Polymer Clay Weathered Wood Tutorial

Weathered Wood Polymer Clay Tutorial


Did you know that you can use Papa's Clay to sculpt anything you can imagine? This polymer clay tutorial will show you how to make some weathered wood using Papa's Clay.

Here's what you will need to get started:

  1. Ocher Papa's Clay
  2. Gray Papa's Clay
  3. Pasta machine, hand roller, or a baker's roller to roll out your clay
  4. Clay cutting tool or a knife for making wood beams
  5. Needle tool or needle for details
  6. Acrylic paint (optional)
  7. Chalk pastels (optional)

Step 1 - Mix and Condition the Clay

Mix your gray and ocher polymer clay together. Choose more of one color or another based on how dark or light you want your wood to be. Papa's Clay becomes workable and conditions by using the heat of your hands. A small piece should only take a few seconds to get ready, but larger pieces will take a bit longer.

Step 2 - Roll the Clay into a Slab

Use whatever roller you have available to roll the clay into a thin slab of polymer clay. A pasta machine is the easiest and quickest tool to roll clay into thin sheets. A hand roller works well too. A baker's roller can be used too, but make sure to cover it with wax paper or something else so you do not contaminate something that you use for cooking. You can also use your hands to get the clay into a pretty flat slab if you have no other tools available.

Step 3 - Make wood beam lines

Use your clay cutter or knife to make horizontal beam marks in equal increments across your clay. You want to press firmly enough to make an imprint, but not so hard that you cut through the clay. You probably want to go no farther down than a third of the height of the clay.

Step 4 - Make the wood details

Use your needle tool or need to draw long horizontal lines across the clay. If you point your needle straight down it will break the surface of the clay and cause clumps to come up. Instead gently drag the needle across the clay at an angle. To give it even more realistic texture, make a few knots in the wood.

At this point you'll have a really cool piece of clay. If you don't have any acrylic paint or chalk pastel you can stop here and bake your clay now.

Step 5 - Add an acrylic paint wash

You can paint Papa's Clay with acrylic paints before or after it's baked. We are not baking our piece until the very end of this tutorial so that you can also use chalk pastels on your wood piece.

Mix some acrylic paint colors of your choice with water to get a watered down acrylic wash. Paint your clay with the wash - a little goes a long way. Papa's Clay will absorb a lot of the acrylic paint for a really cool effect. Let it dry.

Step 6 - Add some color highlights with chalk pastels

Use a small amount of lighter colored chalk pastels on top of the dried acrylic paint to get some great highlights. The acrylic paint will sink down into the crevices and recesses of the wood and your chalk pastels will act as highlights on top if you use your finger or brush to very lightly apply the chalk pastels.


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