Create a Dalmatian Puppy with Air Dry Clay

Simple, basic shapes are used to create this cute puppy with photos every step of the way to show you how.     Instead of a Dalmatian, you could use this pattern to make another kind of dog simply by changing the colors used.

Tutorial was translated to English from Spanish-language Porcelana Fria magazine and was written especially for cold porcelain paste, however, other types of air-dry clay may be used such as Creative Paperclay or the pre-colored clays like Hearty Clay, Makins Clay or Cloud Clay.    Enjoy!

 Materials Needed:
  • Air dry clays in white, black, red, pink and light blue for the eyes.
  • If you are not using pre-colored clays you'll need acrylic paints, oil paints or cake decoration coloring to pre-tint the clay.
  • White acrylic paint for eye highlight.
  • Styrofoam balls as armature for head and body, Suggested sizes: 2 inch & 2.5 inch or similar (5cm for head, 6cm for body)
  • Vinyl adhesive or white glue
  • Paintbrush or dot tool
  • Shish kabob stick, popsicle stick or lollipop stick (to reinforce neck/head attachment)
  • Modeling tools:  Clay knife, clay shaper and/or double ball stylus 

This tutorial was translated from the Spanish-language magazine, Porcelana Fria. The use of cold porcelain paste is demonstrated, however, just about any no-bake/air dry clay would be suitable.

Note: Use glue wherever needed when attaching parts.  If clay doesn't stick to itself....glue it!

Step 1. Head

Cover the smaller Styrofoam ball with white clay.. With your fingers, flatten nose area and divide muzzle with clay knife. [see final image] Mark indentations to place the eyes and the nose with a ball-end clay tool or stylus.

Note: If you are using polymer clay for this project, please be warned that you should NEVER put Styrofoam in an oven. Use a tin foil or wooden ball instead of foam ball.

Step 2. Nose & Eyes

Shape a ball of black clay for nose. Pinch it into a soft triangle.[see pattern]

Make 2 teardrop shapes of white clay for base of eyes.
Prepare 2 teardrop shapes of sky blue that is a little smaller than previous (these are for iris) and 2 teardrops of black clay that are even smaller (for pupils). Stack them as shown in the photo. Place the assembled eyes aside for now and let dry.

With black clay, make 2 small rolls for eyebrows and 2 for eyelashes.

Step 3. Ears

Make 2 teardrop shapes of white clay and flatten them for ears.

For inner ear, make 2 teardrops of pink clay that are a little smaller than the ear shapes and flatten them. 

Combine these inner pieces with the ear pieces.

Step 4. Nose placement

Place the nose on the face. Use glue if needed.

Step 5. Ear placement

Position the ears on the head.

Step 6.  Add eyes

Stick the previously created eyes in place. Add the eyebrows and eyelashes. 
Paint eye highlights with dots of white acrylic paint. 

Step 7. Body

Cover the larger Styrofoam ball with abundant clay (white). Continue modeling until a truncated cone shape is obtained. 

Step 8. Front Legs

With more white clay, make 2 rolls that are wide at one end but narrow at the other. Bend the wide end into paws.
Mark the toes and the wrinkles with the sculpting tool (knife tool); smooth the edges. 

Step 9. Back Legs

Prepare 2 short, thick rolls of white clay and flatten them slightly.
Mark the toes and wrinkles with the sculpting tool and smooth edges. 

Step 10. Thighs and Tail

With the same white color, create 2 oval shapes for thighs. Flatten them slightly.
For the tail, make a long thin roll that tapers to point.

Step 11. Assemble Front Legs

Place the front legs on the body. Use glue if necessary.

Step 12. Assemble Hind Legs

Place hind paws next to hips.

Step 13. Finish Hind Legs

Attach the thighs above paws so that puppy is in sitting position.

Step 14. Tail

Place the tail on back of hip.

Step 15. Bow pieces

Prepare a bow using separate pieces of red clay. Two bow shapes plus 1 center and 2 ribbon tails as shown in pattern.

Model a ball of the same red color and flatten it. This will go around neck. 

Step 16. Neck ribbon

Position the circular red piece on top of the body. 

Step 17. Attach Head

Insert a wood stick into body to support head, leaving an inch or so sticking out in center of circular red piece. Be sure to use a kebab stick (or something similar) to assure head will stay in place. Apply a little glue on the stick when inserting it.
Attach the head on top, securing it over stick. 

Step 18. Attach Bow

Assemble the bow pieces on the neck as shown in photo.

Step 19. Finish

To complete, shape several dots (flattened ovals) of black clay and distribute them over the body, simulating the spots on a Dalmatian dog. 


  1. So, so cute - thank you for sharing!!! xx

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