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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

DIY gift for Dad- Massage shirt under $5

That Guys birthday recently passed.  As the years go on it seems to get harder and harder to think of a unique, creative, useful, frugal gift for him.   This year, however, he pretty much told me what he wanted.

Years ago, as a Fathers Day craft we made these very shirts with the daycare kids as gifts.  Of course That Guy got one from Walter.  It has been loved and worn countless times.  So many times that when I was folding the laundry a few weeks ago and I cam across the shirt. It was stretched, fraying and worn.  Even the fabric paint on the back had started to curl and pull away from the cotton. Poking his head into our bedroom where I was folding, he spotted me with his beloved shirt in my hands and he said "I would really love a new one of those some day".  Well that settled it!

But I did not want to recreate a shirt he had already been gifted.  But the idea was sound.  The idea of a shirt he could wear, lay on his stomach and the children could "massage" him by playing on his back.

So when I saw a shirt on Pinterest with drums and a piano keys on it I knew I had found something great.  That Guy even plays drums! (He is quite convinced playing the drums makes him a rock star.  What it really makes him is a drummer for our church worship band ;) )

I bought a new white t-shirt for just under $4
White t-shirt
 Then I went online and googled "free clip art drum" and found this image.  I liked this one because there were no drum sticks in the picture.  It was also one of the most simple drawings I could find
 I had to play with my printer settings a bit to get it to be the size I wanted.  I wanted two drum images to fit side by side down the back of the shirt.

Originally my plan was to faux screen print these drums on the shirt.  In fact, I was originally quite certain that I had a Cricut cartridge with drums and piano images on it.  Originally this project was going to be easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Then the reality that I actually have only imagined I have said cartridge hit.

Plan B was to trace this image onto freezer paper, cut it out by hand with an Xacto knife and continue with the faux screen print approach. As it turns out I am very bad at tracing. And cutting with an Xacto knife. And holding back frustrated grunt-curses.

Plan C was to slide the printed clip art image under the shirt and simply trace with black fabric paint. Turns out I am STILL (one hour later) very bad at tracing.  However, it also turns out that the level of required perfection for a gift to be acceptable drops dramatically after grunt-curses have begun.

So Plan C it was!
Two drums "skillfully" (hahaha!!) traced
The only simple, free clip art image I could find for a piano keyboard was only one octave.  So I printed two copies of it and taped them together.  Then I slid the paper inside the shirt and traced like I did the drums (that is to say, poorly).

However, as imperfect as my lines are I think the finished shirt is adorable!
That Guy can wear it and lay down on his stomach. Then Walter and Audrey get to play away on the instruments all while giving That Guys back some much deserved love.


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