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How to Make Bread Clay

Instead of a sandwich, make something you can wear.

Beautiful jewelry and sculptures can be made with little more than bread and some artistic flair. Bread clay is an inexpensive medium for making beads, flowers and other art projects. With a little inspiration, you can turn a simple slice of bread into the materials for beautiful, brightly colored earrings and necklaces.

Remove the crust from the bread. Set them aside to make breadcrumbs, croutons or stuffing, or to feed to the birds. Crumble the soft bread into a bowl.

Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of white glue and three drops of glycerin. If the bread is a little stiff, add more glue; the amount can vary based on the size of the bread and the moisture content.

Knead the mixture until it is smooth. Roll it into a log and divide it into three pieces. Roll each of the three pieces into a ball.

Push your thumb into the ball to create a depression. Put a small amount of acrylic paint, tempera paint or food coloring into the hole and mix thoroughly. Put a different color in each ball.

Create your beads or sculpture. If you are creating beads for a necklace, make the holes a little larger than necessary since the dough shrinks as it dries. A wire bobby pin can be used to poke the holes for the thread.

Allow a week for the artwork to dry. Smaller objects may be dry sooner, but over-drying won't hurt it. Drying it too little will compromise the final product.

Paint additional designs on the beads or sculpture. After the paint is dry, spray the object with acrylic sealer to preserve the design.

Tip

Store leftover dough in the refrigerator in a plastic zip-close bag. It keeps for up to three weeks.

Dry tempera paint creates the strongest color but you may find that the bread clay needs additional glue. Food coloring won't allow you to make white, but you can add chalk to the dough.

If you are going to glue your sculpture onto earrings, flatten the back. If the creation dries and the back still isn't flat, sand it lightly with an emery board.

Warning

Once the glue or glycerin has been added, the bread is no longer edible.

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