How to Make an African Hut Model
This African hut is made out of air dry clay and decorated with a raffia roof and felt-tip tribal art. You could make them in a range of sizes to create a whole hut village and have fun decorating them.
Suitable for : Beginners to intermediates
Time to allow : 2 to 3 hours plus drying time
- Masking tape
- Rolling pin
- A circular biscuit tin
- Cling film
- Sharp knife
1. Begin by laying a large piece of cling film onto a clean work surface. Then roll out 1 kilogram of air dry clay to create a long strip that measures 13 centimetres by the circumference of your tin (ours was 54 centimetres). You will need to cut and re-roll the clay to make it the right width but you can smooth the joins over with your fingers. Cut a little square door in the middle measuring about 6 centimetres high and 5 centimetres wide.
2. Wrap the tin in cling film and place it on top of the clay at one end of the strip. Pick up the cling film underneath the clay and use it to help roll the clay around the tin. The two ends should meet, but don’t worry about attaching them at this stage. Remove the outside cling film and smooth down the hut with a little water.
3. Leave the clay to dry for a few hours and then remove it from the tin whilst it is still malleable. To do this carefully ease the clay open at the ends and wiggle the tin out. Push the walls back together and smooth over the join with your fingers and a little more clay if needed. Leave it to dry overnight.
4. Draw around the base of the house on corrugated card and cut out. Glue the hut in place, then paint the outside brown and the bottom grey.
5. Decorate the walls using sharpies to create patterns and figures.
6. To make the roof, draw around a dinner plate onto a piece of card (we used an old cereal box) and cut out. Mark the centre of the circle, draw a line from the edge to the centre and cut. To create the cone shape overlap the two edges by about 5 inches and staple in place.
7. Cut the raffia into 2 ich thick pieces and layer in onto a length of masking tape (about 2 feet long). Stick a piece of tape over the top of the raffia to seal it in place. Cut into 2.5 inch sections and staple them around the roof, starting from the bottom, building up the layers and overlapping to cover the tape and staples. Once you get to the top use double-sided sticky tape to attach the raffia.
8. Finally, attach the roof onto the hut with glue.
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