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A terracotta clay ornaments DIY

I love making DIY ornaments around the holidays because they’re great gifts (if you actually make cute ones) and they’re usually super easy to make. So, this year, I made a whole bunch of ornaments to share and today’s is my absolute fave, so I’m sharing these first…

Terracotta clay ornaments! They’re super easy to make, super affordable, and actually look like something you’ll want to put on the tree (or add to stockings, etc). But they’re not just for the holidays! Make these cute clay rainbows, flowers, and more year round as gifts, party favors, and art pieces for your home.

A batch of more than 20 ornaments cost me about $10 to make and they look like something your could buy from a cool local shop (bonus!). Click through to make your own.

Clay Ornaments Supplies

To make your own, you’ll need…

  • terracotta air hardening clay (I used a 2 pound block)
  • cookie cutters in any shape you like (mine are linked in the steps)
  • a rolling pin (that you use for non-edibles)
  • nail polish in your fave colors
  • a skewer or something similar for poking holes
  • string and scissors
  • scrap fabric, canvas, or craft mat for rolling out the clay

How to Make Terracotta Clay Ornaments

1. Start by rolling out the air dry clay with a rolling pin to a thickness between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. It might be easiest to cut the brick in half, form each into a ball and roll them out separately.

*I used a scrap piece of canvas underneath the clay so the color wouldn’t transfer to my table. Highly recommend doing something like this.

. Then use your cookies cutters to cut out the shapes over and over again. And poke holes at the top of each shape with a skewer or something similar, so you can thread the string through later.

Once all the shapes have been cut, roll up the scrap pieces of clay and re-roll it out with a rolling pin to start the process over. You want to use up every little piece of the clay so you can make as many ornaments as possible.

I used these cookie cutter shapes from Etsy for my DIY ornaments:

3. Leave the shapes out to dry according to the instructions on the clay packaging. I let mine sit out for 24 hours and flipped them once half way through.

Just paint directly onto the clay with the nail polish brush, wait for it to dry, and apply a second coat.

5. Wait for the second coat of nail polish to dry before cutting string and knotting it through the holes and they’re ready to hang on the tree.

Is this clay project for kids or adults?

Both! This would be a fun project to get kids involved in, since the supplies are limited and the process is really easy. They can help roll the clay out, use the cookie cutters, and even paint the dry pieces (with supervision for younger kids).

But adults can make these too! I made all of these on my own and it was a relaxing project to tackle in an afternoon. I made a huge batch and plan to give some away as gifts to friends and hold onto the rest for decorating the tree each year. I also keep a few of the rainbows out year round as decoration in the house, since they don’t necessarily look like holiday ornaments.