Reader Redesign: A Monstrous Duvet

Okay, okay – so we’re taking a breather from our usual kitchen-related reader redesigns to share a super cool project on a smaller scale. Well, if you call a project that involves 120 hand-drawn monsters a “small” undertaking. Now I’ve got your curiosity piqued, eh? I’ll let Jen explain:

My son Daniel is a prolific artist and I wanted to showcase some of his sketches and decided that I would do so on a duvet cover. He designs his own Pokemon, complete wtih names, types, and evolutions and he chose those for the project. Here are his design sheets:

I photographed each chosen design. Then in Photoshop I erased all extra marks around the edge, used the Hue / Saturation tool to effectively bleach out all colour, converted it to grayscale and increased brightness and contrast to get a nice, pure black & white image to trace. Then I resized each chosen character to fit on a sheet of paper and printed them out.

I chose the first image to trace, put it on a piece of cardboard and slid it into the top left corner of the duvet cover. Then I began tracing it with the fabric marker.

This is after about four and half hours of tracing:

Preparing the images took around 2-3 hours (I didn’t take note of the time) and the actual tracing took around 8 hours. I didn’t do it all in one go but worked on it as and when I had time, packing it away in between tracing sessions. And here is the final product, which I am so happy about – and thankfully Daniel likes it too! – Jen

Now c’mon, how cool is that? Daniel not only gets to sleep among his (very inventive!) creations every night, but also gets this daily reminder of how dedicated his mom is to celebrating his imagination. You can check out Jen’s blog for more pics and info on the process, like whether or not it survived the wash (spoiler alert: it did!). Maybe we’ll make Clara one of these someday. And even if kid doodles aren’t your design of choice, I can see this method working to transfer a large handwritten love letter or something. So cool.

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.


  1. Karen F says

    that. is. so. cool!

    On a somewhat related note, for my daughter’s birthday party she’s having a pajama party, and I was planning on having the kids color on white pillowcases (which they can take home as the favor) – good to know that the process (using fabric markers, etc) works!

  2. braelin says

    Wow- what an incredible project! I can still vividly remember my childhood sheets (Rainbow Bright were my favorites…), so I imagine this will leave a lasting memory of a caring and loving mom. Love it!

  3. Emily says

    This is awesome. I don’t have kids, and I don’t love Pokemon, but it looks so wonderful in the black & white outlines! I can see how this would translate to so many other things.

    I have a general question for the readers. I have seen so many really cool projects that I would love to try my hand at, but they seem to ALL involve owning or having access to photoshop – which I don’t have.

    1. It seems so expensive
    2. There are so many versions

    Are there cheaper work-arounds available? What are they? If I were to get photoshop, which would be the most useful at the best price?

    Just for reference, I have used it a little in my former job (I don’t know what version).


    • says

      Anyone have advice for Emily on this? We have Adobe Creative Suite from our former lives in advertising, but it’s pricey. Are there beginner packages that are less (or free downloads that might help?).


    • says

      I’ve just downloaded the 30 day free trials of photoshop before and tried to get as much creative-ness out of those 30 days as possible!

    • Julia says

      You could try using GIMP ( or buy Photoshop Elements, which is the consumer version of Adobe Photoshop. Gimp is free but it has a steeper learning curve than Photoshop Elements.

    • says

      The old school method is a projector or a photocopier. We need to do thinks like this all the time at the bakery, but you can’t really photoshop a cake. Your local copy store will usually have a copy machine that lets you magnify an image. Some libraries let you borrow projection lamps as well. Both would be perfect.

    • Kristen says

      There are some free online photoshop type websites if you google “free online photoshop”. The one I use is and I really like it (when you get to the homepage click the “open photo editor” link to get to the photoshop program and it’s all right there you don’t have to download anything). If you’ve used photoshop before its super easy to navigate. Hope that helps!

    • says

      I use Paint Shop Pro, and I love it. I can do some pretty involved things with it, too. My mom is a Photoshop pro (a professional photographer who also did detailed photo restorations until she retired), and even she has been amazed at what I’m able to do with Paint Shop Pro. I think it cost me about $35 on Ebay.

    • says

      Just throwing in my recommendation for GIMP as well. I’ve been using it for the past several weeks to tweak the photos that I include on my blog and love that it’s pretty user friendly and easy to navigate. And you can find loads of tutorials for it via Google. Good luck!!

    • says

      it might just be because I’m a fan of vector editing, but I love Inkscape (it’s the vector freeware version of to say. Kind of Illustrator to Photoshop). It’s really easy to scan in a photo, then click “trace” and have it turn into a vector image. It might be easier in Gimp to scan it in and do it her way, I don’t know. They are both good free programs.

    • says

      Depends on what you are using it for but Pages (part of iWork for Mac) is an amazing “word processing” program. It’s in quotes because the graphics capabilities rock!

      For a project like this, I don’t even think she had to go to so much work to get the object ready for tracing – I’m saying this with absolutely no authority except for a really, really big lazy gene! I would have just scanned them in and copied each drawing over to another document (using Pages – which is so simple it’s stupid!), switched the image to b&w, enlarged and printed it.

    • Morgan says

      if you are a student or know someone that is a student or a teacher you can get photoshop for a discount!! That is what my dad does since my hubby is a teacher and I am a student! Just an idea

    • Jenna says

      Many universities will sell limited versions (only able to be downloaded to 3 computers instead of 5) at their bookstores for $200 or so. That’s how I got mine a few years ago. If you know someone that attends a university, they just have to use their student ID to purchase it.

    • Sherry from BC says

      I have an older big Photoshop but my I was given Photoshop Elements (roughly $99) and find it suits my purposes. The big one just has too many tools and options while Elements is more for the duffer like myself. Not sure if that is in your price range but it is a lot cheaper than the big daddy.

  4. Robin says

    That looks amazing! I love that she encourages her son to be creative and to continue drawing cartoons. That must have made him so proud of his work.

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