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.
Mixing Clay for the Upper BodyBegin with conditioning and blending the skin colors. I use a mix of half Sculpey® Premo White Translucent, with Original Sculpey® Flesh. Add a pea size of White and Ecru to balance all that Pink tone. If you want a mermaid with a darker skin tone, you can add less White, and more Original Sculpey® Flesh.
Shaping the Head and Armsinch off a small amount skin color mix, like a 1” (25mm) diameter, for the head. Roll into a ball. Using your finger, or a smooth knitting needle, make a slight indent for placement for her eyes later. Roll two snakes for arms tapering at both ends. Set these aside for later. These are each approx. 3/16” dia. x 1-1/4” L (5mm dia. X 32mm).
For the torso, you will need double the amount of skin mix as for the head. Shape this into a longer, but rounded pear shape.
Cut a short piece of wire approx. 1” (25mm) L and turn each end over with the needle-nose pliers to create a loop as shown. Push in one end into the underside of the head where the neck will be and then the other end into the top of the body. Make sure that the eye indent is correctly aligned to the front of the body.
Smooth around the neck joint. Set aside.
Cut off an ounce (28g) for each of Peacock, Turquoise and half an ounce (14g) of Pearl clay. Condition each one then roll into snakes.
Combine the snakes from the top then roll into a larger snake by twisting and turning it back on itself until you like the blend, then roll into a long log shape.
Make sure you measure the diameter of the torso so it matches! Here is where you’ll decide what will be her waistline! If she’s too long-waisted, just cut off a bit at the bottom. As with the head and torso,a looped wire is used for additional strength between the torso and the bottom/tail section.
Blend and smooth with your fingers at the joint area between the lower end of the torso and the bottom/tail section. Draw down leg/tail length to suit a bended knee, as shown. Ensure that the narrowest point is at the “ankles”.
Shape and flare tail and remove any obvious excess.
Place arms as shown and blend at shoulders. Note, this style features a topless Mermaid!! See OPTIONAL BODY at end for Mermaid with top.
Select your hair colors and make the same way you did the Mermaid’s Tail in Step 6. For this Tutorial, I used Ecru, Sienna and Burnt Umber. Each color is approx. 1” – 1-1/4” (25 – 32mm) L, but since the working shape will be a blended sheet, sizes are relatively unimportant.
Once the snakes are formed, twist and turn as you did with the tail section, but in this case it could be more aggressive
After you are satisfied with what you see in your blend, take a roller, or on the thickest setting on your pasta machine, blend your hair colors in, making sure you have the striping vertical before cutting begins.
Our Mermaid’s hair is composed of a blend of at least 3 separate thin strips. These will be arranged to form layers and attached to the top of her head.
Here is a back view. To attach, start on one side, where her part would be and work your way around the head. Thinning and twisting each strip a little as you like, then if needed, cut off any extra. The sides of each piece should be smoothed out with your hand, rounding off the edges. Continue around the head this way.
Depending on the head size, 3 pieces may not be enough, so add more!!
Inserting Hanger and Other EmbellishmentsIf she is going to hang, you’ll need to make a simple wire hanger with a twisted end to insert into the top of the head. Make sure you do a loop on the ends with the needle-nose pliers, so it will stay and not pull out after baking. Smooth the area where you inserted, and gently close any gap.
I have added a fresh-water pearl to the side part for fun. If you add anything you’ll want to wire it in place so it stays in after baking.
Before going into the oven, you can add a dab of pink chalk, or pan pastels to her cheeks. If you goof up, you can remove with a dampened Q-tip with rubbing alcohol. Just be sure to let it dry before reapplying. Give your mermaid a navel with the Style and Detail small tool or a blunt knitting needle.
Baking/ Curing She is ready for the oven! Place on a ceramic tile. (I like to lay her on a piece of parchment, or paper towel so you don’t get a shiny backside). Bake at manufacturer’s recommendations for your type of clay. I always bake at least an hour and I tent it with aluminum foil. IMPORTANT! Allow to cool in oven before removing.
PaintingYou can be creative with this! I use my small Style and Detail tool and other small dotting tools to add eyes in the shape I like. I’ll add small ovals of white then after drying a dot of color for eyes, after this dries a small dot of white for highlight in each eye at the same angle. My signature is a heart shape lip which I do again with the dotting tools. The eyebrow and lashes are done with a fine pointy brush!
Optional BodyIf you’d like for her to have open arms, just take a little bit of her mermaid leg color and roll into a thin snake. Flatten a bit and shape like a bikini top, and lay across her chest ending in the back. Cut off the extra with your blade or pinch off and smooth. Now place arms in any position you’d like! Shown here, is a different little shell ornament. This can be attached with a suitable adhesive (e.g. S6000) after baking.