Getting Started:Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Work ‘n Bake Clay Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately. Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use. Baking:Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per ¼" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.
Condition 1/2 block of UL by hand until it is soft and pliable. Sheet the UL through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Texture the sheet of clay as desired. Color the textured sheet by dragging the side of the plume shaped marker tip over the clay just highlighting the raised surfaces. You can choose to color the clay before (shown) or after the shapes are cut. I colored my sheet of clay before I cut it. However, if you texture first, then cut shapes, then color just as many shapes as you need; you will not have excess clay that has color in it.
I used Apple Green for my 13 medium shaped leaves. As you cut pieces, place them on a piece of scrap paper so that you can easily maneuver them out of your way while you work on other parts.
Texture more clay and cut out shapes as you like. I made 11 large leaves in Evergreen; 23 small leaves in Mint Green; and 13 flower shapes in Sweet Pink. For the flower shapes, set a pearl of UL in the center of each flower with the medium Etch ‘n Pearl tool. Color the centers Yellow.
Next I made five (5) birds - two (2) large, one (1) medium, and two (2) smaller. I made the birds out of untextured UL. I used the tip of the small Etch ‘n Pearl to make feather markings in both the wings and the tails. I colored the beaks Scarlet; the birds Marine Blue; and the tips of the tails and wings Cobalt Blue. Set all pieces aside so you can work on the tree.
With the alphabet rubber stamps, impress the message of your choice in a sheet of untextured UL. I made two little signs: HURT NEVER and HELP EVER. Then I used the Super Slicer to cut out a rectangle around each sign. Border the signs with a rope of UL. Texture a woodgrain pattern in the border of the signs with the tip of the small Etch ‘n Pearl tool. I colored my signs with Autumn Leaf and Burnt Umber.
The tree body is made out of 3/4 package of UL. Make a large tree trunk approximately 10” tall that is tapered at the top and thick at the bottom. Make several tapered branches in proportion to your tree trunk.
Flatten the bottom of the trunk and pinch and pull two (2) big roots out toward the sides.
Add the branches onto the trunk and smooth the seams with your fingers. Curve the branches. Place the largest leaves at the tips of the branches and make sure the leaves make good contact with the branches. Make as many branches as you like and connect the signs at the bottom above the roots.
Texture the tree with the tip of the small Etch ‘n Pearl tool. I colored the tree trunk first with Brick Red and then I went back and added Burnt Umber to give it more depth.
As you add the leaves and flowers to the tree, make sure all the pieces connect together with light pressure.
Add the birds to the collage and bake at 275º for 30 minutes. After the tree is completely cool, add Black marker to the words if you want to make them stand out. I also had a lot of fun highlighting my baked tree with even more layers of color with the Marvy markers. Thread some raffia through the branches to create a hanger for your tree.