Clay Santa Head Tutorial

So I followed along Cinnamon Creek’s Santa Head Tutorial – it was so much fun!  I’ve made some helpful discoveries along the way..

Clay Santa Head Tutorial

Follow these links to Cinnamon Creek’s Santa Head Tutorials:

This was the first time I’ve worked with paperclay – since it’s COVID at the moment and for a short time there were definitely some re-stocking issues at our local Michaels, I bought my first 8oz block on Amazon (unfortunately at a higher price, lol).  Michaels has since got it back in stock, I also tacked a block onto an order from a local Arts Supply Store (Above Ground Art Supply  It’s certainly readily available!

Upon opening the package though, I thought how on earth am I going to keep THIS from drying out??  It didn’t come in a re-sealable container or anything, and I read some really complicated ideas online, however I think I came up with the best idea myself.

Find a ziplock bag, keep the paperclay wrapped in its original packaging and throw in a damp paper towel.  I found that bit of extra moisture is keeping it nice and pliable days later!  I don’t think this would work for longterm storage, but it will definitely make your clay stay work-able for a couple of weeks if you keep an eye it doesn’t dry out!

This is my second attempt at a head – this is just a piece of styrofoam wrapped around with paperclay.

From here, I followed the tutorial guides in terms of making the nose, cheeks, lips and eyes.  The cheeks are definitely prominent as are the lips, but I think they need to be like this so they still stand out once a bear gets added!  I found making the pupils and white fleck in the eye were WAY too tiny for my paint brushes, so I used a fine tipped black marker and white marker and it worked much better for me.

As an after thought, I stuck a pencil up the bottom of the head in the “neck” area.  Because one thing that I couldn’t see explained in the tutorial was how on earth you attach the head to a body!  I thought at the very least I could glue it on a dowel if I don’t discover a better method.

That pretty much sums up the first tutorial link and what I learned.  I plan to make a few more of these heads (this paperclay is kind of addictive!) because they are fun and you get a completely different look than with cloth doll heads.  I’ve had it in my head for a while that I wanted to make a pattern for a traditional St. Nick figure to live on the mantel during Christmas time, how great would it be to offer TWO options for the head?  Either paperclay or a cloth version? 

This post is a work in progress- As I get further with my clay heads I will post more information and updates!

Revisiting this post, and approximately 6 clay heads later, I have discovered some new things!