polymer clay ornaments & tags | christmas crafts

by | Dec 20, 2021 | crafts, Decorating, Holiday, Winter | 18 comments

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.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

I also made some “cut ornaments” inspired by some of the salt dough ornaments I experimented on.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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 | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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 | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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.

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

I’m off to a solid start, but there is always room to grow!

polymer clay ornaments | Christmas crafts | miss mustard seed

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.

18 Comments

  1. Dionne Street

    Those are all so beautiful, but I really love the paint tubes! You should decorate a tree in your studio with those! Thanks for the inspiration! I want to try this for next year’s tree!

    Reply
  2. Beverlee Lyons

    Beautiful. I love them all. Since it isn’t Christmas themed, you could still do some for gifts. Everybody has a birthday.

    Reply
  3. CathyR

    Years ago, I was up to my ankles in Clay and all the stuff that goes with it. Check out eBay for your pasta roller, great deals to be found there. The paint tube you linked to is sold out but again, eBay came through with a few good choices. Just enter “paint tube rubber stamp” in search bar. These are so Marian, just lovely

    Reply
  4. Irene Kelly

    No not rough at all ! I love the little rabbit because my birthday is in April so rabbits are my thing. Great job on all. Will certainly miss your Christmas posts this year. Keep it up in the New Year. I am sure you have a book in you also about your ideas and project instructions. Enjoying your latest book ! I take it off the shelf whenever I need inspiration ! Tks for sharing all your ideas

    Reply
  5. Betsy

    I can’t thank you enough for all the beautiful ornament ideas. I’m planning on starting in January making some. Several fun projects for the cold months in Pennsylvania

    Reply
  6. Debbie

    I’m a potter. There is NOTHING more addicting than clay. Be sure you want to get this started, but damn, it’s fun! Nice ornaments. You might be a natural hand builder. But the wheel is the best!

    Reply
  7. Babs

    Your ornaments turned out so well. I love your attitude about trying new things and your low expectations…you must be constantly surprising yourself! If you don’t try new things how will you ever find out what you are good at?

    Reply
  8. Cynthia

    Marian,

    I am in love! I have worked with polymer clay.. long ago, and made some plaques and tags. I’d forgotten all about them. Yours turned out so well~ they truly are wonderful!

    I too, love how accepting you are about not worrying how the things turn out but at just trying them. It’s a good lesson for me as that can be a stumbling block~

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Cynthia

    Is there perchance a family song coming 🙂

    My husband and I just found out we will be alone this Christmas as our son~in~law has covid. My daughter and two of the three kids have had it .. all are doing well..so on it goes. I so appreciate the diversion of your posts, even in the best of times~ thank you!

    Reply
  9. Abby

    I love all the ornaments and crafts you have shared with us! I have started some felt ones and will do the clay as well!

    Reply
    • Jody K

      They are absolutely darling, Marian. I especially love the stamped ones and the stars!
      Merry Christmas,

      Reply
      • Rita B

        These are lovely. So many cool shares this year that had the wheels turning.

        Reply
  10. Addie

    They are all beautiful……..my favorite is the squirrels!!! Love them!!!
    You need to write a crafts book.

    Reply
  11. Cynthia

    Lovely! Such a sweet homemade look. And polymer clay is so wonderful to work with! I’ve been a polymer sculptor for over 12 years and it’s so addicting! Much more forgiving than ceramic. I should note that you don’t want to bake this in your cooking oven though, only a separate convection toaster oven, or small toaster oven used just for that purpose. Polymer can linger in the oven. But I don’t think once would hurt if you turn it in again empty . You can also sand pieces afterwards if you want. And the alcohol ink stamping can go on before too. There are so many amazing things that you can do! Have fun and enjoy learning! ♥️

    Reply
  12. DebZaharchuk

    I agree with a previous comment- there is definitely a book to be made about inspiration and just giving things a try! Your posts always give me the spur to just try. My girlfriend and I started online art classes during the pandemic after reading your posts and are still going! I have always wanted to do it, just needed the nudge. So, now I’m nudging you back, give us a book!

    Reply
  13. JenBC

    These are so cute! I just love them.
    What I appreciate more is the statement, “I worry about doing things, not doing them right.” That was a stop me in my tracks statement. Im so hard on myself and yet I know I’m missing the chance to just have fun. This was so inspiring to me. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  14. sandi m

    These are just lovely!! Love the cut ornaments. Your talents never cease to amaze me.
    I’ve worked with polymer clay in jewelry making. It is addictive. There are some great books. As mentioned above, a pasta machine (electric) is a time and hand saver. And definitely it is not recommended to bake polymer clay in your food oven. I have a separate convection/toaster oven (purchased from Walmart). Sandpapers smooth out rough edges. Tissue blades also help to cut clean edges.
    Possibilities are endless…

    Reply
  15. Denise Pierce

    I got a new toaster oven and was going to get rid of my still-working old one but now I will keep it to use for polymer clay baking. I didn’t realize using a kitchen oven isn’t a good idea
    I do love the squirrels and the birds.

    Reply
  16. Vicki Elish

    The imperfections of these are what makes them so charming. The bird and the leaves are my favorites, although the paint tubes are precious. You have given me so many great ideas this Christmas. Thank you!

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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