Getting StartedPolymer 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 30 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.
Making the Cardinal:Mix and sculpt a 3/4-size Pomegranate and Cadmium red ball of clay into a bird like shape with your fingers. Pinching your fingers together to sculpt the beak and the cardinal’s pointy head and tail feather.
Roll out a thin Burnt Umber clay stripe approx. 1/16 H x ½ L. Take it and wrap it where the eyes and beak area would be. (Tip: looking at a few photos of cardinals will help). Take a piece of Cadmium red to create the beak. To apply the beak cut a piece of the eyelet wire and apply bake and bond to the end and then attach it to the bird. Use a 2mm ball-end stylus to make eye holes. Add a tiny white ball and an even smaller burnt umber ball for each of the birds eyes.
Use a clay knife to indicate lines for feathers and mouth. Insert the black eyelet through the back of the Cardinal. Set the Cardinal aside
Making the tiny mushrooms:For this project we created two small woodland mushrooms to embellish the Yule log. You can create more or less as you feel is needed. One mushroom color is Pomegranate with white dots and the other is 18K Gold with Bronze dots—each with white stems. Form the top of the mushroom of each color into a rounded triangle shape. The stem is just a piece of white clay formed into small stem. Cut two small pieces from the black eyelet wire and apply bake and bond to the end and then insert into the bottom of the mushroom. Set the mushrooms aside.
Making the Holly leaves and berries:Take a piece of Spanish Olive clay and run it through the clay-conditioning machine on the #4 setting. Lay the piece of clay on your ceramic tile and take a ¼ circle cuter. Start punching out circles forming the holly leave in the negative space. Make two holly leaves. Then with a clay knife create veins on your leaves and attach them together. After, roll out 2-3 tiny pomegranate balls for the holly berries. Set them aside.
Making the YULE LOGTake a piece of 18k gold clay and run it through the conditioning machine on the #4 setting and with your super slicer cut out about a 2” x 4” rectangle. Now take a piece of Bronze clay and run it through the conditioning machine on the #5 setting and with your super slicer cut out a approx. a 2” x 4” rectangle. Place the 18 K Gold clay on top of the Bronze clay, adhere them together by lightly rolling over them a few times with the acrylic roller. Starting at the 2” end of the two pieces of clay, roll together forming a log shape. Use your super slicer, slice the ends exposing the swirl inside the log making your log shape approx. 1 1/2” long.
Stamping the YULE LOGTake a piece of Burnt Umber clay and run it through the conditioning machine on the #5 setting. (You want your piece of clay big enough so you can wrap your Yule log plus have it 1/16 longer on both sides.) Use your “Tree Bark” stamp from the Sculpey Landscape texture sheet and stamp your Burnt Umber piece of clay. Remember to lightly spray your texture stamp with water first!
Use the flat rubber tool end of your 6 mm stylus tool and create indents down both sides of your texture piece of clay. (This will create a split wood effect when texture is wrapped around the Yule log)
Place your Yule log on one end of your textured clay and carefully roll it around your Yule log (don’t press to hard or you will lose your tree bark texture.) Use your super slicer to cut off excess clay. (Tip: Where the two pieces connect, make that the top part of your log because you can hide it with the next step: faux snow.)
Making Faux SnowTake a small piece of White Premo clay and mix some Sculpey bake and bond using the end of your clay knife tool. Keep adding bake & bond until you get the consistency of toothpaste. Clean the end of a clay knife tool off and flip around and use the knife end and spread the white clay (snow) on top of your Yule log covering where there Burnt Umber tree texture clay connected.
Embellishing the Yule logInsert the Cardinal on the top center of your Yule log (Tip: Make sure the eyelet is centered on the Yule log, otherwise it will be off balance) Keep the balance in mind apply your two mushrooms one in the front and one on the other side in the back. Add your holly leaves and berries and for a final touch take some Spanish Olive clay to add a little moss on your Yule log.
Baking your piecePlace your finished Cardinal Yule Log on a ceramic tile and bake your pieces in the oven according to the manufacturers instructions in Step 1 above.Let cool. Attach a decorative string and proudly display your creation this Christmas season.