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The Sweetest Way To Decorate Your Tree

November 30, 2021

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This weekend, with Christmas carols playing in the background and lights twinkling on the tree, the first snow fell.

Almost as if on cue.

Gingerbread Metal Cookie Cutter In Wrapper

It didn't last long.

A tiny dusting.

Just enough to stir up those festive holiday feelings.

Not enough to shovel.

Perfect.

Those few flakes were just what I needed to get my Christmas crafting juices flowing.

I'd been gathering ideas, tucking them away on Pinterest, for the past few months and was excited to dig in.

Like a kid in a candy shop, I started with the sweetest one first.

It was an idea that came to me when my lovely friend Kris shared some cute cookie recipes.

One in particular caught my eye. It was the most darling gingerbread man cookie and it sparked my imagination.

Now most of you know that I'm not a huge fan of baking or cooking. And don't tell anyone, but I don't like gingerbread. 

Crafting however. Well, that's my jam.

So where others saw a cookie, I saw an ornament.

One I knew that would so cute on my tree.

And I wasn't wrong.

How To Make A Clay Gingerbread Man Ornament

First, I ordered my supplies. This is what I used:

Clay Ornament Supplies, cutter, clay and cutting tools

Sculpey Air Dry Clay in Terra Cotta

A Gingerbread Man metal cookie cutter

A rolling pin

Plastic knife

Metal straw

Brown craft paint

Glitter Snow

Twine

Ribbon

Hot Glue Gun - this cordless one is my new obsession

I actually had a gingerbread man cookie cutter on hand, but I found this one and grabbed it, because the arms were longer.

Gingerbread Man Metal Cookie Cutter

That made bending them so much easier.

To protect my table, I taped some wax paper to the surface. It also made rolling out the clay easier.

Next, I opened up my kids' old Play Doh box and grabbed a couple of cutting tools and their small rolling pin.

Of course, a regular rolling pin and plastic knife will work well, too.

Gingerbread Man Clay Ornament supplies, clay, cookie cutter and cutting tools on table

I molded a bit of the clay into a ball, in my hands and then rolled out to about 1/4" thick on the wax paper.

I didn't want to make it too thin so that it would crack or be too delicate to handle or store.

I also didn't want it too thick. Then it would be too heavy to hang on a branch.

How To Make Clay Ornaments, metal cookie cutter gingerbread man on table

The metal cookie cutter sliced through the clay easily, however, I did use the plastic tools to clean away any extra. 

Keep in mind, that the air dry clay starts to set quickly, so I moved on to bending the arms fast. If any area started to crack, I wet my finger the tiniest bit and ran it over the drying clay to smooth it out.

Bending Arms On Gingerbread Man Ornament

To keep the arms suspended while drying, I tucked a glue stick underneath them.

I knew it wouldn't stick to the clay and it was large enough to create the arch I needed. Lastly, I used the straw to poke a hole in the top of the heads to create a place for a hanger.

Gingerbread Man Holding Glue Stick

Then it was time to sit back and let my clay creations dry.

The clay says that it takes about 24 hours. I think it took a bit longer.

However once I was sure it was done, I painted them all in a light brown.

The terra cotta clay was a great start, but it needed a little richness.

Painting Clay Ornaments

When the paint was dry, it was time for the fun stuff. Decorating and giving my little friends faces and personality.

Now if I had thought this out a little more, I would've purchased some puffy paint in a tube, so the decorating would've been more precise.

But all I had on hand was some glitter snow that I'd used for my glass shade Christmas tree.

So I made the best of it and added "frosting" faces and details to the legs.

Using Ryobi Glue Gun On Clay Ornaments

Then I whipped out my glue gun to anchor the candy canes in place and add a bow.

I also added a twine hanger for some rustic charm.

When I was done I had a trio of the most darling gingerbread men. They actually looked good enough to eat.

Candy Cane Gingerbread Men Ornaments.jpg

Although, I wouldn't recommend that. You know, since they're made of clay.

Instead, I suggest you add them to packages as gift tags, on the table as name cards or hand them out to the kiddies as party favors.

Gingerbread Man Holding Candy Cane Ornament DIY On Tree

Or simply place them on your tree.

That's where you'll find mine.

Smiling this season.

Are you on team cookie or craft? Do tell! 

  1. Too cute! I'm not a fan of gingerbread either.....but I'll craft with it!

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    1. Thanks Ann!! I just love these little guys.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Kris! When I saw them on your site, in the cookie roundup, I knew immediately I'd be making them to hang on the tree, xo

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Mari! So easy to make, I bet your girls would love to make some.

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  4. Darling little guys, Kim. I love them. I don't care for gingerbread either and have never had the desire to make a house from scratch, but I do like crafting and painting them. Wish I still had all those "silly" little ceramic houses that I had years ago. They are the kind of gingerbread houses that I am having fun with now. I need to get myself to some thrift shops..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

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    1. I'm a huge "gingerbread" crafter, too, Judy! We make the houses from scratch each year, but we make them with a simple cookie recipe. No actual gingerbread is necessary!! Also, the dollar store has great houses you can repaint and turn into anything you like. And cheap!! Happy Week!! xxoo

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  5. Oh my goodness, Kim! These are soooooo cute! xx

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    1. Thanks Nancy!! I'm loving these little ones...Hugs!!

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  6. These are so cute...I just love that cookie cutter!

    Years ago I made some cinnamon/applesauce gingerbread men ornaments. I've been thinking about making them again & this would be perfect for that. They're easy to shape & smell absolutely wonderful.

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    1. Mmm...sounds so good!! The cookie cutter was such a sweet find, Jenny! I found it on Amazon last week and by the time I went to link to it, it was sold out. I guess everyone is just as taken with him.

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  7. These are so cute! PS: I don't care for gingerbread either.

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    1. Thanks Briana!! They're very sweet in person...better than a cookie for me.

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  8. So sweet... we still have our play-dough ornaments our boys made. These make me smile Kim, thank you for the idea.

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    1. Oh my gosh, Carla, we have them, too...and they're my favorite. These remind me of those sentimental favorites and have so much charm. Needless to say, the girls were at the table with me while I was making these.

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  9. These are so cute. Definitely one I want to try! You are always full of good crafts! Thanks for so many great ideas....not to mention letting us see your adorable cottage.

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    1. Thanks so much, Dena! I hope you do try them and if you do, you must let me know!! I also hope you're settling into your adorable cottage!!

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Penny! I'm glad you think so, too.

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  11. Another winner, Kim! But I have to admit, I'm team cookie (and I love gingerbread)!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Amy! Your comments always make my day...and I hope you have a gingerbread filled month!!

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks Laura! And holiday hugs back to you!!

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  13. You've been so busy crafting Kim. I love those cute gingerbread men ornaments. This is a great idea for crafting with the kids.

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    1. Thanks Julie and you're so right, this is perfect to do with the kids!

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  14. These are really adorable, Kim, and look so much like real gingerbread cookies. The folded arms holding a candy is such a cute idea!

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    1. Those folded arms are what caught my attention, too, Marie! They looks super sweet on the tree. Almost sweet enough to eat. Almost!!

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  15. These are the sweetest decorations! I am a fan of gingerbread, and I love homemade ornaments! Thank you for sharing this one. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I think I would really enjoy rummaging around in your closet that holds all of the treasures for crafting! I need something like that here. Things are willy nilly all around the house. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thanks Cara! These were so cute when I saw them as cookies, I knew they'd make delicious ornaments.

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  16. Wow.. that is such an adorable ornament. You did such a great job.

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  17. Definitely Team Craft for me. No ways would I be able to bake one of those jobs but with your tutorial these little guys may just be dolling up our cat proof Christmas tree next year too. They're adorable, Kim

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    Replies
    1. Right there with you my friend. Clay, yes. Cookie dough, no. It would never, ever look the same!! Ha!! Glad to have you in my camp!!

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