aka The Christmas Village! I made several of these little candle luminaries last year out of clay and they were so loved I thought I'd share how you can make your own without stoneware clay and a pottery kiln. These are made of Sculpy, a polymer clay that is easy to use and can be baked in a normal oven.
white sculpy clay
a toothpick or pin tool
parchment paper or another smooth non stick work surface
a rolling pin
two rectangular or square dowels 1/8" thick, about 24 inches long
template - use mine or make your own
1. Print provided template or make your own. Regular paper is great. Cut out template so you can just see the dotted lines.
2. Work on a clean non stick surface, like marble, a silpat or parchment paper. Sculpy sticks to paper so don't knead or roll out onto a papered surface. Knead clay until smooth. Form into a flat disc. Set up dowels on either side of your disc of clay. These will help you maintain even thickness. Use rolling pin and dowels to roll clay out to same thickness as dowels. Pick clay up and rotate or flip over from time to time while rolling.
3. Set aside dowels. Place template over clay and cut out with a knife.
4. Cut 4 walls and one base - you can use the base template as a wall if you don't want each side to have a roof. Cut out windows. Windows are on template for inspiration - feel free to place windows as you like. Cut them out carefully with knife. The windows will look a little rough. After cutting them out, use your pin tool to smooth and clean up the inside window edges on both sides.
5. If pieces are too wet to stand up, place them between two pieces of paper for an hour or so. Cut house walls at a 45 degree angle with knife. This will help them fit together more cleanly at the corners. Use a pin to cross hatch any part that you want to adhere to another part - like the where to corners will meet together and where the walls will meet with the base.
6. Assemble on top of the base, not around it. Pinch the corners of two walls together, then add another wall and pinch the new corner together. Add the last wall. Pinch corners. Go back and smooth corners.
7. Heat oven to 275 F. Place sculpy house on oven proof baking tray and bake 15 minutes. Do not over bake.
8. Wash hands well after using - rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer is great for getting sculpy residue off your hands.
**Roll out your scraps and break out your holiday cookie cutters to make yourself some tree ornaments or gift tags.
9. Let piece cool completely. Place tealight in holiday house and light. Enjoy to glow.