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Christmas Bread and Jam

Christmas Bread and Jam On A Cutting Board

Supplies needed: 

A 1” scale cutting board approximately 1-7/8” wide x 1-¼” tall.  If making your own: 3/32” thick basswood, stain
EnviroTex Lite (these instructions use EnviroTex Lite for resin but you can use any resin that you have available), red resin dye, red opaque dye (both of these items are by Castin’ Craft and can be purchased from any miniature shop or online.
1” scale canning jar, sharp single edged blade, beige colored craft sand, cornstarch, aluminum foil
Liquid Sculpey or Liquid Fimo
Premo Polymer Clay: Black, Burnt Umber, Translucent, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Green, Orange, Zinc Yellow Hue, Cadmium Yellow, White

Board:

Cut 3/32” thick basswood”  1-7/8” wide x 1-¼” high. 
Use a fine grit sandpaper and sand the top and bottom of the board.
Sand all 4 edges as well then use the sandpaper to round the edges.  Round the corners.  Rounding the edges and corners will give you a more realistic look.  It takes time and patience but will be worth it.
Stain with stain of our choice.  I use 2 coats of MiniWax Ipswich Pine. Sand top and bottom in between coats.

Jam:

I have 2 jam jars pictured.  The jar with the lid can be purchased at any miniature shop and is the perfect scale. The jar with the cork was purchased in the jewelry section at JoAnn Fabrics and is called a Glass Bottle Charm. It is a bit taller than desired but will do if you don’t have access to any miniature shop. Remove the cork and replace it with a cloth.  See step #7.

If you have never worked with resin or the EnviroTex Lite brand, please read Resin and Dyes under the Tips, Hints, and Explanations in my Projects section before proceeding.

Measure out ¼ teaspoon resin (not the hardener).  Place in a plastic cup or disposable bathroom cup.

Carefully squeeze 2 drops of red resin dye and 1 drop of red color pigment concentrate. 


Using a craft stick (popsicle stick), slowly stir the dyes into the resin. The secret to creating as few air bubbles as possible while stirring is to stir slowly.


Measure out ¼ teaspoon hardener and add to the cup.  Stir slowly.


The opening in the canning jars are very small so the easiest way to transfer the resin from the cup to the jar is to let it drip from the craft stick or a toothpick.  Dip the craft stick or toothpick into the resin and let the resin drip into the jar.  This can be a bit tedious but please do not try to pour the resin into the tiny opening of the jar.  It will not work.  If the resin drips down the side of the jar, carefully wipe it away with a baby wipe.  If the opening of the jar clogs with the resin, just insert a dry toothpick into the opening.


Once the jar is completely filled, set it aside to harden.  Depending on your environment, this can take from several hours to a day to completely set up.  Keep the left over resin in your cup and test by inserting a toothpick. Once it starts to set up, it will become very sticky and stringy. You will know when it is set up because it will be rock hard.


After the resin has set up, glue the lid onto the jam jar or make a tiny fabric cover for the glass bottle charm. Glue the fabric over the opening and secure with a piece of thread.  I always run my thread through some tacky glue first. It is easier to tie onto the bottle opening this way.

Christmas Bread:

Dried Fruit:  We will be mixing different colors to chop into pieces for the fruit.


Raisins:  Mix 1 part Translucent with ½ part Black, and ¼ part Burnt Umber Premo.


Flatten to a very thin pancake, approximately 1/32” thick. Trim off the jagged edges with a single edge blade or x-acto knife and set aside.

Red Cherries: Mix 1 part Alizarin Crimson with 2 parts Cadmium Red Premo.

Mix 1 part Translucent with ½ part of the red mix from step #3, and 1/8 part Alizarin Crimson Premo.

Flatten to a very thin pancake, approximately 1/32” thick. Trim off the jagged edges with a single edge blade or x-acto knife and set aside.

Green Cherries:  Mix 1 part Ecru with 1 part Cadmium Yellow and ½ part Burnt Umber. This gives you an ochre color.

Mix 1 part Translucent with ¼ part Green Premo and just a little over 1/8 part of the ochre mix.

Flatten to a very thin pancake, approximately 1/32” thick. Trim off the jagged edges with a single edge blade or x-acto knife and set aside.

Apricots: Mix 2 parts Orange with 1 part Zinc Yellow Hue and 1 part White Premo.

Mix 2 parts Translucent with 1 part of the above mix.

Flatten to a very thin pancake, approximately 1/32” thick. Trim off the jagged edges with a single edge blade or x-acto knife and set aside.

Pineapples:  Mix 4 parts Translucent with 1 part Zinc Yellow Hue.

Flatten to a very thin pancake, approximately 1/32” thick. Trim off the jagged edges with a single edge blade or x-acto knife and set aside.

Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

After baked clay has cooled, chop into irregular pieces using a sharp single edged blade.  The pieces should be fairly small.


Basic Bread Mix: Mix 1 part Ecru with 1 part Transparent and 1 part White.

Roll a ball big enough to fit into your bread pan, between  ½” and 5/8” in diameter. 

Roll the ball slightly to elongate it then place it into the bread pan. The top of the loaf should be “puffed up” or rounded.  Press down on the top so that the clay overlaps the rim of the pan slightly. 

Once you are satisfied with the fit, remove the clay and roll it into a ball.

Form the clay into a pancake and press into a mound of beige colored craft sand. Incorporate the sand into the clay by “kneading the clay”.  Roll the clay into a ball and slightly elongate the shape then cut the clay in half to look at the inside of the clay. The clay should look textured and be fairly stiff to the touch. Keep adding sand and cutting the clay in half until you get the desired look.

Roll the clay into the chopped pieces of fruit, enough so that you will have plenty of fruit showing when you slice the bread.  Roll the clay into a ball and slightly elongate the shape then cut the clay in half to look at the inside of the clay.

When you are happy with the look, roll the clay into a ball.

Using a soft bristled brush, dip the brush into some cornstarch then brush the cornstarch onto the interior surfaces of the pan.  This will allow the clay to easily release from the pan.

Roll the ball slightly to elongate it then place it into the bread pan. Use firm pressure to press the clay into all four corners of the pan.  Leave the top of the loaf rounded.

Cut a piece of aluminum foil, approximately 2” x 2” and loosely crumple it so that it forms a ball. 

Press the foil into the top of the loaf. This will texture the top of the bread.

Using a soft bristled brush, brush some of the Yellow Ochre pastels onto the top.  Run the brush across the pastels then transfer the powder to the clay by dabbing the brush across the clay.

Dab some of the brown pastels in spots on the top of the loaf.  Visualize a loaf of bread and where it would brown while baking - the raised surfaces. Start off using just a tiny amount of the brown clay and build up the color in several layers.  It is easier to build layers then to put too much color on at first because you cannot take it off once it’s on. Be careful.  Practice on some scrap clay if this is the first time you are using pastels.  Always use artists’ soft pastels.  Do not use oil pastels.

Use your fingers to carefully remove the loaf. Grab the top and lift the clay out of the pan.  Gently press the loaf on your work surface to flatten the bottom. This is important. If the bottom is not flat, it will not be realistic looking after baking.

Use a soft bristled brush to brush a little bit of the Yellow Ochre pastels along the sides. Use just a touch of the brown pastels along the side and bottom edges.

Bake the loaf of bread in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

We are now going to ice the loaf of bread.  Squeeze a little bit of Liquid Sculpey or Liquid Fimo onto your work surface. Add a pea sized piece of White Premo to the liquid clay. Use a craft stick to press down on the clay and slowly start to in corporate it into the liquid clay.  Use a lot of pressure for mixing and mash the clay then rotate or stir the clay into the liquid.  Use the side of the craft stick to scrape the clay up then repeat this process until you have a smooth consistency. You do not want the clay to be grainy.  You can add more liquid clay or white clay as needed. To test the consistency of the liquid clay, pick some of it up with the end of a toothpick and pull it away from your work surface. The clay should form a string.  

Use a toothpick to drizzle the icing back and forth over the top of the bread. 

Gently place the loaf on a baking surface (a piece of cardstock or the back of an old business card is good for baking). Be careful that the loaf does not topple over.

Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

After the clay has cooled, use a sharp single edge blade to carefully slice the bread. Discard the end piece and cut 3 more slices.  Place your blade on the top of the loaf and press straight down.

Dish Towel:

Use Christmas fabric or fabric of your choice and cut a 1” x 1” piece. Glue tiny hems on all 4 edges.

Smear a little bit of tacky glue on the back side of the fabric and arrange folds to your liking.

Lay the towel over the end of your cutting board and gently mold the fabric to lay over the edges of the board.  Let dry.

Assembly:

Glue everything to your cutting board: bread, bread slices, jar of jam, dish towel, knife, and spoon.

I hope you had fun with this project.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or problems.  Thank you for visiting my web site.

 

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