Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Make a Personalized Ornament or Decorative Tile to Honor or Remember a Much Loved Pet

Wouldn't you like an ornament of your pet hanging on your Christmas tree?


Eldon the Cat Yawning, © B. Radisavljevic
Eldon the Cat Yawning, © B. Radisavljevic
Pets are an important part of the family, but unlike your children, they can't make special ornaments to hang on the tree.  They can, however, have their pictures displayed on customized ornaments you can create at Zazzle. You know your cat or dog (or rabbit or bird or turtle or whatever pet you have) is full of personality. You probably have a memorable picture of your pet on your computer right now, just waiting to be made into an ornament or decorative tile. 

The process is simple Just follow my links to Zazzle and use my easy directions to customize. I used a former neighbor's cat, Eldon, as my model, since I don't have any pets at this time. Eldon has already crossed the Rainbow Bridge. An ornament is a great way  to memorialize him,  as you might want to do for a pet who is no longer with you. During the holidays, we miss those who are gone the most. That certainly includes our pets.


Sarah the Cat Sitting, © B. Radisavljevic
Sarah the Cat Sitting, © B. Radisavljevic
And don't forget your friends. Maybe you have a pet sitter who would like an ornament or decorative tile with your pet's picture for Christmas. Maybe your children who have moved away from home and left the family pet behind would appreciate a decorative tile or trivet to remember them all year. Or maybe you have a great shot of a friend's pet that friend would appreciate as an ornament or decorative tile. Just use your imagination and you will soon know what to give those people who won't really tell you what they want, but they really do love their pets. These ornaments don't even have to hang on a tree. They can  hang anywhere you can attach them so you enjoy them all year. 

How to Customize an Ornament for Your Pet Keepsake

You met Eldon above. Now let's see him on a premium square ornament. There are many shapes you can choose, but because Eldon has a long tail, I had to make a square ornament to squeeze it all in. Square is one of the easiest ornament shapes to work with. 

Just click the ornament images to get to  them on Zazzle.

When you click on Eldon's ornament, it will take you to its product page. I'm now going to change Eldon's ornament into one to memorialize Sarah, my neighbor's cat who visited me daily and hung out on my porch, always there to greet me when I came home, always hoping for the cat treat she knew she'd get from me. She died this year and we miss her. Read about my relationship with and see more pictures of Sarah here. 

This is how you can change the ornament for Eldon to one in honor of your pet, as I did to make mine in honor of Sarah.   

  • On the ornament, you will see the  "Customize it!" button. Click it. The photo will change to a design view with some red boundary lines. 
  • Look to your right under "Customize it!" Scroll past the blue icons. 
  • Look for Eldon with "Change Image" on his right. 
  • To put your pet's picture in, just click to change.
  • Upload a picture from your computer. The picture you upload should be at least 2" square, 300 pixels resolution, and in png format. 
  • Use the buttons over where you changed the photo, to increase or decrease the size of the photo in the frame to fit or fill it. you can also use buttons to move the image up and down, left and right. Just play with it. You want to keep the image within the inner red box to keep it from being cropped. Test by clicking the button underneath to change to art view. That shows you how your finished product will look. 
  • Above where I changed the image, you can change the text to match your pet's name and date, to remove any text, or to change the text to whatever you want to say. While the square is still around your text, you can drag it wherever in the product you want it to be. 
  • As you scroll down the right side, you can change the background color or the ornament's shape and style.   I normally pick my style first and then fiddle with the images and text, either of which you can change from this screen.

If your image doesn't look quite right, you can use the "arrange" or "edit" drop down menus, or you can mouse over the icons to see what they do and use them to make your picture large enough to fill all the space or smaller to  fit better. You can play with them until your ornament looks the way you want it to. The previews where you choose your shapes shows you how  your photo will look in those other shapes. When your ornament is just right, use the big blue/orange button near the top right to "Add to Cart." (It's blue until the mouse turns it orange.)

Here's how Sarah's ornament turned out. Notice that I dragged the text to a location where it would show better.



Now Let's Look at Some Other Ornament Styles



First, meet Nicki. She was the shiest of one neighbor's cats and she didn't like to pose. I was lucky to get her at all. I have put her on a premium round ornament, and her photo had to be 2.13" x 1.25," resolution 300, png format. Larger pictures will also work, but they shouldn't be any smaller. The important thing to remember about round ornaments is that the subject should be easy to center. Before you choose a shape, be sure your photo can conform to it. 



Let's Look at the Ceramic Ornaments You Can Make from Your Pet's Pictures


Let's meet Pumpkin, the most docile of my previous neighbor's cats. She's a sweetheart, but I had to get candid shots. I have her on a ceramic round ornament. You can use the customize button to switch pictures and text. Your picture should be about 1150 pixels in diameter, 300 resolution, and png format. 
See how easy it was to get her centered? 

Ceramic ornaments have two sides you can fill and you have a lot of design flexibility. Be sure to customize both sides by clicking under the ornament to choose the front or back to work with. I put the date on the  back side, leaving the front for just the photo. You can also make both sides identical. 







Zazzle is playing around with their image links and in some cases below you will see the design, not the actual ornament. If you click the title link of the ornament, it will take you to how the design will look on the ornament, and you will also have the option of choosing the design in a different shape.

Here are some other appealing kitty ornaments you might get ideas from. This one has a frame. Just click through and put your cat into the frame.


The heart-shape ornament is also very popular. Here are some of my favorites.
This ornament is two sided. It features two photos of the same cat. I show you the back side here. One could also choose to put a picture of two  different pets on the two different sides -- maybe even a cat and a dog. 

And, lest you think I'm anti-dog, here is an ornament featuring a canine pet.


Some photos will do well on the oval shape. I like this one.

Puppy Kitten Snow Cabin Christmas Ornament

I think the star is the most complicated shape to fit a photo into, but here's one that worked well. 

If You'd Like a Pet Keepsake Larger than an Ornament to Display All Year, Make a Decorative Tile or Trivet


For a tile such as the one below, use a 4.25" x 4.25" picture, 300 resolution, png format. If you want some wiggle room, you might make your picture a bit larger to make sure it will fill the space. You can, of course, also add words. When you click through to the product page, you can customize with your own picture and words, but you will also have the option of adding a frame to make this a trivet or a box, for which this would be a decorative top. One tile gives you three different options. Here are what some others have done.

Are You Inspired to Make an Ornament or Tile to Honor Your Pet Yet?

I hope I've given you some inspiration and some practical help on how to do it. Please use the comment section for feedback, questions I've not answered, more ideas for using pet ornaments, or just to let me know you were here.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

8 comments:

  1. I have mouse pads, cards, and mugs with my dog's and cat's pictures, but I guess I've never made an ornament. These are great ideas and I already know how easy it is to use Zazzle. I hope those who may be hesitating will give it a try using your perfect instructions!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. There are so many products it's hard to choose which one to feature out pets on. But I like the ornament idea as a tradition.

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  2. What a lovely way to remember a beloved pet, or to create a special gift for a friend, family member or neighbor of their pet(s).

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    1. I'm still grieving the loss of Sarah, whose ornament I created above. She wasn't mine, but she seemed to be choosing to be.

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  3. I love this idea! I have been selling on Zazzle for years and I have no idea why I haven't created Christmas tree ornaments featuring my pets before now.

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    1. Maybe we just don't think about it in time. I was wondering about getting a mug tree to keep pet ornaments on all year. On the other hand, I could make mugs from their photos instead so that I would see them more often. I use mugs every day, but I already have more than I can use.

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  4. Very clear instructions - I had never thought to use these to make my own ornaments, what a terrific idea for gifts as well - very easy to do too

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    1. I can think of a lot of people who have lost pets this year and might appreciate such a gift.

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