2013 Christmas Crafts: Part 1 (Clay Ornaments)

Our Christmas Craft Stash!
A few weeks ago Jessi from Aspiring Artistry called me wanting to collaborate on some Christmas crafts. Admittedly, I'm not the best crafter out there but we did managed to come up with a few things which meet my craft project criteria of:

  1. Minimal impact on the budget
  2. Minimal time requirement
  3. Relatively simple skill-wise with very satisfying results.

 So, this week, check out what Jessi and I managed to whip up... shocking even ourselves at how well things turned out!

First up is one of my favorite Christmas projects: Polymer Clay Ornaments. In past years I have had women's groups and classes do this for fun.

Here's what you need:

  • Sculpey III Clay in the colors of your choice (Available at most craft stores)
  • Acrylic Paint in the colors of your choice (Martha Stewart's Crafts Paint works great!)
  • Paint brushes
  • Rolling  pin (I used a wine bottle)
  • Stamps (regular or cling are fine)
  • Wooden skewers
  • Corn starch
  • Wax Paper
  • Tin foil
  • Old baking sheet
  • Ribbon, string or yarn
Yes, that's a wine bottle
To start you'll need to preheat the oven to 275 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Then, break off a piece of clay and work it in your hands until it's soft and malleable. (Note: I've noticed that the clay that bakes translucent and the silver and copper variety tend to be some of the softer options)

Once the clay is soft enough, roll it into a ball. Similar to pie crust, you'll be rolling this out on your wax paper in a shape similar to the design on your stamp.

Gently press the stamp down into the clay to make an impression. You may have to peel back the clay to remove the stamp. Don't worry if this takes a couple of tries. That's par for the course until you get the hang of this craft. (Note: Some people like to dip the stamp in corn starch or baby powder to keep it from sticking but it has not be necessary for us... probably because we live in a desert)
Don't forget to autograph your work :)

Use the blunt end of your wooden skewer to make a hole in the top of your ornament. (You'll use this to hang your ornament after it has baked)

Now you get to paint your ornament. If two coats of paint are required, wait until the first coat is
completely dry before painting a second. (Tip: If you want to paint small details, the pointed tip of your skewer can replace a paint brush)

Line your cookie sheet with a piece of foil and bake your ornaments for 15 minutes per centimeter of thickness. (Note: The ornament will not fully harden until it has cooled)

Once cool, string through with your choice of tie and hang it on the tree, give it as a gift or even use it as a gift tag.




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