I’m a self-taught artist based in Annapolis, Maryland, and I’ve been creating ornaments since 1999. I use glass ornaments and paint them by hand. All my ornaments are signed and dated.
Designs by Frances is a licensed vendor for several sororities and fraternities.
Frequently Asked Questions
On what occasions might I give an ornament as a gift?
Designs by Frances ornaments are not just for Christmas! You can give an ornament to celebrate any special occasion, including:
Baby’s or couple’s first Christmas
Sorority or fraternity initiations
You can even give an ornament to commemorate a special vacation! An Designs by Frances ornament can hang on your tree at Christmas, or you can hang it on an ornament stand year round. Some people even place an ornament on a stand on their desk.
What inspires your art designs?
My gallery ornaments are inspired mostly by my travels, especially my love of the beach. I also create ornaments to celebrate positive images or spiritual things.
What’s the difference between an art ornament and a custom ornament?
An art ornament is one I’ve already designed and created, based on my own inspiration. It is a little piece of FMH art available for sale. A custom ornament is inspired by YOUR idea. You tell me what you’re looking for, I come up with a design, and we work together to make sure the design matches your vision.
How long does it take you to create an ornament?
It takes me anywhere from 2 to 5 days to create and ship an ornament, depending on the complexity of the design and the number of pending orders. Although the paint I use is fast-drying, it takes at least a day to dry completely before the ornament is ready for shipping.
What kind of paint do you use?
I use permanent and fast-drying oil-based paint that does not fade under light. The paint is NOT good for outside or garden ornaments.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Designs by Frances accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and PayPal. If you’re placing a custom order, you will receive an invoice, which you can pay by PayPal.
Can I order something that’s not listed on your site?
I love to do custom orders. Just contact me and we can discuss what you’d like on the ornament. I’ll do my best to work with you.
Do you give discounts for large orders?
Discounts may be available for orders of more than 5 ornaments. Just contact me.
Are there exceptions to your large-order discounts?
I’m sorry, but I cannot give discounts on Very Small Greek ornaments.
Is it safe to place an order online at Designs by Frances?
Yes. Checkout at the Designs by Frances store is a secure site, and Designs by Frances does not store your credit card information. When an order comes through on my side, I see only the authorization/approval code for your credit card purchase.
Do I have to create an account to order from your site?
No, you don’t have to create an account. When you check out, just check out as a guest.
I’m having a hard time ordering on your site. What can I do?
If you’re having trouble, just contact me by email and we will work together to resolve the problem.
How do I know my order went through?
You will receive an email confirming your order. This email will be sent immediately after you place your order. If you’re paying an invoice for a custom order, I will email you to let you know I received your payment. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check your junk mail folder.
Can I change my order?
You can, but I start on orders fairly quickly, so your time window is limited. If you need to change your order, notify me within 3 hours after you’ve placed your order.
I never share or sell your information with third parties. I only use it to ship your orders or contact you if I have a question. Visit the Privacy page for more information.
What is your order cancellation policy on ART or STANDARD GREEK orders?
If you place an order at the Designs by Frances store and then change your mind, contact me within 3 hours after you’ve placed your order. I will issue a refund and cancel your order.
What is your order cancellation policy on CUSTOM ORDERS?
If you place a custom order, I first send sketches of possible designs, and once you approve a design, I send an invoice. If you change your mind at either of those stages, just let me know and I’ll cancel the custom order process. If you have already paid an invoice and need to cancel the order, please contact me within 3 hours after you’ve paid the invoice. Once I begin work on the custom ornament (about 3 hours after payment), the order cannot be canceled.
If you’re placing a custom order and I have sent an invoice, payment must be received within 3 days of the invoice date. If payment is not received within 3 days of the invoice date, your order will be canceled.
Do you accept returns or refunds?
Returns or refunds are accepted for art and standard Greek designs within 7 days after you receive the ornament. A refund will be issued once I receive the ornament and verify its condition.
*Refunds or returns are not accepted for custom orders, custom Greek orders, or personalized Greek orders.*
What if my ornament is broken when it arrives?
I pack orders well enough to withstand a carrier’s worst day, and so far all ornaments have arrived safely. However, if your ornament is broken when it arrives, contact me within 48 hours, and I will create and ship a replacement at no additional cost to you.
Is it safe to ship glass ornaments?
Don’t be frightened by those clips you’ve seen of carriers throwing packages or Ace Ventura doing cartwheels with a package. I keep all those scenes I mind when I pack orders. I wrap ornaments in tissue, place them in gift boxes with a ton of cushioning, bubble wrap the gift box, and place that box in a larger, sturdier cardboard box with even more cushioning. One ornament could come in a box as big as 10 x 10 x 10. Bottom line, shipping is quite safe.
I have never had an ornament arrive broken, but if yours does, just contact me within 48 hours of receiving the ornament, and I will create and ship a replacement at no additional cost to you.
How is shipping cost determined?
Your shipping costs depends on where you live and the dimensions and weight of the package. Orders ship from the state of Maryland. The extra protective padding I use adds to the weight of the package.
When can I expect to receive my order?
Orders ship by Priority Mail or UPS Ground and take anywhere from 2 to 4 days. Express shipping, which is guaranteed to arrive within 2 days, is also available, but additional charges will apply.
Do you ship internationally?
Unfortunately, no. The cost of shipping overseas is way more than the price of the ornament itself, and I cannot adjust the weight of packages.
Why isn’t my sorority/fraternity listed on your site?
Designs by Frances is a licensed vendor for the sororities and fraternity listed on the site. If your organization does not appear on the list, Designs by Frances is not a licensed vendor for that organization.
Will you add organizations?
We do consider adding organizations. The decision to add an organization to our list depends on the licensing policies for that organization and the amount of demand.
What’s the difference between a standard Greek design and a custom Greek design?
Standard Greek designs are the ones you see available on this site. Custom Greek designs are personalized for the customer. I might start with a standard design as a foundation, but add details you ask for.
What kind of things CAN I put on a custom Greek ornament?
You can add your name, the name of your college or university, roll number, year initiated, the chapter in which you were initiated, or your current chapter if you’re participating in an alumni or alumnae chapter. This is not an exhaustive list. For example, some customers serving in leadership positions have added their office in a given year. Your ornament can be as personal as you want it to be.
What CAN’T I put on a custom Greek ornament?
In accordance with our licensing agreements, Designs by Frances cannot use Greek trademarks with images of alcohol, drugs, or hazing. We also cannot use those trademarks with images that are derogatory to races, ethnicities, religions, genders, or cultures. We can combine trademarks from organizations only if we’re licensed for all the organizations you want to combine.
How long will it take for me to get my ornament?
Greek ornaments are made to order, so please allow up to 5 days for the ornament to be created. Shipping takes an additional 2 to 4 days.
Can you put a fraternity/sorority shield or crest on an ornament?
Shields or crests are not available for ornaments due to licensing considerations.
Do you paint paddles?
No, I do not paint paddles because of licensing considerations.
How long does a custom order take?
The turnaround depends partly on the customer. When I first receive a request, I create sketches of possible designs and send pictures with 5 days of receiving the request. The customer either picks a design or asks for changes, and once the customer approves a design, I send an invoice. Work does not begin on the ornament itself until payment is received. Creation of the ornament can take up to 5 days. The total turnaround time depends on the time it takes for me to create sketches and the ornament itself. It also depends on how long it takes for the customer to approve a design and pay the invoice. Shipping time is an additional 2 to 5 days.
What should I think about before I order a custom ornament?
You should consider the complexity of the design and when you need the ornament. The more complex the design, the more time I’ll need to create it and ship it. Also, remember this is a 4-inch ornament, and consider how much you can add to it. Think about the length of names, the level of detail, and any potential restrictions.
Is there anything you don’t do?
These are Christmas/special occasion ornaments, and my goal is to spread a little joy. Therefore I do not paint hateful or derogatory language or images, and I do not make fun of different races, ethnicities, genders, religions, or specific people. I also stay away from sexual images and politics.
I do not reproduce copyrighted or trademarked material (logos) unless I have written permission to do so.
Although I consider myself a talented person, animals are not my strong suit. Therefore I tend to stay away from pet ornaments.
I made a mistake on my custom order. Can I fix it?
Custom ornaments are created using designs agreed upon by the customer. If you catch a mistake in the initial sketches of a custom design or before you pay an invoice, it is easy to fix. Once work begins on the ornament, however, fixing a mistake, even a minor one, is difficult. In some cases, fixing a mistake means re-creating the entire ornament. In such cases, you will be charged for the additional ornament.