Tag Archives: arts and crafts

Designing Your Own Custom T-Shirts

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Designing Your Own Custom T-Shirts

Designing a few custom t-shirts can be a great way to promote your brand, represent your favorite local club, or just have some unique articles of clothing in your wardrobe. Regardless of what purpose you’ll be using your custom shirts for, there are some particulars you’ll want to consider beforehand. Here’s what you should be keeping in mind:

What’s Your Goal?

You might think a t-shirt is just a t-shirt, but it pays to think about your goals before jumping into your design phase. If you’re going to be marketing your custom shirts as a sale item, you’ll want to craft them with that purpose in mind. Techie has a great write-up that covers how you can craft shirts that will sell well, with some choice tips being that you should concentrate on basic colors (like black) and simple designs.

If you’re going to be using your shirts to market your brand, as part of a unifying outfit for an organization, or just for your own enjoyment, however, you can experiment more with colors, font choices, patterns, and the like. The more personal to yourself you intend the final product to be, the more leeway you’ll have in this regard.

What About Your Design?

No matter your goals, you’re going to want whatever shirt you design to be high quality. If you have a measure of graphic design talent yourself, you can get to work devising your t-shirt art, remembering to keep in mind some of the best practices for doing so. Both 99designs and Creative Bloq have excellent guides that can set you on the right track. Above all else, you’ll want to take the tone and personality you’re trying to convey into account:

“You want to make sure your t-shirt design communicates clearly…Is your brand playful or serious? Edgy or conservative? Luxurious or affordable? A focused t-shirt design can answer all of these questions at a glance.”

You can convey a great deal of information with the right graphics. Do your research if you’re going for any sort of symbolism, and don’t go too “on-the-nose” if you’re trying to attempt something humorous. Remember: the small details matter, but subtlety and simplicity will help you win the day when it comes to designing the best t-shirt you possibly can.

Now, if you aren’t particularly savvy when it comes to design, but still have some ideas that you think would look amazing printed, you might have to turn to a third party to help bring your vision to life. Companies like The Teehive (and others) are generally regarded as specialists when it comes to putting designs onto clothing. Normally, working with such a business to complete your designs grants a few options.

You could, for instance, select one of the designs that they have available, applying subtle (or sweeping) customizations to make them more personal and applicable to your brand.

This might be a good option if you don’t need anything overly-distinct, but if you have something more innovative in mind, a better option would be to work with a designer directly. You could describe your idea to them and they would use your input to draft something that fits what you’re going for.

If you decide to go the third-party route, remember that the tried-and-true wisdom on selecting the right graphic designer to work with you is always applicable in such scenarios, and you should probably prioritize quality and professionalism over pricing in most situations.

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Chillin’

What About Getting Your Shirts Printed?

Unless you’ve got a screenprinting business set up in your back office, you’ll need to turn to the pros for this final step. Again, there are plenty of companies that can assist — from your local print shops to bigger names like The Teehive — and a skilled touch is exactly what you’ll need to bring your shirts to life. Just remember, there are plenty of options when it comes to t-shirt fabrics, weights, sizes, labeling, etc. that will affect the look of your end product and total costs. Make sure you take all of these into consideration to ensure that you end up with custom t-shirts that make you satisfied.

Wrapping Up:

Going the custom t-shirt route for your brand, club, or personal enjoyment has its intricacies but, when done right, it can be a worthwhile endeavor. Keep some of these tips and considerations in mind and, above all else, you should try to create something that speaks to you — just a bit of thought in this regard will go a long way in ensuring the best quality.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Garden Gnome Gift

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Garden Gnome Gift

Howdy! For my mom’s birthday, my sister, Kristen, treated her with a gift card to All Fired Up, which is a paint your own pottery place. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift and they went together to create some masterpieces a few weeks ago. During that time, it was also my dad’s birthday, and my mom decided to make him a present at All Fired Up to celebrate. It was so cute I could hardly stand it and my mom did much better than we all anticipated at painting the prezzie. Take a look:

As all of you know, my dad is an avid gardener. Not only that, but he loves garden decor, as well. Birdhouses, bird baths, bird feeders, decorative pots, garden gnomes – you name it! It makes for such an eclectic and beautiful space in our backyard and I always look forward to when everything begins to grow in the spring to fully showcase his craft.

Sweet JANE, knows her hubby well enough to know that he would love to have a new gnome to add to his collection and used her birthday gift to hand make him a birthday gift. Like I said, it was so cute I could hardly stand it. Unfortunately, the weather outside is so crummy that CHARLES doesn’t want to take the gnome out for a little jaunt just yet. So, a few mornings ago, I found the cheeky little guy poking out from one of my dad’s extra flower pots for safe keeping. Freaking adorable!

My mom used a gift to make a gift and not only did it turn out wonderfully, but it also inspired her to take a pottery class with Kristen. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

Who else enjoys painting or creating pottery? What do you use to decorate your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Northeast Ohio Rocks

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Hi everyone and welcome to a new week here on lifewithlilred! So there’s this super cool thing in my neck of the woods called Northeast Ohio Rocks. It’s literally people painting rocks and then hiding them all over popular areas so that others can find them. It’s like a grown up Easter egg hunt. And, once you find a rock, you are encouraged to take a picture of it, post it on their Facebook page, and rehide it so that someone else can find it.

I have to admit that I kind of missed the mark on rehiding the rock that I found – but it’s just so darn pretty that I had to keep it around for a spell. Take a look:

I found this rock at Blossom Music Center when I saw Green Day there last August. My sister and I were waiting to enter the venue, and it just happened to be sitting on the stone made fence that was lining the foliage. I felt so lucky to have found my Northeast Ohio Rock, because 1) It’s really cool looking and 2) It was themed around the solar eclipse that happened the previous day. It was a great find and it was like getting a huge hug from a stranger.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted to rehide this rock for a long time. But, I just haven’t found the perfect place for it. Until now. As luck would have it, I will be back at Blossom this July to see Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, and I plan on putting it back where it was found almost exactly a year ago.

I was so happy to have had such a beautiful creation tucked safely in my pocket for the duration of the Green Day concert, and now someone can experience that same excited feeling that comes with a lucky find for the Marilyn Manson show. It might have taken me a long time to get to rehiding my rock, but I’m happy with my plan and can’t wait to put it into action!

Does your area do something similar to Northeast Ohio Rocks? Would you ever incorporate something like this into your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Spaces

Adult Coloring Book Fun

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Adult Coloring Book Fun

Hiii everyone! So when my mom had her stay in the hospital, she was gifted with a plethora of adult coloring books to keep her occupied. So, we now have a plethora of adult coloring books at home for anyone in my family who is interested in doing a little coloring of their own.

I have to admit, I have never fully completed an adult coloring book picture before. God knows that I have started them with every intention to finish it, only to lose interest or give up a few days later. With that in mind, you can only imagine how excited I was to have finished my first picture in its entirety. I was so thrilled that I even started another one! Check it out:

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It was easy to choose which pictures to color, since I love The Little Mermaid and all things skulls! Is my mermaid picture the best? Of course not! But, it was fun to do. It was nice to take a quick five or ten minutes during the day to sit down and fill in some of the blank spaces.

Taking a little break to focus on something other than my work day proved to be beneficial. It’s always good to take a breather and relax when you feel like you’re going nonstop during the day. And, even though my colored picture was low quality, I felt accomplished to have actually finished it instead of leaving yet another half finished page in the book. In fact, I’m even looking forward to finishing my skull picture!

Who else likes to use adult coloring books? What kind of color palette would you use for the skull picture? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Scarf Series: Knitted With Love Edition

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Scarf Series: Knitted With Love Edition

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! This is a special edition of my Scarf Series, because the one that I’m discussing today is one of a kind. My newest scarf was handmade by my mom! Despite my mom having no artistic talent in regards to drawing or painting, her creativity shines through in a different manner. She is an expert in her craft of bread baking and always uses the phrase “kneaded with love” so Knitted With Love only seemed like an appropriate title for this post. Take a look:

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Literally no one in my family even knew that my mom knows how to knit until last month when she had a stay in the hospital. The lovely JANE decided that she would like to spend some of her time there knitting, so we took a trip to the absolutely darling Harps & Thistles Yarn Emporium to pick out some materials for her to work with.

At first, I was ambivalent about my mom making me a scarf, because I already have so many and my sister specifically said that she wanted one, so I wanted my mom to focus on that, instead. But then, my mom and I laid eyes on the gorgeous mustard yellow tweed yarn that you can see above. It was the perfect shabby chic, collegiate cool palette and my prior sentiments of “you don’t have to make me a scarf if you don’t want to” instantly turned to “can you PLEASE make me a scarf?!”.

While my mom was away, it was always so exciting to get a text or hear her say on video chat that she was working on my scarf. And when she finally returned home, which was amazing in itself, it was made even more special to see the fruits of her labor for her two girls with a rose pink and mustard yellow scarf. It hasn’t been cold enough in Ohio to wear scarves, any more (Which is great!), but I did get to wear my home made scarf one time and I loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to get more use of it next winter!!

What is your favorite craft to do? Did someone teach you how or were you self taught? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fashion Forward Fido

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Fashion Forward Fido

Howdy! This is a guest post written by my friend, Mat, over at WileyPup.com. Mat and I both share a love for man’s best friend and his post is going to teach you how to give your pooch all of the pampering it so deserves. Take a look:

Fashion Forward Fido

Not everyone associates dogs with style…but you may find that a little investment in your furry friend’s looks goes a long way to complimenting your own personal style and adding a whole new level to your four legged friendship!

Great Grooming: Like basic hygiene for people, great grooming is the bedrock of a good look for pooches. If you decide to groom from home, be sure you have the right gear:

Clippers If you have a canine with long growing hair like a Poodle or Maltese, then you may be spending lots of money at the groomer. If you invest in quality clippers and a little time to learn trimming basics, you could get the job done at home and reap big savings.

Nail Grinder A good look must include a manicure! If you have had trouble keeping up with your pup’s claws using a traditional nail clipper, give a grinder a try. They are easy to use and unlike the scissor style nail trimmers, you won’t nip the quick. Ouch! Plus, you get a perfectly rounded edge rather than a sharp nail tip. Pretty and practical!

Dog Bath Tub If you have a petite pet, you might be lucky enough to be able to give your little buddy a bath in the sink. If not, you are probably used to bending over and fussing with trying to give a bath in the tub. Invest in an elevated dog bath to take the chore out of this necessary grooming activity.

DIY Couture: If you are crafty, your dog is a blank canvas waiting for you to create a couture masterpiece! Think of your pooch as an opportunity to showcase some accessories that highlight your own personal style.

Sewing There are tons of great fashion ideas for pups that involve very basic sewing skills. Whether you want boho-chic, hipster, or high fashion, a new look is just a trip to the fabric store and a few stitches away. Pinterest is a great starting place for inspiration!

Knitting Regardless of your knitting skills, you can find fantastic patterns for your furry friend in any size. If you want to go simple, try a doggy muffler (AKA The Snood). It is as simple as knitting a tube in your favorite colors that slips over your dog’s head. Want to really showcase some knits and pearls? Try a cabled sweater custom made just for your buddy.

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D’awe!

Upcycled One of the biggest trends in DIY fashion of any kind is the huge potential to repurpose the fabrics and notions from worn or outdated clothing. You will be surprised at how easy it is to craft a custom sweater or jacket from some simple modifications to clothing that you are already done with.

Doggy Decor: Our canine friends can add some clutter to our indoor spaces. If you like a more finished look to your home, there is plenty of opportunity to create a dog friendly interior design that fits your decor style. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Feeding Station Rather than kicking around loose dog bowls on the floor, consider building or buying a feeding station that is a custom fit for your kitchen decor. Bonus: Getting your pup’s food off of the floor has potential health benefits like preventing bloat and irritation of the esophagus.

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So cute!

Custom Crates If your furry friend is crate trained, then you may have one of those unsightly metal wire crates in one of the corners of your house. Consider making a design upgrade with a custom cloth cover to match your decor. Or, if it is in your budget, check out the latest crates designed to look and function as furniture for a completely finished look. Etsy has some great examples if you are looking for something handmade.

Upcycled Dog Bed The dog beds available at most large pet shops tend to look tattered and worn within a few months. Even at their best, they don’t add much to the ambiance of a room. However, there are great ideas that require few skills and tools to build a simple bed frame to create a neat and tidy look in any style. Think suitcases, dresser drawers, or end tables for a quick and easy transformation of your canine’s sleeping quarters.

Have Fun! We hope this article has given you some bright ideas for updating your doggy style. Make sure to keep it low pressure and high fashion. Your pooch will appreciate the extra attention and compliments they get on being a Fashion Forward Fido!

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Author Bio: Mat Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of WileyPup.com, a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for pet parents everywhere.

Thanks, Mat! ❤

Feeling Crafty? 3 Gifts You Can Make In One Hour

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Feeling Crafty? 3 Gifts You Can Make In One Hour

Getting a bit tired of Christmas being all about consumerism? The shops are taking advantage of our willingness to spend money during the festive season is true enough, but the choice to partake in it is up to you. Just because you’d like the holiday to be a bit more about spending time together rather than buying presents doesn’t mean you have to stop giving, though!

Here is a great list of creative DIY presents that most of us can make, which your friends and family would love to receive. They won’t take half a year to make, either, so you still have time to get crafting:

Treat Jars:

Those with a sweet tooth would be happy to get jars, sleighs, and barrels filled with treats for Christmas. Homemade candy canes and gingerbread takes almost no effort and very little money to make, giving it the great title of the number one Christmas present to cook up this year. Put as much thought into the packaging and presentation as you put into the candy, though, to make it even more impressive.

Have a look at these fantastic candy ideas for the festive season, and your friends and family will hardly believe that you made them yourself. It’s great to include your kids when you cook or bake, by the way. Reserve a batch for them to hand out in class, as well, and treat yourself to a smug smile in the next PTA meeting. AYYY!!!! 😀

Spruced Up Oven Gloves:

Head off to the shop and pick up a standard set of oven gloves for your foodie friends. They won’t look boring at all when they unwrap them, though, as you’ve put your crafting skills to excellent use with your sewing machine.

It’s really easy to make a pair of oven gloves look fancy and decorative – plus, your friends or family will have the most original pair on the market yet. Check out these sewing machine ratings if you don’t own one of your own, so that you don’t have to borrow your mother-in-law’s machine every time you feel creative.

Then, you can fill the unique oven glove with some new kitchen utensils. It’s an original way to jazz up their kitchen game, and you can fill it with whatever knick-knacks that they want or need.

A Small Clutch Purse:

In the spirit of sewing, try crafting together a neat little clutch purse for one of your friends or sisters. Just find a piece of fabric that you like, buy a small zipper and piece it together in half an hour. Clutches are so trendy lately, and most of us use one for something. If you’re feeling extra generous, put a few small prezzies in the pouch, as well, for a gift within a gift!

With a tiny amount of baking skills and a few simple tools, you can craft your way through every Christmas present this year. It’s so much more fun than walking around in shops, that’s for sure, or having to get up to open the door for the Amazon-delivery guy. #lazygirlproblems

Featured Image By: Pexels