can stand up by itself because the lower element to my oven is very close to the cooking trade. I've put another couple of ceramic tiles on there to protect the base of my items, so I placed them in the oven on the A tile, and then I covered over with the aluminium teamed. The last thing I do is place my candid moment, all the tray so that I can see what the actual temperature is inside the oven with my actions of cooking. Don't let the metal probe off the thermometer attached the actions, though, because Mitchell conducts the heat very well and it will burn where it's touching. I cook my items at 130 degrees Celsius, but I generally put it a bit higher than that until it reaches. The temperature is rude on the candy thermometer. At that point, I said it to 30 minutes in turn the oven back down to about 118 degrees for this oven that works well to maintain my 130 degrees Celsius temperature. It may take a little bit of experimentation to figure out what works best for you. Just keeping on your temperature and on your items is your baking them. You don't need a special oven for it will stand it up more work fine. And don't worry if there's a bit of a smell that's quite normal with polymer clay. As long as there's no smoke and blackening your fine, my final tip is on keeping white clay white. This can be quite tricky because white clay attracts every piece of fluff and dirt around the way to get around. This is to have a piece of scrap clay that you use to clean your hands. Whatever you're planning to do in your molding, do the same with your script. Play prior to using it. And then you're good. White Clay will stay nice and clean if you do this every time you have lovely white play to include in your creations. I hope that you've enjoyed this. Listen, and I really look forward to seeing your projects. Please do drop me a line. If you have any questions and I'll answer them. I look forward to seeing you in future lessons of Nikola Duffy ginger mint dot Indeed, thanks very much.