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I’m Making a Turtle

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I was browsing around the internet yesterday when I came across an incredible site for making paper mache sculptures called Ultimate Paper Mache. They have great tutorials for gorgeous finished products. I’m definitely hooked. Anyway, I was supposed to be cleaning the kitchen because we’re leaving tomorrow morning for spring break and instead got way sidetracked with this site. I found all of the materials required to make a paper mache sculpture except for masking tape which apparently a huge element. Frustrated, I grabbed the only thing in the house which could fulfill my need to crumple something up and make art out of it: tin foil.

Over Christmas break I had begun making tiny exaggerated sea turtle sculptures out of the foil wrappers my candy from the advent calendar fairy (read: my mom) came in. They had big long legs and big long necks and big long tails and were a ton of fun to make, but never held up long enough to really enjoy. So when I created the same thing, but in XL, I decided it would be fun to cover in Sculpey and actually spend some time on. I added the Sculpey last night and detailed the face a little, but my darling fiance was seasoning his cast iron pots and pans in the oven and I had to wait until today after class to cook it!

He has a very simple, basic body right now and I plan on adding an extravagant amount of detail especially to his shell later on. Because I’m antsy though, I wanted to get pictures of my darling Teddy in his early stages up in a blog post so you can see his progress from a foil monster to a full blown crazy turtle!  Keep in mind that he currently has no shell and no body detailing and all of that will come soon.


Keep an eye out for future posts with updates on Teddy’s progress!

And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for updates on new products and upcoming sales!


Re-purposed Champagne Cork Stamps- Recycle and DIY!

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For my first ever tutorial, I want to teach you how to reuse old champagne corks to make elegant, unique handles for home-made stamps.

Materials You’ll Need:

Stamp rubber for carving

A set of stamp chisels

Champagne cork

Sharp knife

Mod Podge



Paper towel

Rubber band


(I realize I left a few things out of my picture. Better luck next time.)

Use a sharp knife to slice off the top end of the cork. Cork cuts like nobody’s business, but it helps to use a gentle sawing motion to get a quick, clean cut.

Carefully cut your new surface until it is angled correctly and is relatively flat. You’ll want the stamp to lay flush against it later for gluing!

Place the cork over your stamp rubber and trace around its perimeter.

Select the straight blade tip or, if you don’t have one, the knife from earlier will work alright.

Cut in only a few centimeters along the line you’ve traced. And it doesn’t matter if the cut is sloppy. Any imperfections can be shaved off later!

Now gently peel the circle away from the rest of the rubber. This will create a curved edge which creates a smaller circle on the bottom of the stamp. I love the effect that this has because it gives it a rough, rustic look so you don’t have to spend all of your time trying to make it smooth and even. 😉

Here’s what it should look like when you’ve got it all punched out!

You’ll probably have some seriously messed up looking edges at this point so take that blade tool and carefully shave this problem areas down. Remember to continue the angle that you created with the torn rubber into the areas you’re carving.

Here is an idea of what the bottom of your stamp should look like after pruning the edges.

And here’s that the profile should look like! Not the combination of slice marks and torn patches intermingling to make a cool, rough look. The edges are also slightly curved though this picture doesn’t seem to show it as much as I remember.

Time to doodle! Sketch your stamp design onto the rubber with a pencil. If you mess up, just erase it and start again! If you’re planning to use text on your stamp PLEASE keep in mind that you’ll have to write it backwards so that it will stamp the correct direction later on. I learned that one the hard way.

Swap out your straight blade for a fine chisel for the detail cutting.

Do a quick trace of your design with this chisel hugging close to your lines without cutting into them.

Here’s my outline finished. You’ll notice as you carve, especially with the tiny chisel, a lot of rubber dust will collect in the grooves. That’s where the paintbrush comes in handy! I like to brush out my stamp every now and then while I’m working to make sure I’m seeing everything clearly and I haven’t missed something important.

Now it’s time for the big guns. Choose a chisel with a broad semi-flat blade for carving out the body of the stamp.

Slice away! Be careful of your design as you’re carving around it and make sure you carve deep enough to allow the design to stand out on its own when stamping. I personally like the look of grooves as opposed to a perfectly smooth stamp body, but you can play with this design element as you like.

Dip the cork into Mod Podge and smooth the glue over the entire surface. I find that it’s easiest to shake the Mod Podge and then stamp the cork directly into the glue in the lid.

Now slap on that stamp! You’ll notice that it’s probably not a perfect fit, but never you fear; we’ll be fixing that after the glue dries. Also make sure to remove any excess Mod Podge with a paper towel to keep your stamp looking neat.

Wrap a rubber band securely around the cork and stamp and align them to your happiness. You want to make sure that the rubber band is holding them tightly together because this will result in a sturdier bond with the Mod Podge.

Once the glue has dried (I left mine overnight just to be careful) remove the rubber band and pop that flat blade back into your chisel handle. This is my favorite part. Carefully cut back and stamp material that hangs over the line of the cork. This is your chance to fix any lumps or mistakes and give your stamp a smooth, seamless look.

And that’s it! You’re done! Now take that pad of ink and get stamping! You may find that there are some parts of the stamp that show up even though you’ve carved them back, so be prepared to add some finishing touches to your stamp once you’ve applied the ink.

I hope you enjoyed my first ever tutorial and that it wasn’t too wordy or picture heavy! I had a lot of fun working on it so expect to see more in the future!

Tiny Octopus Designs is having a sale! Come by the shop before…

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Tiny Octopus Designs is having a sale! Come by the shop before the month is up to get 15% off of anything in the store!

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Leroy the Octopus Pendant

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I’d like to introduce Leroy the darling little octopus pendant! This fella is a one of a kind piece of art handmade from polymer clay and painted with acrylic paints. I’ve applied several layers of protective finish to preserve his colors from daily wear and tear and it also gave him a little bit of a gloss as though he’s just climbed out of the ocean!

Leroy and his pals are all for sale at Tiny Octopus Designs and through the month of February I’m having a 15% off sale with a coupon code! The code can be found at my Facebook Page and will be valid until March 1st so use it while it’s there!

Something about the way Leroy is posed makes it look like he’s sucking his thumb while gazing out across the horizon. Am I the only one who sees this?

Cassidy the Polymer Clay Squid Pendant

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This is Cassidy the cute little squid. He’s handmade by myself out of Super Sculpey polymer clay and painted with acrylic paints. I had a lot of fun painting this guy, so his colors are a bit peppier than most. I’ve just listed him on my Etsy shop along with all of his friends!

And don’t forget to swing by my facebook page for updates on new items and upcoming sales!

Vincent the Polymer Clay Octopus Pendant

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Vincent is of of the newest installments in my Etsy shop and is quite the lovely little lad. He is handmade from Super Sculpey and painted with acrylic paints. I then sprayed him with a glossy protective finish so he looks like he’s fresh from the sea.

Check out Vincent’s listing on Etsy and don’t forget to swing by my facebook page for updates on new items and upcoming sales!

Maggie the Lovely Little Squid

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So I tried to make a cuttlefish the other day and failed SO badly. It broke my heart, but I ended up wrapping another piece of Sculpey around the body and turning it into a squid! I’m really excited with the outcome. I’ve made two more squid pendants that are painted and have yet to be photographed. Once that’s done, they’ll be up for sale in my shop!

In other news, I had a very successful Art Sunday today! A few gals from work came over and we spent the day making little things with Sculpey and then cooking and painting them. My lovely fiancé made us fresh crepes and pizza and we all drank mimosas. It was a thoroughly wonderful day and I have a new squid and octopus to show for it!

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