Family Christmas Calligraphy 1

Something new for KIN: practical activities for producing Christmas gifts from Pam Kessler. Here’s the first.

Making a peace dove

By Pam Kessler

Pam’s Peace Dove.
Pam’s Peace Dove.

There is nothing nicer than making a gift for someone you love.

When the whole family is involved in the making, it is even more special for the receiver.

Recently my Peace Dove was featured in KIN and I thought others might like to make their own doves and give as gifts. This is a great family activity, as all levels of skill are needed to complete the decoration and the materials used are easily available.

If you like the look of my Peace Dove, the materials list, and directions, can be found below. Good luck.

Christmas Calligraphy – Pam’s Peace Dove

Good Luck! (Photo Credit: Joel Maxwell/Kapiti Observer)
Good Luck! (Photo Credit: Joel Maxwell/Kapiti Observer)

Materials Needed:

Heavy card, pencil, craft knife, darning needle, white acrylic paint and another colour of your choice, gold and silver paint, feathers, strip of paper, hanging cord.


  1. Heavy card: Select a heavy card, approximately 2 to 3 mls thick. It has to be thick as otherwise it will buckle with the paint and decoration you are going to apply
  2. Pencil: Using a pencil draw a bird/dove shape on the card
  3. Craft Knife: Cut out the dove shape using a craft knife. This is an adult job as the card is difficult to cut. Use a cutting mat under your work, or cut on a firm protected surface.
  4. Hole: Choose the position to make the hole to hang your decoration. Take care that the position you choose will enable the dove to be balanced when hung. Use a darning needle to push through the card.
  5. Acrylic paint: Brush on student grade acrylic white paint to cover the entire dove shape. Remember to paint the edges of the thick card. Thick card is normally grey, so painting it white means the end colour you choose will be brighter. Let the paint dry completely.
  6. Colour: Brush on student acrylic coloured paint to cover the entire dove shape. I used red paint but you can choose to make your dove any colour.
  7. Dry: Let the paint dry completely and then apply another coat of paint. Now you have three layers of paint on the dove. The paint you mix may be quite thick; this is fine as thick paint adds texture to the design. Let the paint dry completely.
  8. Gold and silver: Add a sparkle to your dove with a random splattering of gold and silver paint.
  9. Eye: Decide on the position for the dove’s eye and paint it in gold.
  10. Feathers: Choose feathers for the tail and glue these securely to both sides of the tail shape. I used UHU glue and Emu feathers, but any type of feathers will look good.
  11. Message: Think carefully about the wording for your message. Using your best calligraphy write your message on a 20cm strip of narrow paper. Curl the ends of the paper. Use UHU glue to attach the paper, writing facing upwards, under the beak.
  12. Hanging cord: Fold a 25cm cord or ribbon in half and push the folded loop through the hole. Thread the other ends through the loop. Pull tight and tie a knot in the end.
Christmas Peace Dove.
Christmas Peace Dove.

Congratulations! You did it!

Your Peace Dove is ready for giving.

Merry Christmas wishes,