Welcome back! In yesterday's Let's get "LOST", we discussed ideas for a themed Lost party. One of the best ideas is to create faux DHARMA Initiative ration labels for party food; today, we'll look at ways to do that. We'll also take a gander at some other cool Lost crafts from around the web, including some genius home-brewed t-shirts.
Creating DHARMA food labels
Image editing programs like Adobe's Photoshop are indeed the way to go if you want to create DHARMA labels for your party food (or your office supplies and toiletries, depending on the level of your fandom). The DHARMA logo itself is a modified feng shui ba-gua.
A while back, InsanelyGreatTees offered printable DHARMA food labels for you to download, but Disney, ABC's parent company, asked them to stop. The PDF has been removed, but you can still take a look at the labels themselves, and be amused by the official-looking stamp on them: "Download removed at the request of the Hanso Foundation". This will give you a good idea of what you're trying to create.
You may also take a look at this photo taken on the set of Lost, where you can clearly see plenty of DHARMA rations; there are further photos in that series. Some good home-made rations can be seen in a photo by Flickr's Sahba, "Sheyda's Dharma Initiative food labels" (and a second, close up photo with the same title).
To go about making your own DHARMA labels, you probably don't need exact duplicates of the labels on food on the show: go for reasonable facsimiles. All labels should be black print on a white ground, with a DHARMA logo and sans-serif text. This is an easy task if you use the right fonts. The rest is just the correct label shape (like a hanging tag, with the corners clipped off the top end) and black lines and outlines (which can be done with pens and a straight edge, if you are unable to draw them in an image editor).
To use a dingbat or symbol font as clip art in an image editing program, simply use characters from the font the way you would use any other text, but change the size. A standard size for text is around 10-14; to change a font to clip art, you can start with 200 or 300, which you'll have to type into the "text size" box (it won't be on your drop-down menu, if there is one). Adjust the size from there until you're satisfied with it. (This process was also described back in my Print Gocco Holiday Card tutorial.)
The following fonts from Dafont.com may be helpful, both for faux-DHARMA labels and for other Lost-related projects.:
- Lost Forever features line portraits of characters, as well as several of the show's logos.
- Lost Font has all of the logos you could need, including plenty of DHARMA graphics and one for Mr. Cluck's Chicken.
- Dharma Initiative Logos is more of the same, and includes a logo for the related Hanso Foundation.
- Sans-Serif font category: some of these are too stylized, with rounded letter-forms or diagonal cuts on the ends of the letters. Look for something that has blunt, square ends on letters like T: Bebas is one choice. However, your computer probably came with a font that will work.
- The Dingbats - Army category has a few symbol fonts with airplane silhouettes. WM Transport may also be helpful in that respect.
- Consider the possibilities of Armada Pirata and ShipsNBoats (with reference to the Black Rock, the island's 19th-century shipwreck), as well as Healthcare Symbols (which calls some of Lost's medical mysteries to mind).
More fun with DHARMA logos on Flickr:
Fluzo shows off DHARMA logo glasses
(which could be created by making a stencil with clip art, sticker paper, and a craft knife, then painting the cut-out areas with glass paint and setting the paint according to its package instructions).
Other crafty projects
Now that you've planned your Lost viewing party and relabeled everything in your house to make it look like it came from a DHARMA Initiative supply drop, what's left to do? In all the excitement, it seems that we've left the Craftsters sitting on the beach. Let's get back to them.
Custom t-shirts have probably been the most common project. My favorite is one of the newest, posted just last week by Taytay. It's an army green t-shirt with black stenciled icons that cleverly represent Lost's storyline:
815 + an airplane pointing downwards =
a tropical island + the DHARMA Swan station symbol =
a generic DHARMA symbol + hieroglyphs (resulting from not "entering the numbers") =
the DHARMA Hydra station symbol + a phone = a helicopter
And the back says, "WE WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO LEAVE." How great is that? Taytay made it in about five hours. (See the font suggestions above for help finding similar images.)
Yarncookie used similar methods to make her own awesome Lost-inspired shirt: DHARMA Station Six: The Craftiness. The design resembles that of a DHARMA station's special symbolic logo, but instead of having a swan, hydra, or arrow, it has a pair of scissors.
More generally, stencils designs depicting Charlie and Shannon have been posted, along with a few other Lost t-shirt ideas. In the latter thread, you'll find concepts like a Driveshaft t-shirt and one depicting a retro computer.
Several of our past articles may be helpful to you if you'd like to make your own t-shirts:
Two Lost-related craft swaps have been done through Craftster. The first happened in the summer of 2006: take a look at the swap gallery. Some of the items created for the swap are just listed, but others are actually depicted. Notable ideas include:
- Kate and Sawyer in cloth doll form: small and cute, and larger and more realistic
- Magnets and push-pins made with flat glass marbles
- Items made with polar bear fabric
- Plain cloth items decorated with ink-jet transfer paper, like an Oceanic Airlines tote bag ("Getting halfway there is all the fun!") and a t-shirt featuring The Numbers
- Knit knuckle cuffs (wide knitted rings) that say FATE
- DHARMA-logo earrings made from shrink plastic, along with lots of other great jewelry
- A hand-made bag embroidered with an airplane and a quote from the show
- A Mr. Cluck's potholder
- A jewelry box painted with the Oceanic Airlines logo
- Themed CDs
Lost Swap II took place in late 2006 and early 2007. Among the great ideas this time were:
- Items similar to the notable ones in the first swap
- A really fantastic crochet hook roll-up case, featuring the DHARMA logo on one side, the Swan station hieroglyphs on the other, and a great mix of fabrics.
- A pack of hand-spun yarn in evocative colors
- A "fish biscuit" pincushion
- A change purse made with fabric showing a yellow Labrador Retriever, like Lost's Vincent
- A pillow embroidered with The Numbers
There is a move to create a third Lost swap: if you're interested, let them know!
Occasionally Lost items turn up in a swap with a flexible theme. Knit_core made a few cool things for a swap in October, 2007: DHARMA notebooks, fish biscuit stickers that look like a product logo, a "Nikki and Paulo 'diamond' bracelet," and a wonderful knit Hurley doll (who looks like he could be made from a modified version of the doll pattern in Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n B!tch Nation: just give him a fuller figure).
At least two more items were created in tribute to Lost, but not as part of a swap. RachelKristin did a very simple, witty sampler in cross-stitch embroidery, with the quote, Guys... where are we? - Lost. The___fragile made a Lost pocket shrine with an Altoids candy tin.
There isn't a lot of information included about how to accomplish any of these crafts, but they are essentially basic processes with a custom theme: it's not difficult to make a little cloth ragdoll or crocheted amigurumi look like Kate or Sawyer if you think carefully about its hair and accessories, and shrink plastic is shrink plastic regardless of what you draw or print on it. Cross-stitch samplers are easy to do, but require attention to detail.
If you're not up to making something the same way that it was made in the swaps, consider an alternative method: those knuckle cuffs could be knit and embroidered, but they could also be made by cutting fingers off of old fleece gloves (or stitching finger cuffs out of purchased fleece) and painting the resulting small tubes with fabric paint.
We hope that you have enjoyed this brief tour of hand-made love for Lost, and that it has, perhaps, distracted you from worrying about what's in that cabin. If you need more distraction (that cabin is, after all, creepy enough to haunt your dreams) you might be interested in the following articles from a few of our sister sites:
* Bold-face names in this post refer to Craftster user accounts unless otherwise noted.