My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

DIY-ing (picture heavy)

I've been DIYing quite a bit lately, crafting my little heart out. Especially since crafting exploded and it's all organized again. Then, in Coronado last weekend I found a whole box of supplies! Amazing! Why didn't I take these with me? There was a whole little compartment box of beads! I've had some successes: the fishtail friendship bracelet, the proenza schouler-inspired knockoff and some gifts that I can't post quite yet. I thought I'd share some photos of my recent craftiness, along with tutorials if I had them and some tips I discovered while making them.

Embroidered watermelon coasters (also in pink)
Tutorial adapted from a Joann's flyer

I found these coasters on one of those "Crafting with Joann's" flyers and decided to try it out. I had some pink, white and black yarn at home, and picked up some green and red on sale. Make sure you use the plastic embroidery circles that have 4 holes in the center, otherwise the yarn/needle doesn't go through. Then, glue some felt onto the back, and presto, you've got watermelon coasters. Lazy daisy stitch for the seeds. I imagine you could do this with almost any fruit, even cutting the circle into different shapes


Knitted headphones to keep them from tangling. And they're fun!
Tutorial here. This is a good yarn stashbuster

I found these knitted headphones on Pinterest a while ago (see the tutorial for hers) and decided to give it a try. I had this yarn leftover from an impulse buy. I loved the colours, but never found anything to use it for. Since the stitch is basically an icord made around the headphones, I needed some practice and used the yarn and an old set to practice. Since then, I bought some sock-weight yarn on Knitpicks, but I think it's too rainbow-y for me. Besides, looking at my two test-runs next to each other, I actually prefer the thicker weight yarn (and the colours). I'm horrible at icords, but I think the heavier weight hides mistakes a bit better. You do need double pointed needles for this project in an appropriate size (I think I used a bit smaller than the yarn recommended)

Fishtail friendship bracelet: I used this tutorial
I've always loved how fishtail braids looked, but never learned how to do them. Those of us with fine hair don't usually bother learning all those neat little hair tricks and updos other girls learn; we rarely have the bulk for them. I wish I did, but they just don't look the same on me. Anyways, I saw a fishtail braid on Pinterest and got to thinking, "I wonder if you could make a friendship bracelet with a fishtail pattern?" Since I wasn't sure if it was like french braiding, I didn't know if it was possible. Google to the rescue! I found this lovely tutorial and used that. It's pretty simple, and she even adds a trick for keeping the loop at the top from tangling, which can be used in other projects too. Since then, they've posted a quicker version, using only 6 strands, but I really like the look of the other better. Just remember what order your colours are in, since mine got tangled up pretty quickly. I'm loving the peaches and dusty pinks and purples I used in this; I've really been into peaches, oranges, and dusty pinks lately as well as creams and ivories. I might just have to make another...

As a lot of you know, my mom and dad are taking James and I on a pilgrimage to Israel with their cathedral in just a few days (we leave this Friday! EEE!). I got to thinking about money and such. I hate those money belts that you wear under your clothes, but there are certain places that aren't the safest for a traveller's wallet. I decided it would be pretty cool to make a little secret safe out of a chapstick tube and went through quite a few trying to figure out how to make it work. What I was planning on doing, after some google searching, was to pop off the bottom, take out the tube, pop the bottom back on, and glue in the actual balm part, with only about 1/2" left, so it still looked like a usable chapstick should someone open it up. Well, that didn't work...the bottom kept falling off and wouldn't stay on. So instead, I just left out the balm and glued the bottom on, trusting that no one would actually try to open it. It's pretty easy to make: just get some pliers under the the bottom and pry off, then cut the stick that's attached to the balm. Push it up through the tube, and clean out the tube by running a paper towel through it (not kleenex!). Glue the bottom back on and voila!

Chanel-inspired bobby pins: tutorial here
Honestly WTF is my favourite DIY site ever. Not only do they have picture tutorials (so important for a person who learns by doing), but they also include links showing you where to buy the materials they used. They're generally knockoffs of designer stuff since they're a fashion blog too, and a lot cheaper than the actual thing. I saw these and knew I had to make some! I had all the supplies I needed since I have a bit of an obsession with pearls; they are my birthstone after all. I also love hair decorations: clips, pins, combs, etc. But I hardly ever use them. So I've made these and I'm waiting for the perfect occasion to wear them now! This one's a bit tricky when you start wrapping, but they end up looking really nice. The only thing I needed to buy was some wire. I think I used 20 gauge wire, and my pearls are a bit smaller than the ones they used, but I'm saving my chunky pearls for a different project.

Tutorial here
This is one I would never actually wear, but I felt like trying. I have so much embroidery thread that it fills a giant freezer ziploc bag, and I can't even zip it anymore. Actually, I should probably go through it and divide it so I can actually close it. Anyways, I got some wire and I'm not a huge fan of hot pink, so I used a gray-purple that I like. In retrospect, I don't think I like the colour; it's too gray for my taste, but it does kinda make it look like metal, I guess. Anyways, here's my take on a knock off of an Anthropologie necklace ($48 there!) Since I had the thread, I ended up spending about 3 dollars for the 16 gauge wire I used, which could make 6 or more.

Tutorial here
Remember those wish bracelets people used to make with hemp? I had such a cute choker a friend made, with seed beads in all the colours of the rainbow and held together with a safety pin. I have no idea what happened to it. I found a tutorial for one and decided to try it. I never had figured out how to braid the beads in, and I had some silver beads left over from a different Honestly WTF project I wanted to try. I used  crimps and a clasp on the end, and as you can see, my sides aren't quite even since you have to guess where the middle would be. I also like using cord (cotton or leather) much better than hemp, and prefer the braiding to the macrame (I have nothing against macrame, just against hemp).

Tutorial here
I found Chic Steals through a DIY fashion blog week at another site I check out. She had made these adorable Dolce and Gabbana inspired sunglasses, which I plan to make. But I also found this cardigan clip she made. I loved the idea, especially since with a burgeoning belly it's not advisable to wear button up cardigans anymore. Since I can move the clip, I can move it up the cardigan as needed, but it'll also keep it closed when I want it closed. My mom gave me a ton of lace hem tape in all colours, so I picked up some stiff felt and some cute pearl buttons and clip on earring backs. I couldn't find shoe clips anywhere. I did my lace a bit different, but I like how it turned out. I'll have to make another soon!

Kate Spade for $1.40! Tutorial here
I scour craft sites that pull from all over the web and saw these Kate Spade knock off earrings. I loved the idea of the wood and paint juxtaposed together. Again, hers aren't the colour pink I like, but I have a large collection of nailpolishes. After a quick trip to Michael's revealed that they did not have wood furniture buttons, I found them at Joann's (I wish we had a Hobby Lobby here!). I messed up the first batch: do NOT use tape when painting, even with nailpolish, invest in painter's tape. I was pretty happy with how they turned out, but when you put them on, the little back of the button makes them stick out. The real ones lie flat. I tried to figure out a way to saw off the back, but other than using a sanding block, I couldn't figure it out, so I have some work to do to figure it out, but I will get it...eventually. I do however, love how they turned out, especially the second from the right in front. Oooo sparkly!

Ah, my beloved prescription sunglasses. I bought these almost four years ago (no significant vision changes) and wear them ALL THE TIME since contacts really bug my eyes. I did not choose them for the rhinestones, but the shape of the glasses...unfortunately they were ridiculously expensive. I had a lovely sales associate at Lens Crafters who offered me his last family and friends 50% discount, which made them slightly more affordable, but they remain my most expensive wardrobe anything. (my wedding dress cost more, but that's about it). After 3-4 years of rough wearing, including puppy bites (oh yes, you can see her tooth marks), a lot of the rhinestones have fallen out. It wasn't pretty. But Michael's has Swarovski crystals that are pretty much a perfect match! The largest and smallest in their variety pack matched the small and medium holes on my glasses. I can't find the teensy tiny rhinestones, but they're much less noticeable than the others. You can barely tell where I glued them in! Almost like new!

Adapted from this tutorial
This Honestly WTF has been on my list forever, but between the wood mouldings and the spray paint I'd need to buy, it's been on the back burner. Plus, I just don't wear jewelry that big; I prefer understated pieces. But I loved the scroll-y, swirly look. I was at Michael's, wandering through the scrapbook section, looking to decorate my phone case and saw these 3D stickers that were perfect! They were also half priced! Perfect! I bought them, scraped off the sticky part and spent some quality time with Dad's dremmel tool (which is on a long-term loan to me) and ended up with this necklace. Much smaller, colour-blocked (kinda), but with the same feel as the other (no danglies, I know). Plus, I had enough stickers left over to make matching earrings. I still have some left over, so I'll have to find something to do with them. I personally LOVE how it turned out, and will definitely wear it more than I would the original.

Tutorial here and here
The neon trend. It's like the worst of the 80's have come back to haunt us. I never liked day-glo, even though I love pretty much everything else from the 80's. Anyways, I've been wanting to make another woven chain bracelet for a while (I still can't believe they retail at ~$380!). And I wanted to try it with a thicker set of thread. I still love the one I made for me, with the peachy-pinks. This time, I used 24 strands total, and still wrapped twice in each link. I like how it turned out; the bracelet has more structure this way and the colour combination isn't that bad. This is probably the closest I'll get. Honestly WTF is where I first saw the idea, but for some reason, I could NOT get it from their tutorial, so I used the one at Studs and Pearls instead, though I do use bobby pins to help thread through the links. Because of how thick my strands were, I had to work with them a bit more to get them tight and looking nice, but I think it was worth it in the end. We'll see if I ever wear this bracelet, but I have a shirt I think it would be perfect with...

Well that's my crafting for now. I have a lot more in store, including a yarn-wrapped bowl, a Shamballa-inspired bracelet, a collage bracelet I've been working on for over a year, this amazing pearl haircomb and of course, the sunglasses I mentioned. That's just a few of the bookmarks I'm working through. I love having something to work on at night like this. Now, my closet is in shambles since I had to pack up most of my clothes that I can't wear anymore, and I haven't actually put up the ones I can wear. Then I have to shower, take some baby bump pictures and get to cleaning up the house for our house and dog sitter. Plus begin packing up some stuff! Busy, busy weekend. Hope you all have a relaxing Saturday!

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