Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just do it (yourself)!

I’m baaack! I know it’s been a while since my last post, and trust me it’s been killing me. On my time off however I did take a fun little trip to Los Angeles. I had a blast and even as you know I love the Cleve, it was good to get away. (And the weather was beautiful!)

So between the trip and work I’ve had limited time to get my blog on! But fortunately I had some recent inspiration for a post and I’m bringing it to you right now.

I’ve noticed lately that DIY projects are becoming really big. It’s always cool to answer the question “where did you get that?” with “I made it myself!” Whether it’s an expertly crafted silver ring or just a scarf made from some fabric you found lying around the house. That particular joy, plus the usually cheaper cost, makes DIY the perfect way to add new items to your collection.

This personal DIY revolution of mine started this spring when I saw something online about making old t-shirts into scarves. I have so many old tees that, for some reason, I refuse to get rid of. (Never know when you might need that holey graphic tee from Target that never fit…right?) I figured that making things I hoard into things I’ll actually use was a pretty good idea.  I preferred the simple t-shirt scarf to the fringe one. It’s so easy, just cut a straight line across the tee right under the armholes so it’s just a rectangle (or square) shaped. Throw it over your neck and voilà!  I made a few scarves, but seeing as how it was late April I didn’t have a ton of time to wear them. Looking forward to the fall for that!

I kind of went scarf crazy and cut up a ton of my old shirts. Some were kind of small and weren’t going to make great scarves. So I got creative and made headbands out of them. Especially in the summer I wear a lot of cloth headbands to keep the hair out of my face. My favorite one that I made was this one, constructed out of a shirt printed with a plethora of peace signs. It was always so cute, but just not as a tight fitting t-shirt. I didn’t have to do much after I cut it for the scarf, again just straight across under the armholes. Then all I do when I want to wear it is twist it around, double it up, and stretch it around my head!  I usually twist it twice, it makes a nice knot on the bottom and looks a lot better. When I’m feeling particularly funky I sometimes put the knot on top instead of under my hair. Either way, so cute, so simple and so cheap!

A little while later I took a trip to Pat Catan’s, also known as the World’s Greatest Craft store. Look it up. Seriously, Catan’s is one of the greatest Cleveland institutions, far superior to national craft supply chains. I had been noticing that feathers were very in but I could never find any feather accessories I was crazy about, although I liked the idea. I thought I would see if they had any fun feathers at Catan’s to maybe make something out of. You know how sometimes you have a shopping mission that comes up short? Well this surely was not one of those times. I found a four pack of tan and black feather bunches that were so perfect. All I had to do was wrap the tips with wire and slip on an earring hook and I got these great new feather earrings! A very legitimate alternative to feather hair extensions.

With this DIY kick still going, I found myself in Urban Outfitters at Crocker Park one lovely spring day and happened across this great book on their book table. It’s called P.S. – I Made This… and it is choc full of fun and easy DIY fashion projects. Instead of paying $20 I figured I’d see if the library had a copy. Lucky me! Found one at the Lakewood Library for, oh what? FREE. There are so many great ideas in this book, I highly recommend checking it out.

So far I’ve only done one project but I definitely plan on doing more. The second I turned the page to see this ring necklace I knew I had to do it. I have so many rings I never wear and, as the book describes, not enough fingers for! From class rings, to a bent Claddagh, heirlooms from my mom and grandmas and cheap ones from mall stores, I had plenty to go around. All I had to do was round them all up, buy some strong cord and slide them on! I twisted the cord to create a braided effect and to make it extra strong. I just did this one the other day so I haven’t worn it yet but I am so excited to. It is sure to be a huge conversation piece!

I hope this will inspire you go out there and make some of your own fashions! Not only does it keep you from spending money you don’t have, it really is fun and makes each item more meaningful.  And, coming from someone who can’t sew to save her life, it’s easy to find ideas for any skill level. Have fun!

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