Wow, December seems to be whipping past doesn’t it? How’s your preparation and planning going? We’re still busy here at Beagle HQ. In fact, the Lamb loved making paper so much on Day 3, we’re making more! Evidently, she and daddy have plans to create a treasure map so instead of food colouring we’ve added cold tea and I’ll post an update if it works.
But on to Day 5 of our 12 Days of Giftmas. We put up our Christmas tree over the weekend and one of my favourite times at Christmas is unwrapping our ornaments and remembering the special times or places where we bought them. We have a tradition that we try to buy a new ornament during the year to help us remember something special we did so it’s always fun to unwrap the cheesy koala from our time in OZ, or the Help for Heroes ornament from when we did a sponsored run for them.
Since having the Lamb, some of our decorations have taken on a special significance, especially the handmade ones. We’ve made a number of different decorations which decorate the tree. I mentioned on Day 1 that the Lamb and I collected pine cones and painted them, so they’re now the pride of place on the mantle.
However, we’ve tried something new and made some air drying clay decorations. I wanted to commemorate our holiday to Disneyland so used our Mickey Mouse cookie cutters, then a small funnel was the perfect size to make small holes for ribbon. I’d made a big batch of them to go in the Lamb’s birthday treat bags for her friends and we had quite a few left over to decorate for Christmas.
The best thing about air-drying clay is that it doesn’t take a lot to make a number of decorations which makes it very cost-effective. I probably used about half a packet to make about sixteen large Mickey decorations, plus a handful of smaller ones. How cute do they look?
Gel pens to add sparkle and remember our holiday
After some testing, I’ve learned that poster paint seems to work best: it doesn’t go ‘gloopy’ like acrylic and adheres well. It also gives a matte finish and doesn’t ‘bleed’ the colour, unlike nail varnish. However, you do need to build up the colour, allowing the poster paint to dry between coats which can be a little time-consuming.
Gel pens work well for adding details.
Then add some festive ribbon!
A few tips I’ve learned:
- Use books of the same size to ensure your clay is even;
- Lay your decorations on a wire rack with some grease-proof paper under them. Keep turning them so they dry evenly and the wires don’t mark your decorations;
- Even sharp cutters can leave an uneven or rough edge. An emery board can be used to file the clay for an even edge;
- I’ve tried different paints, even nail varnishes but found poster paint works best. You need to keep doing it in layers, allowing the paint to dry in-between. Sharpies can then be used for details.
Have you tried using air-drying clay? What did you make? Let me know in the comments below.