Christmas Ornaments, Magnets, and Figurines
What you will make:
See how easy it is to use
Homemade Modeling Dough to make Christmas-themed
ornaments, refrigerator magnets, and
figurines. Use your fingers to fashion the modeling dough
in fun shapes for Christmas using the ideas in this project, or come up with
something new of your own invention! It's quick and easy to make
modeling dough, but you can also use the same ideas with
commercial air-dry clay or oven-bake clay.
This craft project requires few materials and is great for family, classroom, or group craft time.
The modeling dough can be made in advance and stored ready-to-use in the refrigerator.
Related craft: See
Fall and Thanksgiving Refrigerator Magnets and
craft projects for more shape ideas.
Here's what you need:
Modeling Dough: white (color with paint or markers), or
make colored dough (red, brown, etc.)
- Plastic knife
- Wax paper
- Small magnets (for refrigerator magnets)
- Thin wire and wire cutters (for ornaments)
- White glue (PVA)
- Black marker
- Optional: Clear nail polish or varnish, markers
or paint and paintbrush, toothpicks
This project is rated EASY to do.
How to Make Christmas Ornaments, Refrigerator Magnets,
and Figurines with Modeling Dough
Read all of the steps before starting.
- Step 1: Project Preparation
Read through the project, then gather the materials needed for
making your Christmas ornaments,
magnets, or figurines. Follow the craft recipe for
Homemade Modeling Dough
to make dough balls of white, red, green, or other colors
best for the items you are making. You can use white dough and
add color with paint or markers after the dough has dried.
If doing this craft with a group, make one recipe of
Homemade Modeling Dough
for every three children. It's better to have too much than too
little. Leftover modeling dough can be saved for weeks in the
- Step 2: Basic Modeling Technique
Spread a sheet of wax paper on the table so the dough won't
Pinch off dough to make a small ball and leave the rest in a
sealed container. Use fingers to shape your creation—see
Modeling Ideas below. Attachments like
hats and eyes can be shaped from smaller balls and "glued"
in place with a dab of water. Use the toothpick to add texture to
ball ornaments or the hat or scarf on the snowman.
To make several balls of dough the same size, roll the dough into
a long snake and cut into equal-sized pieces with the plastic knife.
To make ¾" (1.5 cm) balls, roll the dough into a snake
about ½" (1 cm) in diameter and cut into 1" (2 cm)
- Step 3: Dry and Seal Topper
When you have finished molding your item, leave it on the wax
paper to dry. It should dry in a day or two to a hard finish. You
can add a shiny finish and increased durability by painting items with clear nail polish or varnish. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area when using
nail polish or varnish.
Glue a magnet to the back of each of your refrigerator magnet models.
- Modeling Ideas
These are just a few suggestions for Christmas-themed items. What else might you make?
Santa Claus? Stars? A Christmas tree? Use your imagination!
Tiny ball ornaments: Make balls of dough no
bigger than ¾" to 1" (1.5 to 2 cm). Cut a 1" (2 cm)
length of wire and shape into a loop. Stick the wire loop into
the top of the ornament. Let the dough dry.
You can make the ornaments with white dough and
decorate with markers, or use colored dough.
Tip: The wire loop may loosen as the dough
dries. To secure, add a drop of glue to each side of the loop
where it enters the dough ball.
Snowmen: For a refrigerator magnet, make three
circles of white dough—1", ¾" and ½" (2, 1.5
and 1 cm). Push them together to make a snowman, overlapping the
circles a bit.
For a figurine, form balls of dough in three sizes with
the largest one bigger than 1" in diameter. Stack the balls
one atop another. Reinforce the snowman with a toothpick.
After you stack the first two balls, insert a toothpick down
into the balls, leaving some toothpick exposed. Push the smallest
ball onto the stack and over the exposed toothpick. You may need
to cut down the toothpick to fit.
Use a toothpick to add facial features. You can
add a scarf, carrot nose, buttons, etc. with small bits of other
colors of dough. After the dough is dry, you can use a black
marker to make eyes and buttons, or tie a ribbon around the neck
for a scarf. Glue a magnet on back of your snowman magnet.
Tip: If the circles or balls seem loose or
come apart after they are dry, use white glue to
join them more securely. You can also glue a strip of cardboard to the back of the
refrigerator magnet to make it stronger.
Candy Canes: Roll two equal-size "snakes"
of dough—one red and one white, or both white. Twist the
"snakes" together and shape into a cane. Let dry.
If you used all white
dough, paint one of the twisted snakes red after the candy cane
That's it! You are done!
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