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.
Mix the blend for the wingsCombine a quarter of a package of Silver, a quarter of a package of Gold and an eighth of a package of Antique Gold, and mix them together thoroughly. This is the same process as conditioning clay – run them together through the Clay Conditioning Machine on the widest setting, fold and run through again until soft and the colors are blended.
Roll balls for the wing From the clay mix, roll out four balls, about the size of grapes.
Make the top wing shapesForm two balls into fat, rounded teardrop/egg shapes.
Flatten top wing shapesUse your fingers to flatten each teardrop shape.
Shape the top wingsPlain ol’ teardrop shapes are fine for the top wings, but let’s make it a little more interesting! Use your fingers to bend the wing shapes slightly so they are more bean-shaped. Remember the wings will be mirror images of each other – one facing the opposite way from the other.
Add ridges to the top wingsUse your finger to press two indentations in the side of the wing (the wide side, not the tapered side). Flatten the wings again if needed. Don’t worry about fingerprints – they add to the texture of this design!
Top wings doneYou should have a nice pair of top wings now!
Begin to shape the bottom wingsShape the other two balls into teardrops and flatten with your fingers. From one side of the wider end, start to pull the clay out into a little bump.
Continue the bottom wing shapeContinue to gently stretch and pull to make the bump longer, like a finger of clay sticking out of the side. Flatten it as you go along.
Finishing the bottom wing shapeRefine the finished shape by angling the ‘finger’ more down than out, and smooth any areas that need it. Shape the other wing the same way.
All four wings doneLay all four wings in proper position and adjust anything needed to make the layout symmetrical.
Lay the top wings over the bottom wings in preparation for assembling the butterfly. Press gently but firmly to attach. Put the two wing sets aside for now. Let’s make the body!
Beginning the body of the butterflyRoll out a ball of Silver clay, just a little smaller than the balls we made for the wings.
Shaping the bodyRoll the ball into a fat log.
Making the headUse a tool or tool handle (I’m using one of my favorite tools, the CF “Can’t Live Without It” tool) to roll over the clay, creating an indentation. This will make a neck to separate the head blob from the body blob.
Refine the head shapeUse your fingers to smooth the tool lines so the body has a nice flow to it.
Refine the body shapeProbably the body will be a bit fat at this point, so use your fingers to roll the body portion (not the head) to elongate and thin it just a bit.
Add abdomen ridgesButterflies often have ridges on their lower bodies (which I learned in grade school is called the abdomen). Use the side of a needle tool to press a series of parallel lines down the length of the abdomen.
Create eyesRoll out a ball of Black clay about the size of a small pea. Use the Super Slicer to slice it in half.
Add eyes to the headPosition the half-ball eyes on the sides of the head and press gently to attach.
Put the wings onUse your finger to slightly flatten the middle part of the butterfly’s body (called the thorax - this will be on the quiz later). Next, position the two sets of wings on top of the thorax and press them to attach.
Make a covering for the wing attachment areaLet’s make a little covering to hide the wing attachment area and give the appearance that the body is all one piece. Do this by rolling out a small ball of Silver clay (about the size of a small pea),
Cover the wingsThen place the oval over the wing attachment area, and press into position. Fabulous!
Prepare pin for antennaI used ball-tipped headpins for the antenna. To help anchor them into the clay, first dab the end of a pin with Lisa Pavelka’s PolyBonder™ glue.
Position antennaImmediately press the antenna into the clay. The glue will harden inside the clay, and stay strong even after baking. Repeat with the other headpin.
Prepare steampunk embellishmentsNow this butterfly is going to get her steampunk on! By adding accents like gears and metal findings, we will make this piece look like a mechanical organical creature right out of the Victorian era!Stack several gears and other accents on a headpin (use pieces that have a hole in the center).
Use wire cutters to trim excess wire off the end of the headpin, leaving about a quarter of an inch or less of wire showing below the gears/accents. Use pliers to bend a hook in the end. This will help anchor the pin of steampunk embellishments securely into the clay.
Position the pin of embellishments in the thorax area and press the pin firmly into the clay to attach.Add additional steampunk accents. An open gear looks nice underneath the other stack of accents. Since there is no center hole in most of the gears, just add a dab of PolyBonder™ glue onto the gear and press it into the clay. I find needle-nose tweezers really helpful for positioning these accents.
Add more steampunk accentsContinue to add more accents to the lower wings. These can be gears or metal findings or other watch parts. Use headpins though any holes (trimmed and with hooks bent in the ends) whenever possible for strong attachments, otherwise use the glue.
So farHow’s she looking so far? Pretty steampunky, huh?!
Preparing for stacking accentsI thought a stack of metal-looking discs running down the inner edge of each of the top wings would look steampunky. So, roll out eight small balls of Silver clay, the smallest being the size of a small pea, and the rest each slightly larger than the one before. Flatten each one.
Add “metal” stacks to the top wingsStart with the largest of your flattened balls, press it into the top wingtip, then press the next one on top of that and continue to the smallest disc. They should overlap like fish scales.
Add ‘leather’ strapsIn the space between the last disc and the body of the butterfly, there should be just enough room for us to add a little piece of clay and make it look like a leather strap. Roll out a small oval of Bronze clay and flatten it. Use your blade to cut one side off. Now it should look like a tongue!
Position the strapPress the uncut-end of the strap on top of the last Silver clay disc and tuck the cut end under (or beside) the stack of steampunk accents on the thorax.You can add a little snake of Silver clay around the end of the Bronze strap if you like, just as a nice detail.
Add stitching to the strapTo really make the “leather” strap look convincing, use the tip of your needle tool to press a running line of little dashes to mimic the look of stitching.
Add more texture detailsUse a tool tip to press dots around the curved edges of the stack of discs to mimic the look of rivets.
Add steampunk accent to strapA headpin (with most of the wire end trimmed off) or a tiny watch screw, placed in the end of the clay leather strap looks great!
Repeat the discs and accentsRepeat the layering of Silver discs and the leather strap and textures to the other wing.
Adding details to the bottom wingsTwo flattened Silver clay discs,