'08 Halloween #16: The Silly Putty Maneuver

I added a vile of Ectoplasm to my growing stash of potions and oddities. It turned out a little more "cute" than I wanted. Creating one is effortless so making another different and better is no chore. There is a little trick though that I thought worth sharing. When I first learned it, I slapped my forehead wondering why I never thought of it before.

Remember as kids how the big fun to Silly Putty was pressing it onto comic strips and copying them? Well, light colored Sculpey and other polymer clays can do almost the same thing. It enables you to transfer a design directly onto the clay (click on any images to enlarge)...

I sketched my design on trace paper and then re-drew it on the reverse side. Being backwards the image will transfer correctly. It's important to use pencil or something similar that the clay can pick up.

I smoothed out a layer of white Sculpey on a old bottle of hot sauce that had a nice wooden cap detail. Next, I slowly rolled over the drawing with firm even pressure. Make sure it's the reverse side. I know from experience that it's easy to make that mistake. From there it was sculpting and finishing.

The whole process took little more than a hour, including baking the bottle (at a lower temp. for a longer time to prevent glass cracking). I gave it an aged gray paint wash but I might redo with a rusted metal or verdigris bronze finish.


  1. Cool results. Your photographs of your potions are great -- are you shooting them on top of a light box?

  2. Thanks! Yea, they were set up on my small drawing light box. Looked pretty cool once the photo was cropped.

  3. Awesome creativity..! Nice stuff for Halloween.