Saturday, 23 November 2013

Buy it or DIY it: Lace Appliqué Shoes

Whilst on the hunt for my wedding shoes, I came across these gorgeous lace appliqué shoes:

They're from Walkinonair on Etsy. They carry them in tonnes of colours, different styles and heel heights, and every size, perfect for matching your wedding theme and personal style!

Too bad they're $72 before you add on the shipping and handling...

So I decided to make them myself!
This is one of the easiest DIY's ever, so if you're worried about screwing them up, don't be!

Here's what you'll need:

1.  Spray adhesive- super useful, so I happened to have some on hand, but you can get it at just about any hardware store for about $5 a can.
2. Shoes- these are purple suede flats, but you could use pretty much any shoe you want. I found mine on eBay for $16.
3. Lace appliqués- make sure that they'll fit on your shoes somewhere (about an inch wide at their widest point should fit.) You could have different colours, but I liked that these made my shoes a little more... 'bridal.' Again, I found them on eBay for $4.
So all total, my supplies cost just $25.

So now that you've acquired the necessary items, let's glue this bitch!

First, head outside. Spray adhesive has a lot of angry looking ~*DANGER*~ symbols on the can, and whenever something I work with has fire and an exploding skull on it, I take it outside. That makes it automatically safe.

Second, put something on the ground that you're okay with getting spray adhesive on.

Like this fancy deconstructed Life Cereal cardboard box. High tech.

Next, play with the placement of your appliqués.

Now figure out which side is the back of the appliqué and mist it with adhesive. Seriously. Mist. No need to soak it, this spray glue is strong-like-bull! A little bit goes a long way.

Now wait a couple of seconds for the glue to get tacky and then REALLY EFFING CAREFULLY (because this glue will make suede shoes ugly if it gets on a spot it's not supposed to be on) place the appliqué on your shoe wherever you decide you want it. Push down on any bits that are sticking up to make sure they adhere.

Repeat on the other shoe.

Leave them to dry.

Pose them and take a bajillion photos of how frigging pretty they are.

Now wear them to boogy the night away!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Buy it or DIY it: Feather Boutonnieres

On this week's episode of Buy it or DIY it, we take a look at some beautiful Etsy feather boutonnieres that you can buy and later I'll show you how to make your own for a fraction of the cost.

As someone who is both a. crafty and b. cheap I almost always choose the DIY route. I like knowing that I can customize things to my own personal taste AND get them for a lot cheaper than I would pretty much anywhere else.

For our wedding we wanted to have something a little bit different for the lads, we're also having a Harry Potter themed wedding, so what better to have than feather quills instead of boutonnieres?! They won't wilt, you don't have to worry about picking them up from the florist and they add the perfect amount of whimsy!

So here are some lovely Buy it options from Etsy if you would rather make the splurge and pay for them in money instead of suffering mild glue-gun burns.

From Kirahley Kreations for $17 each:

From Love Mimosa Fleur for $11 each:

And from Corrine O'Neill for $12 each:

But when we're going to need nine of these bad boys, spending more than $100 without including shipping on boutonnieres seems a bit ridiculous to me.

So here's how you can make your own Feather Quill Boutonnieres:

What you'll need:
A selection of feathers in your preferred colours- I got all of my feathers off of eBay, mostly from House of Adorn - $23
Ribbon that is about 1 cm wide- I got a whole roll from my local fabric store and I'll be using it for a LOT of wedding crafts- $3 (for the whole roll)
Glue gun and low heat glue sticks- I always have these lying around
Optional: Quill Pen Nibs- I got ten off eBay for just over a dollar.

So all total this craft cost me around $27 and I made 9 boutonnieres and had a whole lot of feathers left over for future crafts! So these cost me a total of less than $3 a piece!

This craft is pretty easy so long as you have opposable thumbs and a heckofalot of patience.

Start by playing around with your feathers.

See what they do when you bend them...

Check out what it looks like when you layer them.

I decided to go with a layering of goose feathers.

Now you're going to have to pick out the ones that curve in the direction that you want them to. The boutonniere is usually worn on the left side of the chest, so you'll want your feathers to curve away from the centre of the chest.

The feather on the right is perfect. The one on the left, not so much.
Now choose the feathers that are in the best shape, curve the right way and are the right size and group them together so that you have all of your feathers chosen and ready to go.

Now you can start gluing those bad boys together!

Put about a half-of-a-pea-sized (very specific, I know) dollop of glue on the point of your bottom feather that you plan to have all of the feathers intersect at and then smoosh your next feather into it. I suggest going from boutonniere to boutonniere gluing pairs of feathers at a time so that each has some time for the glue to cool down and solidify.

Try to keep all of the feathers flowing to the same point, it'll keep things tidier for later.

If you're going to add a quill nib to the end of your boutonniere, you're going to want to trim off all but one of your feathers. This will give you a single, thin end on which to put your nib.

Glue the end of your ribbon to your boutonniere, starting from the connecting point of your group of feathers.  Wrap your ribbon down your boutonniere, adding glue dots as you go to help keep it in place. If you are planning to add a quill nib, leave the end of the feather that you left untrimmed bare, if not, cover the entire bottom and secure the ribbon in place.

To add your quill tip, cut the end of your feather on an angle...

Then push the nib on and secure it with glue.

And now you've got your own custom feather boutonnieres for super cheap!

I wish that I had been a little bit more careful gluing the ribbon in place- it looks a bit chunky, but all-in-all, I'm pretty pleased with how they all turned out.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Make Your Own Garter (that will fit real people thighs)- A Super Simple Tutorial

I apologize for my absence over the last week. I shall spare you the gory details and simply say that I had minor procedure done and I was not well, not well at all. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling up to making any tutorials. But now that I'm all better, it's Teachin' Time!

And so without further ado, I give you:

The Make Your Own Garter For Thighs That Touch Tutorial.

Keep in mind, this is mostly for practising your newly acquired sewing skills, so it's not particularly fancy. If you'd like me to make a tutorial on how to make a lace garter, or something a little nicer, let me know!

For weddings, for sexytimes, for practicing your basic sewing skills!

What you'll need:

A piece of elastic that's long enough to fit around your thigh when slightly stretched.
A piece of fabric of your choice (I happened to have a piece of satin mint green leopard print hanging around. Of course. I mean, who doesn't? Also, I'm not going to show you my scrap fabric bin, mostly because I don't want anyone to know about my secret material hoarding...)
A piece of ribbon/lace/whatever you feel like making a bow out of.
Some thread that goes with your fabric (I went with brown. There's brown in my fabric. BOOM. Logic.)

Now head on over to your sewing machine and get it all set up.

First, take your elastic and stretch it around your thigh- make sure that it's tight, but still has stretch to give.
Cut off any excess.

Lay out your fabric and stretch your elastic along the edge as far as it will stretch. Cut your fabric up two or three inches from the edge- this is how long your fabric will be. Long enough to add a little ruffliness/wrinkle.

Now fold the edge of your fabric over until it is about the width that you would like your garter.

Don't forget to include your seam allowance.

To cut the width of your fabric, make a small cut where the fabric end is overlapped.

Most fabrics will rip straight if they are being cut parallel to the selvage, so all you have to do is make a cut, and then ripping will do the rest. If you're not cutting along the selvage, just cut as straight as you can.

Now you'll have to figure out which is the front side and which is the back side of your fabric.

Fold your fabric in half, front sides facing in, length-wise.

Pin your fold in place, being careful to keep the edges straight and together.

Sew your pinned edge together using a 1/4" seam (using the edge of the foot as your guide).

Since this is a slippery, non-stretch fabric, I used a small straight stitch.

Sew the entire length of the fabric so that you are left with a tube.

Attach a safety pin to one end of your tube.

Using the safety pin as a guide, push fabric into the inside and through the tube. As you continue to push the safety pin through, the tube will eventually pull itself right-side-out.

Now attach one end of your elastic to the end of your tube with a safety pin.

Attach another safety pin to the other end of the elastic, but leave this end loose.

Just like turning your tube inside out, you will now push the loose end of your elastic back through the tube, essentially threading the tube with elastic.

Now you should have elastic sticking out on both ends of your tube.

First make sure that your elastic isn't all twisted and kinked (I suggest attaching both ends of the elastic to the fabric while doing this so that you don't lose either end when it SPROINGS back inside like an angry Christmas Tree Worm). Then line up your two pieces of elastic like so.

Do a big, fat, ugly zig-zag stitch to hold them together. Doesn't matter if it's pretty, nobody's going to see it.

Now roll one end of your fabric tube inside of itself about a half inch.

Push the other fabric tube end inside of your rolled end.

And add a straight stitch across the whole thing to attach those badboys together forever in unholy matrimony.

Super fun tip:

This little contraption here is going to be a good ol' buddy, ol' pal of yours. It's a thread ripper. So when you're done stitching and want to cut your thread, pull it up there, put it in 'im, and give 'er a yank. BOOM. SHAZZAM. RIPPED THREADS. Fancy.

Now we're going to add a bow!


Because I bloody well said so.

Also, otherwise it just looks like a huge scrunchy. And nobody wants that. Unless you do. In which case, pretend that this tutorial is actually entitled "Make Your Own Gigantic Scrunchy For Your Huge Rapunzel Braid."

So for your a-learnin' pleasure:

How to tie a pretty bow:

Remember when you were in Kindergarten and were learning to tie your shoes? Remember the lazy way? Yeah, that's how you should be tying your craft bows.
For those of you that don't remember being five years old, here's a refresher course.

Step 1.

Tie a knot in the middle of your ribbon/lace/whatever.

Step 2.

Make a loop.

Step 3.

Make another loop.

Step 4.

Tie your loops together.

Step 5.


Step 6.


Alright. So now you have a huge scrunchy and a bow.

Let's sew that shiz together.

I realized as I was doing this, that since I'm teaching the absolute basics, I may as well include how to thread a needle properly for hand sewing.

So here we go again with the wonderful learningses.

How to thread a sewing needle:

Step 1. 

Get out your needles and thread. Cut a piece of thread that is twice as long as you think you'll need.

Step 2.

Fold your thread in half/put the ends of the thread together. Samesies.

Step 3. 

Just like with threading your machine, get the end moist then stick it through the eye of the needle.

BAM. Threaded a needle. Like you're a big girl.

Alrighty. So now it's time to put your bow on.

Step 1. 

Push your needle through the back of your bow.

Step 2.

Now to anchor your thread, put your needle through the loop at the bottom of your thread and pull it tight. Convenient, huh? No knots. Double extra fancy.

Step 3.

Push your needle through a small part of the fabric of your garter/scrunchy. Pull the thread all of the way through and tight. I put my bow over top of the flat part where my visible stitches were, to sort of cover that up. 

Step 4.

Now put the needle through the back of the bow again, and again through the fabric, always pulling tight.

Step 5.

Go through the back of the bow one more time, this time leaving the thread with a loose loop. Put your needle through that loop and pull tight. If you'd like, you can continue leaving loose loops and putting the needle through them, this will just anchor the bow on stronger.

And with that... You're done your giant scrunchy! ... I mean sexy garter...

Triple super duper extra fancy.