Why We Cane

I posted an update video for my Covering a Round Ornament tutorial and in it I have two canes, made largely from scrap clay, used. Someone asked for details… and here we go.


  • Polymer clay! I used 4 colours – a muted red, a muted green, an off white and a dull gold
  • a pasta machine and/or a roller
  • I used a 2″ square cutter for the stripe cane but a blade and ruler work fine
  • Blade, ruler

* these canes are a fair size and use a bunch of clay because I have lots. Don’t need this much? Reduce the amounts accordingly.

The Christmas Stripes

Step 1: If you’re doing it with scraps, gather your candidates! My colours are a bit of a mess (and the result is a really muddy, muted red). For the gold accent line I used straight up Premo Antique Gold.

Step 2: Mix everything and roll it out into sheets. These are at the thickest setting on my pasta machine.

Step 3: Use your square cutter – mine is about 2″ wide but use a small one for a smaller cane – and cut out 4 squares of red, green and white at the thickest setting. Then roll the white and the gold at the THIRD THICKEST setting and cut 4 squares of each.

Step 4: Start stacking: two layers of red or green, one thick slice of white, one slice of gold, one thin slice of white. You’ll end up with two stacks of red on the bottom and two of green on the bottom.

Step 5: Stack your short piles with a red on the bottom followed by a green on the bottom and then repeat. You’ll end up with something like what I got!

This would be adorable with purples or blues and silvers, too.

The Christmas Bullseye

Step 1: Using the colours I mixed up in the steps up above this you have: green, red, off white and gold. Make a rod of green and one of the white. Mine were about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide with the green being a bit bigger.

Also roll out some sheets of red, white and gold at the thickest pasta machine setting.

Step 2: Wrap the green log 1 and a half times around with the white. This makes a fun (in my opinion) lopsided bullseye.

Wrap the white log in a regular one layer of gold and then one layer of white. You’ll now have two basic bullseye canes.

Step 3: Wrap each of your bullseye in some of the red, one time around.

Step 4: Make some long logs of red and shape them into triangular wedges. Lay a wedge at each ‘corner’ of your bullseyes turning the round cane into a rough square shape.

Step 5: Push the wedge corners into shape around the bullseyes, add a little more red if needed, smooth the squares into good square canes. I find using a roller for this is useful.

Step 6: Start reducing your square canes. Reduce them, if you can, until they’re a good 16 inches long each. Lay the two together, cut in half, put the new pair beside the first.

Cut your row in half and flip it. Lay it on the first one. Cut the whole thing in half and stack on the first stack. Voila! A messy Christmas bullseye cane.