Bread clay is simple to make and fun to work with. The little figures that can be made have a ceramic look when painted and sprayed and are quite durable.

To make bread clay, knead three slices of white bread (without crusts) together with three tablespoons of white glue. Put hand lotion on fingertips so mixture won’t stick to them. Continue kneading clay until mixture is no longer sticky. This amount of clay is sufficient to make the scenes or all of the jewelry suggested.

After shaping pieces, press separate parts together, brush with equal parts of water and glue for a smooth appearance, and let harden overnight. When pieces are hard and dry, paint them with tempera or acrylics and seal with clear plastic spray. Separate pieces can also be tinted with food coloring if desired.

You can make unusual and decorative miniature scenes by combining clay figures and materials from nature such as stones, bark, and dried weeds.

To make a mushroom, roll clay into 1″ ball. Flatten bottom and make markings on underside with pointed end of pencil. For stem, roll a piece of clay between fingers to make a piece about 1/2″ long. You can also make tiny bugs, turtles, flowers, and many other small objects for your nature scene.

Bread clay can be used to make jewelry pieces such as pins, necklaces, and earrings in the shape of animals, bugs, fruits, or vegetables. Make holes in objects with a toothpick so chains, rings, or pins can be attached.

[illustrations] Ladybug Flatten bottom of 1″ ball and paint on features and ladybug markings.

Teddy Bear Make 1″ ball for body and 1/2″ ball for head. Attach two small balls for ears, and add four small balls for arms and legs. Paint facial features on bear.

Strawberry Roll clay into egg shape. Make strawberry markings and leaves with pencil and add a piece of clay for stem.

Apple Core Roll a piece of clay into oblong shape, flaring out ends and shaping them with fingers. Add a narrow piece at top for apple stem.

Bird Shape 1″ ball into a crescent, shaping one end into a tail and the other end into a beak. Paint on bird’s feathers and wings. (Illustrated by LaFarne Holz.)