Best gifts gift guide

We are on to the third installment of the best gifts gift guide. (Here’s one and two.) Tilly’s Nest blogger Melissa Caughey shared her most treasured gift—a clay snowman her son made for her.

I totally get the sentimental value of a child’s handmade project. I mean my mom hung paper reindeer my brother and I made each Christmas until I was 25.

I upgraded my handmade gifts from paper reindeer to pretty clay ornaments when I sculpted these for co-workers when I was at Anthropologie.

Christmas ornamentThey were simple, inexpensive, and I could personalize each one for its recipient.

Here’s how:

  1. Roll out the Fimo soft clay (I used the Sahara color) using a nonstick rolling pin until it’s about ¼-inch thick. This takes a little time and effort since the clay is pretty firm. I warmed it a bit between my fingers before rolling it out.
  2. Use cookie cutters to make shapes. I used one of my grandmother’s vintage cutters for this shape, then made a smaller circle in the middle using a leftover piece (from an Anthro project) of PVC that I only pushed halfway through the clay. I do, however, love this faceted gem, these traditional ornament shapes and this pretty flower.
  3. Push the flat side of a bamboo skewer through the clay, twisting gently to make a hole where you want to place the hook for hanging. Create additional decorative holes in the same fashion. You can use the opposite side of the skewer to make toothpick-size holes, like I did in the middle of this ornament.
  4. Place on a cookie sheet and bake according to package directions, then let cool completely.
  5. Paint the hardened ornament using acrylic paint. I only painted one coat on mine; two or more would create a more opaque finish. Let dry completely.
  6. Paint a thin layer of Sculpey Gloss Glaze in the places where you’d like to add glitter. Sprinkle glitter over the wet glaze, tap off excess and let dry completely.
  7. Add a pretty ribbon and hook, and hang on the tree.

What have you made out of clay as an adult that you’re proud to display—and gift?