Learn how to DIY Clay Ornaments either for your Christmas tree or a chic Christmas gift. Using air-dry clay is the perfect way to make these beautiful statement pieces and they're kid-friendly!
I love using Crayola's Model Magic clay to create these kid-friendly clay ornaments. It's malleable, I don't have to worry about them breaking into pieces, they're inexpensive, and it's clean – that's the keyword here!
Materials for your DIY Clay Ornaments
- Crayola Model Magic in any color
- Cookie Cutters
- Embossing Stamps
- Plastic Rolling Pin with Guides
- Release Spray
- Silhouette Alta – optional
I used my Silhouette Alta to make these custom cookie cutters and embossing stamps but you can really use anything you can find in your home or on Amazon. I linked the items above to the Amazon items I love so it'll be easy for you to find.
How to Make a Cookie Cutter in Silhouette Design Space and Silhouette 3D
Begin by opening up your Silhouette Studio software and inserting your shapes. I began by using shape #281493 and ungrouping all the lines from each other. Decide if you want to do all three ornaments or just one or two.
Group the outer lines with the hole at the top and then you will group all the lines together that are in the middle. Save your shape to the user designs portion of your library and then open up the Silhouette 3D software.
Find your shape in your User Designs folder after you've synced your accounts together. Double click the shape and choose cookie cutter from the list. I ungrouped my designs once again and only kept the outer portion of the shape. Resize it to where you want it and then you're going to drag the same shape into your canvas.
Ungroup once again only leaving the center of your ornament and size it again to fit into your cookie cutter shape (you will have to group all the center shape together just once more). This will leave a 2mm printing bed on the shape so it can be easily stamped. Select the 3D Print button on the top left of your screen and the Silhouette Alta Software will automatically slice your object.
I prefer to use the high-quality setting on my Silhouette Alta prints just because I'm not left with a lot of exaggerated lines that can often show up on 3D printed items. This leaves the shape to be the most smooth and will also insure that the piece will not break easily.
How to Make Clay Ornaments
To make the DIY Clay Ornaments, you're going to want a clean surface to roll your clay onto. I use the model magic because it rolls out smooth on a smooth surface and I don't have to worry about it always sticking to my surface.
I use this 7″ fondant rolller with the guides on the side so that the clay is evenly rolled. I use some resin release spray but you could honestly get away with canola oil or other spray you've got laying around the house, this is just what I have on hand.
I use the spray on the stamps because there are some fine nooks and crannies and I want it to lift easily without pulling the clay. I also tried this on true Air-Dry Clay and I couldn't get the fine details to pull up like I could with the Crayola Model Magic.
Once the clay is rolled out evenly, use the cookie cutter to press into the clay. Use the roller again on top of the cookie cutter to make sure that the ornament is cut cleanly. Remove any excess clay while your cutter is still down and the lift.
How to Emboss Clay Ornaments
To emboss your clay ornaments, you'll need to have already cut out your larger shape. Again, spray liberally the embossing stamp and then press down gently. Don't use your roller on this part because you do not want your embossed image to go through the ornament, you just want a fine detail.
Lift your embossing stamp carefully yet quickly so that the impression doesn't get muddled and then use a thin metal spatula tool to lift the ornament off of the surface. You can also spray the surface with the release spray so that it comes up without warping its shape.
Allow your clay ornaments to dry on a clean baking sheet away from reach of the kiddos for at least 24 hours. Usually halfway through I flip it so the air can get around the entire ornament.
How to Hang Your Clay Ornament
Be extremely careful with the clay ornaments. Even though they're not hard clay, they are still soft and can easily rip in thin areas until they're completely dry. I like to use some seam binding ribbon to make junque bows and then use a smaller twine to create the string to hang from the loop.
Use any colors you want that will coordinate with your tree or I love how I added these onto some stockings and even some gift tags I've made for the holidays. My most favorite ribbon to use this time of year is Seam Binding. If you're going to do a lot of projects, buy the spool, or if you're in the Salt Lake area, the best places for these kinds of ribbons are Knot and Spool or Amy Boutique.
I really love how these will remain as keepsakes through the years and I don't need to worry about them breaking. I just place them individually in a sandwich bag and then wrap the bundle up with some paper and store it for the year. So easy and so elegant.