***UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Falon! Thanks for entering everyone. Be sure you enter all the other giveaways that are live while you still can!***
Day 1 of our 12 Days of Christmas DIY Giveaway was an ornament so, 4 days later seems like a good time to squeeze another ornament in and I’m sure it won’t be the last before this week is done. Angel wings are kinda trending right now and for good reason. They’re different, they’re elegant and give interest to your decor. It’s only fitting that as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the host of angels who harked his arrival that we sneak a little representation for them in there. The Nativity scene has their angel, why limit the tree to it’s topper?
Okay let’s get started, grab what you need and meet me back here! Also don’t forget to enter today’s giveaway and the end of this post!
- Wax paper
- Clear nail polish
- 2 jewelry findings- eye pin style
- silver craft paint or rub n’ buff (optional)
There are a few branding of Polymer/Modeling Clay out there. While I mostly have experience with the FIMO brand, I’m not married to it, it just was fortunate that they were on sale for $1 a package when I went to the craft store for my supplies. The FIMO soft clay calls for a preheated oven at 230° so be sure to read the instructions on your package of clay (or if you’re my kids, play dough).
When you first open a package of clay you need to “Condition” it. This means soften it up so that it’s pliable and easier to work with without breaking. The easiest way I found to condition the clay was to just start rolling it out into a long snake. After it’s fairly thin, take the ends and let the long piece twist around itself. Mash into a ball and start rolling again. Repeat this process until the clay is good and flexible so that it won’t crack when you roll it out into a flat sheet. Now obviously the small the chunk of clay your conditioning the easier and faster this will happen, I probably ended up using about ¼ to ½ of one package for the wings. The left overs went to a project the kiddos made as a Christmas gift for their grandparents.
Now, it’s time to roll out the clay trying to get a consistent 1/8″ thickness. Oh and it’s a good idea to roll out your clay onto something like wax paper so that the clay doesn’t stick to your table!
Using a regular kitchen spoon, roll the edge of your spoon in an arcing shape using your spoon as a short of cookie cutter. Continue rolling until you’ve reached just past the top of your spoon. Pick your spoon back up and use that same side to cut off a curved wedge like in the picture below. Repeat the process with the other side of the spoon to make a matching wing shape
These will act as your guide for how to shape your feathers.
The next step is to employ the help of only your finest crafting supplies. I chose an empty (once) retractable crayon pencil thingy. You could also use a ball point pen without the pen part. Anything that’ll give you small little holes.
Begin cutting out a BAJILLION of these by cutting away circles that are only about 3/4 full otherwise, you’ll end up with a shaft full of clay that you can’t get to. Plus this way you’ve got a jump start on shaping the curve of these tiny pieces into something like you see above. when you run out of edge to cut away from, use your plastic knife to take it back again. The clay is still soft and the plastic knife should cut through to give you the new edges you may need.
Beginning at the bottom, start layering piece by piece to make sure there are no gaps. As your’re working your way up, the “feathers” should start to get larger by the time you’re 3/4 of the way to the top and then again shrink back down to your beginning size by the time your feathers reach the top.
Because they clay most likely picked up your finger prints as you were shaping and placing the feathers, gently rub the wings from top down and smooth out any rough bumps or imperfections.
Now comes the fun part that makes it an ornament (or very heavy earrings), use a jewelry finding (like what you may have used for the Day 2 Wood disc earrings) with a loop at one end. Gently insert the pointy end into the top of the wing making sure that the shaft of the finding doesn’t piece through the front or the back.
Bake ’em Dano. You can just put them on a ceramic tile, and oven safe dish or even a cookie sheet. Since I used my cookie sheet that I actually cook with, I made sure to lay down some parchment paper. Bake at the clay’s packaging recommended temp for the recommended time. Mine said not to exceed 30 minutes and I think I pulled them out after about 25 minutes.
Now for the finishing touches. The wings were baked and cooled but they still needed “polishing” so to speak. I fished out my silver craft paint. I know some people use Rub ‘n Buff Wax Metallic Finish to achieve this look, but since I didn’t have any on hand, I went to my trusty box of craft paint and sprang this bad boy.
Placing a VERY small amount of paint on the wax paper, I spread it around so that the tip of my finger had the smallest amount of paint on it and gently ran my finger over the wings letting the paint highlight the raised edges of the wing’s feathers.
Once the paint dried, I went over the fronts of the wings with clear nail polish, a great sealant in a pinch. After the nail polish dried, I flipped the wings over and sealed the back side of the ornament too.
Okay, so if that didn’t scare you, I do have a simpler solution if a million little feather pieces don’t sound like fun to you. Using that same high tech tool you used to cut out the feathers, use it to create faux feathers. Gently depress the side of your “tool” into the soft clay but not so hard that it pushes all of the way through. Repeat until your entire wing is
tarred and feathered.
Lastly, hang on your tree and try not to sing ♫Angels we have heard on High♫ in your head, I dare you.
Before you run off, Enter today’s giveaway! Good Luck!