Looking for a special gift for dad? Maybe an impossible-to-buy-for Uncle. Look no further. I’ll show you how to take your child’s artwork and create a custom towel.

Child's hand-drawn llama on teal blue golf towel

Check out this adorable golf towel we made as a Christmas gift for a llama-loving Uncle. This one is fairly straightforward, using a printing service for the towel. You always have the option of creating an SVG file from the artwork and creating a towel with your vinyl cutter. I’m going to come back in a different post and show you that. For now, because I left Christmas creations to the last minute…again…I’m letting zazzle handle it for me.

One thing I love about Zazzle, is the “mock-ups” on their products. It brings it to life a little bit more.

For less than twenty dollars you have a unique personalized gift for dad or grandpa. Even a golf-loving coach or teacher. I took the background out in photoshop in under a minute. You can create a transparent PNG image in Canva, but I find it takes a bit longer as the tool is not as robust as photoshop. Also, I’ve found that Canva does much better if there are really strong boundaries between the art and the background. Sometimes that’s hard to achieve in children’s art.

You do need Canva Pro (which has a free 30-day subscription) and admittedly, Canva is much less intimidating to learn than Photoshop.

However, if you are looking to transform several pieces of children’s art, I have an easy photoshop tutorial for you. You don’t need to master the entire program, just a few steps.

Easily Remove Backgrounds in Photoshop

It’s easier than you think. Just like any route you drive, there is a multitude of ways to get to your destination in Photoshop. I’ll show you mine. Hopefully, you find it easy to follow.

I start by brightening up the image using the adjustment layers on the right. Tweak the Brightness, Contrast, and Exposure Settings until the image is where I want it.

You will end up with layers for each of your adjustments that look like this. Don’t flatten them yet, as you may want to go back and edit them individually.

When the image has the correct brightness levels, I unlock the background.

Select the Properties tab at the top right and find the Remove Background action towards the bottom of the tab.

Photoshop does a pretty great job of taking out the background. Play with the controls on the right under opacity and radius.

If you need to adjust a few areas of the selection it’s fairly straightforward.

Across the top of the screen, select the Select menu and then choose Select and Mask which will give you the ability to fine-tune your edges.

On the left-hand side of the screen, ensure the quick selection tool is highlighted. The plus modifier (just above on the toolbar) will add more to the image that you are keeping, and the subtraction modifier will take it away to be removed.

For the llama’s ear in the above image, I used the plus, for the white around the flowers I used the minus. You can adjust the size of the brush, for finer details, on the right of the plus or minus tool.

When you have your selection complete, you’ll want to export as PNG – ensure that you have transparency selected.

There you have it. Easy Peasy. If this seems like a lot for you, consider hiring someone in Fiverr to do it for you. Unless you have a lot of images, it might be cheaper than the monthly subscription to PhotoShop.

This is also how I create transparencies for our Homeschool Yearbook, our gift mugs, and just about every other creation from her artwork.

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