Air Dry Clay Ornaments with Wikki Stix
By Jaclyn Ryan
One of my favorite holiday traditions is making homemade ornaments with my three daughters. It is really the perfect way to slow down and focus on connecting this holiday season.
We all look forward to making ornaments together every year, and as a result our Christmas tree is stock piled with one-of-kind pieces and memories from years past, all on display.
This year, we’ll be making ornaments from air dry clay and Wikki Stix. Using air dry clay is actually relatively quick and easy, making it the perfect craft to do with children at a time when you already have a lot on your plate. Craft projects are a great way to keep little ones busy while getting ready for the holiday season. So, why not make your family’s Christmas a homemade one with some air dry clay ornaments?
There is no right or wrong way to make these ornaments, and they can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. Please remember to try to surrender all creative design over to your children. Talk to them beforehand and let them know that there is no right or wrong way to do this project. You can do a quick google search for inspiration, but let your children take the lead with the actual project. If you let your children lead, the result will be far more adorable than if you try to guide their every move with this craft.
- air dry clay (I used Crayola, white)
- Wikki Stix
- wax (or parchment) paper
- rolling pin
- cookie cutters
- drinking straw
- small cup of water
- optional additional embellishments (sequins, beads)
First, lay your wax paper on a counter or table and tape it down. This will prevent it from shifting around and keep the clay from sticking to the surface. Next, fill a small bowl of water and keep it handy.
Have your children brainstorm their design. With many of our projects, we try to keep things as open-ended as possible and focus on the process above all else. By focusing on the process of creation rather than the finished product, children are free to embrace their creativity, make independent decisions and gain confidence in their own abilities.
Once their design is complete, have your children choose colors, design elements and anything else they would like to add to their ornaments! (in addition to the Wikki Stix, you can also add sequins, beads, real pine needles, etc.)
Open the air dry clay package and combine a few pieces together. Massage the clay in your hands, trying to eliminate any air bubbles. This should be easy to do, as this type of clay in general is extremely pliable and easy to use. Once you have a good chunk of clay, roll it flat using a rolling pin. Keep rolling until your clay is around ¼ in thick.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes of your choice. Press the cookie cutter down on the clay, then remove the excess clay and set it aside (TIP: after cutting your shapes, you can remove any rough edges by rubbing a few drops of water on them).
Use a straw to create a hole in the top of your shape. This is where you will hang your ornament, so it just needs to be large enough for the ribbon you chose to fit through.
Next, add your embellishments! Let your children keep these as simple as they’d like or as elaborate as they choose. You can use scissors to cut the Wikki Stix, as needed, and make fun designs with them.
Children can also add other design elements — usually small, and flat craft supplies such as sequins work well. You can even add glitter by going back a few steps and sprinkling glitter on as you roll out the clay! Another fun option is to add natural elements, such as pine needles from your own Christmas tree (bonus: they’ll smell good, too!).
Once all design elements have been added, set the ornaments aside to dry. Do so according to the directions on the package, usually 1-2 days. We left ours white this time, but once they are dry, you can paint them if you want!
If your ornaments are anything like the ones in our home, they’ll be perfectly imperfect, but also very special. I always tell my children that a handmade gift is something that is made with your hands and comes from your heart. You can use these ornaments for your holiday display at home, but they also make a timeless gift for children to give to family and friends.
Now that you got the hang of it, try to make hand-crafted ornaments a family tradition. It is something that you can do and enjoy together, year after year!