I love little gnomes and little mushrooms, so I decided to make my own out of polymer clay. I looked around for some ideas to make easy gnomes, since I’m not skilled at face carving or making clay bodies. I found several versions of polymer gnomes, but only one that looked halfway easy to make. So I duplicated it and I think it turned out pretty good! Even the mushrooms are easy to make, too! Here are the steps I took to make a polymer clay gnome and the mushroom to go with him. I took some of these pictures at night, so sorry if the lighting is bad!
How to Make an EASY Polymer Clay Gnome and Mushroom
1. Roll out a ball of flesh toned polymer clay about the size you want your gnome to be. I made mine a bit small, so my finished gnome will stand about 1-2 inches when finished. Roll another ball (same color) a bit smaller and attach to the head. This will be the gnome’s nose.
2. Take some clay in a color of your choice and roll into a ball a little bigger than the size of the head. Roll it on the table until it turns into a cylinder. It should be about the width of the head. This will be the gnome’s body. Once you’ve rolled out his body, attach his head to it.
3. Take some white clay and flatten it. It should be fairly thin, but not too thin where it will break. Using scissors or a clay cutting tool, cut the clay until it is in a rectangular shape. It should be long enough to go around the gnome’s head, but short enough to only go to the sides of his head. Place this at the back of the gnome’s head, making sure it covers the crease between his head and body. The ends of the rectangle should meet evenly on both sides of the gnome’s face. This will be his hair. You can make lines in the clay afterward to look like hair, if you want.
4. Take another peice of white clay. You will have to shape this into a beard. Because your gnome will be small, the beard should also be small, so it doesn’t touch the table beneath the gnome. Take the peice of white clay, flatten it a bit, and create a point near one end. You can curve the end of the point like I did in the photo below. At the other end, make an indention. This will make two peices that you will attach the beard with. Pull on these two new ends until they are long enough to reach the hair on the gnome’s face you made earlier. The beard will be placed under the gnome’s nose. It’s hard to explain exactly how to do this, so use the pictures for references.
5. Taking another ball of colored clay, create the gnome’s hat. You can do this by pushing into the ball of clay with one finger to make the opening for the gnome’s head, and then creating a point on ther other end by pulling the clay upwards. You will want to smooth and thin out the edge of the hat so that it is even, and big enough to cover the gnome’s face. When you put the hat on your gnome, you’ll want to make sure you dont cover too much of his face, because you will be painting the face later. You can make your hat any size or shape you want, but this is just an example of how I make my hats.
6. Finally, you will make the ears. Take some more flesh colored clay, make two tiny balls, flatten them and then press in on one side so that it looks like a semi-circle. Attach these right at the spot where the beard and the gnome’s hair meet. You can then put the gnome’s hat on, or you could put the gnome’s hat on first, and then the ears.
7. If you want to leave your gnome like this, you can bake him according to the instructions, or you can also stick some wire into the bottom of your gnome and then bake him so that you can put your gnome in a potted plant or terrarium. After your gnome is baked, paint his face by putting two black eyes, two pink cheeks and two pink dots on his ears. I used acrylic paint for this. You can leave him faceless if you want, too. Then, once the paint is dry, put a layer of polymer glaze over your gnome to make him shine.
8. For the mushroom, take a ball of colored clay, and create a “cap,” by pushing your finger into one side to make the indent and then smoothing out the top peice until it looks sort of like a mushroom shape (you could also make your mushroom caps pointy). Take a peice of white clay, a little bit smaller, roll it into a ball and flatten it a bit. Place the white clay inside the indent you made in the other ball. Attach a white stem to this, which you can make long, short or however. I make mine a little thicker at the bottom so that it can stand on it’s own. Add lines to the white part inside the cap. Add white dots using small clay balls that you flatten, or you can also paint on white dots after you bake your mushroom. Stick wire in the bottom to use in potted plants, otherwise, bake and then glaze.
Now you have a cute little gnome and a mushroom friend to go with him!