Make your own tree decorations

Bring a touch of woodland charm to your festive tree this Christmas, with these easy-to-make birds…  

23rd November 2017
Robin clay Christmas tree decoration

These pretty decorations are a great gift for bird-lovers. The clay is really easy to work with and as it’s air-drying, there is no need to bake or fire, making this a great craft for children too.


Materials for decoration making


Air-dry clay

Acrylic paints in various colours

Thin modelling wire


Matt clear varnish

Glass of water



Craft knife or sharp kitchen knife

Poking tool (we used a nail)

Wooden board/chopping board




Clay bird for the Xmas tree


1. Cut atwo slices of air dry clay, one 1.5cm thick slice and 1cm thick.

2. Cut the 1.5cm half in two and roll one half into a ball all to make a body shape, pulling one side into a tail shape. With the other half, form another ball to create a head. Pinch a beak shape from the head and mould this onto the body and tail shape you have created.

3. Take the 1cm slice from step 1 and cut in half. Ball up each piece and shape into a wing then mould onto each side of the bird to create a fatter, rounder bird shape. Dip your fingers into some cold water if you feel the clay is drying out. This helps to better mould the clay and smooth the joins.

4. Use a knife to score three lines into the wings and tail to create ‘feathers’.

Birda and a wire

5. Create a small loop out of modelling wire and twist the ends. Poke them into the back/neck of the bird - this will be where you hang it from.

6. Leave to air dry. This takes around two full days depending on the size and thickness of the bird.

bird and a wire
7. Return to the dried birds and paint as desired. We have chosen to paint a robin and a blue tit, but you can create any pattern and colour you like. Add glitter to make it sparkle and seal with vanish.


Blue tit

8. When the varnish is dry, loop with pretty ribbon and hang on the tree.


Storing your bird decorations

These are fragile ornaments, particularly the beaks and tails, so when you put the away on Twelfth Night, wrap them carefully in bubble wrap to protect them.



Words and styling: Verity Gough

Pictures: Steve Sayers

You are currently reading: Make your own tree decorations - 23rd November
Get your first 5 issues for just £5 when you subscribe to BBC Countryfile magazine!

Subscribe to BBC Countryfile Magazine today and you can enjoy generous savings from the shop price plus, free UK delivery and discounts off special editions and back issues.

Countryfile Magazine - Current Issue