Learn how to make miniature mince pies for your dolls house or festive miniature scene with this step-by-step tutorial using polymer clay.
Christmas is fast approaching and what gives that festive feeling better than a marvellous mince pie?
You can make a wonderfully realistic mincemeat mixture by adding beads and semolina to liquid polymer, which can also be used to make seasonal puddings and cakes.
In this tutorial from Angie Scarr's Miniature Food Masterclass, published by GMC, Angie shows you how to make miniature pastry cases and mince pies, perfect for making your dolls house or miniature scene festive this season.
Treat yourself or miniature-lovers in your life to Miniature Food Masterclass, which you can purchase via our online store, packed with intricate projects and techniques using polymer clay!
Mince pie pastry cases tutorial
You will need
- Polymer clay in white chocolate mixed with a little ochre or light brown
- Tart/pie dishes
- Pastel chalks in umbers, sienna and ochre shades
- Soft, short-bristled brush
1. Pastry should have a crumbly appearance but polymer clays are quite smooth – however, in 1/12 scale this is less obvious. Use a basic white chocolate mix and add a little ochre or light brown.
Top tip! How much colour you add depends on whether you want your pastry to look cooked, and how cooked. You can still get away with quite a range of hues as long as your use of powders to colour the edges is subtle.
2. Collect bun and tart tin shapes, which can be as simple as raised-head counter sunken washers, available at DIY shops, or miniature metal muffin tins.
Top tip! The above ash tray shapes make excellent medium-sized tarts. Miniature plates and bowls can be used and re-used as pie dishes or you can make your own tart or flan shapes in a mould, using frilled-edge cutters to make your master.
3. To cut your tarts you can either use plain circle cutters, which you leave plain, or you can use blossom cutters. Useful cutters and shapers, however, come from eggcraft suppliers and are pressed metal findings and filigrees.
4. Colour the edges of the cases with chalks or pastels. The use of pastel chalks here is preferable, however, you can use decorating chalks from card suppliers and even make-up powders. You’ll need umbers, siennas and ochres – the artistry in the mix is up to you. You'll need a short-bristled, soft brush that is not too narrow. Have some confidence, but make sure you put more colour on the raised bits, which would be more likely to overcook or even burn.
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Miniature mince pies tutorial
You will need
- Small glass jar
- Liquid polymer, coloured brown with a little oil paint
- Semolina or maizemeal
- Tiny glass accent beads-brown, black and clear
- Red glass beads (can be the same size but best slightly larger)
- Pre-made tart cases (see 'pastry cases' above), or you can make and fill in one go, especially if making unbaked pies
- Tiny holly-leaf cutters, the open cutters are best for this
- Chalks or powder and paintbrush to brown the pastry if making baked mince pies
- Various eggcraft findings, to use as cutters for smaller tarts (optional)
1. An easy filling for mince pies can be made from a mixture of liquid polymer and texture materials. Here a mix of semolina and tiny glass accent beads (red, brown, black and clear) have been chosen and mixed with liquid polymer.
2. Alternatively, you could use pre-baked and/or unbaked polymer clay grated into the liquid polymer. Don’t forget the colours that are used in the real thing. Some cream or white in place of the suet. Dark brown or black in place of raisins, brown in place of nuts, sultanas and peel and don’t forget cherries (red beads are the best for this).
3. The liquid polymer should be brown coloured, it doesn’t matter too much if it’s translucent or a little opaque. Pour a mixture of each of your bead and semolina ‘ingredients’ into a jar and add enough of the coloured liquid polymer to make a thick, textured mix.
4. Don’t add too much or you won't be able to see the texture or colours of the ingredients.
5. A single-sized mince pie can be made in a raised-head counter-sunk washer using a tiny Kemper circle cutter, an icing nozzle or a cutter made from brass rod. Alternatively, make a larger pie.
6. Fill the tart case with the mincemeat mixture and add three leaves to the top.
Tasty ideas! For variations you can also glue extra ‘cherries’ (red beads) in the middle with a little uncoloured liquid to polymer. You can also dust with talc, or cornflour, scenic snow, roket powder or sugar frost, but this is entirely optional.
Enjoyed making miniature mince pies? Get stuck into another Christmas project and learn how to make a miniature Christmas tree!