Home-made gifts are especially meaningful to receive, and when those gifts are useful as well as thoughtful, it only adds to their value. This project for a useful creative gift is a very simple one which can be adapted for use with younger or older children, or by grown-ups, according to need, and also offers infinite opportunities to customise the shape, scent and style of decoration.
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You will Need
As this is such a simple activity, I don’t really feel a detailed ‘how to’ is necessary here. However there are a few useful tips which are worth bearing in mind:
- If you are carrying out this activity with younger children, use the simplest shapes. I used some more complex shapes like snowflakes, but these would have been too difficult for younger children to cut out successfully.
- Roll the dough to about a 0.5cm thickness, trying to get it as even as possible.
- Remember not to paint the back, as it is important that this remains as an absorbent surface for the essential oils to be added. You could however engrave a personal message into the clay here if you wish.
- If you want to thread a ribbon through (so that for example your finished gift could be hung in a wardrobe) remember to create a hole at the top. I actually forgot to do this! Adding a co-ordinating ribbon also adds a nice extra decorative touch.
- If you want to create the lavender hearts, sprinkle the dried lavender flowers evenly onto the top of the clay you have rolled, and then roll lightly again to embed them into the clay.
- Leave your shapes to dry, turning them as they do so, to enable both sides to dry evenly.
- Once dry, you may find the shapes are a little uneven at the edges, but you can smooth the edges and corners quite easily if you wish using an old metal nail file.
- Paint the front of your shapes in any way you choose – for the lavender hearts, I first gave a base coat of acrylic varnish, and then a second coat, with a little purple acrylic paint added to give a transparent glazed effect for the flowers to show through.
- For my remaining shapes, I gave them a base coat of acrylic paint, with details picked out with gold acrylic paint, and then after this had dried, brushed on a light coat of an interference acrylic medium, which really emphasised the texture, and made them look more special.
- Once everything has dried, you can add a drop or two of essential oil to the back of the shapes, and leave it to soak in. When doing this, you can create your own scent combinations, or use just a single oil if you prefer. From time to time the scent can be renewed as required, by adding another drop or two.
- And finally, if you are making these as a gift, putting them into a box with a small bottle of essential oil displays them to their advantage, and creates a unique personal gift idea.
Click on an image above to see the full picture.
For other simple Christmas gift ideas, you might like to try the following: