Hi crafters! I hope you’re all beginning to feel a little festive. For today’s post I thought I would share with you an idea for a quick, simple and family friendly festive make. The clay Xmas tree decorations and tags (as seen above) were made with clay, stamps, ink and pens. They can be made in an hour or two (depending on how much fun you’re having). The clay I used, Hearty Soft clay, is as soft and pliable as its name suggests and it rolls-out easily without any effort, which makes it a great clay for all the family to use. The clay also has a paper-like feel when it’s dry and isn’t brittle, it’s also very light which makes it great to use as gift tags or card toppers.
To make clay Christmas decorations, you will need:
- Air dry clay (I used Hearty Soft)
- Clay/cookie cutters
- Cocktail stick
- Acrylic block
- Mixed media ink pad
- Ribbon or twine
- Optional selection of colouring media, pens, gilding wax etc.
The first step is to roll out your clay and use the cutter of your choice to cut-out your chosen shape. Gently smooth out the outer edges of the shape with your finger to neaten. Take a cocktail stick, push it into and through your clay shape, wiggle it a bit to make the hole large enough to thread your desired ribbon or twine. Use your finger to gently smooth the surface around the new hole you have just made.
For the next stage you can either leave your clay shapes to dry and then decorate them or you can decorate them straight after you roll them out and cut the shape. If you choose the latter there are some great effects that you can create on your clay shapes using stamps with or without ink.
The tags and decorations below were made by gently pressing stamps into the surface of the clay shapes straight after cutting out the shapes, this creates an embossed effect in the clay. The tags can then be left with a subtle design without any colour added or the embossed surface can be highlighted by rubbing gilding wax on the surface.
The tags and decorations can also be stamped and personalised when the shapes are dry, or you can add ink to the stamps and gently push the inked designs into the clay, before it’s dry in the same way as the ’embossed’ designs were created.
The advantage of using ink with your stamps straight after your shapes are cut-out is that the embossed effect is clearly defined and it gives a ‘letterpress’ effect to the designs and wording. All the designs on the tags below were created with inked stamps before the tags were dry except for the names, as I used a pen to write them out and that’s best done when the tags are dry.
The clay decorations make great gift tags as they are light, non-brittle and have a surface when dry that is easy to write on. You can even use the stamps that you used on the tags to create matching wrapping paper. I stamped the same stamps that I used on the tags onto brown paper to create the wrapping paper below.
The clay shapes also make great tree decorations!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope that my little play with clay has given you some inspiration. Till next time,