craft project: clay christmas decorations

November 4, 2011  in diy craft projects, homemade

I don’t normally like to use the C word before December as it feels like I’m wishing the year away, but if you want to make things for Christmas, whether it’s decorations or gifts, then it’s a good idea to plan and start early.

By coincidence the lovely team at Brigitte, Germany’s biggest women’s magazine, asked if I would be one of their Christmas ‘Bloggerei’, their list of the most creative bloggers! It’s quite an honour as I still feel very new to the blog world. It seemed the perfect opportunity to have some fun with clay and make some tree decorations.

For anyone with the German version of my book LieblingsDeko you can read the post here.

These stylish and simple Christmas decorations are easy to make, cost very little and will look great hanging against the dark green of your Christmas tree or on a branch sprayed white.

The decorations are made with air-drying clay and are a variation of a project in my book. If you would like to know how to make them see page 14 of The Homemade Home which has step-by-step instructions. As they are handmade each one is individual and unique and they can be personalized with festive messages and family names.

I found the little branch in a pile of cuttings on the floor of my local park whilst on a walk with my family. I chose one from the pile with an interesting shape and simply sprayed it white when I got home along with some dried Oak leaves we had also collected from the floor of the wood.

I used snowflake stamps to press into the clay when it was wet (I bought my stamps from Muji). I stamped words in black ink onto some when they had dried, others I left plain. Use thin scraps of fabric, ribbon or string in festive colours to make the loops to hang them on the tree. I used strips of Liberty print fabric, red and white baker’s twine and ribbon from VV Rouleaux.

A 500g block of air-drying clay like Das will make approximately 50 decorations (depending on size, mine are about 9cms x 3cms).

I made a whole batch that I’m donating to my children’s primary school to sell at the school’s Christmas fair.

I help with the gifts stall every year and last night some of the other mums from my son’s class came over to my house for a ‘making night’ to make things to sell on the stall – an evening of crafting and chatting over nibbles and a glass of wine. It’s a lot of fun, a great way to build friendships, get involved in the local community and raise money for the school.

Are you planning to make anything for Christmas?


Comment (RSS)  |  Trackback



  1. Juliette says:

    Fantastic! After reading your book, I was totally planning on making something like this for Christmas this year, like gift tags and little decoration bits. I had been thinking of using just a simple twine, but the fabric really makes it ‘holiday’. Love that!

    ps- my MIL liked my fabric covered journal so much she’s asked for one for Christmas =) Thanks for the good ideas!

  2. what a lovely and great idea. i used to make bowls out of clay with vintage lace as stamps… you inspired me to use these tags for my christmas presents 😉 thanks so much!

  3. A lovely festive make! I will be trying for sure. Also, such a lovely gesture to make and donate them to the school. Have a lovely weekend! xx

  4. elisa says:

    very sweet, i’ve been stamping my clay pots, i’d love to do a few of these for our little tree x

  5. Daria says:

    I bought some clay one month ago to make some decorations… but I was not satisfied by my attempts… your project instead is so simple and beautiful that it invites me to retry! Thank you!

  6. Chi (BYW) says:

    I am now!

    Thanks for sharing yet another fab idea, Sania. I always leave here so inspired and ready to get my craft on! 🙂

    Your “making night” sounds wonderful, too.

  7. Veridiana says:

    I love the small clay-labels.
    I´ll do them with my class.

    Thanks for sharing, Veridiana

  8. Kelli Ronci says:

    Love these! Gorgeous styling…very inspiring!

  9. bonitarose says:

    I hv some paperclay.. I just need to get brave and try this.. love your decorations!

  10. Your styling is so beautiful. I am learning from you….tons 🙂

  11. Malin says:

    Hi there!
    I have a christmas blog and published some of ur pictures there and linked ofcourse. I put some swedish words on the pics as well and hope u are ok with it. Let med know if u want me to take it away.
    U are a big inspiration and i hope u pay me a visit.

  12. Emily says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous! What a fun and easy idea and you take beautiful pictures. 🙂 Hi from BYW!!!

  13. Inge says:

    I love your blog, I found it via decor8! Getting inspired here…. Don’t know if I’ll make anything for Christmas this year, or maybe some cupcakes, cookies and cake! 😉 But I’ve got some DIY-ideas to pimp my hallway! 🙂
    Saw you’re from London, in a few days we’ll stay there for a few days. Any nice or cute home interior shops that I must visit?
    Love from Belgium and I’ll be following your blog,

    Inge x

  14. Sarah says:

    This is a super cute idea! Wouldn’t they be awesome as gift tags, too? I have this red-striped wrapping paper already bought for Christmas and came along these beautiful stamps, too, so I guess I’ll go with your idea! Thank you so much for the inspiration. <3

    By the way, the styling of your photography is lovely as always!

  15. Jane says:

    Ooh, what prettiness, Sania. Our 3 pixies under 6 will have fun making some of these with me this year. And using the Liberty fabric is a gorgeous idea – thanks for the tip. J x

  16. Laura says:

    Just wanted to let you know that me and my kids tried to do these decorations yeasterday… We really enjoyed doing them! I hope you don’t mind us copying you?



  17. frauheuberg says:

    just a lovley idea…;)…pure and natural…like the details in your photography…wonderful DIYproject…have a lovley holiday season…cheers and hugs…i…

  18. Such a lovely, simple idea (air drying clay is a revelation to me!) – did you use special ink for the letters or just ordinary?

  19. Petra says:

    Beautiful – I linked the picture and post on my blog. I was looking for a craft project to do with my daughter and her friends – this is it!

  20. Jessica Toro says:

    Thanks on creating one of the most stylish blogs I have come across in a long time! It’s truly incredible how much you are able to take away from some thing simply because of how aesthetically gorgeous it is. Youve created a fantastic site!

  21. ping living says:

    Wow, it is so lovely. I just put your book on my wish list for this Christmas holiday. Very inspired to work on my little project here in Amsterdam.

  22. Thank you so much for posting this lovely project, so happy to discover your work via the Decor8 blog! I’ll definitely be giving these a try in the run-up to Christmas. I’ve shared you blog with our readers on the Most Wanted magazine, and am now eagerly awaiting my copy of the Homemade Home. Thanks again x

  23. Sania Pell says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for all your lovely comments. I’m glad you like the project and it’s inspired you have a try!

    @Juliette – I hope your mother-in-law likes her covered notebook, they make great gifts.

    @Daria – I hope you have better luck this time!

    @Malin – thank you for linking

    @Sarah – they do make great gift tags for special presents – though don’t pile the gifts up on top as they can break. The project in my book is tags for kitchen storage jars.

    @Laura – I don’t mind at all (though please link if you post photos of your makes)

    @Decorator’s Notebook – I just used a normal black ink pad that I use with my rubber stamps for paper and card, it wasn’t anything special. You could stencil with acrylic paint too.

    @Claire – thank you so much for buying my book, I hope you like it!!

    Thank you all again. x

  24. […] definitely going to try making some of these hanging decorations (designed by Sania Pell) this year. They’d be lovely on the tree, but would also make extra […]

  25. […] here is the link to the clay ornaments tutorial. Share this:FacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  26. […] escolhemos o inverno como tema e, além de vários ornamentos relacionados com neve, usámos a ideia da sania pell para criar etiquetas em massa biscuit com referências ao […]

  27. […] recently came across a beautiful blog post about DIY clay ornaments. Although I usually venture clear from “copying” […]

  28. […] schreiben, wie die gemacht werden. Es ist ganz einfach. Auf diese tolle Idee bin ich durch einen Artikel im wundervollen Blog von Sania Pell […]

  29. […] a number of pics circulating in the blogosphere of tree decorations made of white clay. For example Sania Pell and Decorator’s Notebook. I love it and even bought some clay, but my wooden stamps that I […]

  30. Alana says:

    These are so very beautiful! I must have a play – My Grandmas name is Joy & she passed this year, so was looking for some handmade Christmas decos to make using her name. 🙂

  31. […] a super-easy one for making your own gift tags or decorations, discovered via the very talented Sania Pell. It’s been doing the blog-rounds for a while now, but this is my first Christmas of blogging and […]

  32. […] designed boxes. You can download them for free here. It reminds me of this stunning display of clay Christmas decorations by Sania […]

  33. […] enough, the edges filed with an emery board, and tied with glitter twine. Better executed examples here, here {painted versions}, and you can use all kinds of cookie cutters for festive shapes. {Also, […]

  34. Casie Wandel says:

    Hi my loved 1! I wish to say that this post is amazing, wonderful written and come with almost all essential infos. I would like to see far more posts like this .

  35. This is a lovely idea. It actually reminds me of Japanese luck charm and the wishes they write on papers and hang on trees. It’s quite simple, but really brings a nice feeling of elegance. I’m definitely going to try making on these this year. Thanks for inspiring me!

Leave a Reply



Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.

Read biography



To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the form below.

Please note we do not accept advertising, sponsored posts or guest writers on the blog.

Please click here to agree to be contacted by Sania Pell. Your data will not be shared with third parties. View the privacy policy via the link below.