With every new fairy garden or miniature scene I make, I learn different techniques and improve upon the old. I have recently been learning how to work with polymer clay and I am so happy to showcase one of my most recent designs. I designed and created a beach themed fairy garden for a commission and within it I put a little sandcastle. This sandcastle was a blast to make. I am always so proud of my clay miniatures because I truly never think they will turn out okay, but it really is not a hard skill to learn and if you make a mistake you can just restart.
For this sandcastle, I actually used non-hardening clay. I have a whole set of colors that my brother gave me one Christmas before any of us understood clay, so I try my best to use it in designs that do not to be hard and baked. To start, I mixed a yellow and orange-hued tan together to achieve a nice sand color as seen in the first picture. It takes a little bit of time but mixing the colors is always worth it. I then started to freehand my design. I made a round base and two spires. I tried to have my two large spires to be different sizes so it was not too uniform. I then made the top caps. I made three of them and they are shaped like little chocolate chips. I placed two on the spires and the third I put lower on a tiny little clay base. To make the door and the window, I just used the smooth end of a tiny paintbrush and indented.
I then made a tiny little mound that looks like the start of a new sandcastle. To make this I took my beach pails that were really just miniature wooden flower pots you can buy at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, and I put the clay inside the pot to use it as a mold. I did not worry too much about smoothing out my design because I knew I would be covering all the clay with sand.
I used the same sand for covering the castle that I put down as the floor of the beach fairy garden. I had to buy a big bag of sand and found this one at PetSmart in the reptile section. I have lots of leftovers which will be perfect for any future terrariums. I used clear gorilla glue which I applied with a paintbrush and then dumped the sand on in layers until the castle was fully covered. I had to be very careful not to touch it too much because it would move around the wet sand, but after it fully dried it was very sturdy. Although even when it was fully dried, it still looked darker than the rest of the sand. To finish out the design I made a tiny flag for my tallest spire. I used an end of a toothpick which I painted white and a piece of blue felt which I cut into a triangle. All I had to do was stick it into the clay and my sandcastle became official because it had a flag like Eddie Izzard always requested.
So there it is. My first sandcastle made out of love, clay, and real sand. I always loved the idea of making huge sand castles at the beach, but was never dedicated enough, although now I think I could make some really cool ones… of course in miniature.