Confession: I have bags of Christmas-inspired projects stowed away in dark corners of my house. I’m hoping my husband doesn’t find them.
I might need a Christmas Craft Intervention.
These projects always seem easy. I start off thinking that certainly I can spare three hours (three hours tops!) to tackle whatever project is on my mind. I buy the stamps, glue, beads, paper, cookie cutters, stencils, etc.…and then shopping, cooking, baking, and life take over; and I promise myself to sit leisurely with the project when life is a little less stressful—maybe in March? The supplies are placed carefully in a bag or drawer, only to be unearthed again in December of the following year.
But here we are in December 2016, and I had decided this was the year of no more excuses…so it was time to make some ornaments.
- Cookie cutter $2
- Polymer clay (lb.) $12
- Ribbon $3
- Beads $6
- You will also need parchment paper, a cookie sheet, a rolling pin, and a hot glue gun. I got 12 ornaments out of one pound of clay.
I chose a peace dove cookie cutter and white polymer clay. Of course, you can choose any cookie cutter and clay color you want. There are tons of creative possibilities with this project.
To get started, I put a sheet of parchment paper on the counter, placed half of the clay block in the center, and I added another sheet of parchment paper on top (to protect the rolling pin).
I had never worked with polymer clay before, and I thought it would roll out easily.
So…I was wrong! The block was like a brick. Five minutes into the project, I was searching How to Soften Polymer Clay. According to some sources, I should’ve bought clay softener. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to leave the house, so I needed an alternative.
The next option, according to these sources, was to hammer the clay with a mallet and/or chop the clay into tiny (very tiny!) pieces, then mash it together, hand roll it, and repeat three times.
Hmm…was it going to take me an hour to roll out the clay? My little peace project was suddenly not feeling very peaceful.
I regrouped, took a few deep, slow breaths, and then cut the clay into smaller chunks and rolled them by hand. I gazed out the window and watched the birds while I worked the clay…After about 15 minutes, I had a small amount of clay I could roll. I decided to work one ornament at a time.
I found that if I rolled the clay to ¼ inch thickness, it separated easily from the cookie cutter. The clay held its shape as I transferred it to the cookie sheet (protected with parchment paper).
The clay baked in less than 15 minutes, and the ornaments maintained their white color without burning.
Once they cooled, I used a hot-glue gun to add ribbon to the back of each ornament. I added a button bead to cover the glue. You could also glue decorations to the front of the ornament at this point.
I love how they turned out.
This project was as fun as baking cookies but not as messy. (Hooray! No bowls to wash!)
I also love that you can use these ornaments on your own tree or give them as a gift that will last for years.