Find out what I learned from making Christmas ornaments for the past 3 seasons and tips you can use to choose between hand-lettering or vinyl solution for your works.
2019 came and gone so quickly in a blink of an eye. It is less than a month until Christmas and is one of the busiest time of the year for a calligrapher. Not only we have to go shopping in between 8-5 (if you have one like I do), we still have to work on ornament orders. Calligraphy ornaments are one of the most sought after gifts every Christmas season since I started my lettering journey. Support your local calligraphers and #shopsmall this year!!!
As an aspiring crafter and wanting to explore a new possibility, I got my Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine in 2017 at Christmas time. I used it mainly to cut custom vinyls and make greeting cards. I went to college and I was hand-cutting most my projects with X-Acto knife and scissors and hated it. This machine is a revolutionary for me when it comes to making ornaments for Christmas. However, with some exceptional designs, I would use paint pens to execute. In this post, I will show you my favourite ornament orders and how I determine the solution used in each project.
My most popular surfaces every year are glass baubles and flat clear acrylics. Glass baubles are timeless classic and beautiful. The surface is challenging for hand lettering as I am not used to writing on a curved surface yet. This year, I will practice to hand-letter and illustrate on baubles as a new skill to prepare me for my high-end on-site career but for now, I am sticking to vinyl designs for my clients. Vinyl designs are made in Procreate App, saved as PNG and uploaded to Cricut Design Space to send to the Criciut Air Machine. I would use the standard grip or light grip mat for the vinyl cutting.
Comes in second is flat clear acrylics ornaments. You can order blank acrylics on Amazon.ca or if you are not in rush, you can order it from Aliexpress.com for larger quantities. Flat clear acrylic ornaments are modern, simple and versatile. The surface is great for both hand-lettering and vinyl and the material is children/ pets friendly (no breakage for you). It is one of the best surface for beginners.
I would choose for the Sharpie Oil Paint Pen in my previous year but in 2019; I was advised by my insta-friend; Telisa of Roessein Art; to give the Michaels' Craft Smart Premium Oil Paint Marker and I absolutely love it. The finish of the paint is glossy and I found it doesn't streak when overlapping. I cannot thank her enough for recommending this brand to me. It is better than the Sharpie brand of the same pen and is a tad cheaper as well.
Side story: Telisa is one of the kindest calligrapher I have ever met through the calligraphy community. Not only she is a talented calligrapher in the GTA area, she is also a super-mom of 2, a Zumba dancer, a loving and caring daughter and a supportive friend. She gave me countless advices and insights for calligraphy and life related questions. She is the true spirit of "Community over Competition" and I want to give my big thank you to Instagram algorithm for connecting me to a wonderful person like Telisa. I am truly blessed!
I found that the CS white paint pen stays put against 100% alcohol. It is a great thing to use on ornaments but I would not use this particular paint pen for my rental mirrors as it would be a pain to clean off. The black paint pen, in the other hand, was beautiful and easier to clean off comparing to the Sharpie brand.
What would you like to have letter on your ornaments? Would you prefer hand-lettering designs or vinyl designs? Give me your thoughts in the comment section below.
Check out my Instagram to see more upcoming Christmas 2019 ornament designs. Thank you for a wonderful and eventful 2019. Merry Christmas to my followers and and looking forward to see you again in 2020!!!