Several months ago I started making state-shaped ornaments with raw clay in my ceramics studio for the local market where I am selling art prints and ceramics in early December. These ceramic ornaments were fired in a kiln, but I thought to myself that I could probably recreate them with air dry clay for those who don’t have access to a kiln and the experiment was successful so good news, you can make them with air dry clay too!
They are easy to make but they take a little patience. Air dry clay takes a few days to dry completely so if you want to recreate something for friends or family, it’s best to start early.
Supplies you will need: White air dry clay from the craft store (I used a package of this This is clay); The state shape is cookie cutter (I bought this is); Colored glitter nail polish; rolling pin; 12x½” inch wood strips or ½” Wooden dowel For uniformly rolling clay; Plastic straws (or round clay cutting tools); Heart shaped stamp purchase or self-made; White gloss spray paint (optional); ribbon
First step: You have two options for creating heart shapes to imprint inside Kingdom Love ornaments, 1) Purchase a Small heart stamp, or 2) make your own stamp with clay first like I did. If you do the same, cut a piece of air-dried clay to make the shape and let it dry for 24 hours. Make sure to seal the rest of the air dry clay so it stays soft while you wait for the heart shape to harden.
Step Two: Roll the air-dried clay flat between two wooden strips or dowels. For sprawling states like California or Florida, choose a ½” thickness, but for more compact sizes like Texas or Arizona, you can flatten the soil to 3/8″ thickness. Anything thinner than ¼” risks cracking the clay shape so err on the thicker side.
Step Three: Cut out as many state shapes as possible with a state shape cookie cutter. Purchase or self-made stamp clay with heart shape.
Step Four: Cut holes in the corner of the state where the ribbon will be attached. Allow the clay shapes to dry for 48-72 hours. Be sure to flip the state shapes every 12 hours for even drying and to prevent the clay from wrinkling.
Step Five: When the clay shapes are completely dry, lightly spray with white gloss spray paint (optional) or leave raw with a matte surface. Next, paint the inside of the heart print with two coats of a glitter nail polish, I chose red to match the red velvet ribbon, but you can do pink, mint, forest green, whatever.
Attach a ribbon to the hole inside and use the clay ornaments to hang on a tree or as gift decorations!