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Secular ornaments for every day

Decorating the house is awesome

In New Zealand, we really only have one major “holiday” a year – Christmas. Even though a great many New Zealanders do not identify as Christians, it’s still a holiday that many of us celebrate. 
At Copper Catkin HQ, we are a secular household who love to decorate the tree and exchange gifts – particularly when they give us an opportunity to purchase from other small businesses – and we begin planning and shopping for our gifts towards the middle of the year. 

2018 was supposed to be our last Xmas in NZ, so we went all out – here’s a small selection of gifts we gave, because I really enjoy looking at them again.


Nick got some interesting seaweed from Moore Wilson’s, a soap saver by Shop Nikkis and soap from Underground Soapery, custom Snaxpax, a Copper Catkin cutlery wrap, a traditional tacky Santa badge, and, of course, a beautiful bowl by Burnt Offerings.


Mary-Lou got a top and trouser set from Portland, a Copper Catkin bodysuit and colouring book, an Ickle Wabbit by Tings, and a jelly soap from Melt my Heart.


Maura got a Pretty Fkn Expletives tea towel, custom Snaxpax, Korowai Oils zest, kawakawa tea by The Very Green Gardener, wet bag by Tings, soap by Underground Soapery and soap saver by Shop Nikkis, face scrubbie by Calluminati Crochet, and a Copper Catkin cutlery wrap.


Christine got polite society, a Copper Catkin cutlery wrap, scarf, and earrings, a Tings wet bag, a Shop Nikkis soap saver to go with her Underground Soapery soap, a face scrubbie by Calluminati Crochet, a decoration by Tilly Bird, and a perfume by No8Essentials, plus the traditional tacky Xmas earrings.

My mum collects ornaments for their tree, so it’s the souvenir of choice when we travel, or when we visit Xmas markets. 
​One thing that we (well, I) really hate is when it’s time to put the tree away – so this range of decorations is designed to be suitable all year round. There’s nothing religious, and nothing seasonal – you can use them anywhere, any time. 
Here’s how we designed them.

The concept

I started with the idea of my popular designs as a starting point, but simplified to suit the laser-cutting requirements.

Initial ideas


Ideas that made it to the next stage of development

At this point, I handed the concept over to El Huz, who developed the images into vectors, then into between one and three of the following options:

  1. a solid piece, with an engraved motif
  2. a solid piece, with a motif carved out of the centre
  3. a solid central motif, joined to a circular frame

1 – engraving indicated by blue lines


2 – motif removed from the centre


3 – motif suspended in circular frame

We sent off a test file to Atomik Laser, who cut our previous laser-cut-designs, to have them recommend a suitable material, based on their experience, and give us a quote. They recommended acrylic, and we chose clear as the range of colours available in NZ is frankly disappointing. 
This is how we received the sheet, with the protective coating still in place.
They actually look fantastic once they are all peeled and cleaned up – I am really excited to launch these tomorrow!
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