DIY Baby's First Christmas Ornament

Make your own Baby's First Christmas tree ornament with air drying clay
When my first child was born a few years ago, I went looking for a Baby's First Christmas ornament to hang on the tree but I couldn't seem to find one that wasn't cheap and nasty or just plain ugly.  So I decided to try and make one myself.

Some time earlier I had been excited to hear about air drying clay so when I stumbled across it one day while I was at Spotlight, I bought it.  I'd since forgotten what I was planning to make with it when I bought it, but this project seemed like a good use for it.  From memory it cost around $10 at Spotlight.  If your kids are into Mister Maker, I'm sure you will find lots of other uses for it as well as it is constantly being used on the show.  The brand I bought says it is non-toxic am always heartened to find when I know my kids will be using it.  I first opened the tub in 2014 and it is still in good condition 2 years later for me to make another one for my second child.

You can also paint the dried ornament - I decided to leave mine plain though as I really liked the natural look of the dried clay.  If you would like to try to make your own ornament then here is how to do it.

  • Air drying clay (try your local craft store - I purchased mine from Spotlight)
  • Rolling pin (or something similar like a round drinking glass) to roll the clay out nicely
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic knife
  • Aluminium foil to protect your work surface and to prevent the ornament from sticking to the work surface
  • Yarn (or ribbon) for hanging the ornament

Equipment for making your own Baby's First Christmas ornament

  1. Roll out some air drying clay to a thickness of approximately 5mm on some aluminium foil.  There is no need to be worried about being too exact with the thickness, however, the thicker it is, the heavier it will be and the harder it will be to hang on the Christmas tree.
  2. Cut your desired shape out of the rolled out clay.  If you choose a circle you can use a mug or something as a template.  Other ideas for shapes are stars and bells.  Cut the shape out by pushing the knife into the clay every 1-2 cm.  You do not want to drag the knife as this will cause the clay to bunch up and ruin your smooth surface.
  3. Smooth over the top and side surfaces with your fingers.  You can wet your fingers a little bit to help do this if you wish.
  4. Use a toothpick to make a hole in the top of your ornament so it can be hung. See the picture below.
  5. Cut out Christmas tree ornament with hole for hanging ornament on the tree
  6. Personalize your ornament with a toothpick (for writing) and plastic knife (for patterns like dots from the serrated edge or straight impressions using the tip of the knife).  Do not drag as this will cause the clay to bunch up - press into the clay instead.  This is why I have formed the words with dots.
  7. Allow the ornament to dry - this will take around 2-3 days.
  8. When dry, peel off the aluminium foil and thread the yarn through the hole and make a loop to hang the ornament on the Christmas tree.
Decorated ornament - it takes 2-3 days to dry.


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