My parents’ generation had album covers. My generation had T-shirts. And now that I am an adult, I have a bin of T-shirts in my basement, taking up space. Why? Because you don’t see too many 37 year-olds walking around with a Depeche Mode concert T-shirt from 1990 on their backs, but I just can’t bear to get rid of them. I am trying to purge my basement of all unnecessary items, and I have been searching for a way to display my favorites, without taking up too much space (and without becoming that weird lady who wears old T-shirts).
You’ve probably seen the ads for the T-shirt Quilt – just send them your T-shirts and they’ll make you a quilt! Except that I don’t really want or need a quilt, and it just wouldn’t go with my IKEA-modern decor. I’ve also seen (and purchased) the T-shirt frames, for which you fold or cut your t-shirt to fit into a 12×12 square frame. While this is a nice idea, my walls would be covered with them, and my wallet would be empty.
What to do? I must get rid of this bin of useless (but meaningful) clothes! I came up with this:
Gallery Frame (I got mine at Target for about $30, and they come in other shapes and sizes)
Photo cropping materials (if you are scrapbooker, this is no problem. If not, a ruler and some scissors will do)
Step One: Sort your T-shirts, and take pictures of them, centering on the images on the front or back. Try to make sure that you are the same distance away from each of them as you take pictures, as this will lead to a uniformity in image size.
Step Two: Get the pictures developed, and do the math – figure out how many of what size pics will fit into your gallery frame space. Make sure not to use the glass measurements, but the interior frame measurements. Depending on how many shirts you have, and how much space you have, you made need to make some tough decisions (I did, but you can always crop some extras, just in case, and switch them out as the mood strikes you!).
Step Three: Crop the photos according to your measurements.
Step Four: Arrange the photos on one of the panes of glass. You may want to place the frame on top to make sure it won’t cover up any of your pics.
Step Five: Put a photo split on the back of each picture, and re-place onto your arrangement. I recommend doing this one at a time, so that you can line things up as you go.
Step Six: Once it is just as you would like it, put the other pane of glass on top, and put into the frame.
Step Seven: Donate the shirts with a light heart, knowing your memories are intact.
A couple of notes:
- I always like to clean the glass before I put it back into a frame. Just make sure it is dry before you attach pics to it.
- If you use a site like snapfish to upload your pics and send to print, make sure you check to see how they will be cropped — I had to re-take a couple of shots because the image was going to be too cropped.
- You can always make the images smaller to fit more into your frame.
C’mon admit it. You have a bin, or a drawer, or half your hope chest filled with old T-shirts, don’t you? Why not turn them into something useful, artistic, and interesting and then donate them?