How to make your own Christmas decorations

If you’ve read my previous blog post then you’ll know that I’ve been getting crafty and making my own Christmas decorations this year. It all started during the middle of a 6 week clay class that I was taking, and I felt inspired to buy my own materials and try a new art form at home. So with December around the corner I thought I’d share with you how I’ve made my own decorations so maybe you could give it a go too!

In this blog I’m going to show you how to make clay tree decorations and tree garland. So far i’ve made a lot of these, along with…

  • Colourful Christmas wreaths
  • Fabric, glitter mini Christmas trees
  • Baubles
  • Harry Potter themed decorations
  • Snowflakes and hand painted trees

(Which I might save for a future blog post.)

So, here’s how to make your own Christmas decorations!

Christmas tree garlands

You will need:

DAS Air dry clay (hobbycraft, amazon, the range)

Pot of water

A small paintbrush

Cookie cutter shapes

A rolling pin

A flat, wipeable surface

crafting tools or a knife (for scoring the clay)

String, crafting ribbon, wire. (Something to help hang your decoration)

Method:

Cut yourself a lump of clay. Roll it out so that the clay is flat and a few cm thick.

Then cut out your shapes. This is where cookie cutters will come in handy!

Once your shapes have been cut, slowly peel the remaining clay away and put the rest to one side for later.

Next, dip your paintbrush into some water and brush around the edges to make them smooth. Lumps and bumps will show through the clay when it is try so it’s key to make your clay as smooth as possible.

Next, cut out the shapes that you want to attach to your base shape. I’ve chosen small trees and small stars. The cutting utensils I’ve used here can be found in the baking/ fondant section of any shop.

To attach the shapes together you need to score the two sides that will be attached as illustrated below.

Then you need to brush the scores clay with water.

Next you need to smooth down the joining areas and hide the join lines. The aim of this is to join the two pieces of clay as discreetly and smoothly as possible leaving no gaps.

Then … you’re done ! … just one final tip is to pierce the top of your decoration with the end of your paintbrush, this will be the hole that you can thread your ribbon through at the end.

All you need to do now is create more, lay all of your creations on a flat surface to completely dry out for around 3 days and then they’ll all be ready to paint!

If you’re interested in learning how to make initial decorations then scroll below for pictures! The technique is exactly the same as above.

Decorating

After the clay has dried for around 3 days and it is fully dry, you can use acrylic paint to decorate. Sometimes you will need to use two coats.

Then once the paint is completely dry, spray at a distance with acrylic varnish. This will make your design shiny, look more professional, and be more durable.

Wrapping

I’ve recently had my own tissue paper and stickers made which I purchased from Etsy. (I’ll link to the seller below). Seeing as I’m making some gifts from scratch I thought it would be a really nice and semi-professional way to present them .. people can also see that I’ve really put effort into them with the packaging too.

Where to shop:

Some of my favourite places to shop for supplies are Hobbycraft and The Range, although Hobbycraft is definitely the more expensive choice. What! is also a really cheap shop to browse and you might find some crafty bargains there.  It’s also worth looking online at places like Amazon and Ebay for supplies, depending on what it is you’re looking for.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post!

Have a great day,

Amy x

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