Clay

Froggy Garden Critter

Cover a styrofoam ball in clay and mold it into this cute, friendly frog to accent your garden.
By  Linda Hollander  

4"x4"

materials

STYROFOAM Brand Foam Make it Fun Ball, 4”
Polyform Model Air Dry Modeling Clay

tools

Loew Cornell American Painter Paintbrushes:  Shader Series 4300 #12, Liner Series 4350 10/0, Angular Shader Series 4400 ½”
Loew Cornell Series 277 Round Mop Large
Round dauber: small, large
DecoArt Americana: Banana Cream, Foliage Green, Hauser Medium Green, Lamp Black, Limeade, Peony Pink, Snow White
Sculpey Essential Tool Kit
DecoArt: Multi-Purpose Sealer, DuraClear Soft Touch Varnish
White craft adhesive

basic supplies

Stylus
Toothpicks
Medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
Dust mask
Serrated knife

This idea was originally published in our 2016 Garden issue. Subscribe today and save off newsstand prices! You’ll get ALL the projects delivered to you in six jam-packed issues per year. 

1. Use serrated knife to cut small slice from bottom of 4” foam ball so it sits flat. 

2. Form 3” ball of clay. Flatten clay ball into  1/8” thick sheet with clay roller. Lift clay off surface with super slicer. Wrap clay sheet around foam ball. Use firm hand pressure to adhere clay to foam ball and press out any air bubbles. Remove any excess clay with super slicer. Fill in any bare areas with scraps of clay. Use water to smooth clay surface. Insert toothpick halfway into foam ball top to attach frog eyes later. When dry, remove toothpicks. Smooth clay with fine-grit sandpaper.


3. Roll 1½” ball of clay and form into peapod shape. Press onto face as shown. Use firm finger pressure and water to smooth upper and lower edges of clay to blend seamlessly over dried clay. Pinch center of peapod-shaped clay outward to form mouth. Manipulate mouth to make slightly wavy. Use blunt end tool to indent nostrils as shown. Use needle tool to separate lips slightly and smooth with wet brush. Let dry.

4. Roll two 1” balls of clay for eyes. Use rubber tip shaping tool to indent eyeballs as shown. Use wet paintbrush to smooth area. Place eyes onto toothpicks and let dry. When dry, remove eyes and toothpicks and set aside.

clay frog critter

5. Roll 1½” ball of clay for frog’s legs. Form into 5” log and taper one end. Bend tapered log in half and press firmly onto side of frog as shown with thick end toward the back. Repeat for other leg.

6. Form two ½” balls of clay and flatten for feet. Use blunt end tool to indent three toes. Use wet brush or fingers to smooth and shape toes. Press feet onto bottom of legs from Step 5.

7. Form ½” ball of clay and flatten for hands. Use needle tool to separate hands as shown and smooth clay with wet brush. Use needle tool to indent three fingers on each hand as shown. Position hand between feet and press lightly. Let dry.

This idea was originally published in our 2016 Garden issue. Subscribe today and save off newsstand prices! You’ll get ALL the projects delivered to you in six jam-packed issues per year. 

8. Carefully sand eyes, legs, hands and feet as needed.  Apply coat of Multi-Purpose Sealer to entire frog. Let dry.

9. Base eyes Snow White. Base eyelids and all parts of frog Limeade. Mix (1:1) mixture of Banana Cream + Snow White and paint on throat for highlight. Let dry.

10. Thin Foliage Green with water and wash over all Limeade painted areas using round mop. Mix (2:1) mixture of Foliage Green + Hauser Medium Green and float shading on feet, body behind legs, upper lip and on eyelids using angular.

11. Mix (3:1) mixture of Banana Cream + Snow White and highlight toes and fingers.

12. Mix (3:1) mixture of Foliage Green + Hauser Medium Green and load onto large round dauber. Place loaded dauber on frog’s back and twist to form large dots. Repeat randomly. Add smaller dots on frog’s back and legs with small dauber. Let dry. Use end of paintbrush and Banana Cream to add dip dots on spots.

13. Thin Peony Pink with water and paint loose, sketchy outline around spots using liner and inside frog’s mouth as shown.

14. Load small dauber with Lamp Black and tap over eyeballs for pupils; let dry. Dip end of paintbrush into Snow White to add highlights on pupils. Apply adhesive to one end of toothpick and reinsert into holes from Step 2. Apply adhesive to exposed end of toothpicks and position eyes over top. Let dry.

15. Apply varnish to protect your creation.

*tip
Use water on fingertips to help smooth clay as needed. Use wet brushes to smooth tight spots.
Sand dry clay lightly to smooth out major imperfections. Wear dust mask when sanding dry clay.