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How to Make Flowers From Bread Clay (Gift Pin Step-by-Step)

Denise homeschooled her 4 children and has stories. She provided art lessons for many children in the homeschool community for many years.

flowers-in-bread-clay-gift-pin

Flowers Made From White Bread

There are so many natural things that can be made into some craft or another. Clay is one of those things. Clay is such fun to experience and create with. It has been around for thousands of years in several forms. Clay can be made from river mud and then baked to make ceramic glass; clay can be made with wet paper and can be used for sculptures when it is dry. In Japan, there is clay made from rice.

However, the clay I am giving the recipe for today is made of white bread. Yes, bread! Mixing the clay may require some help from a parent or older sibling, but once the clay is made, children need no help to create all kinds of things. The clay is simple and economical, fun to make, and perfect for the kids.

I have directions for roses but you can make any flowers. My children have made all these and loved the process as well as the finished product.

You Will Need:

  • a bowl for mixing
  • 3 tablespoons white glue
  • 3 slices white bread, with crusts discarded
  • tempera paint, or watercolor paint, or acrylic paint
  • plastic bags
  • ribbons and pin backs for finishing

Step 1: Mix Clay

Break up the bread into a bowl and pour the glue on top. Knead the bread with your hands. The dough will be very sticky at first and will almost look as if you have done something wrong. Keep kneading until the dough becomes smooth and sticks together more. You will have to clean off your hands periodically to keep the dough from continuing to stick to them. The lump will eventually look smooth and elastic. If it appears dry and crumbly, add more glue. If it appears too sticky add another slice of bread. The clay is ready when it doesn’t stick to your hands anymore and forms a doughy ball.

flowers-in-bread-clay-gift-pin

Step 2: Color the Clay

Divide the dough into desired portions for colors. I like to divide the dough into about 5 or 6 portions for color. If you want white, leave the clay alone. It will dry off-white. Add a drop or two of tempera paint to each lump and knead till the color is uniform throughout. Sometimes I like that variegated look, so I mix the color only slightly with the bread so that I have swirls of color with swirls of white bread. Always store the clay in plastic bags. Outside of the bag, the clay will begin to dry immediately and will be completely dry overnight (depending upon the thickness of the project). This dough will keep in the refrigerator for about a week before developing a bread mold. For rose pins make sure you have the rose color, green for leaves, and a contrasting color for the disc or base. I find they make nice earrings too. Be sure to add the loop to hang the earrings from before the clay begins to dry.

My clover pin out of bread clay

My clover pin out of bread clay

Step 3: Separate and Bag

Separate the colored clay and roll little balls the size of large marbles, keeping them in a plastic bag. The dough can be formed into anything small that you would use the Fimo clay (sold in stores) for. The Fimo face molds they sell in the craft stores work very well with this clay also. The colors that you mix into the clay will appear much darker after drying because the glue dries clear and allows the true color to show through. I like to bake the faces using only the white clay instead of trying to mix flesh colors.

Flatten a disc

Flatten a disc

Step 4: For Flower Pins, Flatten A Disc

Now pull two of the colored marbles out of your plastic bag. Squash the balls of clay into little cookies. Don’t make them so flat that they are tortillas. You can shape them into heart shapes or leave them round discs. This is what you will glue your roses or flower buds onto.

Roll a tortilla

Roll a tortilla

Step 5: Tortilla-Roll to Make a Flower

Now pull out one more marble of clay, any color you like for the flowers. Break it into two pieces. Roll the two pieces into two caterpillar shapes, then squash them flat. Roll them up like rolling up a tortilla. It should look like a spiral rosebud. Now pinch off the bottom half of the bud and glue it onto one of the discs. Do the same thing with the other flat caterpillar shape. And with the leftover pieces make the third rosebud and glue them all onto one of the discs.

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Add leaves

Add leaves

Step 6: Create Leaves

For the leaves, pull out a green marble from the bag. Pinch off a tiny piece and roll it between two fingers until you have a football shape. Then squash the football and it should look like a leaf shape. Press it against a real fresh leaf from off of a tree and it will have natural looking veins. Glue several leaves around the rosebuds.

Curl the edges

Curl the edges

Step 7: Add Ribbon and Magnet

Now you can decorate your flower disc by adding ribbon or lace and a refrigerator magnet or a pin-back to the backside of the disc.

If you want wire, add it while the clay is still wet. Let them dry completely before twisting the wires together.

If you want wire, add it while the clay is still wet. Let them dry completely before twisting the wires together.

Step 8: Let Dry

That’s it, the flower pin must dry untouched for a day (or overnight). You shouldn’t play with it or move it until it is completely dry or it will begin to crumble and then it will be ruined. It will shrink a little while drying and the colors will get darker. When it is dry, it will make a great gift for moms or grandmothers or even sisters. Everyone will think you are a really great artist.

When you buy something from an artist, you’re buying more than an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation. You’re buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You’re not buying just one thing, you are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul… a small piece of someone else’s life.

— Anonymous

Glaze with Diamond Glaze after it dries.

Glaze with Diamond Glaze after it dries.

Final Thoughts

I thought this would make the best Mother’s Day gift and often had children in my after-school program do it in late April or early May for just that purpose. If you have any suggestions or thoughts let me know in the comments below.

Comments

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 13, 2019:

Bronwen Scott-Branagan,

Thank you. I learned to make those roses by watching my grandmother make porcelain roses to put on porcelain dolls when I was just 10 or so. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on October 13, 2019:

How lovely! I've used the bread before, but the addition of the glue is a great idea. You are so good with those roses, too. They look beautiful!

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 12, 2019:

Linda Crampton,

I'm sure glad you liked it and my illustrations too. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 11, 2019:

You art and craft articles are always interesting to read. I love the flowers that you've created. Your illustration is lovely, too..

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 11, 2019:

Linda Lum,

Yes, it makes great beads but I find them a little heavy. Still, my kids have made lots of jewelry with the bread beads. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 11, 2019:

Dora Weithers,

Oh, you are too kind. I think some of the photos are a bit blurry and I should mix up more clay and take the photos all over again but I haven't done that yet. I'm glad you like the craft. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 11, 2019:

Lorna Lamon,

Thank you. I'm so glad you like it and think they will make great gifts. I personally have given lots of these as gifts and had kids making them as Mother's Day's gifts. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 11, 2019:

Eric Dierker,

Enjoy. I can't wait to hear what you come up with. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 11, 2019:

Lora Hollings,

I'm so glad you got some ideas from this little craft. I hope your children enjoy it. It's a great craft for the grandkids, extended friends and relatives too. I use it for kid's parties to have activity for them. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 11, 2019:

A fun thing to do with the kids, especially with the change of the seasons. I can envision gifts for grandparents or place cards for the Thanksgiving table.

Could the dough be used to make beads?

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on October 11, 2019:

Mary Norton,

Well, I used these little crafts for my children. I wanted an alternative to the play dough that they sell and something non-toxic. I learned to make the little roses from sitting at my grandmother's side watching her make clay roses to put on porcelain dolls. She was awesome. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 11, 2019:

Thanks for the guide to making these white bread gift pins. Your instructions seem easy to follow and the ins look beautiful in your pictures.

Lorna Lamon on October 11, 2019:

What a wonderful idea and so safe for kids to experiment with. I love the gift ideas and I am sure anyone would be delighted to receive one. Great article Denise.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 10, 2019:

I feel kind of guilty to tell you but this concept is just as well suited for Fighter Aircraft and mean aliens. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow or Saturday. Cheers

Lora Hollings on October 10, 2019:

What a wonderful craft to make especially for the holidays that are coming up and with children to explore their creativity! It would make a great Halloween pin or lovely Christmas gifts for all of your relatives too. I will now have to make these especially with the step-by-step instructions that you provide in your excellent tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 10, 2019:

I never thought of using bread for such intricate things but you did it and they really look awesome. You do have patience in addition to talent.