Sorry, with Donna's retirement we no longer have anyone on our daily staff with personalizing skills.
As many of us have attempted personalizing, we have learned it's important not only to have good penmanship to begin with, but following some simple yet important steps can make a world of difference.
Here are our suggestions on doing any personalizing yourself (or having someone you know do it).
These are only suggestions, some may have more experience in this area and have better suggestions or prefer a different type or marker, etc.
BEFORE YOU START:
Lefty: If being done by a left-handed person, we suggest starting with the last letter and working backwards to have the least chance of smearing the print. Otherwise use the same steps as below.
*** Errors: Have materials ready to remove errors as fast as possible as most paint pens are fast drying. (tissue or lint-free soft cloth, water, enamel thinner, etc. Markers can not be removed from some surfaces without damaging the finish or removing some of the paint. Other suggestions given for materials to use: - hair spray, wd-40, nail polish remover, dry erase marker, isopropyl alcohol). ** items as paint remover should be used outside if possible due to strong odor.
Remember - writing on a object (especially curved object) is very different from writing on a flat surface. The ornament surface will feel different from paper too.
BEST TO READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS FIRST - then go back to step 1 and start the process:
- Item Selection: Pick an ornament or item with a section that has a smooth, non-glittered surface for personalizing.
- Marker: Use a Sharpie Paint Pen or a simliar item (we suggest a permament marker, fast-drying is best, we also like a fine tip pen)
- Practice: IMPORTANT!!! Practice the letters and print size on a piece of paper using the exact same pen you will use to personalize. If using a paint pen, shake it well before printing. Curved item - maybe even curve a small piece of paper over the ornament and then write on the paper to get the feel for writing on a non-flat surface. If available, practice directly on a cheap round item you can damage and throw away.
- Size/Print: Will it fit? Hold the practice paper on the ornament (maybe even cut the paper just above the print to make this easier) - if the ornament is curved - make sure the paper curves with the ornament. IMPORTANT - will the size of print you practiced fit in the space allowed? (The #1 mistake made is mis-judging how many letters will fit in a space or what size of print will fit in a space. #2 is concentrating so much on the print - mis-spellings take place - remember to look at what you practiced.)
- Errors: - Make sure you have a product nearby to remove the ink if you make an error or accidentally smear a letter. *** See above list *** list for possible cleaning materials.
- Hint: If the item has glitter, use a fine brush to remove any glitter from the area to be personalized.
- Example: Have the practice paper as close to the ornament as possible so you can duplicate your practice lettering. It's very easy to concentrate so hard and the print that spelling and spacing errors occur.
- Start: Using the same print type, size and spacing between letters as you practiced and measured for spacing/size - Start printing on the ornament. Make sure your hand and finger do not touch the fresh print.
- Dry: Although most permament markers are fast drying - touching the print too soon can easily smear the lettering. Allow several minutes and test for smearing before packing the print area in tissue etc.
** If you used a product to remove an error - be sure before printing on that area that the product is wiped off the ornament and the ornament is dry. Even a thin layer of enamel remover still on the item may cause smearing when writing over top of that section.