How to Make a Gingerbread Man Ornament
image by Jennifer Claerr
One way to make a long-lasting, beautiful gingerbread man ornament is with clay. However, ordinary clay dries up when left in the open air and must be fired in a special kiln. If you would like to avoid these problems, you should try making your Christmas ornaments from Sculpey. Sculpey is a polymer clay that remains wet and pliable even when left out for days. It can also be fired in an ordinary kitchen oven. This simple, inexpensive gingerbread man ornament can be taken from start to completion in less than 24 hours.
Fold a piece of paper in half. Draw one half of a gingerbread man over the fold. Cut out the template with scissors.
Knead a handful of Sculpey clay. Place the clay on a board and go over it with a rolling pin until it's 1/8 inch in thickness.
Place the paper gingerbread man template over the clay. Cut around the template with a knife or carving tool. Pull away the excess clay and set it aside. Carefully remove the gingerbread man ornament from the board with a spatula or palette knife.
Make three gum-drop buttons, two eyes and a mouth from the excess clay. Place them on or beside the gingerbread man ornament on a baking sheet. Bend a short wire and carefully insert it into the top of the ornament with pliers. Bake the ornament at 275 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the ornament to cool completely.
Protect a workspace with newspaper. Paint the gingerbread man ornament with dark brown craft paint. Paint the buttons, eyes and mouth separately in different colors. Give the ornament and features several coats of craft paint, allowing plenty of drying time between coats. Be sure to paint the back of the gingerbread man ornament, as well.
Paint a squiggly line around the edge of the ornament in cream colored paint. Attach the features with glue. Go over the entire front of the ornament with polyurethane varnish. When it's dry, varnish the back as well. Thread a piece of yarn or string through the wire loop and tie it tightly.