Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sweet Baby Inspiration

I said it wouldn't be gone long, aye? Lots to post in the next week or so. Today at Papertrey Ink, we are featuring Melissa's new sets Sweet Baby and Bundle of Joy. Seeing as I find myself neck deep in babies and small children every single day, baby projects and images make me feel right at home.

As a busy mom of two small children, I like to think I know a thing or two about what makes a good baby gift. Sure, outfits and little onesies are adorable and fun to buy and gift, but any new mom is going have those bases covered by just about everybody else. Set yourself apart from the crowd and give her something that will give her what she really needs the most--convenience, efficiency,  and peace of mind. All of which are absolutely PRICELESS.

Case in point, my project today. I started out with the idea to make a new mom something that she can throw in her bag at the last minute and will help her out in a pinch. It wasn't hard to find inspiration, seeing as I'm out and about with the kids every single day. The one thing I always do before we go anywhere--pack a food bag. Why not gift a couple of premade food bags as a baby gift?

I started out by making a simple drawstring bag out of some canvas. Instructions can be found here. I did everything but the gussets...that was a little beyond me. Notice I have a matching giraffe on the card and baggie? Oh, wait until I tell you about that! The magic of t-shirt transfer. I'll get to that soon.

As for what is in the bag, some baby essentials. Organic baby food (with an expiration date 14 months in advance), a spoon (Take N' Toss would be perfect for this), a disposable bib, and a single serving packet of formula. Baby's got their own little lunch sack. And at some time in the future, Baby's mama is going to be singing your praises for being so thoughtful to give her such a gift as she's trying to get out of the house on a hectic day. :)

Now, imagine making up four or so of these little bags for a complete shower gift. I mean, you'll have to buy the formula, bibs, and spoons in multi packs, so you can make several and have plenty left over for other baby showers Or, instead of food, make a few up with diapers and travel sized wipes for the mom who isn't into carrying a diaper bag (that would be me). All about the convenience.

Of course, the whole point of making homemade gifts is to create the "whole package", from gift to wrapping to the card. I created this little onesie card with the new Shape It Up Onesie die, Beautiful Blooms II, and Sweet Baby stamps and dies. The scalloped trim was created with Spellbinder's circles and ovals dies.

It's my natural tendency to want to put the image in the front chest area of the onesie card. But, you know, I've seen lots of onesies with designs in the left lower torso area. Perfect place for that giraffe, which would be too big for the front and center.

So, let's talk technique and t-shirt transfer. You can get it at the office supply store or craft store. It comes two ways.

1. T-shirt Transfer for white fabric (which is what I used).
  • Will create a mirror image of whatever you want to stamp on it.
  • You die cut, stamp, flip it over image side down on your project, and iron. The actual stamped image gets sealed between the fabric and the plastic-y transfer material. 
  • Is clear, so whatever fabric you use will always show through.
  • Cannot stamp words and sentiments because they get mirrored. 
  • Allows for very detailed stamped images because you are stamping onto a paper-like surface (as opposed to fabric, which tends to distort detailed images)
2. T-shirt Transfer for dark fabric
  • Will create an image exactly the same orientation as it stamps.
  • You die cut, stamp, and iron image side up. 
  • Is white (so the background fabric won't show through) and will look like your paper die cuts when applied (having that white border all the way around and white in the negative places of your design). 
  • You can stamp sentiments because images are not mirrored. 
  • Like t-shirt transfer for white fabric, allows for very detailed stamped images because you are stamping onto a paper-like surface (as opposed to fabric, which tends to distort detailed images)
Here's how light fabric t-shirt transfer works:

Die cut and stamp using pigment ink (ink will dry on the surface and will heat set with the iron).

Place on project image side down.

Iron and peel away backing when cool. Those polka dots have nice crisp edges, which you'd miss if stamped directly on fabric.

Now, I usually fly by the seat of my pants with this projects. I ended up adding the sentiment after I ironed on the label. The only thing that would work was Staz-On and I'm not so crazy about using it with my acrylic stamps, but I was in a pinch. Plus, I don't think it stamped as cleanly as I would like. In the future when I do this again (oh this idea), I'll use t-shirt transfer for dark fabrics on the label and stamp directly on the t-shirt transfer. Should be much cleaner and I can use my pigment ink. Just a little tip for when you do it.

Oh...and before I can't reiron the iron on. It will melt and ruin the surface of your iron. So make sure your project is neatly pressed before you apply your stamped images. :) 

And...and...and...another thing because I thought of it and failed...Copics will dissolve the t-shirt transfer. My hopes where completely dashed for some colored images on fabric. Just saving you the heartache. 

There you go, hope you are inspired to do some t-shirt transfer projects. Lots of fun! Be sure to check out projects from the other girls for some more Sweet Baby inspiration.


Cardstock: Raspberry Fizz and Stamper's Select White
Dies: Sweet Love, Shape It Up Onesie, and Angled Label Dies
Stamps: Sweet Love, Beautiful Blooms II, Label Basics, and Baby Button Bits
Ink: Versamark, Staz On, and PTI's Summer Sunrise and Raspberry Fizz
Vintage Buttons in Raspberry Fizz
Raspberry Fizz Topnotch Twill
Canvas fabric, t-shirt transfer


  1. So, so, so sweet! I love the idea of making it a teeny diaper bag - those are handy to have in the trunk (or back of the van) just in case Momma runs out of the house in a tizz and forgets the diaper bag (that would be me...hahaha...after baby #4, you'd think I'd remember the diaper bag...nope!) Precious project! I love it!!

  2. Great gift idea and such an adorable set. Thanks for all the details! Not sure how you manage to accomplish all you do with two little ones at home but your imagination runs wild ~ LOVE it!

  3. Adorable project and what a great idea for both Mom and Baby!!!
    Love these precious new sets.

  4. Like your card! So bright and cheery. The bag full of baby goodies is great, too! :)

  5. adorable. and thanks for the how tos. btw, there are different colored pigment pens that might work for coloring. hmm

  6. Gorgeous - another idea to add to my friends baby basket (I've already made a taggie blankie and SUPER CUTE baby shoes !!!) Thanks !

    Margaret C

  7. This is sooo cute! What a wonderful idea! Love how you try new things and share them with us!! Thanks so much, this is amazing!
    Hugs, Wendy

  8. I love both of your projects Erin...thanks so much for sharing!!

  9. hi erin how about stamping your sentiments on miror stamp with lots of ink and then on transfer .Love the idea going to make some today.

  10. Erin, what a great gift! Thanks for the tutorial using iron-on transfers! My brain is stocked, thinking about all the other PTI images that would make great iron on projects! Tote bags, grocery bags, lunch bags...endless possibilities! Thanks!

  11. Great idea, Erin. I love getting inspiration from you for awesome mommy/baby gifts!

  12. This is absolutely outstanding!!!! I love the gift idea. Your constant creativity is truly inspiring - I love it all! Thanks so much. ;)

  13. That is such an awesome idea Erin! My youngest just had her first baby three weeks ago and she has three other new mommy's in her husbands Army unit...I see a project that will be perfect for all the military mommy's to do. How fun!

  14. great gift idea from one who is in the know! love it!

  15. I am looking for ideas for a shower invite - this is so cute!! Any ideas for a gender neutral shower? Thx!