Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where We're From

We don't shy away from any and/or all things nerdy over here. I gave Koan this shirt last year for his birthday and it was a big hit. So, to combine our appreciation for maps with the current trend of all trends (SILHOUETTES!!!!), I made these.

I really like them and they were super easy, as I used my favorite semi-artistic medium. Plus the whole thing cost a grand total of $22.

Iron-on tshirt transfers (depending on how many you need, $5-$10 @ Michael's)
Canvas board (these were $4.99 for a pack of 3, 9x12)
Inkjet printer

The hardest part for me was figuring out how to make the maps (swiped from google images) solid black. I used Illustrator, a lot of trial and error, many internet searches, the Live Trace function and Live Paint. If you have an easier method, please advise. If you want more details on this process, holler at me. Whatever method you use, whenever you're using iron-on transfers, do not forget to reverse (reflect) your image before printing.

Print your map, giving the ink some time to dry, if necessary, before handling. Cut around image and place face-down on your board. Follow the instructions that come with your transfers, being sure that you're not accidentally melting the back of your canvas board onto your wooden dining table.

I let mine cool fully before removing. I got excited on my first go-through and pulled one off while it was still hot, resulting in an inaccurate topo map look. Not bad, just not what I was going for.

It's definitely not a pure "silhouette" look as the transfers can be a little spotty (they're not exactly meant to be used on canvas board, nor are they a super high-end product). As far as time is concerned though, they're a far better choice than cutting out a stencil with an Xacto (though that would have been a fine choice for the wonky rectangle that is Colorado) or tracing and mod podge-ing, though I considered those options as well.

There's little I love more than easy "art."