Wednesday, January 8

:: I ❤️ Baby Toes (and Sculpey Clay) ::

Christmas is barely over and we are already thinking about Valentine's Day.

So annoying.

Yet here I am, jumping on the band wagon!

But wait!  I have a good excuse...

You see...just before Christmas I made these hand and footprint ornaments (see ^) and many of you asked me for a tutorial.  

Sadly, I never got around to posting the (oh-so-easy) instructions before CHRISTmas arrived. 

So, I decided I'd do something similar (and even easier) for Valentine's Day with my son's little piggies (I just love those little toes!)
Step One: Buy two small blocks of Sculpey oven-bake clay (these can be purchased at your local craft store-I got mine at Michael's)  You will discover that there are many color choices - if you have a little girl, you may want to go the pink route.  I used the red with glitter option!

Step Two: Open both packages of clay and incorporate them into one larger ball using your hands - just like you used to do with play doh only with a little more force! :)   (*Note - I have discovered that some Sculpey clay is easier to soften than others.  Maybe this has something to do with the amount of time it's been sitting on the shelf?  I say this because typically I find the white more pliable and the colors more stiff.  You should be able to leave the clay in a warm spot, under a light, or if you are really impatient like me - you can microwave it for just a few seconds to get it pliable enough to work with)

Step Three: Use a rolling pin to flatten clay to about 1/4" thickness

Step Four:  This is the hardest part!  Put your little one in a (loving) bear hug and press their feet (or hands if you are making a different design) into the clay.  You are going to have to apply some pressure here.  I even press each toe down individually.  (and before some of you write me off because you are rolling your eyes at the thought of getting your baby to be still long enough to do this, hear me out.  My sweet Knox is THE BUSIEST BABY I have ever met.  I did require the assistance of my willing 6 six year old.  He distracted him while I went to work wrangling and pressing.  :)  If you are making the heart shown here just press the right foot in on the right side of the dough at a slight angle and then overlap the heel of the right foot imprint with the left heel and press it in (also at a slight angle, only this time to the left).

Step Five: Now that the torture is over, comes the fun and easy part!  Take a sharp kitchen knife or exacto knife and cut out the shape of a heart around those cute little piggies.

Step Six:  Then use a straw or wooden skewer to make a hole in the clay between the feet. At this point you can choose to leave it as it, or you can flip it over and write the child's name and age on the back, or even write a message to the recipient.  (Grandmother's love that!)  You can use a toothpick or skewer just like a pencil to do that (just be careful not to press too hard or you will go through to the other side!)

Step Seven: I decided I wanted to stamp a little message on the front of the piece.  I have tiny rubber letter stamps that a friend gave me as a hostess gift several years ago and she got them at Wal Mart for a great deal (I talk more about them here).  So I just pressed in the message "Knox Loves Mom"  (Because I am his favorite, even if I have to say so myself.  Ha!)

Step Eight:  So here are the little piggies all complete minus the final (and probably most important!) step!  The baking.  Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and bake for 15 mins. on an ungreased cookie sheet.  When you remove them from the oven let cool, then tie with bakers twine or ribbon and give them to someone special (or keep them for yourself! Because sadly, those little piggies won't be that little for long!)

Now, some of you may still be wondering how to make those ornaments.  And if so, the steps are almost exactly the same except:
-buy white Sculpey instead of colored
-once the piece is cool from the oven, use acrylic paint and a teeny-tiny paint brush to paint the design of your choice onto the front (I painted the entire foot blue for one ornament)  For the santa and snowman, I painted the entire ornament white first as a base, then painted details on top of that once it was dry.
-seal the acrylic with a spray gloss for acrylics (you could also do this to the valentine footprint heart to give it more of a sheen)

Happy Valentine's Day!

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