Introduction: Polymer Clay Christmas Tree With Hanging Ornaments

About: I'm inspired by nature and I love to see what I can create! Check out my Youtube channel for full videos, or my Instagram @theartfulbirder for sneak peeks and progress pictures!

Required Materials:

*Polymer clay: green and yellow

*Thin wire

*For alternative decorations: googly eyes, pom poms, gems, beads, buttons, macaroni, bells, paper clips, or popcorn kernels

Step 1: Create Tree Base and Branches

*Take a piece of green polymer clay and roll it in you hands until it makes a ball.

*Then roll the ball on the table with more pressure at one side of your hand so the ball becomes cone shaped.

*Set aside.

*Using some more green clay roll it into a thin piece (like you would cookie dough).

*Using a curved tool, cut out leaf/diamond shaped pieces. Cut with the tool along the edge of the clay, then rotate the tool over and make another cut. This will separate a leaf shape from the rest of the rolled clay. These will be your tree's branches.

*Repeat this many times, you can always make more later if you run out. The total number needed will depend on the size and height of your tree base. I used a total of 36 for my tree.

Step 2: Attach Tree Branches

*Smooth out all of the branches so they are flat and uniform.

*Choose one side of the branch and press it so that it becomes thinner at the point.

*Take some of the branches and arrange them on the bottom of your cone, these will form your tree branches. Place them so about 1/2 of the diamond is on the cone and the other 1/2 is overhanging. The side that was pressed earlier should be the overhanging portion.

Step 3: Blend Branches and Add Texture

*Using a round-ended tool gently blend in the top of the branches into the cone. This can also add texture.

*Using your fingers gently curve the end of each branch up, this will give the ornaments something to hang onto afterwards.

Step 4: Add Another Layer

*Place the next branches above but between the lower branches.

*Blend, texture, and curl as before.

Step 5: Add Layers Until Completely Covered

*Continue to add layers until the whole tree is covered.

*I found I used the same number of branches for the bottom 4 layers and didn't start to decrease until almost at the top. My bottom 4 layers each had 7 branches, the 5th layer had 5, and the top had 3.

Step 6: Create a Star

*I found the best way to make a nice and even looking star was to roll out a ball for the center, and then roll out 5 more that were the same size though maybe a bit smaller than the center ball.

*Then roll these 5 balls into cones, attach and blend them in to the center ball.

*Gently position the star on top of the tree.

Step 7: Create Clay Ornaments

*To create the ornaments roll out one tiny ball and one even smaller ball.

*Place one ball on top of the other.

*Cut a small piece of thin wire.

*Bring ends of cut wire together and using pliers twist around each other. Your result will be a circle with a small bit of a twisted wire stem underneath.

*Press the wire stem through the smallest ball and into the larger ball.

*Now you have a tiny ornament with a wire to hang it with.

Step 8: Bake

*Polymer clay needs to be baked.

*For the Sculpey clay I used, set oven to 275 degrees and bake for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay.

*Place on tin foil, and cover with foil as well.

*The ornaments are small and will get taken out before the tree. I did the ornaments for about 15 minutes as they were ~1/4 inch wide.

*The tree is varying widths, but I found about 30 minutes was sufficient. However this will vary based on oven type as well as tree size.

Step 9: Alternative Ornaments!

*I had so much fun coming up with alternative ornament ideas!

*I walked around the house until I got inspiration. Popcorn kernels were the perfect size! And we just happened to have some in both red and yellow.

*All of the ornaments consisted of the same basic principles: cut wire, twist ends together as was done for the clay ornaments, glue wire stem onto/into item.

Step 10: Decorate Your Tree

*I found it was really satisfying to decorate the little tree, so I made a video of me decorating the tree with all 10 of the ornaments that I made.


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