Gardening Australia

PERSONALIS­ED GIFT TAGS & ORNAMENTS

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Creating clay Christmas decoration­s and gift tags embossed with plant impression­s is not just a fun activity for the kids – I can guarantee it will get you hooked, too.

YOU WILL NEED:

Air-drying clay (available at art and craft suppliers in two colours) Sharp knife

Rolling pin

Leaves and seed heads with interestin­g shapes, textures and prominent veins (geranium leaves, fennel foliage and seed heads from weeds and grasses work well) Skewer or darning needle Baking cooling rack

String, thread or ribbon

4 MAKE a hole at the top with a skewer or similar so you can hang the ornament.

5 TURN it over, and use the skewer again to etch a personal message on the back.

6 LAY the finished pieces on a baking rack and leave to dry for at least 24 hours.

7 THREAD string through the hole of the dried clay pieces ready for hanging. If you like, you can paint them with watercolou­rs, which brings out the textured finish.

8 ATTACH your ornaments to gifts or hang them on your Christmas tree. We make large batches of delicious elderflowe­r cordial each November and decant it into clean recycled passata bottles to give away as gifts. To decorate these bottles, we love to add a piece of hessian to the top, but you can also use second-hand or recycled fabric. A homemade gift tag with a message is a lovely addition.

You can do the same with homemade jars of jam, preserves or pickles.

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 ?? ?? 1 SLICE off a chunk of air-drying clay. 2 WORK the clay with your hands until it’s the size and shape of your chosen object. 2
1 SLICE off a chunk of air-drying clay. 2 WORK the clay with your hands until it’s the size and shape of your chosen object. 2
 ?? ?? 3 PRESS a leaf or seed head into the clay, then use the rolling pin to roll over it until the object has made a good imprint. 3
3 PRESS a leaf or seed head into the clay, then use the rolling pin to roll over it until the object has made a good imprint. 3
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