27 December 2010

DIY: fray-braid bracelet

e a s y ][ under 1 hour per bracelet
cost: $10 or less, for lots of bracelets
shop at: your house, a craft store
read: the instructions once though before you get started

This project is easier if you have a lot of fabric scraps from past sewing projects. And experience with basic braiding/tying bows. It's easy because you can be sloppy and it will still end up adorable.

I saw these bracelets selling on a brand's website for $9.50 each, and I was like…haha, no way, something so rough not worth that much dough. BUT THEY'RE SO CUTE.


- scrap cotton fabric
(t-shirt material will work too, however, the edges won't fray)
- beads with big holes or charms/shiny buttons
- needle + thread
- scissors or other cutting method
- masking tape
- clear nail polish (optional)

1. Cut 1/2 inch (3/4 if it's t-shirt fabric) x 20 inch strips of fabric. You'll need 3 strips for each bracelet.

1a. 30 strips will get you ten bracelets, for example. I like getting cutting over with so sometimes I do a lot at once. Wait until you've gotten the hang of the process before you do that, though!

1b. If you can't find scraps that are 20 inches long, knot together shorter strips. Knots will add character, and you can mix up what patterns you use! Bonus qualities!

2. (tightly) Knot the 3 strips together at one end, leaving 5 inches above the knot.

3. Tape the knotted strips to something that won't move, like the edge of a table, book, tray, close to where you are sitting. Avoid attaching to people or animals unless they promise to sit still. x)

4. Braid tightly, don't strangle it but make sure things stay in place.

5. Stop braiding once you have enough braid to go around your wrist. (or whoever's wrist this is for!) Braid a little extra if you want it to be lose.

6. (tightly) Knot where the braid ends.

7. Slide a bead to the center, or use a small scrap of fabric (or thread) looped through the decoration to tie it to the bracelet.

8. Choose the most durable strip of the 3. (for example, if your three strips are cotton, lace, and chain, choose the cotton) This will be the closure and bow.

9. On both ends, trim the other 2 strips. Cut slightly away from the knot, (leave 1/2 inch or so) you don't want anything coming undone later.

10. Tie a bow with the durable strip. Dab the ends with clear nail polish if you'd like, to keep the threads in place.

11. Wear it! (or make more)

TIP: If you don't have fabric scraps around your house already, buy quilting squares. They're small samples, available at most fabric stores. You can get lots of prints quickly without buying a lot of fabric this way.

fabric strips combo guide!

3 random prints = quirky
3 similar colored prints = refined quirky
1 print + 2 solids = print will pop
2 of the same print + 1 solid = print will shine
2 prints + 1 solid = solid acts as a breather
1 print + 1 neutral print (two color stripe, tiny polkadots, tone on tone, etc) + 1 solid = mixed medley

ALTERNATIVE IDEAS: Instead of braiding 3 fabric strips, use 2 fabric strips and 1 string of something small and shiny that's ready to go.

ideas: plastic pearl strings, broken mardigras necklaces, chains, lace, thin metallic ribbon. Look around the fabric or craft store, they're bound to have something silly that would look fab woven into your bracelet next to fabric.

LOVABLE CHEAPSKATE VARIATION: You could also cut strips of plastic shopping bags (or even sandwich bags) to use in/as your bracelets. Just adjust the size to 1 inch (or 1 1/2 inch) by 20 inches. Thin strips of paper bags might work if you're feeling adventurous.

[feel free to use my photos! but please give credit, and don't edit w/o asking. If you make bracelets of your own, send me a photo!]

be sure to check out my other projects!

DIY #9
♥ I worked really hard on this tutorial. It took a long time to prepare.
I wrote out these instructions and took the photos.
So if you see this anywhere else, it's not the original.

26 December 2010

DIY: space shoes

m e d i u m ][ 3-4 hours
cost: $3-15 for shoes, $5 for paint & extras
shop at: cheapie stores & a craft store
(shoes: target, walmart, kmart, payless)
(paint: a place like michael's, walmart has paint too)
read: the instructions once though before you get started

Paint. On shoes. Pretty straight forward.
Hopefully you have a little experience with paint.
If you like, practice painting on paper first to get warmed up.


- 1 pair of white or black canvas sneakers in your size
(or your friend's size, sibling…whoever the lucky wearer is)
- bottles of acrylic paint
(I used black, white, burgundy, red, purple, blue, and a little metallic)
- definitely get white, you'll need it for the stars
- brushes & painting supplies
- paper towels
- toothpick
- painter's tape (optional)
- photos of stars you've collected for inspiration & reference

i. [shopping emergency pre-steps] I could not find white or black shoes, so I started out with green ones. I found mine at kmart; walmart really let me down this time, haha.

ii. I taped off the soles with painter's tape, to keep them white.

iii. Then I did a base coat of a black/white/blue/metallic mixture to give myself a base color to work off of that wasn't stupid-non matching green.

iv. Make sure you take out the laces! Unless you want to get paint on them.

1. Start layering on background colors, referencing your photos. I start off with darks, then midtones, then lights, working them all in together. Use big brushes for big amounts of space, and smaller brushes for smaller areas. You can mix white into other colors, but don't use straight white right now.

2. I use a technique I call "rip off a bitty piece of paper towel and splotch". Paint an area, then immediately after, use a little piece of paper towel to blend it into the dried color behind it. It creates some great opacity differences!

3. If you want to paint the soles, now is a good time. That's what I ended up doing, with some leftover dark blue and purple.

3. Acrylic paint dries as you go along, so there isn't a lot of waiting time. Take a little break in between background and stars, admire your work so far, and clean up a bit. You'll want clean brushes and work space for the next step. Often, I like to take a break from my work and come back to it in an hour or so, so I don't get flustered.

4. If you're worried that your shoes don't look spacey, don't fret! Things are about to get very intergalactic.

5. Grab 2 or 3 tiny brushes, a toothpick, and the white paint. Squirt out a little. Dab on little circles (stars!) on a less noticeable area of shoe to practice. Use the toothpick as a paintbrush for itty bitty stars.

6. Take your time on this part, and really get into it, you'll loosen up as you go along. Work around the shoe, the most noticeable part of the shoe being the front, above your toes.

7. I put lots of toothpick stars all over each shoe, then put a smaller amount of bigger stars in a few areas, to create focus.

8. Put the laces back in, and you're done!

TIP: There's no such thing as perfect with this project. Dive in and see where the paint takes you. It's going to end up looking spacey & starry, I promise. Anyone who sees them is going to be impressed, or at least interested. If anyone gives you garbage & says they "don't look like space" or whatever, ask them to paint a new pair for you the next time they're in a rocket. x]

ALTERNATIVE IDEAS: You can paint anything on shoes!

be sure to check out my other projects!

DIY #3
♥ I worked really hard on this tutorial. It took a long time to prepare.
I was inspired by http://chelseaanncoconut.blogspot.com/
[the origin of the mysterious space shoes photo a lot of people saw on tumblr]
I was also inspired by the bazillion shoe painters & decorators before us, from the local craft fairs to the talents on craftster.org.
I came up with my own variation & the instructions & took the instruction photos myself.
So if you see this anywhere else, it's not the original.
original polyvore post date: 7/1/10