01 of 10
Polymer Clay Dollhouse Scale Wieners / Frankfurters
These tiny wieners / frankfurters can be made in several common dollhouse scales from polymer clay. Shown here they are in 1:12 scale at roughly 1/2 inch (1.3cm) long. The polymer clay color has been made in two shades to resemble both grilled and uncooked wieners, allowing you to make a prep board for a barbecue as well as a grilling scene, or set up the stages in assembling hot dogs.
If this is your first foray into working with polymer clay, read the safety tips and hints in The Basics of Polymer Clay before you begin. For this project you will need a premixed color of polymer clay, or primary clay colors in your choice of brands. plus translucent or porcelain colored clay. You will also need a fine pin, a flat surface or polymer clay blade to roll out your clay, and pastels or chalks ( I used pan pastels useful colors include orange, raw umber and burnt sienna shades.) You may also want to use a gloss varnish (acrylic or water based polyurethane) to add the effect of hot fat.
These miniature wieners can be used in deli scenes, along with the miniature salami and cold cuts and pork pies. You can make buns for miniature hot dogs following the instructions for making miniature bread .
For picnics, you can make a fitted miniature picnic basket, or for barbecue scenes you can make a chef's touque and apron. There are also instructions for making paper plates, as well as fluted paper cases which can be adapted for hot dogsContinue to 2 of 10 below.
02 of 10
Blending Polymer Clay to Make Dollhouse Wieners
The basic color for polymer clay wieners can be blended from translucent (porcelain), zinc yellow, cadmium red, and cobalt blue as shown in the photo on this page. I used Preemo! clay as it is commonly available, but any other combination of clay in primary colors can be used. The proportions used are one part translucent, one half part zinc yellow, 1/4 part cadmium red, and 1/16 part cobalt blue. This will make a basic orangey brown color which can be adjusted to suit the local preference in wieners!
The initial stages of making the blend would have you believe you'll never get a brown shade, but as you can see in the bottom section of the photo, the blend finally turns to a soft orange brown.
Note: European wieners or frankfurters are often a more yellow shade and different shape than their North American cousins. You can adjust the clay blends to represent your particular favorite.
If you are on the fence about blending your own colors of polymer clay, see the guide to common polymer clay color blends. Jump in to blending your own colors and you won't look back!Continue to 3 of 10 below.
03 of 10
Refining the Clay Color To Suit Your Palette
The 6 clay blends shown in the photo on this page (click the phto if you only view 5) will all suit the production of miniature wieners and frankfurters. Each color is a ball of the color on the left (on the far left is my initial blend from the previous page) , blended with a ball half the same size of yellow. Your initial blend will likely be a bit on the dark side, it is easier to go lighter with these blends than darker.
The range of colors you can get by blending in more and more yellow allow you to choose similar colors for boiled wieners / frankfurters (the mid blends), grilled wieners/ frankfurters (the dark blends) and uncooked wieners, the lighter more yellow blends. Choose a dark, mid and light color to use for your barbeque or hot dog scenes. When the clays are rolled out side by side you should be able to see the color difference easily. (See next page.)Continue to 4 of 10 below.
04 of 10
Test Your Three Basic Color Choices for Miniature WienersWhen you have blends of polymer clay with discernible differences, test your dark, mid and light blends by rolling them out into strands and laying them next to each other. The darkest color should be the color you expect a grilled or campfire wiener or frankfurter to be. The mid color should be the color of a boiled wiener, and the light color should resemble a raw or uncooked wiener. Test them next to real samples if you want to make sure you have a particular shade! Any excess material from this project can be used in projects for ground meat and sausage blends, like the miniature pork pies, or you can add more red and blue to the left over clay to take it back to a color suitable for chocolates (or yellow to take it to caramel).Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Setting the Size for Dollhouse Miniature Wieners
Although it varies from region to region, most miniature hot dogs / wieners I've found have been 6 inches in length. To translate this into dollhouse scales, I found balls of clay 1/8 inch across (3mm) rolled out into roughly 1/2 inch (1.3cm) lengths thick enough to resemble wieners / frankfurters in 1:12 dollhouse scale. For 1:6 scale you would need to more than double this size of ball as the wieners need to be thicker. For 1:24 scale it would need to be slightly less than half the amount.
To get a group of wieners / frankfurters roughly the same size, work out how large a ball you need for one sample in your particular scale. Roll the ball out so it is a cylinder, then make a longer roll the same diameter as your sample and cut the roll into segments the same size as your sample. This way your wieners / frankfurters will be roughly the same length.
You can view some tips for making realistic shapes in the next step of this tutorial.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Making Even Rolls of Clay for Miniature Wieners
To roll even sized cylinders of polymer clay use a flat surface to keep your roll even. If you don't see a ball of clay on the right of the photo on this page, click on the photo to view it full size.
Rolling with your fingers will make your wieners narrower on the ends than in the middle. I use a polymer clay blade, carefully avoiding the sharp edges! You can also use the back of a flat ruler or an acrylic block for rubber stamps. Press down gently on the blade and keep it even to roll your balls into even wieners / frankfurters.
When you have an even cylinder the length you want, use your fingers to gently roll the ends to round them. You may want to add a gentle curve the the 'grilled' versions, but the uncooked wieners / frankfurters will be straight and even.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Adding Lines to the Miniature Wiener EndsDetail the ends of your dollhouse wieners (click on the photo to view it in full) by adding small lines radiating out from the center of each end. These resemble the lines made when the individual wieners are crimped to separate them. I used a polymer clay blade to add the lines to my 1:12 scale wieners. Any fine blade will work.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Adding Grill Marks to Dollhouse Scale WienersDepending on how you intend to show your dollhouse wieners / frankfurters you can add slightly indented grill lines with a pin or a piece of fine wire, either at 90 degreess, or diagonally across the wiener. The marks should match the type of lines on your miniature grill or barbecue if you are using one. Don't make the lines too deep. Wieners and frankfurters are not heavy enough to sink onto the grill. If you wish, you can make the lines only with chalk / pastel and acrylic gloss after you have cured (baked) your polymer clay.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Evenly Curing Dollhouse Wieners Made From Polymer Clay
To cure (bake) your polymer clay, set up your oven for the correct temperature for your clay brand. Line a small baking pan with baking soda at least 1/8 inch deep. Carefully set your polymer clay wieners / frankfurters on the soda and bake them to cure. Setting the miniature wieners on the soda will keep them from developing shiny glaze lines where the clay touches a flat metal surface.
When your baked clay has cooled, carefully remove your miniature wieners and brush off the baking soda. Any excess soda can easily be rinsed away with water. Allow the wieners / frankfurters to dry before proceeding to finish adding the cooked overglaze.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Adding Finishing Details to Dolls' House Polymer Clay Wieners
Detailing the Grill Marks On Dollhouse Miniature Wieners / Frankfurters
To finish detailing your miniature wieners you can add lines of dark color to the grill marks or to the surface. Mix up a thin version of acrylic gloss varnish (most can be diluted with water). Color the varnish with fine pastel or chalk powder and brush it into the grill indentations, or across your wieners / frankfurters. Look at photos of grilled wieners to see how the color should sit. Often the color is strongest down one side, rather than evenly across the entire side of the wiener. Allow the dark colored glazes to dry, removing any excess while it is still tacky. Once the dark colors are to your liking, you can add clear glaze / varnish to mimic the effect of oozing juice or fat from your weiners.
To Detail Campfire Roasted Wieners
Brush on some of your colored over one end and down the sides of some of your wieners. Roasted on a stick or toasting fork over a fire, they will have sear lines where they have been heated by the coals or flames.
To Detail Uncooked Wieners or Franfurters
Make a thinned coating of water and acrylic gloss / varnish and brush it onto your uncooked wiener versions to give them a slight gloss. Brush some varnish onto a flat surface (a tile or section of plastic) and allow to dry. Remove the sections of dried varnish carefully with your clay blade . You can apply a bit of varnish to the ends of your wieners and apply bits of the dried varnish wrapped around the polymer clay as the plastic wrappers many wieners are sold in. (See photo above.)