I originally made this Polymer Clay Rudolph the Reindeer Christmas countdown with a friend in college for a craft fair. Though our craft fair days didn’t last long, we sold basically nothing, we had a great time preparing for the craft show. This was one of my favorites. I have since given them all away so this post was a great excuse to make another one for my own Christmas decorations.
Make sure that you buy a quality chalkboard for this project. You need one that is easy to write on and erases well. It will be used a lot. I of course did not think about this until after I finished the project so we will see how it goes.
- Polymer Clay-dark brown, tan, black, green, glitter red, pearl blue, pearl red, and gold.
- Seed Beads-black
- Mini Chalkboard
- White Paint
- Tooth Pick
- Glue Gun
- Basic Painting Supplies
- Basic Polymer Clay Supplies
Rudolph’s head will take about ¼ of a block of dark brown clay. I used Sculpey III Suede Brown. Save two small pieces for ears and make a ball with the rest.
Pinch the top part to make a blunt tear drop shape. Then flatten the top a little, you want to have a rounded section on the bottom for his snout and a flatter section for the rest of his head. It should look like the L shaped piece in the top corner of this picture. The 2 clay pieces in the top corner of the picture are the head from different angles.
Roll the two pieces you saved for the ears into balls then roll the top between your fingers to make a tear drop shape.
Cut a small piece of red for Rudolph’s nose. I used FIMO Effect Glitter Red. Roll this into an oval.
Cut two small pieces of tan for Rudolph’s antlers. I used Premo Ecru. Roll them into balls then roll the top between your fingers to make a tear drop shape. Squish the bottom of the teardrop to make it flat.
Place the red nose on the end of the snout on the brown L shaped. Place the eyes over the nose. I use a needle tool to get seed beads where I want them. Squish the eyes into the clay.
Add the ears on either side of the head. You want to place them a little farther back then you would normally to save room for the antlers.
Using your needle tool cut 2 indents into the flat part of each set of antlers. Round them out a little to make each section stand out. Place the antlers in front of the ears. Bend the antlers forward a little. I rolled them over my finger just a little. This will give them a little more depth.
Use your needle tool to give Rudolph eye lashes, eye brows, and a mouth.
Take another ¼ of the block of dark brown clay for Rudolph’s legs. Make 4 equal size balls. Roll each ball into a cylinder with flat ends.
Cut 4 small pieces of black clay for hooves. I used Premo Black. Roll each into a ball and flatten it. Attach each to a leg and use your needle tool to indent 1 line into the top of each for toes.
Cut a small piece of dark brown clay for the tail and roll it into a ball. Roll the top between your fingers to make a tear drop shape.
Roll the remaining clay into an oval. Using the head, gauge how much you will need. I didn’t need an entire half of a brick of clay, use the amount that looks good for your project.
Attach the legs to your reindeer. You want to make sure that you will have room for the chalkboard. The top legs sit on top of the bottom legs.
Break a tooth pick in half and poke it into the middle of the clay body from the top. Keep the pointy side up and push the tooth pick in just enough so that the tooth pick will go into the head about half way.
Place the head on the tooth pick being careful not to squish all of you work. Mine went into the center of the head. This may be different for your piece depending on where your toothpick is.
Attach the tail on the back of your reindeer. Curve it up a little.
At his point I baked my reindeer. I wasn’t sure it the chalkboard could handle being baked. If you think that your chalkboard can be baked you can move on. I baked my reindeer without the chalkboard according to the directions for the clay I bought and let it cool completely before moving on.
Roll a medium size ball of green clay into a long strand. I used Premo Sea Green. Roll and stretch it until you have a pretty long thin strand that is even for the entire length. If you are better with an extruder then I am that would probably be best. I have never been able to get clay extruders to work.
Set the chalkboard between Rudolph’s legs. Wrap the green strand you just created around him and the chalkboard. It may take a few tries to get it where you think it looks best. I wrapped mine around Rudolph 3 times and draped it over the chalkboard 3 times. Yours will probably be a little different. Once you have it where you like it you can move on to lights.
I used pearl clay for the lights to give them a little shine. I used Premo Red Pearl, Premo Blue Pearl, and Premo Accents 18K Gold. Cut and roll 10 tiny balls from each color. Place them around the string alternating colors.
Bake everything for according to the directions for the clay you bought. You are only baking the lights so it won’t need to be baked long. If you have not baked your reindeer yet then you will need to bake it for a lot longer. I was worried about the chalkboard so I pretty much watched mine the entire time. It did fine but I wouldn’t have done it longer. I have baked chalkboards in the past with no problem but the back of this one didn’t look like it could handle it.
Once your project has cooled completely you can hot glue Rudolph to the chalkboard. I added the glue to the back of the chalkboard and pressed it into his back legs. This was a little tricky with the lights already attached.
You can now paint the chalk board. I used white paint to write Days Until Christmas on the bottom of the chalkboard. You can switch this up if you would like. You can paint the chalkboard before baking but I have had paint change color in the oven so I don’t.
He’ll need some chalk, but Rudolph is now ready to display the days until Christmas.
I would love to see how your project turns out. Post your pictures to Instagram or Twitter #boutsofspontaneouscrafting