Written by Sharon Garofalow of Cupcakes and Cutlery
It’s prime Christmas tree-trimming time, which means it’s the perfect time to make these cute DIY marbled clay ornaments. Not only will they make a stylish statement on your Christmas tree, but they also make a great handmade gift idea, too!
The possibilities are endless with this marbled clay technique. All you need to do is find some great holiday cookie cutters and get to work!
Click through for instructions on how to make these homemade Christmas ornaments…
• Oven Bake Clay in a variety of colors
• Holiday-shaped cookie cutters
• Small rolling pin (The one shown above is from a Playdoh set! The clay can stain, which I noticed when I used my wood my wooden rolling pin. It also sticks more on the wood.)
• Cookie sheet
Note: The colored clay can stain your work area, so choose your workspace accordingly. I used my marble cutting board and covered it in sheets of waxed paper, but using a cookie sheet worked really well, too. Your hands will likely get stained as well, but it’ll come off after a few washes.
1. Cut off some clay from whatever colors you are using. I went with just two colors here but you could do three or four if you like a more multicolor look.
2. Create ropes of clay (keep each color separate) by rolling the clay pieces between your palms.
3. Twist the clay ropes together.
4. Roll the twisted clay between your palms to help them to bind together.
5. Fold the rope in half and twist the two pieces together. Repeat this step several times to help incorporate the two colors together.
6. After you’ve twisted the rope for the last time, press each end of the rope towards the center to compress your rope.
7. Roll the clay in to a ball between your palms.
8. Using the heel of you hand, press your ball of clay on to your work surface. Then, using the rolling pin, roll out the clay so that it is a uniform thickness all the way around. Aim for your ornament to be about 1/8″ thick. Flip the clay over a few times to see which side you like the pattern on and to keep it from sticking too much to your work surface.
9. Use a Christmas-themed cookie cutter (or any cookie cutter you choose!) to punch out the shape. Use a straw to make a small hole at the top of the ornament where you can add string to hang it.
10. Follow the clay packaging directions and bake the ornaments. Sculpey Clay says to bake the clay at 275 degrees for about 15 minutes for a decoration that is about 1/4″ thick. Adjust these instructions to fit your oven (mine runs hot!) and the thickness of your clay. After 15 minutes, I took the ornaments out to let them cool. Once cool, I checked to see if they were still a little bendy or if they felt firm. Mine needed a little more time in the oven so I put them back in for 5 minutes, removed, and let cool and checked again. You do not want to over bake the clay but you want your clay ornaments to be firm.
The ornament on the far left shows what it looks like when you twist your clay colors together fewer times. The clay looks more marble-y the more it is twisted together. The round green ornament on the far right shows what the marbling looks like when you continue to mix the colors as you reuse the scraps after using the cookie cutter and rolling it out again. So many variations!
To finish your ornaments, simply tie a string through the hole at the top and hang them on your tree!
These ornaments are a great keepsake—write the date you made them on the back—or give them as gifts to family members, teachers, or anyone else you want to give something to.
Happy holidays! Wishing you a joyous holiday in your festive home.
Photos: Dez and Tam Photography