DIY Craft Tutorial: Make Your Own Polymer Clay Gingerbread House Christmas Tree Ornament

Updated on November 15, 2016
purl3agony profile image

As an artist and a new homeowner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.

How to Make a Gingerbread House Christmas Tree Ornament with Polymer Clay
How to Make a Gingerbread House Christmas Tree Ornament with Polymer Clay | Source

This cute polymer clay gingerbread house tree ornament is festive and fun for the holiday season! Bright colors and candy details make this sugary sweet abode a special decoration to cherish for years to come. This polymer clay tutorial is not difficult, but is best suited for those with clay experience or for adventurous beginners.

A note about polymer clay and clay tools: There are a few brands of polymer clay available in craft stores. I used Sculpey brand which is quite malleable and easy to mold. I also like to use household items for my clay tools, although you can use pottery or ceramic tools if you have them. Do not, however, use any of your household items in the kitchen or with food, after you've used them with your clay.

Materials for making a polymer clay gingerbread house Christmas tree ornament
Materials for making a polymer clay gingerbread house Christmas tree ornament | Source

Materials for Making a Polymer Clay Ornament

  • A clear glass ball ornament - these are available at most craft stores during the holiday season. The ornament must be glass (not plastic) to withstand the baking process with the clay.
  • A few blocks of polymer clay in different colors - I chose to make my gingerbread houses out of red and green clay to make my ornament more colorful, but you can use a traditional gingerbread color too. You will also need a few other colors for the candy details on your house.
  • Household items for modeling your clay - these can include a small flathead screwdriver or pen knife, a plastic knife, some pens, and a few decorative buttons for stamping.
  • (Optional) fake snow, glitter, or confetti to fill your glass ornament.

Preparing your glass ball to make a polymer clay ornament
Preparing your glass ball to make a polymer clay ornament | Source

Part 1: Preparing Your Glass Ball to Make a Polymer Clay Ornament

Step 1. The first step to making a polymer clay tree decoration is to clean your glass ornament. To begin, remove the metal top from your ornament and put it to the side.

Step 2. Next, clean the outside of your ornament with liquid dish soap or rubbing alcohol. As you clean your ornament, be careful not to get any liquid inside your ornament, as it can take a while to dry out. Be sure to only handle your ornament from the neck after you've cleaned it. Try not to touch the ball once it's clean. Cindy Lietz has some great information about preparing your glass ornament in a video on her blog.

Step 3. You'll want to find a small cup or bowl to put your ornament in while your work on it. I like to use yogurt cups for this.

Step 4. Then measure the diameter of your glass ornament at the widest part around your ball. This will tell you how many times you can repeat your gingerbread house around your ornament.

My ball was 10 inches in diameter. I decided to create my gingerbread house to be about 2 1/2 inches wide so I could repeat it 4 times around my ornament.

Part 2: Making the Clay Candy for Your Gingerbread House Ornament

Roll your clay into small coils to create a peppermint candy for your gingerbread house tree ornament
Roll your clay into small coils to create a peppermint candy for your gingerbread house tree ornament | Source

To begin your ornament, you will want to create a ring or collar of clay candy around the neck of your ornament. These clay pieces will connect to your other decorations to hold the polymer clay on your glass ornament. I made my clay candy to look like little peppermints and other candy drops.

To Make Your Peppermints:

Step 1. Roll out two thin coils of clay, one of white and one of red (though you can use any colors you choose). I rolled these coils with my fingertips, but your can use a clay extruder if you have one. I made each one of my coils about 4 inches long to create a peppermint that was about an inch in diameter.

Source

Step 2. Then twist your two coils together like in the photo above.

Source

Step 3. Now roll your twisted clay into a thin coil using your fingertips and applying even pressure.

Source

Step 4. Next, roll your striped clay coil into a circle that looks like a peppermint candy. Repeat these 4 steps to make one peppermint for each of the repeats of your gingerbread house on your ornament. I made four for my ball.

Source

Step 5. Place your clay peppermint candies around the neck of your glass ornament with even spacing. I put one at the north, south, east, and west positions on my ball. Press all your clay pieces firmly on your ornament until they stick, but be careful not to dent your clay or get fingerprints on your glass ball.

Be sure to leave enough space at the neck of your ornament to put the metal top back on without interfering with your clay pieces.

Source

Step 6. Now make a few small candy drops to place between and connect your peppermints to form a ring around your glass ball's neck. I just rolled some small balls of clay and stamped them each with a decorative button. You can use a couple of different colors to make these smaller candies.

Source

Step 7. To add more color, I made some green drops that I stamped with the end of a pen. These additional dots also secured the connection between my pieces of clay.

Part 3: Making Your Clay Gingerbread Houses

Cutting your gingerbread houses out of clay
Cutting your gingerbread houses out of clay | Source

Step 1. It's best to cut a paper template to use to make your gingerbread houses. I drew a small stencil of my house, making it about 2 inches wide based on my calculations for my 4 repeats. I added a few architectural details to my template just so I'd know how I wanted my house to look.

Step 2. Next, I rolled out my clay I planned to use for my houses. I rolled this clay out to about 1/8 of an inch. You can also stamp your clay with stamps or buttons to give them more texture and detail.

Then I cut out my 4 house pieces. I made two houses in red and two in green, but you can make them all the same color or all in different colors.

Source

Step 3. (Optional) You can use a pen knife or little flathead screwdriver to cut out the details of your house. This will allow the optional filler inside your ornament to show through your houses. Smooth the edges of your cut outs with your tools for a finished look.

I added a small heart opening to the top of each of my houses. To do this, I used a pen top (see photo) to make two small holes next to and touching each other. Then I used my pen knife to make a small V at the bottom to complete my heart.

Source

Step 4. To add some snow to my roof, I rolled out a small piece of white clay and stamped it with a few buttons. Then I cut this white snow into thin strips and placed it along the edge of the roof on each of my houses. I left the irregular edge of my rolled clay so that it looked more like snow on my roofs.

You can add other clay details to your house too. I wish I had added some small white shutters to my windows and more stamp details.

Finishing your polymer clay glass ornament
Finishing your polymer clay glass ornament | Source

Step 5. Before putting your houses on your glass ball, you should move your ornament to the structure that you will use for baking. This glass or cup should be glass and have a small opening that will not touch your clay pieces at the bottom of your ornament. I used a small shot glass but there are probably other items you can use for baking.

Step 6. Now place each of your houses on your glass ball. For this design, put them underneath and between each of your peppermint candies. The lollipop sticks from your peppermints will be placed between each house as part of the decoration. However, do not put your houses too close to the bottom of your ornament because it will have to rest in something for baking.

Step 7. Roll some more thin coils of white clay to serve as your peppermint lollipop sticks. Cut the ends of your rolled clay so they have a clean edge. Place each one directly under each peppermint and run it between each of your houses. Cut the bottom edge so that it is even with the bottom edge of your houses.

Step 8. To connect your lollipop sticks with your houses and secure all your clay pieces, add some more candy dots to the bottom of your houses. I added some green bushes that overlapped my lollipop sticks and my houses. Then I put on some pink dots between my bushes for more color.

Step 9. I should have added some puffs of smoke out of each of my chimneys that connected to my clay candies at the top of my ornament. This would have created more connection points to make sure my clay pieces would stay on my ornament.

Step 10. When all the details are complete on your houses, bake your ornament (without the metal top) according to the directions on your clay's packaging. Again, Cindy Lietz's video has some good hints about baking your ornament (see link at top of tutorial).

Finishing your clay gingerbread house tree ornament
Finishing your clay gingerbread house tree ornament | Source

Step 11. Let your ornament cool completely before handling.

Step 12. (Optional) Before putting your metal top back on your ornament, you can fill your glass ball with some fake snow, confetti, or glitter. This will add a little more winter fun to your gingerbread house decoration.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Donna Herron

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        23 months ago from USA

        Thanks, Rachel! I appreciate your comments and support. Hope you are cooking up something wonderfully delicious for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

      • Rachel L Alba profile image

        Rachel L Alba 

        23 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

        Hi Donna, Such pretty ornaments, as usual. You have a real knack for arts and crafts. I'll show my daughter this one.

        Blessings to you.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        23 months ago from USA

        Thanks, Lynsey! I don't really consider this a project to do with kids as the polymer clay can be tricky to place and stick on the glass ornament. However, you could follow these directions, but use paper, buttons, and glue to create a similar design on a plastic ornament or styrofoam ball. Thanks for your comments and support!

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        23 months ago from USA

        Thanks, Heidi! Yes, I believe the holidays are soon upon us. I'm excited, as I love holiday decorating and crafting. Hope you are staying busy. Thanks for your comments and have a wonderful holiday season!!

      • sparkleyfinger profile image

        Lynsey Harte 

        23 months ago from Glasgow

        These are actually adorable. What a great project to do with kids- could use so many varieties of the clay too! I'm sure there are sparkly versions!

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        23 months ago from Chicago Area

        Aw, cute. Hard to believe it's that time of year again. Where did this year go? Anyway, thanks for sharing all your lovely and creative ideas with us!

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        23 months ago from USA

        Thanks, Sally! As always, I appreciate your kind words and support. Looking forward to seeing more craft hubs from you!

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        23 months ago from Norfolk

        Such a cute Project Donna, Well done. Simple clear instructions as always and great photos, well done!

        Happy Monday.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)