Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My DIY Dannijo-inspired statement necklace

Spring is finally here, and what better thing would there be to do except make an extremely large, loud statement necklace?

This necklace was inspired by Dannijo's Bea necklace with a hint of Dannijo's Nathalia necklace thrown in. The inspiration necklace will set you back almost a thousand dollars and has more rhinestones in it than any other necklace I've ever seen.

My DIY version wasn't super cheap (probably $30 or so in supplies) but not so bad when compared to the real thing. Most of my supplies came from Consumer Crafts, one of my favorite sources for affordable rhinestones in settings.

To make this necklace you will need sew-on rhinestone slider beads in a variety of shapes and sizes. Use a limited color palette (such as blues and greens) to keep the necklace from looking gaudy. I used the following:
  • 14 8mm square beads in blues and greens
  • 16 10 x 14mm pear beads in turquoise
  • 16 13 x 18mm oval beads in turquoise
  • 35 7 x 15mm diamond beads (I picked out the green beads from several strands of multi-color beads and also used one strand of turquoise beads)
You will also need:
  • Jewelry wire
  • 1 sheet plastic canvas mesh (10 mesh) in a color matching your stone settings. (I used black.)
  • Triple jump ring chain or similar chunky chain
  • Matching extender chain (optional)
  • Matching lobster claw clasp and large jump ring
  • Good jewelry glue like E-6000
  • Four small jump rings (optional) 
The slider beads will have two sets of holes in the back which allow you to string them together using jewelry wire. Use two strands of wire for each set of beads.

Twist the ends of the wire together, cut to about a half inch and bend the ends behind the beads.

Mark the center point of each strand of beads. (I used a small piece of blue tape.) Line up the beads on your canvas mesh so that they are centered.

Use a few piece of jewelry wire to loosely wire each strand to the mat at the center point of each strand. This is to temporarily hold the beads in place.  You will later remove this wire.

Position the top strand of beads (the square beads) to have an even curve. Wire the ends of the bead strand in place.

At this point, the simplest way to attach the beads to the mesh is with jewelry glue. (See Step 7 before gluing. Don't glue down the mesh where you will be attaching your chain until after the chain is on.)

However, I had to be weird and also have a reversible option in case I want to dismantle this necklace later and make it into something else. If you also have commitment issues, you can stitch the bead strands to the mesh instead of gluing.

To sew the beads to the mesh, use heavy duty sewing or embroidery thread that is double threaded and matches your mesh. Sew through the wire strands to the canvas mesh and tie off with knots.

After the beads are firmly attached to the mat, you can remove the wire used to position the the beads. Then cut around the plastic mesh. I cut roughly with scissors and then more closely to the beads using small wire cutters. (You can also use fingernail clippers.) If you have glued the beads to the mesh, you can cut very close. If your beads are sewn on, cut more cautiously so you don't sever any thread.

Divide your chain into two equal lengths. Double each piece of the chain over and attach the chain ends to the mesh. Use small jump rings if the chain is too bulky to attach directly to the mesh. Glue around the mesh where the chain is attached if needed.

Attach an extender chain to the chunky chain. Attach a lobster claw clasp. 

Be the envy of fashion bloggers everywhere.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My DIY stenciled storage boxes

A few weeks back I shared 10 stylish DIY storage boxes, which got me thinking that simple storage looks the best. And what could be simpler than plain cardboard?

Yup, a nice cardboard box with the top flaps cut off looks minimal and and kind of hip if you don't ponder it too much.

Then Amy Anderson, the queen of Mod Podge, asked me to try out Plaid's new Mod Podge stencils. They are meant to be used with Mod Podge and glitter. There is no more useless element in the universe than glitter, so I opted to use my stencil with paint. What to stencil? How about those dumb cardboard boxes?

I picked this cool faux bois stencil designed by Amy. I framed it with blue tape to avoid getting paint around the edges. And I used a blue tape "level" to keep my lines straight.

The stencil came with a spouncer, which is just fun to say. Any small sponge would do for applying paint to the stencil.

I used acrylic paint, which I kept on the dry side. I allowed each section to dry a few minutes before moving the stencil and painting again. After a few sections, I rinsed the stencil to keep paint from building up on it.

This project was cheap and easy to do. The stencil has an adhesive that helps it stick to a hard surface. 

On the down side, it took forever. I cleaned my entire pantry in between drying sessions with the stencil. And this was one box. I need three more pantries to clean. 

Then I ran out of paint before doing my next three boxes.

I recommend:

  • smaller boxes
  • more paint 
However, it certainly elevated my cardboard to true hipster status.

Here is more info about the stencils from Plaid. I was provided the stencil and spouncer for free. All opinions are my own. 

Have you started organizing your closets this spring? 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

40 DIY ideas from Fashion Month F14

Here are 40 DIY fashion ideas inspired by Fashion Month street style and fashion shows. This should keep you busy until spring. Which will never really get here. 

Above, put a face on it like Prada.

Apply your rag rug making skills to a top or skirt like Altuzarra.

Make a layered collar necklace like Balmain or an oversized faux fur collar like 3.1 Phillip Lim.

Love this one: Draw on your white skirt with a sharpie (or embroider eye lashes on your sweater) like Band of Outsiders. Already done the pom-pom sweater? Do it again but make the pom-poms linear like Brandon Sun.

Wear your scarf asymmetrically and tucked into your belt and paint your bag or coat like Burberry Prorsum.

Make shiny arrows out of rhinestone trim and embellish your coat like Carven. Add HUGE faux gemstones to a little black dress like Celine.

More HUGE faux gems - as a bracelet or a necklace, both from Celine.

Brighten up your bike lock and turn it into a necklace like Chanel. Sew an extremely inventive sleeve like Christopher Kane.

Turn belts into bracelets or mix bits of several sweaters into one like Cynthia Rowley.

Embellish a dress with sequins and tassels like Delpozo. Or embellish a dress with the contents of your junk drawer like Cynthia Rowley.

Dig out some 1980s silk flowers and turn one into a brooch like Dries Van Noten. (Update: Honestly just did this one.) Excessively embellish your sunnies like Dsquared.

Make a collar necklace in an unusual shape or make a simple round shape and add a few HUGE gems like Emporio Armani.

Applique your dress with a glove like this fushia number seen via Harper's Bazaar street style or the pale pink one at Carven.

Make sequin flowers for your collar like Honor. Or tie a sash over your cardigan like Isa Arfen.

The wordy clutch was everywhere. Try something like this from Karen Walker. Or add floral contact paper to a kid's lunch box to make a bag like this one by Erin Fetherston.

Add layers of soft tassels to a dress like Maki Oh or add a million big sequins like Isa Arfen.

Cut a slice from your skirt and add a sheer fabric like NoNoo. Or mix two fabrics together like Oscar de la Renta.

Another take on the wordy clutch from Red Valentino. Mix your faux furs into a geometric clutch as seen at J. Crew. (Update: Dare to DIY just posted a no-sew method using a thrift store purse to make your own fur clutch.)

Put lips on your shoes like Red Valentino. Add a bandana to your shirt like Karen Walker.

Add fringe to a clutch as seen by Tommy Ton.

Macrame or crochet a choker or unusual scarf/harness like Tse.

Make a wordy faux fur (with a more cheerful message) like Vfiles. Elevate the big bead with a necklace like this one from Josie Natori.

Did you see anything great and inspiring during fashion month?

Personally, I think something with HUGH faux gems is going on my to-do list.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My DIY Celine inspired tote - and a giveaway

Make a DIY Celine-inspired leather tote and enter a giveaway for $50 in really great leather.

Several weeks ago Leather Hide Store contacted me about doing a project. They sent me a huge piece of luscious black leather that sat in the closet for weeks because it terrified me.

Turns out, working with leather is not so bad. In fact, it's easier to make a leather tote than a fabric one.

Here's what you'll need to make a rustic leather tote along the lines of Celine, Baggu or Cuyana. (See my earlier post for inspiration bags. )

  • A piece of thick leather about 23 inches by 28 inches and another piece about 23" by about 7". 
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Sewing machine with a needle intended for leather
  • Rotary cutter, straight edge and self-healing mat
  • A piece of thick fusible interfacing (72 or thicker) 
  • Fabric glue
  • Leather handles. (I got mine here.) 

Make a pattern piece like the one below. Inspect your leather for any flaws. (Use any flawed pieces for the inside bottom of the bag.) Fold leather in half, right sides together, and place pattern on fold line. (Credit to Between the Lines for the idea to use the fold. This keeps you from having a seam running across the bottom of your bag.)

The wrong side (the side that is not smooth and shiny) should be up. Trace around your pattern with tailor's chalk.

My chalk didn't work so I used blue painter's tape to mark my lines.

Loosely cut out your leather. Then use a rotary cutter and straight edge to cut the leather nice and clean.

Push straight down on the cutter. Roll back and forth over the same spot, kind of like a pizza cutter.

After you cut out your rectangle, mark and cut out your two notches.

Sew up the sides of the tote with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Box the corners and sew across the seam, as shown below.

You're already most of the way there.

I like a nice firm bottom to my bag. If you do to, then cut a rectangle of leather to fit in the bottom of your bag.

Stiffen it with fusible web interfacing. (I used two layers of 72 interfacing.) To fuse, turn the wrong side of the leather up and the shiny side of the fusing down. Put a pressing cloth over it. Press straight down with a really hot iron. Don't slide the iron around. Pick up the iron and put it back down to fuse the next section.

Glue your bottom with the interface down into the bottom of your bag. Put some weight on it and let it dry.

Position your handles and glue with fabric glue and allow to dry. Then hand or machine stitch to your bag.

Note: Baggu puts their handles on the outside of the bag. Celine puts theirs on the inside. I opted for the thousand dollar bag version and put mine on the inside.

My junk looks so much better now when toted in a REAL LEATHER tote. 

Easily mistaken for Celine, I think.

There you have it. Enter the giveaway below and get started on your own rustic leather tote.

a Rafflecopter giveaway