Sunday, December 16, 2012

Clay Christmas Decorations

Clay Christmas Decorations

This clay is an easy and inexpensive project, so I hope that with the help of my instructions  your decorations will turn out beautifully.

If you want to make coloured clay add food coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch and baking soda. The clay can be sealed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Just bring it to room temperature before you use it. This recipe can also be doubled to make a larger batch of decorations, work with small amounts at a time and keep the rest covered in a sealed container.

Clay Christmas Decorations

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup water

Making Clay

In a medium sized pot combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and water. With an adults help the kids can stir this mixture over medium-low heat. You are going to stir this mixture until it is smooth and no longer feels stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir constantly, after a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken. When it looks like smooth, thick mashed potatoes, remove the pot from the heat. Spoon the ball of dough into a bowl. Add the leftover bits from the pot to the ball. Cover it with a damp cloth until it's cool.

When the clay has cooled, knead it on a smooth surface dusted with cornstarch. To avoid cracking you need to make sure the clay is well kneaded before rolling. Knead in a little more cornstarch if it feels sticky. Store the clay in a sealed bowl or bag. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before you use it.

Rolling, Cutting, and Low Baking

Line the baking sheet with waxed paper if you want to let them dry naturally. Turn them every day to avoid curling. This just takes longer than drying them in a low temperature oven.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out clay to 1/4 inch thick on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Transfer shapes to the prepared baking sheet. Use a straw to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration, then get the kids to blow out the small piece of clay. They love this task! Place them in the oven for about an hour, turning them over halfway through cooking.

More Ideas

I have seen many photos of what people have created using this recipe on pinterest and with links from my comments. This clay can be shaped, rolled, cut, painted and decorated in endless ways. In the comment section alone people have used different painting techniques, glazes, scents, stamps, sparkles, made foot and hand's wonderful to see the creativity.

1. Paint or decorate them and thread a piece of ribbon, twine or yarn through the holes.

2. Use cookie cutters for different special days, leaves for fall, or hearts for Valentine's day.

3. Make a few ornaments that can be used to make a mobile or to attach to a wreath.

4. Attach a magnet to the back of a clay shape and stick it on the fridge.

5. Roll small bits of clay in the palm of your hand to make beads. Roll tiny beads between your fingers and thumb. Use a toothpick to poke in holes. can paint with strong food colouring and then give them a final coat with white glue. Undiluted glue gives a thick clear glossy finish and makes the colours more vibrant, but you could water it down to a 50/50 consistency.

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