Chic Steals x Wander and Hunt DIY Kits Available Now!

CHICSTEALFORWANDERANDHUNT1I’ve just completed a super-fun collab with DIY kit shop Wander & Hunt – and designed 2 special DIY projects just for them.

CHICSTEALSFORWANDERANDHUNT3  diy-kit-wander-and-hunt-1-(3) The first, the DIY Radiant Rhinestone Belt, was actually inspired by a rhinestone belt I spied on Anthropologie.com this past Winter, and figured it would be a snap to re-create. For $29 you get the ribbon base, felt for attaching the rhinestones, glue, a skewer, and an absolutely HUGE amount of rhinestones to deck out your waist embellishment. Gorgeous over a plain shirtdress or even a light coat, this will be an accessory you reach for again and again to dress up your outfits.

Check out the DIY Radiant Rhinestone Kit Here

diy-kit-wander-and-hunt-1-(4)For the second project, the DIY Gem Pendant Necklace kit, I drew inspiration from a Dannijo bejeweled pendant I saw on Pinterest. Again, for just $29 you receive a bevy of gems, glue, a skewer, PVC plastic, endcaps, jump rings, and a rope for the necklace. The design is super-chic – and creates a fabulous statement!

Check out the DIY Gem Pendant Necklace Kit Here

You can also check out all the other DIY kits available at Wander & Hunt here (everything under $70!), as well as all the other supplies and materials that they offer. They have a ton of tutorials on the site as well, so you can get your DIY on without even buying a kit. Standard shipping is also free worldwide!diyanthrojeweledbelt_done2wander-and-hunt-projects-50

Thanks so much to the team at Wander & Hunt for making this happen! I had a blast designing these projects. 🙂

What do you guys think of these kits? Have you ever bought a DIY project kit – and was it worth it? Let me know in the comments!

xo

Carly

Project Runway Alum Laura Bennett Blogs DIY for Project Accessory

I’m currently swamped with projects and midterms for my classes, so today I’ll leave you guys with this quickie blog post.

Are you watching Lifetime TV‘s new series, Project Accessory?  I’m on the fence about it (although I do love accessory design!) simply because I’ve heard mixed reviews about it, and have given up on y formerly favorite show, Project Runway, after the move to this network and the meddling of Bunim/Murray with everything that made the show great.  Word has it this permutation of the soon-to-be franchise is still trying to find its footing inamongst the inevitable comparisons and the producers’ fondness for manufactured drama. But here’s something neat and DIY-related!  Project Runway alum Laura Bennett (Season 5) is coming out with a book called Handmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun (Jan. 2012), and is blogging for Project Accessory.  Every week she’ll feature a DIY of the winning project, which is really cool!  (Much better than the buy-the-winning-look possibilities that have cropped up from time to time throughout Project Runway’s run…since this democratizes fashion for everyone!).

Check out the first project and follow along with her blogging here:

Laura Bennett’s Blogs for Project Accessory

Has anyone been watching Project Accessory?  What do you guys think so far…must-see TV, or only good enough to read the recaps?

xoxox

Carly

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DIY Leather Obi Belt Idea from Lucky Magazine

Spent a lazy Sunday pulling apart the magazines that have piled up over the past couple months…and came across this Lucky Magazine feature in one of their issues from a little while ago (not sure which one).  Sure, P.S. I Made This did a DIY of the obi-style belt back in February, but this is a little bit of a different style – plus includes some sources for buying the leather.  Here are the sources mentioned in the blurb above:

MJTrim.com

SDTradingCo.com

LeatherUnltd.com

All great sources for leather, but I would also add:

TandyLeatherFactory.com

(with stores throughout the U.S., this is THE place to get leatherworking supplies, tools, hardware, and skins)

SBearsTradingPost.com

(variety of exotic leathers and hides)

JustLeather.com

(includes frogskin and metallic hides)

HideHouse.com

(extremely high-quality, full-sized hides for a variety of end uses)

And, my absolute, all-time favorite:

Sommers.com

(beautiful, amazing array of FAUX leathers and manmade vinyls!!  Yay!)

My Tips: When using lambskin or lightweight leather in a loose, tied belt like in the picture – all you need to do is cut and tie.  (Yay for simplicity!  But don’t ever ever EVER use your the same scissors/rotary cutter you use on fabric on leather…that’s a sure way to blunt your instruments.:-(  Have dedicated leather-cutters if you can!  [I use my kitchen shears that I use to cut other stuff in the kitchen with b/c they’re tough and can really withstand the abuse…but I’ll never cut fabric with them! LOL])

If you want a more structured belt, say like Gucci’s S/S 2011 RTW metallic python version with tassels – finishing the edges properly will make all the difference between looking “home-made” and “couture.”  If you’re using real leather, don’t forget to burnish the cut edges!!!  (What is burnishing? you may ask.  A how-to coming in a future post, chickadees!)

 

xoxox
Carly

Gucci runway photo Style.com, Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

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DIY Lacy Convertible Belt: Create Couture Challenge

Project #9 in my submissions for Style Sample Magazine and New York Design Shop’s Create Couture Challenge back in early August.

You Need:

*Victoria Lace
*Cream Ruffle Stretch Trim
*Brown Sweater Style Stretch Trim
*Baby Single Face Satin Ribbon in Brown
*Large Iron-On Butterfly
*White Rose Pin (pin back only)

Additional Tools/Materials:

*scissors
*fabric glue
*hand-sewing needle
*matching thread
*black felt
*lighter
*iron
*sewing machine (optional)

[prep: iron ribbons and trim if kinked or curled]
How-to:

1. Cut Victoria Lace in half.

2. Place each side onto the edges of a piece of the Sweater Style Stretch Trim.  You can either glue them down with fabric glue, or sew them down.

4. Trim the end off the Sweater Style Stretch Trim.

5. Sew or glue down the Cream Ruffle Stretch Trim in the center, covering up the Sweater Style Stretch Trim.  I cut the Ruffle Trim a little shorter so it wouldn’t go completely all the way around my waist.

6. Cut the Satin Ribbon in half, on an angle.  Seal the ends with an open flame.

7. Hand-stitch the un-angled ends of the Satin Ribbon to the underside of each end of the Ruffle trim.

8. Iron the Butterfly on to the felt.

9. Trim the felt around the butterfly carefully.

10. Remove pin back from White Rose.

11. Hot-glue pin back to the wrong side of the butterfly, and pin to the belt.

A pretty and vintage-fabulous result for a pretty simple process!

You can wear this piece as a belt or as a headband – and the butterfly as a separate pin.

Choices, choices…

Happy DIY’ing!
xoxox
Carly

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How To Make a Knotted Cord Belt

Summer is almost upon is, and style inspired by the African continent is in!  Bold prints, bright colors, beads, and lacing: we’re seeing it on the runways and on fashionable girls on the street.  Create this knotted belt out of satin cord and add jewelry findings for a fashion-forward Moroccan infusion of style!  (The lacing may look tricky, but once you get the hang of that, it’s a piece of cake!)
You Need:

*5 yd of satin cord (about 2.5 – 3 mm thick) *small amount of scrap fabric
*14 large crimp coil necklace ends (silver-tone)
*4 large silver-tone necklace end connectors
*1.5″ wide black elastic, cut to your waist circumference (we’ll be cutting it shorter below)
*2 snap fasteners

and…
*tape
*scissors
*wire-cutting pliers
*sewing machine
*regular to heavy-duty needle
*thread matching belt color
*snap-setting pliers or die & hammer
*iron & ironing board

How To:
Prep Your Parts

 1. Cut satin cord into the following pieces:
      *FOUR pieces 14″ long (to make outer loop)
      *FOUR pieces 18″ long (to make center knot)

 2. Use pliers to press down the end coils of the crimp ends.  Cut off the hangloops of the end connectors.

3. Cut 4 pieces from your fabric, measuring 4.25″ wide by 3″ high.  Start Weaving: Outer Loop First

4. Thread 2 crimp ends onto a 14″ piece of cord.  Loop it over and tape down the ends.

5. Tape down another 14″ piece of cord.  Thread it through the crimp coil from the previous piece of cord…and add a crimp coil onto the cord.

6. Add another crimp coil, and loop it around.

7. Thread it back through the remaining crimp coil on the first cord.  Tape down the end.

8. Secure the loop you just made with a piece of tape.
Keep Going: Inner Loop-and-Knot

 9. Put a crimp coil on one of the 18″ cord pieces and tape down the end, placing it in the center and directly below the cord from the previous step.

10. Thread it through the crimp coil on the adjacent cord and loop it around to the right, then back under the first two cords, headcing downwards.

 11. Thread it over itself, then downwards under the first two cords again.

 12. Loop it to the right, back over the first two cords, and then to the left under itself again.

13. Thread it back through the crimp coil on the adjacent cord.

14. Add another crimp coil, and tack down the end with tape.

15. Time for the final cord! Tape down the end of another 18″ piece of cord, and thread it to the right and through thr crimp coil on the adjacent cord.

 16. Add a crimp coil, and weave the cord around the center loop in the same manner as the previous piece.  (It will be to the outside of the previous cord.  Go under the previous piece, to the right, over the taped-down outer loop, up and around, under the outer loop cords, over the center loop cords and down…)

17. Keep following the center loop of the previous cord.  (Around and to the right, over the taped-down center loop, back to the left, under itself…) And finally, thread it back into the crimp coil you added to it in Step 15).

 18. Then tape its end down.

19. Shift the ends of all your cords together, re-tape, and push the crimp coils further to the right, closer to your center loop-and-knot. 

 20. Use pliers to add an end connector to the center cords just to the left of the taped-down loop. Smooth out your cords – and congratulate yourself on a job well done!
Other Side & Finish Lacing

21. Make one more group of looped cords in exactly the same manner. (See Steps 4) – 20)]

22. Place the two groups of cord side-by-side, matching up the centers.  Add 2 more end connectors to the center loops to connect one side to the other. Now you’re finished with all that lacing – which probably feels fabulous!
Make the Belt

  23. Tape both ends of the cord group on top of the ends of your piece of elastic.  Make sure your cords are centered and each side overlaps the elastic the same amount.

 24. Fold the elastic under itself, about 3/8″, and stitch the cords down on top.  (I went over the same area twice with a straight stitch, then zigzagged down it for strength.)  Stitch down both sides to the elastic.

 25. Trim off the cord ends on the other side of your stitching.

 26. Cut your elastic piece in half.

 27. Place 2 fabric pieces right sides together, on top of where you’ve stitched the cords to the elastic.  Trace the width of the elastic, and mark the width of the cords.  Then draw a “D” shape between the elastic piece, about 2″ long.

28. Do the same for the other 2 pieces of fabric.

 29. Sew around the “D” on each pair of fabric pieces, just outside you markings.  Leave a small area unsewn on the flat side in order to turn them right-side-out.

 30. Trim fabric around the sewing at about 1/4″.

Notch, then turn the pieces right side out.  Tuck the unsewn areas’ raw edges to the inside.  Press both pieces with an iron to flatten.

31. Place one D piece over where the cords are sewn to the elastic, in order to cover them.  (Rounded edge of D needs to cover the cords but hang off the edge of the elastic.) Topstitch around edge of D, about 1/8″ from edge, to secure it to the elastic and the cords.

32. Try on belt, and center the knotted cord at your center front.  Mark where the elastic meets at your center back.  Cut elastic at that measurement.

33. Fold each end of elastic under about 3/4″.  Sew down about 1/2″ from edge.

34. Set two sets of snaps in the elastic ends according to the instructions on your snap-setting pliers or die set.

 Ta da!  This tutorial looks complex, but doing it is incredibly rewarding – and the whole process is a lot faster than it looks!  Tip: If you want to make more of a statement piece, use thicker cord or rope, and thread it through large-hole beads instead of jewelry findings.  You could even wrap strips of embossing metal around the cords instead of threading them through beads at all!

Have fun and go tribal:-)

 It also doubles as a cute necklace at this size!

And check out my blog Chic Steals for more DIY tutorials and belt-making projects! Thanks for reading – and if you have any questions, ask them in the Comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you out:-)
xoxox
Carly J. Cais

as posted on Threadbanger.com