How to Make a Clay Tree Frog

By Charong Chow ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Clay
  • Toothpick
Use a reference photograph to craft a realistic tree frog.

Make a clay tree frog to commemorate this icon of the rainforest. According to "National Geographic," tea-cup sized red-eyed tree frogs flash their bright coloration to avoid predators. Craft this frog with either polymer clay, which is a clay-like material made from vinyl, or with air-dry clay. Either medium works well for home sculptors because these clays do not need to be fired in a kiln.

The head and the body are made from one piece of clay.

Roll out a piece of clay to form a 2-inch wide ball for the frog's body. Form an oval shape with the ball. Pull out one side of the oval to create the head area.

Roll out coils, which look like snakes, for the legs. Two coils should be roughly 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches long, and two coils 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch long.

Bend the two longer coils in half for the back legs. Press them into the back of the frog's body at the opposite end from the head, one on either side of the body. The knees are forward on the frog. Attach the front legs to the front sides of the frog.

Roll out two balls that are approximately 1/4-inch wide for the tree frog's eyes. Attach them to the top of the frog's head, side by side. Cut a slit into the center of each eye for the pupils with a toothpick. Shape the head so the nose area is angular. If necessary, add a small amount of clay to shape the nose area. Use the toothpick to create small nose holes at the top of the nose. Draw a line for the frog's mouth across the head and underneath the nose.

Roll out 12 thin, short coils, about 1/2-inch long, for the tree frog's feet. You need three for each foot. Form 12 small balls and press them flat for the frog's distinctive suction toes. Press three short coils onto each frog leg and then add a suction toe onto the end of each coil.

Tip

If you use polymer clay, choose light green for the body and bright red for the eyes.

If you use air-dry clay, paint the frog after it dries. It takes a few days for a project this size to dry completely at room temperature.

About the Author

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.