Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fabric Marker Alternative to Iron on Transfers

Who DOESN'T love the movie What About Bob? My friends and I have worked quotes from the dinner scene into every imaginable conversation. Naturally when we sit down to any sort of delicious food, what follows is a string of pleasure moans just like Bob (Bill Murray) as he enjoys the delicious meal cooked by his psychiatrist's wife (much to his psychiatrists chagrin).

Having said that, one of the aforementioned friends is getting married, and I badly wanted to make her an apron with a picture of Bob enjoying the crap out of a scrumptious meal.  Great idea right?!?
I thought so. So I bought a blank apron at Michael's. My problem was, I hate those horrible iron on transfers. In my experience, they fade quickly, and often leave a faint outline of residue around the artwork. Because the print-it-yourself ones are made to work with inkjet printer ink, they never really seem that bold or vibrant to me. That may just be my experience, but I found a great alternative to the iron-on-transfer.... a black fabric marker!

MATERIALS NEEDED: A plain apron, t-shirt, or whatever; fabric marker; carbon paper for tracing; pencil; a photocopy of your transfer image; and... a flat surface.

First thing I did was go online to find a screen cap from the movie. Here is Bob chowing down on some mighty fine corn.

"Is this hand-shucked?"

Next I printed the photo at the size needed to fit your material (for me it was 11x17"). You may have to fiddle with the contrast so that when it prints there is visible contrast of lights and darks (for easier tracing later on).

Bear in mind, this project will not produce a photo-copy effect on your apron/t-shirt. I was looking for a simple black and white outlined image. Sometimes you can get this effect saving as a monochrome bitmap in Paint, or using the photocopy filter or threshold function in photoshop, but neither gave me the desired effect.

Fiddling with settings in a black/white image may make tracing easier

Here's a tip which helped me in the tracing process: Before laying the photo out on my fabric, I first used a sharpie to trace the main outlines of his face, shoulders, and hands, and only selected certain details and shadow spots to highlight. The great thing about tracing first with a sharpie is if you've used regular paper (not thick paper) to print your image, you can flip it over and the sharpie shows through.It really helped me envision what the final outline would look like.

I lay out my apron on a flat surface, placed the carbon copy paper face-down onto the fabric, and lay my printed photo on top with my desired placing. I gently taped it so my ape arms wouldn't jostle it out of place while I was tracing. Then I took a blunt pencil (so it doesn't accidentally rip the paper) and traced away!

Finished trace

The hard part was done and all that was left was the fun part. Using the black "Marvy" brand fabric marker I purchased at Michael's, I traced the carbon outlines and filled in the areas that were supposed to be shadows. These markers came in a variety of colours and were also available in fine tip (which would have been handy for the lettering, but the angled point of the fat tip marker worked fine too). I liked that the marker didn't die on me. I like it when things don't die on me.

Careful... caaaarefullll...

And TA DA! All finished. Just in case this needed to be heat-set (although the marker says "no ironing required", I've heard its best for best results, so I threw it in the drier for a few minutes to set.

It looks great, and I hope my friend will enjoys it whenever she cooks a scrumptious feast for those annoying but loveable house guests!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...