Clay Christmas tree ornaments.
Just a quick evening project, an experiment actually. I've seen packs of ready-to-use, air-dry clay at my local dollar store and have been curious to try it out for a while, but never had any specific use for it. Until now. I came across this idea on pinterest and thought it would be a great way to test out the clay.
I rolled out the clay using my rolling pin to a thickness of about 1/4" and used cookie cutters to cut the shapes out. Then, I imprinted them with some budding twigs, cedar sprigs, and pine needles I had picked up on a walk in the forest earlier that day. I simply pressed the twig/sprig/needle lightly into the cut out shape in different orientations. I used a straw to cut out a circle at the top of the shape so that a string could be threaded through for hanging. Once the clay was dry (left laying flat at room temperature for 24 hours), I used my kids' water paints to colour in the cedar or pine needle imprints on the tree-shaped ornaments, while left over copper craft paint was used to colour the budding twigs on the star-shaped ornaments. Finally, I threaded a piece of jute twine through the hole and that's it! The ornaments were ready!
The ornaments turned out great! Simple, rustic, a bit primitive, with that organic feel... however, the clay was not so great. Although it was easy to work with and it hardened by drying over night (as opposed to curing in a kiln), it was very brittle and the ornaments were very fragile. I'm glad I didn't waste my time on a more labour-intensive project using this clay! If I do make any more of these types of ornaments, I'll be sure to try it out using a different clay, salt dough or some other, less brittle compound.