Hello dear friends. First I want to say welcome and thank you to the many new readers that have come along in the past few weeks. I am so happy to have you here and look forward to getting to know you. Please leave comments about things you like or that make you think. It helps me to get to know you and what works here on the blog.
I wanted to tell you a little about the Father's Day gift I whipped up the other night for The Man. Unfortunately he was snooping around WAY too much while I worked and despite warnings could not stay away from what I was doing. So he's totally seen it. But that's okay, he'll enjoy the gift anyway.
Since our little clan is often in different places, I thought it would be fun to whip up a sweet little pillowcase covered in photos for him to remember us by. I think you understand the need to keep some part of life sacredly private, so faces have been hidden where necessary in images here on the blog.
You can imagine a photo collage pillowcase covered with family photos would be a great gift for college kids leaving home for the first time or for grandparents with tons of photos of their grandchildren. You could make one using photos of all your favorite travels - what a great thing to be inspired by as you lay your head down to dream.
So here's the how to:
1) Gather photos. This will be the most labor intensive part of the project. It's easy if you put these all into a file together on your computer so they are easy to find once you get started.
2) Create a variety of different size and shaped photos. I used PicMonkey to create a bunch of collages, which automatically gave me a variety of different size and shaped photos. Saved me a ton of time. You can learn more about PicMonkey on this post by my friend Jane of The Borrowed Abode.
3) Pick a pillowcase. You can buy a pillowcase for this project or whip one up with some spare fabric. I think this project is best done with a solid color fabric and not too dark. I bought some blue cotton that was half off and whipped up one regular size pillow case. I just used a pillowcase I had as the pattern and it only took me about 15 minutes to make. I also made a 16" x12" pillowcase for the knee pillow The Man sleeps with. For $7 I had enough fabric for both plus extra for another little project. I used up all but a couple of tiny scraps of the fabric. Buying a pillowcase means you'll probably have to pay more and you'll have to buy pillowcases in a pair.
4) Print out your photo collages onto iron-on fabric transfer sheets. This is a little expensive, $25 for 10 sheets. I used a 50 percent off coupon at Joann Fabrics and saved a good bit of money on these. This looks like the same stuff I used for only $16. I printed each collage I made onto one 8.5" x 11" sheet of transfer fabric, so I got a few photos on each page.
Here's where I had a little challenge. On some iron on products, you have to flip all your photos so that when you iron on the transfer, the photos are facing the opposite (correct) way. I flipped all my photos, then realized after I printed them all that this product did not require you to reverse the images so all my photos were flipped the wrong way. But it's fine, not really noticeable.
4) Cut out photos with a little white trim on all sides. I gave each photo about 1/4" white frame around the edges.
5) Arrange photos on the pillowcase. I played around with arrangements until I felt that sizes, shapes and colors of the photos felt balanced across the face of the pillowcase.
6) Iron on photos. Directions are on the transfer fabric packaging. Just give it a dry iron for 10-15 seconds, making sure the edges seal down well. I let my pillowcase lay flat overnight. I am going to go over it one more time with an iron just to make sure everything is secure.
And you're done. Hearts are here for privacy sake only, they do not appear on actual pillowcase. The pillowcase is a little stiff and could use a wash but I thought I'd wait until after we gift it to him. I'm hoping it will be okay turned inside out on gentle cycle. Hand washing is probably the best option.
If I were to do this again, I might use tee shirt transfer paper instead of the fabric transfer paper for more durability. There was some debate between the two types of transfer paper but I thought that the cotton would probably not have the strong scent the tee shirt transfers do. I was going to cover both sides, but since the photos are a little stiffer than I anticipated we decided he could sleep on the bare side and then have the photo side up during the day. These at-home processes are never perfect, so experimentation is key.
If you have any questions, please leave it in a comment or email me. I am so happy to help. Last night The Bug and I looked the pillowcases over and started planning our Father's Day celebrations for Sunday and how we will wrap this gift up. I asked her which was her favorite photo and she said all of them.
Hope you have time this weekend to reflect on your Dad and all the men who have influenced your life for good throughout the years. I fondly think of my own Dad and remember the dads of friends and our neighbors who were such a great influence on me growing up. My own Dad will get a call and later a visit and his gift once I'm back in town. It's great to have my folks living close in SoCal. Never expected that to happen and even though it's short term, it is so nice to be able to see them more often.
Have a terrific weekend, be well, seek joy. xoxo -- k