Some of my favourite gifts to give and receive are those that are personal, home-made or that someone has obviously put real time and thought into. To me a DIY gift always feels so in-keeping with the real spirit of Christmas, not to mention that it is great fun to make home-made presents! I could spend many a happy hour creating today’s DIY that’s for sure. Today I thought I’d share with you the gift that I have made for many of my friends (let’s hope their not reading) in the hope that I can prove that you don’t have to spend mountains of cash to give personal gifts to your chums. Og and also if you are short of a few gifts I hope that these easy DIY decorations might solve a few problems for you as we get closer to the big day!
What Will You Need | Air Drying Clay | Circle Cutter (not essential) or some cardboard | Acrylic Paint | Paintbrush| String or Ribbon | Paint Pen
Let’s get making…
Grab yourself some air-drying clay, I used Daler-Rowney DAS White Modelling Clay (£3.50), and roll it into a flat sheet just over 1cm thick. Remember the thicker the clay the less breakable the finished ornament will be.
When you have rolled out your clay use a cookie cutter (on the smooth side) to cut out circles to form the body of your ornament, or alternatively make a cardboard template and use a sharp knife (preferably a craft or stanley knife) to cut out your shape.
Now you have the body of your decoration, you must make sure to make a hole before the clay dries so the bauble can hang. When making your hole be sure to steer well clear of the edge and use an old emptied biro shell or a straw to cut out the circle.
Once you have cut out your hanging hole it is time to let them dry. Pop them on a drying rack or non-matte surface and leave overnight to ensure they are fully dry.
Now it is time to get creative, choose a background colour or design. I decided to leave some of the clay exposed and go for a yellow ochre coloured stripe across the middle, but you really can do anything! Once again, leave your paint to dry and once it is, it is time to get personalising!
I like to draft my design on tracing paper before I go for the decoration to ensure that I don’t make any mistakes and then transfer it. When it comes to tracing your design onto your bauble these are the steps you need to follow…
- Use your circle cutter or template to draw circles onto tracing paper. Each of these represents a bauble.
- As shown above, you then need to draw your design into each circle.This could be your friend’s name, a date, or even a little drawing – anything that tickles your fancy!
- Cut out your circle and turn it over on a flat surface so the text is backwards. Neatly draw over your design.
- Now flip your circle back over so you can read the text and, as shown above, place it on your clay decoration.
- Scribble over your design on top of your bauble and then lift off your tracing paper to see that the name has transferred onto the decoration!
For the next step I highly recommend using a Posca Pen, which are essentially paint pens. They give a clean, sharp and permanent finish and you can get them in so many different colours and thicknesses. The one I used for my baubles was the Black PC-5M, bullet shaped, 1.8-2.5mm for reference. It would also be cool to paint your baubles a dark colour and use the white pens, which come out so opaque – very pretty!
Anyway so the next step, as you have probably already figured out, is to trace over your pencil design to create the finished product. This is such a satisfying step and really pulls the whole thing together so quickly.
I also drew a few little stars, hearts and comet doodles onto my designs to add a bit more of a fun feel for Christmas! When you have finished doodling, the final step is to add some colourful string or ribbon, these are decorations after all and we want our recipients to be able to hang them up! I chose to use classic red and white, and I love how the final result came out. And there you have it your very own personalised Christmas decorations, now all I wish is that I made on for myself!
Are you making any gifts this year? If so, I’d love to know what they are!