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DIY

Art & Creativity

Make It: Collage Postcards

September 21, 2015

Collaged postcards

Collages aren’t just for celebrity montages in high school— now there are numerous new emerging artists that make a living by collage-making alone. The collage process is a fun way to express your creative self, and anyone can do it.

Collage is the combination of pieces of diverse materials and media, such as newspaper, magazines, package labels, fabric, paint and photographs, thrown into one composition. The term itself derives from the French “coller,” meaning “glue.” It was coined by art buddies, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, at the beginning of the 20th century, when collage became a distinct part of modern art.

Collaged postcards are a fun and fast way to be creative and send a gift.  Here are some inspiring links for collage inspiration: one, two, three, four.

colage-1-sizedandready

Use recycled cardboard as a base (old cereal boxes and cracker boxes, etc). Cut out postcard-size pieces at least 3-1/2 inches high by 5 inches long, and no more than 4-1/4 inches high by 6 inches long by 0.016 inches thick.

Choose and cut out your inspiration with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Old magazines and books from the thrift store are inexpensive and inspiring, and you can usually find vintage science books, old Time Magazine books, and National Geographic for a few quarters. Bits of candy wrappers, ticket stubs, Japanese papers, and discarded artwork are all great materials too.

Use a glue stick or rubber cement to paste everything together on the outside of the cardboard, leaving the bare brown side to write on.

colage-2sizedandready

Once your masterpiece is pasted together you can laminate it with Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets, leaving about 1/4 inch of the laminant hanging over the edges, cutting the four corners off to leave eight 45 degree angles, and then folding the laminant over to the blank side of the postcard.  You can also protect the cover of the postcard by painting a thin layer of Elmer’s School Glue to your art with an old paintbrush. It dries clear with a matte finish.

Fin!

collagepostcard4

Style

Tutorial: DIY Circle Skirt

August 21, 2015

Circle Skirt Tutorial

Figure out how much fabric you need. You will need enough fabric to fold twice: once hot dog style (salvage to salvage), and then hamburger style, with a little left over for your waistband. The pattern you will make is 1/4 of a circle. You will cut the pattern out of the folded fabric, which will then unfold to a full circle, like cutting a snowflake!

This tutorial uses about 2.5 yards of woven dupioni fabric, a matching 7″ zipper and thread, hooks & eyes and a 1/4 yard of interfacing for the waistband.

radiuswaistguideCORRECT-01

Measure your waist to determine your radius. You can calculate your waist radius or use the guide provided above.

A little side-note: I subtracted a bit from my radius. From my circle skirt sewing experience, the waist and hem are on bias, meaning they will stretch (lengthen while sewing), and your waistband is on grain, so it won’t. It’s already going to be difficult to pin the skirt to your waist band because of this, so subtract a tiny bit. My waist is 27″, so instead of 4- 3/8″, I just did a 4″ radius.

CircleSktPatternSized-01

Making the Pattern

  1. Gather Your Supplies
    Pattern Paper:
    When making the pattern you can use dotted paper or brown paper.  I used dotted paper for this tutorial and prefer it because the numbers and dots help keep you in line. If you don’t want to order pattern paper by the roll, buy brown craft paper at your local hardware store for around $10.
    Scissors: I designate my paper and fabric scissors because cutting paper with your fabric scissors will eventually dull your fabric scissors. If you’re not planning on making more garments then don’t worry about it.
    Tape measure: To get your waist measurement.
    Pencil and ruler: I love C-Throu rulers for making clothes. They help square off your lines perfectly.
  2. Draw your radius at the very bottom of your paper using the guide above. Make sure to square your lines to make a perfect 90 degree angle.
  3. Draw the 1/4 circle for your waist. Here’s a trick: use the pattern paper as a compass! Cut a long strip of the pattern paper and mark the measured radius length on that strip.  Pressing one marked end of the paper strip on the corner of your pattern (the right angle), poke a hole in your paper-compass at the end to stab your pencil through and draw the circle.
  4. Keep one end on the mid point and and draw the 1/4 circle with the other end.
  5. Draw the length you want your skirt to be.  It’s your preference, just make sure you start that measurement from the waist, not the radius. Add your hem to the length. I included 1″ for my hem.
  6. Use a long piece of pattern paper again to compass out the length of your skirt.
  7. Your skirt pattern is finished and it should look something like this (above).
  8. Pattern your waistband.  Think of how wide you want it and then double it because you’ll be folding it over. For length, use your waist measurement plus an extra 1/2″ – 1″ overlap for hook and eyes or buttons.  I only did an extra 1/2″ for hook and eyes and I wanted a big 3″ waistband so I made my waistband pattern 6″ wide by 27.5″ before adding the seam allowance.  To add a seam allowance add 1/4″ all the way around your band. Pattern is done.

CircleSktCutting-01

Cutting

** Pre-wash fabric before cutting.

  1. Fold your fabric first hotdog style and then hamburger style.
  2. Place your pattern on top of the fabric so the large curve faces the open ends and the 90 degree angle faces the folded edges. Hold the pattern in place using weights.  I just use found-objects like sea shells and rocks.
  3. Pin your pattern through all the layers of fabric.
  4. Cut out waist quarter-circle.
  5. Cut out hem quarter-circle.
  6. Cut out waistband.

sewingCircleSkirtCORRECTO-01

Sewing

** Before you start please note that I did not finish the frayed edges. You can finish the frayed edges before you sew together by using pinking shears, fray check or by zig zag stitching the edges.

  1. Fold your skirt in half and cut one end open.
  2. Measure your zipper and mark the length from the waist with a pin. Pin and sew the seam you just cut open only to the zipper mark.
  3. If you’re using interfacing (which makes the waistband stiffer) press (iron) it on to your waistband now.  Make sure the sticky side is on the wrong side of the fabric. This will be inside for extra support if you want.
  4. Press and sew your waistband with a 1/4″ seam allowance on each side. Trim the little corners off at 45 degree angles to make sharp corners.
  5. Turn the waistband right-side-out. Use something pointy (pen, pencil, etc.) to push out the corners of your waistband. Be careful to not poke through the fabric— we just want to make a sharp corner.
  6. Pin either edge of the waistband to your skirt. Make sure you pin your fabric face-to-face.
  7. Sew the waistband to the skirt with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  8. Press the seam allowance (just sewn) up over the waistband.
  9. Pin and sew in your zipper. Click here to see that zippers are actually fairly simple to sew in.
  10. Now that your zipper is sewn in you can pin the other side of your waistband 1/4″ overlapping the waistband/skirt seam. This will sandwich your skirt and the top of your zipper inside the waistband.
  11. Once your waistband is pinned into place, you can turn over and “stitch in the ditch” meaning you sew right into the seam that connects the skirt and waistband.
  12. Make sure your waistband overlaps on one side 1/2″ – 1″ for your buttons or hook and eyes. I like to slip stitch that overlap; it’s quick and clean.
  13. Press your hem.
  14. Sew your hem. This can be difficult because your skirt is cut on the bias and curved. You have a few options here: 1) sew with that machine, if you’re brave, 2) hand-stitch it, which looks really nice but can take along time, or 3) use bias tape to get a nice, clean hem.
  15. Sew your buttons or hook and eyes on to your waistband. Voila! You’re done!
Beauty

Tutorial: DIY Half-Moon Nails

June 23, 2015

vintage-half-moon

The Half-Moon Manicure has been around since the 1920s.  From the 1920s through the 1930s both the top tip and the bottom moon were bare or left a lighter shade. In the late 1930s it then became popular to leave just the bottom half moon bare.

This manicure was a symbol of glamour, but it was ultimately for practical purposes: when you had your nails done in those days the varnish took a long time to apply and dry, so women tried to keep their manicures going for as long as possible, and leaving the half moons meant that regrowth didn’t appear so obvious as the weeks went by.

The half-moon manicure has become popular yet again thanks to Dita Von Teese. I too am a fan of the traditional ’30s-’40s half-moon manicure so this is my little DIY on that traditional ’40s pinup manicure.

What you’ll need

  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Reinforcement labels (found in the office area, typically used to reinforce punched holes, but make a great half moon shape!)
  • Nail care sticks
  • Nail file
  • Nail clippers
  • Q-tips
  • Top coat nail polish

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Steps

  1. I Like to clip and file my nails to a round point in a traditional ’40s style.
  2. The reinforcement stickers stick directly on to the nail to create that half moon shape.
  3. Paint your nails right over the sticker.
  4. Remove the sticker.
  5. You may have some boo-boos here or there. Just clean them up by using the nail sticks, Q-tips and some nail polish remover.
  6. Then top off with some top coat.
  7. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Fin!

half moon turtorial-01

Beauty Style

Tutorial:
Lace Ribbon Bohemian Braids inspired by Frida Kahlo

June 8, 2015

bohemian lace braids frida tutorial

I have always been inspired by Frida Kahlo not only as an artist, woman, and true bohemian but also by her captivating style. Her style is even more captivating when you find all the meanings behind it.  Her ribbon braided hair had many meanings behind it.  1st: Frida and Diego, became a driving force of the ‘Mexicanidad’ movement which sought to increase the status of Mexican culture and decrease the Spanish influence from Europe due to European influences such as Surrealism . She started to wear traditional Mexican costumes and braided her hair with ribbons, flowers and jewelry to identify with indigenous Mexican culture. 2nd: Femininity.  Frida later cut her beautiful locks to rejected her femininity and express the pain she felt over the separation with Diego, shown in her Self Portrait with Braid

This DIY is my ode to Frida; this is my version of feminine lace braids — a personal hairstyle favorite.

What you need:

  • Lace strand long enough to braid two pigtails wrap around your head twice and tie in a bow
  • Scissors to cut the ribbon
  • Make sure your hair is semi damp for clean braids and less flyaways

hair ribbon lace braids tutorial diy