- air dry clay
- Aluminum foil
- Paint and paint brushes/foam brush/dotting tools
- Clay Tools
- Make mold out of aluminum foil.
- Roll out clay and drape it over your aluminum foil shape.
- Create folds and shape your ghost body to your liking.
- Create two arms for your ghost and place them on the body.
- Use a clay tool to press the ends of the arms into the body of the ghost to blend them in.
- Use a little water to help smooth out any areas and set piece aside to dry.
- Make extra accessories like the witch hat I made.
- Once piece is dry you can remove the aluminum foil and paint on the face.
- Optional: Apply polyacrylic to entire piece to give it a shiny look and protect it.
I first made a mold for my ghost out of aluminum foil. This will help me build a good shape to work with as well as cut down on how much clay I will need to use. Also, if you make the entire body of the ghost out of solid clay, then it will have trouble drying. I kept adding and molding the aluminum foil with my hands until I was satisfied with the shape I had.
I then took my air-dry clay, you could use polymer clay and just make sure to bake the clay instead of leaving it out to dry, and rolled it out. I used one of my clay tools as a rolling pin. You can place popsicle sticks around your clay as you roll it out to help keep your clay an even thickness. The popsicle sticks will help prevent you from rolling out one section of your clay to think.
Once my clay was rolled out, I turned it over and draped it over my aluminum foil shape. I turned over my clay because the back side was nice and smooth from the table it was rolled on. I then used my clay tool to cut off any extra clay I did not want. The tool did not leave as clean of lines as I would have liked. So, I rolled out my clay a little more and use a bowl, which I pressed down over my clay, and wiped away any extra pieces. This gave me cleaner lines and a more even circular shape, which I then draped over my aluminum foil shape.
I then manipulated my clay with my hands to create some nice folds in my clay. I also made sure the bottom of my ghost was flat so he would be able to stand on his own.
Next it was time for some arms for my little ghost. I shaped these with my fingers. Once they were a shape and size that I liked, I pressed the bottom of the arm against the table to get it nice and flat. I then attached the arm to my ghost. To attach my arms, I positioned the arm where I wanted it on my ghost, then used my clay tool to press the ends of the arm into the body of my ghost. This will hold the arm in place as well as blend the arm to the body so there is no seam, and it looks like the arm was always there. If the arm does not want to stick just by doing this, then you can make a few scratched on the bottom of the arm and the body of the ghost where the arm will be going, then apply a little water to both areas. You can then take a dip your finger in water and smooth out any rough areas in your clay, like the seam between the arm and the body.
I then set my ghost aside and started making a little witch hat for him. To make the witch hat I rolled out some of my air-dry clay. I then used a bottle cap to make a perfectly round circle. I dipped my fingers in my water and then smoothed out the edges of my circle. I then shaped the top part of my hat with my fingers and attached it to the circle the same way I attached the ghost’s arms. For the top part of the hat, I first made a triangle, then bent the tip a little. Do not forget to get your fingers wet and smooth out any rough areas and seams. I also bent the edges of my hat brim to give it some life and make it look more realistic.
While the clay was still wet, I pressed the hat down on to my ghost’s head and with my thumb. I wanted the hat to have a dent in the bottom so it would sit better on my ghost’s head once it was dry. I decided to not attach my witch hat incase I decided to make additional accessories for him in the future. I absolutely love my ghost with his little hat, that I may apply some glue to permanently attach the witch hat.
Once the clay is dry you can remove the aluminum foil. I had some that did not want to come out, so I just left it in. I used some tools with round balls at the tip to make my face for my ghost. If you make a mistake or do not like your face, then while the paint is still wet, you can use a wet paper towel to wipe off the wet paint and start over. For the hat I painted it all black. I then decided to add some gold glitter all over the hat. I added the glitter while the paint was still wet, so the glitter stuck onto the wet paint.
Once the paint is completely dry, I painted on some polyacrylic all over my ghost and witch hat to help protect it and to give it a nice shine. I then let the polyacrylic dry.
I absolutely love how this little clay ghost turned out. He is definitely my favorite Halloween decoration and piece I have made thus far. This ghost took a bit of time to make, waiting for things to dry, and adjusting and smoothing out things till I was happy with it, but he was not too difficult to make, and I had a lot of fun working on him. He is not perfect, but I like him. The nice thing about clay is that it is pretty forgiving. It is easy to start over or rework a section if you are not happy with how it is turning out. Also know it is okay if you do not smooth out every imperfection and fingerprint. That is part of the beauty of being hand made.