How to Make a Clay Chibi

By Rebecca McKeown
Polymer clay is used to make clay chibis.

The term "chibi" means "small" or "child" in Japanese. Chibi characters in anime and manga are usually small, childlike figures with large heads and eyes in comparison to their bodies. These chibis are often replicated in polymer clay to be used for cute jewelry charms as well as decoration for craft projects.

Roll the clay for the chibi's clothing into a rounded cone shape with a flattened point at the top. Roll out thin cylinders for a collar or clothing decorations and cut them to size with a craft or butter knife. Press them to the rounded cone until they stick.

Stick the toothpick or small piece of wire about halfway into the middle of the body's flattened top.

Roll out a circle with the flesh-colored clay to make the head. Since a chibi's head is large in proportion to its body, make the circle a little larger than the base of your rounded cone. Stick the head firmly onto the toothpick or wire piece.

Roll out two small circles for the chibi's hands and place them on the chibi's torso, if desired. You may skip this step if you do not want your chibi to have hands.

Roll the clay for the hair into a long, thin cylinder and cut it into several smaller pieces. Press the pieces to the front top of the chibi's head where you want the hair to part. Cover the head with the rest of the pieces, making sure to leave the chibi's face uncovered. Twist the pieces to make the hair look curly, or leave them straight.

Place the eye pin into the top of the chibi's head if you plan to turn the chibi into a charm. If the eye pin is too long, cut it down with wire cutters.

Place the chibi onto a baking sheet and bake according to the directions on the clay's package.

Paint eyes onto the chibi's face as desired after the clay has baked and cooled down.

Warning

Work in a well-ventilated area. Do not burn the clay while baking.

About the Author

Rebecca McKeown began writing professionally in 2007. She has written and taken photographs for newspapers and magazines like "The Livingston County News," "The Buzzworthy" and "The Communicator." McKeown served as the photo editor of her campus newspaper, "The Bona Venture," for four semesters. She obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication as well as English from St. Bonaventure University.