DIY WATERCOLOUR CLAY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.in air dry clay, christmas, craft, diy
Christmas decorations are always so fun to make. I've made a couple of different types of tree decorations over the years, these diy embossed clay stars are still my favourite. This year I decided to make a faux glazed clay version using watercolour paints.
The faux glaze effect is really easy to achieve all you need are some watercolour paints and watered down clear school glue. And although the drying time between layers can be a little time consuming I think they're worth the effort.
Let's heat up the hot chocolate, pop on some Christmas music and get crafting shall we?
Materials needed to make your own Diy Watercolour Clay Christmas Decorations:
Air dry clay, a rolling pin, Christmas cookie cutters (I got mine from TK Maxx but I found some similar sets here and here), stamps (I used this gold acrylic set but there's a wooden version as well), wooden lolly sticks and cocktail sticks, sandpaper, watercolour paints, a paintbrush, clear school glue or acrylic varnish and some bakers twine.
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1. Knead the air dry clay until it is soft and pliable.
2. Roll the clay out to around 3mm thick. If you find the clay is sticking to the table you can try rolling the clay out onto some greaseproof paper or a silicon baking tray first.
3. Press the chosen stamps into the clay (I used these stamps). Be careful not to press too hard as the clay can get stuck to the work surface.
4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape of your decorations.
5. Peel the excess clay away.
6. Use a cocktail stick or a small straw to make a hole in the top of each decoration for the twine.
7. Leave to dry. The air dry clay will harden by itself, there's no need to bake in the oven.
The Das air dry clay I like to use says it takes 24 hours to dry but I find it takes closer to 96 hours (4 days) especially in Winter when it's wet and cold so make sure to allow plenty of drying time.
If you find your clay decorations starting to curl up as they dry it helps to flip them over halfway through the drying process. The clay dries a lot quicker when the air can get to both sides at the same time so I like to dry my clay on baking cooling trays. You'll know when the clay is dry as it changes from a pale grey colour to a matte white.
8. When your clay is dry sand away any rough edges using some fine sandpaper.
9. To decorate the clay with a faux glaze look start by mixing a thin, pale watercolour base. This is the part where you can get creative. I used different shades of green for the trees but you could make them any colour you fancy.
You want to apply the lighter colour first and then build up the darker colours on top. The paint will sink and pool into the indentations left by the stamp. A thin watery paint works best. I found the watercolour glaze effect worked best on the clay that had the added stamped texture.
Build up the colours layer by layer and leave the clay to dry in between each layer. You can use a hair dryer or heat gun to help speed up the process.
10. When the decorations are totally dry you can glaze them.
I used watered down clear school glue to give a glossy faux glazed ceramic finish. I applied a couple of layers of the glue mixture to give it that high gloss look. Alternatively you could use this acrylic mod podge gloss sealer or this diy clay glaze and leave out the added colour.
You may need to re-pierce the hole where any glaze has blocked it.
11. When dry thread some bakers twine or ribbon through the hole and hang.
To make the candy cane decorations roll out some clay and score lines using a wooden lolly stick. Cut them out and leave to dry like the others. To finish use an orangey red for the base and a deeper cherry red on top.
To make the stars use a cocktail stick to make the dotted line around the edge and a watery inky blue to colour them. The bells were made in the same way as the trees but using a different stamp from the set. A dark orange was applied over a pale golden yellow before glazing.
What do you think? They're easy to make and can be customised to match any theme. The prefect project to get you in the festive spirit.
P.S. Don't forget you can find more holiday craft ideas over on my Pinterest account.