Tag Archives: Christmas

51: Personalized Ornaments

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Merry Christmas Eve!  Around Thanksgiving I was out shopping with my high school friend, and she kept migrating towards decorative items with the letter “K” for her holiday decorations – her new last name.  And anything glittery.  Put these things together, and I knew the perfect thing to make her and her husband Chris for Christmas – a glittery laser cut ornament!

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Unassembled ornament
Unassembled ornament
How they fit together, because a picture is better than my words at this point!
How they fit together, because a picture is better than my words at this point!

I could have made a simple flat ornament, but I wanted it to have a little more depth.  I made two flat pieces that slot together to create a ball shape.  I personalized these by making the emphasizing their initial (K), and spelling out their names on the cross pieces.

The prototype is the unpainted one.  It has a couple problems.  First off, I didn’t choose a good font – too many burnt thin bits.  Secondly, the logical arrangement of the names doesn’t really work in the round; it makes it a have a front and a back, and the names only read correctly from the front.  I wanted them correct as the ornament rotates; so in the final version I flipped “Chris” do it would be correct as it turned.

Prototype with finihed piece - Chris looks backward from this angle, but as the piece turns, it makes more sense
Prototype with finihed piece – Chris looks backward from this angle, but as the piece turns, it makes more sense

The second important part of this venture was glitter!  I went into thinking that I would just buy glitter spray and be done with it, but at $7.99 a can it was a bit too much (I wanted two colors and needed to base colors.  I was not spending $30 for paint supplies!)  So I got one spray to try out, and craft paint for the rest.  I also painted the bamboo prior too cutting, so I wouldn’t have to worry about paint mucking up the small spaces.

Krylon glitter blast spray on the left, Red Glitter paint from on the right.
Krylon Glitter Blast spray in diamond dust ($7.99) on the left, Red Glitter “Craft Twinkles” paint from DecoArt ($1.99) on the right.
White sparkles - subtle
White sparkles – subtle
Red Sparkles - unevev
Red Sparkles – uneven

Verdict on the paint:  My underlayer (especially for the white ornament) was very brush-y and should have had two coats.  A sprayed underlayer may have covered more smoothly.  As for the glitter, the glitter blast spray  went on beautifully, but was MUCH more subtle.  To the point it was difficult to show in the photographs.  The red was much more visible, but not as evenly applied.  I think I still preferred the (cheaper) red though.

Lesson learned with glitter paint and the laser: glitter laughs in the face of transfer tape, at least low tack.  As mentioned before, we use transfer tape to protect the surface while cutting from excessive burn, which was needed for an intricate job like this.  But it would not stick.  So the ornaments, the white one especially, look a little singed.

For the future: I like the concept design, but the cut out names were just too intricate and make the ornaments more fragile than I’d like.  I think the cut out initial is awesome, but I think I’ll engrave the names next time.  What do you think?

I hope you all have a good holiday and have enjoyed the second to the last post of 52 Lasers’ first year!

The lighted K was an unintended consequence.  A cool one.
The lighted K was an unintended consequence. A very cool one.
I also made one for my parents :)
I also made one for my parents 🙂
The beautiful backdros to these photos are courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society Tanner House Museum.  The volunteer designers do amazing work!
The beautiful backdrops to these photos are courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society Tanner House Museum. The volunteer designers do amazing work!
Another unintended consequence - these awesome little letters to use!
Another unintended consequence – these awesome little letters to use!

49: A Modern Wreath

For those that know me, the idea of me making Christmas decorations seems a little foreign. I have been accused of being a Grinch (though I’m not sure why simply not decorating for Christmas makes my heart two sizes too small!)

Though maybe my spartan Christmas ways are disappearing – I couldn’t help feeling that my door was a little naked this year.  Perfect for a project on 52 lasers!

Modern Wreath (1 of 9)

I had a more traditional idea for a wreath – a ring of engraved holly leaves and berries with dangling ornaments – but instead decided go modern with the chevron design.  I couldn’t cast off my “hate owning things that I can only use once a year” sensibility so quickly; the chevrons can hang for all seasons.  Monograms are tricky in this household (I kept my maiden name) but I decided to go with the more traditional “M” for Ryan’s last name in the center.  Once it was finished, it tugged at my heart strings – it reminded me of the milled aluminum screen door at my great-grandmother’s house, the one with the “P” set into it for “Putzier.”  I wonder if anyone has a picture of that.

I ran out of time to paint it for this post, but it would be fun to give it a once over with a good color.  Or maybe dress it up with a bit of ribbon that you could change seasonally.  The nice things about wood is that it always seems to go with everything!

Modern Wreath (9 of 9) Modern Wreath (3 of 9)