Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

How to Make Vector Silhouettes from a Photo

| Design & Technology

Tutorial on how to make a photo into a vector silhouette image.

Tutorial on how to make a photo into a vector silhouette image.

How to Make Vector Silhouettes from a Photo – Silhouettes are always a nice touch in any composition and they’re actually really easy to create from a photo.  To clarify for everyone, vector images are images that will scale to any size without losing their sharpness and clarity – some people refer to them as clipart.  Make sure that you choose a photo that doesn’t have a busy background and has a significant contrast between the item you want to convert into a silhouette and the background behind it. I’m using this tranquil heron photo I took this summer on a foggy day at the beach.  I use this trick often in my work as a graphic designer and thought this would be a great design tip to share.

This tutorial requires a high resolution photo, photo editing software (I use Photoshop CS6) and Adobe Illustrator (CS6).

  1. Open your selected photo into Photoshop or some sort of photo editing software. Our goal is to make the photo have as much contrast as possible without totally distorting the image. There are a few different ways to accomplish this task and I’ll show you two different methods. Feel free to use what you’re comfortable with.Heron Photo before
  2. METHOD 1: Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > LEVELS. Grab the tiny triangular input sliders and slide them around until you have a very light background and a dark image that will become the silhouette. Generally that means that you’ll move the sliders on the left slightly towards the right, the middle slider will go very slightly to the left and the right slider will move in to the left quite a bit. You’ll have to eyeball this a bit and see what looks best. The goal here is to make the background as light as possible without washing out any black while making the dark areas darker.Levels
  3. METHOD 2: Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST. Move both sliders to the right until you achieve your desired outcome (high contrast without washing out the image you want to become the silhouette).Adjustment ControlsContrast
  4. Once you’re satisfied with the colour settings, crop your page to select the part of the image you want for your design.  Save your image.
  5. Open Illustrator and open your photo. Select your photo using the SELECTION tool (black arrow) and you’ll notice that in the properties bar at the top, a LIVE TRACE  button will appear (or IMAGE TRACE depending on which version of Illustrator you have). Click on the LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button. (If you’re not super happy with the results, you can click on the white arrow to the left of the IMAGE TRACE button and play around with the various settings – I find the Black and White Logo setting can work well too). Once you’ve clicked the  LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button you’ll notice that it now says EXPAND.  With your image still selected, click on the EXPAND button.Trace
  6. With the image selected, right click your mouse and toggle down to UNGROUP and click on it. Now, click on a white area of the drawing so that it’s selected and then go to SELECT > SAME > FILL COLOUR and all the white in your image will be selected, hit the DELETE button. Your goal here is to get rid of all the white sections of your image.Ungroup
  7. Select all the black items on the canvas, right click your mouse and toggle down and click on group. Now your sketch is all grouped together. (Don’t bother with this step if you’d like to move the various elements of the image around on the page or modify them individually).
  8. At this point you can get creative, add colour and use the vector on top of backgrounds, photos, etc. Use your silhouette to create or enhance your very own work or art.

I created this printable page for the tutorial and you’re welcome to download and print it. Download here.

Click to download this free printable quote.

Click to download this free printable quote.

6 Comments

Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern

| Crafts & DIY, Crochet

Crochet Hat Pattern - great for beginners and to donate.

Crochet Beanie Pattern – great for beginners and to donate.

Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern. Last week I had a new and exciting experience – I became a volunteer at our local hospital.  I originally created this blog to have a creative outlet but I had no idea the impact my readers would have on my life.  All the positive feedback and comments have helped me see that I have an opportunity and an obligation to give back .  My new volunteer job is to create and deliver art and activities for the pediatric and geriatric wards and to make hats and blankets for the maternity and neonatal intensive care units.  I delivered my first big package of materials and hats last week and it felt so amazing to be able to contribute to this wonderful cause.

In honour of this new endeavour in my life, I’m including the pattern for what I’m calling my “Caps for a Cause” crochet beanie.  This is a very quick and simple pattern that even beginner crocheters can easily master. I crochet pretty slowly and I can make these hats in about 45 minutes (much less time for a preemie sized hat). These hats can be made in any size from preemie all the way to men’s large so this is a very versatile pattern.

READER CHALLENGE

I’d also like to extend a challenge for any of my readers who are so inclined to join me in this volunteer effort. Hospitals are in great need of caps for newborns, preemies, and cancer patients.  Blankets, shawls, wash clothes and toys are also in high demand. Most hospitals have volunteer programs for receiving knitted and crochet goods so I encourage  you to donate if possible – oh, and please share your experiences with me in my comments section.

Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern – download pattern.

Materials:

  • A soft medium weight yarn. I used Red Heart Soft. Choose as many different colors as you’d like.
  • Crochet Hook – US J10/6 mm. I used this larger hook size for the baby hats so that the hats were a little more airy and stretchy but feel free to use a smaller hook if you prefer.
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Basic Hat Directions:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet (U.S.)

  1. Ch 5 and then join together into a ring with a sl st (keep all your stitches loose). Or use the magic ring method if you prefer.
  2. Round 1: Ch 2 and then make 12 double crochets into the ring. Join with sl st.
  3. Round 2: Ch 2 and then 2 dc into the same stitch. Now do 2 dc in each stitch around and then sl st to join.
  4. Round 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first stitch then 1 dc in the next and the repeat this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join.
  5. Round 4: Ch 2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next TWO stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join.  (*Hats for preemie babies skip to step 7 – note that hospitals ask that hats for preemie’s be a little bit longer so that they can fold back the edge of the hat)
  6. Round 5: Ch 2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next THREE stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join. (*For larger hat designs you’d just keep increasing the number of stitches between each dc by 1 until you get the size you’d like. Example: the next row would be 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FOUR stitches, the next row would be 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FIVE stitches, etc…)
  7. Rounds 6-12: Ch 2, double crochet in each stitch and join with a slip stitch.  Continue this for each row until the hat is as long as you want it. (I usually do 6 rows for my baby hats)
  8. Final row, chain 1 and then sc in each stitch and slip stitch to join (keep this last row loose or else it will make the hat too tight at the bottom).
  9. Fasten off and weave the ends into the hat using your yarn/tapestry needle.

For the striped hat design just alternate different colors for each row (and add a third colour in the second last row of dc’s if you’d like).  For the hat with the second color along the rim, change the color in your last row of dc’s and then keep that color for step 8. I really like having at least 2 colors in the hat design, it just makes it a little more exciting to look at and you can have fun coming up with contrasting colors.

To add the single woven thread through the hat, thread your tapestry needle with a piece of yarn about 24″ long. Starting at the back seam of the hat, weave in the yarn and tie in with a knot and then weave in and out of each stitch around one row. See photo below for exactly where you put your needle through to get the same design I’ve done. When you’re done the row fasten off and weave in any ends.

Looking for more great crochet patterns: Crochet Cat BedCrochet iPhone CaseEasy-Peasy Crochet Beanie, Crochet Infinity Scarf

DON’T FORGET…

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Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

Basic Crochet Hat Pattern - Perfect for donating to hospitals.

Basic Crochet Hat Pattern – Perfect for donating to maternity and neonatal intensive care units.

Update: Here’s the pile of hats that Noelle and I took to the hospital on New Year’s day… what a positive way to start off a new year.

Hat donations

Hat donations

 

84 Comments

Crochet Infinity Scarf

| Crafts & DIY, Crochet

Infinity scarf

Easy Crochet Infinity Scarf

Today it’s 28 degrees Celsius in Victoria, BC (it’s typically about 18-20 degrees in September here) – not the sort of day to be thinking about a cozy cowl but let’s be honest, fall is right around the corner.

This past week I started a new infinity scarf project.  I made the pattern for this crochet scarf based on a baby blanket I made last year that I absolutely loved.  Crochet scarf patterns are so easy and this one has a really nice rhythm to it once things get moving along.

If you want to learn how to crochet a scarf, this a great beginner project. It’s easy to learn and fun to make. It’s almost as easy as learning how to wear an infinity scarf. They’re such great pieces because you can throw them on and they go with everything.

This crochet infinity scarf uses bulky yarn. And you can make it as long as you can single crochet and double crochet. A crochet cowl is perfect for fall and winter because they’re warm and easy to cuddle up in. And because this infinity scarf crochet pattern calls for 100% acrylic yarn, it’s super soft too.

I love how simplistic this crochet cowl pattern is and I know you will too. Cowls make great gifts and this one works up so fast you can make them in bulk.

Crochet Infinity Scarf Pattern

Materials:

  • 1.5 Skeins of Yarn – Bulky – I used Loops & Threads – Country Loom – Ocean Tide
  • Crochet Hook – US K10.5/6.50mm
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors

Crochet Stitches Used in this Pattern:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet (U.S.)

Directions:

  1. Counting in 3’s, ch as many stitches as it takes to make a chain 60″ long (this pattern calls for original chain to be any multiple of 3 so just count “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3…” as you make the chain and make sure that your last chain lands on chain number 3).  Check that the chain hasn’t twisted and join to the first stitch with a sl st so that it now forms a ring.
  2. Round 2: dc in every chain until you’ve completed the round and join to the first dc with a sl st.
  3. Round 3: ch 3 and then sc between the 3rd and 4th dc, ch 3 and then sc in between the 6th and 7th dc.  You want to keep repeating this pattern every 3 double crochets until you’ve completed the round. Join with a sl st.
  4. Round 4: dc 3 into the chain you made in the previous round and then dc 3 into the next chain and continue in this manner until you’ve completed the round.  Join with a sl st.
  5. Repeat the pattern from Round 3 & 4 until the scarf is the desired width.
  6. Bind off and weave in the ends.

Looking for more great crochet patterns: Crochet Fingerless GlovesDone In A Day Baby BlanketEasy Crochet Can CozyTulip Textured Crochet Dishcloth, Colorful Solid Granny Square Dishcloth, Crochet Beach BagOutland CowlCaps for a CauseCrochet Infinity ScarfCrochet Cat BedCrochet iPhone CaseEasy-Peasy Crochet Beanie

Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

 Whip up this beautiful and easy to crochet infinity scarf in a day or two. This crocheted infinity scarf is a great pattern for beginners too.
56 Comments

Jellyfish Friendship Bracelets – Free Printable Template

| Crafts & DIY, Kids Fun, Printables

Jelleyfish bracelet tutorial with printable template.

Jelleyfish bracelet tutorial with free printable template.

A while back, I tried to teach Noelle how to make friendship bracelets.  I used to spend hours making these when I was a kid.  It didn’t go overly well with Noelle. I’m not sure if she was still a bit too young or she just wasn’t interested. Determined to find something easier for her to make, I found some Pinterest posts on how to make woven bracelets (I wanted to give credit to one great post in particular but it’s a broken link now).  I got out an old cereal box and some embroidery thread and sat down to test it out – it worked! Inspired by this super easy friendship bracelet idea, I created a simple template that you can print out, glue onto some light cardboard (cereal boxes or pasta boxes work well), cut out and you’re ready to go.

Oh, and I have no idea what the real name is for these sorts of bracelets but Noelle and I named them Jellyfish Bracelets because as you’re making them, they look like jellyfish (see photos below).

Materials:

  • Light cardboard box that you can cut up (cereal, oatmeal or pasta boxes for example)
  • Download Template
  • Paper
  • Embroidery floss – Up to 7 colours
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Any jewellery findings if you want to make it removable, otherwise just tie the bracelet right on your wrist
Printable Jellyfish Bracelet Template

Click to download – Printable Jellyfish Bracelet Template

Instructions:

  1. Download the printable template and print onto a piece of paper
  2. Cut out one of the circles from the paper and glue onto a piece of your cardboard (make sure to get the edges of the circle covered really well with glue).  Let the glue dry completely. (If you aren’t patient enough to do the whole glue thing, you could just copy the template design directly onto the cardboard with a pen).
  3. Now cut the cardboard with the paper glued onto it around the edge of the circle to where the tips of the arrow heads are. Cut a slit in each line that has the arrow head, about the same distance as the line itself. Use the sharp end of your scissors to poke a hole in the middle, approximately the size of the circle.
  4. Now grab your embroidery floss and cut either 7 or 14 pieces (2 of each colour) all 18″ long  for adults or about 14″ for smaller kids. I find that doubling up the floss (using 14 pieces) is thicker and goes a bit faster.
  5. Knot together all the embroidery thread at one end so that there is still a little tail of ends.
  6. Careful thread the ends of all the thread through the hole so that the knot is on the back side of your template/cardboard.  Put one piece of each thread (2 pieces per slit if you’re using 14 pieces of floss) into each slit so that it’s snug into place – see Photo A.
  7. Now, turn the template so that the empty space is pointing to your chest.  Count 3 slit spaces to the left from there (approx. the 10:00 pm position if it were a clock).  Take that piece(s) out of the slit and place into the empty space that is facing your chest – see Photos B and C.
  8. Turn the template counterclockwise so that the empty space is again pointing to your chest and repeat step 7.
  9. Keep your thumb gently over the hole in the middle to make sure that the bracelet remains in position while you’re moving the threads around. You’ll also want to run your fingers through the threads underneath the template from time to time to prevent the threads from getting tangled.
  10. Eventually you’ll start seeing the bracelet appear underneath once you get going – see Photo D. Keep going until you’ve reached your desired length. Tie off the end and finish off as you please (I added some clasps so my daughter’s bracelets so she could take hers on and off but you can keep things simple and just tie the two ends of your bracelet together).

Looking for more great kids stuff:  10-minute superhero costumeprintable robot colouring page DIY I spy gamegood karma cardsfamily movie night tickets, blank faces coloring pages, indoor fairy garden

Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

Follow this tutorial to create your own jellyfish bracelet.

Follow this tutorial to create your own jellyfish bracelet.

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