September 24, 2011 § 3 Comments
What can you do with a few cupcake liners and a couple feet of brass chain from the hardware store? Why, make a necklace, of course!
This super easy, inexpensive, and surprising D-I-Y fashion craft is one I wanted to post over the summer before I got sidetracked by summer. But it’s not too late! So long as it’s not a rainy fall day, there is still lots of sunshine to be flaunting this fun, feminine, flirty necklace!
Yes! It is what I wore in my D-I-Y engagement photos in August. I wore it then with two flowers and wish now, in hindsight, that I wore three.
You will need cupcake liners (waxed is best), brass chain in your preferred length (they are typically around 45 cents per foot; for this project I used exactly 4 feet and paid $1.80), scissors, and ribbon.
2. For each cupcake liner, trim off an additional 1/8″ than the previous size. You will have cupcake liners that descend in size. I suggest 5 for large flowers; smaller flowers can be made with 3 or 4 cupcake liners.
3. Stack all cupcake liners and align so that they are centered. Fold the stack in half, with all cupcake liners facing out. Cut two very small slits, about 1/2″ apart, ensuring the slits are just wide enough to carefully slide the chain through. Large cuts will cause the flowers to loosely slide along the chain.
4. Carefully slide the chain through one slit of each cupcake liner, starting from largest to smallest. It is best to keep the cupcake liners 1/2″ to 1″ apart at this stage.
5. Slide the chain through the second slit of each cupcake liner, similar to sewing a two-holed button. Gather the cupcake liners to form a stack.
6. Fold the stack in half.
7. Pinch and fold towards the center.
8. Unfold to reveal a flower.
9. Layer as many flowers and chains as you please.
10. Thread a ribbon through the ends of the chain.
11. Tie a bow to close the chain(s).
Flaunt it. Feel fun, feminine, and flirty!
June 25, 2011 § 4 Comments
Here’s a DIY-fashion kickoff to the first weekend of summer! Now, if I may say, the last time crop tops were this explosive was in 1991, twenty years ago. Yes, I have full recollection, considering I was already in sixth grade. Now, if I must add (if you can add the numbers) — I really couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t wear a crop top now at my age. Or…not at least without layering a tank underneath? I do not have the guts to wear the top alone, the irony of which is needless to say, my gut itself.
I’m sure you’re catching on, I am really loving the basket weave. I baked that gigantic basket-weave cornucopia cracker, crafted those eco basket-weave vases from milk and juice cartons, so why not basket-weave my clothes, too?
For this project, you will need two identical t-shirts, a rotary blade and cutting mat, or fabric scissors. Conveniently, when I started planning to make this tee two weeks ago, Michaels had their shirts on sale, 2 for $6.
1. On one shirt, cut a boat neck.
2. On the same shirt, trim the sleeves to your preference.
3. On the same shirt, cut equal vertical strips (I did 3/4″) from the left of center, starting from the bust all the way to the bottom of the shirt. Make sure there is a centered strip. When you get to the end, trim off the last strip — this will provide the horizontal gaps on the sides.
4. Repeat from right of center, until your entire shirt has vertical strips across. Trim off the last strip, as above.
5. Take your second shirt, cut equal horizontal strips from the bust all the way to the bottom of the shirt.
6. Start weaving. The easiest way is to fold back alternating vertical strips on the front and back of the shirt, then sliding one horizontal strip through.
7. Take your folded strips and bring on top of the horizontal strip, on the front and back.
8. Repeat the weaving by folding back alternating vertical strips on the front and back of the shirt, then sliding one horizontal strip through. Take your folded strips and bring on top of the horizontal strip, on the front and back.
9. Continue weaving until you have used all of your horizontal strips.
10. Tug on each strip to stretch it out.
11. Knot each vertical strip to the last horizontal strip. You can play with the distances of the vertical strips to create various gaps. I knotted about half of vertical strips close to center to be as close as possible to each other. Then I knotted the remaining strips on the side at about 1″ apart. Patterns can differ greatly from where these knots are tied.
Now wear it and bare it!!
May 19, 2011 § 34 Comments
It’s been raining cats and dogs here in Toronto. We have been swamped with seven consecutive days of rain. I’ve been ogling the clear umbrellas at the dollar store for over a year now and with all this wet weather, finally found a good excuse to pick them up. Doodling a custom umbrella is one rainy day project to soak in during this rainy season!
I have had a hard time finding that cute umbrella. It didn’t occur to me until experiencing all the rain this week that I can design my own umbrella any way I want. Oh, the torrent of possibilities! Skyline? Spring flowers? Sunshine? The list is endless and, luckily, the dollar store is fully stocked with these clear umbrellas this season. I will have an illustrated umbrella collection by the time all this rain ceases. For now, let it keep raining cats and dogs.
You will need: a clear umbrella and permanent markers.
1. This project has little margin for error, so I decided to sketch my cats and dogs on paper before tracing them ON THE INSIDE of the umbrella with my Sharpie.
2. Continue the design around the umbrella.
3. Color away! I wanted a simplicity to this design considering it’s quite cheeky to begin with, so I used my Sakura Permapaque white paint marker.
Now get outside, step into a few puddles, and sing in the rain!
May 7, 2011 § 22 Comments
Mother’s Day is hours away, but there’s still lots of time to make these beautiful foam roses in minutes. They’re much more dainty than the no-fuss paper roses I made for Valentine’s, and perhaps far more versatile. In a few simple steps, you can make these sweet rose magnets, rose pushpins, and rose jewelry.
You have probably made paper roses before by cutting and rolling spirals of paper. This applies the very same technique, however, I’ve added the petal details by employing a simple tool that many of us have stowed in our crafting bins — scalloped scissors.
You will need: scallop-blade scissors, hot glue gun with glue sticks, and thin foam sheets. I purchased a multi-colored package of 36 – 4″x6″ foam sheets from the dollar store. They quality is much thinner than what you would find at the craft stores, however, they are the perfect thickness for this purpose. The thinner the foam sheet, the smaller you can make your roses.
1. Cut your foam sheet into 2″x2″ squares. A 4″x6″ foam sheet can yield six roses.
2. Using your scalloped scissors, cut each square into a spiral. Two and a half revolutions around the spiral should be sufficient.
3. Starting from the outside of the spiral, roll the foam sheet inward.
4. Apply hot glue to the bottom of the rose.
While the glue is still hot, you can apply the rose immediately to a magnet, thumb tack, earring backing, or fashion ring.
Happy Mother’s Day!
April 28, 2011 § 8 Comments
Yes, a few strips of paper, a small handful of beans, and the golden touch of paint can make quite some fashionista cuff bangles.
I was hoping this would be my third installment of my bean-by-number series (the first being the Turkish tiles back in November and the second, Venetian masks, for mardi gras in February). However, the concept is so simple, there is no need to bean-by-number. Just a few straight lines of beans do the trick.
You will need some beans, a sheet of cardstock, white glue, self-adhesive velcro (I got mine at the dollar store), and gold paint. PLEASE NOTE: I wore my gold bean bangles to work today and small parts of the paint have chipped off. If you are going to use spray paint, as I did, perhaps the problem would be negated by a bit of primer. Or, what I would best suggest: use acrylic paint and a paint brush instead. The finish would be quite different, however, the end result would look like brushed metal, which has as much impact.
1.. Cut cardboard to preferred width and length, taking into account the extra space required by the velcro. Adhere velcro.
2. Bean away. You don’t have to follow the straight patterns you see here. You can create all sorts of shapes and curves, which I’d like to try, too.
3. Paint one side. Let dry. Paint other side. Let dry.
I’d love to hear if you try this out and how you’ve managed to negate the issue of paint chipping.
February 22, 2011 § 8 Comments
Cardboard is one of my favorite things ever invented. Anything made of cardboard has guaranteed character. And what’s fun about cardboard is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, even with a little spray of metallic copper. Like this pair of cardboard cuff bangles.
Wide cuff bangles are all over the runways, and I thought to whip up a quick and fun little project with what little time I’ve had recently. The unusual angle of the photo combined with my bird-bone arm makes the bangles seem remarkably oversize. But I promise they’re actually reasonably wearable in person, if you’re a cardboard enthusiast like me.
You will need a mailing tube, X-Acto knife, cardboard, scissors, white glue, and spray paint.
1. Cut the mailing tube in any length desired (I cut 1-1/2″ and 2″).
2. Cut cardboard along the grain the same size as your section of mailing tube. Cut cardboard in 1/4″ strips against the grain.
3. Apply glue on mailing tube in small sections and affix the strips of cardboard.
4. Spray paint in desired color. Rose gold is very trendy these days and Krylon’s metallic copper gives a comparable hue.
December 14, 2010 § 35 Comments
There’s still time to make handmade holiday gifts!
These floral stamped bangles were inspired by an old, forgotten object in the kitchen: an outdated glass plate with rose embellishments. I have always marveled at the embossed pattern on the bottoms of glass plates and was stricken with the idea of using them as stamps on polymer clay. After a celebrated return in fashion, there’s no better time to wear floral accessories.
I admit, I had moments of contention with this project. After a shattered first attempt and a frenzied call to my good friend and polymer clay expert, Karen at Subtle Details, I learned the medium is too brittle to form into a bangle without applying it on some type of reinforcement. Given the purpose, the reinforcement has to be metal to withstand the clay’s baking process, as well as provide strength and durability to the final product. I mulled it over for some time before it occurred to me — cookie cutters — they’re metal, already round, and require no further shaping or cutting. What may be the shortcoming of the cookie cutter is its predetermined size. I was restricted to the thickness of the cookie cutter and wish for a much wider bangle to showcase more of the rose pattern I’ve come to love. And even with my bird bones, I could use a diameter that’s about 1/4″ wider (I used 2-1/2″).
To make this project you will need:
a. Oven-baked polymer clay in your choice of colors.
b. An embossed glass plate or any object embossed with a deep relief.
c. Cookie cutters, 3″ or 4″ in diameter.
d. I have not invested in any clay glazes and thought it was a great opportunity to use up some nail polishes, as they never seem to run out. Use a color that is a close match to the clay, but not lighter than. You can leave the clay as it is, but I felt it needed a glaze to finish it off. *Edit: Elaine commented below that not all polymer clays can be glazed with nail polish. Please try on a sample piece before applying on your project. Thanks for the tip, Elaine!*
1. Condition the clay and roll out about 1/8″ thick, making sure the strip is long enough to cover the whole perimeter of the cookie cutter. Stamp the pattern on the flattened clay.
2. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the clay with an extra 1/4″ on each side of the cookie cutter.
3. Roll the clay on the cookie cutter. Carefully trim and merge the seams.
4. Fold and flatten the edges onto the inner side of the cookie cutter. Bake according to clay’s package instructions. Let cool.
5. Glaze and let dry. Using super glue or heavy duty double-sided tape, adhere the ribbon along the inner side of the cookie cutter.
This post is participating in Today’s Creative Blog:
December 7, 2010 § 10 Comments
I’ve had a pewter-gray jumpsuit stashed away in my closet, in want of a statement accessory. My parents’ early Christmas party this weekend was the ideal occasion to don the outfit and motivation to make my own crafty diva-on-a-dime jewelry. I decided on making a statement necklace out of less than $2 worth of paper clips from the dollar store and some leather string I’ve had stored in my craft drawer for years. Quite timely, my old leather string is a very current, trendy shade of burgundy (wines are making quite a reappearance in the fashion scene, as is every trend from the nineties).
So there I am, striking a no-nonsense pose in front of my parents’ beautifully adorned tree, boldly wearing my homemade necklace, which no one seemed to guess was fashioned out of paperclips until I pointed it out.
You will need 280 paperclips and 3 strings or chains of your choice material, each being 2″ shorter than the next. If you are not using chains with clasps and opting for strings, as I have, make sure they are cut 1″ longer than the preferred final length.
1. Thread 50 paperclips through your string. Throughout the project, make sure to thread through the end of the paperclip that has the smaller hole. This prevents the paperclips from being misaligned.
2. Arrange your strings into tiers. Use the shortest as a top string, then a middle string, and the longest being a bottom string. Thread 30 paperclips through both the upper and middle strings. The 50 paperclips threaded in step 1 will be the bottom-most tier.
3. On the left side, alternate threading paperclips through the top and middle strings, one at a time, until each tier has 10 paperclips. Repeat on the right side.
4. On the left side, thread 20 paperclips through both the middle and bottom strings. Repeat on the right side.
5. On the left side, thread 20 paperclips through both the top and middle strings. Repeat on the right side.
6. On the left side, thread 10 paperclips through both the middle and bottom strings. Repeat on the right side.
7. On the left side, thread 10 paperclips through the top and middle strings. Repeat on the right side.
8. Tie the strings together in a knot.
Of course, there are endless patterns to create using as many tiers as preferred. There is a wide variety of strings and chains to use, as well as different lengths. I think I’m ready to start a daring paperclip jewelry collection just for fun!