I love making DIY ornaments around the holidays because they’re great gifts (if you actually make cute ones) and they’re usually super easy to make. So, this year, I made a whole bunch of ornaments to share and today’s is my absolute fave, so I’m sharing these first…
Terracotta clay ornaments! They’re super easy to make, super affordable, and actually look like something you’ll want to put on the tree (or add to stockings, etc). A batch of more than 20 ornaments cost me about $10 to make and they look like something your could buy from a cool local shop (bonus!). Click through to make your own.
How to Make Terracotta Clay Ornaments
To make your own, you’ll need…
- terracotta air hardening clay (I used a 2 pound block)
- cookie cutters in any shape you like (mine are linked in the steps)
- a rolling pin (that you use for non-edibles)
- nail polish in your fave colors
- a skewer or something similar for poking holes
- string and scissors
- scrap fabric, canvas, or craft mat for rolling out the clay
1. Start by rolling out the air dry clay with a rolling pin to a thickness between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. It might be easiest to cut the brick in half, form each into a ball and roll them out separately.
*I used a scrap piece of canvas underneath the clay so the color wouldn’t transfer to my table. Highly recommend doing something like this.
2. Then use your cookies cutters to cut out the shapes over and over again. And poke holes at the top of each shape with a skewer or something similar, so you can thread the string through later. Once all the shapes have been cut, roll up the scrap pieces of clay and re-roll it out with a rolling pin to start the process over. You want to use up every little piece of the clay so you can make as many ornaments as possible.
3. Leave the shapes out to dry according to the instructions on the clay packaging. I let mine sit out for 24 hours and flipped them once half way through.
4. Once all of the pieces are completely dry, it’s time to paint! I used nail polish instead of craft paint for this project to make it look more like a fired ceramic piece. Nail polish is glossy, so it looks more like a glaze. Just paint directly onto the clay with the nail polish brush, wait for it to dry, and apply a second coat.
5. Wait for the second coat of nail polish to dry before cutting string and knotting it through the holes and they’re ready to hang on the tree.
I love the idea of gifting sets of these budget-friendly ornaments to family and friends – especially since you can customize the shapes to each person’s interests, fave colors, etc.
Think you’ll make a set of these DIY ornaments this year? What ornament shapes would best represent you and your family if you made your own?