Hello world, with Ornament Idea!

by FieryTree on December 21, 2010 · 7 comments

Edit: This article originally appeared on my first website fierygivingtree.com which I’ve since closed.


Welcome! This first post comes to you from the middle of my “Christmas Crazies”, as I’ve come to call them.  I talk each year about scaling back “next year” and every “next year” I am in the same boat, trying to figure out how I might give every person in my office of 60+ “something”. This year I did scale back a little, focusing more on food items, but still managing to craft up an item for half of the office.

If you are in the same boat, here is one of the projects I completed that is easy reproducible: Handmade Fimo Clay Ornaments. A couple of hours can yield multiple ornaments (once you pass the small learning curve). Here’s how:

Materials needed:

  • “Sculpey III” Clay [when  purchasing – check that the clay is not rock solid, squish the clay and see if there is some give]
  • Parchment paper [Cardstock also works]
  • A rolling pin (plastic) – cannot be used for food again
  • X-Acto knife [hopefully you are not using this for food]
  • Star pattern – cut out on a piece of paper [or cookie cutter but do not use for food afterwards]
  • Colored Flexible wire – 24gauge is easy to work with your hands if you do not have pliers
  • Optional: Assorted stamps [for pressing into the clay to create a pattern].
  • Optional: Beads
  • Optional: Acrylic paint
  • Optional: Small paint brush
  • Optional: Needle Nose Pliers

Directions –

  1. Prep your area by laying out sheets of parchment paper, to protect your work surface.
  2. Lay an additional sheet of parchment paper on top, this will remain with the piece of clay when it is baked.
  3. Work the clay in your hands and with the roller to soften. If your clay is very hard, this will take longer but is important to keep working so it takes the impression (and does not crumble).
  4. Experiment with blending multiple colors of clay together.
  5. Flatten clay to a quarter of an inch thickness.
  6. Take your star pattern and carefully cut around your image with your knife. Be sure to clean any rough edges before baking.
  7. Remove the pattern and take your chosen stamp and begin to strategically stamp the clay. Repeat with additional stamps, if desired.
  8. When complete, take a piece of wire and poke a hole in the top and near the bottom for hanging the ornament. Make sure the wire can easily pass through it. (Remove the wire before baking.)
  9. Add a few additional holes in the clay if you wish to embellish with beads at the end.
  10. Bake following the manufacturer’s instructions (I use thin/disposable baking sheets). Be careful to not exceed the recommended temperature or the clay will burn and turn a darker color. (The smokey smell is not great either.)
  11. Let ornaments cool. If the shapes have curled up, you can flatten them with a book while they cool down.
  12. To complete – cut a piece of wire roughly the length of your star, with an additional 7 inches added.
  13. Thread your wire from the top front hole, to the back, leaving a tail of about 3.5 inches. Take the remaining length of wire and thread in through the bottom hole from the back to front. There should be a tail of about 3.5 inches remaining in the front.
  14. If you do not have pliers, work the tails of wire into a spiral with your fingers. (The top spiral may be used to hang the ornament.)
  15. Need more embellishment? Add some paint for additional visual interest. If you stamped your ornament, you can use your stamped impression as a guide.
  16. More? Add beads by stringing them on a piece of wire threaded through the ornament. Leave a piece of wire, no more than 1/2 an inch on the backside of the ornament to hold the beads. Curl this tail into a tiny spiral to hold it in place.
  17. Take the other end of the wire and curl the end in a decorative spiral or snake the wire through another hole. (Again, stabilize the wire with another tight spiral on the backside.)
  18. Complete your decoration and celebrate your beautiful handmade gift!

Inspiration – click for a larger image:

– – –
Monkey brain kept at bay, courtesy of the Gipsy Kings.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James Schipper December 22, 2010 at 7:26 am

These came out much better than the pictures show, too.

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2 Caroline December 22, 2010 at 8:00 am

Loving it!! 😀 Very inspiring!

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3 Maria December 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Thanks Caroline! A real compliment coming from you!

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4 Louise December 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Hi, Maria! The star ornaments look great!

One year I made stuffed purple velvet stars for everyone on my list. Each star had a loop of ribbon and a charm sewn to it, representing that person’s interests. Oy vey, that took a long time. Anytime a project makes you think, “I wish I had fewer friends!” you know you’ve bitten off more than you can chew…

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5 Maria December 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm

LOL. I can completely relate, Louise! Last night I had to take a moment to appreciate that my holiday insanity was due to knowing so many wonderful people. With less people, I might be less stressed, but I’d miss out on so much! 🙂

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6 celestial chihuahua January 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm

The ornaments are totally cool in person; as is Ms. Maria. Being honored with one from the master herself, I’m not putting mind away with the end to the holiday season but hung it up as a fan pull so it can be seen all year long.

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7 Maria January 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Thanks so much! That is a wonderful compliment, I hope you enjoy the star!

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