Tag Archives: DIY

DIY: Bedazzle Your Cargos

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a young girl bought a new pair of cargo boots. It wasn’t that she really needed them, but she just couldn’t pass up the very affordable price of this particular pair. She wore cargo boots every single day because they were incredibly comfortable, incredibly durable, went well with jeans and leggings, and were easy to slip on and off. The new, very affordable pair were black but because she already owned a pair of black cargo boots, she decided that she would save them for a very special project that she had in mind.

Time passed. More time passed. And eventually the young girl realized that the (not so) new, very affordable black cargo boots were still sitting under her desk, untouched. So the young girl pulled out her supplies, got to work, re-fashioned the boots, and came out with a beautiful (and quite practical) pair of black cargo boots that had a touch of floral. The young girl loved her pair of new, very affordable, partially recycled, black with a touch of floral cargo boots and she lived happily ever after (okay, so it’s only been one day, but she’s been happy for that one day).

Okay, so the fairytale isn’t really that magical. But I must say that I was pretty excited when I finally got around to re-fashioning my inexpensive boots. This may, perhaps, be my favourite DIY project to date. In case you haven’t realized from some of the designs on my blog, I love floral. And in case you didn’t clue in, the “young girl” in the fairytale above is, in fact, me. I love cargo boots. So what results, you may ask? Well take a little gander at the picture above and then you will understand. Hence my excitement.

Want to know the best part about this project? It is so incredibly easy! The original idea came from A Beautiful Mess, and so I hereby take no credit for developing this DIY project (head over that way to check out the boots they created–it may give you a little more inspiration)! The project requires only a few materials that you will most likely find around your home (minus the boots…unless you want to re-fashion an old pair of yours–all the power to you!). They are also partially recycled through the use of thrifted or scrap fabric.

  • a pair of cargo boots
  • thrifted, recycled, or scrap fabric (it does not need to be floral–try stripes, polka dots, paisleys, etc.)
  • scissors
  • white glue
  • a paint brush
  • a cup or container
  • a small amount of water
  • scrap papers or newspaper
  • an exacto or japanese paper knife
ONE: Gather all of your materials. Remove the laces from your boots and mark the sections that you would like to cover. Cut your scraps of fabric large enough to generously cover these areas. In your cup or container, mix equal parts of white glue with water. Lay down scrap papers or newspapers to prevent any mess. TWO: Working in small sections at a time, glue the fabric to the boot. Use the pure glue for the first attachement of the fabric. This may require you to cut the more general shape of the area you are covering out of your fabric as you work. Ensure that you don’t cut too much though, as the excess can be removed later. Once the fabric is glued to the boot, allow it to dry completely. This may take most of the day or even through the night, but be patient. The better it is stuck on the more durable it will be. Repeat for the second boot. THREE: When the first glue layer is completely dried, cover the entire fabric area with the glue-water mixture. Allow it to dry solid. FOUR: Once that layer is dried, using the exacto-knife cut around the edges, trimming off the excess fabric so that it fits nicely into the desired area. This may take a bit of patience and effort. If the edges aren’t glued down completely, you may be able to indent the fabric and then use the scissors to cut the line. Either way, ensure that the fabric fits into the desired area. FIVE: Cover the entire fabric area, especially the fresh-cut edges with the glue-water mixture. Allow to dry and then repeat. Continuously add more glue-water layers until you are satisfied (I did 4-5 coats). Allow to dry over night. Re-lace your boots and take ’em for a spin!
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There you go! Sure, it takes a little bit of time with all the glue-applying-and-drying required, but all in all it is a very simple project! I hope you are inspired to take it on and bedazzle your old or new boots (minus the cheesy bling, of course). Thanks for stopping by and reading. I’m off to break these bad boys in with a lovely little walk around the block!
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DIY: Recycled Candle Holders

When the day is cold and the mood is lazy, something about candles just helps to warm the soul. But who says that your candles have to lack style? I completed this DIY project a few months ago, but I finally decided to post it in celebration of my appreciation for candles on this cold and lazy Saturday…

My Mom is a candle enthusiast. I like to think that my love of candles comes from her. I light candles whenever I can…in the bath, on my desk (I choose to believe that lit candles help you get those gruelling essays done in a more efficient manner), when company comes over–and the list goes on. They create such a wonderful warmth and ambiance!

I came across this DIY project while scanning the web. It was inspired by a post on Fellow Fellow (the original post can be found by CLICKING HERE) that used old glass jars. Instead of using up all of my Mama’s jam jars, I took a trip to my local thrift store instead. The glass pieces I picked out had unique shapes and were the perfect size for a little tea-light candle. The best part is that they were only $0.50 each!

While at the thrift store, I also scanned the clothing section. I won’t go into too much detail about thrifting fabrics (you can expect a post exclusively about that soon), but I will just say that by doing this you can find some awesome cost-efficient fabrics. “Grandma Shirts” (as I prefer to call them) often possess delicate floral prints and fun bright colours. I scanned through the racks and came across a few shirts that I knew would be perfect for this project. If you decide to thrift old fabrics for this project, look for light fabrics that aren’t too thick.

Now let’s do some crafting!

  • Glass jars or thrifted pieces (pictured above)
  • Thin, recycled fabric of choice (whether it be thrifted or scraps)
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Cup or plastic container
  • Old paintbrush
  • Tea-light candle

ONE: Start by preparing your materials. Wash out your jars or thrifted glassware with warm water and soap. Dry the glass really well. Measure the approximate height of your jars/glass so you know how long to cut your fabric strips. After laying your fabric out flat, cut strips about 1″ wide and the appropriate height for your glass. Mix about one part white glue with two parts water in your cup or container. The mixture should be fairly watery.

TWO: Dip a fabric strip into the glue-water mixture so that it is covered with glue. Ring out all of the excess glue by squeezing the fabric strip between your fingers. Lay the strip vertically on the inside of the jar so the pattern of the fabric faces out. Using the paintbrush, push out any air bubbles that are trapped between the glass and the fabric. Repeat until the entire surface is covered.

THREE: Double-check that all of the air bubbles are out of the fabric. Allow the glue to dry over a couple of days. The thicker your fabric, the longer it will take to dry. Ensure that the glue is completely dried before you use the candle holder.

FOUR: If desired, add any additional details to your candle holder, such as a ribbon bow tied around the outside. Pop in your tealights and you have a completely customized (and recycled!) candle holder!

There you have it, bloggers–a completely adorable way to upcycle some old candle holders, jars, or other glassware! I would just like to conclude with a couple of thoughts. First of all, be logical when lighting your candles. If the tea-light candles are too close to the edge, consider using a battery operated candle instead. Secondly, if you didn’t check out the Fellow Fellow post that was linked above, you should consider clicking over that way! She has some adorable examples and the photos are stunning. It may inspire a little more creativity in you when you take on this project. And finally, these make awesome gifts! Do a few at a time. They are great to have on hand or to show someone a little appreciation and love. With that said, I’m off to conclude my lazy Saturday with a few candles, my knitting, and good a movie (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?)

As always, my friends, many blessings on your crafting endeavours. Check back for more posts coming your way. I hope you are inspired to find your smile today!

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Knitting 101: Double-Wrap Infinite Scarf

It’s almost the end of February. The sun may be staying out longer but the crisp air sure seems to be getting cooler with each passing day. Although we winter-haters can’t change the work of the weather clouds, we can make our bitter cold days a little bit cozier with a little handmade loving.

My friends will be the first to tell you that I have a scarf addiction. Not a day goes by without (what I like to call) a “fluffy” scarf wrapped around my neck. It could be a comfort thing, but the coziness of scarves help me get through these cold winter days (along with a few cups of tea, of course). Fun colours help make my day, and outfit, a little brighter.

This pattern is an adaption of a pattern on the back of a wool label. It is extremely easy if you know how do both knits and purls. I personally like really thick scarves so I opted to use a nice thick wool. One brand that has proven to be a wonderful brand for thick scarves is LOOPS & THREADS CHARISMA. You will most likely find it at any Michael’s Craft Store. It can prove to be a little bit expensive but if you are an avid flyer-browser you will quite often come across it on sale every now and then. If you can’t justify the price, check out some other brands too. Just look at the thickness and softness of the strand. I have used BERNAT ROVING and LOOPS & THREADS COUNTRY LOOM for other knitting projects in the past and they work pretty well too.

Another important thing to consider when making a thick and fluffy scarf is needle size. In my opinion, bigger is better. But remember that if you are going to use big needles, you need to have a thick wool.

 Alright. All of that is said and done–so let’s get to the goods!

MATERIALS

  • 2 balls of a thick wool, in any desired colour (the scarf in the picture is Copper)
  • A pair of 10mm straight knitting needles

PROCESS

Cast on 26 stitches. Starting with the first row, continuously repeat this pattern:

Row 1: Knit 2, Purl 2 (should end on a K2)

Row 2: P2, K2 (should end on a P2)

Row 3: Knit

Row 4: Purl

Continue this pattern through both balls of wool. When you have either reached your desired length or you are fairly close to the end of your second ball, finish the scarf on Row 2 before you cast the scarf off your needles. The scarf will be fairly long because it is designed to be a double-wrapped scarf. Finish the scarf by sewing the two ends together with the excess string of the wool. Sew in all loose ends (such as where the two balls were joined). Voila–you have a cozy new (and extremely easy to make) infinite scarf!

 VARIATIONS

Single-Wrapped Infinite: If you can’t handle being tangled in a double-wrapped infinite scarf, try adding more initial stitches to make the scarf wider. Add stitches in increments of 4 (such as 30, 34, 38, 42, 46, 50…etc.). If you use 50 initial stitches, it will most likely take the same amount of wool. Then just follow the pattern as stated above. Make it long enough so it wraps around your neck once.

Regular Scarf: If you hate infinite scarves and/or would rather have a regular scarf, this pattern can be adapted to do that. Just follow the pattern as instructed but don’t sew the two ends together at the end. Instead, just leave them as sharp edges or sew in strands of extra wool to the ends and tie. Be creative to determine different ways in which it can be “finished” to give it a unique quality.

There you have it. Even if you despise these cold winter days, this scarf will hopefully make your days a little more bearable. Now I’m off to have my cup of tea…

Happy Knitting!

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KNITTING 101: Knit Pencil Case

That didn’t take long…procrastination did get the best of me and I decided to create my very first KNITTING 101 blog post instead of continuing my strenuous research on Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire series. So here it is…

This photo and this project dates back to my past Christmas break. Over the break, I learned how to knit for the very first time. I instantly fell in love with the craft, resulting in numerous knitted experiments–one of which being this one! I spent nearly every night knitting these little pencil cases (with variations on colours, patterns, and styles of course!) while re-watching the first two seasons of the O.C (classic show). So, since I haven’t found much time for creating new crafting projects as of late, I decided I would post about this guy.

The pattern is easy and basic as long as you know a knit and a pearl. It can be customized in a variety of ways.

BASIC PATTERN

Using 5mm straight needles, cast on 40 or so stitches (depending on your desired length) from any brand of wool. Ensure that the wool is not too thick, but also ensure that it is not too thin either. Beginning with the first row:

Knit 1 (K1), Pearl 1 (P1) and repeat until all of the stitches are completed. You should end on a P1. Repeat this pattern over and over until you have reached double of your desired depth for your pencil case. This means that when it is long enough, it should be a square. If the square is folded in the middle and one of the sections is the appropriate size for a pencil case, then you have done enough rows. Finish off the knit.

Fold your new knitted square in half and sew up both of the shorter sides. Leave the long side open because this will be the top (and opening) of your pencil case.

Sew a bead on the front of the pencil case and loop a string from the back that can come to the front and fasten the pencil case closed by looping over the bead.

There you have it–an easy pencil case! It can be customized in any way you desire (such as by knitting different coloured panels to add on such as the picture above) or by alternating colours of wool to create stripes. The opportunities are endless.

Try experimenting with different numbers of stitches, different wools, different need sizes, different stitch types and patterns, different add-ons, different ways to fastening the pencil case shut, and different colours for a whole array of opportunities. As long as you keep trying new things, all of your friends will have adorable little hand-knit pencil cases that are completely authentic and customized to them! Also, try experimenting with sizes to create other little cases…not just for your pencils (we all know that us ladies love to have little pouches in our purses full of makeup, q-tips, etc.). So have fun and experiment!

I would love to hear from you and see some of the things you create!

Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY KNITTING!

On one last, but special note, THE KNITTING PAGE IS UP AND RUNNING! This is an archive of all of my knitting projects and DIY’s for you to easily access. Horray!

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DIY: Customized Mittens

The temperature is below freezing and the snow has come, but I have not let that deter me from crafting. Instead, I combined the best of both worlds and came up with a DIY to keep your paws warm.

This DIY project requires a little hand-sewing and a little bit of time, but otherwise it is easy, fun, and can be customized in a variety of ways!

  • old or thrifted pair of mittens
  • fabric scraps (stretchy fabric works the best)
  • needle
  • thread
  • pins
  • scissors
  • pen
  • cue-card

STEP ONE:

Decide which shapes you would like to use to customize your mittens. Cut the desired shapes out of the cue-card.

Place the cut-out shapes on your mittens to ensure that they are an appropriate size. Make any adjustments that are necessary before continuing. I made these mittens for a friend and she asked that one mitten have these specific initials on them, and the other have a heart. You can choose whichever shapes you would like…be creative!

STEP TWO:

Using your pen, trace your cutout shapes on the back of your fabric scrap. I found that stretchy fabric works the best because it has a little bit of give and doesn’t fray around the edges. Cut out your shapes.

TIP: If you decide to use a stiff fabric, after cutting out your shapes, apply a coat of clear nail polish to the edges of your shape. This will prevent the edges from fraying.

STEP THREE:

Put your mittens on. Place your cut-out shapes on the mittens and pin into place. By putting your hand in the mitten, it allows you to line the fabric scrap up with how the mittens will be when worn. Do this for both mittens.

STEP FOUR:

Crumple up a scrap paper or an old newspaper. Place the crumpled piece into the mitten while you sew. Sew on the fabric shape and secure appropriately when finished. Remove the pins. Try on your mitten to ensure that it is lined up properly. Repeat all of the steps for the second mitten.

STEP FIVE:

Enjoy your new and completely customized mittens! Guaranteed you will never find someone with the same pair (always a great benefit to DIYing and upcycling)!

So whether you love or hate the snow, these mittens are sure to keep you cozy and fashionable over the next few wintery months! Many blessings and thanks for reading. Happy crafting!

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