Printable Paint Stick Ornaments {Tutorial}

Are you looking for fun and in-expensive Christmas tree ornaments or gift tags, to make for yourself, or maybe for a neighbor or teacher gift?  If so, this might be just what you've been looking for!

There is no need for vinyl on this craft, the sayings are all printed and copied onto scrapbook paper and then Mod Podged onto...get this... a paint stick!  The best part...they cost next to nothing!  I've put a tutorial together with all of my tips and tricks.  (Don't be alarmed by the length of it, I just like details and thought you might too!)  They are really quite simple to make.

It was a light bulb sort of moment when it came to me to use 5 gallon size paint sticks to make these ornaments.  Paint sticks are the perfect thickness, the wood is already fairly smooth, and they come free (or close to it)! 

Ready to get Started?  Here's what you'll need:

Paint sticks:  The paint sticks must be the large 5 gallon sticks (nearly 1 1/2" wide).  Lowes will sometimes give them to you for free as well as Home Depot.   Home Depot sells them in bundles.  Wal-mart sells them for .28 each.  Sherwin Williams paint sticks are too narrow, so don't get them there. 
Tip:  If you ask the employee if you can buy some from them to make a craft, most often they will just give them to you for free.  Yep, FREE!

One paint stick will make 4-4" long ornaments and 1-snowman ornament
(Snowman ornament tutorial hopefully coming soon, my camera just quit on me.)
Edited to add:  Click here for the snowman tutorial.

These are only 19 of the 28 Templates available

No vinyl required... Vinyl can be expensive, and not everyone has access to a craft cutter.  But don't worry, you don't need one...the sayings are printable...and I'm sharing them with you for free!   There are 28 different words/sayings to choose from

The Printable Templates are to be used 
in your own home, church, or to give as a gift. 
They cannot be used on any items for sale or profit, this includes all fundraisors, sorry, no exceptions.

Template Example:
This is an example only, don't use this image, the quality is bad.  
*IMPORTANT:  If you are having problems downloading the templates it may be because you linked over from another site.  You need to be on the direct link to this post to be able to access the file in Google Docs.  Direct link:  http://todaysfabulousfinds.blogspot.com/2010/11/printable-paintstick-ornaments-tutorial.html.  Also, if you are using a work/school computer, your administrator may prevent you from downloading them from Google Docs, try downloading them to your personal computer if it doesn't work for you. You should'nt need to send me a Google Doc request to share them. Thanks!
  • Download the template here  (You can click on download or print.) 
  • The document includes a blank template so you can make up your own personalized sayings if you'd like. 
  • Print the templates with your home printer onto white printer paper, use the normal or high quality setting.
  • Copy the template onto scrapbook paper using a copy machine.   (Choose what paper you like, keep in mind that lighter to medium toned prints that aren't busy work best. The paper I used is from a book called Signature Suite by Jen Wilson)  This is an important step.  If you print it on an ink jet printer and don't use a copy machine to copy it to the scrapbook paper, your ink will run and blur when you Mod Podge the paper on.  ( Exception:  If you have a laser jet printer you can skip this step and print it directly onto the scrapbook paper, I've been told that the ink won't run.) 

Black Wire:  You can buy it at JoAnn Fabrics for $1.49 per roll. 

Accents (optional):  The star, heart, and snowflake rustic accents, are made by a company called Darice.  Check your local craft store.  They cost around $1.00 for a pkg. of 6-8.  The bells were $1.00 for a small bag of about 30.

Paint:  You can use acrylic craft paint, or spray paint them.  The color I used for this set of ornaments is Valspar's Velvet Brown spray paint.  It's the color of a Hershey's candy bar...yum!  You can choose whatever color looks good with your scrapbook paper and tree.  If you prefer a lighter color, Krylon's ivory spray paint is a good choice as well.

How to make them in 10 Steps

1.  Clamp the paint sticks together in bundles and mark and cut them every 4".  The best way to cut them is with a band saw, if you don't have one, you can use a jig saw, or a miter box and hand saw. 

2.  Lightly sand the sticks to smooth any rough parts (mostly the ends).

3.  Drill 2 holes in the upper corners just bigger than your wire.

4.  Paint the sticks. 

5.  Distress them by sanding the edges to expose some of the bare wood and then wipe the dust off.  (If there is writing on the stick that will show through the paint, use that side as the front, the paper will cover it.  You may need to sand the writing off of the border area a bit before you paint it if you are using a light paint color.)

6.  Cut out your print.  Make sure it is sized to the block.  (Trim to fit, if necessary, so there is about a 1/8" border of paint showing around the paper.) 

7.  To get the inked look around the edges of the paper, find a rag, put it on your finger, dip it into dark brown paint, blot most of it off, and then lightly run your finger along the edge of the paper.  You could also use a brown ink pad (I don't have one, so I improvised.).

8.  Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the stick.  Place your paper on it, gently smooth it flat, and let it dry thoroughly.  Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper, being careful not to run your brush over it too many times and making sure the paper is flat and smooth.  Let dry.

9.  Cut a length of wire 9" long.  Gently push it through the hole in the stick from the back and through the paper about 1".  (It helps to put your finger over the hole where the wire is coming through so the paper doesn't tear.) Bend the wire up in the back.  (If you are adding an accent, put it on the wire now.)  Use needle nose pliers to twist the wire in a circle, then use the side of the pliers to push the wire down flat against the ornament.

10.  Hang them on your tree, and every time you see them, think "Wow, I made those!" :)

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in a comment or e-mail me.  If you make them leave me a link, I'd love to see them!

As soon as I can get to the store to buy a new camera, I'll show you how to make a snowman ornament using the top of the paint stick. :)  Edited to add:  Click here for the snowman ornaments

Today's Fabulous Find...Paint Stick Ornaments!

Edited to Add:  I just finished another set of Paint Stick Ornament Templates with the Names of Christ and Christlike Attributes.  Click here for the templates and for new ideas on how you can use them!

You might also be interested in:

Paint Stick Ornament Templates, Names of Christ in Latin and Hebrew


Paint Stick Ornament Templates, Names of Christ and Christlike Attributes in Spanish
(Added 12/1/2016)

***This post is linked to some really fun parties! 
Please link to them from my side bar and check them out!

*FYI: The Christmas Subway Art Printable is almost done and will be posted
in time to switch out your Thanksgiving print, by Monday if I can find a camera. :)

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April said...

I can't seem to get the link to print! Love this idea!

Carolyn said...

Would you be willing to share a list of the fonts you used? I am trying to add some phrases to your blank template and would like them to match the style of the ones you already made.

marla said...

I love these and made some last year. What I was wondering is if there was a way to get a full page of just one saying. Like a full page of the "silent night" and a full page of the "away in a manger". I like the multiple sayings on one page but a full sheet of those two sayings would be wonderful. If not, okay. My email is kmttjudy at hotmail dot com.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great ideas! What software did you use to make the word art for your ornaments? I'd like to make some of my own design...

Janet said...

To Carolyn, I'm sorry I missed your comment and didn't answer your question, if you happen to check back, send me an e-mail and I can tell you some of the fonts that I used.

Janet said...

To Cristina, I used WordArt in Microsoft Publisher so I could 'stretch' the words to fit the space. I believe that you can use Photoshop as well.

Darla said...

I've tried and tried to make your template work with your directions and photos but it's not happening. The words are too large vertically, and the template boxes aren't wide enough for my 4" wood. I'm not proficient enough to start from scratch with my own template. Very disappointed.

Janet said...

Hi Darla, let me see if I can help. :) Not all paint sticks are the same width, some that I got from Sherwin Williams were too narrow. If you buy them at Wal-mart or get them at Home Depot or Lowes they should work for you.

On most of the designs I think you could trim down the top and bottom of the scrapbook paper a little bit so it has the same amount of space around the paper on all sides. The lines are more of a suggested place to cut to save you some time.

If you have any questions let me know, I'd be happy to help any way I can!

Deborah said...

I love this but it won't open for me,3mays@bright.net,Deborah,thank you.

Carolyn @ Cozy Stone House said...

Thank you so much for sharing this great idea! I made them and included a link to your blog on my post! Love these and so grateful that you graciously shared!!!


Cami said...

Thank you for sharing these great ornament idea.They are lovely. I have two questions for you? First, on the Hebrew list I am missing the second name in the left hand column and the last name in the right hand column. Can you tell me which font I need on my computer so those will show up? My second question is , My daughter is serving Spanish speaking mission. Is there a form I can get from you so I can fill in the words in espanol or do you have one in Spanish. I am hoping to send the English, Hebrew, latin and Spanish, if possible.

Janet said...

Hi Cami! You're welcome, I'm happy you are able to use them. :) I didn't realize that those spaces were blank. It's saved as a PDF so adding the fonts won't make a difference in the document. I haven't had a chance to yet, but I'll look for the document on my computer (hopefully sometime tomorrow) and see if I accidentally left any words out. Also, I'm sorry but I don't have a Spanish version for the names of Christ. If you wan't to make them up, you will just need to measure the size of your paint sticks, create boxes that size in the document, and then insert the words. I use WordArt in Microsoft Publisher so it allows me to 'stretch' the words to fit the space. I hope this helps and I'll get back with you on the missing words.:)

Janet said...

Cami I looked up the document and those spaces never had names in them. I'm not sure why I left them open in such an odd placement. :)

Kathleen said...

Love the idea of jute!!!

labriere said...

I can't get these to download or print. Can you send me the file? labriere@swbell.net

Alison Fowler said...

These are darling. Is there a way to have them in Spanish? I'd love to send them to my Spanish-speaking missionary.

Janet said...

Thanks Alison! It really would be great to have them in Spanish. I haven't had the time to do things like this in recent months and don't know Spanish to know which words to use. If you could send me a list of some names of Christ in Spanish though I can see what I can do. Unfortunately I can't make any promises on if I'd be able to get them done. :)

Unknown said...

Hi These are really cute! Do you have a verision where the template has the images reversed, in order to do a ink transfer?

Janet said...

Thank you! I'm sorry, I don't have a reverse version of them. Love that idea though!

Kelly Disouza said...

Very nice collection! You may find more amazing & beautiful collection for Unique Personalized Christmas Ornaments to personalize & buy online at Ornaments by Elves.

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