I know… SICK. Hu?
Fortunately for you AND me, I don’t mean real mice.
But as promised, I am going to show you how to make the infernal mice that I’ve been working on for the past several weeks. These pesky little critters that have had me tied up in knots and then seeking relief at the chiropractor several times a week. These cute little buggars, that I have loved – hated, and hope I finish real soon, then never see again!
The Christmas Mouse Magnet
How To Mold Mice…
Here is a list of supplies:
a clay mold
clay (super sculpy)
clay sculpting tools
an old dull paring knife
a (cheap) soft artists brush
a cookie sheet (lined with foil)
a peanut butter jar (or something similar)
acrylic craft paint
Sculpy gloss glaze
First of all, you’ll need to purchase a clay mold. Or… if your real handy, you can make your own. I will try that next time, but didn’t do that here with the mice. I ordered the mold at…………….. Shooot. I can’t find it. I will let you know where I found that mold as soon as I can find my recipt.
Then you’ll need to purchase clay. I found out the hard way that not all clay is equal! My preference is unequivocally this stuff…
I started these mice off using regular sculpy. But, it was so soft that it made getting them out of the mold killer. So much of my time was wasted reshaping them with my tools. So, when I ran out of the softer sculpy, I tried this Super Sculpy and LOVED IT. It was SO much easier to work with and went much, much faster.
In addition, you will need some clay tools. Now… I’ve used random things from around my house before… so no worries if you don’t have these. Just find stuff that will work! I can now afford to make my life a little easier and purchase what I need, so I did! (It also makes everyone else around here less stressed out, by recognizing that mom is using a specific tool, instead of always wondering if they are eating with something I’ve used on a project!)
Here are my “must have’s” on this project.
A clay sculpting tool of some sort, preferably, that is arched and then flat on the end. An old, dull paring knife, and a soft bristled brush.
Here are some more tools that I found useful, but not necessary.
These soft points are on one end…
…and these nifty balls are on the other. Great for smoothing inside the little rodents ears and up in some corners!
So… let’s start.
As you can see… I’ve spread out on the dinningroom table. So much for eating at the table for next few weeks!
First take your soft brush and dust the inside of your mold with cornstarch. You will need to do this each time you make one. Trust me… you will remember to do it after you’ve forgotten to a time or two!
Then tap the mold (upside down) to get out all the loose cornstarch.
Okay, now take about as much clay you think you’ll need to fill up your mold. (See how I have several balls, the right size, already made and ready to go up there? Thank you Papa & Sandy!) Warm it up in your hands and make it into a nice smooth ball. Now brush a nice thin layer of cornstarch over the part of your ball that will be going into the mold first.
Now, push it into the mold. Make sure it is pressed all the way down to the bottom corners of your mold.
Get it in there nice and even.
If it’s too thick, you may have to shave off some excess clay. Here’s where your handy-dandy-old-dull paring knife comes in.
Smooth out the clay and bring the edges in to as close to the edges of the mold as possible.
Now, take an extra piece of clay, and push it onto a corner of your molded clay. Then pull up quickly. (If you are human, this may take some practice! But you will get it!)
Next, place your molded clay on the lid of your jar. (*** don’t use a painted lid like the blue one I am using in the photo… it got specks of blue paint in my clay. Or cover it with foil.***) 😦
Use your paring knife as a spatula if you need to.
The reason for the jar is so that you can turn it and tilt it however you need to, without having to stand on your head! But, you will need to anchor the little guy to the jar… so, do this by smooshing the excess clay (around the edge of the mouse) to the jar lid.
How well attached it is will always depend on how much excess clay you have to work with. It’s nice to have not much excess to trim… but at the same time… there isn’t much to hold it down for what you do have to trim. Small quandary.
Tip: Another good reason for the jar (vs. a plate or something) is that you can keep your extra clay in it.
Now go on ahead and trim the excess clay from around the molded piece.
Smooth as necessary and make any other adjustments to your piece that are needed.
TIP: I keep a lump of extra clay (stuck to the table) so that I can just wipe what I’ve extracted onto it and it comes off my tool nicely.
Now, I usually had to brush some of the cornstarch off my molded clay. You may or may not need to do this step. It is fine to leave it if you will be painting the whole piece. (It can be brushed off after cooking too.)
Okay, when you are done trimming and smoothing, take your paring knife (or spatula) and gently slide it under your piece to get it off the jar lid. Then place it onto a foil lined cookie sheet.
Bake according to directions on the box of clay you’re using.
I will have to post the next steps in making these little mice at a later date. I’ve been on here long enough for one day. And I do have several mice to finish before I can start bagging them for the special event!
But just so ya know… I will be holding a drawing soon, and three of you will be receiving a little Christmas mouse to adorn your fridge! Stay tuned for more info.
Happy Mice Cooking…