3D Printed Santa Christmas Countdown Calendar


If you've been following along, you know that we got a 3D printer in our house at the end of the summer. I've been trying to share many of our projects, but I also want to make sure I add my crafty touch to some of these projects, so when I saw the files for a Christmas countdown calendar, I figured it was the perfect opportunity for me to add some color to a print project.

Since I knew I wanted to try to paint this project, we printed it using white pla filament. This project printed with standard settings.

The print came out pretty good. The blocks printed perfectly, but the Santa base had a couple clumps of plastic on his face. Instead of reprinting, I used an emery board to sand them as smooth as possible.

Now Santa was all printed, but without any color. It still looks pretty cute and would look great printed in red without any additions.

I knew that alcohol ink, which works well on non-pourous surfaces, could be a good option. I have tried inking PLA before with good success, so I brought out my alcohol inks and a stamper.

I used some Ranger Crimson ink on a felt applicator to stamp the sides of the date blocks. I stamped one side of the block and then set them aside to dry. Some of the ink did get on the numbers, but the ink had pretty good coverage at first. As I continued to ink the blocks, I noticed the ink soaked into the layers of the PLA unevenly and created some blotchiness. I ended up having to give it a few coats to try to get an even color.

I stamped Santa's red hat, too, but had a hard time getting in to all of the edges, so I used a bit of Crimson ink on a paint brush to get in all of the nooks. Then I mixed up some flesh tone ink for Santa's face. I used Pixiss Petal (a pale pink), Ranger Sandal (a peachy tan), and Piñata Blanco mixed together in a little tin until it looked vaguely skin tone like. Then I used a paint brush to paint it on Santa's face.

After the blocks were completely red and had dried a bit, I needed to dye the numbers. Since the ink bled and splashed into the numbers, I needed something that would cover that color. I went with Piñata Brass. I carefully dripped a few drops of the gold-colored ink into the number recesses and let it dry. I repeated until all of the numbers had been filled in with gold/brass ink.

I stamped the lettering on Santa's hat with that felt applicator and more Brass ink. I had to stamp several times to get good solid coverage. In the process, I got a bit on the hat and liked the way it looked, so I stamped the hat after I stamped the numbers. The felt was fairly dry, so it looked like gold glitter on his hat.

After letting everything dry for a couple days, I sealed Santa and his number blocks with some Kamar Varnish. If the blocks are going to be handled a lot by kids, you may want to spray them with an acrylic sealer after the Kamar sets up.

The alcohol ink worked fairly well on the PLA again, but it has a tendency to settle into the groves and ridges created by the printing process. I look forward to more crafty 3D print projects in the future!


Popular posts from this blog

Plastic Wrap Alcohol Ink on Small Ceramic Bowl

Splatter Resist Alcohol Ink Tile

Alcohol Ink Washer Necklaces