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How to make polymer clay ladybug flower pot plant stakes
Here are some finished ladybug and bumble bee plant stakes for flower pots
These ladybug plant stakes are not only fun and easy to make, they are really cute when poked into potted plants, flower pots, and floral arrangements. Ladybug plant stakes would also make cute little gifts for spring and summer or great handmade items for craft festivals.
- Red and black polymer clay
- 24 gauge wire or heavy wire floral picks (I use the heavy floral wire)
- Thin gauge black wire (for the antennas)
- A toothpick if you don't have any polymer clay tools.
- Glass or ceramic baking pan and a jar of some sort that can be put in the oven, I use an old mason jar.
- Clear spray paint
- Optional materials include; small wiggly eyes or a small amount of white polymer clay for the eyes, I am just using a white paint pen and a black paint pen.
Not only is this project a great spring/summer craft idea, but the materials for the ladybug plant stake is inexpensive. Plus if you buy the $10.00 Sculpey clay sampler pack you will have enough clay to do a few more projects like some bumble bee plant stakes, a carrot garden pot pen set, and other fun polymer clay projects. I have added the link for how to make bumble bee plant stakes at the bottom of this article. Look for my other how to articles in the near future on a variety of polymer clay project topics.
First thing you always do first after you have all of your materials gathered up is knead the red and black polymer clay, between your fingers, until it is pliable. This will take a few minutes to achieve and you will definitely feel this it in the muscles of your hands until you get used to it.
The body, head, and wing spots
I am giving you the rough dimensions for a large ladybug plant stake. They will be about 2 inches long when finished and if you want a smaller ladybug plant stake just cut the larger dimensions in half. I will show you a picture of both sizes of ladybug plant stakes and you will get the idea.
After you have kneaded the red polymer clay you break it down into sections and make as many 1 inch balls of clay as you can. You can add to and take clay away as needed and I am giving basic dimensions for the body pieces. But, remember, if you are going to do the carrot garden pot pen set project you need to save about a 1/2- 3/4 inch ball of red clay (for the tomato) and put away. Roll the 1 inch ball of red clay into an egg shape in the palm of your hands on one side of the ball of clay. Put your thumb in the center of your egg and press down flat, but not too hard. You want to make sure that you don't flatten the ladybugs body/wings any flatter than 4/16th of an inch (not quite half an inch).
Take the conditioned black polymer clay and break off enough clay to roll a ball about half an inch or so (within proportion of the ladybug's body). Then take some heavy gauge wire (22-24 gauge) and cut it to about 1/2 an inch and insert into the skinnier end of the ladybug's body where the head would sit. Make sure there is some wire sticking out of the clay, so when you attach the head to the ladybug's body it will be stable.
Once the head has been firmly attached to the ladybug's body it is time to make the ladybug's body look like wings. You will need 6 tiny balls of clay (between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch) for the black spots on the ladybug's wings. Take your toothpick and find the center of the ladybug's body and press the toothpick into the body in a straight line from the back of the head to the tip of its rear. Then take the little tiny balls for the wing spots and lay them on each side of the split in the wings. They will be laid three in a row the long ways following the lay of the straight line down the ladybug's wings. I am going to take some pictures ASAP of how each step is done.
Now your ladybug is really taking shape and all that is left to do is put the antennas in the top of the head and a grin on its lips. Making the smile is easy, just take your toothpick and layti on one side of the bees head down where the mouth would be and press lightly across to the other side.
You will also need to prepare your wire stake to insert into the ladybugs rear before baking. All you do is take 12 inches of 22-24 gauge wire or heavy floral wire and twirl it around a pen or pencil. To attach the wire plant stake to the ladybug you stick the straight end of the prepared plant stake and stick it straight up his rear end a ways and bake it according to what the clay manufacturer's directions say and for how long. Let them cool thoroughly before handling them.
For the eyes all you have to do depends on which eyes you want to use. I am using a white paint pen for the whites of the eyes and the black paint pen for the highlights, and it works just fine. If you use extra small wiggly eyes you need to super glue them where they should go on the ladybug's face above the smile.
Two more things and you are finished. Take your baked ladybug plant stake and hold the top of the wire plant stake (where wire meets the rear) and take a pair of needle nose pliers and bend it forward so your ladybug won't be sticking straight up, unless you like it like that. Then you can just skip this step and take your clear spray paint and spray your ladybug. Now they are ready for a flower pot or potted plant.
- How to make polymer clay bumble bee plant stakes
This article explains how to make bumble bee plant stakes for your flower pots, potted plants, or floral arrangements.