“Make the workmanship surpass the materials.”
I absolutely love using unconventional materials in my DIY’s. To me, any and everything could be used for a wearable – and I never hesitate to question “Could I use that?” if I find a texture, shape, or pattern interesting. Anywhere, even the Home Depot, Wal-Mart, or garage sales – could offer up a potential material that could be used for a DIY. Some of my favorite past DIYs include these unconventional materials, including my DIY 80′s Acrylic Earrings from a Photo Frame, DIY Lace Maxi-Skirt from a Curtain, DIY 40′s-Style Kitty Beret from a Pirate Hat, DIY Bolo Tie Style Necklace from a Shoelace, and DIY Boho Bangles from Curtain Rings. Enter the unassuming polyester shower curtain. From a pin on Pinterest I found this gorgeous gemstone pattern (above) – and followed it to UrbanOutfitters.com where I found it was actually a shower curtain by a company called Family Jewels, a Danish interior design company. (And it’s still available for purchase!)
Family Jewels Diamond Shower Curtain, $44.99 (sale)
I loved the pattern so much I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do something amazing with it – so I snapped it up and waited impatiently for it to arrive. When I opened the package I found that it was made of a stiff, somewhat waterproof polyester, which to me felt a bit like a stiff satin or taffeta…which got me thinking ballroom skirts. Billowy, poufy, elegant – and perfect for holiday parties! So I set about making my own. Here’s how I did it:
1 shower curtain / fusible lightweight interfacing / iron + ironing board / scissors / pins / marking chalk / measuring tape / matching thread / sewing machine + needle for lightweight polyester / 9″ long invisible zipper / overlocker or serger (optional)
How To: *sorry no photos of the process/materials, since I actually made the skirt at about 1 AM in my living room!
1. Basically, I followed this tutorial here for the making of the skirt, so full credit needs to go to Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing. HOWEVER, make sure that when you cut you do it on your fabric that is folded over, so you are cutting 2 of each pattern piece and the waistband is one long length since it was cut on the fold (it escaped my notice until Part 2 of the tutorial, which was entirely my fault.) For my skirt, my measurements were: 41″ long and 32.5″ high. My waistband was 32″ long and 4.75″ high. (Both including about 0.5″ of seam allowance.) I also utilized the finished edges of the shower curtain in my cut piece so that I would have less overlocking to do.
2. I then overlocked all raw edges, except those that would be hidden inside the waistband.
3. Then, I followed Part 2 of the tutorial for the construction of the skirt. It came together quite quickly and I made it in about 2 hours the night before I had to go to the airport to go to the 3-day Lucky FABB event in October!
When I attended Lucky FABB, my DIY Ballroom Skirt from a Shower Curtain caused quite a stir, with bloggers stopping me to ask me where I got it, and Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This even going so far as to compliment it when I asked a question to her during a panel. (!! what a moment!!)
This skirt also looks amazing when worn over a crinoline or a petticoat so that it has even more stiffness and stands away from the body more. If you are in the market for a new ballroom skirt like this one, definitely check out home decor stores now: with it being the holidays, shimmery, sequinned, sparkly shower curtains are readily available…and much, much cheaper than buying a skirt ready-made. How about you? Have you ever used unconventional materials for something that turned out much better than you hoped?
Clothing, How-To, My DIYs, Skirts, Skirts
Lucky FABB, My DIY Tutorials, shower curtain, upcycle
Lately it seems that beaded bangle bracelets have gone completely DIY, with companies offering a variety of different beads and charms to completely customize the look of the bangles to the wearer’s identity. Each charm can be something meaningful or commemorative for your recipient, and with a number of beautiful and semi-precious options the resultant bracelet can become a timeless family heirloom. Persona is one such company that offers the choose-your-own-charm option for bracelets, and they kindly sent me a bangle with 2 beads and a charm to review.
The bracelet arrived in a lovely jewelry box inside its own sleeve, along with a soft jewelry pouch, silver polishing cloth, small gift bag, and even some folded tissue paper in case you might want to present it to someone inside the gift bag. It’s an incredibly thoughtful array of packaging and needed items for the long-term care of the bracelet, which is much appreciated.
This particular Bangle from the collection is rhodium-plated, and has easy-open swivel ends. They also included a couple beads and a charm for decoration. From left to right: Crystal Cove bead from the Celestial Collection, Tiger Tooth from the Highland Collection, Lucite Beehive bead from the Celestial Collection.
The jewelry is a bright, non-tarnishing silver – and I love that the bangle has adjustable stopper beads to prevent all the charms from sliding around (space them close together or far apart, however you want them!). It is very lightweight, though – and barely feels like I’m wearing anything (great for bracelet stacking purposes!) The charms are incredibly detailed (the tooth charm is my fave!) and I like how they look edgy and modern (as opposed to stuffy and outdated like some other brands I’ve seen).
For someone like me, who loves black, silver, and sparkles and things with an edge, these beads and charm are perfect for my personality. But what if that’s not your style?
The great thing about the Persona collection is that you can totally customize the look of the bracelets no matter what your style. If you like pinks and baroque styling, then beads from the Versailles collection might entice you. If you prefer neutrals and black, the Highland Collection might speak to you. And if sparkles are your thing, then go for the Celestial collection! You can choose Zodiac beads, affirmation beads, crystal beads, beads with Swarovski rhinestones, Italian glass beads, and marcasite beads, a well as precious metal beads of silver and gold. They also have a number of different bracelet styles so you can customize the base of your arm adornment too. In other words, you have complete control!
Check out the graphic below for a quick how-to:
If you’re looking for that perfect gift for a special someone, you could make it truly unique to that person with your choice of beads and bracelets.
FTC Disclosure: I was gifted a bangle, 2 beads, and a charm from Persona for review purposes. The opinions above are my own. I have received no compensation for this post. For my full Disclosure Policy, click here.
Cool Brands, DIY, Gifts, Holidays, How-To
Hello all! I actually had completely different content planned today…and then I glanced at the calendar and realized that because of the day of the week Christmas fell on, I would have to get my holiday parcels out tomorrow if they were ever going to be delivered in time for Dec 25th in Japan. Curse you, late Thanksgiving!!!
So since I spent my whole day running around trying to get all these packages ready to be sent tomorrow, instead today I’m going to share with you some ideas for creative gift wrapping and presentation…after all, if you’ve DIY’d any Holiday Gifts, you want to present them beautifully, no? I’ll be adding to this Pinboard in the next week or two, so follow along to get some ideas and inspiration for creating the perfect wrapping:
DIY Gift Wrapping and Presentation on Pinterest
Also, if you’re looking for ideas to make your holiday a DIY one, from baking to decorating to gifts to unique trees to wreaths to ornaments, please check out my:
Holiday DIY Projects: Christmas/Winter Board
Hope to see you there!
DIY, Gifts, Holidays, Inspiration
Christmas, home decor, wrapping
The holiday season is upon us! (Was that FAST or what??!) I’ve been trying to stick to a budget this year, and make what I can for those near and dear to me. There’s nothing that’s more personal or heartfelt than something you’ve made yourself, and here are 17 ideas of lovely gifts to make and give to your friends and family:
DIY Dry Baking Mixes are always great, and travel well. There’s so many to pick from, too! Hot cocoa mix, cookie mix, or muffin mix are some great choices. (This is a great roundup of ideas for jarred mixes!)
Last year I made tons of my DIY Holiday Chocolate Bark, and my family begged me for more. (I wouldn’t share the white chocolate macadamia flavor leftovers, though!) Anyone who likes chocolate will love this, plus it packs and keeps really well (good for boxes being sent through the post!)
These DIY Stamped Cookies are also divine. (I’m thinking you might be able to directly color on the stamp with food-grade coloring pens rather than dealing with a stamp pad? Shall have to try.)
Home-made candles are really lovely, and you can mimic that high-end Diptyque look by using pretty jars (and maybe adding printedwater decals or stickers with fantastic images or typography?) Check out this DIY tutorial for candles in tumblers.
For the avid sewist in your life, a DIY Tomato Pincushion is a must. Or you could go old school and sew up a DIY Sewing Needle Book to hold needles.
Decorative objects can be great choice for homeowners and renters alike. Some lovely pieces include: DIY Kelly Wearstler Kaleidoscope Starburst, DIY Dinosaur Planters, DIY Starburst Mirror
DIY Office Supplies are a welcome present to anyone who has an office space, whether at home or at work. Paint rocks with magnetic paint and glue together to make this paperclip holder or make a No-Sew Pencil Roll to help tame clutter.
Body lotion, scrubs, bath bombs, soap: beauty products that can be made at home and shared are a wonderful indulgence for a favorite someone. Love this DIY Coconut Rose Lip Balm! (And yes, this works for guys too; just use more “manly” fragrances and additives into soap bars or DIY Shaving Soap!)
Since it’s the holidays, why not gift some DIY ornaments to a special someone? Some of my favorites include these Colorful Geometric Ornaments, Sprinkles Ornaments, Pinned Sequin Ornaments.
Need more ideas for gifts? Check out my list of 30 Great DIY Hostess Gifts for some more inspiration!
Happy Holidays and Happy DIY’ing!
DIY, Gifts, Holidays, Inspiration
The giveaway ends at 12 midnight EST TONIGHT, so get your entry in as soon as you can!
Announcements, Books, Deals & Giveaways
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours today – hope it is a wonderful day for all of you filled with feasting, love, and family.
Two of the largest shopping shopping days are almost upon us and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share some great deals, discounts, and coupon codes for all of you to take advantage of. Here are a few deals & steals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday that have caught my eye (plus some great pieces from my favorite e-tailers!):
From left to right: Big Star Maddie Flare Stretch Jean $152, Gimmicks by BKE Cowl Cropped Sweater $68, BKE Southwestern Print Maxi Skirt $29.95
Get an additional 10% off sale denim and denim crops, and an additional 15% off sale tops, sweaters, outerwear, shoes, belts, watches, backpacks, wallets, and bags
Buy one, get one FREE: Select sale jewelry already marked 1/3 and 1/2 off. The 2nd sale jewelry item of equal or lesser value is free.
Thanksgiving Specials at Buckle
From left to right: Blue Textured Flare Skirt $42.99, White Shirt in Lotus Print $18.89, Silver Sequin Natural Heeled Court Shoes $35.99
Use coupon code WG5OFF69 for an extra $5 off orders of $69+
Use coupon code WG10OFF109 extra $10 off orders of $109+
From left to right: The Sequins Tablet Sleeve in Gold $18, The Quilted Faux Leather Pants $80, The Ice Cream Earrings in Raspberry Sorbet $38
Use code BLKLIGHT for 40% off + **Free Shipping!
From left to right: Dress the Population Lola Iridescent Sequin Dress $199, Pearls Night Out Gold and Pearl Necklace $25, For Love or Lemons Love You Knot Black Velvet Bralette $72
Many items on sale for 90% off
**Free Ground Shipping + major markdowns on sale items Friday 11/29
From left to right: App Plus Student Backpack $24.99, Party for the Course Dress $49.99, Piece of Mind Earrings $5.99
**FREE International Shipping on all orders of $150
Black Friday – 100’s of items 50% off @ ModCloth
(Until 12/1 at 9pm PST)
You can customize your watch by choosing the style and color of face, and the color of band. Over 3000 combinations are possible, and affordable: around $40-$60 per watch! (My favorite are the glitter faces and bands;-)
Everything on the website is 30% off AND every 10th order they are giving away for FREE!
Shop Modify Watches
From left to right: Gold BellShaped Bag $30.59, Floral Print Slim White Dress $29.69, Contrast Cuffs Simple Design Blue Blazer $30.99
Get 15% off for Black Friday with code BlackFriday15%
From left to right: Alice Go Home Wool Blend Long Coat $150, 77Queen Platform Lace Up Ankle Boots $48, Ringnor Set Skull Accent Buttoned Slit Back Sweater $34.20
Use CYBERMONDAY for 15% off plus **Free Standard shipping on ALL orders with no minimum purchase requirements.
Cyber Monday Week 15% off Coupon
Also, YesStyle will be giving away one iPhone 5C . Simply Likeand Share their Cyber Monday Week contest on Facebook, and you will have a chance to be an iPhone 5C owner!
Get 40% off site-wide and 60% off clearance items sitewide!
(from 11/29 until 12/5)
The 5-piece “Essentials Box” is FREE with code IWANTITALL on any purchase over $100 (2 days only until 11/28)
Shop Emilie M. Handbags
Deals & Giveaways
Black Friday, Sale
The team at Laurence King Publishing was extremely kind to send to me a review copy of Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kiisel. It is a heavy and extremely informative tome, covering the art of draping from start to finish. With tons of illustrations and photos, taking inspiration from celebrities, popular fashions, and runway pieces, this book renders itself practically the bible to this skill. It is an excellent resource to any seamstress or sewing enthusiast, novice or experienced alike. With a hefty $75 price tag and a bonus DVD with 32 video tutorials, it adeptly straddles the line between textbook, reference guide, and inspirational volume.
Just in time for your holiday gifting, I am giving away one copy of Draping: The Complete Course to one lucky winner! It would make a wonderful gift for anyone – fashion design student, budding seamstress, sewing master – on your list. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please note: Giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S. (apologies to my International readers!). I will be shipping the book via USPS media mail between Dec. 2-4, so please allow for delivery time to your location if you intend to give this to someone as a gift for the holidays.
Good luck to everyone!
FTC Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the book Draping (ARV $75) from Laurence King Publishing for review purposes, which I am giving away in this post. I have not received any other compensation, and the opinions above are my own. To see my full Disclosure Policy, click here.
Books, Deals & Giveaways