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Posts Tagged ‘thrifty’

Hey guys!

I’ve been DROOLING over the amazing wrap dresses that have been floating around in catalogs, high end stores, and the internet.  These thing are FANTASTIC and gorgeous and amazing because of all the different ways you can wear them.  Seriously, if you have one of these dresses, you might never have to buy another dress again.  You wouldn’t HAVE TO, but of course I will.  Because I loves to SHOP!  But anyway, these incredibly versatile dresses run anywhere from $70-$200 and might just be worth it because of how much wear you will get out of them.  BUT, lucky for you you can save yourself some major benjamins and MAKE one!  Yep.  YOU CAN DO THIS.  AND it’ll be awesome.

I found myself in JoAnns the other day loving all over some green stretchy knit fabric that was on sale for 30% off.  I LOVE all shades of green and blue and teal and so I bought 6 yards, without really knowing exactly what I’d do with it.  I’m SO glad I did because I came home, did some googling, and found out that people are actually DIY-ing the wrap dresses I’ve been drooling over.  So, I made myself TWO infinity wrap dresses (or convertible wrap dress, transformer dress, etc.) out of my 6 yards and I LOVE them with a capital *SMOOCH*!!  I made one short one (circle skirt style) that is fun and flirty and drapey and divine, and a long one (maxi skirt style) which I also dyed darker (using RIT dye in Navy Blue) and is regal, and elegant, and beachy.

I used a combo of several tutorials I found online to make the dresses and a little of my own brain power thrown in.  I didn’t find a really GREAT wrap dress tutorial though and so I thought I’d better document my process for any of you who’d like to DIY one or two for yourself.  You’re going to have to excuse my messy handwriting and sketches, I wrote things down by hand as I went along instead of typing it up.  But, I hope this is thorough enough for you and helps you get the job done a little easier than it was for me.  Let me know of any tips or suggestions that you might have if you decide to make your own.

Here is the blueprint.  Feel free to print these off and use them but only for personal use please!!!

Here is a look at the finished dress with the tube top…

And heres the back…

 Thats basically how I made mine (with a few adjustments that I learned along the way and threw in to make it easier for you guys).  Would you like to see how to wear it?!  I had a little fashion show this afternoon and tried out some ways, but you can also find tons of youtube videos on how to tie a convertible wrap dress if you would like to learn more.

This is just a basic way to wear the dress…but so lovely…

Halter style wrap…

And the back…

Strapless style…and totally cute with the teal if you ask me.

Accessorize your dress with a cute blazer…

Or hike it up so the waistline is over your chest for a babydoll style dress…

Wear it with leggings and make the straps into a lovely cowlneck scarf for a cozy look…

Now my maxi dress…awwww.  I LOVE it…

I feel like a Greek goddess wrapped up in my maxi dress…

This will make the chicest swim cover-up ever.  Go for a swim, and then go to a red carpet event… 🙂

 There you go my friends!  If I can do it, you can do it.  Seriously, I made both dresses this Sunday afternoon.

TIPS:

  •  Use a knit stitch or zigzag stitch for stretchy fabric.
  • Realize that this fabric is STRETCHY so make your skirt and waistband somewhat smaller than you think you’ll need to.  Especially the waistband.  The weight of the skirt will want to pull it off your waist if it is not tight enough.
  • You can DYE these knits.  SO if you find a some on sale, grab it and alter the color if you’d like with RIT dye.  (My maxi dress is the same material I made the short dress with just dyed in navy blue dye for an hour)

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For Christmas I made a necklace for my big sis inspired by a sweet little something I saw on ModCloth.  It was a super easy project and I was really happy with the way it turned out so I decided to make myself one as well.  🙂  Merry Christmas me.

Here is the ModCloth necklace for $20:

My DIY’d knockoff turned out just as well I think.  The great thing about this project is that you don’t need jewelry making tools (or skills really).  All you need to do is basically sew a chiffon ruffle onto the back of some glitzy costume jewelry.  And voila!  But just in case you’re still feeling anxious about it, I’ll walk you through the process with a little tutorial.

Cost:  $5-$6 (depending)

Supplies:

  • A glitzy rhinestone necklace.  I found mine for $5 at Walmart on clearance.
  • A scant amount of chiffon in the color of your choice.  You can buy chiffon by the yard or ask around for scraps as this doesn’t take much.
  • Thread in a matching color.
  • A needle.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • Straight pins.

1.  First thing to do is lay out your chiffon.  You’re going to want about 2 or so strips stacked on top of each other.   The easiest way to do this is to fold your chiffon a few times and cut into 3″ or so wide strips.  Then, just unfold them and lay them out.  *TIP*  Make your strips about twice as long as the “fancy” part of your necklace.

2.  Now, stack the strips on top of each other and fold them in half long ways (hot dog way).  It is best at this point to pin them together so that they will stay put while you sew.  Now, sewing by hand, sew a straight, wide, stitch trough the top of your folded stack (about 1/4″ inch below the fold).  Start pulling the chiffon down the thread to gather and make a chiffon ruffle.

3.  Once you have made your ruffle.  This is about what you should have.

4.  The only thing left to do is to sew your necklace to the front of your chiffon.  *TIP* Don’t worry about the strips being cut perfectly straight.  As you can see from the image above, the varying lengths give it a loverly layered look like in the ModCloth version.

5.  Find the end of your “fancy” part on your necklace.  Hold it in place on top of your chiffon (about 1/4″ from the fold) and sew from back to front, securing the necklace in place on top of your ruffle.

6.  Keep sewing on your necklace until you get to the other end of your “fancy” part.  (And yes, that is the technical jewelers term).  If you have leftover ruffle at the end, just snip it off.

7.  If you’d like you can apply fray check to the edges of the chiffon but I prefer to leave them raw and let them fray a little for that shabby chic effect.

There you go!  A great little ModCloth knockoff for half the price!

And of course I said I made one for myself as well…

Not too shabby.  Now I just need a cute little something to wear it with…

🙂

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Are you guys ready for some lovin’?  😉  If not, check out some of these last minute Valentine’s Day cards, signs, printables, and crafts.  So FUN aren’t they?!

V’day card from EnormousChampion.

These adorable Love Bug Valentine’s would be great for the little ones.  Find the bugs at the Dollar Store and get the jar printable at Dandee.

Martha Stewart knows how to really rock the card making!  I love these and they’d be especially easy with a dye cut machine.

This is a fabulous idea for a man bouquet!  Heather over at How Does She? made an ingenious bouquet out of mens socks for her guy this V’day.  So great.  You could probably also do the same kind of thing with underwear or t-shirts or ties.

Bakerella made these darling and simple cupcakes for V’day.  So sweet and easy even I might be able to pull off whipping these up!

Want a funny card/geeky/sci-fi card?  Check this out from the Wallaroo on etsy.  LOVE it.

Or this adorable card from Rifle Paper Co.

Make yourself a freezer paper stencil (like My Girl Thursday) and hand paint this shirt for your wife (or hubby).  🙂

Make a sweet clay heart pendant with Mitsy of ArtMind.

Speaking of clay, you could always go back to my clay rose tutorial and make some adorable vintage inspired rose rinds, earrings, or even refrigerator magnets for the special ladies in your life.

I saw this on Pinterest (follow me on pinterest if you’d like) and thought it would be another great freezer paper (or applique) project!  Spice it up a little bit tomorrow night!  😉  Or, if you’re NOT in the mood, create the other side to say “In Your Dreams”.

And of course, if you have a chance, doll yourself up and take some pin ups!  Your sweety will LOVE them! 🙂

I hope you all have a FANTABULOUS VALENTINE’S DAY!!!  See you back here in a few!

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I’ve recently become obsessed with COLORED JEANS.  They just look SO fun and fresh compared to the regular old blue jeans I have in my closet.  On a little outing the other day with my boys I happened upon the most beautiful pair of teal jeans at TJMax.  They were $35 and I almost passed up even trying them on (because my pants limit is typically about $18-$20) but I figured there’d be no harm in just stepping into them and zipping them up.  Right?  WRONG.  I put them on and haven’t wanted to take them off since.  I LOVE THEM.  They fit so well, not the skin tight, low rise fit that most colored jeans are.  I’m about two pregnancies past the point of wearing anything like THAT.  I bought them.  And I love them so much I don’t even feel guilty about it.  Some of you may be wondering, “Great, but what in the heck do you wear with TEAL pants?”  Well, lots of things come to find out.  Here are a few of my favorites I rounded up from my closet.  I hope you like them and it gives you the confidence to go out and get your own pair of bright colored jeans!

This first outfit is a simple and sweet look with my thrifted bow shirt and a simple forest green cardigan.

Haha!! Look at me trying to be a tough guy in my little black military style shirt jacket.  I’m a dork.

I LOVE this tomato red thrifted blazer with the teal pants!  SO bright and fun but still sophisticated.

You see folks.  Don’t let those bright pants scare you off.  You CAN PULL IT OFF and they will rock the socks off any outfit!  🙂

P.S.  I have more creative tutorials coming soon!  So check me out again and tell your friends! 🙂  Thanks everyone!  HAPPY WEEKEND.

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Howdy there!!  Welcome to 2012 (a month late)!!

After a long time away from my dear blog I’m back and ready to bring this thing back to life.  I’ve had a difficult time balancing the normal stresses and time constraints of motherhood, family duties, volunteer work, work work, and my extra activities but I’m determined to find some more time to post here because it makes me happy and keeps me sane.  So thats that.

For my sister’s 30th b’day I wanted to do something a little extra special.  I racked my brain for a while and visited Etsy and Pinterest in hopes of finding inspiration.  I make my sister stuff all the time, and didn’t want to bombard her with yet again another handmade doo-dad, but her hubby said that my handmade stuff is what she likes most.  She already has paintings of mine hanging in her house, she has plenty of jewelry from me, what else could I do.  Think.  Think. Think.  Browse.  Browse. Browse.  Ding!  Lightbulb moment.  I came across this amazing website called Simon’s Stamps.  My sister likes making handmade cards and such (she is super crafty and makes all kinds of adorable things) so it hit me that I could design her some custom stamps and get her some funky colored ink pads.  YES.  DONE.  Thank you Simon, I think I will.

But what kind of stamps?  Hmmmm…. After much scribbling and doodling and debating, I finally remembered that a friend of mine had once had a stamp of her face that she used on some of her price tags on her craft fair merchandise.  I remember thinking how much I coveted her cute stamp and how I needed to remember that for later.  Well hello later!  So I decided to make Christen (my sis) a stamp of her gorgeous face so that she could use it for her handmade stuff that she often makes for craft fairs and gifts for friends and family.  But then I thought she could probably use a stamp of her and her hubby to use on invitations and cards as well.  Needless to say, in the end I ended up designing and ordering 4 stamps:  One of her face, one of her and her hubby, one of their son (to add to her and her hubby’s if she ever feels the need), and one of their name.  Once I started designing them, I couldn’t stop!  I even ended up designing one for me and Daniel!  I also ordered her a few fun colored stamp pads to go with it.  Anyway, Simon’s Stamps is really reasonably priced, easy to use, and had quick delivery.  I’ll definitely be using them again.  Maybe I’ll make a custom pet stamp of her dog Charlie to add to the collection.  🙂

Well, would you like to know how I made my designs?  You’ll be surprised by how easy it was and once you know the tricks, you’ll be addicted and will want to make one for every face you know!

Okay then, here we go:

Cost:  $9 + depending on what size stamp you order (mine were mostly 1.5″x1″)

Supplies:

  • A good photo of the person’s face who you are making the stamp for.
  • Access to the internet (to use Picnik) or access to other simple photo editing software.
  • A printer.
  • A black marker.
  • A window.
  • A scanner (if you don’t own a scanner, you can do a bit more work on the photo editing and omit the “artsy” part of this project.  Or you can download a scanner ap on your phone and use that).

1.  First thing to do is find your photo(s).  I perused my sis’s facebook page to find the photos I used to create her stamps.

I used the one above (but I just gave her bangs since she typically wears bangs) for her individually portrait stamp as well as for her couple stamp.  Its about the only picture where her and her hubby are close together and he is actually smiling with teeth.  😉

The one below is the pic I used to create the stamp of their son Carter.  He seriously looks like the “Gerber baby” in this pic.  So cute!

2.  Now just simply save your photo to your computer and upload it to your photo editing program.  As you know I use Picnik, its cheap, easy, and I love all the features.  Open your photo up in your editing program.

If you need to, crop around the faces to get rid of the excess photo space.

3.  Play with the exposure and contrast a bit until you begin to see more defined lines.  What we’re trying to do is create somewhat of a posterized line drawn image.

4.  Now just use your “Effects” tools (if you’re using Picnik) to get as close to a posterized look as you can without losing too much detail.  Be conscious of the fact that you want the end product to really look like the person, so try to keep distinct characteristics present while editing.  I turned my pic to black and white, boosted the contrast (using “Boost”), and slightly posterized it by using “HDR-ish” and “Posterize”.

5.  Once you have a pretty good template made up that you think you can work with, save it and print it off.  *TIP* The larger you print the pic, the easier you will be able to “tweak” it with your black marker by hand.

6.  Now is where you summon up the courage to get a little artsy.  Take your printed image and another clean sheet of computer paper to the nearest window (or light box if you happen to own one).  Use a piece of tape to tape the image to the window and tape the clean piece of paper over it.

7.  Now, simply trace over the most prominent lines, smoothing out any rough spots or bumps.  Omit anything that just “muddies up” the design.  Do this IN PENCIL first.  Then, take down your pics and tweak your new design until you get it simple and smooth enough.  Then simply color it in with your black marker.  C’mon, its not that hard, I know you can do it!! 🙂

Above is what my design looked like after I had done step 7 and scanned it into the computer.

8.  Scan your new black and white design to upload it back on to your computer.  Be sure to choose “black and white” in your scan options (it will save a step later).

9.  Unless I wanted all those little white spots to be in my final stamp, I needed to “color them in”.  I did this by using Picnik’s “Doodle” tool which is basically a paintbrush to go over all my dark areas that needed it until I saw negative (white) space in all the right places.  I also used the “Posterize” tool at the end again to just round out any rough edges.

The end result and finished design was this!:

10.  Now simply save your new design to your computer and then follow the instructions on Simon’s Stamps page (go to “Custom Made Art Mount Stamps” in their sidebar, and decide how large you’d like your stamp to be).  Upload your design, order it, and wait for your friends and family to be amazed, thrilled, flattered, and impressed when you give them their very own custom portrait stamp!

Here is a look at the Schneider family stamped on paper:

So CUTE right?  Anyway, Christen LOVED her new stamps and I LOVED making them.  I hope you do too!

P.S.  These would make fabulous wedding or engagement gifts!  Also, you could use this same technique to create custom artwork (Warhol style?) and other fun stamps of all kinds of things, people, creatures, etc.  Go.  Stamp it up my friends.

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Well I have been getting a lot of feedback on my newly redesigned master bedroom (thank you for all the nice comments!) and so I thought I’d better get the headboard tutorial up for those of you who are interested in DIY-ing one yourself.  This isn’t so much a tutorial on how to build an upholstered headboard (there are plenty of tutorials out there on that) but more how I handpainted the chevron-ikat pattern onto my plain white headboard fabric.   Since I’d never done anything like this before, I pretty much guessed my way through it so my headboard is far from perfect.  To be honest, I’m thinking about completely repainting it with my leftover fabric.  But, lucky for you, I can walk you through what I did right AND WRONG and you can learn from my mistakes and make yourself something beautiful.  The best part is you can use this fabric painting technique to paint anything, headboards, pillows, chairs, t-shirts, whatever.

Cost: Varies by project.  Mine cost about $18 for the fabric and paint

Supplies:

  • White or other light colored fabric.  I used 2 yards of white cotton twill (from Walmart for $5/yd) for my headboard.  Natural fabrics work best and allow the paint to bleed a little bit.
  • Craft paint in your color choices.  I used a limey green and a tealy blue.
  • Textile Medium.  To mix with the craft paint to make it soft like fabric paint.  (Or you could just save yourself this step and buy fabric paint instead).
  • A medium sized flat/square tipped craft paint brush.
  • A spray bottle with water in it.
  • A water bowl to rinse brushes.

Okay then.  Heres what I did:

1.  I first upholstered my headboard in the white fabric by staple-gunning the fabric around to the back of the padded headboard.  Then I layed my headboard flat on the table to start painting.

2.  Next I got a square tray I had (you could also use a right angle ruler if you have one) and trace the corners of it onto my headboard lightly with chalk.  DON’T use chalk to do this.  It sucked up my paint wherever it was and made some really distinct paint lines that I don’t love on the finished project.  You could try a pencil or just dots of the paint color you’ll be using to give you the guide you need.  I’ll be honest though.  I did this only for the top portion of my headboard and then got lazy and didn’t do it to the rest.  I wish I would’ve though because some of my lines got whompy because I was winging it without a guide.  Thats what I get for being an impatient crafter.

3.  Next, working in small sections, spray the fabric lightly with water.  I would recommend testing the amount of water you need to be spraying with the amount of bleeding you want to get on a scrap piece of fabric before you try this on the real thing.  I didn’t do this and learned as I went.  I got the right hand side of my headboard pretty soaked and then learned that “less is more” and so the left side has less bleeding (which I like better).  You probably only need to spray a section two maybe three times and no more.  You don’t want the lines to become tie-dyed looking, but you do want the colors to bleed slightly into eachother.

4.  Now, holding your brush so that the square tip is on its side (or that the tip of the paintbrush looks like a vertical line), dip your brush into the water and then into the first paint color (after mixing it with the textile medium per the instructions on the bottle).  Then follow your guide using up and down choppy strokes on your fabric.

5.  When you have a section done, switch colors and do the same thing with the next color except push that color into the first color a little bit.  You may have to give it a squirt with the water bottle if the fabric has dried.

6.  The ikat-ness of the design is dependent on how you’re holding your brush so practice first on a scrap piece until you feel like you’re getting the look you want.  Then paint your piece (in my case an upholstered headboard) alternating between wetting the fabric with the squirt bottle and painting on the lines in an up and down stroke.  (You can see in the image below where I wet the fabric too much and the paint bled a little more than I would’ve liked.)

And thats what I did!  I would like it much better I think if I did it again and really took my time.  But, hey, not too shabby for a first try I guess.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the tutorial!  Learn from my mistakes and go do your own! 🙂

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The kids were down for naps and I had just hung up and put away all the laundry which meant everything I own was accessible.  I started looking around my closet with that really proud feeling that you get when you have NO DIRTY LAUNDRY.  You need to relish it because of course it won’t last long.  Anyway, I suddenly got the urge to try on outfits and see what I could come up with out of my wardrobe.  So, I thought I’d take pics so I can remember the ones I like.  So heres my little fashion show!  🙂  If you’d like to know my TOP 10 THRIFTING TIPS go here.

So what do you think of my dyed skirt, spray painted shoes, and thrifted threads?  🙂  I love my happy little closet.

P.S.  To see the black bib necklace tutorial go here.

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