Thursday, November 1, 2012

Air-dry clay ornament tutorial

I love playing with clay. It was always the high light of art class in school. I have dreams of one day throwing a pot on a wheel. But in the meantime, my forays into clay are on a smaller scale. Some of you may remember the doily plates and brooch I once made from air-dry clay. While brainstorming about the ornaments I would make for the swap those creative ideas came back me. I made these simple and sweet ornaments and took photos of the process in case you were interested in making some too. 

Ornament collage
1. String, straw, doilies, DAS air dry clay (under $7 at Lincraft), cookie cutter, rolling pin, baking paper.
2. Pinch off some clay and roll it into a ball in the palm of your hands and squash it a little on to the baking paper.
3. Roll it out to about a 6mm (1/4 inch) thick.
4. Position doily over the top of the clay and gently roll rolling pin over doily to impress the texture on to the clay. (If it doesn't work the way you hoped, roll it into a ball and start again.)
5. Use the cookie cutter to cut out the desired shape and the straw to poke out a hole for the string.
6. Use the side of the straw to smooth out the edge of the ornament. (The cut edge of the air dry clay looks like torn paper, but the frayed edge can be rubbed smooth with the straw, or gently filed off once dry.)
7. Leave to dry on a sheet baking paper. Pop doilies in the wash.
8. Attach the string and admire your handiwork.

clay ornaments

It's a great project to do with kids. When Cohen got up from his nap he joined me in making them. His bumpy little ornaments are perfectly imperfect and will be pride of place on our tree this year. You can have fun and experiment with them. You could use different shapes and textures, or letter punches. You could also paint them, dip them in glue then glitter, or engrave a message or the year on the reverse. They would look great on a gift as well.

I will be sending sets of three of these ornaments to my swap partners. Has anyone else started on their swap ornaments? Leave a comment and a link so we can come visit!

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More creative spaces here.

28 comments:

  1. They are wonderful Christina! Great idea. Kx

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  2. Oh dear, what a great idea! Hope to find some time and space to make a few.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Love from Holland

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  3. These are so pretty! I have all of the supplies on hand and think I'll need to make a handfull of these. They'd make such lovely gifts.

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  4. What a fantastic idea. I love those and they would be wonderful to give on xmas presents.

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  5. The ornaments are just beautiful and I must pick up the supplies to make a few for here.
    I have always had the same dream to own a wheel and throw clay. I have been trying to talk my husband into rewiring for a kiln, but so far no luck ;)

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  6. These are gorgeous! I saw some air dry clay snowflake ornaments that I want to make for our tree this year. Your idea of hanging them onto gifts those is an awesome idea. You could write the recipients names on the back and the year. I might do that this year!

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  7. Thank you Christina! My and my girl were in the midst of creative dispute over what to do this morning, and your project was the perfect compromise activity - we both loved it! xo

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  8. They look so pretty,Christina.I have decided to print out your instructions in case I need to do a Christmas craft activity with a class of children.Clare

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  9. They're lovely! I tried some star shaped ones and had real trouble getting the clay out of the cutter without mangling my stars. Yours look great though - makes me want to try another shape.

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  10. They are so pretty. Thanks for the tuturial too. ;)

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  11. I never thought of doing something like this it's a great idea! thanks for sharing this. I'm definetly giving that a try :)

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  12. So simple but effective. Doilies as part of Christmas crafting is something I love.
    There are so many possibilities for air-dry clay, I'll have to get hold of some.
    x

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  13. Inspiration to the max..I really want to try this now!

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  14. Christina these are so stunningly simple and beautiful. You are so inspirational, and I have listed your blog as one of my faves in my blog school homework. Thankyou for sharing xx

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  15. I love these so much. Note to self though do them now and not at the last minute.

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  16. fabulous Christina! such perfect project for all ages x

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  17. I'm doing this! Thanks for sharing! I bought Caleb some air dry clay for his bday, but I think I will pinch some!

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  18. Oh these are just perfect Christina!
    A few years ago the kids and I made salt dough ornaments but they didn't keep well and we ended up throwing them out. I think I'll invest in some of this clay and give the, another go...thanks for the inspiration.
    Xx

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  19. FABULOUS CHRISTMAS INSPIRATION...THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR WORK AND IDEAS! THEY ARE TRULY BEAUTIFUL! SHARI

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  20. What a great idea. And so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. What a simple, but great idea. They look lovely white, but I wondered what they would look like painted.

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  22. Lovely idea! I might have a look if Lincraft sell this online (hard to get anything like that out here!). I'm waiting on a few supplies to start but I've got a few ideas in my head for the swap.

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  23. Super cool tutorial, the decorations look great and this is a lovely post.

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  24. I just made my own clay ornaments too! So fun. Yours look really pretty.

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  25. Wow, what an awesome idea, thanks!

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  26. Oh these are divine! Thanks so much for sharing the "how to". Gorgeous!
    Wishing you a lovely weekend filled with cups of tea and wooly goodness.
    Steph :)
    (from mon petit poppet...I've moved...weeeeeee!)

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  27. Hi,
    I really love them .I bought like 25 pound air dry clay to make ornaments to sell.But when i did couple of with my son ,after they dried got broken .Is there any way to prevent that.thanks

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