Monday, November 19, 2012

Coloring Clay for Sugary Sweet Desserts: A Tutorial for Miuko!

Last month, darling reader Miuko, commented on the post Playing in the Bakery and wanted to know how it was that I colored my clay with pastel shavings! I really must apologize for taking soooo long to do and write up this tutorial! : o

Things have been very hectic this month, as I've been trying to get some seasonal/part time work at local places here in my hometown, which has been very stressful and taking up a lot of my time. (So if I disappear for a good part of the holiday month, this is me saying sorry ahead of time! You know, have to pay those student loans and all. >.<)

[Update: Got a part time job! Hooray! <3 Extra busy!]

On to the tutorial, let's see how messy I can make my camera! ^o^

Things You'll Need: 
-Clay: White and/or Ecru
-X-acto knife
-Paint Brush
-Old/Unused Tooth Brush
-Colored Glue Sticks
-Glue Gun
-Wax Paper/Flat Surface like a Mat Board

✩ Before We Begin... Prep Work!:

As you can see, we have all of the things we need (well most of them) laid out on our work space! I am going to show you how to color your clay with pastel shavings. This is not necessarily a tried and true way, everyone has a different way! I just like this one because it gives my hands a work out. (Plus, have you ever seen me use pastels for an art medium? Trust me, this is more useful. Haha.)

Look! I even have a kitty and a computer!
1. Take a piece of your white clay, and a piece of your ecru colored clay, and start mixing them together, kneading them like you would a pizza dough! Smash it up with your hands, squish it back and forth, until the two colors are blended completely. This gives you the base color needed for your cookie.
Oh, inadvertent product placement...
(In the "Bakery" post I only had white at the time, so you cannot imagine how long it took to get the color just right that way for a cookie!!! Plus, if you only use white clay, you end up having to color it separately to get your base shade with the pastels and the clay dries out, and you have to re-wet it, and continue to color---what a mess!)

Once you've rolled into a little ball, all nice and cute, you're going to flatten it like a pancake! You can use anything cylindrical, like a marker, like a tiny rolling pin and smoosh it. Remember not to flatten it too much---if it gets too thin your cookie will look silly! 

1.1. Now, I just cut my shape out with my knife, since it's what I had handy. So I made this little heart! When you cut with a knife (or even the cookie cutters) the edges/shape of your clay is going to look really, really rough and uneven. So with my fingertips, I go ahead and smooth out all that roughness till it looks nice. And since we're texturing it anyway it doesn't need to be perfect.

If you have extra clay after cutting out your cookie, roll it up nice and tight and stick it in a plastic zip lock with your other clay, this will keep it nice and fresh to use next time. 

2. With your X-acto knife (or since I couldn't find mine... the box cutter. Hm.) you're going to shave off parts of your pastels and keep them in little piles. You can see I've used a light brown, a darker brown, a mixture of the two, and a touch of flesh tone pink. If you run out, don't worry, you can always shave off more!

3. Using the paint brush, I'm going to start "coloring" my cookie almost like I would do when I paint (which I also don't do well >o<) or think about how you might shade in an illustration. I'm going to use the lighter shades for the center of the cookie, dabbing on layer by layer, creating more shades and tones as I reach its corners. This gives the cookie more depth by adding the darker colors at the edges. I just keep blending and dabbing with my brush till I'm happy how it looks. I include the pinky flesh tone because it adds just a hint of warmth. Make sure you "paint" the sides of your cookie too, otherwise it's going to look very, very strange. 

4. Doesn't look like much does it? When I first tried this, I said to myself, "YIKES! This looks horrible! I'm no good at this at all!! Eeeeee!" and ran to rock back and forth in a corner saddened deeply by my lack of faux cookie baking talent. Just kidding! ^-^ But I really was horrified... D :

4.1.  Next, we are going to take our toothbrush and have a bit of fun! This is going to create that "just baked, cookie crumble" texture that happens in real, delicious cookies. (Is anyone else getting hungry?) Lightly, tap the tooth brush against the edges of your cookie, and across it, and around it, harder and softer in different areas for a more pronounced texture. This will round out your cookie, but also make it look more realistic AND blend your pastels together even further. Don't forget about texturing the sides too!

If you're not satisfied with the color, remember you can always lighten it with a bit of white if it's gotten too dark, or add more color and re-texturize the cookie with tooth brush!

5. Uh-huh, looks better, right? Right? Now, you're probably thinking.... uh, Annika... there is clearly a back side to this cookie and it looks terrible? Am I doomed? Should I start over? No, silly goose. Honestly, don't worry about the back. You can try to color it if you really want to but then you'll just end up smooshing all that hard work you put in to the front.

6. Go bake that cookie on tin foil on top of a cookie sheet according to your clay's instruction. Let it cool down andddd time for that sauce.

Once your cookie has cooled, it's time to apply a top coat. With the tooth brush and the baking, I've found that the pastel stays really well and doesn't come off, but to be safe I always use a thin layer of clear nail polish. (If you want to apply "sugar" now would be the time while the nail polish is tacky and drying.)
7. I actually read a fantastic article on how to make your own sauce here out of pastel shavings and epoxy, which I really want to try one day, given I have the money to buy the epoxy and of course appropriate ventilation. You can buy the deco sauces that special decoden stores carry in the little tubes, but to be honest I prefer the colored glue stick kind! (Which I buy from Kawaii Supply, but can also be found on Etsy!)

And Miuko, you thought the sauces would be tough, didn't you? :3 Sorry, I tricked you! <3 If I ever try the Epoxy one, I'll let you know! I hope this was helpful, and you liked the tutorial.

Here we are, all done! I made this one into a little ring and dripped the sauce as an experiment... this is a lot harder than I thought it would be hmmmmm. : o Silly me!

I still need to trim up the strings!

Here's how the final ones turned out from the "Bakery" feature too:

Mmmm, cookie jewelry set!

In other news: POP PRINCESS GIVEAWAY/Secret Coupon Code/Sale!

I am getting so excited to see so many people following my blog! :waves: Hi, new readers! And also sooo happy to see so many fans/hearts/views on my Etsy store, especially given that it's only a year old. There are so many numbers almost starting with 5, that I think we're going to celebrate with a future giveaway and coupon code, just for you, dear readers!

We have on Etsy...
452 admirers/hearts
473 shop admirers
44 sales
39, 415 views for ALL time!!!

AND as of today on the blog...
4995 page views (Wow! Does this mean you like me?)
34 followers! <3

If we can get one, or all of the following: 48 more admirers/hearts, 27 more shop admirers, 5 more blog page views, and/or 16 more blog readers before December, then I am going to list up a special coupon code for the Pop Princess shop for the month of December to ensure you get all your Christmas goodies, but just for you readers!! <3

And as a special thank you, I want to do a special Pop Princess giveaway after the holidays! So start scheming, and writing those wish lists to Santa. ; ) And I'll think about what special goodies I can make for the give away!


  1. WOOOOOW thank you so much for this entry!!! I didn't though you would write a whole post about it, but it's really awesome that you did this~ <3 <3 <3
    Now I definitly know how to do this and cookies also fit perfectly for Christmas accessoires, perfect timing ^_^ And yeah the sauce seems pretty easy, I would have never guessed that you used just colored hot glue ^_^

  2. ^-^ You are most welcome! <3 I was happy to do it, it was a lot of fun for me and I was glad that you asked to see how to do it. I'm just sorry I took forever, hahaha!

    You will be the queen of cookie Christmas gifts then for sure! If you make some, show me photos, I'd love to see how they turned out! <3


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