LEARN TO MAKE A
1:12 SPOOKY WITCH BROOM
WITH JODY RAINES
Tools and Materials Needed: ; Rustic Broom or Cinnamon Broom: Small 4" (10cm) ; Polymer Clay : Either Brown Or Cream Colored ; Paint Brush : Soft Type (For Brushing Powder Pigments)
; Florist Wire : Sturdy Fabric-Wrapped Type: 6" (15.24cm) Length
; Glue: White Type
; Thread: Thick Brown
; Plate or Board (To Use For the Clay) ; Moist Wipes (For Your Hands)
; Chalk Pastel
- Dark Brown
- Flat Edged Tool
- Scissors: Craft Style
- Wire Cutters
; Optional Items
- Gold Chain
- Metallic Pearl Ex Powder In Copper
Close-up image of materials needed
Close-up image of materials needed
1. Start by removing the commercially purchased broom. Separate the stick from the broom base and discard the stick.
2. Retrieve the cloth covered floral wire and measure out approximately 5-6" (12.7cm-15.24cm).
3. Once the length is measured, go ahead and cut the length with wire cutters. Set aside.
4. Take a fairly large lump of the polymer clay and go ahead an condition the clay. This will be the handle.
5. Continue to roll and soften the clay with your hands.
6. Once the clay is conditioned, roll the clay into a snake shape, the length of the wire and about ?" (6.35mm) in circumference.
Remember to bend and shape your wire a bit so that it isn't perfectly straight.
7. Press the clay against the wire and begin to shape and/or bend it around the wire.
8. Completely wrap the wire using the polymer clay, rolling the entire length in your hands. Pinch the snake shaped handle of clay, enclosing the wire fully.
9. As you continue shaping the handle, remove any excess clay along the length of the wire.
10. If the length becomes too straight or a shape you do not desire, just roll to the desired shape.
Enlarge picture showing how to refine the shape
11. This image shows how you can gently pull the polymer clay along the length of the broom to thin it down, if it's too thick after rolling.
12. Gently pull the clay around the sharp end of the wire and round it off so that the wire isn't exposed.
I imagine a witch's broom to be worn and smoothed out by constant use and the aerodynamics of flying into the night wind would naturally round and weather the end!!
13. Using a toothpick or any sharp edged tool, create lines along the length of the broom handle randomly. Some long slashes, some short -- this gives the effect of aged wood.
14. Next, you will need a flat edged tool for this step. Using the tool, make small random indentations along the length of the polymer clay to simulate woodgrain.
15. Now you are ready to highlight and add depth to the clay. So gather your artist pastels. I am using Grumbacher's Soft Pastels. Select burnt sienna and a dark brown stick. Rub both on a piece of scrap paper to create a powder.
Before the next step, consider how you want to highlight your broomstick. Most broomsticks though are dark and weathered. For a subtle shimmer, lightly dab Pearl Ex
copper powder along the handle, if desired. Don't overdo it -- just a little will add a bit of life. My broom will probably be mounted on the wall lengthwise so needs a bit of shimmer to make it stand out.
16. With a soft artist's brush, brush the powder along the unbaked polymer clay broom handle length, until it is shaded to your satisfaction.
After you have shaded and highlighted your polymer clay, bake the broomstick according to the manufacturers recommendatons. I bake mine at around 260ºF for 12-15 minutes, but ovens vary as do manufacturers recommendatons.
17. While the broomstick is baking, take the opportunity to clean up your hands with baby wipes. Just a little helpful step that I'm sure most of you know.
18. Take the bristled broom and squeeze a dab of white glue in the hole left from removing the commercial handle.
If you could not find the commercial broom, you will need to make a bristle bundle to form the lower part of the broom. You can use a real broom and cut off bristles or you can use twigs. For either option, you will need to bind a large bunch of twigs or bristles around the clay handle with bristles.
You will need about 2" (5.08cm) of bristles or twigs. Cut the length to your preference. Glue around the handle before trying to apply the bristles or twigs. Then shape the bristles or twigs around the handle. You can bind it with brown embroidery floss. Then you can cover the floss with raffia or another natural fiber. Be sure to bind them securely and add more bristles or twigs if it looks skimpy.
Remember that the broom will look circular rather than flat, like the ones you would find at a regular store.
19. After the handle has cooled, if you are using the commercial broom, fill the hole with glue. Then push the hardened and cooled handle into the broom hole about 1/3" (8.46mm) way in and allow to dry.
20. With craft scissors, cut the end of the broom down tapering it around the center and, to make it look even more worn and weathered. Carefully burn the ends with a match, blowing it out quickly. Have a small bowl of water ready to put your match in and in case things get out of hand!!
21. You have a rustic, weathered, slightly singed witch's broom that any self-respecting witch would be proud of mount.
Enlarge picture showing the completed witch broom
22. Alternative Example #1
Here is one version with the end tapered, the handle slightly bent and the broom singed.
23. Alternative Example #2
This image shows the end tapered but not burned as an example if you prefer not to play with fire.
24. Alternative Example #3
Here are two different examples; one slightly longer with a bushier broom. And that's it. Thanks for tuning in. One day maybe I'll be capable of doing something a bit more challenging!