Creative Paperclay

Retro Owl Ornament
by Shirley Rufener, CPD
Shirley's website: 

  • Delight™ air dry modeling compound
  • One STYROFOAM™ goose egg
  • Acrylic roller tool or smooth drinking glass
  • Kitchen plastic wrap or waxed paper
  • Acrylic paints: white, brown, tan, brick red, school bus yellow
  • Permapaque fine point paint markers: black and brown (Sakura)
  • Gold color 18 gauge vinyl coated Fun Wire™ (AMACO)
  • White tacky glue
  • Flat paintbrushes (1/2" and 1/4" wide)
  • Paper towels
  • Needle nose (or round nose) pliers
  • Brass large screw eye (used as hooks)
  • Clear satin sealer spray (for acrylic paint)
  • Thin gold elastic cording


1. Roll out a large sheet of Delight to 1/8" thick on plastic wrap and cover the egg. Smooth any bumps with finger. Roll two medium sized balls for the wings and two balls for the ears. Shape balls into tall triangles as shown and secure to egg body with tacky glue. Roll one more small clay ball and shape into a cone. Secure cone for beak with glue.

2. Add a little glue to the threaded area of a screw eye and press into the top of the head for a loop. Cut two 3 1/2" long pieces of wire and shape into feet at one end (see owl in left side of photo). Press straight end of each wire into bottom of body and then remove for now. Allow the Delight to dry overnight or longer. The clay will have a little give but will feel dry and very lightweight when ready to paint.

Refer to the finished project photo for the remaining steps:

3. Paint the body (egg) with tan acrylic paint and let dry. Paint the wings and ears brown and let dry. Using a pencil, draw large oval eyes on the owl. Paint the eyes with white paint and let dry. Using a marker, draw in black dots for the eye pupils. Using a brown marker, outline the white-eye ovals with a 3/16" thick line.

4. When completely dry, spray the ornament with sealer and let dry as directed. Glue the wire legs in place and let dry. To make a hanging ornament, thread cording through the loop and tie off at the top. Enjoy!

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