Handmade holiday cheer begins here!
December brings with it many joyful moments, as well as lots of Christmas gift shopping and preparations! And this year I’ve been making handmade Santa ornaments to share with family and friends. If you participate in ornament exchanges or give lots of small gifts, this is an easy and inexpensive solution! And they’re a great way to express your creativity and add new Christmas ornaments to your collection every year!
Creating with clay brings back wonderful childhood memories, and you can have the kids help you with this project and make new Christmas memories. They can create gift ornaments that grandparents and family will love! Make sure and keep one for yourself as it will become an heirloom filled with Christmas memories of making ornaments together.
I used Sculpey oven bake clay and a cookie mold pan to make the basic Santa shape. If you don’t have a cookie mold pan you can roll out the clay like cookie dough and use cookie cutters to make the basic shapes.
Roll a ball of Sculpey or your favorite clay in your hands or on a wax paper work surface until it becomes soft and pliable. If you have a non-stick cookie mold pan similar to the one shown, press the clay firmly into the mold so it embosses the details into the clay. All the shapes in the cookie mold pans will work as ornaments. Remove the excess clay until it’s nearly even with the surface of the pan since the ornament will be flat on the back. Then carefully peel the clay out of the mold. Lay the clay shape on wax paper or parchment paper and smooth the edges and the surface with your fingers or a sculpting tool. I decided to add more detail to Santa’s face, and this is where you can express your own creativity! I added small pieces of clay to make his nose and cheeks. I smoothed the clay pieces onto his face and added small pieces for his mustache. To add swirls to his mustache and beard, I used the small round tip of a burnishing tool to draw the swirls into the clay. You could substitute a pencil, a cake tester or other similar object for the burnishing tool. If the tool leaves ridges just smooth them into the beard. The last step before baking is to add a small wire loop into the ornament so it will be ready to hang. I make a small U shape out of craft wire and push it into the top before baking. Place your finished ornaments on parchment paper on a baking sheet and they’re ready to bake following package directions.
When they’ve cooled, paint them with acrylic paints. I like to let the paint thoroughly dry before adding a sprinkle of glitter to a sealer coat of matte Mod Podge. For the holly decoration on the ornament shown, I glued on little holly leaves snipped from a mini garland and used beads as berries, adding a sparkle of glitter. Be creative with what you have on hand! Don’t forget to sign and date your ornament and it’s ready for gifting or hanging on the Christmas tree.
Share the joy!