You know those things that have been on your list for years before you finally get around to them? Yep, this is one of mine.
Ornaments made one day last week when I should have been doing other things but, because creative distraction gene, I did this instead. A meditative break from a mountain of work, spent rolling and pressing and smoothing and cutting. Making pretty things just because I could.
These DIY ornaments are impossibly easy though, so there really is no excuse.
First, roll a bit of air-dry clay out to a generous 1/8 inch (3 to 4 mm) thick. Do it between two pieces of baking paper, or make sure to lift and turn regularly.
If you are particular you can use an old trick I learned years ago in pottery class: Place two planks on either side of your clay (thin pieces of balsa-wood are great for this) and when your clay reaches the thickness of your planks your rolling pin will stop because of the wood. Fancy ‘eh?
Gently roll textures into your clay, or don’t, it’s up to you. Stamps, both patterns and letters or numbers, work perfectly too. Then create shapes using any cutters you wish.
Use a skewer to make a hole in the top of each ornament shape. If you want to finish the rough edges created by the cutter, simply use a finger dipped in a bit of water to smooth everything into place. Set on baking paper to harden overnight.
Once dry you can simply pass a bit of string through the hole, tie it off and hang your pretty little ornament on your tree…
Or you can get decorating!
Use regular acrylic paint (the stuff sold in $2 tubes at the craft store) to fancy up your ornaments. A bit of colour can really make the patterns pop and metallic paint adds an extra something special.
Paint straight on the dry shapes or — as on the blue ones — thin paint with a tiny drop of water, rub in with your fingers then wipe or rinse off until it has the look you are going for. You can even use the same paint to dye butcher string so it matches.
To create a special single string hanging ornament:
First, make a few extra holes in your shapes before they dry. Then, for a 6 cm (2.5 inch) circle, cut 60 cm (24 inches) of string and follow the below steps to create a pretty little bow.
You can even cut out gift-tag shapes and write your message on them with a thin permanent marker.
So with that I wish you a wonderful Christmas and hope that you are spending it surrounded by friends and family and plenty of gorgeous food. I’ll be back in a few days with that other truffle recipe I promised — but for now I’m off to eat pumpkin pie and gingerbread and, with any luck, stick my toes in the ocean.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!