Learn how to make clay hearts for ornaments and magnets. Easy to make with air dry clay, doilies and beads, and a perfect gift for your Valentine!
Updated December 2022
Making lace prints in dough or clay is awesome! The process is very, very satisfying (for kids and adults alike) and it creates such a lovely relief of the lace. We’ve tried this with playdough and air-dry clay and they both come out so great.
If you’re looking for a more temporary project, check out our playdough lace prints (and what the kids did with this pretty, textured dough).
But if you’re looking for a pretty Valentine gift to give friends, teachers, or grandmothers, read on for our homemade heart ornaments and magnets that you can make with the more permanent air dry clay.
First, here’s a video showing how to make Easy and Fun Clay Heart Ornaments with beads. Then, keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions.
How to Make Clay Hearts
- Air dry clay
- Crochet doilies or other lace (we’ve also tried this with netting, and it works great, too! Just don’t use paper doilies)
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- Medium heart cookie cutter (ours was 3 inches across)
- Plastic drinking straws
- Small beads (optional)
- Paint (optional); we used Colorations Activity Paint and BioColors, in metallic colors
- String or thin ribbon
- Place clay on parchment paper. Add doily and roll.
Pull off a piece of air dry clay and set on a sheet of parchment paper. Lay your lace doily over the clay and use a rolling pin to press the doily design into the clay.
Note: Use parchment paper to cover your work surface rather than the plastic mats shown in some of these photos. We quickly learned that the clay lifts up easily from parchment paper but not from the plastic mats.
If you don’t have any cloth doilies, try this with netting, like from a bag of clementines. It creates a really cool texture for your hearts!
- Reveal the lace print
Carefully lift the doily or lace off the clay to see the pattern beneath.
- Make a heart
Use a cookie cutter to cut a heart from the clay.
If you want to hang your heart, be sure to use a straw to punch a hole at the top.
- Let clay hearts dry, then add ribbon
If you aren’t decorating your hearts, allow them to dry (ours took a couple days) then thread string or a narrow ribbon through the hole and hang.
Once you have your lace hearts cut out, you can try these different decorating options!
3 Fun Clay Heart Extensions
Beaded Lace Hearts
If you like, you can embellish your clay heart by pressing small beads into the design. We really got into this.
If you add beads, make sure to press them in well. A couple of our beads fell off after the heart dried and we had to glue them back in place.
Painted Lace Hearts
Or if you prefer, you can even paint the hearts once they are dried (especially if you didn’t add beads).
The paints we used are Colorations Activity Paint and BioColors, in metallic colors. But if you don’t have those, tempera or acrylics would work okay as well.
Clay Heart Magnets
Follow the instructions for the lace hearts through cutting out the hearts but use a smaller heart cookie cutter for the magnets. Let the clay dry completely and paint the hearts, if desired. Once your painted hearts are dry, use your hot glue gun to glue the small magnet disks to the backs of the clay hearts.
Use your new lace heart magnets to hang artwork on the fridge! Or to give as gifts.
We sent our lace heart ornaments as Valentine’s Day gifts to the grandmas and cousins. And also included some magnets we made using the same technique.
More Valentine Activities for Kids
- 30 Valentine Crafts and Activities for Kids (with Printable List!)
- 12 Process Art Ideas for Valentine’s Day
- 19 Easy Valentine Crafts for Kids
- How to Make DIY Valentines for Kids with Cardboard Hearts
- The Best Books for Valentine’s Day
- How to Make a DIY Valentine’s Box
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