mini sheep sculpture

Folk art sheep sculpture made from clay

Meet Sheena the sheep, an adorable 3″ tall folk art sheep sculpture made from paperclay.

I’ve always loved sheep. They have the most delightful faces and magnificent shaggy wool!

Over the years I’ve made many sheep cloth dolls. But I wanted a little sculpture to go with my miniature spring and Valentine trees, so Sheena the sheep was born.

Just imagine how cute it would be to make a whole flock of these little sheep! I’m going to share some of the techniques involved so you can make some for yourself.

Supplies used to make a mini sheep sculpture

  • Creative Paperclay
  • Some junk mail
  • Foil
  • Tie wire from the hardware store
  • Needlenose pliers and an awl
  • Old garlic press to make “wool”
  • Hot glue
  • Acrylic paint (white, black, brown) and small brushes
  • Satin varnish or white glue
  • Sparkle glaze

How to sculpt the sheep

To start off with, make a round ball for the body from a wad of junk mail. Wrap the ball in a piece of foil. You could use a styrofoam ball, if you prefer, instead of junk mail.

Next, cover the foil with a thin layer of paperclay. Make smaller balls of clay for the head and tail, blending the seams into the body with your fingers and a little water.

How to add the sheep’s legs and wool

Punch holes in the bottom of the body for the wire legs using an awl. Let the sheep sculpture air dry for a day or so, or put it in a warm toaster oven for a few hours.

When the sculpture is dry, cut pieces of tie wire about 3 to 4 inches long for the legs. Curl one end of the wire for the feet using needlenose pliers. Hot glue the other end inside the sheep’s body.

To get the texture of the wool, put small bits of paper clay through an old garlic press (see below), squeeze some out, cut it off and apply it to the body, head and tail, leaving the face smooth. Dampen the dried sculpture with a little water first to make the wool stick.

Be sure not to press too hard when sticking wool onto the body. (This is a technique I’ve also used for making santa beards.)

Let the sheep dry again.

How to paint the sheep sculpture

Paint the face black and paint the body using several shades of white paint.

I actually start with a brown wash to emphasize the details, then go back over the wool with white paint. I used a very tiny brush to paint the details on the face.

When the paint is dry, apply a coat of sealer or watered down white glue for protection. Let dry.

Apply a thick coat of sparkle glaze all over the wool, with touches on the ears, nose and mouth.

closeup of sheep's face

Closeup of Sheena the sheep

The finished sheep sculpture

sheena the sheep

Sheena the sheep

And here she is! At just 3″ x 3″, just the right size to display with small tabletop trees like these:

sheep sculpture on display

Sheena the sheep with my tabletop Valentine and spring trees

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