With all the colors of a rainbow, you simply can’t go wrong!
A simple slab of clay starts out as pretty simple, but cut into a feather pattern, covered with glitter, and finished with crystals, plus shabby chic fabric – viola! You have a bohemian take on traditional Christmas tree ornaments. I love to take traditional pieces and re-invent them, and these are the perfect example.
I had a bunch of those plastic scrapbook gems lying around, and to be honest, always thought they looked a little cheesy. I love Swarovski, and these plastic pieces are a far cry, however, I think these are the perfect way to dress them up. They look super luxe in these DIY ornaments with the help of fine fairy dust glitter which creates a chrome-like surface. So, don’t be shy to use plastic gems because they can look just as good as glass!
If you want, you can also embed beads in the clay. I’ve done that with rhinestone chatons, seed beads, rhinestone chain, and more. Play around!
I can think of many uses for these: to decorate your tree, to hang on a window, or even string these together to create a cool Christmas DIY garland. The possibilities are endless, as I always say.
Enough talking for now – let’s get to the tutorial!
Step 1: Gather materials. You will need Sculpey or Fimo oven bake polymer clay, fine glitter in all colors, plastic scrapbooking gems, scrap fabric, a toothpick, E6000 or any tacky glue, polymer clay gloss glaze (or clear nail polish!) and scissors.
Step 2: Roll a large ball of clay (depends on how big you want your ornaments, I used a piece a little smaller than a golf ball) until it’s about a quarter of an inch thick. Use a pasta machine or flat surface and press down, careful to make the clay the same width. It helps to knead the clay first to get out any air bubbles. With your sharp scissors, start cutting a teardrop shape out of the clay.
Step 3: Create notches in the clay with your scissors, mimicking that of a feather. Use asymmetry to get a more organic look! To adhere glitter to the clay, simply sprinkle glitter to cover the clay’s surface, then rub in gently but firmly with your finger. Make sure the glitter is the same color as your clay! Keep rubbing and adding more glitter as needed to fully cover the surface. You can also cover the sides if you want, but be careful to not distort the shape.
Step 4: Poke a large hole in the top of the feather with a toothpick. Using a gem as your temple, create a small textural decoration by dotting the surface with the tip of the toothpick – this part adds a nice touch. Take your gem OFF the feather before baking. DO NOT bake with the gem still on top! Bake in a toaster oven according to the directions on the clay’s package as each brand is a little different. Once baked and cooled, glue on scrapbook gems in a fan-like pattern using your tacky glue.
Coat the surface of each ornament with clear gloss glaze (or clear nail polish) to add shine! Don’t paint over the gems. Let dry. I like to mix up colors here for a rainbow effect.
To finish, cut your fabric into skinny strips, and thread through the top of each feather. Use a toothpick to help push it through – then simply overhand knot to tie off, and cut excess fabric.
Simply chic! If you don’t want to go as hippie as this, then switch out the bohemian fabric for organza or silk ribbon. That will give a totally upscale vibe to these pieces. And, if you want to stay traditional, create these in tones of silver, gold, red, and green. It’s up to you!
Thanks for reading! You can view the rest of my tutorials on my blog, Quiet Lion Creations.