Posted by Eileen
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As I was pinteresting party ideas for our upcoming Sesame Street party, I came across the cutest Sesame Street t-shirts. The t-shirts themselves were the color of the character, with just the character's facial features printed on. For example, the Elmo one was a red t-shirt with Elmo's eyes, nose, and mouth printed on the shirt.
Right away, I thought it would be perfect for Ash, our toddler, and I to wear them at the party. I looked at the price and was deterred, but then I thought that I could make them.
Originally, my plan was just the three shirts, with Ash and I being Bert and Ernie (because we are life partners ;)) and our son being Elmo.
I was going through my felt craze then and thought I could make them out of felt. However, my sisters do not like to miss out on anything, so as soon as they heard my plan, they jumped on board.
My sister Bridget specifically asked to be Oscar because she loves trash (she turns it into some pretty cool things). My sister PK certainly won't be left out of anything (she started group hugs!), so her number-loving self was assigned the Count. They both somehow convinced my parents to wear them also. I called Ash's family to see if they wanted in on the fun, and they did :)
So I went from making three shirts to making 14! Since I was now making so many shirts, I had to throw out my felt idea. Ash suggested iron transfers, and they worked like a charm.
With 14 shirts, we had to employ as many characters as we could think of. We used Bert, Ernie, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar, the Count, Tellie, Murray, Big Bird, Zoe, Abby, Rosita, and Baby Bear.
First, we printed the images (that we googled) on the transfer paper. With most transfer papers, you have to print the mirrored image, but this transfer paper was different. We just printed the pictures as they were onto the paper. For the printer settings, we used the highest quality print and set the paper type to normal (not glossy like we assumed).
Next, we cut out pictures out. Some pictures were all one image - like Bert, while others were more complicated - like the Count. If we went with a light fabric transfer paper, we would not have needed to cut them out; however, there would have been a tinted background, which we didn't want.
After prewashing the shirts so they would be nice and clean for the party, I put the face cut-outs on the shirt.
To accurately space the elements, I used the leftover transfer cut-out as my guide.
I had to carefully remove the cut-out, trying to keep each element from moving too much.
Then, I put down the piece of wax paper that came with the transfer, and slowly moved the iron back and forth. The purpose of this was to keep the heat from being applied directly to the transfer. This also made it easy to keep the elements flat against the fabric while the iron moved around.
I slowly lifted the wax paper to see it looked perfect!
Within half an hour of starting the iron, I had a few shirts ready to go.
Here are most of the shirts - I tried to get them all in one line-up, but I had already sent the Count and Tellie to my sister and her boyfriend.
Here's a few pictures of the party people:
Cutting the cake :)
The shirts looked so great on the day of the party. Our little one had a great time pointing out all of his favorite characters on the shirts of his favorite people :)
I do want to reiterate that after washing the transfers did not hold up. They faded right away; however, we knew this when we decided to go with this technique. They were all perfect for the day of the party :)
And it was very cost-effective, especially with using Shirts in Bulk for all of the shirts!
Want to see more? Check out our similar projects.
At the Sesame party, we had a DIY photo booth, lots of easy DIY party decorations, themed party food, Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes, and we made DIY Sesame shirts. Check out our main Sesame party post :)
Posted by Ash
This post may contain affiliate links to products we personally use and love.
For our son's birthday last year, we had a small party with just our immediate families. We had just moved to a new house and barely had anything done.
Even though we were just having close family, Eileen, of course, went all out with zoo animal theme. She always does all of the planning - but asked me to help her create a DIY photo booth.
She created a bunch of photo props, while I looked for free photo booth software. To my dismay, I could not find any simple to use programs out there.
Most of them you had to pay for, and the free ones were terrible. What seemed like a simple task was turning out to be quite problematic.
So, I decided to just write my own photo booth software.
By the end of the day, I churned out an app I dubbed Easy Photo Booth. Eileen was totally impressed, and we've been using the app at parties ever since.
To create your own do-it-yourself photo booth, you just need four simple things:
This can be as simple as a blanket or a large piece of felt. It shouldn't be too complicated of a design because your party guests will be sitting in front of it.
At the zoo animals party, we used a lime green blanket as the backdrop and that worked out great.
At the Sesame party, Eileen created a nice Sesame Street scene.
She got a large piece of blue felt from a craft store, and then hot glued on white felt in the shape of clouds. For the classic Sesame Street lamp post, she used dark green and white felt, and printed the Sesame Street sign on the printer.
Here is the background in the making:
Here's a picture of the backdrop set up on our deck:
Props are pretty much anything glued to a thick popsicle stick.
Choose props that have to do with the theme of your party. Cute signs like "I came for the cake" are always a nice touch too.
If you do make signs, make them very large and easy to read. On the first go around, some of our signs were too small or written too thin to be able to read.
For the zoo animals party, we used these props (pic below). Eileen made the faces from foam, and the signs from card stock.
For the Sesame Street party, we used the below props. Some of them are the character cut-outs that she used for a lot of the other party decorations.
Easy Photo Booth software
I made this simple program available at no cost to our readers. You can download it here, and for more details on exactly how it works, keep reading :)
As I mentioned before, I had trouble finding a photo booth app that was simple and free.
Therefore, I made my version was as simple and straightforward as they come. In front of the backdrop and props, I placed a laptop (with a web camera) on a small table.
The guests would then see themselves on the laptop screen. Easy instructions on how to proceed popped up.
I even setup the software to save the film strip images to DropBox.
This allowed me to run a slideshow on the large family room TV of a live photo stream from the photo booth (via a second laptop I had plugged into the TV).
This way, other guests not taking pictures got to partake in the photo booth fun.
My photo booth software was a huge hit.
It’s now a staple event at our parties, and even our friends/families use it at their events. So I wanted to make the software easily available for everyone for free.
You can download a PC version of “easy photo booth” software here. I’m sorry, I don’t have a MacOS version of it, but I can port it over to Mac if I get a lot of requests for it.
Here’s a screenshot of the program in action:
Easy Photo Booth also offers an advanced mode if you want to fine tune the functionality:
Here’s what the software shows the guests after taking their pictures:
Film strip images like the picture above are generated from the software. It also saves the images individually in case you wanted to use a snapshot outside of the film strip.
I also added an “overlay” feature, which superimposes foregrounds onto your images. Check it out in action below (I’m hiding behind some tree coverage):
So if you’re looking for free and easy to use photo booth software for your party, you should definitely check out Easy Photo Booth.
It's fun, free and who doesn't love a photo booth?!
Hi! We're Ash and Eileen, and we are sharing our home project stories with you. From crafty projects to home maintenance to more ambitious DIY endeavors, we hope our stories inspire you to check a few things off your project list! :)