• Kerrie Lee

How to Make BB8 Using Air Dry Clay

BB8 is the breakout star of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. Being a card carrying member of Club Nerd, I, of course, needed to have my very own BB8 before I even saw the film. Let me show you how I built my own BB8.

What You’ll Need:

  1. 1 package Creative Paperclay

  2. 1 – 3″ styrofoam half sphere

  3. 1 – 5″ styrofoam sphere

  4. aluminum foil

  5. rolling pin and other clay tools

  6. 100 grit sandpaper

  7. pencil

  8. paint brushes

  9. gesso (optional)

  10. acrylic paint (black, white, orange, silver)

  11. varnish (gloss and matte; optional)

  12. glue


  1. Cut the 3″ styrofoam sphere in half. A serrated knife makes the job easy. I used a fettling knife.

  2. Wrap the 3″ styrofoam half sphere and the 5″ styrofoam sphere in a single layer of aluminum foil.

  3. Roll the Creative Paperclay into a 1/4″ thick sheet and wrap both pieces with the clay, smoothing with damp fingers as needed.

  4. Allow to dry overnight or until completely dry.

  5. Sand any imperfections to create an even surface.

  6. Using reference photos, lightly pencil in the details of your droid.

  7. To add the eye lens, use your finger and a small amount of water to wet a small area on the surface of the dry clay. Add a small ball of clay and press into place. Trim to size with a needle tool or something similar, and blend the edges with water and your finger. Repeat for the smaller lens.

  8. Allow to dry overnight or until completely dry.

  9. Using a blunt tool, engrave the pencil details.

  10. Optional: Coat both pieces in a thin layer of gesso. Gesso gives you a very nice surface for the paint to adhere. I also feel it adds to the longevity of a piece. Allow the gesso to dry completely.

  11. Paint, allowing each color to dry completely before moving to the next color. Start by painting both pieces white, and follow with the orange areas, then silver areas, then black details. Allow to dry completely.

  12. Optional: Coat both pieces with a thin layer of high gloss varnish. Varnish will seal the piece, intensify the colors, and keep your colors from fading. I feel varnish, like gesso, adds to the longevity of a piece. Allow the piece to dry completely before adding a second layer of varnish. (If a matte finish is desired, varnish first with a high gloss, and finish with matte.)

  13. Glue the two pieces together.

And you’re done! Let me know if you’re making a BB8 too in the comments below!

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