The grizzled groundhog, also known as the woodchuck, is so famous in folklore for his weather forecasting ability that he even has his own holiday. On February 2nd each year, as the legend goes, the groundhog emerges from hibernating in his burrow. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks until spring.
Just as Groundhog Day holds an appeal to all ages, this sawdust sculpture craft is fun for all ages as well.
This eco-friendly recipe for sawdust clay makes a sculpting medium that produces an outstanding texture for resembling groundhog fur, dries hard enough to be sanded, and has easy soap and water clean-up.
You will need:
- Sawdust, fine-milled, not chunky
- Flour or wheat paste
- Mixing container
Optional craft materials for finishing and accessorizing your Groundhog:
- Tempera paint and brush (suitable for any age)
- Wood stain (for older children and adults)
- Cocktail umbrella (if it's rainy so that your groundhog doesn't see his shadow)
- Doll sunglasses, or wire for making the rims on your own (if he does see his shadow)
- A small scarf (In case he has six more weeks of winter.) Simple scarves may be cut from old knit t-shirts.
- Miniature weather map (if your groundhog is a meteorology geek)
- Wiggle eyes (if you are creating a comical sculpture)
- Craft glue
- Combine two parts sawdust and one part flour until uniformly mixed.
- Add just enough water to make a pliable dough.
- Knead the dough for a couple minutes until it becomes more elastic; if it remains too crumbly, add additional flour and knead some more. Sawdust clay should have a thick texture that can be rolled like piecrust.
- Sculpt your groundhog!
- When finished, allow your sculpture to air-dry for a day. Then paint and accessorize.
Placing the sculpture in the sun will promote drying, but do not bake in the oven as the groundhog may crack by drying too quickly.