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DIY Personalized Ceramic Tile Christmas Ornaments

I love making Christmas ornaments, it's one of our family traditions!  Every year, I try to come up with something new to add to the tree (one can only have so many snowman ornaments)!  This year I made our ornaments from inexpensive floor tiles and personalized them with vinyl.

custom tile ornament

I used my Silhouette Cameo and vinyl to personalize these ornaments and I love the way they turned out!  Let me show you how to make these ornaments, and share some tricks I learned on how to make sure everything lines up straight...

I am a regular at our local hardware store.  I am always looking for craft supplies in unexpected places and the hardware store is chock full of crafting supplies, if you learn to look at regular building supplies creatively.  (Remember the faux stamped Mother's Day Necklace I made from washers?)

On this trip, I came across some awesome tiles.  They came on a sheet and are supposed to be used on floors or maybe even a kitchen back splash... but I thought they looked like Christmas ornaments- can you see it too?

tileornament12

The tiles peel right off the backing sheet:

tileornament11

Once you have peeled the tiles off the backing sheet, you will have a pile of ornaments just ready for decorating!  For these ornaments, I made a template using my PixScan mat and the Silhouette Studio software to ensure that I could align everything properly (tutorial on how to do that coming soon).

If you don't have a Pix Scan mat, you can trace one of your tiles on sturdy cardstock and cut it out.  You will want to keep the negative of your ornament for your template (the piece of paper, not the ornament shape).

template

For these ornaments, I used two colors of vinyl.  I found that putting the lighter of the two colors in the background looked better than putting the darker color in the back.

The first layer of vinyl that goes down is the large initial.  I placed this on the tile by hand.  I just eyeballed it and it worked out just fine.

tileornament10

Now that I have the background letter on, I can add the second layer in a darker color that has the name and the date.  For this layer, I used KG Eyes Wide Open for the font, and made sure to weld the letters together before I cut the vinyl.  (If you need a refresher on welding, check out how to weld using Silhouette Studio.)

After cutting the name layer, I weeded (removed) any extra vinyl that I did not want on my ornament.  A hook tool was ideal for this task.

tileornament8Once I weeded the name, I used transfer paper to take the vinyl off the backing sheet and move it to my ornament.  I cut a square of transfer paper that was big enough to cover my design.  To help make transferring easier, I burnished (rubbed) the transfer paper onto the vinyl, this helped the vinyl come off the backing sheet and stick to the transfer paper.

tileornament7To remove the backing sheet from the vinyl, I turned the design over so the backing sheet was facing up.  Next, I bent the corner of the transfer paper over on itself and worked it off backwards.  This allowed me to push the vinyl down as I went.  The desired end result is the vinyl sticking to the transfer paper and coming off the backing sheet.  Tip: The backing sheet from the vinyl can be recycled and you can use transfer paper more than once, so don't toss it after the first use.

tileornament6

Once I had the vinyl on the transfer paper, I used the the template I talked about making earlier.  I found that the template made lining everything up so much easier!   I laid the template over the transfer paper and lined up my design like so:

tielornament5Now I could tell that my design was going to end up right where I wanted it on my ornament.  Next I lined the tile up with the template.  In this case, I lined the bottom of the ornament up with the template before pressing my tile to the transfer paper.  After I stuck  the tile to the transfer paper, I removed the template:

tileornament4

Next I flipped my tile + transfer paper over and burnished the vinyl onto the tile.  Next I removed the transfer paper:

tileornament2Tip: When removing the transfer paper, fold it over on itself and peel backwards.

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Once you have removed the transfer paper, heat the design with an embossing gun or a blow dryer.  This will help the vinyl stick to the tile better.  Tip: Do not overheat, vinyl can (and will) melt if overheated.  You may see bubbles, but they'll work themselves out over time.

heat vinyl with embossing gun

To add a hanger to the ornament, I cut a length of ribbon, folded it in half and tied a knot.

image1(8)

I added a dot of hot glue to the back of the tile and glued the ribbon on.  I used the tweezers from a set of Hot Glue Gun Helpers to avoid burning my fingers!  These tweezers are coated with silicone so hot glue doesn't stick (and my fingers stayed safe too!).

image3(3)

Now the ornament is complete!

tile ornaments

I left the back of my ornament plain and "unfinished."  Some of your tile ornaments may be rough or have adhesive stuck to the back. You might wish to cover the back, here's some ideas on how to cover the back of a tile ornament:

how_to_cover_tile_ornament_backs

I hope you feel inspired!  Get crating!

Silhouette cameo tutorial

14 thoughts on “DIY Personalized Ceramic Tile Christmas Ornaments”

  • Karen

    I love this idea. I even finally gave myself permission to buy a silhouette cameo 3 for this project! I know you used eyes wide open font for the name, but what font did you use for the initial? I love how it’s kinda curved!! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Sarena

    Thank you for this post, I fell I do ok figuring out repurpose non craft items but didn't think hardware store, I think your are definitely right about them looking and making great ornaments, I've seen similar shaped ornaments (that cast much more) and I like to have 12 of each so some are just too expensive so I love this

    Reply
  • Kristi

    What font do you use? I love this one? For the cursive that is.

    Reply
  • janet dycus

    yes i love this idea cant wait to go to the store first thing in the moring thank you for this idea

    Reply
  • Mary

    Using backslash tile for ornaments is GENIUS!! I'm going shopping tomorrow!

    Reply
  • KT

    Thanks for the great template idea! Just and fyi, in your 21 ideas section seed bead is not spelled correctly.

    Reply
  • Lucy M

    Glad I found these, going to try a few for easy gifts. That template idea...genius by the way!

    Reply
  • Charlotte Miller
    Charlotte Miller October 10, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Great idea and instructions were easy to understand. Will be trying this. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth

    What size are these tiles? Do they have a name?

    Reply
    • Kala

      I am not sure what they are called Elizabeth... they are available in a few different stores. They are with the floor tiles and come on a sheet that you just peel them off of. I just bought a few sheets, so I don't have a box to go back and look at. Just browse your local store, I am sure they will have all sorts of shapes you can use for this project!

      Reply
  • Lucia

    THIS WAS WELL WRITTEN! Your instructions were so clear! Thank you for this tutorial. :)

    Reply

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