Stamped Clay Ornaments

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We’ve been cooking up some creative holiday decor over here. I’ll admit it, I’m a control freak about my tree. I’m one of those people that only hangs the ornaments that coordinate with my holiday color scheme.

Some people have elaborate gingerbread constructions or mantle-top displays. I don’t have a mantle, but I do have a little three-foot potted pre-lit fake tree that I can obsess over. And yes, I’m also one of those people that waxes poetic about the smell of a real tree in the house. “Don’t you live in the country,” I can hear you asking–“can’t you just walk out the door and practically trip over a suitable evergreen?” Yes, I probably could. And someday, if I ever live in a home bigger than your average living room (aaah, sitting in the den, are you? So you have a den, then?) well, maybe then I’ll march out into the woods and bring home a big fat conifer. Until then, I’m working on finding small, cheap ways to decorate our little tree with heirlooms hand-made by my little monkey that coordinate with my holiday scheme. Mwoo-hoo-ha-ha!

Here’s what I came up with:

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Here’s an ornament made by my Munchkin, same way, different result:

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And here’s the backside:

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We started out with a bucket of air-dry white clay. I had seen an idea somewhere online about rolling this white clay out and cutting it with cookie-cutters to make ornaments, which I thought was genius–if clay falls off the tree and breaks, it’s not going to be a dangerous mess, just a regular mess. And it’s not plastic! Plastic just feels…plastic.

I don’t have special holiday cookie cutters, just a pear and an apple, so we used those, as well as the lid of a spice jar and the ring of a medium Ball jar lid for circles.

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Once we had the shapes we liked, we used fingers and stamps to make impressions.

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We did a bunch with our initials stamped in them, although Helen really liked the zigzag and square designs.20111214-170950.jpg
It took about three days for them to dry fully before we could paint them white with acrylics. Once all that had a chance to dry, we painted the backsides with glue using Helen’s kid paint brush, then dipped them in glitter. I chose a finer grade of glitter (similar to the Martha Stewart-style glitters you see in the craft stores) and filled a small paper plate so Helen could do most of the dipping.

I thought they still needed a little something, so I used a hot glue gun to finish the edges with ribbon. The scale of the circles cut with the spice jar, in particular, is perfect on our little tree.

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