Today, I'm sharing my process for making air dry clay ornaments DIY. I'm also passing on my tips and tricks for making your project a complete success! Have you ever wondered how to make air dry clay Christmas decorations? Air dry clay is easy to use. You can make a tree full of clay Christmas ornaments in one weekend. Air dry clay ornaments can also be used as gift tags or name tags for table settings. By using cookie stamps to embellish your clay ornaments, you can create something really special and unique.
You can find more Christmas inspiration here:
- How to make salt dough ornaments
- How to make a Christmas stocking
- DIY cinnamon candle - two ways
- How to make Christmas cookies with an embossed rolling pin
If you're looking for ornaments or gift hangers for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, you'll love these clay heart gift tags.
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Table of contents
- Save it for later!
- Tips for working with air dry clay
- Supplies and equipment
- Shop the post
- How do you make air dry clay ornaments?
- How to make patterns in air dry clay
- Can you stamp on air dry clay?
- Making Christmas ornament hangers
- How to dry air dry clay decorations
- How do you keep air dry clay from cracking?
- How do you fix cracks in air dry clay?
- What is air dry clay slip?
- Can you dry air dry clay with a hairdryer?
- How long does air dry clay take to harden?
- How do you store air dry clay without drying it out?
- Watch it on YouTube
- These posts are good too
- Christmas ornament blog hop
- Sign up for more inspiration
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A QUICK REMINDER: When attempting any DIY project, please take care to undertake the necessary safety precautions. You should always follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations when using any product or tool. When following my instructions for a DIY project, you are doing so at your own risk.
Tips for working with air dry clay
- White air dry clay does not look white in the packet. Don't be put off buying clay because you think it looks grey. The clay turns white as it dries. See below for more information on drying air dry clay projects.
- Have a damp cloth or towel ready for wiping your hands down in between. I keep an old hand towel just for projects like this.
- Keep a damp sponge to one side in a glass container. You will need to wet your fingertips often when working with air dry clay.
- Air dry clay will stick to any surface so roll out the clay on a sheet of wax paper for easier lifting.
- If you find the clay is sticking to your hands, try applying more moisture (damp towel). You could also try applying hand lotion to your hands before starting your project.
Once you've gathered together all your supplies, making these air dry clay ornaments is a breeze! Here is a list of the supplies you will need:
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Supplies and equipment
- Pack of Air Dry Clay
- Rolling pin or glass bottle
- Baking paper/wax paper
- Smooth surface (I used a large ceramic tile)
- A damp towel or cloth (for wiping hands)
- Ornament cookie cutter
- Metal straw
- Glass jar
- Thickness guides (See below)
- Cookie alphabet embosser
- Lace ribbon
- A selection of items to make patterns
- Brown string
- Small wooden beads
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To prepare for making clay Christmas ornaments, first, create a flat surface. I use a large ceramic tile that was leftover from tiling our bathroom.
If you are rolling out these clay Christmas ornaments on a kitchen counter, make sure to put down a sheet of baking or wax paper first. The baking paper will protect your work surface and allow for easier lifting of the ornaments once you've cut them out.
DIY thickness guides
To ensure that all of my clay Christmas ornaments turned out the same thickness, I used some thickness guides. (Yes, I made that name up, I don't know what everyone else calls them but 'thickness guide' works for me).
I made two guides by glueing together three strips of an old wooden blind. You could achieve the same effect by glueing some long wooden rulers together.
Place the guides on either side of the air dry clay then, roll out the clay making sure that the rolling pin (bottle) stays on top of the guides.
By using the guides, you will find that all of your decorations will have the same thickness.
The guides I made are around 8mm = 5/16 inch thick.
How do you make air dry clay ornaments?
With damp hands, cut or break off a section of the air dry clay.
Knead the clay with your hands until it is soft and pliable.
Roll out dough using the thickness guides.
Make some patterns in the clay then, use the cookie cutters to cut out your ornaments. I used an ornament shaped cookie cutter for this.
Use a metal straw to make a hole at the top of the clay Christmas ornaments for hanging, (See tip below).
Run a wet fingertip along the edges of the clay ornaments to soften the edges.
TIP: If you keep the metal straw in a jar of water, the clay will not get clogged inside it when you make the hole. I added a small amount of water to the glass jar containing my damp sponge. If you don't have a metal straw, the top of an eyeliner pencil (or similar) will work just as well.
How to make patterns in air dry clay
- To give you a few ideas, here are a few of the things you could use to make patterns in your air dry clay:
- Evergreen cuttings
- Lace ribbons
- Wooden Christmas decorations
- Bubble wrap
- Dried or faux flower stems
Can you stamp on air dry clay?
Yes! You can use any sort of stamps to make patterns in air dry clay.
Making Christmas ornament hangers
To finish off my clay Christmas ornaments, I used some jute string for a hanger. I threaded three wooden beads onto the hanger before tying it off with a simple knot.
You could also use a pretty ribbon of your choice to make hangers for your air dry clay ornaments.
How to dry air dry clay decorations
Lay the air dry clay Christmas decorations on a piece of baking paper to dry.
After a few hours, you will notice the edges of the ornaments start to turn white, this is just a part of the drying process.
If you notice the clay ornaments start to turn up at the edges, turn them over onto the other side.
How do you keep air dry clay from cracking?
If air dry clay dries too fast, cracking can occur. Place the clay Christmas ornaments on a sheet of baking paper out of the direct sun.
Turn the clay ornaments every so often so that they dry evenly on both sides.
Rolling air dry clay too thin can cause cracks when drying. Using a thickness guide should avoid that.
How do you fix cracks in air dry clay?
If you start to see cracks in the air dry clay ornaments once they start drying, it means they are drying out too fast. Cracking is usually caused by the water in the clay evaporating too quickly. Here's a simple fix.
Using your finger or a small paintbrush, smooth out the cracks with 'Slip' (see below) then return the ornaments to a cooler place to dry.
What is air dry clay slip?
Slip is a mixture of clay and water. It is used to cover cracks in the clay or to adhere pieces of clay together.
To make slip, add a small amount of air dry clay to a drop of water in an old jar. Keep adding water and mixing until the mixture looks like heavy cream.
Can you dry air dry clay with a hairdryer?
Air dry clay projects need to dry slowly and naturally to avoid cracking (see above). If you try to force the drying time by using a hairdryer to dry your ornaments, you may start to see cracks occurring.
How long does air dry clay take to harden?
It depends on the size of your project. Small items like these air dry clay ornaments should take around twenty-four to forty-eight hours to dry. As mentioned above, turning the ornaments every few hours will help the clay dry evenly on both sides.
How do you store air dry clay without drying it out?
If you have air dry clay left over after finishing your project, here's how to store it correctly.
- Re-wrap the clay in the original wrapper and fasten it with an elastic band.
- Place the package of clay into an air-tight container. A glass jar works well for this.
Watch it on YouTube
If you'd like to watch the video showing how I made these air dry clay Christmas ornaments, you can see it on YouTube here:
Air dry clay ornaments - YouTube
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make these simple air dry clay Christmas ornaments. Let me know in the comments below, if you would make these and if so, how you would use them.
These posts are good too
Christmas ornament blog hop
I've teamed up with some of my lovely blogger friends for a Christmas ornament blog hop. Thanks to Kippie of Kippi at home for organising the blog hop.
Don't forget to visit all of my friends' posts too! Find the photos and links below.
Kippi from Kippi At Home says that these Buffalo Plaid Ornaments are super easy to make. Use twigs from your yard and your favorite ribbon.
This festive rustic wooden Christmas star ornament from Rebecca at Zucchini Sisters is inexpensive and simple to make using twigs and dollar store craft supplies.
These DIY snowman ornaments from Janet at A Life Of Balance are the cutest snowmen ever!! They are just adorable. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to make snowman ornaments.
Meegan of Meegan makes shows us how to create a new look & style by learning How To Embellish Christmas Ornaments with vintage pins and brooches. Add pretty ribbons and tulle, too.
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This project was shared at 'A Strol Thru Life'