DIY Porcelain Holiday Tree Lights
Materials and Supplies Needed:
- 8" cone template (left + right), 6" cone template, 4" cone template
- 4 pieces of heavyweight cardstock
- parchment paper
- 2 - 12" lengths of 1/8" dowel
- small blade
- aspic cutter in star shape
- rolling pin
- air dry porcelain or modeling clay
- 4 LED tea lights
- (not pictured) wet rag or paper towel or tiny sponge
- (not pictured) glue or tape
Step Three: After rolling out enough clay to cover the template, remove the template from behind the paper and place it on top of the clay. Trim around it with a blade and put the excess clay away or wrap it in a wet paper towel, so it doesn't dry out. Now you can finish assembling your cone template so it will be ready to be used as scaffolding for forming your tree in step five.
Step Four: Using a blade, score the edge of the clay on the side that you want to be on the inside of the cone. Use cross hatching for this technique. Then lay the paper cone onto this edge and wrap the clay around the paper cone. If there isn't enough clay to wrap around the cone, lay it back onto the paper and roll out only the edges to give you a bit of an overlap when it's wrapped around the paper cone.
Step Five: After the clay has been wrapped around the paper cone, cross hatch on the other edge of the clay (facing the outside, not the inside this time) and wet both cross hatched areas with a wet paper towel or small sponge. The cross hatched edge from step four should lay on top of the newly cross hatched edge. This "score and slip" technique will bind together the seam so that it doesn't break apart when the clay has dried. Hold the cone from the inside while from the outside you smooth together the seam with a wet paper towel.
Step Six: Holding the cone from the inside, press your finger against the area you want to pierce with the little star shaped aspic cutter. (Aspic is basically just a fancy name for savory jelly.) You'll need to really press the cutter against the paper cone where your finger is pushing against from the inside, and give it a little wiggle too. When you pull out the cutter, the clay should come out with it. If you mess up one hole, you can always spruce it up with a blade. And if you really butcher the piercing process, you can always just take the clay off the cone, ball it up, and begin all over again!After all of the holes have been cut into the clay, let your cones sit on the cardstock scaffolding for 6 hours. Then, gently remove the cardstock and let the clay dry out for another 24 hours before handing. You can paint or glaze your trees if you want a more colorful scene, but I love how the little LED tea lights glow inside of the white trees! This would be a great way to decorate a mantle, or you could make some extra trees and create a magical winter tablescape for your holiday parties.
Happy Holidays! -Mandi Johnson
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson