Sunday, 8 May 2016

Tutorial Primrose Decor

Hello guys,

this time I want to show you, what I made for my mum on mother's day. I couldn't show you any earlier, because she reads my blog :D
My mum loves flowers and decor so I attempted to make a primrose that was as realistic as possible. I think it turned out quite nicely for my first attempt :)
You don't need to make any canes for this, Just have a little patience :)


polymer clay
real primrose and leaf if possible
pasta machine or roller
blade or xacto knife
water or baby powder
chalk pastels and/or acrylic paint
paint brush
eye or head pins
tooth pick
needle tool
aluminium foil
decorative stone


Try to find a real primrose and leaf (hopefully in your own garden :D) If you can't find one, you can use pictures but it's easier with a real one. This way you get the size, the colours and the textures right.
Here's mine:
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Now we start with the flower. Roll out some clay in the colour you want your flower to be. Make a really thin sheet. I think I used 7 on my pasta machine (9 is the thinnest). Trace a heart shape with a stem into your clay and cut it out. Use the first one as a template and place it on your clay again to trace the other four. If your clay is really sticky, you can also make a template from paper first. Cut out all five petals.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Cut out some strips of yellow with points at one end. Place them on your petals with the pointy end about one third on the petal.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Take a toothpick and drag lines on your petals from the outside to the inside to blend the clay together and create texture at the same time.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Carefully take your petals from your work surface. To do this, you hold your blade at an angle and slide it underneath. That way, they don't rip apart.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Flatten the borders of the petals between your fingers to make them thinner and not as regular. Then place it on your work surface again and make veins on both sides of the petals with a needle tool or wire brush. Then at the back side, brush on some colour by scraping off pigments off a chalk pastel with your blade. If you don't have chalk pastels, you can use acrylics, too. You can also brush on some yellow if you like.

Tutorial Primrose Decor
Now make the stem. It has to be very very small, so take a head or eye pin or a piece of wire and place a very small piece of light green clay on top. Liquid clay can help it stick better or glue it on after baking if it falls off. Then paint the wire in light green acrylics.

Tutorial Primrose Decor
Now it gets a little bit difficult. Take your time for this. Take your first petal and place it on your wire and wrap the long strip at the bottom around it.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Take another petal and wrap it around as well, making sure they overlap. Continue until all five petals are on there. Make sure that once you place the last petal, it overlaps on one side as well and on the other side it goes underneath, it shouldn't just lay on top.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
To secure everything, twist the stem between your finger until it's smooth. Take a dotting tool and shape the middle with it, so the hole around the stem gets a bit larger. Make sure the stem doesn't stick out too much.
Now you need a base to bake your flower on. You can make one out of clay (then you have to make sure to have something in between, so it doesn't stick together) or aluminium foil. Make a ball first and then an indent inside - using a ball tool for the indent should make it easy.

Tutorial Primrose Decor
Make some really small leaf shapes and fold them on a needle tool. They are for underneath the flower. You need five for each flower.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Place them carefully on the flower stem underneath the petals. and then twist them with your fingers again to connect them. Cut off any excess and paint the rest of the wire green. If you don't succeed with those little leaves, just skip them, they're not as important and really difficult to attach.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Then place your flower into your foil indent and bake.

Now the leaves. Mix some green clay. Add in a little bit of brown to not have a bluish green. You can mix a lighter shade and then brush on pastels on the high points or acrylics if you like. Or just mix the right shade and then paint the veins lighter after baking.
Roll out your clay very thinly, like you did with the petals. Mist your leaf with water or baby powder and press it into your clay carefully with your fingers. You could use a roller but I found that the indent gets blurry if you do. Then cut it out. Don't make the edges too straight.

Tutorial Primrose Decor
Slide your blade underneath and turn your leaf around. place an eye pin or head pin were the stem is (check the picture) the thick part should be on the leaf, so that it doesn't slide out. Cut a strip of clay to secure it.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Place your strip of clay on the back of  your leaf all the way up to the end, to support the middle vein, as the clay has most likely become really thin at that part. Now you can dust on some chalk pastel to give it some colour (or do it after baking with acrylics). Twist the ends a bit.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Make another base from foil to bake it on and place on your leaf. The sides shouldn't lay too flat but have ridges and be a bit wrinkled. Depending on how many leaves you make, you will have to make more bases. Or bake it on there for just a couple of minutes and then remove it and bake until fully cured. This way, you can use the base for the next leaf. After baking, you can add some more clay to the stem. It's better to bend the wire into place (a slight curve) before adding the clay.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Don't forget to fix the colours after baking. I diluted some really light green paint with water and brushed them into all the little crevasses. I wiped away the excess and let it dry. Then I used a darker green and dry-brushed it on the leaf. To do this, wipe off almost all the paint from your brush and lightly drag it over the surface. A stiff brush works nicely for this. Let dry.

To make a base for your creation, choose a large pretty stone and make a base from cardboard. Don't make it too regular. Of course you can also place them in a vase, then you don't need a base.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Spread some clay on your cardboard, press your stone into it and make the clay higher in front of the stone to be able to push in your flowers and leaves. I used air-dry clay as I can get it much cheaper than polymer clay.
Now texture it. I found this amazing hairbrush cleaner to create which I couldn't walk past and this is the first time I used it for texture. I just scratched and wriggled it over the surface. It's very easy and much faster than doing it with a needle tool, but you can definitely use one, if you don't have anything else.
Tutorial Primrose Decor
Remove the stone and paint the base green. I painted it before it was cured because I couldn't wait. It worked fine :)

Tutorial Primrose Decor
Once the paint is dry, place your stone back on the base. Then stick your flowers and leaves where you want them into the little hill. The stems of my leaves were unbaked at this point, I figured they would hold better this way. The picture below shows how it came out of the oven... Two leaves broken off :( I had to remove them, superglue them back together and support them at the back with more clay. Then I baked them for about 15 min separately, Stuck them back in the base and baked everything again for 30 min.
So, don't make the same mistake as I did and place some tissue in between the several layers of leaves and flowers before baking. This way you support the clay.

Tutorial Primrose Decor
And this is the finished project:

Tutorial Primrose Decor
What do you think? Did I succeed in making it look real? I think the leaves could be better but otherwise I'm pleased.
My mum loved it :)

Are you gonna make something like this, too? I'd love to know and see some pictures. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have :)

See you soon

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