When your mom plots party favors for the annual reunion and you’re the family’s resident doodler…

Family Reunion Logo cropped

You might already know that I’m Ohioan by birth (and by both sides of extended family). While I’m not emotionally invested in Buckeye sportsgames, I do love those chocolate and peanut butter buckeye candies that tend to show up at Christmas…

So. There’s Ohio. And a palm tree because, well, summer.

*We interrupt this broadcast for a DIY pro tip.*

In times when I find myself needing to replicate a tricky specific shape (like, I don’t know, a state outline), I acknowledge my inability to draw things that look like things in real life, and do this instead.

Step 1 | Print out the shape.

It’s helpful to print a few different sizes at once, so you can try them out without multiple trips back to the computer. I use my printer’s “fast draft” setting — the lines don’t need to be pristine, and y’all, ink cartridges are expensive. IMG_5630

Step 2 | Cover the back side of the lines with a thick layer of pencil.


Step 3 | Flip the shape back over and set it on your project where you want the shape to be. Draw right over the printed lines with a regular ballpoint pen. Voila!


I’ve used this strategy to transfer lines onto canvas too — it’s helpful when typical tracing isn’t an option, and as long as you don’t press down too hard with the ball point pen, the residual pencil lines are usually pretty easy to erase.

*Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.*

So, I scanned in my design and off we went to the interwebs. A couple weeks later our new tumblers were on our doorstep and were off to soak up some sun (responsibly, with SPF 1million and a giant hat of course)!

If you’re curious about the details, here are the specific tumblers we ordered. They look great in person, though I can’t vouch for how they’d do in the dishwasher. The website says they’re safe on the top rack, but can’t guarantee that the printed design will hold up through anything but hand washing. Ordering was easy — all we had to do was pick colors and upload a PDF of our image, then we got an email proof for final approval a day or two later. The company also has design help available if you’re not so into doodling yourself. A couple of the cups developed hairline cracks within the first week, but they didn’t really affect the tumblers’ functionality. Plus we actually ended up receiving a couple extra cups, so all is well!