Whether it's a Mother's Day gift or a "just because you're special" gift, clippings from your garden are always a thoughtful present. Instead of just handing your friend a bouquet of garden bounty, decorate the vase with these easy-to-make air-dry clay gift tags. Keep in mind that this is a two-day project because you need to let the clay tags dry for at least 24 hours.

Materials

  • Air dry clay (I used the Crayola brand that I found in the kids' section at the craft store)
  • Plant clippings
  • Rolling pin
  • Parchment paper
  • Cutting board
  • Skewer or lollipop stick
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Mini stamps
  • Ink pad
  • Mason jar
  • Yarn
  • Straight needle
  • Sandpaper cup (I later found a Mason jar lid worked better)

Instructions

1. Place a pile of clay on your cutting board. Sprinkle some water on it. Then place some parchment paper over the clay. Use the rolling pin to roll the clay out. Make sure the clay is at least 1/4 of an inch thick. (Originally, I put parchment paper down on top of the cutting board, but it stuck to the clay and made a huge mess, so don't do that!)

Rolling out clay on a cutting board Roll out the clay until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

2. Use the rim of the cup as a template to cut a circle shape from the clay. While doing this, I realized a Mason jar lid worked the best.

A glass set on the clay to trace a circle shape for the gift tag Cut carefully to preserve that circle shape. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

3. Place the clay circles on a parchment paper-lined tray.

4. Make a hole in each of the circles using the lollipop stick or skewer.

Clay circles with small holes poked in their tops How else will you attach the gift tags to your presents without a place to loop in some ribbon or string? (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

5. Press the leaf and plant clippings into the clay circles. I pressed the lollipop stick into the leaf clippings to make a bigger indentation in the clay.

Small cuttings of plants set on clay to imprint If you want the plant's imprint a little deeper, apply just a bit more pressure with the skewer or a lollipop stick. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

6. Peel the plant clippings off the clay using a straight needle. Then let the clay dry for at least 24 hours.

A straight needle and a plant cutting in a piece of clay The straight needle will help you peel back the plant without damaging the indentations. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

7. Once the clay is dry, you can smooth the edges of the clay circles with sandpaper. Then paint the leaf indentations.

Painting plant cutting imprints A little craft paint will go a long way in giving your gift tags a nature-inspiring pop. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

8. Stamp positive messages onto the tags using mini stamps.

Stamping messages on dried clay tags You could also personalize the words to best fit the recipient of your gift. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)

9. Wrap the tags to your Mason jars with yarn, string or cording. Fill the jar with water and clippings from your favorite plant.

A clay tag wrapped around a mason jar vase The plant clipping already show the time you put into the gift, but the clay tag shows someone that you cared enough to take a few extra steps. (Photo: Kelly Ladd)