May 19, 2009

Actually following up on something, for once

Remember back in April, when I linked to Ryan's cool project?

I was so impressed with the low-cost, high-impact idea, I decided to try it for myself.

Only I didn't want to do LOVE, because -- although my boys are very loving and lovable -- I knew there had to be another word that would better sum up their personalities and ages right now. And Megan suggested JEDI, which I loved!

A couple of weeks ago I bought a five-pack of white Hanes T-shirts at Kmart for less than $5. I already had a fine-tip black Sharpie, so I skipped buying the laundry Sharpie. THAT WAS PROBABLY A MISTAKE. I bet the reason Ryan used the laundry marker was so that he wouldn't feel like he was banging his head against a brick wall With Every Stroke of the Pen. Noted.

So the Saturday before Mother's Day, I worked on the shirts. I printed off the letters (Trebuchet typeface, for inquiring mi
nds) as large as they'd fit on 8.5x11 paper. The J, E and I were all about the same size, but the D was so wide, I had to print it a little smaller and then freehand it a little bit to make it the right size when I traced it on the shirt.

It took about two hours to trace them and fill them in on the shirts, and I'd definitely invest in the laundry Sharpie next time. The filament kept getting all nubby on my regular fine-point Sharpie, which made some of my borders less sharp. And it just didn't work well, in general. However, it was close enough, and I kept telling myself it didn't have to be perfect ... although it goes against every molecule in my body just to type that.

At any rate, I got the shirts finished on Saturday and asked Nathaniel and Nicholas to be cooperative on Sunday as their Mother's Day gift to me. As it turned out, Sunday was overcast and rainy for most of the day, but we grabbed the 30 non-rainy minutes mid-afternoon and ran out to the backyard to get the shots. I don't LOVE them, but I like them enough to use them. This is what they looked like straight out of the camera:

And here's what they look like now that I've tried to mess around with them in PhotoShop to make them brighter and more glow-y, like Ryan's:

Unfortunately, I'm a PhotoShop Ignoramus, so I also had to darken up my letters when I brightened up everything else, because the brightening action totally bleached my letters out. I'll go back and work on the originals a little bit, to try and find a happy medium in there somewhere "in my spare time."

So THANKS, Ryan, for the awesome idea! I plan to print them on canvas and hang them in a grouping in the boys' room. And when I can afford that part of the project, I'll try to remember to post a picture of the finished product!


Sarah T. said...

That looks great! Good job!

Rachel said...

what a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

Great job!

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Now my friends at work are busy picking apart how "fake" the letters on the touched-up photos look. I KNOW. I'm going to go with the original photos and just try to brighten them up a little ... I think I'll be happy with that.

Thanks to all for the encouragement! It was fun.

Anonymous said...


You could have create the letters on the computer and then printed them out on iron on paper and then iron them onto the shirts. just a thought. I wonder what you could do with a class of 20???
Kim Gordon

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Kim, I've had terrible luck over the years with ironed-on things remaining intact following washing and drying them. Do you have any tips on that? I also considered ordering pre-printed shirts with letters from or any number of other sites, but I couldn't find any with big enough letters. I wanted HUGE letters. Now that I've done this project, though, there are so many others that come to mind. You could do some cute things with this idea. Ryan was so smart to come up with it!

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