I love John Steinbeck....I own every book he wrote, including Grapes of Wrath. I love the wooden crates used for harvesting fruit way back before plastic was available. My friend George and his family have owned a grape farm since the 1940s and I asked him for some of his old wooden crates with the ranchs stamped logo. I used the wooden crates and some vintage fruit crate labels to create knit patches for girl and boy t-shirts. My two favorites: the Brothers Pride crate label because of the wood grain, and the American Beauty fruit label because of the distressing technique I used.
Below is a photo I took at George's farm. I think it is amazing how much agriculture is grown out here in the desert.....it is all irrigated by canals! You'll be driving along surrounded by only sand and tumbleweeds and then all the sudden:
Step 1: I took these wooden crate slats and scanned them directly into my computer. I also had a few paper labels I scanned in. You can actually buy an entire CD of copyright free images here if you have trouble tracking down physical labels.
Step 2: Reverse the images on your computer, resize them and the print them onto t-shirt transfer paper.
Optional: If you wish to apply a distressed look (similar to the "American Beauty" label shown at the bottom of the page), lightly scratch off portions of the printout before transferring.
Step 3: Cut out the transfer and place face down onto the t-shirt knit. The trick is NOT to use an ironing board.....you should a hard surface like a table or the floor and place protective brown paper or an old t-shirt on your surface to protect it. Follow the directions of the specific transfer paper you are using.
Step 4: Peel off the transfer backing.....
......and cut out your transfer leaving about 1/8" of plaint white knit around the edge.
Step 5: Cut out a piece of Wonder Under or other fusible web product slightly smaller than your patch. Note: Do NOT use the fusible web that needs to be steamed in a second step (usually has backing on it)....the steam will affect the ink in your transfer.
Step 6: Position your knit patch onto your t-shirt with the Wonder Under sandwiched in between.
Step 7: Place a cloth over the transfer, press and apply enough heat from the iron around the edges to fuse the patch enough to keep it in place. The transfer will block much of the heat so you will have to continue fusing with the next step.
Step 8: Turn the shirt inside out and place over the narrow edge of the ironing board and press the patch area with the iron to finish fusing the patch to the shirt.
Step 9: Zigzag stitch or use an embroidery stitch around your patch to secure it permanently.
There are so many designs out there you are destined to find the perfect ones for your little girl or little boy! You can also use the patches for jeans, coin purses....so many possibilities!