I’m giving this one away for free. Every Christmas I make handmade ornaments for all my friends and family. For the past three years they have been flat, slab-built ornaments (snowflakes, stars, different snowflakes), so this year I wanted to go with something more 3-D. I have had the idea for these fortune cookie ornaments for awhile, and I had some time yesterday, so I sat down (sort of) and actually made them. They’re pretty easy, and can be made with material you can pick up at Hobby Lobby, so I thought I’d write a little how-to.
Step 1. Buy some clay. It can be the real, fire-in-a-kiln kind like I use (I have a cone 6 porcelain that will fire to an eggshell white) IF you have access to a kiln, or you can use the oven-bake type.
Take the clay, find a surface it won’t stick to (I use canvas) and roll it out flat and rather thin, 1/8” or so. I use a 3” round cookie cutter and WD-40 to cut out a bunch of circles. You want to do all of this while the clay is still really damp and pliable, so if you’re making a lot, cover the ones you’re not using with some plastic until you’re ready for them.
Step 2. To make the edges less harsh, I use my finger to smoosh them a bit. That’s right, smoosh is a verb. Very technical term.
Step 4. Make an empanada. Gently fold two sides of the circle together, leaving a lot of open space between the folds. Lightly press the outsides together to make what resembles an air-filled ceramic empanada. Smooth out any creases or cracks that may have appeared on the bottom where the fold is- use your finger and a small dab of water if the clay is a little dry.
Step 5. In the center of the empanada, make an indent, then start to gently move the two ends of the half-circle together to start to form the cookie shape.
Step 6. Finish folding the cookie together until it’s the right 3/4 moon fortune cookie shape. I use a hole puncher (you can use an emptied out Bic pen or anything tubular to poke the hole) to make a hole for hanging- I put mine right in the center at the top of the cookie.
Step 7. Smooth away any fingerprints or canvas marks, clean up the hole, let dry COMPLETELY then fire/bake/whatever-the-instructions-say. String up, hang on tree.
I am planning on using an underglaze to stamp people’s names and 2011 on mine- with the oven back clay you can use a permanent marker to write on them, since it most likely won’t get washed at any point. You can paint them, glue on glitter, stick a paper fortune in the end (glue on or make a hole for it)- use your creativity. I am sticking with the black lettering on white cookies, but that’s just my aesthetic. Sky is the limit!