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
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.
Push clay ball onto one end of the dowel rod.
Hollow out the ball to form the bowl of the pipe.
Cover the rod with a 1/2-inch layer of clay and blend this clay into the bowl of the pipe.
Add additional clay around the pipe bowl if needed to help the bowl blend in with the rest of the pipe.
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
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.
Use the craft paint rush to paint the clay pipe with medium brown acrylic craft paint after the baked clay has cooled.
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.