This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in December 2014.
The “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments that my parents had collected for my sister and I are some of the ornaments that I appreciated seeing year after year. There are tons of products on the market that you can buy to commemorate the occasion, but if you’re feeling crafty, it’s easy to make your own, a customized piece that both you and your family will adore for decades to come. (A great gift idea too!)
With a few materials and a little creativity, you can make your own truly custom piece for remembering this first year. My daughter was born in late 2013, and I was in no way prepared to make a memorable ornament in time for the holidays, so that’s why mine is dated for last year.
Begin by choosing oven bake clay of your choice. Soften it in your hands and then roll it smooth to a 1/8″ thickness with a rolling pin.
Customize the shape of your ornament using a cookie cutter that you love, like a star.
On the backside of the clay ornament, use your ABC letters to imprint message. Because the clay is soft, ordinary rubber stamp letters worked well for me.
Flip the ornament over and add adornments to the front of the ornament while you can still lay it flat. I created a slight impression in the clay with a smaller star cutter, and then hand-rolled small clay balls to create a decorative border that would frame my photograph after the clay was baked and cured.
The details on the front of the ornament are going to make it pretty fragile at this point, but flip it over once more to apply the finishing touches of the year, scribed using a rolled out piece of clay in a contrasting color. Also, use the pointed end of an unfurled metal paper clip to bore a hole in the top of your unbaked ornament. That’ll be where you lace the ribbon.
Bake according to instructions, and once cool, trim your photograph to fit into the space. I used the smallest star cutter that I own as a guide for making it even. Secure it in place with hot glue applied to each corner.
Thread a ribbon in the hole you left in the top of the ornament, and hang it on display (forever).