DIY: Polymer clay ornaments

Okay, so here is my first DIY post. First, though, I have to confess that while I like crafting, I'm not always so good at it. Fortunately, polymer clay can be very forgiving. This is a fun project for a wide variety of ages and could be a good snow day activity for bored kids. My church group even did these last year for our Christmas gathering and everyone enjoyed taking home their handmade masterpiece.





First, here's what you need:
-polymer clay in any color you prefer(I like Sculpey)
-acrylic paint in any color you prefer (I like the metallic shades)
-paint brush
-rubber stamps
-corn starch (optional)
-wax paper
-aluminum foil
-baking sheet
-acrylic rolling pin/bottle
-bamboo skewer/toothpick
-yarn, string or ribbon


 
 1) Break off a piece of polymer clay and work it with your hands to soften. Then, roll between your palms until you make a ball. Place your clay ball on a piece of wax paper

Note: Don't work with it too much or you will have air bubbles in your clay.





2) Roll out the ball like a pie crust with your bottle or acrylic rolling pin until the clay is about 1/4 an inch in thickness. Rough edges and imperfect shapes look good so you don't have to be too much of a perfectionist here.







3) Choose one of your stamps and you can do one of two things: dust the pattern with some corn starch or paint a light coat of the color you intend to use on the surface of the pattern. Then, press the stamp into the clay with even pressure.






4) Use your bamboo skewer or toothpick to put a hole in the top. This is where you will thread your ribbon or string and it helps to make the hole before you start painting (so says the voice of experience who made a mess previously).





5) Now it's time to add some color. Put a dab of acrylic paint on your wax paper and paint away. A soft bristle paintbrush and small strokes seems to work the best. You may need to do two coats but wait until the first coat dries completely to avoid some pesky bubbles (again, telling you this as the voice of experience).






6) Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 Celsius). Place a sheet of aluminum foil on your baking sheet and bake your ornament for about 15 minutes (the rule is 15 minutes for every 1/4 inch of thickness). The clay will still be a little flexible after baking but will harden as it cools.



7) Once cooled, thread a piece of ribbon/yarn/string through the hole and gift-away! At my house we give these as an ornament on a plate of Christmas cookies. They would also make a great gift tag or bookmark if you are so inclined.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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