Archive for November 2012

KKFI Fundraiser Photo Blanket

Our customers come up with some of the best ideas.  Tom has bought a number of Photo Blankets from us but for a very specific purpose. He’s come up with a creative use for our Plush Fleece Photo Blankets as a fundraiser for KKFI, a community radio station in Kansas City, MO.

As any non-profit organization finds out over time, they run out of unique ideas at times on raising funds during pledge drives or online auctions.  I’m laying in bed and the idea hits me.  Those “photo blankets” are printed from actual photos people send in as jpg images.  What if I design an entire blanket as a PDF 60″x80″ of full length winter scarves with our radio information.  I went downstairs to measure my favorite winter scarf and was surprised to find it measured 80″ in length.  I went to the computer and fired up an application I used to design a monthly newsletter. I new I could designate a specific size of the document and I made it 60″x80″ which is the size of the finished blanket.  I then started to frame up and divide the width of the blanket into equal sections and what I came up with was the width of each scarf was 7.5″ and that gave me a small edge on both sides to allow the blanket factory “wiggle room’ aligning the image for printing (works perfect every time).  My design at top and bottom left 7″-8” of white space for the ends of the scarves and I fringe them to make the finished scarf. IMPORTANT NOTE: convert your deign to PDF and when you place your blanket order it MUST be “PLUSH FLEECE” to make the best scarf.

Before you start to cut up the blanket be warned to have your vacuum ready because as you cut the fabric you’ll get bits of fleece all over the place and you’ll need vacuum it all up.

Image 1 is the actual graphic design layout before I send it off to be printed on my 60″ x 80″ PLUSH fleece blanket.

Image 2 is the actual blanket I received in the mail.

 

Image 3 is a graphic close-up of the design and where to cut (yellow dashed lines).

To make the scarves I cut off the factory sewn borders, width of the blanket (image 4) and I cut along the sides (80″) to remove my wiggle-room border and discard all that fabric.

I then cut along the black lines I have in my design (image 5) that are the edges of each scarf. (see the yellow dotted line in image 3).

Image 6: to make the fringe on the ends of the scarves, cut 1″ wide sections up about 6″ to bottom of design. Don’t worry these wash up and don’t fray at all. The width of fringe is up to you but just make sure it is even widths. I don’t know if 1/2″ will work and prefer the wider fringe look.  Take all your finished scarves outside and shake them out to get rid of any fleece-bits.  Put them all in the wash machine and wash in cold on short cycle. I use very little detergent and I use fabric softener.  Dry on normal or 20 minute (low heat).

Remove from dryer and use your hand to brush with grain of fleece to show your design better.  You’ll know if you went in the wrong direction because it roughs up the design.

Image 7 is Tom Edmondson the designer of these 90.1 FM scarves wearing the “work of art”.

Tom uses these as ‘premium gifts’ for people who donate to our non-profit community radio station. They are a huge hit and I can’t keep them around because everyone wants one!

How To Make Your Own Collage Photo Blanket

Collage Photo BlanketI’m amazed at the creativity of some of our customers. We receive collage images created by our customers that show an obvious talent with graphics and photo editing. But it’s often not as hard as it seems. It really takes more time than skill but also decent graphic program. Using a regular program like Work or PowerPoint will not produce a high enough quality image for the best results. Photoshop is the best but also very expensive. There are a number of lower cost alternatives too.

A photo collage is simply a collection of individual photos combined into a new, single image. When saved, this new image can be used for your order. There are two big advantages to this. First, you can create your collage exactly was you want it. You can get fancy with the image placement by rotating and overlapping your photos. Second, you avoid the additional cost of us creating the collage. Since you are submitting a single image, you do not have to pay the collage fee.

The most popular item for a collage is our Photo Blankets. Most photo blankets are large enough to add several images and still reproduce enough detail in each of the photos.  The number of recommended photos as well as recommended image size can be found under the ‘Image Requirements’ tab on the product pages. If you need help or have questions about creating a collage, please contact us and we will help you out. Other popular collage items are our Photo Puzzles and Photo Cutting Board.

Our printing process is what’s called ‘full bleed’ which means some of the image gets printed off the edge of the actual product. This is how we ensure it gets completed printed top to bottom and edge to edge. This also means you need to be cautious when creating your collage in not putting anything important, like faces or text, too close to the edge. The size of this safe area varies by product.

A Collage Photo Blanket can include photos from the most memorable events in the gift recipients life. Putting them all together in a collage will be a very emotional gift and sure to be treasured for years. Tears of joy are a common response we hear of when seeing it for the first time. They are well worth the extra time and money. Ask anyone who’s received one.