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What's in a Name?

So you guys know I love Pinterest.

I have pinned tons of stuff and it has kept the clutter off my favorites bar in Chrome, because now I can see why I liked these pages, rather than just trying to decipher the titles. One of the things I've pinned is this adorable shirt!
I just love how fun this shirt is! So I copied the idea for Harrison. Now the original poster hand drew her creation. I do not believe in my drawing ability so I busted out photoshop.

Here's how my shirt turned out!
So here's what I did:

I did a search for free animal shapes and downloaded the CSH file that I liked the best.  Now you do have to load new shapes into photoshop, but that's super simple. Click on the shape icon in your toolbar (it looks like an amoeba) and in your top toolbar you'll see the shape controls. In the drop down menu where you pick which shape you want, there's a little arrow in the upper right corner, click on that and then click on load shapes. Then just queue up your shape (CSH) file and the shapes will be added to the bottom of your collection.

I opened a new letter size document, and turned it so that it was landscape. Then using my shape tool, I held down shift while drawing my shape (shift keeps the shape proportionate). I sized my shape to fit inside the paper.

So I had a black shape with a white background. I filled in all the white with another color (doesn't matter what color, you just need a contrast) then set my foreground color to white. Now I can start the text. You can pick whatever font you like, but I stuck with easy to read print fonts.

For each letter in H's name I had a separate layer. It makes it easier. So I started with the H and then hit CTRL + T to free form transform the letter. You can make it as big or small as you want. You can also rotate the letter with this function. So I rotated the H and sized it so that it was slightly bigger than the elephant's forehead. I did  not get everything of the elephant's trunk that I was including in the letter, but you can add the features of your shape later. Do this for the rest of your name.

Once you have your letters arranged the way you like in your shape, you will need rasterize the type layers. If you right click on one of your text layers, you'll see that rasterize layer is an option. Now that you've done this you can treat these layers as you would any other layer, because you've turned your letters into a graphic. If you want to include specific parts of your shape (in my case - the elephant's trunk, legs, and tail) then use your selection tool and draw a box or circle around what you want to include. Make sure you're on the letter's graphic that you want to alter (for the trunk I made sure I was on the H layer), now using your magic wand, click the letter while holding down SHIFT so that you add your selection to your previous selection. Now click on the background layer, and while holding down ALT click outside your shape. Your lasso should now follow the shape that you highlighted and the letter. Now click back to the letter's layer and fill  in the entire lasso area with white. You won't have to do this for every letter, but to clean up all your edges, on your background layer click the area around your shape with your magic wand. Everything but the shape should be lassoed, now go through every letter layer and hit delete. This will remove any of the letter's that overlapped the edges of your shape, and your name is looking more and more like your shape.

Once you're all done with your letters, fill in your background with black. So now everything should be black on that background layer, and your name should be white and in the shape you picked at the beginning. Invert the image and you should have something like this:
Do you see where I included the trunk into the H? How about the R, S, O and N. I merged the legs with those letters. The N also has the tail added to it.

Now you have an image that you can either print out and transfer to freezer paper, or you can save it as a JPEG and load it into your Silhouette, like I did and let it do the cutting for you.

I loaded my image into Silhouette Studio and traced it. I removed any cutting lines that I didn't want. I sized the image to be 6" wide, and made sure to keep it proportionate. Then I loaded in my heat transfer vinyl and cut away.

Then it was just a quick ironing job and I got this!
 Isn't it nice? I love how abstract it is! I also like that H seems to like it, although I do think he liked the other shirt a little better. Its a little more graphic, but more on that this afternoon!

Here's my boy rocking his new shirt this morning!

Isn't that adorable? I love it!

See you guys this afternoon!

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