A crafty weekend in Bath: DIY christmas garland

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent last weekend in Bath. It was very much a craft-themed weekend in which, for the first time, I discovered the many wonders of the oven baked clay. We made this pretty garland with Sculpey, ribbon, cookie cutters, buttons and my fave golden pen.

The best thing about baked oven clay is that you can choose whether to buy it white or colored. I bought it white which then gave me a blank canvas to decorate as I liked. This project is as easy to do as you want it to be, really only becoming difficult depending how you decide to decorate the pieces. It’s virtually mess-free and perfect to do with kids.

To make the shapes that will go on the garland, all you will need is

  • cling film (it makes it much easier to keep clay off the table)
  • a rolling pin (or a bottle! aka emergency rolling pin)
  • nice cookie cutters (Christmas, dinosaurs, classic shapes, anything will serve)
  • Sculpey – or any other sort of oven bake clay
  • a pen top or another device to make some holes to put the string or ribbon through
  • as an option you could try to add a pattern to the clay. We had some rugged paper but didn’t prove very successful

Here is how you make them. Take a handful of Sculpey and work with your hands until soft. Roll it out to whatever thickness you want but don’t make it too thin or then they’ll feel quite flimsy, then cut it out with those awesome cookie cutters of yours. I chose small and big stars, a classic!

On another note, I have recently purchased one of these printing kits so it was a wonderful opportunity to try it out. It’s ace, you should get one right now as well – and no, this is not advertising, I just love it!.

Get baking away. Bake those bad boys as following the packet instructions and wait for them to cool down.

You are pretty much now ready to decorate them and make your garland. To achieve the same look as I did you will need:

  • a golden pen
  • some pretty ribbon (about 3-4 meters, or however long you want it really)
  • star shaped buttons
  • needle and thread of the same color as the ribbon
  • double-sided tape or a glue gun

I decided to go for a simple approach and decorated all stars by painting the sides with a golden pen and then proceeded to also decorate the inside of only the smaller stars. If you want them to be glossy, you will need to apply a gloss glaze. Tip of the day: the golden pen and the gloss glaze are a bit of a no-no together, bummer.

Carefully sew the button and ribbon together leaving the clay stars in between. Leave about 25-30 cm between stars. Plan it advance keeping in mind the length of your ribbon.

The stars are quite heavy so they tend to face down when on the ribbon. Just turn them around and, with a glue gun or some double-sided tape, stick the ribbon to the star to keep them looking straight.

You are pretty much ready to put it on your tree! If you are making it in advance like me, I stored it in a kind of tidy way by rolling it around an empty toilet paper roll! Happy crafting!

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