How to make Polymer Clay Bumble Bee Plant Stakes
Flower Pot Plant Stakes
Sculpey Oven Baked Clay Kit@ Walmart- Large for $20.00
Great Spring and Summer Gift Ideas!
Not only are these bumble bee plant stakes adorable, they are fun to make and make great spring/ summer or anytime gifts. There are some pictures at the bottom of this article which will make my instructions easier to follow.
Materials needed for this project includes;
- Polymer Clay Chunks (yellow and black)
- 24 Gauge Wire or Floral Picks (usually found in the floral section or in the craft section)
- Thin Gauge Black Wire (usually found in the craft section)
- Really Thin White Ribbon (for the bumble bees wings)
- A Toothpick (if you don't have any polymer clay tools)
- Hot Glue Gun or Super Glue
- Glass or Ceramic Baking Dish
- Clear Spray Paint
- Optional Materials; Extra Small Wiggly Eyes or White Polymer Clay (for the eyes)
After you have all of your materials gathered you will need to knead each color of your polymer clay chunks until they are soft and pliable. Depending on how big you want your plant stake will determine how big your bumble bee's body piece will be. I will give you my basic dimensions and you can go up or down a little from there and put your own creative touch on it.
The Body, Head, Stinger, and Stripes of the Bumble Bee
Take your yellow clay and pull a chunk of clay off. Then by rolling it in the palms of your hands make a ball about a 1 inch (or a little over or under depending on how big or small you want your plant stake). After you have your round, yellow ball of polymer clay you will need to roll one side of the clay in the palm of your hand into a thick teardrop shape. Set this aside so you can work on the head, stinger, and the bee's stripes which are all done in the black polymer clay.
The black polymer clay needs to be divided into smaller pieces so you can make the head, stinger, and the bees stripes. Make sure your bee's head is about 1/4 the size of the body (roughly about 1/4th of an inch from my dimensions) and roll it into a round ball. You can always add or take away clay as you go. Then, clip a very small amount of the 24 gauge wire (about 3/4 of an inch) with a pair of wire cutters and stick it into the fat part of the body of the bee (where the head will sit). Put the head on the wire sticking out from the body and push the head down so it meets the body. Push down slightly and set it aside so you can continue on with the stinger and the bumble bee's stripes.
For the stinger of the bee all you need to do is roll a piece of black polymer clay into a 1/2 inch- 3/4 inch ball and make into a teardrop shape the same way you did the body of the bee. Next you will clip another small piece of the heavy gauge wire (1/2- 3/4 an inch) and stick it into the pointy part of the bees body (where his stinger will go). Then just take the fat part of the teardrop and stick it on the wire connecting the bee's rear end with it's stinger and push together until it meets. Now it is time for the bee's black stripes.
All you do for the bee's stripes is take a very small amount of black clay and roll it on a plate until it is really skinny (about 1/8 of an inch small). Then cut your skinny polymer clay strand into three, 3/4ths of an inch sections and apply behind the head of the bee, in the middle of the body, and before the stinger in the rear of the bee's body. Your bee is almost ready for baking and putting the finishing touches to give it character.
The Eyes and Antennas of the Bumble Bee
Now it is time to do the bees eyes, and depending on which way you want to do it will require different instructions for each. If you don't have any white polymer clay or little wiggly eyes, take your toothpick and poke two eye holes in the bumblebee's head (where his eyes would be) and where the mouth would be (below the eyes) take your toothpick and lay it on an angle on the head and lightly push it into the clay in a slight U shape.
If you're going to use the white polymer clay to make your own eyes, here's what you do. Since you have to keep into consideration of proportions of the bee's features, the whites of the eyes are just very small round balls of clay about an 1/8th of an inch in diameter. Which are then pressed onto the bee's head where the eyes would go on the head and flattened a little. After your bee is baked you will add the pupils with a black permanent marker or paint pen. Make your smile as explained above.
The wiggly eyes are glued on after the bee is baked with super glue or a touch of hot glue. Don't forget to put the smile on the bee before you bake him or he will have no mouth to smile with. Before the plant stake goes in the oven a few more things need to be done.
Take your wire cutters and cut the thin gauge black wire into two, 3/4 inch sections and take your toothpick and round off one end of the wire.This will make the top part of the bee's antennas. After that, poke your bee's antennas into the head above the eyes. You will need to cut another piece of black wire for the stinger (this is optional) about an inch and a half long and wind it around your toothpick a few times with a little of the wire straight on both ends of the wire. Then insert one of the ends of wire straight into the center of the bee's stinger.
Baking Your Bumble Bee Plant Stake
Now all that's left to do before baking is make the pick that will poke into the flower pot. If you use a heavy gauge wire floral pick (which are anywhere from 12-14 inches) then all you have to do is take a pencil and wind the wire around it which looks like a spring with a some room at the ends to stick in the bee and the other end will stick in the plant. Bend the end of the wire into a L shape and insert it into the bottom of the bee's body under where the head is. Your bee is ready to bake.
I stand my plant stakes up in a mason jar and set it onto a glass or ceramic baking dish so they bake without getting messed up. They should be baked at the recommended temperature and time frame the manufacture of the polymer clay says. When that time come take the bees out of the oven and let them cool down.
The Wings for the Bumble Bee
The last things to do is make the wings, and finish the eyes if you used the white clay or wiggly eyes. All you do for the wings is take the skinny ribbon and tie a little bow in proportion with bee and put whichever glue you want to attach them behind the head of the bee before the first bee stripe. Last thing you have to do is spray your bumble bee plant stake with clear spray paint and let it shine!
Here are a couple of pictures of the bumble bee's body parts and each step of putting it together. In the first picture you will see that I have 4 different steps to put your bee together. I set the plate up like a clock (12, 3, 6, and 9 o clock) so I can explain it easier. At 12 you see the balls of clay needed for the body, head, stinger, stripes, and short pieces of wire for attaching the head and stinger to the bumble bee. You will see that 3 has a blunted yellow teardrop shape with a piece of metal wire in the stinger area and the front head area and then you see 6 o clock with the head, stinger, and the bee's stripes attached to the wires sticking out of the body. Lastly at 9 you see the finished bumble bees wire antennas and stinger. There is a smile on the bee's face but I am not sure if you can see it that good but you get the idea.
The second picture just shows how to prepare the stake that will hold the bumble bee before it is inserted into the bee's chest area and baked.
- How to make ladybug plant stakes
Here is another great idea for polymer clay plant stakes. These ladybug plant stakes are not only fun and easy to do but they are inexpensive to make.