In today's tutorial guest blogger Emma Jeffery of Hello Beautiful shares a sentimental gift idea just in time for the holiday season.
What do you give that favorite teacher, dedicated youth leader, fun soccer coach or loved band leader this Christmas? Why, a personalized, heartfelt tea towel, made with love and group collaboration, of course!
This is a great way to celebrate a class, group or community and to ensure the memories of their time spent together will live on for years to come.
First, ask each person to draw a picture of themselves. I highly recommend they use markers or Sharpies to give a vibrant color to the finished fabric. Next, scan each image and upload to your computer. At this point, reduce each file size. If you keep them at the original size, the finished document will get too big to handle. I made my scanned images about 30% of their original size.
Open your drawing application. I used Apache OpenOffice, but there are others such as Paint, which will work just as well. Set your page dimensions to 27” x 18”, resolution to 150 dpi and the layout to landscape orientation.
Import your scanned images to your document and arrange on the page.
It is likely your scanned images will have a rectangular ‘box’ around them, which will be invisible until you try and put two images close together, and the invisible box cuts off part of the neighboring picture. You may need to make this box transparent, so that you can put the images together closely. In OpenOffice, select ‘Color Replacer’ under the Tools tab. Check the first box under ‘Source Color,’ select 'Transparent' from the drop down menu, and click ‘Replace.’
Add text or (as I preferred) handwritten and scanned information about the group/class and the date. I also asked my daughter to draw a picture of her teacher and I added it here.
I like to add a border line around the outside edge of the document. Not only does it make a nice finish, it also gives you a cutting reference line for when you come to cut the fabric and hem the edges.
Save the document, and export it. I usually export it as a .png file.
Upload your file to Spoonflower. Select basic repeat on 1 yard of linen-cotton canvas. This will make 4 tea towels. If the size of the images are not correct, see my note below.
When your fabric arrives, cut the 4 tea towels out, using the border line as a reference, and hem!
*Note: To make sure your design is sized correctly after exporting, and before uploading it onto the Spoonflower site, you can open your image in Preview (Mac's only). To display 4 tea towels one one yard, your page dimensions should be 27” x 18”. Resolution should be 150 dpi and the layout in landscape orientation.
I'm an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they're not absolutely perfect. And though I'm no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.