I’ve been on a trend-mashing kick lately, making as many combinations of things people love as possible. Today I’d like to introduce you to the pool float ornament. The ever popular relaxation device is getting Christmas-fied with these flamingo, swan and unicorn pool float decorations. They’re super easy to make out of oven bake clay and will brighten up your tree this holiday season. Read on for the deets!
Materials and Tools:
Here we go.
First, heat one section of clay between your hands to make it more malleable. Roll it into a ball, then flatten it out on an even surface. Take another section and roll it into a long piece. Place that on top of the base, trim and pinch the ends together to form a tail. Smooth it out so that it looks good :)
Make your neck next (try saying that 10 times fast — gah!). Roll out another piece that is shorter than the last piece. The trick to making your flamingo look realistic is to get the proportions right. Have a photo (or REAL pool float blown up inside of your house!) to look at for reference. Now adhere the body/tail section to the base by scoring the clay and smoothing it together. I used a butter knife to help with this process and then touched it up with my fingers.
Wing time! Make two small wings and attach them to the sides of the bird.
The beak takes a bit of patience, but YOU GOT THIS. Start by shaping a bit of white clay and attaching it to the neck. Spend some time getting the curve of the neck and thickness of the beak right. Roll out a thin layer of black clay that you can place on top of the white and blend it in. Finally, add a thin white section that goes from the beak up to where the eye will be.
To make the eyeballs, make the World’s Tiniest Orange Balls and then make black ones that are EVEN TINIER. Center a black ball on top of an orange ball, set them on top of the white section for the eye, then press straight down using your finger.
Attach the neck to the body. PSA: We tried attaching some necks with wire in the center and then tried some without. They all worked except for two whose necks broke. My recommendation is to add some wire for safe measure.
Now we need to add the wire hook to make this an ornament. Cut a long piece of jewelry wire (longer than you think you should), fold it in half and twist the top to create a loop. Hold the ends together, then poke it through the base. Use your pliers to bend the wires in opposite directions so that they run along the base of the ornament. Trim, leaving a bit extra that you can bend at a right angle. This part will puncture the base of the ornament. The reason we are doing this is to give the ornament stability. If you don’t, the weight of the neck will pull the ornament down and it won’t be level when it hangs.
Once you finish, bake your ornament according to the instructions on your clay wrapper.
Now make ALLLLLL of the pool floats so that you can completely cover your tree. How cute is that unicorn?!
We went for a “pool” tree skirt to really tie it together.
This photo is obvs going to be my holiday card this year :)
And now we’re getting weird with it for our final shots.
I really started to lose it during this shoot. I kept thinking — “WHAT AM I DOING?” And then I would tear up laughing.
#swangoals part deux.
And a couple behind the scenes shots for good measure. One brown bump even made an appearance.
A special thanks to our production assistant Cassidy for helping me make this project come to life.
What other trendy ornaments will you make? Show us your project by tagging us on Instagram + using the hashtag #iamcreative!
Author: Roxy Taghavian
DIY Production and Styling: Roxy Taghavian and Cassidy Miller
Photography: Kurt Andre
Modeling: Roxy Taghavian