Saturday, May 14, 2011

I spy kiddie art and custom graphic tees

Okay, so the photo could look more professional,
but you get the idea. Can you spy a wooden car?

I had a fun with my six-year-old niece recently while making our own "I Spy" game. We scavenged the house for her favorite objects and she arranged them in a pleasing way. Next, we photographed them. The photos can be printed at home and made into a personal "I Spy" game book. Other themes to photograph might be:

-utensils in the kitchen
-stuff to write with or write on
-bath toys and bathroom items
-seeds, leaves, and flower petals
-things from the recycle bin
-puzzle pieces
-favorite finger foods/snacks

This would also make a cute calendar or even holiday greeting card. If you've got your own version of these "I Spy" photos, I'd love to post them here! I may try my hand at these with my preschoolers if we find the time before the end of our school year. I know they could come out with some great outdoor I Spy photos!

Hand-printed Animal T's
I also wanted to share a recent t-shirt project I made for my son. I love the graphic tees from the Tea Collection and Mini Boden but they are so expensive! So I took inspiration from a couple of my son's picture books and made my own graphic tees for under $5 each.

I picked up a few cheap cotton t-shirts and washed them to make sure they were already shrunk. I put newspaper in between the front and back of each shirt to make sure my paint wouldn't go through.

Next, I drew animal designs onto a foam sheet from the craft store. If you want your stamps to have texture, just press hard on the foam with a ball point pen as you draw. You can see the detail in the printing where I used dots and short lines on the owl. Remember, when you are printing, your design is going to print in reverse.

I cut out the foam pieces and painted each piece with acrylic paint (you could use fabric paint here instead). When you apply the paint, keep in mind that if the paint is too thick, it will squish and spread out - potentially distorting your design. Also, your brush strokes in the paint may show up, which can be a good thing if you plan for it.

I carefully stamped each piece onto the shirt, pulled off the foam stamp, and let dry. I washed off my stamps while waiting for the paint to dry. It dries fairly quickly because the cotton tees are very absorbent. Now, I already had a whole alphabet stamp set to add text to my design, again, using acrylic paint. You could omit this if you just want to print a design.

Once the paint is dry on the tees, you can use a contrasting fabric marker to outline or add little details. And that's it - your own custom graphic tees, just as cute as the fancy shmancy ones!

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Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!
Our little guy at 15 months, February 2011.