There’s something special about a handmade ornament. Once you learn how to make these simple air dry clay ornaments, you’ll find yourself wanting to include them as stocking stuffers for the whole family.
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How to Make Clay Ornaments
What to Know About Air Dry Clay
If you’re new to working with air dry clay, here are a few things to know about the medium before you get started.
- The air dry clay used in this tutorial takes about 24 hours to dry and does not require baking.
- If your clay begins cracking, simply add a few drops of water with your fingertips to create more moisture and pliability.
- The clay is safe for all ages to use, so grab the kiddos and have some fun!
Kids might especially enjoy making my air dry clay gnomes, which has another step-by-step tutorial on tbe blog.
If you want to make your own clay with household ingredients, try my no-fail salt dough ornament recipe. You can bake it in the oven for 2 hours, which is convenient. However, it’s more difficult to make imprints like you can with air dry clay.
How to Press Flowers for Clay Ornaments
If you’re interested in pressing flowers, I highly recommend this microwave flower press. You can use my coupon code FIRSTDAY10 for 10% off your order.
I have a beginner’s guide to making DIY pressed flower art with this same press if you do end up buying one.
I also have a tutorial on how to press flowers if you want to explore other methods as well.
- Air dry clay
- Natural stems
- Mod Podge, matte
- Acrylic paint
- Jute twine or ribbon
- Jewelry wire (for hanging beads on angel ornament)
- Glass bottle or rolling pin
- Paint brushes
- Straw or dowel
- Flower press (optional)
Standard Round Ornament
- Begin rolling out a small handful of air-dry clay using a glass bottle or rolling pin until the clay is about 1/8-inch thick. You can use wax paper underneath for easy lifting.
- Add a few drops of water with your fingertips if the clay begins cracking while rolling. You will need to continue to add moisture the longer you work with the clay.
- Place stems or leaves onto the clay. Gently roll over the stem with the bottle or rolling pin to imprint the pattern onto the clay.
- Carefully remove the stems/leaves to reveal your pattern. Then use a cookie cutter to create your ornament shape.
- If hanging the ornament, use a straw or dowel to create a hole at the top.
- Allow at least 24 hours for the ornament to dry completely.
- Once dry, paint the surface of the ornament using acrylic paint.
- If desired, you can press flowers and then use Mod Podge to adhere a flower to the ornament. Apply a top coat of Mod Podge onto the flower and let it dry for 20-30 minutes.
- Add jute twine or string to hang the ornament. As an option, you can add beads to embellish your design.
- Follow steps 1-7 above. Be sure to use a small dowel to make two small holes in each wing of the angel.
- Optional: Paint wooden beads with white and gold acrylic paint, lightly brushing the paint on for a more rustic effect.
- Using jewelry wire, attach the wooden beads to the ornament to hang.
For best results, dip your fingers in water and smooth out any rough edges on the ornaments before air drying.
For a lightly brushed painting technique, make sure you dab off any excess paint before applying it to your ornament.
There is no need to seal painted ornaments (except when applying flowers), but you do have the option of applying a coat of Mod Podge for a more finished look.
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