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 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.
Creating the Bunny Basket inside fillerUse a piece of any color scrap clay and with your fingers sculpt a marshmallow shape approx. ¾ x ½ in size. Place piece on your ceramic tile and with your 8mm metal ball stylus tool create a small bowl shape in the top of your piece.
Covering the Bunny BasketTake half of the Blush premo and small amount of Pearl premo clay and mix together. Run a small amount of clay through the clay-conditioning machine on the #5 setting. Take your 1” circle cutter and cut out a circle and apply it to the bottom of your marshmallow shape. This is to cover the bottom of the basket with the same color as the basket. Use the rest of your mixed Blush/Pearl clay and insert it into your clay extruder on the 1/16 disc and squeeze out a large enough piece: at least 20” to create your spiral. (basket weave) Cut the 20” piece in half with your super slicer (so you should have two 10” pieces) and using your finger spiral the two pieces together.
Wrapping the BasketOnce you have your 10” spiral completed, start at the bottom of your marshmallow shape and start to wrap around it until you get to the top (you should be able to wrap your piece around approx. 3-4 times) Make sure you have the sides covered with the spiral. Take a clay knife and make a vertical line every ¼ around the basket to create a basket weave. Set aside.
Making the wire basket handleCut a piece of 20 gauge pink wire approx. 12” long. Make a small loop in the center by crossing end over the other. Then take jewelry pliers and pinch the loop. While holding the loop with the pliers, twist the two together forming a rope pattern. Once you finished wrapping the wire, take an acrylic roller and form the shape of the handle over it. Compare your wire handle with the size of your basket. You want at least a 1 ½ handle above the basket. Trim the bottom of the ends of the wire and apply some bake and bond to the ends and insert into the center ends of your basket.
Cutting the grass for your basketTake a piece of Wasabi and Bright Green Pearl premo Clay and mix together to create a color tone you want for the basket grass color. Run the piece through the clay-conditioning machine on the #5 setting. Take the super slicer and cut a ½ high 1 ½ long pieces. Trim the top end with the zig zag blade and use a super slicer again to create ¼ cuts to make the blades of grass.
Applying the grass Use your 5mm stylus tool and some small pieces of green clay to reinforce the wire handles to your basket. Fill the basket with some bake and bond and start applying your grass around the basket rim using your 5mm stylus. Set aside.
Making the Chocolate bunnyUse a piece of Burnt Umber and Bronze Premo Clay mix together and ¾ piece and using your fingers start to sculpt a chocolate bunny figure (it might be helpful and yummy to have an actual chocolate bunny as a reference when sculpting one!). You want to be able to see the bunny from all sides so make sure the ears are a little spaced apart and the body is somewhat flat. You will need to keep comparing it to your basket to make sure he fits proportionately in the basket. Use the 5mm style to create the ear and eye holes. To add texture to the faux chocolate bunny use the needle end pointer.(You might loose some of the texture when inserting your bunny into basket so you might have to go back and redo some texture after he is in the basket).
Take a small scrap piece of the pink wire, apply bake and bond, and attached it to the bottom of the bunny then insert the bunny in the basket. Apply some bake and bond to each side of the bunny near the base. Take colored seed beads and using a tool like an Exacto knife, toothpick or whatever you have that can pick up the seed beads, and insert them into the grass on the sides on the bunny. We used 3-4 beads per side to indicate jellybeans or mini.
Flower touches Take a piece of ballerina pink clay and run through the clay-conditioning machine on the #5 setting. Use a mini flower cutter to cut out two flowers and attach one to each side of the basket.
Place your finished piece on a ceramic tile and bake in your oven according to the directions above.
Painting/ EmbellishmentsOnce your piece has cooled you can add small paint embellishments. We used the tip of a toothpick to paint the eyes yellow and to create tiny dots in the center of black for the pupils. Paint pink inside the bunny ears and nose and the flower centers.
IDEA SUGGESTIONS: • Paint a coat of matte varnish on the chocolate bunny to give it a little bit of a shine.• Tie some wax twine to the top handle of your Bunny basket to hang on your Easter tree.• Use as place cards by writing your guests names on small strips of paper and sticking them to the top of the wire handles with a small glue dot. • Create many little bunny baskets in various colors to complement your table scape or mantel.
Tip:If you plan to make one or many of these bunny basket we would recommend when you complete the piece to bake the piece right away and not leave it unbaked for a long period of time. If you do the wire handle could start to split your clay.