Gimp T-Shirt Lesson Plan

Sample project for use with middle-high school students and GIMP

Family T-Shirt

Have students bring in a baby picture, a current picture, and a family picture.

Scan in each image using a scanner. Make resolution at least 300 dpi, or higher if you will be enlarging the photos. Be sure to save all the images as a .jpg in a location the students can access. We used shared folders on the network, so image is scanned on one computer is still accessible on student work computer. Floppy disks, pen drives, or cd’s could also be used.
For demonstration and practice, we will right click, and ‘save as’ on these sample pictures to create the T-shirt design today.

Have students bring in a pre-washed t-shirt (white works best)

Purchase iron-on transfer paper for ink jet printers.
Get enough for each student, plus a couple of ‘extras’ for mistakes.
Mail order transfers tend to hold up better than over the counter transfers.  Be sure to follow instructions exactly.

Start Gimp

Template – choose “US Letter (300dpi)” to fit on 8 1/2 x 11 paper
(you may have to choose a lower resolution if your computer has less than 128 meg of memory)

File (above new blank image)

Open as a layer
Browse to location of student images

Click and Ctrl-click several images to include on your t-shirt
All should be displayed on the layers list (File, Dialogue, layers if missing)

Layer, Scale Layer, to change image size

Select move layer icon on Gimp menu to move image around by dragging around.

Select next image in layers dialogue

Repeat the layer resize and move steps to arrange all images

New idea from NETA conference- use the grafiti web site to make a cool name, and use ‘print screen’ and paste it into your gimp work instead of typing text raw in gimp.

Now add text to your shirt:
Select text icon on Gimp menu.
Select a font and large size
Click where you want text displayed, type text
A new text layer is created
If it needs moved, simply use the move layer button
Color and text size can be changed by using the text button
If text to be ‘on top’ of an image, simply drag its layer around on the layers list

If there are some open areas that need filled in, you can bring in simple clip art (like from tux paint) or save images from the internet. Make sure you mention copyright and ownership of the original images at this point.

File, open as Layer to bring into composite.

File save – tshirt.xcf (gimp format, big file, but can be changed again later.
Save in Folder – be sure to point to place where student work is stored!

Now we’re ready to print, but if you print right from the gimp format file, only one of the layers will print. You need to export the whole image to a simpler graphic file type.

File, Save as, and export it to tshirt.jpg Gimp will warn you that a .jpg can’t handle layers, etc. Just click Export and let gimp handle the conversion. OK

Notice- full gimp images are still listed as separate layers. It needs to be all on one layer to print everything.

File, Open, tshirt.jpg to open combined file. Now only one layer shows up.

Reverse entire image before printing on iron on transfer- or words will be backward.

Image, transform, flip horizontally

File, Page Setup, Reduce margins to use more of the transfer – my printer only allows .25 left .25 right .15 top and .42 bottom minimums.

Now full 8 1/2 by 11 won’t fit on page (cuts off side and bottom)

Image, Print Size, adjust image print resolution to 319 dpi to fit on full page.

Load transfer paper in correct way, (instructions on package)

File, print, Make sure you’re pointing to the ink jet printer, OK

Iron on to pre-washed t-shirts using instructions that came with your iron on transfers.

Exploring Technology Together

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