Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Merry Christmas Bozo: A Holiday Heat Transfer Tale

I know today's project title sounds strange, but I promise the story about it is worth it!  I last minute made this heat transfer shirt for my 4yr old as a special surprise:

It's a direct quote from him about the character pictured with it.  Yes, he's wishing a squirrel Merry Christmas.  And yes, he's calling him a bozo.

Backstory: In October we had a bunch of pretty pumpkins out on our front porch as part of our festive decorations.  After a while we noticed a few small chunks taken out of one of the "fairy tale" varieties.  Days went by and more small chunks.  A week went by and it was looking pretty beat up.  We figured something about it must have been appealing to a bird or chipmunk so we tossed it out.  The rest were untouched so it must have just been something about that one, right?

The next day a couple had small bite marks and a large classic pumpkin had a giant hole in it.  The porch was also sprayed with pumpkin innards and seeds.  Like someone had blown it up with a stick of dynamite like in a cartoon.  I didn't think to take a photo at the time, but it was a MASSIVE mess.  About 15min later I spied this guy through the glass in the door (it looks like there are 3 of him, but it's the effect of the cuts in my door's glass):

Yep, it was a squirrel.  A giant, chubby, almost-as-big-as-a-cat squirrel.  Eating seeds out of a pumpkin.  In two decades of putting pumpkins out, we've never had any bitten into, let alone torn apart and chowed on!  Then I saw him in action :

It seemed crazy!  He was carving it by eating!  So my 4yr old pranced over and began dancing a little jig to a spontaneous song he made up for the squirrel, "Bozo, bozo, you are a bozo!" in a sort of school-yard nah-nah tone while peering at him through the glass.  Squirrel didn't care - he kept eating.  But as soon as he left we tossed all the remaining pumpkins out and washed the mess away, so I'm sure he was disappointed when he came back and his buffet was gone.

We haven't seen him since, but he came up in conversation last week.  Not missing a beat, my little guy commented in a disgruntled tone "Merry Christmas Bozo." and I knew I had to immortalize it into a shirt.

I found a free silhouette image of a squirrel and another of a Santa hat and combined them using iPiccy.  

I imported it into Cricut Design Space to make a cut file and adding the wording and cut them out.  The words with plain heat transfer vinyl and the squirrel in flocked.

I applied them with my heat press (more on the ones I use here and here).  Since I was using two different kinds, I did them in phases.  The flocked was first at 295 degrees for 30sec front/15sec back.

  Then I did the lettering on 330 degrees for the same time, carefully not overlapping the press on anything.  I peeled when cool and our inside joke Christmas shirt was born:

Everyone in the house is now in love with this shirt.  My teens are now requesting them.  Maybe next year it should become a family Christmas photo....;)


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