Posts Tagged ‘diy’

DIY: Gold and Leather Bolo Necklace

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I’m hating the silence over here. We’ve been busy packing up Black Friday orders, driving 700 miles, nursing some serious head colds and doing laundry. Anxious to get some creative time under my belt this week, I made a couple necklaces with Penelope. She rummaged through my jewelry stuff and strung any kind of pendant and bead onto a leather string. I played around with some leather and metal and came up with this. I love how my new necklace turned out. It’s reminiscent of a bolo tie because of the length and windsor knot-like shape of the leather piece.

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I found this laser cut scale leather in a scrap bin at Michael Levine back in May when I went to LA. It’s such a small piece. It’s so nice to be able to use small scraps for things like this, I feel like there’s no waste that way!

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Make one with me!

Leather Gold-Dipped Bolo Necklace Tutorial

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Supplies

  • gold chain 11-18 inches
  • 20 guage gold wire
  • 4 jump rings
  • closure
  • leather strip, 8 x .5 inches
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • liquid gold or gold foil
  • junk brush

If you’re going the vegan route, go for felt instead of faux leather. Felt will wear and look better over time than faux leather.

Click below to read the rest of the instructions!

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Sponsored: Easy Thanksgiving Decor

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This post is sponsored by Way Basics - your source for eco-friendly, light-weight and strong organizational systems. Each of their products is designed for the world’s easiest assembly. 

We don’t have any holiday decor. Holiday decor isn’t something that can be purchased all at once like a couch, or bed linens. I feel like these things are collected over time. So this year I’m working on making and buying festive decor that will easily store and last for years to come. I’m hoping that my efforts this year will make a dent and make next year’s decorating for the holidays just a little bit easier.

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Just before Halloween, I found a few of these paper mache pumpkins while at Michael’s. They’re not there any more, but I’ve since found them online here and here.

I love that they offer a blank slate. I had them out as-is, but recently decided to give them more of a Thanksgiving/Fall theme the other night.

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Is it strange that I’m still making fall/Thanksgiving decor even though most people have already decorated their homes to the gills for Christmas? Sometimes I feel behind the times, but I remind myself, “NOOOOO!! I’m going to enjoy Thanksgiving FIRST.”

I simply grabbed a #2 liner brush, white ink and went to town on my little pumpkins. While “thanks giving” may lend itself most towards the holiday, it’s a great mantra to have in the house all autumn long. I think these little babies will be a permanent part of my fall decor.

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On another note, this is the first wall shelf that I’ve mounted in our new house (besides the utilitarian ones in my studios). I love having parts in my home strictly for decor that can be “untouchable”!

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I loved how easy Way Basics’s wall shelves were to mount. I actually mounted this during a late night, it was 3 in the morning and it was still easy to install in my sleep deprived state. Total win.

I was compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

DIY: Ikea Hack Photography Studio Lighting

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Dear professional photographer friends, don’t hate me. I hope we can still be friends even with my ghetto lighting ways.

Sometimes I have to burn the midnight oil in order to get any blog posts up. We’ve been a busy family this fall! It’s nice to finally have a way to take decently lit photos without having to wait until the perfect time of day to shoot. Usually that perfect time of day lands during lunch time or mid-morning when I’m still in pajamas, sans makeup or shower.

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There are a few things that I do to allow for more photography time. I have the 35mm prime lens which allows for a 1.8 aperature. It’s slightly wider than the 50mm so it allows me to park my tripod only 8 feet away from me for a comfortable head-to-toe shot, without too much distortion. But a 1.8 aperature can only get me so far.

Let’s talk artificial lighting.

I took the above photo at midnight. I boosted up the ISO and lowered the aperature, but the light is still too harsh. That’s where lights come into play. Professional lighting systems can be expensive, so I made a hack to see if a pro lighting system was something that I should invest in. I’ve been asked by a few people what my solution is, so I figure I’d share it for all to see.

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I’m using two Ikea LERSTA lamps. They’re cheap, portable and effective. I think I’d get a third lamp or a fourth if I were doing more night-time style shots, but the two lamps are great for small objects and for fill-light when the sun’s not doing what it’s supposed to.

Here’s how to do it:

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Step 1

As you’re assembling the lamp, wrap the inner part of the lamp with tin foil. Make sure the foil is sort of crumpled so it will bounce more light around.

Step 2

Buy a daylight fluorescent bulb. They’re on sale at my local Home Depot. We’ve changed nearly all of our indoor lights with these. And they are awesome.

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Step 3

Get a large bowl and cut out a circle from some white (like white, white) fabric. I’m using a white quilting cotton.

Step 4

Measure the circumference of your lamp’s opening, cut a length of thin elastic just shy of the circumference.

Step 5

With your sewing machine on zig zag stitch, stretch the elastic as you sew it onto the outer edge of the circle of fabric. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll look sort of like a shower cap.

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Fit that over your lamp and done!

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Now you can illuminate basically anything.

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I used the two lamps and my room’s overhead light to light up the above outfit. Not bad for a 10:30 pm photoshoot, right? And since you’re using daylight bulbs to illuminate the room, there’s no need to adjust white balance. BOOYAH. Mic drop.

Was this DIY helpful? What will you light up?

DIY: Leather and Felt iPhone Case

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Chris gets bored when he’s waiting for me to make the finishing touches to a garment I’m sewing. I love his company, though.

In his boredom a couple saturdays ago, he started asking me questions about drafting an iPhone case pattern. Reluctantly I helped him (Why is it always reluctantly?).

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About 15 minutes later, I found myself roped into making Chris a case. He drafted and cut while I sewed.

Save for one wrong measurement, everything went very smoothly.

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The case is a little loose around the sides, but otherwise fits perfectly. As the leather stretches to conform to the phone, I’m sure we’ll go back through and tighten up the gaps with more stitches. For now it works, though.

We used a 5mm industrial felt for the back to give it structure and to keep the case from slipping out of Chris’s pocket. A coral garment-weight calf skin was used for the inner layer and a lambskin was used for the wallet layer. The leathers were thin enough that my machine went through the three layers without any hiccups. Because of the thin and flexible nature of the leather, I turned down and hemmed the edges to give the leather a little more stability. It worked like a charm.

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We bought a ton of this industrial felt. It’s pretty neat. We’ve already made a laptop case and this phone case, but we have just shy of 3/4 of a yard left of the 40″ wide material. I’m thinking some catch-all baskets will be next.

Sponsored: How to Wrap a Turbeanie

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Inspired by Ford’s Fiesta Movement, let’s talk about accessories and styles that we have yet to conquer. For me. . .

It’s hats.

In the last 10 years there have been one or two times when I’ve worn a hat for fun. And It’s been off in about 30 minutes after a lot of scratching and adjusting. Perhaps it stems from the bowl cut of my youth. I went from long locks to my buns to an early 90s girlish boy-cut at 8 years old. From then until I was 11, much of my day-to-day was focused on dressing like a girl. Several times strangers mistakenly called out “Young Man!” in my general direction. Dressing like a girl didn’t include wearing hats. At least none of the hats I found interesting.

Just over a year ago I found myself needing some head coverage in downtown SF. All I had was a scarf on-hand, so I worked magic and made a turbeanie (a turban-like beanie). I loved it, but couldn’t seem to replicate it. Until now.

What styles do you struggle with? High-low trends? Boxy tunics? Leggings? Ankle boots?

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The turbeanie feels much more feminine than a regular beanie, but so much less work than the oh-so-popluar turban headbands. I don’t have to do my hair in order to make it look done!

One of the best parts? I have everything I need on-hand. I bet you do, too. Let’s do wrap a turbeanie together!

How to Wrap A Turban Beanie

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Supplies

Your scarf or fabric – a simple cut of some lightweight knit would be perfect – should be 2 yards by about 18 inches or so.

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If you have an extra wide scarf, fold it in half.

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If you’re going for a beanie look, tie your hair into loose piggy tails to keep your hair from going all over the place. You could alternatively tie this turban with a topknot or any other hairstyle.

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Instructions

Find the center of your scarf and line up the hem along the nape of your neck.

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Pull both ends so the line at the nape of the neck is tight. Cross ends over.

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Cross ends again.

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This creates the popular turban look you see in headbands everywhere.

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Take the ends to the back and cross over to the front.

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tuck remaining tails into the fabric. Be sure to keep any corners on the inside of the folds of fabric.

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Adjust the turban as needed.

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Remove the hair ties and style your hair as needed. I like how this stays on my head, but isn’t as restricting as a regular beanie. Hope you like it, too!

Alternatively, you could watch my little how-to to see it done in real-time.

This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own.

This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this tutorial for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!
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