Polymer Clay Christmas Tree With Hanging Ornaments




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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    3 Discussions

    I love the tiny tree and all its many variations. (I can see the kids changing it multiple times a day if you left a dish of all the ornaments next to it) but am confused by the light green clay.

    2 replies

    I was starting to run out of dark green clay for all the branches so I chopped off the top of the tree and replaced it with light green since it gets covered anyway and isn't seen in the final result. Sorry for the confusion!

    Is ok. I noticed that there was no visible light green in the final pictures. It looks great. I guess I could use up several different colors the I don't really have enough of to do anything with. That would save my green for the parts that show.