re-craft: logo swag

I’ve been feeling crappy the last few days (tummy troubles, headaches, and other non-serious unpleasantness that makes sitting at the computer much less appealing than lying on the couch alternating my lavender eye pillow with the new issue of Bitch). Also, I have a lot of paying work to do.

Still, I don’t want anyone to get bored and wander off for good, so I’m going to jump ahead of my self-imposed schedule and post this first in a series of entries on the topic of recycling logoware. I’m interested in the lifecycle of all that branded swag we pick up from companies we used to work for, from volunteer gigs, from friends, from schools, thrift stores, whatever.

If a logo means something to you, great. As someone who has designed and ordered branded swag in the past, I’d be a total hypocrite to dismiss it altogether. But if you’ve got a logo-emblazoned item that’s past its prime, why not unbrand yourself and create something more interesting and personal? Here’s one method I’m enjoying quite a lot for t-shirts and other fabric items.

Cut out the logo and use blanket stitch to clean up the rough edge.

cut out the logo and edge the space with blanket stitch
(photos by yelahneb)

Then back up the empty area with a fabric scrap and sew it on. Here’s where your creativity can really go wild. You’ve got a perfect frame for an embroidery project or for displaying a button collection (currently I’m craving these). If you find a really interesting piece of fabric, it can stand on its own (lace? a knitting swatch?). I went for a quick fix. I used some iron-on letters I had lying around from a previous project to express something I’ve been feeling lately.

I'm a total spaz!

I didn’t intend it, but I love how the crooked Z supports the sentiment. For a close-up and more of my babbling about craft projects…

Here’s the close-up.

sorry for the weird lighting effects

I’ve got a pile of other logo t-shirts and even a few baby items that have been lying around waiting for me to do something interesting with them. But I have to set all that aside and finish the fingerless gloves I’m supposed to be making for sweetie before it gets too warm for him to wear them. He very much likes the one I’ve finished, but I’m a little disappointed with it and unhappy about duplicating it. The things we do for love. Then there’s the sweater that I have to finish for my friend Jenn. It’s so pretty and so excruciating. Never ever again will I do anything other than baby booties on size 2 needles.

When I get around to adding to my unbranding collection, I’m thinking about starting a flickr pool of finished projects, using this and other methods. Anybody out there who might be inspired to participate?

17 thoughts on “re-craft: logo swag

  1. those buttons rule!

    is that your hair you have over your face?

    i love this! my ex had a sweatshirt a friend had made for him with patches of a shirt for his favorite band that had pretty much dissolved at the seams. she cut off the big remaining pretty parts then sewed them onto the blank sweatshirt with big blanket stitches. i always liked that shirt (even though i now really hate that band).

  2. yay julie! i’ll get on that in the next week or two. just gotta check a few more things off my list. i’ve been keeping my involvement in flickr minimal because i honestly don’t know how to fit in one more internet obsession, but i think it’s time to buck up and take the leap. i just “assigned” ben to research a cheap but decent little digital camera for me.

    and yeah, nix, it’s my hair. there were other pics, but that one seemed to capture “spaz” the best. also, the shirt you describe sounds awesome!

  3. I can’t wait! I have some t-shirts that have almost become unwearable…and I love them! they are my jump, little children tees. ::sigh:: what to do with 5-7 year old tees that have seen better days? now i know!! plus, since J,LC totally broke up I’m sad to get rid of anything that had to do with the fandom.

  4. Dude. This idea is Fuck. Ing. Brilliant.

    What a genius you are! I have this awesome polar fleece jacket that has ‘Old Navy’ written across the front and have grieved that I can’t wear it more often. I’m getting out my wicked scissors!


  5. I’m excited to see what you guys come up with! I wish I’d thought of this a couple years ago because I used to have an Old Navy sweatshirt myself. It was the warmest and most comfortable one I had, but I got sick of being a walking advertisement and gave it away.

  6. You know, in picture #1, leaving a rectangle of a creamy expanse of chest skin doesn’t look half-bad, either. [ahem]


  7. I think I’m going to do do this with my lifeguard sweatshirt – something Damien got for me that needs an update. And I agree about the creamy expanse Cerise! Beautiful.

  8. Great idea! I’ve never liked logo anything and don’t buy them. But if someone gives me something I hate to throw it out and this is a perfect solution. Inset lace or collaged layers might be cool-looking, too—like a small wearable piece of art.

  9. Oh! You just gave me a great idea. Thanks Janet. And thanks also for the wonderful “stitch school” tutorials on your blog. They’re a great resource.

  10. Pingback: Ballsy Blog » re-craft: more logo swag

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