Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My DIY Dannijo-inspired earrings

Let's kick off a new year with some glammy whammy DIY earrings inspired by Dannijo.

As readers of this blog know, I'm besotted with Dannijo's rainbow of rhinestone necklaces,which are hand-made in New York City. I also love the way they and designer Lauren Hope combine mottled stone or glass with shiny rhinestone.

Below are two inspiring sets of earrings by Dannijo. They run $350 to $400. They are so fabulous and pretty I just want to eat them.

Hurry up and make your own before this trend gets knocked off by J. Crew.

Above and below are my DIY earrings, slightly less crazy versions of the real thing.  The great thing about this DIY is you can make your earrings any shape, size or color, and you can do it for less than $10.

Get the full tutorial at Examiner.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pinned it/Wore it - How to wear a print full skirt

Let's grapple with two trends in one - print skirts and full skirts - with our latest edition of Pinned it/Wore it, my ongoing series about turning Pinterest fashion into a real outfit.

Here's my pin - a lovely full print skirt seen at Hallie Daily. Thanks to this pin, I picked up a peasant-y print skirt that I would normally pass by on my thrifting rounds, as seen below.

The thing with a full peasant-type skirt is to not pair it with a peasant blouse or a yoke of oxen. Play against type.

Hallie's tummy-baring crop top was not going to work for me. Below are a few more ways to wear a full print skirt.

With a tank and stappy sandals like Aimee Song via Elle.com. Or with a jacket and killer heels like Hallie at Hallie Daily.

Or a crisp blouse and jacket as seen at Refinery 29.

Here we have chambray shirt with a floral full skirt from Pink Peonies. Or a tank top as seen on Dianna Agron via WhoWhatWear. (This may actually be a dress, but you get the idea.)

Another chambray shirt paired with a crazy print full skirt via Purse Blog.

This skirt seemed to do best for me with a crisp blouse and relatively delicate shoes.

The killer heels and/or jacket thing was not so good. This violates the third rule of Pinterest fashion - trying too hard. You can do a full skirt or funky shoes or a moto jacket. You can't do all of them at the same time. Moto peasant has just not caught on yet where I live.

Tip for puffing out your full skirt - wear another full skirt underneath. I stole this idea from Hallie the queen of full skirts.

A tip from me: Look for puffy stuff in the fancy dress aisle of your local thrift store. There you will find taffeta and tulle in abundance. Hem the puffy skirt to be shorter than your print skirt.

So, where to find a print full skirt? It's not so easy unless you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on high-end design. Apparently this trend has yet to trickle down to regular retail level. Below are a few options in the more affordable range.

Novella Ball Skirt at Anthropologie. Asos burnout floral skirt (this is the one seen at Hallie Daily. See what a difference a puffy slip skirt makes?)

Modcloth full green skirt. Modcloth Lakeside Manor skirt.

Since this is a retro look, your best bet may be the same place I found my skirt - a thrift store.

Would you attempt this trend?

Friday, December 13, 2013

My DIY 10-minute emerald necklace

Here's another simple rhinestone project with dramatic results.

To make this necklace, you'll need chunky chain, jewelry wire and a strand of 13 x 8mm rhinestone slider beads.

I used a chain I had on hand that I picked up at a thrift store. My slider beads are from Consumer Crafts and were on sale for $1.27 at the time, so I made this necklace for less than $1.50.

After a lot of trial and error and floppy beads, I finally figured out that you have to wire the beads to each other before attaching to the chain.

Take your beads off the plastic thread and re-thread using jewelry wire. I used 13 beads but you can make yours any size you want.

Find the center point of your chain and mark it.

Line up your beads so they are centered on your chain.

 Wire wrap the center bead through the links of the chain. (You can also use large jump rings.)

Working from the center of the chain outward, skip two beads and wire the next one. Then wire the last bead on each end of the bead strand.

Trim your wire and tuck under any loose strands.

You're done. Enjoy your super cheap, easy and sparkly necklace.

For an even easier necklace, see my DIY multicolor rhinestone necklace from a few weeks ago.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thrifted and gifted - decorating with serapes

Let's take a pause from rhinestone DIYs and mad Cyber Monday shopping to praise the serape - inexpensive, colorful and the perfect covering when temps range from 50 to 35 degrees as they have done here.

I found this serape in a box in storage. I have no idea of its origin. I elevated it from beach blanket to home decor based on the inspiration to follow, which will help you keep your Mex mix cool rather than kitschy.

Pics are: FurbishPoppytalk; left chair unknown; right chair from TotemUrban Outfitters; room via Mr. Kate; and my own little room.

Found anything good in a box in the basement lately?


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Where to buy rhinestones in settings for DIY jewelry

As mentioned earlier, making DIY rhinestone jewelry can be a loser situation if you are paying 50 cents to $2 or more per stone for your DIY project.

It took me months to find rhinestones in pronged settings at a price I was willing to pay. Below is part of my current collection, which I did not pay more than 20 cents a piece for (and some much less.).

Here are my sources, plus a few more options that aren't too crazy.

First up are slider beads by Darice. I've only found two places that sell these online - Consumer Crafts and JoAnn. Consumer Crafts has free shipping today only. JoAnn has free shipping for Black Friday weekend. Unfortunately Darice seems to be discontinuing some of these beads, particularly the single color strands, which is bad timing now that rhinestones are the hottest thing since craft clay. I've gotten 14 large stones for as little as $1.60 by hitting a clearance sale. Dear Darice, please make more rhinestone slider beads, not less.

Next up is AllStarco, which offers by far the best price on clear rhinestones. They also have a limited selection of colored rhinestones in settings, particularly navettes. You have to set the rhinestones yourself for everything except the montees, but it's not hard. You can get 24 navettes for $4.23, which works out to less than 20 cents a gem.  Use code CYBERGOBBLE for 20 percent off until December 2.

Some other options are Wander & Hunt, which offers a nice selection of rhinestones in soft colors for about 40 cents a stone and free shipping. Stephanie at Henry Happened I believe was the first to discover stick-on pronged gems used for scrapbooking, which are good for small projects where you don't need a lot of stones in one shape. They run $3-4 a sheet for about 25 gems of various shapes.

Any sources I missed?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Where to find affordable statement jewelry

Before I plunge into some more rhinestone DIYs, here's a pause to contemplate the possible death of DIY - the abundance of incredibly affordable bling on the Internet. (Above is an example from Bauble Bar via Sequins and Stripes.)

Why spend $30 on a DIY when you can buy a necklace for $15 and free shipping?

The solution is that you have to be able to make a necklace for less than $15. More on that later. In the meantime, let me introduce you to my new favorite blingtopia - Shop Lately.

Shop Lately has literally hundreds of jewelry pieces, most under $30 and many under $20 (mixed in with a few high-end pieces). Most of the jewelry is big and bold and on trend. Below are a few comparisons with your ever popular jewelry retailers like Anthropologie and J. Crew.

Anthropologie's Onica Crystal bracelet. Shop Lately's Manifest a Miracle bracelet for $88 less.

J. Crew Crystal Color Statement necklace. Shop Lately's Azure Breeze statement necklace for $96 less.

J. Crew's Geometric Floral necklace. Shop Lately's Translucent Jasmine necklace for $116 less.

Shopbop's Petite Foret necklace. Shop Lately's Luxe Gem necklace in green for $55.50 less.

J. Crew Beaded Rose necklace. Shop Lately's White Rosette necklace for $103 less.

Here's another treat. In an example of brilliantly simple marketing, Shop Lately gives you store credit for sharing on Facebook or inviting your friends to shop. (Your friends get a credit, too.) And Shop Lately has a blogger program where you receive credit for sharing your purchases on your blog. So, thanks to sharing a bargain that I would have shared anyway, I now get to buy a necklace. Or a bracelet. Like this one.

So, DIYers, does it bug you to spend more to make than it does to buy?

Friday, November 22, 2013

My DIY multicolor rhinestone necklace

Here's a warm-up project after all that rhinestone inspiration. This multicolored jewel necklace was inspired by one I saw on Shopbop that looked doable. The inspiration was $165. Mine cost way less than $10.

At first I wasn't keen on so many colors in one necklace, but it grew on me. It seems to work with autumn somehow. Also, you don't have to duplicate the original design. Use whatever colors, shapes and sizes of rhinestones you have on hand.

Get the full tutorial at examiner.com.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

20 DIY rhinestone inspirations

Fight off winter darkness with sparkly rhinestone jewelry. Here are 20 designs from high to low to inspire your DIY enthusiasm. Above is the work of designer Loren Hope.

Also at the top of the list for beauty and price are Shourouk and Dannijo.

Anthropologie's Cimarron Glitz bracelet by Dannijo. ASOS Jewel Cross headband.

Baublebar Mystic Topaz Gem Cuff. Left necklace, unknown.

Dolce & Gabbana.

Nasty Gal's Crystal Braid necklace. J.Crew's Pear necklace.

Fallon Crystal Choker necklace. Noir Jewelry Gem necklace.

Adia Kibur Teardrop Necklace. Tasha Statement Necklace.

Juicy Couture Teardrop Chain Link necklace. Tory Burch's Manon Embellished Crest Cuff.

Venessa Arizaga Amazing Grace necklace. Kate Spade Steal the Spotlight Statement Necklace.

J. Crew Jeweled Chandelier Sweatshirt. Tory Burch Vesper Top.

Are you feeling a DIY rhinestone project coming on?