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strawberry poison-dart frog sculpture

Over Christmas, we watched David Attenborough’s fantastic Life series, and I’ve had tiny frogs on the brain ever since…

I worked so hard all day yesterday (on the secret project) that I was begging myself to do something relaxing and unrelated to work last night, so I got out the polymer clay and started mixing colours to make a Strawberry Poison-Dart Frog like the one that captured my imagination on Life. While we watched a movie on TV, I played with the FIMO and, 2 hours later, this is what I ended up with:

strawberry poison dart frog polymer clay sculpture by planetjune

Strawberry poison-dart frogs (Dendrobates pumilio) are found in several colour morphs, but the most common (the one I made) is called Blue Jeans for its blue legs – isn’t that adorable?!

I was aiming for a life-sized sculpture – David Attenborough had said that they are only 1 inch long and I’d written that down in my ‘ideas’ notebook along with my sketch – but I didn’t quite manage that. My frog’s body is 1 1/4″ long and including the legs sticking out to front and back, the finished sculpture is 1 3/4″ long (I have small hands, so it’s probably smaller than these photos make it look).

strawberry poison dart frog polymer clay sculpture by planetjune

I’ve surprised myself – I didn’t know I could do this! Yes, it did take me 2 hours, but most of that was spent on the legs. I hadn’t really considered that I’d have to make 16 teeny tiny frog toes until I got to them – not an easy task! I’m happiest with the shaping of the red clay around the eyes – it turned out exactly how I’d hoped.

I think my crafting ‘style’ may be to make things so cleanly that they look like they’d be really easy to make, even though they aren’t. I see it in my crochet designs too – I simplify the shapes and colours to make my patterns easy to follow, but it’s finding a way to simplify them but to keep the most important features of whatever I’m trying to make where this ‘style’ comes into play.

There seems to be a crossover between the different crafts that I do: I don’t think I could have made this frog without my years of examining the shapes of animals for my crochet patterns. I suppose you could call it an “artist’s eye”, although that sounds a bit pretentious so I won’t do that! But it’s definitely interesting how my experience in one medium is indirectly improving my skill and confidence in a completely different medium.

Maybe I should make a matching frog in crochet and compare the two! What do you think?


  1. zane said

    i’m makeing one like that

  2. Suzanne said

    I love your frog! We photographed them in Costa Rica, and also saw them hopping around in the rain forest. Yours looks very much like the ones we saw.

  3. Very cute! I’m actually working on a couple strawberry dart frog pendants right now, which is how I ended up here ( I was looking around for pictures of the frog). I really like the way that you did the eyes 🙂

  4. natlove said

    that is amasing!!!!!!!

  5. maggie said

    i love this frog very cute

  6. dj said

    that look so cool

  7. Maia said

    Wow, when I first saw your frog I thought it was a plastic frog. I used yours as a model for my frog. Good Job!

  8. IdaDown said

    It turned out perfectly, and as always, fabulous attention to detail. A polymer clay gecko would make a nice companion…

  9. Robyn said

    Very cute!

  10. Lindy said

    Love the little frog, especially its eyes & eyelids!

  11. I love it!

  12. Lisa said

    This is fantastic! And so adorable! Blue jeans, hehehe. I’m picturing a farmer frog in overalls with a basket of strawberries!

  13. it is soo cute,
    I would love a crochet frog it would be fun to make.
    again your talents amaze me

  14. kris said

    uggg – yet again – AMAZING!!!
    yes a crochet frog is a great idea!

  15. Lynne said

    Very cute! I can see you are like me…possessed with craftiness. Always creating… in any medium available. Yesterday I was creative in the kitchen and made a delicious dinner Bon Voyage party for my daughter.

  16. Jennifer said

    You continue to impress me! Love it 🙂

  17. Ann Martin said

    Perfection! The time you spent was well worth it, methinks. The toes especially are so lifelike!

  18. Shanna said

    Wow! This is fabulous! It’s great to discover another artistic talent.

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