Design by Melissa “Mo” Tipton

Miniature food making relies on a set of basic sculpting skills, and handily enough, today’s project gives you a chance to practice all of them.

The skills you’ll be learning, which will help you with a variety of other tiny food projects, are:

  • Using the proper amount of translucent clay
  • Creating realistic crumbs
  • Giving clay a browned or baked appearance
  • Working with liquid clay

So without further ado, let’s make some tiny pizza!

Tools and Supplies:

Clay colors: Premo Ecru, White, Translucent, Raw Sienna, Translucent; Sculpey III Poppy, Red Hot Red; Translucent Liquid Clay

Parchment paper or aluminum foil (see step 3); Chalk pastels in ecru, burnt sienna, red, orange, light tan, yellow (any brand will do); Paint brushes (medium, small, and very small); Razor blade; Clay blade; Needle tool; Small bowl; Wooden craft stick; Sculpey Satin Glaze

We’ll begin by making the pizza crust, and the color mix you’ll be creating here can be used as the base for most baked goods, from loaves of bread and sugar cookies to croissants and lattice-crust pies, so bookmark this recipe. Note: The translucent clay lends the final product a much more realistic appearance, as if the crust were made from real flour and yeast, over a more opaque, chalky look were you to skip the translucent. For this reason, generally speaking, always use translucent clay in your mix when making tiny foods. 

Roll the clay into a 3/4 inch diameter ball and use your fingers to press the ball out into a disc. Press the center of the disc a little flatter to create a raised lip around the edge of the disc.
Crumple up a piece of parchment paper and use this to texture the crust edge of the disc
To give the crust a nicely browned appearance, use a razor to scrape some pastel from a brown and an ecru pastel. Keep the colors separate.

Use a dry paint brush to brush the colors along the edges of the pie crust, reserving the darker color for the very top edges of the crust as shown. It’s nice to have some variation in colors. Keep in mind that a pizza baked in a metal pan will have more browning on the bottom edges of the crust whereas a pizza set under a broiler will have more browning on the top edges.

If the clay becomes a little too warm and soft to handle, place it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before cutting out any slice. I like to cut out two slices and use a needle tool to tease out the crumbs. Occasionally pat the crumbs to make sure that they adhere to the clay slice.

Prepare the pizza sauce by squeezing a dollop of Translucent Liquid clay onto a small piece of parchment. Scrap a little red chalk, following by some orange chalk into the clay and stir with a toothpick. Adjust the color to your liking. If you prefer a chunkier Marinara look, mix some tiny pieces of Sculpey III Red Hot Red into the mix.
Use the toothpick to spread the sauce around the edges of the pizza, leaving the center exposed. Use the toothpick to drizzle the sauce down over the exposed cut away edges of the pie and the two slices. Bake the crust for 30 minutes at 275 and let cool.
Now its time to make the cheese. Chop up the White clay into smaller bits and place them in a small clay dedicated bowl. Squeeze in a matching bit of Translucent Liquid Clay and stir with a wooden craft stick to smear and mash the two clays together. The mixture should resemble buttercream frosting so that it will be easier to spread later. NOTE: You can use any white clay for this, but I prefer to use Original White Sculpey. You can let the mix of solid and liquid clays sit for a couple hours or even overnight before you blend them together.
Add just a TINY pinch of shaved tan chalk pastel and an even tinier pinch of yellow chalk pastel to the mixture and stir well.
Add the “cheese” to the pizza, dragging it over the sides of the cutaway and the edges of the slices to create a realistic “gooey” look.
Using the Ecru and Burnt Sienna pastel shavings left from the crust, lightly brush over the cheese with a soft brush. You don’t want to coast the entire surface, concentrate most of it along the edges.
Dip a very small moistened brush into the Burnt Sienna shavings and lightly press into the surface. Use a DRY brush to smooth the coloring around these small holes to add variegation to the cheese coloring.
To make the pepperoni, first mix up the colors. You will need two different shades of colors. For the first batch, mix equal parts of Poppy and Red Hot Red. For second batch, mix one part Raw Sienna with two parts Red Hot Red. Now mix one part of each color with 3 parts of translucent to create the two colors. Place the two colors side by side and chop them and mix them. Stop when the pieces are about the size of Kosher salt flakes. Gently press the mixture together and roll into a small snake a little thicker than 1/8″ diameter. Bake the clay in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Use a sharp blade to make thin slices of the baked snake of clay and add them to the pizza. You can add half slices to the cut edges of the pie and slices.

Bake the final pizza for 15 minutes at 275 degrees and glaze the cheese portions (not the crust!) with the Satin glaze when the clay has cooled.