If you like to give hand-painted Christmas gifts to family members and friends, you will love all the new ornament shapes and surfaces that I found this year in my travels. You will also be able to really stretch your creative process because there are several new paints and mediums available for the consumer. This will make it possible for you to create some cool special effects in your designs as well as work on surfaces that you may never have considered before. Here are a few of my favorite finds.
Wood Ornament Cutouts
When I was walking the 2013 Society of Decorative Painter’s conference trade floor, the wide and assorted display of cutout ornaments in the Bear With Us booth caught my attention. The hanging lantern ornament immediately caught my eye. The design possibilities are endless for the globe area. Key cutouts are hot, hot, hot, right now! They make wonderful ornament surfaces, and gift tags, and are great accent pieces to attach to a holiday wreath or sign. I just love the snowflake, candy cane, and street lantern shapes that they have for the holidays. Their all-season Lacey Oval Key and Butterfly Key also made their way into my shopping basket. Visit their website to see the complete assortment of cutout keys, ornaments,shapes, and much more.
Another booth that caught my eye on the conference trade floor was the Viking Woodcrafts booth. I love painting on porcelain, and the porcelain ornaments at the Viking Woodcrafts booth were beautiful. The 5" dimensional lantern ornament is absolutely striking. The four paintable areas on the lantern are 1-1/2" wide x 1-3/4" long. Plus the top and bottom areas of the lantern offer plenty of room for additional embellishments too! If you love the look of delicate vintage Victorian scrollwork, the fancy oval ornament is a perfect choice. The deep dimensional outer scrolls surround a 2-1/2" flat center area, which gives you a smooth painting area. The dimensional areas are perfect for gold leafing or antiquing. Viking Woodcrafts also offer a variety of smooth-round bisque ornaments. One has a large 3-1/4" flat painting area. This ornament is very cost effective if you are planning to purchase a quantity of ornaments this year. I immediately painted one of the round ornaments with finial points on both ends. The finial points just screamed gold leaf to me and the round center area was just the right size for painting a beautiful floral design. Visit their website to see all the wonderful ornaments and other holiday items that they have to offer.
Turned wooden ornaments are wonderful to paint on because the design area goes completely around the ornament! No matter which way the ornament hangs or spins, you see part of the painted design. The turned ornaments available through Cupboard Distributing have very smooth surfaces and require little prep. I love the fact they offer three different sizes in their round turned ornament. All three sizes grouped together look awesome on a tree. Some of their more unique shapes that I really enjoy painting include the canister, finial, and acorn ornaments. My all-time favorite shape for kids is the marshmallow ornament. Visit their website to see a complete list of all their wonderful ornaments and more!
When I think of Della and Company, I think of TIN! From ornaments, to assorted objects, to all sizes and shapes of containers, I am always amazed with their vast assortment of unique tin products. Some of my personal favorites in the holiday ornament assortment are dimensional houses and funky-shaped tree ornaments. I also love the folk art-style puffed stockings, hearts, stars, mittens, and pineapples. Many of the designs come in more than one size. Visit their website to see a complete listing of fine tinware offerings.
DecoArt Americana Decou-Page
I wanted to share this product with you because you can create some really cool effects for holiday ornaments. Decou- Page is a sealer, glue, and finish all in one. It is available in a gloss or matte finish, and can be applied to both slick and rough surfaces. If applying to a slick surface, run sandpaper over the surface first to roughen it up. You can create smooth, textured, and built-up finishes with this great product, as well as adhere paper and other collage elements to your ornaments. Your final coat of Decou-Page will act as a sealer. If by chance you want a water-resistant finish, just apply a coat of DecoArt DuraClear Varnish on top of the dry ornament. For additional product information, usage, and Decou-Page project ideas, check out the DecoArt website.
DecoArt Americana Clear Chalkboard Coating
This is another innovative chalkboard paint product. You can now apply this Clear Chalkboard Coating directly over an existing painted surface to transform it into a chalkboard! This easy brush-on formula turns walls, cabinets, doors, terra cotta, metal, and most porous surfaces into chalkboards. More than three dozen chalkboard projects can be found on DecoArt’s project website at www.decoart.com/cgi-bin/Projects.cgi.
DecoArt Americana Gloss Enamels Glass Chalkboard Painte
Last, but not least, I wanted to tell you about another product that you can use on ornaments. Glass Chalkboard Paint will create a chalkboard effect on your glass and glazed ceramic ornaments (you can actually write on the surface like a chalkboard). This product needs to be used on a clean surface, so it must be wiped down with rubbing alcohol before painting. It is nontoxic and waterbased, so cleanup is easy. It dries quickly to a matte finish. For more information, ideas, and uses for Glass Chalkboard Paint, check out the DecoArt website.