When I saw some beautiful DIY porcelain Christmas lights on A Beautiful Mess I knew I had to have a go at making something similar! I’ve always wanted a miniature light up Christmas village and I love making tea light lanterns so it seemed like a good plan to combine the two in one project.

This is an excellent project for older children and adults, if you are doing it with younger children you may find the results are a bit wonkier but Christmas is all about the quirky, wonky homemade decorations so that’s no bad thing!

You can also make them with white salt dough but it needs making before you can start and we were all about the speed on this particular day!

 

To make these Christmas lanterns you will need:

White air dry clay

A4 card stock

Non stick baking parchment

Small  shaped cookie/icing cutters

Rolling pin

Small knife

A small bowl of water

Tea light candles

Begin by making a template with your card stock. For the large houses (Template 1, right) I divided a piece of A4 card equally into thirds (card laid landscape), I then measured into thirds again and drew lines from the top third diagonally to the top of the card to form the house peaks. Cut out the peaks and fold the card along the vertical lines then flatten it out again.

Place your baking parchment on top of your template and roll your clay out as evenly as you can until it is about ¼cm (1?16 inch) thick. Having the template underneath means that you can see how big your clay needs to be.

Place your template on top of the clay (put the side which isn’t covered in pen onto the clay and avoid my first disaster – houses look better white than covered in pen smudges!) Cut the clay out with your small knife using the template as a guide.

For the smaller houses (Template 2, left) I laid my A4 card portrait and measured thirds along the bottom giving me a house 7cm (just under 2 inches) wide. I measured 16cm (6½ inches) up the side, divided it in half and did the same as with template 1 for  the peaks.

 

Use your cutter to stamp out starry windows in your houses. Fold your clay around the template. It should stand securely with the card as support but I made doubly sure by putting mine over a box.

Leave overnight to dry, remove the card and box and leave to dry again. This can take two or three days depending on the warmth of your house. Don’t rush the drying process or your clay will crack.

Making these lights got a bit addictive and I decided I needed to make cylinders too! This time I measured a toilet roll tube and made a flat template the same size.

I used a mini Christmas tree cutter instead of the star and joined the clay at the back to make a complete cylinder. To join the clay score both ends with your knife and dampen them a little with cold water, press them together and smooth over with a damp finger.

Leave to dry as for the houses.

I love how the houses seem to go on forever when they are reflected in the window.

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