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DIY Super Kid Cape

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My almost 3 year old son recently started to role play super heroes and bad guys. He even has a special “bad guy” voice he uses when playing the role (which is hysterical). I wanted to allow him to take his creativity to the next level. So I planned a DIY project to make our own super hero/villain capes. He had a great time and loves flying around the house while pretending to save the day or sprinkling the darkness around, haha. We used old t-shirts to make our capes and the following directions can help you create your own.

DIY Super Kid Cape
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What you will need:

Old t-shirt
fabric scissors and/or paper scissors
water-based fabric paint/ink
contact paper
masking, painters or artist tape
paint brushes
hair dryer
clothes iron
sharpie marker
vinyl sticker letters and numbers
drop cloth
yardstick or ruler
flat work space

Start out by prepping your work area with plastic, canvas or old bed sheet.

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Turn t-shirt inside out if it has text or design and smooth down on your work surface. Then cut up the front center to the seam of collar.

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Cut around the collar to the shoulder seams.

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Flip t-shirt over and cut from the botton left corner seam at an angle to the bottom of the collar. Use ruler if you need a guideline.

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Repeat on the right side.

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You are ready to tape down your corners.

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Design your cape by using contact paper to create custom stencils, use vinyl letter stickers for easy text and numbers designs, and use tape to create fun lines and borders.

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Making a Stencil: Draw out your shapes on grid side of contact paper with sharpie marker. Tip: We traced plates and jar lids to create circles of our designs.

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Cut out your sticker stencils.

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Pull the backing off of the contact paper and lay adhesive side down onto your fabric. Remember that the area covered up with contact paper stencils, stickers or tape will remain the color of your t-shirt and all exposed fabric will get painted.

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Using a paint brush, apply even layer of fabric pigment. When using dark fabrics two coats of ink may be necessary.

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Fabric inks must be heat set into fabrics using high heat. Use a hair dryer immediately after applying ink until completely dry to the touch. Continue this step for every layer you add. *Note – Once you are finished with your design it is recommended that water-based fabric inks be cured into the fabric using a household iron on high heat up to 5 minutes and then put into clothes dryer on high heat up to 30 – 45 minutes or more. Some even recommend baking in conventional oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes. I have never used this method but wanted to mention it as an option.

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Remove stencils, tape or stickers when the ink is dry to reveal the amazing design left behind on your new super cape.

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Ta-da! You and your Super Little or Villain are ready to fly around in style.

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Resources:
DickBlick.com, DharmaTrading.com, Michaels.com, Target.com,

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DIY Custom Fabric Mats for Framed Photos

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Adding fabric covered mats to your collection of framed photographs or art prints is a quick and budget friendly way to add a chic element of personality and style to any space. For this project, I chose my X’s black and white patterned fabric (soon available to purchase by the yard). The photo being used was taken by a our good friend Amanda Grace Images. This one single, magic moment of my family needed to be framed in a special way. Amanda actually suggested that I frame it using my X’s fabric. It was the perfect fit for the photo and room decor. Keep reading for my step by step version of this fun and easy project.

Custom Fabric Covered Photo Mats

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What you will need:

1. Photo
2. Photo Frame with Pre-cut Mat
3. Piece of Fabric
4. Rotary Cutter and Matte Cutting Board
5. Fabric Scissors
6. Quilters Grip Grid Ruler (or Regular Cork Back Ruler)
7. Spray Adhesive, Rubber Cement, Fabric Glue
8. Acid Free Mounting Tape
9. Well Ventilated Work Space
10.Colored Pencil or Disappearing Ink Pen

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Start out by cutting your fabric, allowing at least 1.5 – 2 inches on each side to fold over mat. Then give a pass under your iron to smooth out any wrinkles or creases.

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In a well ventilated area apply an even coat of spray adhesive to the front of pre-cut mat. Lay adhesive side down on the back of fabric in the center leaving enough of the sides to fold over. Use your palm to press mat down into fabric.

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Brush a thick line of rubber cement on the right side of the back of your mat board. Then fold the fabric over the edge of the mat and using your fingers smooth and press into the glue. Repeat on the left side.

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Fold the bottom right corner into a triangle to align with the edge of mat board. Glue the flap down. Repeat on the same process on the bottom left corner.

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Brush a thick line of rubber cement from the bottom right corner of the mat to the bottom left corner. Fold the fabric up over the edge and use your fingers to smooth and press into the glue. Repeat on the opposite side.

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Can use a drop of fabric glue on the corners to keep your triangles tacked down.

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You are ready to cut the fabric center out for your photo.

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Find the pre-cut center edges on the front of your fabric wrapped mat board. Now use the grid ruler (or regular ruler) to draw a diagonal line from the bottom left corner to top right corner. Then draw another line from top left to bottom right corner.

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Should create an “X” in the center of your fabric mat. Use your rotary cutter or fabric scissors to cut from corner to corner. You should end up with four triangle pieces of fabric in the center. These pieces can now be tacked onto the back side of your mat board.

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Again using the rubber cement, apply an even line on back of board then fold fabric over the edge of mat and press with fingers.

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Repeat on all four sides.

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Cut off excess fabric with fabric scissors.

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You are ready to mount your photo.

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Use Acid Free Mounting Tape to mount your photo onto the mat.

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Once tape is in place center your mat board over the photo. Press down firmly. Use additional tape if needed.

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Ready to frame and put new piece of art into place.

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(From Left to Right: white gallery shelves www.ikea.com, metal frame by Reclamation Industrial Furnishings, photo by Valerie Kiser, ABCD Art Print by Valerie Kiser Design, family portraits by Amanda Grace Images, photo frames www.Target.com, memento post card of Alexander McQueen from Savage Beauty, sketch by Valerie Kiser Design, unframed photo by Rob Lettieri Photography, framed portrait by Chala Jan

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