Here’s an idea for something really cute for your Easter table. Small springtime animals – lambs, chicks, bunnies, etc. whimsically designed and created to be used as place cards for Easter!
The instructions for mixing up all the dough to be used is on my previous blog postings. So some hints for making little 3 dimensional animals:
Think about the animals you’ll make and what colors you will want to have on hand. You won’t need a full range:
Lambs: black and white with blue eyes and pink nose
Chicks: yellow with blue eyes and orange feet and beak
Bunnies: white, with blue eyes and pink nose.
Tools: Definitely a garlic press, sharp kitchen knife, alum. foil, toothpicks – oh and a clean damp cloth to wipe off the table between different colors.
Size: You won’t want these to be too big. For one thing it takes forever to bake them completely. Also, they are not quite as cute when they’re big – they tend to look a little dumpy and not roly poly cute! Let’s say your animals will have a finished size of 3″ tall by 2-3 ” wide.
All animals will be constructed the same way. You’ll begin with the body – Take a piece of yellow dough and form a nice smooth ball. – We’ll do the chick first as it’s the easiest. Work on a smooth surface like Formica table top, and construct the ornament on a piece of foil. (It’s easy to move to the oven that way)
Take that ball and pinch one side to form the tail. Make another yellow ball about 1/2 the size of the first. Roll it until it is completely smooth. Stick this ball on to the first body ball, on the other side of the pinched tail area. Now you have a body and head.
Make another yellow ball about the same size as the head. Roll it very smooth. Put it on the table and cut in half. Roll each half into a ball. Then pinch one end like you did in step 1 – and then flatten the ball. You will have a wing – press that onto the side of the body. Repeat for the other side.
Now you have a body, head, and two wings.
You are finished with yellow, so wipe off the table where you were working. Let’s make the feet.
Take some orange dough, making a ball about the size of the ball that made one wing. This is not an exact science – your chicks might look different than mine! Roll that orange dough into a ball and cut it in half. Then roll each half. Put the two balls down next to each other, just barely touching. Press down on about half of the ball squishing it to the foil. Put the body of the chick on top of the two side by side feet and gently press down to have them stick together. Use a toothpick to make feet marks on the chick. (They might look a little like duck feet, but this is artistic license! They will be big enough for the chick to stand up.)
The beak is next. Take an amount of orange dough and form a ball – probably a small amount.
After the ball is smooth, use your fingers to make a cone or pyramid shape. Press into the chick’s face, right in the center of the ball. Using your sharp kitchen knife, gently slice the pyramid in half, to form both top and bottom of the beak.
Time to wipe the table again. We’ll make the eyes blue! Here take a very small amount of blue dough and roll it into a ball. Put it on the table and cut in half, and roll two new balls. They should be small, but in proportion to the beak. Take a toothpick and put it into the center of the ball. Pick up the toothpick with the ball of dough on the end, touch the end to your moist towel (or to your tongue to moisten) and place the toothpick on the chicks head right above and to the side of the beak and press in a little. The eye should stick to the head as you remove the toothpick. Repeat with the other eye.
Your chick (s) should be baked in a 225 oven until they are done. I usually leave my projects in the oven overnight. At 225 they won’t burn and they will be dried out completely.
When baked and cooled, spray with a verathane coating. When completely dry and finished, personalized with a black fine point permanent marker.
Good luck with the lamb and bunny! If you need more tips, write me back.