Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tutorial - Rat Claws: Emilie Autumn Style

A while back on Twitter, Emilie Autumn posted a picture of some Rat Claws that she made, along with the tweet “I sculpted new rat claws for the show. Make your own & come raise your paws, bare your claws, & toss your bras!!!” So, not to disappoint, I made some. Even though she isn’t coming to New Zealand, and there is approximately 0% chance of me seeing her live in America. Ah well.

For any Plague Rats lucky enough to be going to a show, or who just want to make some, here is a handy tutorial on how I made mine. Enjoy ^^

First, you need some bake-in-the-oven modeling clay, such as Fimo or a similar brand. These claws take up less than half a 50g pack per hand, so one 50g pack should be enough for two hands worth of claws. (I’m basing this on the pack I bought, results may vary).

Now, take a chunk, and flatten it out into a very rough elongated triangle shape.

This is the main part of the claw, so the length will vary depending on what finger you are doing. Your thumb should be the shortest claw, your middle finger the longest etc.

Then place it on your finger, making sure the proportions are OK. Now, start to sculpt it. I made my claws with a prominent ridge down the centre, but you don’t have to.

The claws should end up in an inverted triangle shape. If there’s one thing I learnt in school, it’s that triangles are a very structurally strong shape. Taper the end of your claws, but don’t be too fussy about having a sharp point. Also, the more ‘handmade’ and twisted these claws look, the better.

With the claw still on your finger, make a thin band to go around the rest of your finger, and attach it to the body of the claw. Smooth down the joins, and just generally neaten it up.

After making 5 or 10 of them (your choice) follow the instructions that came with your modeling clay to bake and harden them.

After you’ve baked them (and they’ve cooled down!), they’re ready to paint.

Unless, of course, you used black modeling clay. I recommend using acrylic paint. Warning: they are hard to paint. They have a lot of odd angles, but if you’re patient (unlike me) you’ll be fine. I painted mine black, but grey or even red could work too. Once the paint is dry, it would also be a good idea to varnish them. After that you’ll be ready to wear your shiny new rat claws!

Warning: They are quite fragile.


  1. Thanks. Thats a really great tutorial.

  2. Thanks! I was surprised there wasn't one already...