Make a Glittered Clay Snowman

This classic guy will last through multiple Christmases -- ready a seasonal spot for him on a tabletop display.


Instructions

  1. Tear off five or six 12-inch pieces of foil for snowman armature. Tear off more pieces as needed.
  2. For body, fold one piece of foil in half lengthwise. Roll and compress foil into a slightly tapered cylindrical shape. Continue adding firmly packed foil layers until body is 3-1⁄2 inches tall and 2-1⁄2 inches in diameter at base.
  3. For head, tightly roll foil into a ball. Add more foil until head is 2 inches in diameter.
  4. Add crafts glue to top of body and to one end of a toothpick. Push glued end of toothpick into top of body. Add crafts glue to remaining half of toothpick and push head onto toothpick. Firmly press head and body together.
  5. For each arm, roll and press foil pieces into a 3-inch log that is 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut a toothpick in half. Cover one end of each toothpick half with crafts glue; push glued end into top inner side of an arm. Cover remaining end of each toothpick and underside of each arm with crafts glue; push toothpicks into body at shoulders and press arms firmly against body.
  6. Cut plastic-foam ball in half (set aside one half for another use).             
  7. For each leg, roll and press foil pieces into a 1-1⁄2-inch log slightly thinner than the arms. Add crafts glue to one end of a toothpick and insert glued end into top of a leg. Add more glue to toothpick and the top of leg; insert toothpick into bottom of body. Repeat for other leg. Add glue to two toothpicks and insert one partially into bottom of each leg. With foam ball half placed flat side down, add more glue to toothpicks extending from legs and insert them into foam ball; press firmly in place.
  8. Following manufacturer's instructions, prepare a small handful of air-dry clay. Leaving base bottom uncovered, apply a thin layer of clay to foam ball and up the snowman, dipping your fingers in water and smoothing clay. Make sure clay fits tightly against foil. Work clay up the snowman, covering the armature. Smooth any gaps or seams with moistened fingertips. Let snowman set until completely dry. Add clay to base bottom; let dry.
  9. Add more clay to snowman to fill any small cracks if needed. Roll a pea-size ball of clay for nose. Place it on the face, blending edges with moistened fingertips until smooth. Let dry overnight.
  10. Lightly sand snowman with fine-grit sandpaper to remove imperfections. Wipe grit from snowman with a soft cloth. Sand again and remove grit.
  11. Paint snowman with two coats of off-white paint, allowing paint to dry and sanding after each coat. Dip brush handle tip in black paint to make dots for eyes and mouth. After eyes are dry, dip a toothpick in off-white paint and dot each eye with a highlight. Paint nose with orange. Dry-brush cheeks with pink.
  12. To create an antiqued appearance, mix brown paint with water until paint is the consistency of ink. Paint snowman with the diluted paint. Wipe off excess with a paper towel until desired look is achieved; let dry. Spray snowman with clear acrylic spray finish.
  13. Make or buy a small hat to add to your snowman. Glue on decorative-trim red felt as a collar.
  14. Paint buckle green and let dry. From red felt, cut a 3/4-wide strip that is long enough to fit around snowman's middle. Thread felt strip through buckle. Glue strip and buckle to snowman. Cut a 2-1⁄2×8-inch strip from striped glove, mitten, or sock. Fold strip in half lengthwise with right sides together and whipstitch together long edges. Turn right side out. Tie scarf around snowman's neck; secure with glue.
  15. Use a pencil to make five dots down front of body. Add glue to backs of buttons and press one firmly to each dot.
  16. Glue a small piece of red trim around each ankle.
  17. Thread wire through jingle bells and twist together wire ends. Add crafts glue to wire ends; poke glued ends approximately 1⁄4 inch into bottom of arm.
  18. Dilute glue with water until mixture is the consistency of ink. Brush diluted glue over entire snowman. While glue is wet, sprinkle with mica flakes.
  19. Brush diluted glue randomly over hat, scarf, collar, belt, and bells. Sprinkle with mica flakes.

Materials

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  • 18-inch-long roll of aluminum foil
  •  Crafts glue
  •  Toothpicks
  •  2-inch-diameter foam ball
  •  8-ounce package of air-dry clay (such as Creative Paperclay)
  •  Fine-grit sandpaper
  •  Acrylic paint: off-white, black, orange, pink, brown, green
  •  Artist's brushes
  •  Clear acrylic spray finish: matte
  •  6-inch square of felt: black (hat) and red (collar and belt)
  •  Small metal buckle
  •  Glove, mitten, or sock: green-white-and-red stripe
  •  Fabric glue (such as Fabri-Tac)
  •  Five small buttons or brads: dark blue
  • Thin piece of red trim
  •  Wire
  •  Three small jingle bells: green and red
  •  Mica flakes
  •  6-inch length of cording or twine: red
  •  Small artificial greenery and berries
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