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October sculpted bug brooch or pendant

This fun polymer clay scarab is cute as a button… or brooch, or pendant!
12_BNBCM0609_01rsm
Go wild! Bold colors add heaps of whimsy to this festive bug.

SUPPLIES

sculpted bug brooch or pendant

1 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2 in. (3.8 x 6.4 cm)

  • polymer clay 1–2 oz. in each of 6–9 colors
  • 2–3 g 6/0 seed beads
  • 1–2 g 11/0 seed beads
  • 3 in. (7.6 cm) 22-gauge craft wire
  • 6 mm soldered jump ring or split ring
  • pin back
  • nylon beading thread, size D
  • beading needles, #10 or #12
  • acrylic paint, 2–3 colors
  • acrylic roller
  • ball end clay tool
  • double-sided tape or
  • E6000 adhesive
  • felt or Lacy’s Stiff Stuff beading foundation
  • Future floor polish
  • metal foil sheet (gold, silver, or copper)
  • needle tool
  • paintbrush
  • paper towel
  • pasta machine*
  • sandpaper 100 grit (optional)
  • scissors
  • tissue blade
  • toaster oven*  
  • Ultrasuede
  • chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters

* Dedicated to the use of polymer clay

INSTRUCTIONS

To start this project, make simple bull’s-eye, striped, or checkerboard canes in your chosen color schemes.  

Wash your hands every time you switch clay colors, and condition each block of clay. 

ABDOMEN

1. To form the abdomen, roll an egg-shaped ball of any color clay about 1 1⁄4 x 7⁄8 in. (3.2 x 2.2 cm), and flatten one side for the bottom (PHOTO A).

2. Using a tissue blade, cut thin slices from a bull’s-eye, striped, or checkerboard cane. Apply the slices to cover the top surface of the abdomen (PHOTO B). Take care to avoid air bubbles, smooth any seams, and trim excess clay.

October bug_photo a
PHOTO A
October bug_photo b
PHOTO B
October bug_photo c
PHOTO C
3. Set the pasta machine to the thickest setting, cut about 1⁄4 oz. of any color clay, and roll it through the pasta machine. Carefully lay a metal foil sheet on top of the clay, and gently burnish it with your fingertip. Remove excess foil sheet. Set the pasta machine to the next thickest setting, and roll the clay through it. Roll the clay through the pasta machine two more times, decreasing the thickness of the setting each time to crackle the foil and imbed it in the clay (PHOTO C). 

4. To form the hind wings, cut two strips the length of the abdomen, and place them along each side of the abdomen, allowing the previous layer to show in the center and making the ends touch at the tail. Use an acrylic roller to gently press each wing to remove air bubbles. Trim any excess clay (PHOTO D).

5. Set the pasta machine to the second thinnest setting, and roll a sheet of any color clay. To form the fore wings, cut two strips the length of the abdomen, and place them on top of the hind wings, allowing a strip of hind wing to show on each side. Use an acrylic roller to remove air bubbles, and trim as in step 4. Using the needle tool, draw a few lines like stripes along the length of the fore wings (PHOTO E).

October bug_photo d
PHOTO D
October bug_photo e
PHOTO E

6. To make wing spots, roll six balls of any color clay about 1⁄16 in. (2 mm) or smaller, and flatten them into disks. Place them on the sides of the fore wings near the rounded end of the abdomen, and press the ball end tool into the center of each disk to form an indentation (PHOTO F).

7. With the tissue blade slightly bent, trim the rounded end of the abdomen (PHOTO G).

October bug_photo f
PHOTO F
October bug_photo g
PHOTO G
October bug_photo h
PHOTO H
October bug_photo i
PHOTO I
THORAX AND HEAD

1. To form the thorax, roll a ball of any color clay about 7⁄8 x 1⁄2 in. (3.2 x 1.3 cm). 

2. Using the tissue blade, cut thin slices from a bull’s-eye cane. Apply the slices to cover the clay ball, and roll the ball to smooth the edges. Gently form the ball into an oblong, blunt-ended shape, and press it onto the trimmed edge of the abdomen. 

3. To form the head, roll a ball of any color clay about 3⁄8 in. (1 cm) diameter. Press the head onto the thorax, and slightly pinch the clay where the eyes will be placed (PHOTO H). 

4. To make eyes, roll two balls of any color clay about 1⁄8 in. (3 mm) diameter, and flatten them into disks. Using a contrasting color of clay, roll two balls about 1⁄16 in. (2 mm) diameter, and flatten them into disks. Stack the smaller disks on top of the larger disks, and press each stacked disk onto the pinched areas for the eyes. Press the ball end tool into the center of each disk stack. Use the needle tool to gently press little dots all over the head for texture. 

5. To make a hole to guide the antennae wire through the head, use the needle tool to pierce a hole behind the eyes near the base (PHOTO I).

October bug_photo j
PHOTO J
BAKING AND FINISHING

1. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the June bug in the toaster oven, taking into account the thickness of the clay (see Editor’s Note, below). Allow the bug to cool completely. 

2. Using acrylic paint, paint in the indentations and lines made with the ball end and needle tools (PHOTO J), and wipe off any excess paint. Repeat with the remaining colors. Let the paint dry. 

3. Use a paintbrush to apply Future floor polish to the hind wings, and let it dry.

Tip!
Editor's note: To avoid scorching your bug in the oven, make a tent with aluminum foil, and place it over the top of the bug while baking. The bug will most likely be thicker than the recommended thickness on the clay’s package. Instead of adding together the stated baking times and baking all at once, bake for the minimum amount of time in several increments, allowing the clay to cool between firings.
 
FINISH YOUR BUG
For the remainder of the instructions on beadwork and assembly of your little bug, view our free, downloadable PDF with instructions and corresponding images!
Full bug

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