Sunday, December 4, 2011
Creating Christmas Day 1 - Sparkle Star Ornaments
You guys. YOU GUYS. Are you excited? I'm gonna be knocking out some Christmas "Arts and Cwapfts" with you this next week! At the end of the week there will be a huuuuuuuuge linky party involving lots of other Crafty Bloggers and you are more than welcome to dust off your own crafting supplies and link up! This is my very first time doing ANYTHING like this, so bear with me as I attempt to wow you with some awesomeness! The goal of all of this is to STOP pinning and START creating, and this is a hard one for me! I love me some Pinterest and my craft category is ginormous. How many crafts could I have knocked out instead of infinitely scrolling through all the pretty pictures? How many crafts could YOU have knocked out?
One Christmas craft in particular that I've been itching to get done is a proper fingerprint ornament. Last year's fingerprint ornament was a TOTAL craft fail. I mean... it was cute... but... my (then) 3 year old could have done it without any of my help and here I am a crafty crafterson and I couldn't have made it look any better. I instead made it much, MUCH, worse. I can't even show you pictures despite the fact that it's up on my tree. IT'S JUST THAT BAD. So instead of making another batch of salt dough this year, I broke down and bought Sculpey like I should have done the first time. Salt dough is fine for a variety of things, but if you're going for fool proof, Sculpey or any other polymer clay will do the trick. When picking out a polymer clay, do NOT leave the store without squishing the package a little. Obviously, don't maul it, but don't make my original mistake and buy one that's too dry/brittle. It needs to have some "give" to it, without you straining your fingers. It might have been a blessing in my disguise, however, as I ended up going back and discovering a "Pearl" color that was more fitting than plain white. (i.e. NO PAINTING INVOLVED LATER! -- which is exactly where last years fingerprints went all wrong.)
For this craft you will need:
1 package of Sculpey or other polymer clay (for about 10 cookie cutter shaped ornaments or 20 fondant cutter shaped ornaments.)
1 heavy rolling pin or maybe even the bottom of a heavy saucepan to smash the clay flat.
Cookie/fondant cutters -- I used a Wilton brand fondant cutter in about a 1" star shape.
Sharp/pointy item to "etch" and form a hole to thread your string/wire through.
Wire/Ribbon for hanging the finished ornaments.
Beads/bells to adorn them.
Children for free labor... unless you frustrate easily and then maybe it's just better if you didn't go that route.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 275. Knead your clay until it's warm and pliable and then flatten it atop a protected surface. If you're getting too much unwanted texture, place a layer of wax or parchment paper on top while you flatten.
Step 2 - Take your shape of choice and begin punching them out of the clay, taking the excess and re-flattening and punching as you go. Finished shapes can be placed on a foil lined baking sheet.
Step 3 - Have your children/dog/neighbor firmly push their finger/thumb/paw/toes into the clay. Take your sharp/pointy objects (obviously I used a thin paintbrush and a thumb tack) to etch any little mementos you want BAKED onto your ornament and also to create a hole big enough to thread your wire or ribbon through.
Step 4 - BAKE! Keep in mind that it takes 15 minutes for every 1/4" of clay. Even though I flattened mine out to roughly a quarter inch, it ended up taking 20 minutes. Just use your best judgment and watch the oven CAREFULLY. The key is to use your best judgment!
Step 5 - Take a length of ribbon or wire and measure out as many pieces as you need. Remember if you fold your ribbon/wire over that it will dangle at MOST half of the length of your ribbon/wire. You still gotta make a loop, so choose your length wisely. :) I made mine about 8-10 inches long in the mindset that I would be staggering my stars a bit.
Step 6 - Beads work wonders to cover up ugly wiring jobs. JUST SAYIN. Decorate to your little hearts content! I used red jingle bells and pearls, both of which have been hiding out in my little craft drawers for 3 years now. Unacceptable, right? Again, make sure if you're using wire to thread the SECOND ornaments' beads on before you wrap the wire. I made that mistake maybe more than once, I'm not at liberty to say though. When you go to make the final loop at the top to use for hanging purposes, take 2 fingers and make a loop where you want the "hanger" to be. Continue to wrap the wire around itself to finish the look.
Tada! And there you have it! Simple, cheap, and great for tagging gifts from your kids to Grandparents/Aunts/Uncles/total strangers. Ok... maybe not strangers. Stay tuned tomorrow for another little Christmasy nugget o' joy! I'm STOKED to get to share my insane love of Christmas with you, so share the love and spread the word on Creating Christmas!
I am sharing my holiday home decor and cleaning tips for the chance to win prizes from The SITS Girls and Great Cleaners.