Creating a Polymer Nesting Bird

Presented by Christi Friesen, Award-Winning Artist, Author and Educator,
Instructions by Ian, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Have fun playing with jewelry clay as you create a nesting bird focal bead with Christi Friesen, an award-winning polymer clay artist, who walks you through the project step by step.


Mix and twist several different Premo! Sculpey® Polymer Clay nest colors (browns, tans and gold) together into a ball approximately the size of a cherry tomato. Do not mix too thoroughly as you want streaks in the clay to look like twigs and nesting material.
Stick your thumb into the middle of the clay ball then pinch and rotate along the side to create a shallow bowl. Flatten one side of the bowl creating a flat edge with a rounded edge on the opposite side.
Using similar polymer clay colors to those used in creating the nest, roll out a handful of small snakes. Apply polymer snakes to both the inside and outside of the rounded edge of the nest.
String a small egg-colored bead onto an approximately 1 - 2-inch length of 28-gauge wire then bring the ends of wire together and twist so the bead is secure. Trim the wire to approximately 1/4 inch and fold the end over into a hook. This hook will keep the bead in the clay when hardened. Repeat for a total of 3 bead-eggs.

Note: Do not choose plastic beads as plastic will melt in the baking process.
Insert the wire end of the bead-eggs into the inner rim of the nest wall. Be sure not to place them too far down in the nest or they will be covered by the bird.


Roll a small amount of white clay into a ball about the size of a cherry tomato then roll one end to a rounded point so the ball looks like it is halfway between an egg and a teardrop. This point will be the tail.
Pull the clay from the opposite end of the tail to form the head of the bird. The clay should begin to take the shape of an ''L'' at this point. Use your fingers to squeeze and indent around the neck area to create definition between body and head.
Flatten the tail of the bird by squeezing down on the tail-nub then create a beak by carefully pinching the clay out from the front of the head.
Similar to Step 4, string a bead of your choice onto wire-wrapping wire then twist, trim excess wire and form a hook. Using a dowel tool, poke a small crater on the head where the eye of the bird should be then insert the wired bead into the crater.

Note: Do not choose plastic beads as plastic will melt in the baking process.
Flatten a small ball of white clay into a teardrop shape to create a wing then press it into the side of the body (same side as the eye). Apply mica powder to the wing and beak of the bird.
Place the bird in the nest then bake according to manufacturer's instructions.

Tip: If desired, poke a hole through the chest and out the back just above the tail of the bird before baking to form a pendant.

Have a question regarding this project? Email Customer Service.

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