How to Make a Clay Model of a Tornado

By Megan Smith ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • White and black polymer clay
  • Pencil
  • Paper clip
  • Waxed paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
A twister

A tornado is rotating air that forms a destructive column extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes are best identified by their interesting shape, a funnel that is larger at the top and gets progressively smaller as it heads toward the ground. Tornadoes are most frequent in the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains, during the spring and summer months. If your child is studying tornadoes, making a model of a tornado is a fun way to solidify what he is learning.

On a piece of waxed paper, mix equal parts black and white clay together to make a gray color. Polymer clay is durable and hardens in a standard oven instead of a kiln.

Determine what type of tornado you would like to model. See the "Resources" section for websites with detailed pictures of tornadoes.

Sculpt your tornado according to your photo. You may want to use a pencil and a paper clip to add texture to the outside of the formation.

As you are sculpting, thin out any areas that are thicker than a 1/2 inch or they will not harden properly in the oven.

When your tornado looks right, preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Bake your tornado on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes, until the tornado has hardened completely.

Tip

Complete this project as an extra-credit assignment for school.

Polymer clay can be purchased at your local craft store under brand names such as Sculpey and Fimo.

Warning

Do not let children use the oven unattended.