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Monday, July 28, 2014

Vacation Tee Shirt Saga

You know how when you have had a big event planned for a long time, and you feel like you have all the time in the world to get ready for it (like Christmas) and then suddenly the big thing is only a week and a half away and there isn't much time at all?  Well, that's what happened to me again this summer, and the big thing is our road trip out to Yellowstone National Park.  So, this weekend I started assembling my lists: things to pack, things to do before leaving, things that need to be ready for when we get back, things that need to go on other lists that I haven't thought of yet......

But don't worry, this post isn't about lists of things to do, it's a post about one thing I managed to get done for our trip, despite a number of setbacks along the way.  So, here's the story:  
I thought it would be fun for the kids to have themed tee shirts for this trip.  Since my husband keeps track of our kids in public by counting them, I thought that putting their number in the birth order on the back would be a helpful element for him, while on the front I would put a little reminder of their chosen "Thing I Really Want to See in Yellowstone."  My plan was to create stencils to set on top of the shirts and then use bleach in a spray-bottle to give the area that was uncovered by the stencil a sort of tie-dye affect.  It seemed simple enough.  Turns out it wasn't.  Here's my first effort:
Even a little bleach goes a long way, and simply setting a stencil on top of the shirt did not stop the bleach from bleeding through underneath.  I re-thought my method a bit - mostly using significantly less bleach - but the results still weren't great.
At about this point I realized that I was either going to have to spend a lot more money on this project or I was going to have to work with what I had.  The lower price tag and lower labor convinced me that option number two was superior and I pulled out my Sharpies to solve my problems.  Thankfully my Sharpie collection contained markers that almost perfectly matched each of the four tee shirts, and I simply colored over the bleached out parts of the numbers.
For the front part of the tee shirt I gave up on the idea of stencils altogether.  I just sprayed it with bleach (in a couple of stages so that I didn't overdue it again) and then wrote out the words with Sharpies.
The tee shirts turned out totally different from my original vision, but that didn't seem to worry the children at all.  They are all getting more and more excited about our trip!
From left to right: "I want to see the Upper and Lower Falls", "Yellowstone Valley", "Old Faithful", and "Bears".
And now I better get back to those lists!
Happy road tripping everyone!


~ Tandis ~ said...

Very clever!!
I only took 2 days to pack, if you have your lists written (I didn't ) I'm sure you'll be packed in no time. Keep enjoying summer. :-)

Aaron said...

This may be the coolest project you've ever done - I want one!

Aaron said...

Also, a thought - would tape have worked better than the stencil?

Dana said...

I didn't think of tape until too late. It would have been worth a try.

Aaron - what number should I put on the back of yours?

Aaron said...

I get one? I guess 13 has always been my number for whatever reason.

Dana said...

Aaron ~ What do you want to see? (for the front).