Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to make a Gymnastic Figurine Cake Topper?

I have recently discovered polymer clay and felt in love with it. This time I made a series of gymnasts for my daughter's birthday. If you want to know how to make them, read on.


  • Polymer clay: Skin color, Black or Brown for the hair and your favorite color for the leotard
  • Wax paper
  • Metal tray
  • Clay tools
I started with the body. I took the skin color clay and kneaded  3 pieces which will eventually turn into arms, legs and head.

To make the legs, take one of the pieces and roll it until you get twice the length of what you want the legs to be making sure the roll is a little fatter in the middle.

Fold the roll in half, each side will become one leg.

Now you need to mold each leg. Bend the ends to make feet and roll out the knees. With a small tool or needle, mark the toes at the end of the feet.

You are going to do the same with the other piece of clay for the arms. Make sure that you measure the length of the arms against the legs and that the arms are slightly shorter and thinner.

Now roll the head. Just take some clay and make a small ball - Again, make sure that you put your pieces together as it was a doll already to make sure your dimensions are OK.

Once you have the right dimensions, cut the arms and legs in the middle so you end up with 2 arms and 2 legs.

Take the head and stick it on a toothpick. With the modeling tools, make some small holes for the eyes, roll a little ball of clay for a nose and open a little smile. Take some clay and make a little cylinder for the neck.

Now it is time to put it together - you need a body. Knead a piece of clay in your favorite color into a small rectangle.

Model a small leotard out of it. You will now assemble the doll. Put the head and neck on top by inserting the toothpick on the top, you will need some skin color clay to do the neckline. Stick the legs and arms. Put the legs and arms in whatever pose you choose. My doll is doing the splits, so I have the legs on the splits and one arm up and one down.

Now you need to make her pretty with details. You can add flowers and patterns to the leotard. You will need to add hair, eyes, bows etc.

To do hair, get your black or brown clay and either roll it very thing by hand or pass it through a clay extractor to make strands. Carefully put the strands one by one on her head modeling the hairdo you want. Mine has a low pony tail. I put a small bow on the top and one at the bottom. To do the bows I got a small piece of red, roll it into a thin ribbon and bend like a bow.

To do the eyes, I roll 2 small pieces of brown put inside the wholes, you can then also put a even smaller piece of white on top of the black (I did not) Flatten carefully with a tool.

Now is time to bake, Put your doll on a tray that has been covered with a piece of wax paper.  Read the obstructions of your clay carefully for the right oven temperature and time. It varies with every brand. Put your gymnast on the oven and voila! you are done.

For the cake I made 4 gymnasts, all with different leotards and hair colors. I put each one on a different apparatus, so I ended up with a gymnast for the floor (red), a gymnast in vault, a gymnast on the balance beam and one on the bars.

I hope you get inspired to make your own gymnast. If you want me to make you one, no problem. I custom made them in my Etsy shop. I can do them in all skin, hair and eye colors, your choice of leotard, hairdo, etc. if you send me a photo of your gymnast I can made the figurine to look just like her! or him! I can make boys too. Click here to go to my Etsy shop.


Coupon Addic said...

Those look great! I will have to try it!

Party Artist said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the step by step instructions. They look great!
Can I ask: how did you support the raised arms? Special glue or a stick inside?
Also, do they come out shiny after being baked?

Thanks alot!

Party Artist said...

@anonymous I do not put anything on the arms. They are small enough to support themselves and I put a cookie cutter in the oven with the doll and the arm resting on it so it does not fold back (I hope this makes sense to you - difficult to explain). They come out of the oven in a matte finish. you can then polish them or varnish them to make them shiny. They are quite pretty matte!

Amanda Haas said...

What color clay did you use for the legs/arms? Thanks!

Amanda Haas said...

About how many ounces of clay did the figuring require?

Party Artist said...

@Amana - I use different colors depending on skin type - this one is a beige, but I have also used tan. It is hard to say how much clay you use as I use a little of each color, but in total it probably is about 2 or 3 blocks of clay.

Erin said...

These are great! Hoping to try soon. When you say "polymer clay" do you mean fimo?

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