Are you ready for another Christmas craft? I have just a couple more to share this week leading up to Christmas. I have been wanting to play with polymer clay for a while and after enjoying the salt dough projects, I decided this was the year I would make polymer clay ornaments. And I definitely enjoyed it! I have vague memories of working with polymer clay in the past, but it’s been a very long time…long enough for me to say I was starting completely from scratch. So, I might’ve gone rogue and done things completely wrong, but I just followed the instructions on the clay package and tried not to overthink things.
I’m often asked how I get so much done and I think that one of the answers is I worry about doing things, not doing them right. I have low expectations for my first time doing something and I approach it as a time to learn and grow. Maybe I’ll enjoy it and want to get better. Maybe I try it and it’s just not my thing and now I know. That’s how I approached these polymer clay ornaments – with low expectations and a willingness to try and learn from my experience.
And, I have to say, they all turned out pretty good! I think the paint tube ink-printed ones are my favorite. They are just so cute to use as an ornament or present-topper.
I also made some “cut ornaments” inspired by some of the salt dough ornaments I experimented on.
I would maybe try using some different tools from the large clay-tools set I purchased, but what I did worked fine and created a very lovely handmade look.
I’ll share a tutorial with you, although this is my first time working with polymer clay, so take it for what it’s worth!
polymer clay ornaments | tools & materials
These are the tools and materials I used to make these polymer clay ornaments, but you can, of course, swap things out that fit your tastes.
- Sculpey original clay in white – HERE
- Arteza Clay Sculpting Set – HERE
- Stazon ink pad in Midnight Blue – HERE
- Star-shaped cutters – HERE
- Biscuit cutters – HERE
- Acrylic roller – HERE
- Blue check ribbon – HERE and HERE
- Paint tube stamps – The ones I used are sold out, but HERE are similar ones
polymer clay ornaments | instructions
- Knead the clay until it’s soft and workable.
- Roll out on a clean work surface using an acrylic roller. Clay can discolor or leave marks on some surfaces, so read directions ahead of time. I rolled mine out on a quartz counter and it was fine. I would probably use a silicone rolling mat for future projects, though. I would also use a pasta roller to knead and roll the dough for a more uniform thickness and to get all of the air bubbles out. But, I wanted to start simply!
- Cut your designs using cutters or clay-cutting tools. Paint, ink, or imprint designs as desired.
- Bake on a metal or silicone baking sheet (I used a metal sheet with a piece of parchment paper liner) at 275° for 15 minutes per ¼” of clay. (Just a note that a few of my readers who have worked with polymer clay for many years suggest using a separate small oven for drying the clay. I did some research online and most articles say it’s okay to use your kitchen oven as long as the clay is cooked at the proper temperature. So, just an FYI. Do some research and decide how you want to proceed. If I plan on doing a lot of clay work, I’ll likely get a separate small oven for that purpose.)
- Allow to cool and thread with a ribbon or twine, if desired.
polymer clay ornaments | video tutorial
It took me about an hour to make all of the ornaments, so this is a great afternoon project to do during the holidays.
And, I am just smitten with the tag-shaped ornaments stamped with the paint tubes! I wish I had done them sooner, so I could’ve sent one to all of my artist friends in time for Christmas. They are just adorable.
I sort of like the hand-rolled, hand-cut look of these. The stamp gives them some uniformity, but they still have a homemade feel. Which is the entire point of making homemade ornaments! If you want something that looks store-bought then save yourself the time and just buy something from the store.
I also like how the cut ornaments turned out and I might try making more and adding some different kinds of paints to them to test out what I like.
They are a bit rough, though, so I will also test out some different tools. Again, I don’t mind at all that they are imperfect, but I do like learning how to improve in mediums I enjoy.
I’m off to a solid start, but there is always room to grow!
And, I have to say, I am itching to get into a ceramic studio at some point. I think I would really enjoy making some ceramic ornaments and other things.
I hope you’re inspired to either try this as a last-minute project or to put this on the list to try next year.
Have you ever worked with polymer clay? Do you have any tips to share?
You can find other Christmas crafts, decorating ideas, and recipes HERE.