Getting Started Polymer clay may stain. CLAY MAY DAMAGE UNPROTECTED FURNITURE OR FINISHED SURFACES. DO NOT USE polymer clay on unprotected surfaces. We recommend working on the Sculpey clay mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Start with clean hands and work surface area. Knead clay until soft and smooth. For best results, clean your hands in between colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces together firmly. Bake on oven-proof glass or metal surface at 275°F (130 °C) for 15 minutes per ¼" (6 mm) thickness. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. Wash hands after use. Baking should be completed by an adult. Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the Clay Conditioning Machine for several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Time to make the succulents to fill each container. Starting with the lilac colored succulent. Condition clay. Roll a snake of clay approximately 3” long and about ½” thick. Cut 5 equal sized ½ “ pieces and roll them into balls. Roll another snake slightly thinner this time and cut out 5 more equal sized pieces and roll into balls. Roll another even thinner snake and cut our 4 equal sized pieces and roll into balls. Lastly roll another thinner snake and cut two equal pieces and roll into balls. You should have a total of 16 little balls 5 larger, 5 medium, 4 smaller and 2 smallest.
Roll a ball of Spring Lilac clay about the size of a nickle. Press and shape into a small cube that will fit into the opening of one of your concrete containers. You will be building your Lilac colored succulent on this little square base
Flatten and shape the first, largest sized balls into petal shapes. Using the end of one of your paintbrushes make and indentation in each petal to give it a curved appearance. Attach your first five leaves or petals onto you base in a flower shape. Repeat this process with the next smallest 5 balls. Attach on top of the first 5 leaves/petals pointing the tips slightly upward. You can use the end of your paintbrush in the center to help attach and push the leaves upward. Repeat the process with the next 4 small leaves. Finish off the succulent with the last two smallest leaves. Smooth and point tips of leaves and place on baking sheet when you are satisfied with it. Check to make sure the base still fits into your concrete container before baking. Place onto baking sheet.
Dark Green Aloe succulent. Condition the Sculpey III String Bean clay. Roll into a very thin, long snake approximately 1/8” thick by 8” long. Cut 10 to 12 pieces that are approximately 2” long ea. You may have to roll another snake to get 12. Roll with your fingertip and make one end of each piece pointed. Flatten each piece with your fingers.
Assemble aloe leaves together with a tall one in the center and then work your way around graduating the leaves a bit with shortest being on the outer edges. Press together. Trim excess off the bottom. Make sure it will fit in one of your concrete containers. Place on baking sheet upright so as not to disturb the leaves. Just press the base flat onto the baking sheet.
Light Green Succulent. Condition the Granny Smith clay. Roll some of the clay into a snake approximately ¼” thick and 8 inches long. Cut 10 to 12 pieces that are 1 ½ to 2” in length. Using your fingertips, round one end of each piece. Press these together in a similar fashion as you did with the aloe leaves. Trim the bottom and make sure your succulent will fit into one of your concrete cube containers. Place on baking sheet upright by pressing base flat onto baking sheet. Bake the clay succulents according to the package directions and allow to cool.
To give the succulents more detail and color you will want to use some acrylic paint. Start with your aloe succulent. Use the white acrylic paint and paint very thin horizontal stripes on each leaf. For both the green succulent and the lilac succulent you will want to use a dry brush technique. Dry brushing means to use no water and very little paint on your brush. Just dip the brush into the paint color stamp excess off onto a paper towel and lightly brush a bit of paint onto the tips of your succulent. Use the Burgundy acrylic paint for the Lilac colored succulent. Dry brush the tips and sides of every leaf with a bit of burgundy paint. For the Light Green succulent, dry brush some bright yellow onto the tips of the leaves. This technique really give the plants some depth very simply. When the paint has dried you can coat each succulent with once light coat of gloss for a little shine. This is optional. Once dry you can place your succulents into the planters.
Additional Option of Pebbles:If you want to make some clay pebbles for added interest to your piece it is very easy and fun. To make the pebbles roll thin snakes of Concrete clay, Black, White,Tan and Suede colored clays. The Concrete snake should be the thickest since that will be the main color for the pebbles. Simply twist the colors together, fold and twist some more. You just want to blend the colors until you can see thin swirls of color. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just have fun. Roll balls and make pebbles of various shapes and sizes. A fun added thing you can do is roll some in some cracked pepper to give them a speckled appearance. Make 18 to 20 pebbles and bake according to directions. Once cool place them around your Concrete clay containers with succulents for a fun display!