Friday, 21 November 2014

Homemade No-Bake Clay Decorations (Child Friendly Craft)

Homemade decorations can have mixed reviews, sometimes they are a lovely idea but let's face it, running through our minds are "what an earth am I going to DO with this!?" Other times, if done with a little thought and a few finishing touches, they can be really wonderful.

Christmas is expensive for most people, and as the years pass by the budgets increase. This year, having just sorted ourselves out financially after a number of years working hard to become debt free, I decided it was time to re visit homemade gifts.

This year, there will be homemade chutney, biscuits (stay tuned for those) and clay decorations to go with a small gift in an attempt to be sensible this year. But mostly - I LOVE making things for people! I love crafting, making, baking, cooking, and I really love homemade things. Not only do I reap the enjoyment of making them, but this year, so have the children, and it's been a really fun thing to do on rainy Sunday afternoons!

You will need:

Cellophane Gift Bags or Cellophane on a roll
2kg of Air Drying White Clay (available online or at craft shops)
Snowflake cutter (or cutter of your choice)
9m Ribbon for hanging (Snowflakes only)
Curling Ribbon for gift bags
Kraft Labels or Tags
Glitter Paint and Paint Brush (optional)
Rolling Pin
Greaseproof or Baking Paper
Sharp knife (handprints only)

Makes: Out of this we made 24 snowflake decorations, and 9 handprint keepsakes. The number of bags and tags you will need will depend on how many you want per gift. If you want to hang your handprints too, then you will need probably another 2m of ribbon.

Note: These take a few days to dry out so ideally start to make them a couple of weeks before you need them!

How to:

1. Firstly, roll out your clay until it is the thickness you want - we did ours quite chunky so they were about 1cm thick.

2. Cut out your shape of choice (we used snowflakes) and place onto greaseproof paper lined trays (or plates, whatever you have).

3. We also made handprint keepsakes of all the children, 3 of each child. Get them to press their hands into the clay, and then cut around the print with a sharp knife (once their hand has been removed from the clay!). Again, once done place onto lined trays.

4. Using the end of the paintbrush or a pen / pencil, create a hole in the middle of the shape for hanging. It's up to you whether you put a hole on the handprint keepsakes.

5. Leave on the trays out of reach of little hands (or big hands if you have curious adults!) for about 5 days to completely dry out. They need to be in a dry place, we put ours on the top of the wardrobes and they dried out at room temperature.

6. Once they are dry, you can paint them if you like. We used glitter paint to give a little sparkle when the Christmas Tree lights catch them. Leave to dry - they dry quite quickly but I left them for a day to be sure! You can see in the pictures the difference between the painted ones and the ones yet to be done.

7. Cut a length or ribbon enough to hang with, and knot it at the top. If you haven't made the hole quite big enough you can make it bigger by gently pushing a pencil through the back.

8. Package up into your bags, depending on how many you want per gift.

9. Write your tags (I used a "Homemade with Love" stamp too). Please make sure they know these are not edible!lol!

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