Modeling Clay Faux Femur Bones – a tutorial

Here’s a tutorial about how I made my modeling clay faux femur bones necklace for my Voodoo Queen Costume. I also used the bones on my Spirit Stick and they are just pretty cool all around and could be used for all kinds of creepy things you need bones for. The femur looked like the easiest and most recognizable bone to me, so that’s why I picked it.

I originally sent out a request to all my Facebook friends for real bones but had no givers 🙁 I looked at chickens at the grocery and thought about that route but then my quest for bones went a little extreme and I began to contemplate all the road kill as potential candidates. I would make a mental note each time I would pass a poor soul on the highway. There was lots to choose from. I even went as far as to read a few sites on how to get the flesh off the bone, etc. I learned a lot actually and thought it was quite interesting.

Oddly enough, the first thing that came to my mind was boiling. I already had it planned out in my head… I have a cauldron of sorts (you don’t?!) and was going to boil me some bones out there in the backyard. But I read that is the worst way to do it and quite smelly. Next worse was bleach, but I had not thought of bleach. I was thinking more like acid. But as I read more and more about this, I discovered this is a very long process that involved burying or beetles and that I should have thought about it like six months ago. Pffttt. Like I think that far in advance.

So enough about my sick little mind, on with the tutorial…

Get yourself some clay (not roadkill). I used FIMO soft clay from Michael’s Craft Store in this handy bone color. I got it on sale for 4 for $6. I ended up only using two packages of clay and that made 16 perfect little bones for beads. This kind of clay requires you bake it, but it didn’t smell much at all I didn’t think.

Here is what I used, but I forgot to add the toothpicks to the picture. I also ended up not needing the wax paper or the razor blade. meh.
supplies-to-make-clay-bones

First I cut the clay with a credit card. The less I can cut myself the better, I’ve been clumsy lately and have little gouges and cuts all over my hands. It already has these lines for easy cutting. How convenient, huh? I love it when a company does something clever like that.
cutting-clay-with-credit-card

Next I rolled out a section with the palm of my hand like you did with Play dough as a kid. You know when you were making snakes… what you didn’t do that?rolling-clay-with-hand

Sometimes a helper is needed just for entertainment purposes. my-helper-playing-with-clay

After I rolled the bone out as thin and as long as I felt I wanted the bones to be, I started to pinch the ends and form them into little balls for the ball and socket part of the bone. I made each of these a little different so they don’t look massed produced, therefore looking el cheapo. Remember handmade is good! Mass produced is baaaaaaaad.forming-clay-femur-bones-with-handsHere is a close up of the ends of the bones before baking. I scratched into the surface and added little holes here and there with my toothpick. I also drug the toothpick down some of the bones all the way to look like cracks and breaks cause I imagined some of my victims had broken their limbs.
clay-femur-bone-scratch-detail Here is a bone ready for pokin’. Poking with with a toothpick to make a hole so I can string them.shape-of-femur-bone-made-with-clay

Ooops, more close ups. I must have been pretty proud of how these were turning out to have taken so many pictures. Oh well, you can see the different poke and scratch marks this way.close up detail of femur bone

Ah… here we go, there is my bone with a freshly poked stringing hole with my trusty toothpick.poke hole in bone with toothpick

Here are all my little bone beads ready for baking. It was 230˚ F (110˚ C) for 30 minutes is all. Then the hard part, let them sit and cure for like 8 hours. So plan accordingly.

Clay-Femur-bones-ready-to-bake

Look how cute they are!clay-femur-bones-line-up

Now for some artsy shots…small-clay-femur-bones-necklace

Okay well maybe this one isn’t so artsy. But look how cool that looks. This would be great for a caveman / cavewoman costume, bones in hair, Bone Collector character… it goes on and on.clay-femur-bone-necklaceI had so much fun making these, I may make more fun stuff out of this clay. It comes in an obscene amount of colors and it’s easy to work with. The only thing I was disappointed with was that they didn’t make the little clinking sound I was hoping I would get. It was more of a thud like clunk almost plastiky instead of a boney sounding clink. Not sure why since I have no experience with clay and I’m not a potter but I guess it’s polymer clay and not the real thing. I was expecting it to sound like clay pots when they bang together, but they don’t. Oh well, no matter. They are still super cool and I love them.

Here they are on me and dangling from my Spirit Stick. Check out my other Halloween costumes with tutorials here. Pin and share with abandon!

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If you’re new to my blog and website have a look at my ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts in the form of expressionism. If you’re interested in my art, I have a newsletter mailed about once a month that gives you special status for invitations, birthday greeting and more. Sign up here for it.

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