Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Deck the halls with...pottery sherd ornaments! It's a quick, easy and fun craft good for any age.

1. Make a salt dough.
The basic recipe is one part flour and one part salt, adding enough water to create a dough. I just wanted a small batch so I mixed 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup salt and added about 1/2 cup water. I also added some cinnamon and allspice to make the dough a little more brown as well as give it a nice scent.

Mix the dry ingredients and add the water slowly to create the dough.

Knead the dough until smooth and then roll it out, using some extra flour on your counter to prevent sticking. You can used cookie cutters to create some really great shapes. However, for my pottery sherds, I simply patted the dough into irregular shapes.

2. Decorate
You can create a pottery paddle by using a hot glue gun to drawn the design on a wooden spoon (these are also fun for play dough and clay!) Or you can use shells, leaves, fabric, corn cobs and other natural items to create patterns. You can also draw designs using items like tooth picks and chopsticks.

From left-top, clockwise: Little Manatee shell stamped, check-stamped, San Marcos and Swift Creek.
If historic ceramics are more your style, you can paint the ornaments with acrylic paints after baking to resemble your favorite majolica or pearlwares. You can even create a glazed look with a little bit of clear spray paint.

3. Bake
I baked my sherds at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. You want to bake them until they harden and dry out. They will brown if you leave them in longer (which you might want to recreate sooting or firing patterns!)

4. Hang and enjoy
String them up with some yarn, raffia or whatever else you have laying around. Hang them on Christmas trees, wreaths, Christmas strings, office walls or where ever else you wish!

Words and images by Emily Jane Murray.

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