Every year, no matter what we are doing for Christmas school, we always study the names of Christ as we countdown to Christmas. Did you know there are over 200 names that He is known by in the scriptures? 200! If you were to study a different name every day in December it would take you over 8 years to get through them all.
This year we decided to decorate our Christmas tree with simple red and gold balls and homemade white birds (doves). The birds each bear a name of Jesus on them.
We used two different mediums for the white birds. We first tried Crayola’s Model Magic. Have you ever used that stuff? It’s like playing with half melted marshmallows, only it doesn’t stick to your hands. Weird feeling but fun! It is pure white. We also used oven baked clay, which is much faster than waiting three days for the Model Magic to dry but is off white in color. We decided not to paint our birds.
Roll the clay into a ball about the size of a walnut.
Slightly flatten the ball and make it a tear drop shape by pinching one end.
Pinch and pull the side opposite the small part of the tear drop to create the birds tail.
Pinch a small beak from the head.
Use small letter stamps to stamp the names of Christ into the clay.
If using oven bake clay insert a metal jewelry finding (straight metal rods about 1 1/2 inches long) before baking. If using Model Magic wait at least a day for it to harden a bit before inserting the metal rod.
Once you have a pan full bake the oven bake clay at 275 – 15 minutes for each 1/4 inch thickness. We only had to bake ours for 15 minutes. Or if using model magic impatiently wait for three days for it to sufficiently harden. (Don’t laugh at our ramen burnt stained pan! A daughter who wishes to remain nameless was trying to toast some ramen for a salad but left them in a bit too long and they caught on fire. Never a dull moment around here!)
One baked (or dried) Pull the metal rod out and add one or two decorative beads. Push it back in and add another bead to the top before using pliers to make a loop at the end of the metal rod.
Tie string to the loop and hang!
And by all means please let all of your children help! I think these birds they made are beautiful even if they aren’t “perfect.”