Monday, January 9, 2017

Project: Custom Travel Ornament

Looking for a personal and unique gift?  You can't go wrong with a custom hand made ornament that celebrates a special event in your life.  I made mine as a gift to my sister.  It's a remembrance of a trip we took together.  But you could make one to commemorate a wedding, a birth, a graduation or any special event.  And it's super easy to make too!

Supplies Needed:
  • Wood Ornament Blank (I used a 4.25" round available at Cabin Crafters)
  • Laser Printer and Graphic Software (I used PhotoShop Elements)
  • Matte Medium (I used Ranger Multi-Medium Matte)
  • Acrylic Paints (I used DecoArt Americana & Delta Ceramcoat)
  • Cord for hanging
  • Pencil, scissors, sand paper, brushes

Let's Make It!
  1. Using your computer software, create the front and back portions of the ornament.  You can use artwork, wording, photos, etc.  If you don't have the software to create something this detailed, you could simply use a picture that would fit the size of the ornament.  You do want to cover the entire surface with the paper so be sure to take that into consideration.
  2. Print out your design on regular copy paper using a laser printer.  (If you do not have a laser printer, I have done a similar technique where I printed using an inkjet printer and then used a spray sealer to set the ink.  You may want to try that, using a test sample first.)
  3. Using your ornament blank as a template, trace around your artwork and cut out each side.  
  4. Working quickly, apply a nice coat of the multi-medium on one side of the ornament and on the back of your paper using your finger.  Press the paper onto the ornament, being mindful of where the top hole of your ornament is and orienting your paper to it.  Put more MM on your finger and carefully smooth out any bubbles.  You can use a squeegee to help.  Once everything is smooth, add more MM to the surface, being sure to completely cover the paper.

5.  Let this side dry completely and then do the same thing to the other side. Once the ornament is completely dry (let sit overnight for best drying), carefully sand the edges to eliminate any paper overhanging the ornament.

6.  Paint the ornament as desired. Once dry, use an awl or toothpick to ream out the hanging hole.  Add the cord. Enjoy yourself or give as a gift!
I highlighted the place and year with a bright color.  I also lightly shaded the photo, coloring the faces, hair and water.  This gives it a real vintage look!
I used the same colors on the back but painted them in a circular fashion, green on the edge, blue in the middle and an offset center pop of yellow.

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