So how many of you are busy at this time of year? Dance recitals, music recitals, soccer and baseball have started, exams, year-end school productions underway…and these are only the activities involving your kids (I am not even going to talk about the yard work which needs to be done – if I ignore it the elves will do it for me…right?). I think it is safe to assume that June is a busy time of year for all of us. So busy, in fact, that as we are trying to squeeze every ounce of fun we can into the lovely – albeit long awaited – summer like days we are having, one might forget important events which are right around the corner. I am guilty of this. I woke up this morning and decided that I had to organize my calendar, sync my phone with my computer etc. only to have a horrifying discovery… FATHER’S DAY IS THIS SUNDAY!!
I must admit this event does tend to sneak up on me. I’m not sure if it is because of the busy time of year in which it falls or if it is because for many years I tried not to pay attention to it. My father died when I was 14, so until a few years ago when I had my own child, Father’s Day would largely go unmarked for me. I have to admit, the day makes me a bit sad as I have missed a lot of things with my Dad and this day reminds me of it every year.
In any case, this day is a special day and we do have cause to celebrate all the wonderful Dads out there. So while I plot and scheme what my daughter and I will do for her father this year, I will pass on a quick and easy Father’s Day project you can try with your kids. We did this a couple of years ago. It is a cute project and requires little skill…yes, I said little skill, not no skill, but no reason to be afraid. So who’s in?
Ok class, today we are going to make a custom T-Shirt for Dad.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Blank T-Shirt for Dad – preferably white
Iron-on Transfer paper for computer printers (make sure you get the appropriate paper for your printer)
Computer, printer and scanner – or a swell friend who has these 😉
Iron and ironing board
Blank white paper, markers, and your imagination
Let’s get started:
- Start with having your little one do some fabulous artwork with Daddy in mind. Let their imaginations soar. You’ll love what they can come up with no limitations. Marker on white paper is great for this.
- Take the completed masterpiece and scan it into your computer.
- Open up the file with the drawing in it. Right click and copy.
- If you use a PC, open up Paint (in the Start menu, go to Programs, then Accessories, then Paint). Use the equivalent image editing software on a Mac.
- Paste the image into a new, blank page in Paint.
- Now with the image in Paint you can use the tools to edit the image – i.e. crop extra white space, add text…whatever you like.
- Now HERE is where the little bit of skill comes in…ok so maybe skill is the wrong word…let’s say common sense instead. You must reverse the image! Select the image, and from the “Rotate” drop-down list select “Flip Horizontally”. If you do not do this not only will your finished project have the image in reverse, but the text will be backwards as well. I missed this step, but more on that later…
- When you have edited and FLIPPED the image (yes I thought it was important to emphasize that point again), put the iron-on transfer paper in your printer and… well…press print!
- Next follow the instructions on the transfer paper packaging to complete your masterpiece (in case you are wondering the tea towel is to be used as a pressing cloth to protect the T-shirt, not to wipe the sweat off your brow).
So now you have a fabulous T-Shirt displaying your child’s artwork. What Dad would not be proud to wear such a gift? You can also use this technique with any cloth item you wish. I have used this idea a few times to make custom T-Shirts as Birthday party give-aways. You could also do this with pillow cases for a sleep over party. Use your imagination.
A Final Note:
I mentioned earlier that I missed the step involving the reversal of the image in Paint before printing it. The result was a T-Shirt with an image like this.
Somehow I did not notice this until it was too late. So what do you think happened when my husband opened his gift and immediately saw my mistake? He smiled, hugged and kissed our daughter and exclaimed with great delight that he thought it was great that she had the foresight to make the shirt as she did because now when he looked at himself in the mirror to admire his gift, he could actually read it.
As for me, what could I do but sit back and watch this tender moment- grateful for my husband’s graciousness and quick thinking. My daughter truly has a great Dad.