How to Make a Leprechaun Pipe

Overview

A handcrafted mock pipe is the perfect complement to a St. Patrick's Day leprechaun costume. This relatively simple project involves polymer clay that can be baked in an ordinary oven. The finished accessory will have the appearance of a long pipe that has been carved out of wood. Extensive sculpting skills are not required to achieve a whimsical and rustic leprechaun's pipe. This pipe is intended to be used as a costume prop and will not function as an actual pipe.

Sculpting the Pipe

Step 1

Roll a piece of polymer clay into a 3-inch ball. Be sure to knead the clay before sculpting because this will help to prevent the clay from cracking and will make it more malleable.

Step 2

Push clay ball onto one end of the dowel rod.

Step 3

Hollow out the ball to form the bowl of the pipe.

Step 4

Cover the rod with a 1/2-inch layer of clay and blend this clay into the bowl of the pipe.

Step 5

Add additional clay around the pipe bowl if needed to help the bowl blend in with the rest of the pipe.

Step 6

Sculpt the clay so that it has a lumpy appearance. The clay should give the impression of a rustic pipe carved out of wood. You can accomplish this sculpting by making impressions with your thumb all around the surface of the pipe.

Baking and Finishing the Pipe

Step 1

Bake the polymer clay on a foil-lined cookie sheet in an oven at 275 degrees for about two hours. Baking times may vary, but polymer clay generally requires about 30 minutes for every 1/4 inch of thickness.

Step 2

Use the craft paint rush to paint the clay pipe with medium brown acrylic craft paint after the baked clay has cooled.

Step 3

Use the soft cloth to apply a coat of water-based polyurethane stain once the paint is dry. This will give the pipe the appearance of aged wood.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never bake any kind of food at the same time you are baking a polymer clay craft.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-inch length of 1/4-inch dowel rod
  • 1/2 lb. of polymer clay
  • Oven
  • Medium brown acrylic craft paint
  • Water-based polyurethane stain
  • Craft paintbrush
  • Small piece of soft cloth

References

  • Sculpey.com: Sculpey 101-The Magic of Sculpey
  • Michaels.com: Clay Basics
  • Polymer Clay Central: More Sculpture Tips

Who Can Help

  • Make-stuff.com: Recipe for Homemade Clay
Keywords: polymer clay, St. Patrick's Day, handcrafted pipe, leprechaun costume

About this Author

Ann Hudson is a freelance writer who began her writing career working for a small community newspaper. While there, her work as a feature writer and a weekly columnist were honored. Hudson holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. She has been writing for more than 30 years.