Clay Christmas Tree Luminaries

By Kate Riley November 1, 2022

I’ve talked a lot about my new ceramics hobby where I spend a few hours a week in my local pottery studio. In that space we’re turning clay into ceramics using glazes and kilns, but for those who want to create decor at home there’s is always air dry clay that can be found at craft stores.

I’ve used air dry modeling clay before to make jewelry bowls or sculpted branches, and you can use it to make holiday tree luminaries too!


I cut out paper templates from grocery store bags to create my trees in three sizes. To recreate this project, these are the supplies you’ll need: 2 two lb. packages of air dry modeling clay; paper for templates; clay sculpting tools (optional); rolling pin; flameless votive candles; gloss spray paint (or color of choice).



If you roll air dry clay just slightly larger than your paper template you’ll create a cone shape. Thickness should be approximately 1/4 to 1/3 inch.


Score the linear parts of the clay where the edges will meet with a sharp pointed needle like tool. Dab a bit of water along the seam and press the edges together to form the cone.


Allow the clay to set for an hour or two before piercing the holes in the shape. Once the cone trees are a little dry use a rounded sharp tool to cut holes in any pattern you like.

Allow the trees to dry for a full 24 hours then coat with any color, I used gloss white spray paint. Allow paint to dry a few hours then set up trees in a decorative arrangement. Add flameless votives or tealights underneath to create a flickering glow!

See today’s Instagram Reel for a “how to” video of the process start to finish. :)

Even when they’re not lit they make a charming scene by day on any mantel, bookshelf, or tabletop.


If the DIY versions aren’t something you want to try yourself, consider these store bought ceramic trees and luminaries for your holiday decor:


LED green + white trees

glazed buff trees

blue and white trees


nordic trees

illuminated ceramic trees


ceramic tree luminaries


  1. Love the pictures Kate! Interesting to see so many varieties of Christmas trees! Maybe I can use a few of your ideas this Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing! Oh and your blog design is amazing!

  2. Really beautiful, can’t wait to try these!

    Would you know what kind of template is needed to make a Christmas tree the shape of the nordic trees and other similar trees which have sort of three layers?

    Thank you!

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