Polymer Clay Pumpkin Tutorial - Papa's Clay
In this polymer clay pumpkin tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a pumpkin out of Papa’s Clay. If you only want a pumpkin then you just need to use two colors: orange polymer clay and olive green polymer clay. We’ll show you how to make a Jack O’ Lantern out of polymer clay in a future post, so if you want to take your pumpkin to the next level, you’ll also need some warm yellow polymer clay.
Tools and clay we used
- Orange Polymer Clay
- Olive Green Polymer Clay
- Warm Yellow Polymer Clay (if making Jack O' Lantern)
- Dotting tools
- Needle tool
- Roller or Pasta machine
- Ribbon Tool
The first thing you need to do is to get a foil ball ready for the armature of your pumpkin. The great thing about this polymer clay pumpkin tutorial is that these pumpkins look great and realistic no matter how big or small you make them. Decide how big you want your pumpkin to be and then make a loosely packed foil ball a bit smaller than that.
If you want this polymer clay pumpkin tutorial to serve as the base for a Jack O’ Lantern, then combine a tiny amount of orange with a larger amount of warm yellow. Once that mixture is ready, run it through a pasta machine or use your roller to turn it into a polymer clay slab. Then cover your foil ball with the mixed clay. Cut off any excess, blend all the seams together, and smooth it all out.
Now, roll out some orange clay and cover your foil ball or mixed yellow clay with it. If you are making a jack o lantern, then make sure your orange clay slab is thinner than your yellow slab. Again, blend in all the seams and smooth everything out.
Take a dotting tool and press in the center of your orange to mark the top and to make an indentation to match the shape of a real pumpkin.
Take a needle tool and make a plus sign at the top of your pumpkin.
Then take your needle tool and make additional diagonal lines through the plus sign. Follow those lines all the way down to the bottom of the pumpkin with your needle tool to give your pumpkin some shape.
This step is a bit tricky because you need to hold your pumpkin very gently, or you will effectively erase all of the lines that you made earlier. To help with this step, you can pierce something through the top of your pumpkin and use that as a handle while you’re working on the rest of the lines and details.
Take your needle tool again to very gently make some vertical lines in between the lines you made earlier. Do not press nearly as firmly as before. This step will give your pumpkin a lot of dimension and also the piece of detail that will help make it look realistic.
If you did not already pierce the top of your pumpkin, poke a little hole in your clay at the top or the bottom so that air can escape during baking and bake your pumpkin. When you use foil as armature, it is easy for air to get trapped within your clay which can cause bubbles and deformations while baking. So, making a very tiny hole will help immensely to preserve the proper shape.
We chose to bake our clay sculpture at this point of our polymer clay pumpkin tutorial so that we did not deform it during the later steps. But, you can cut out a Jack O’ Lantern pattern now if you choose (stay tuned for our Jack O’ Lantern tutorial).
The next part of our polymer clay tutorial is to make the stem for your pumpkin. If you baked your sculpture, let it cool down before proceeding. Take a piece of olive green clay and put it on the top to look like a stem. Use a ribbon tool to cut away excess olive green clay that is between the indentation lines in your pumpkin. If you just plop some olive green clay down, it will look fine, but if you take the time to remove the clay in specific spots to match the indentations, it will give it a great piece of detail to add to the realism of the sculpture.
Then use a needle tool or a dotting tool to texturize the stem. We very gently and carefully moved a dotting tool vertically along the stem to help texturize it. And then we used a needle tool to give the stem that rougher looking texture. Cut off any excess stem from the top, then use a needle tool or dotting tool to texturize the base of the stem.
If you followed all the steps in this polymer clay pumpkin tutorial, then when you’re done you’ll have a very realistic looking pumpkin that you can display this fall. You won’t have to worry about this pumpkin going bad either. And, if you want to turn your pumpkin into a light-up Jack O’ Lantern, stay tuned for more tutorials.
Don't forget to checkout our YouTube tutorial if you want to see some of these steps live: