Air-dry clay is simple to use and doesn't need any glazing or specialist kiln to fire. The white variety can be used to make simple but effective Christmas decorations, imprinted with Christmassy stamps.
Time: 10 minutes (plus 24-48 hours drying time)
Age: Under 5's, 5-10's, Over 10's, Any Age
White air-dry clay
Small rolling pin
Pastry cutters in various shapes (e.g star, heart, Christmas tree)
Stamps or other items to make an impression e.g. leaves
Decorations e.g. plastic jewels, glitter
Wooden or metal skewer
Lay out the slightly damp cloth on a worktop.
Roll out the clay to the desired thickness. I like a very thin decoration, but this makes it more brittle and difficult for younger children to work with. 0.25 - 0.5 cm should work. The thicker it is, the longer it will take to dry.
Cut out the shapes you want from the clay with cookie cutters. I liked the heart best, but anything would work. A bauble shape would be particularly nice.
Using the skewer or stick (I just used a wooden skewer) make a hole in the top of the decoration.
Using your stamps or leaves, make the impressions you want on the clay.
You can alternate the flat and the pointed end of the skewer to make interesting dotty designs.
Impress the jewels or other items into the clay in interesting patterns.
Leave to dry, you'll know when it is dry as the colour will have changed from grey to bright white.
If you are painting the decorations, do it now. Acrylic paint will give a very vibrant colour.
Thread brightly-coloured ribbons through the holes.
Tie the ribbons and hang the decorations on a tree.