Sunday, November 30, 2014

NICU Graduate Ornament

This is a little tutorial for my customers who purchase the NICU Graduate ornament and need a little walk through on how to put it together ;0}

You got two pieces of vinyl in the mail.  That is all you need, in addition to the 4" ornament of choice, to make your NICU Graduate ornament.  

First you will peel the white paper backing off of the black lettering portion.  Line up the letters over the heartbeat so that it looks like this...
Be aware that the heartbeat piece will jump off the table due to static and try to stick to your lettering transfer tape in very odd places.  You may want to either have someone help you by holding it down to the table, or use a little bit of scotch tape to tape that heartbeat paper down before trying to position the lettering on top.  I would be happy to do this step for you if you would like.  Just let me know when you order.

When you get the heartbeat situated on the lettering transfer tape, lie the lettering on the table, non-sticky side down, and rub the white paper down.  You want the red heartbeat to be fully pressed into the transfer tape.

When you are done, pull the white paper tape off of the heartbeat and you are ready to attach it to your ornament.  

I like to use a roll of packing tape to hold the ornament while I work.  I am sure there are thousands of things around your house that might work if you don't have packing tape handy, even a bowl or a cup.  It just helps if you can put the ornament down and use both hands without the ornament rolling away on you.

So, I put a roll of packing tape on it's side, set a glass ornament in the center hole, and get my vinyl all ready to attach.  Line the letters up, judging by the opening at the top of the ornament, and press down the word "Graduate" ONLY.

I took this awkward picture so you can see that the "Graduate" word is pressed down, but not the lines above or below it.

Now listen carefully!!!  I push down "Graduate", then pull the left and right sides back up.  The black vinyl letters should stay attached to the ornament.  If they don't, just push the transfer tape back down, rub the letter down a bit better, and then pull the tape up again.  Once in a while I have to use my fingernail or something to hold on to the vinyl while pulling the tape off when the vinyl gets an attitude about sticking.

So, pull the sides of the transfer tape back up off the ornament so that it is only attached still for the letters "D" and "U" or somewhere around there.  Now push down the letter "C" in NICU.  You want to rub from the bottom of the "C" in an upward direction.  You can pull the transfer tape off the "U" in Graduate now, and push down the letter "I" in NICU.  Try and keep an eye on the red line of the heartbeat and make sure it is staying in the middle of the two words.  When you get to the "N" you will need to pull the letter up a little bit or it will look like it is bowing downward.  Pull the "N" up a tad, the press down to the glass from the bottom of the "N" to the top.  Peel the left side of the transfer tape off the ornament until the "C" and we are ready to do the other side.

At this point, I like to push the heartbeat bottom line down all the way.  Don't push the heart down first.  Rub the line in place, then rub from the bottom point of the heart straight up to the top point of the heart, that spot between the humps ;0}  Once that is down, you can push the humps down rubbing from the center of the heart to the outer left and right sides.  Basically you need to start at the center and rub left, then start at the center and rub right again.

Is this all necessary???  Only if you want it to look good.  There is a science to applying vinyl to the outside of a curved object!!!

Now, pull the transfer tape off the right side of the heartbeat and go ahead and push the "U" down from the bottom to the top.  "It's all about the Bass, the bass, the bass, No Treble"  Yep.

If you stop there it will look like this.  You can just stop there and go for a coke break if you need to ;0}

When you have recovered, grab your transfer tape 'cause we need to finish the date!

If you took your tape off the ornament, you need to center the date under "Graduate".  If you left it on there, work from the center of the date, one number at a time, rubbing from the top to the bottom for this line.  The other thing that is different for this one is that you need to pull the far left and right of the line down instead of up to keep it looking straight.

Soooooo, press down the "0" and the "1", from the top to the bottom, then focus on one side.  I start with the left 'cause I am crazy AND left handed.  That must be why, right ;0}  Anyway, I take the "2" and pull it down just a bit to make it look straight.  You might have to take the transfer tape off of the "1" in order to get the stretch to move the "2" down.  When the "2" is in place, pull the transfer tape up, leaving it attached in the middle of the date, and pull that "4" down just a bit before rubbing it down.



Now you just need to put your keepsakes, or write a daily thought each day baby is in the hospital or something fabulously sentimental like that and put them inside the ornament.  A white bead for each day inside the NICU would work too.  Whatever thumps your heartstrings.

I hope that helps you make this lovely keepsake.  I found that Walmart sells the 4" plastic ornaments for $.97 back in the Christmas section if you are looking for plastic, otherwise I highly recommend Hobby Lobby between July and December 15th for the "Make It Christmas" brand ornaments.  They have a lovely iridescent sheen to them that makes the ornaments just look amazing.

Let me know if you have any other questions.  If you have not ordered your vinyl yet and want some, you can either email me at or order from my Etsy shop, TheBubbleBox.  

Here is the listing for the completed ornaments:

And the listing for just the vinyl decal:

Enjoy the moments of your new life outside of the NICU!

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