DIY: Braided Bracelet

Posted on March 16, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

Here's a quick jewelry DIY for you on this beautiful March day! It's the middle of March in Canada and I have the patio door wide open, how crazy is that? Although, as soon as it gets above the freezing mark you'll see Canadians 'oot and aboot' in shorts!

Do you have any old bracelets laying around that are maybe just a bit too plain or boring? I know I do! My husband's grandmother gave me a bunch of her old jewelry around the time we got married and while I love most of it, some of the pieces are just not my style. Today's DIY will spruce up a plain bracelet in just a few steps.

It's best to use a bracelet that is a tiny bit too big on you because once it's braided it will be a little smaller. If you have twig wrists like me and can never find bracelets small enough, you'll love this project because it will make your bracelet fit you better.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • embroidery floss (4 colors)
  • plain bracelet
  • scissors

One other supply I used that is not pictured above is hair wax. It's optional and you'll see where it comes in later.

Start by attaching 3 colors of embroidery floss to the end of the bracelet. Each bracelet is different so just try to find a good spot to add your floss and tie a tight knot.

The length of my floss was about 2 times the length of the bracelet. This allowed me some extra on the ends to play with. Now just start braiding the 3 colors together. This quickly caught the attention of Marshall and turned into an adorable game of tug o' war!

When you're done the braid don't tie it off, just add a little piece of tape on the end to keep it in place.

Now cut 3 lengths of the fourth color into pieces 2-3 inches longer than the bracelet. Separate all the strands and add a couple strands of another color if you want. I used one of the pinks in the first braid.

This is where the hair wax came in. I rubbed a bit on my hands and started twisting the threads together to make them one string. The wax will help them stick together a bit better.

Just tie your newly made string onto the end of the bracelet and start braiding them all together. You'll need to twist the waxed one as you braid to keep the strands from separating. Find a spot to tie your embroidery floss on the end of the bracelet and you're done! Easy as pie!

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DIY Wall Art: Bubbles

Posted on March 14, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

If you liked my DIY on triangle art, then you're going to love this one.

I saw something similar in a blog post about cool offices, and I thought 'Hey, I could make that!' This project is super fast, will cost you almost nothing and looks amazing. The holy trinity of DIY art projects if you ask me.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • a stretched canvas
  • big paint brush
  • scissors
  • white acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge
  • tissue paper in primary colors

Stretched canvases can be purchased in any arts & craft store. If you buy a cheap one, and why the hell not, they're not as expensive as you think. You can often find the store brand canvases are bundles in packages of 3 for a cheaper price. Since you're buying a cheap canvas, you'll want to paint the whole thing with a nice coat of white paint first. Even if the canvas looks nice and white, it will look even better with a coat of paint on it!

Ah, that's better. Set that aside to dry and now here comes the only hard part in the whole project. Cut out 3 circles from your tissue paper. Get creative and play around with different sizes. Here comes the 'cheap' thing again, buy the cheapest, crappiest tissue paper you can find. You don't want that thick, expensive stuff because it won't be translucent enough. I got mine from the dollar store where they had a huge selection of colors for $1 each. Try to get bright colors that will pop against the white background, the 'red' in this trio is really a bright magenta.

Before you make anything permament, play around with the positioning on your canvas. The secondary colors that the paper make when you lay them on top of each other will look different depending on who's on top. Also, I think it looks cool when some of the bubbles goes off the edge.

When you figure out your arrangement, spread a thin coat of Mod Podge where you want the first circle to lay. Carefully and slowly lay the circle down while smoothing the air bubbles and wrinkles with your brush. It's easier to start from one edge and work your way across.

Once the circle is smoothed out and most of the wrinkles are gone, put another coat of Mod Podge on top. BE CAREFUL with this step because the paper is wet and will easily tear at this point. And if the paper tears, your face will look like this.

Repeat the same steps for the other 2 circles.

If you're amazing and more patient than me, you'll take your time to smooth it out perfectly. I kid myself into thinking it looks better with wrinkles.

But seriously, it's not the end of the world if there are still some wrinkles.

After all the circles are in place, add another coat of Mod Podge to make it look uniform.

I really like how this project turned out and I hope you like it too. Some other ideas: cut little squares or circles for a confetti look or change up the shapes for some variety.

Paper Rage

Posted on March 13, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

Have you ever tried to make paper sculptures? Well, when these cute little paper gems were floating around the internet a few months ago I felt compelled to give them a try!

I envisioned a garland of little paper gems strung around my den.

Let me tell you, I've never had a craft project throw me into such a rage before. I guess I just don't have the patience for this kind of work. And there was something about how tiny and delicate the little gems were that made me want to CRUSH THEM INTO BITS every time the smallest thing went wrong.

Please visit Minieco, the creator of these gems because she is clearly a much better person than I am. Not only did she successfully assemble them, she made the freakin templates! It's an understatement to say I'm a bit jealous.

Speaking of jealously, here is the work someone I'm in complete awe of. Chloe Fleury.

Yes, that's all made of paper! Her work is so adorable and beautiful, I want to vomit with envy.

She also designed the gorgeous cover of the latest issue of Anthology.

So maybe I'll give paper sculpture another shot (after some therapy), or maybe I'll just stick to art projects I'm good at. Like.... gluing stuff to other stuff.

Hand Embroidered Cards

Posted on March 9, 2012 and tagged DIY, Favourites with comments

Look what I found in my desk drawer!

I made these embroidered cards so long ago and then just tucked them away in a drawer to be forgotten about. What a shame!

I thought these cards would make a great DIY for the blog because they're easy and fun to make, and you probably have all the supplies on hand already. If you're anything like me you have waaaaay too many colors of embroidery floss tucked away somewhere.

What you'll need:

  1. Pencil for drawing your design
  2. Piece of thick cardboard
  3. Embroidery floss
  4. Sheets of blank paper
  5. Embroidery needle and a pin with a head
  6. Blank Card

Start by drawing out your design on a piece of thin blank paper. It's best to keep it simple unless you're super awesome at embroidery. Tape your design on to the card or secure it with a couple paper clips.

When I made my fruit cards, I actually used an iron-on transfer from Sublime Stitching, which is a really great book that you should all run out and buy right this very second. I transfered the design on to a sheet of card stock so I didn't put holes in the original.

Now you can start poking holes along the lines using the pin with a head. A push pin will also work, you just need something to hold on to. Put the piece of cardboard behind the card so you can poke the pin all the way trough. The holes will be your guide when you start the embroidery.

Now comes the fun part! Oh, did I say fun part? I meant painful part! Seriously though, I haven't done any embroidery in a while so my fingers got pretty sore. Be careful not to pull the thread too tight or you'll tear the paper. I used 4 strands of thread for my stitching. I found that the whole piece of floss was too hard to pull through and less than 4 strands showed the holes too much.

I just used a back stitch for my whole design, but you could get really creative here with different stitches. Just carefully tie knots in the back to secure your stitches.

Once you're done, admire your work!

The back didn't look too bad, but I wanted to cover it up anyways.

I just cut a piece of white paper just a bit smaller than the card and secured it using a bit of glue along the fold.

There are a million possibilities for this project, so let me know in the comments if you decide to give it a try. I'd love to see your work! You'll notice in the photo with the supplies, I also have a card made from black shimmery cardstock. I have plans for that guy, and I'll show you the photo when I'm done!

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EDIT: If you liked this post, check out this one. Stitch your own neon gem card, with a free pattern.

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