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Pinecone Ornaments

Springerle molds are traditionally used to make an anise-flavored German cookie. But here, House on the Hill owner Connie Meisinger uses them to create beautiful handmade Christmas ornaments with clay.


  • Springerle cookie mold
  • Paperclay
  • Rolling pin
  • Craft knife or bench scraper
  • Cookie rack
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Acrylic paints
  • Glazing medium
  • Acrylic satin finish
  • Paintbrushes
  • Dark brown (raw umber) acrylic paint
  • Cotton rag
  • Coordinating paper (for back of ornament)
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • White glue


  1. Step 1

    Dust work surface and mold with cornstarch to prevent sticking. Knead clay into a solid mass, then roll to about 1/2 inch thick with a rolling pin.

  2. Step 2

    Press the mold firmly and straight down into the clay; lift the mold straight up. Cut the casting from the clay with a craft knife or bench scraper and place on a cookie rack to dry for approximately 24 hours. 

  3. Step 3

    Sand rough edges with fine sandpaper. 

  4. Step 4

    Paint details with acrylic paints. Let paint dry for 15 minutes, then apply a coat of glazing medium. Let dry an additional 2 to 3 hours.

  5. Step 5

    To antique the painted surface, mix 5 parts glazing medium with 1 part dark brown paint. With a large flat brush, quickly coat the painted surface with mixture.

  6. Step 6

    Immediately wipe surface with a clean cotton rag, leaving the glaze in the recesses and corners. 

  7. Step 7

    Let dry 3 to 4 hours or overnight; once dry, brush with varnish and let dry several hours.

  8. Step 8

    Cut a 6-inch piece of ribbon; form into a loop. Adhere ends of loop to the top back side of the ornament. Cut a piece of paper to fit the back surface; glue paper to back side, over the ribbon ends. Write a message on paper backing, if desired.

The Martha Stewart Show, December 2011