Monday, February 1, 2016

Last Minute Valentine's Gift for the Guys?

Today is February 1st....meaning Valentine's Day is right around the corner.

If you are looking for a unique way to decorate your love letters, consider my Ashley's Garden stamp set with it's curls, swirls and heart shapes!


And now Ashley's Garden has a companion - Ashley's Garden Companions! True love!

A perfect match for a Valentine's Day sale!
Get both sets for only $12.00 - that's just $6.00 per set!
Makes a great gift on it's own!

Lots of great pattern possibilities for cards, gift wrap, gift tags. Printing on fabric? How about sachets, gift bags, or coasters? Find some more ideas in these blog posts from years ago, here and here. Ooooh - or how about a Valentine charm square pillow for that special someone! Hmmm, I should make some of those for my shop next year.....

Here is a quick DIY gift idea for the man in your life. Men are so hard to buy for!! Oh well, at least for Valentine's Day, we can get a little more playful and even totally over-the-top, right? Let's print boxer shorts! I've seen some really outrageously patterned boxer shorts in the men's department at just about every department store, so they must be acceptable to the guys. My guess is they are hugely popular. 

In fact, it wasn't easy finding plain white cotton boxer shorts, but I did manage. However, now that I think about it, most any solid color will do. Pink, cream, red.... Although if the color is too dark, you will be limited to the darkest fabric paint colors, such as black, deep reds, grays, navy. That's fine - probably more masculine. There are some nice deep colors in my "jewel tones" paint set. But, I'm going with the traditional Valentine's pinky-red on white because I'm actually going to give these to my daughter. Boxer shorts also make great pajamas - for guys or gals!

Above, you can see the first step: stamp all lined up on it's acrylic block and I'm using the block's bottom edge to line up with the stitched bottom hem of the shorts. Put a piece of paper under your top layer of fabric so that the paint does not seep through to the layer below. Or, maneuver your fabric so there are no other layers underneath. It can be done! OK, so now I've applied the rose color from my "soft tones" paint set and I'm going to create a border of heart shapes all the way around. No need for measuring - I will just go with it! It's good to start on the pant's inside seam because, since we are not measuring, we don't know how it will end up. It won't be noticeable in that spot. Anyway, it's all for fun!


Just a quick printing tip. Keep your block as clean as possible and keep the paint ONLY on the raised stamp motif. Use a stamp scrubber or even just a damp sponge to quickly rinse (no need to go running to the sink!) - then be sure to dry completely with a dry lint-free cloth. Since we are printing on an already constructed garment, things are going to get bumpy. And bumps can pick up the paint that might be surrounding the image. Above, you can see where I encountered such a bump with a fully loaded block and stamp. Oops. Not bad enough to give up however! These little smudges are perfectly acceptable.

As you can see, I just stopped my row of hearts when it came crashing into too many seams and too little flat space to print. Since it's the inside seam, nobody will notice.

But we are not done yet!

My particular pair of boxer shorts have a gray accent running through the waistband, so I decided to make my design coordinate with that. I used the pewter color in the same soft tone paint set and the smallest stamp in Ashley's Garden Companions, to put a little detail above the row of hearts.

Looking good! I could stop there....

.......but I won't! I put the same stamp on a much larger block so I could use the bottom edge of the larger block to line up the next row and have it be quite a bit further away from the previous row. See? No measuring! Neat trick.

And I skipped every other pair of motifs from the row before, so that there is more and more space between motifs as I go up.

And on and on. At this point, I am just eyeballing the spacing. And taking my time!

All done! So, what I ended up with is just a sprinkling of gray stamps floating down to the more complete border design. Pretty cute if I do say so myself. She's going to love them! 

And I think your special "he" will love them also!

And now for a Valentine's Day coupon code!


If you care to make a purchase in my shop, just type the code in at checkout and receive 20% off any (total) purchase over $10.00. Good today through February 14th.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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