How to make a decorative moth with real flowers and oven-baked clay.
This tutorial is inspired by the incredible giant flower moth Henck and Yan made in episode one of The Big Flower Fight on Netflix. These clay moths might not be quite as impressive in scale, but on the other hand, they’re easier to display in your front room. A single moth looks lovely popped in a vase on its own, or you could make several and scatter them through your floral arrangements.
Download the accompanying PDF
What you will need:
White oven-bake modelling clay – I used Fimo polymer clay
A selection of flowers & petals
A sturdy twig or thin branch – branches from a lilac tree are perfect
Uncoated craft or flower wire – don’t use anything wrapped in rubber as it will melt in the oven!
Sharp scissors and/or wire cutters
Acrylic craft paints
A fine paint brush
Kitchen roll or tissues
First layout your clay on a sheet of baking paper, cut a piece of clay off the block and roll it to a thickness of around 4mm. Cut out a rough semi-circle - this will be the moth’s wings.
Use some of the leftover clay to make the moth’s body, shaping the tip. Attach the body to the wings. To do this, place the body in the centre of the wings, then press down the edges of the body all the way around, and go over to smooth. Cut away the bottom inside corners of the wings, and smooth the edges.
Now start pressing patterns into your clay, using petals and stalks to create interesting effects. Gently peel off the petals using your fingers or tweezers, leaving the pattern behind in the clay. Keep inlaying pattern and texture using different flowers.
Roll two tiny balls of clay for the moth’s eyes and attach them to the moth’s head. Make the antennae by cutting a piece of wire, bending it over and cutting it in half to create two smaller pieces that are each the same size. Push them gently into the moth’s head by its eyes.
Cut another longer piece of wire (around 20cm). Insert the wire gently into the moth’s body at the bottom, pushing it up as far as you can – be careful here as it can easily poke out of the clay. If it does, just push the clay back over to cover over the hole.
Cut the baking paper around the moth and slide it on to a baking tray. Bake in the oven according to the instructions on the packet. I baked mine for 20 minutes at 130 degrees.
Once cool, you can start painting. Use acrylic paints, diluted with water for a natural watercolour effect. Build up the paint in layers, using moths, flowers and the patterns on the clay as inspiration. Once dry, you can choose to varnish your moth to protect the paint if you want to (I didn’t).
Take a sturdy twig or branch (something like lilac once the flowers have faded works well). Position to moth at the top of the branch and wrap the wire around the stem several times to secure it.
Your gorgeous moth is now ready to display among your flowers!
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