Make your own V&A-inspired Christmas tree decoration

Create your own festive Christmas tree decoration from air dry clay with our step-by-step video tutorial. Recreate our design made especially by artist Joanna Clay, and experiment with different colours and clay shapes to match your home.

Follow the steps:

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Dark green bauble shape, with branches holding pastel pink lemons, with lighter green leaves
© Joanna Clay

To make the decorations you will need:

  • Cutting mat or a smooth surface to protect the table
  • Bauble shape template
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint palette or a surface to mix paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Modelling tools or a plastic knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Paint brushes
  • A pair of scissors
  • A cup of water
  • Air dry clay
  • Varnish suitable for clay
  • Colourful string or ribbon

How to make the decoration:

  • Step 1: Using scissors, cut out the bauble shapes from the printed template.
  • Step 2: Knead the air dry clay to make it workable.
  • Step 3: Roll it out evenly to about 1 cm thickness.
  • Step 4: Place the template shape on to the rolled out clay.
  • Step 5: Using a modelling tool or plastic knife, cut out the decoration.
  • Step 6: Make a hole at the top of the decoration.
  • Step 7: Smooth down the edges using the modelling tool and fingers. Use some water to help if necessary.
  • Step 8: Leave the clay to dry in a well-ventilated space for 72 hours.
  • Step 9: Once the clay is dry, sand down the decoration to smooth the edges.
  • Step 10: Squeeze the acrylic paints on to the palette and mix.
  • Step 11: Paint the base colour of the decoration.
  • Step 12: Once the base colour is dry, add the details. Don’t be afraid to put lots of paint on the brush, and to build the colours up in layers.
  • Step 13: Once the paint is dry, coat the decoration with varnish to give it a glossy finish.
  • Step 14: After the varnish has dried, tie a piece of colourful string through the hole.

Seasons Greetings from the V&A!

Design by Joanna Clay: Instagram | YouTube | Website

Header image:

© Design: Joanna Clay