6.08.2011

There's somethin' about matching shirts...



You know you called your friends in elementary school and tried to align days where you wore matching shirts. Maybe they were Esprit, maybe not. I'm just saying that it was cool to wear matching Esprit shirts in my 'hood.

But ever since I heard about a birthday party where they handed out "camp shirts" to the guests, I was inspired to unashamedly copy this genius person and make matching shirts for my daughter and fellow birthday goers last weekend at her camping-themed party.

You know, it made me feel a bit powerful...creating my own legit camp, as defined by the fact that we all matched, grown-ups included. Ours said "Staff" on the backs. I mean, who has a real camp (or team or respectable business) where everyone wears whatever they want?? Matching tees mean you're serious. Seriously awesome. Just look at Target. Don't even apply for a job there unless you have a red shirt and khakis. In case you were thinking of getting a job there.

Anyway, my pal Andrea wanted to know how we made them, so here's how. It was so easy.

1. First you have to buy something like this. This kind is on the JoAnn website.


I couldn't find an image or link, but I bought Jolee's Easy Image Transfer Sheets for Colored Fabrics (by Wilton) at Michaels. I was tempted to buy the transfers for light fabrics because they were half the price...$5 for 5 sheets versus $10 for 5 sheets for the dark fabric transfers. I thought, "What's the difference?" But I'm so glad I did not cheat. A friend told me that she buys the dark fabric transfers no matter what, because the light fabric ones are paper thin and crack easily after washing. 

2. Then you need a computer file. A logo, a photo, a scan...whatever you want. Lay multiples of the design out on a single page in that program if you want more than one image per transfer sheet. My awesome husband designed ours. That's how he rolls.

3. Avoid marital discord by limiting the number of changes you'd like to have done to said design. (Wait, that may just apply to my scenario.)

4. Run a practice sheet of paper through the printer to see if the alignment and coloring is what you want.

5. Then print. I was so impressed at how vivid the colors turned out on the transfer paper. So saturated.  

(The rest is according to the directions on the package, so it may vary from brand to brand. What I had to do was the following.)

6. Cut out each image with smooth, clean cuts. Notching the transfer, or giving it a fancy edging will make it likely to tear when peeling off the backing.

6. Iron a pillowcase for under the garment, then briefly iron the garment to smooth the surface.

7. Peel backing off transfer. This part took the most time and I had to be really careful not to stretch out or tear the transfers.

8. Place transfer on the shirt facing up, place a piece of parchment on top of the transfer (included), and press the super hot iron (no steam) down for 20 seconds in each area until you've covered the whole transfer. Done.



9. Oh yeah, and try not to faint from the (probably) toxic fumes given off by the melting plastic. (That step may also be just for me, given my unfailing "super-nose.")

Cute and simple, huh?
Doesn't it just make you want to call your best friend from elementary school?? (Niki, I'll meet you at the Esprit store in the mall.)


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