DIY Christmas Craft: Easy Oven-Bake-Clay Ornaments

Updated on December 16, 2017
purl3agony profile image

As an artist and a new homeowner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.

Easy Christmas Ornaments Made with Oven Bake Clay
Easy Christmas Ornaments Made with Oven Bake Clay | Source

It's easy to make beautiful and festive Christmas tree decorations with oven bake clay and some basic household tools! You can make a number of different ornaments that match your holiday decorating style or the theme of your tree. These decorations are quick to make once you get your materials assembled, and this is a great project to do with kids!

There are a number of different types of clays that you can bake and harden in your kitchen oven. Polymer clays (brand name Sculpey, Fimo, and others) are quite popular and come in a variety of colors. You can also make your own oven bake clay with salt and flour. I used Sculpey for my ornaments. Sculpey is softer than some other products and easy to form and decorate.

Materials and Tools Needed

The materials for this project are pretty basic. You will need your choice of clay in your choice of colors, acrylic paint (optional), and some simple tools.

If you are working with polymer clay, I would strongly suggest that you do not use any tools or implements from your kitchen that will later come in contact with food. Check your clay's box for information about whether it is toxic or not, but I still would not use items that you plan to cook or eat with in the future.

Ceramic tools are great for this project if you have them. But if not, hunt around for some common household items to make and decorate your ornaments:

  • a plastic knife for cutting
  • a dowel to use as a rolling pin
  • buttons with interesting designs
  • ball point pen for shaping and cutting
  • beads
  • old jewelry with textural surfaces
  • items that have interesting designs that you can use to stamp your clay: look at the tops of your pens, the pop top on your liquid dish washing detergent, the nozzle on your window cleaner, and tools from your toolbox.

There's probably all kinds of interesting items in your house to use!

Below are the instructions on how to make three easy Christmas ornaments:

stencils or templates for ornaments
stencils or templates for ornaments | Source

Wreath Ornament

1. Decide the shape of your wreath. You can either make your own shape or find an image of a wreath (or any other shape you'd like to use) for a stencil for your ornament. I chose to cut my wreath freestyle without a template.

Source

2. Roll out your clay on a piece of wax paper. Your rolled piece of clay should be slightly larger then your template and about 1/8 inch thick (if you are using homemade salt clay, roll your dough to be about 3/8 of an inch thick).

3. You can use round objects as a stencil for the outside and inside shape of your wreath. Trace around each using a plastic knife or a ball point pen. Be sure to cut all the way through your clay.

making jagged cuts to shape wreath ornament
making jagged cuts to shape wreath ornament | Source

4. Remove the excess clay from around your ornament. Then with your knife or pen, make little jagged triangle cuts around the edge of your wreath (see photo above). Make the same jagged cuts around the center hole of your wreath too. Remove the excess clay.

Source

5. Use your finger tip to smooth your outside and inside clay edges if needed. Then collect your items to use as stamps. I used some vintage buttons, a bead, and a pen tip for my decoration. Start stamping a random decoration all over your wreath ornament. You may want to practice stamping on a leftover piece of clay. This way, you can find out what type of texture your stamp items create and also get a sense of how much pressure you need to apply to make a good impression on your clay.

stamped ornament
stamped ornament | Source

6. Make sure to create a hole to hang your ornament. I used a plastic pen tip to make a hole (see photo above). I pressed down deep enough to go through my clay, then twisted it a bit to make the hole wider.

7. Transfer your ornament to some aluminum foil and bake according to the directions with your clay or your recipe. After baking, let your ornament cool completely.

8. To decorate my wreath, I took some gold acrylic paint, brushed it on lightly, then wiped it off with a paper towel. With this technique, the paint just caught in the surface texture, but it didn't cover my ornament completely (see "Painting Your Ornament" below).

9. Once the paint was dry, I glued on some little iridescent beads with white craft glue (that dries clear), wrapped some gold ribbon around it, and tied my ribbon with a bow. Finally, I added some fishing line as a hanger.

Christmas tree ornament made from oven bake clay
Christmas tree ornament made from oven bake clay | Source

Christmas Tree Ornament

1. For this ornament, I used an image from the computer as a template. You can find images on the internet (I searched under "Christmas tree cookie cutter"), in magazines, and in pattern books. If need be, re-size your image using a printer or scanner, then cut it out.

2. I then followed the instructions above for rolling, trimming, and stamping my Christmas tree ornament. I really like how the flower design on my button looks when it is stamped into this tree!

3. Once my tree was covered with a textural design, I pushed a heart-shaped button into my still unbaked ornament just deep enough to make an impression. (You could do this with a bunch of buttons to make them look like decorations on the tree). I then removed the button. Do not bake your ornament with any plastic buttons or beads on it.

4. I also took my ballpoint pen a made a little trough through my clay that looked like garland hanging on the tree. I added a hole for hanging and then I baked my ornament.

5. When it was cool, I used white craft glue to adhere my heart button into the spot I made for it. I also used a toothpick to put glue along the garland trough and then placed gold bugle beads in it to look like strung decorations.

Source

Star Ornament

1. For my star ornament, I also found an image to use as a template.

2. Once I had my clay rolled and my shape cut out, I used a different tool to add a different texture to each of the five points of my star. Then I made a hole and baked my ornament.

3. Once cool, I painted my star with acrylic paint and let dry.

Source

Painting Your Ornament

If you choose to make your ornaments from salt and flour dough, you can use either acrylic paint or tempera paint to decorate them. Both of these paints are water soluble and easy to use. I would suggest testing your paint on some baked clay samples (just leftover bits) to see how much water you want to add to your paint to get the look you want.

If you use polymer clay, painting can be tricky. I would use acrylic paint, but if you thin your paint with too much water, it will just roll off the surface. If you put it on too thickly, it can look clumpy. And the paint can show any imperfection in a polymer clay surface, like a dent, lump, or uneven area. Sometimes it's best just to buy polymer clay in the color you want to use :)

If you do want to paint your polymer clay ornaments, think about making some test pieces to bake along with your ornament to try different paint techniques on. Use some scrap pieces of clay and decorate them in the same way your embellish your ornament. Then bake them with your pieces. Now you can try your paint before working on finished ornaments!

I hope you try making some Christmas ornaments with oven bake clay. There are many types of decorations you can make: from figurines to the stamped ornament described above. Whatever you decide to make, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun!

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Donna Herron

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      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Hi Glimmer Twin Fan - I'm sure you and your daughter will love working with Sculpey, and I'm glad these ornaments are inspiring some of your new projects :) You should run out and buy some holiday stamps in the after Christmas sales while they are still available. I got a package of them for $5.

        Good luck! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

        Claudia Mitchell 

        4 years ago

        These are so pretty. I'll be showing my daughter. We got her some Sculpty for Christmas and this will give her some ideas. Pinned.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Hi KDeus - I'm thrilled to meet another lover of polymer clay :) It's so versatile and fun to work with. I hope you make some ornaments that you love and will enjoy for years to come!

        Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you have a wonderful and crafty holiday!!

      • KDeus profile image

        Keely Deuschle 

        4 years ago from Florida

        I really enjoyed reading this hub! Looks like a fun and easy way to add some personal touches to the Christmas tree! I just started dabbling in polymer clay and am hooked. I will definitely try some of your suggestions here! Thank you and Merry Christmas!

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Hi Suzanne - Thanks so much for your comments! Beads, sequins, and glitter would all be great additions to make your decorations sparkle. Hope you and your kids have a great time making these ornaments :)

      • Suzanne Day profile image

        Suzanne Day 

        4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

        These look like a great idea to do with children. Mine might want to glue some beads on them after they've baked them. Voted interesting!

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Hi ashwondereeze - Good question! I've never used commercially made Play Dough, so I'm not sure. I would suggest reading the packaging to check to make sure it is safe to bake. To be on the safe side, I would purchase clay that is meant to be hardened in the oven. Thanks for stopping by!!

      • ashwonderbreeze profile image

        Ashley Siders 

        4 years ago from West Virginia

        Is it safe to also use play dough, too?

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Hi FlourishAnyway - Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate it!

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        What a beautiful craft idea. I like your creativity. Voted up and more, and pinning.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks, Anil and Honey! I'm glad you like it :)

      • Anil and Honey profile image

        Anil 

        4 years ago from Kerala

        Thank you for sharing the inspire hub, this is a suitable one for this x'mas season.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        You're welcome, Heather :) Thanks, as always, for your comments!

      • Heather Says profile image

        Heather Rode 

        4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

        How beautiful! I think the wreath is my favorite. And the little heart on the tree is too cute. Thanks for a great Hub filled with wonderful ideas and inspiration :)

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thank you, peachpurple! I'm glad you like them. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it :)

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        simply beautiful and genius trick to make such beautiful ornaments.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks so much to all of you! I think the fun part is seeing the designs that ordinary items can make when stamped into the clay. You can get some really pretty results that you never expected! I hope you have a chance to try this project. Thanks again for your comments!!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        4 years ago from the short journey

        This is a timeless craft activity for all kids, big or little ones. :) Thanks for sharing your examples.

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 

        4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        Wonderful! It's an ideal activity for spending time and creating as a family and at the same time create memories! Your ornaments are just awesome :-)

      • Paul Edmondson profile image

        Paul Edmondson 

        4 years ago from Burlingame, CA

        Very nicely done. Perfect for a Xmas craft idea for the family:)

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