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Beautiful DIY Air Dry Clay Ornaments You’ll Want To Make

Learn how to make stunning DIY air dry clay ornaments. Perfect for holiday trees or as unique gift tags, this tutorial covers everything from using cookie cutters to decoupaging with vintage patterns.

Create your own Christmas magic!

In this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll transform ordinary air dry clay into exquisite ornaments using everyday tools like cookie cutters and a rolling pin.

But we’re not stopping at just shaping and smoothing; we’ll elevate these creations with stunning vintage patterns, ranging from the intricate designs of William Morris to the classic beauty of Japanese Shin-bijutsukai illustrations.

Imagine the edges of these ornaments, delicately painted in gold, shimmering on your holiday tree, or adorning your gifts as charming tags.

Decoupaging Air Dry Clay

Using Vintage Patterns for a Unique Twist

If you’re like me and love having unique designs around your home, you’ll enjoy this vintage image craft. I’ve decided to make air dry clay Christmas ornaments and give them a special touch by decoupaging them with vintage patterns.

The great thing is you can pick any design from the vintage collections on Pictureboxblue for this project. I went with William Morris Patterns and some classic Japanese designs from Shin-Bijutsukai. It’s a great way to remember our family trip to Japan earlier this year.

These handmade clay ornaments are an easy Christmas craft perfect for anyone – whether you’ve been crafting for years or just starting out. They’re simple to make and add a great homemade feel to your space.

So, let’s get our hands in the clay and start making these DIY air dry clay ornaments!

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Materials Needed:

What you need to make air dry clay christmas ornaments

Making Homemade Clay Ornaments

Step 1: Start with a chunk of clay and kneed it with your hand to make sure it is soft and pliable.

kneading air dry clay

Step 2: Start with a small piece of clay, rolling it out with a rolling pin to ensure a smooth surface. Use two guides (wooden rulers) to ensure that the clay is rolled out to an even thickness.

You want to roll out the air dry clay to a thickness of about 5mm.

rolling out the air dry clay

Step 3: Use your favourite Christmas cookie cutter to cut out the desired shapes. At the same time, use the end of a paintbrush or drinking straw to make a hole in the top of the ornament for hanging.

Making a hole in ornament

Step 4: Roll up an excess clay into a ball and then roll it out again to make more cookie cutter ornaments. Repeat until you have run out of clay.

You should be able to make several air-dry clay ornaments from one packet of clay.

air dry cookie cutter shapes

Decoupaging The Clay

There are two ways to decoupage the clay ornaments: one while the clay is fresh using a small amount of water, and the other is after the drying process with Mod Podge decoupage glue.  I went with the former.

Step 5: I printed the vintage patterns on an inkjet printer at home. I have made two collages of the Japanese pattern designs that you can download here: Japanese Prints 1 & Japanese Prints 2.

Printed out in Japanese vintage decoupage designs.

Step 6: Cut out the vintage pattern you want, slightly larger than the cookie cutter shape. Then, dampen the top of the clay with water and your finger. Then, gently press the paper face up into the clay ornament shape.

Dampening the clay surface for decoupage
Decoupage air dry clay ornaments

Step 7: Leave the ornaments to dry out thoroughly. This will vary depending on the climate that you live in, but the best way is to leave them until at least the next day. If they feel firm and dry to the touch, the clay is ready for the next step.

Finishing Off The Clay Project

Step 8: Use the sandpaper on the dry ornaments to remove any excess decoupage paper and ensure a smooth finish by removing the rough edges.

Then paint to the edges of the ornaments with gold acrylic paint, this adds an elegant flair to your Christmas decorations.

painting the edge of the ornaments with gold paint

Step 9: Paint another layer of decoupage glue (or varnish) over the top of the ornament to protect it. Then, thread some twine and beads through the hole to make an ornament hanger.

I love these vintage-style ornaments, especially the clay Christmas tree ones.

Decoupage air dry clay ornaments

Not only do they make great Christmas tree ornaments, but they also work well as gift tags and party favours.

Adding a few drops of essential oils to the clay will absorb it, and then it can be used as an air freshener for the car.

William Morris air-dry clay ornaments.

If only a small amount of clay is left, you can use mini cookie cutters and make some wine charms. Or check out these other fabulous air dry clay ideas.

mini air dry clay william morris charms

Other Ideas and Related Posts

Suppose you want to make your air dry clay ornaments more traditionally Christmassy. In that case, plenty of vintage Christmas images are on the site, including these delightful Scandinavian Christmas cards, which would look great decoupaged on clay.

Or you could dive into all the vintage natural illustrations on the site and use them to make ornaments like these tropical bird jar lid ornaments.

Don’t forget to check out the other vintage pattern collections on the site from Owen Jones Grammer of ornament and the patterns of Albert Racinet.

DIY vintage air dry clay ornaments pin

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Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Very cool post and great ornament results!


Tuesday 5th of December 2023

Thank you, I had fun making them.

Catherine Sokolowski

Friday 1st of December 2023

Your ornaments are gorgeous! I pinned and will definitely be making, or at least trying, some. They will look great on my tree and I know a few people that would love sthem for their trees.


Friday 1st of December 2023

Thank you so much, they are fun to make. You can also use them as tags and write on the back.

janet trieschman

Thursday 30th of November 2023

Great project. Napkins would work well for images too. Thanks for sharing with Creatively Crafty Link Party.


Friday 1st of December 2023

Thank you, yes printed napkins are great to use as well, if you can find the designs you want.


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Lovely ornaments


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Thank you so much, I had fun making them.