Remember all the fun you had with Play-Doh when you were a kid? Well, your inner child can still have fun making things from clay. And with zombies being so popular, why not make your own ornaments.
Zombies are a good beginner project because perfection is not necessary. In fact, the more cracks and irregularities the better. Add some scary eyes, a deathly pallor and a little bit of gore, and your zombie ornaments will come to life, so to speak.
I’ll show you step by step how to make a zombie cat, skull with exposed brains, mummy and zombie girl.
These ornaments are just right for a small Halloween tree, but they can also be made into earrings or pendants.
Supplies for making Halloween zombie ornaments
Creative Paperclay is an air dry clay that’s soft and pliable right out of the package. It’s easy to join pieces together by smoothing out the seams with a little water.
After the clay is dried, either by air drying or baking in a low oven, it can be carved, sanded and painted.
Paperclay needs to be stored in a ziplock bag to keep it fresh. I also add a few drops of water inside.
Very few tools are needed for sculpting. Your hands are the main tools.
The other necessary tools are an awl or ice pick for making holes, an X-acto knife to cut the clay and carve features, and an old ballpoint Papermate pen for stamping eyes and making small holes.
Wire and tools
These tools are needed to make the wire hangers for the ornaments: 24 gauge wire, wire cutters, one or two needlenose pliers and a hot glue gun.
(When it comes to wire, the larger the gauge, the smaller the wire.)
You’ll also need assorted acrylic paints, brushes and glitter gel (optional) for embellishing.
Instructional videos for sculpting with paperclay
Before continuing with this tutorial, I thought it would be helpful to see how easy it is to work with Creative Paperclay. Even if you don’t watch the full 14 minutes, you’ll pick up enough tips and inspiration to begin making things with clay. But I highly recommend watching the videos all the way through.
The first video shows how to sculpt a dragon. It’s simply amazing! The only thing I want to mention that isn’t made clear in the video is that she moistens her fingers with water when building up the clay.
The second video shows how to paint the dragon. I think you’ll enjoy them.
How to sculpt Halloween zombie ornaments
Each one of these cute ornaments begins with a small round ball of clay.
Bake or air dry the zombie ornaments
After sculpting, the ornaments will air dry in a couple of days or just a few hours in a low temp oven. I put mine in the toaster oven set to about 100 degrees. Turn them over from time to time so the underside dries.
When the ornaments have dried, it’s time to make and add wire eyelets.
How to make wire eyelets for the zombie ornaments
For this step you’ll need to gather up the 24 gauge wire, wire cutters, one or two needlenose pliers and a hot glue gun.
Shaping and gluing the wire hangers
How to paint, embellish and finish the zombie ornaments
Paint the ornaments
I used regular acrylic paint (such as Folk Art) to finish the ornaments. First I used a black wash (watery black paint) to emphasize the cracks, indentations and features.
After that dried, I painted the ornaments using just a dab of paint on the brush to keep the paint from running into the cracks that I wanted to keep black.
Refer to the pictures below to see the colors used for each ornament. Let the paint dry.
Seal the ornaments
For this step you can use either a satin varnish or watered down white glue. I chose to seal the ornaments with watered down Elmer’s glue for a matte finish. The consistency was like skim milk.
I held the ornaments by the metal eyelet with needlenose pliers while applying the watered glue, then I strung them on a length of wire to dry.
Embellish the ornaments with glitter
This step is optional but I highly recommend using liquid glitter to highlight the eyes, nose, mouth, brains, etc. After the glitter is dry, you can make hooks for the ornaments.
Make ornament hooks
To make the hooks, cut off about 1″ of 24 gauge wire and bend into an S shape around needlenose pliers. Then put one end into the ornament’s wire loop, squeeze closed with the pliers.
These are all the zombie and monster ornaments I made from clay
These ornaments were made for a small tabletop tree. You can see I made Dracula and Frankenstein ornaments in addition to the zombies.
My Halloween tabletop tree decorated with zombie and monster ornaments
Check out these websites for more ideas and info on making things with Creative Paperclay
- Creative Paperclay blog
This is a blog by the same talented person who made the dragon in the YouTube videos above
- Official website for Creative Paperclay
This link will take you to the projects section on Creative Paperclay’s website for some fun and easy craft ideas with Paperclay
- Cutest monsters made with polymer clay from Spanish website
You’ve GOT to see these pictures of the cutest sculpted monsters! Lots of large pictures to inspire you! These are made with polymer clay, but you can do similar monsters with Paperclay.
Here’s the zombie skull made into a necklace
All I did to make this zombie skull ornament into a necklace was to add a large jump ring that will accommodate most necklaces. It’s shown here with a length of black lace.
I hope you have lots of fun making these zombie ornaments. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.