Simple, Do-It-Yourself Holiday Décor Ideas

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Tips on how to make your own home decorations, gifts and jewelry this holiday season.

As the holidays approach, it’s time to deck the halls again. From the table to the mantle to the tree, why not liven-up your holiday décor with a personal touch from the heart?

Beautiful paper craft decorations and cozy hand-knit gifts are a big hit this year. In addition, crafters are discovering a growing medium that is really heating up, one that can add a personal touch to your home decorations, gifts and jewelry -- polymer clay.

“An up-and-coming craft right now is polymer clay,” says Terri Ouellette, spokesperson for the Craft & Hobby Association. ”More people are starting to learn how fun and easy it is to create beautiful holiday pieces and accents with clay.” Polymer clay, unlike children’s clay and similar products, does not dry out and stays pliable until baked. Completed projects are baked for 15 minutes in a standard kitchen oven and can last a lifetime.

Terri suggests that those wanting to experiment with clay should start with small, simple projects that bring impressive results. But, she warns, these starter projects will spark creativity that is addicting. “Once you get the hang of it and see all the possibilities, you’ll literally wake up in the middle of the night with great ideas of your own.”

Here are three easy project ideas from that will get you and your home ready for the holidays:

Table Decorations

To liven-up your holiday table décor, you can easily make custom napkin rings and matching holiday votive candles that will complement other table accessories like embroidered table runners. Professional quality, beautiful napkin rings can be made in three simple steps. First, cut vinyl pipe into sections of the size you desire. Next, cover each pipe with colorful Sculpey clay and decorate. Then, bake the napkin rings for 15 minutes and you have an instant holiday table accent that was fun to make and will improve the look of your dinner tables.


You can quickly update and enhance sweaters, coats and other clothing by making a holiday pin. Holiday jewelry has always been a fashionable way to show off your festive side; however, finding seasonal pins and bracelets that fit your own personal style can be challenging. You can save time and show off your fashion sense by creating your own pins to wear or share. To begin, roll out a few small, even sheets of Sculpey clay, available in a wide range of colors. Next, take cookie cutters or molds and cut out basic shapes and designs of your choice; combine and layer these shapes into interesting patterns. Use a Sculpey Texture Sheet to quickly create a variety of fascinating designs and textures on your jewelry. Then, bake your creation in the oven. Once it has cooled, glue a pin to the back of each piece of jewelry. The piece hardens and is durable enough to be worn and enjoyed for years to come.

Holiday Ornament Kits

An easy way to dress up your holiday tree is to make your own ornaments. Beginners can use a holiday ornament kit such as the Sculpey Christmas Traditions “Let It Snowman” ornament clay kit. These kits contain everything you need to make up to eight holiday ornaments, including step-by-step instructions that make the project easy and fun. An ornament can be made by forming simple clay shapes that are pressed together; add a tree hanger, bake, and in 15 minutes you have a great snowman ornament, which can be hung right on your tree or given as a gift. It’s really that easy.

This year, holiday decorations and gifts from the heart can be so much more meaningful and have a much greater sentimental value than anything you could find in a store. For more information on the craft projects listed above, and for other clay craft ideas, visit


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Rachel Lukawski
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