wednes-diy

i made my first vintage loves purchase the other week and i was so happy when it arrived in its lovely little tie dye bag! i totally forgot about them! i adore the colors and i want to be able to use it as a tote bag this summer, so i decided i’d add a handle!

this is super easy. all you need is a needle and thread, and whatever you want to use for the handle. i used a fabric belt that was part of an old coat i don’t even have anymore, but for some reason i kept the belt.

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i sewed the strap onto the inside of the bag, below the drawstring – i wanted to still be able to pull the bag closed with the drawstring.

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and that’s it!

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in case you missed it, check out our post from this summer when we showed you how we make the tie-dye bags!

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in the dressing room area of our pittsburgh store, look up and you will see these amazing chandeliers made out of deconstructed paper umbrellas dancing overhead. they were inspired by the amazing work of artist sylvia marius:

i was immediately intrigued by them and went down to ask our display team how they were made. they were kind enough to give me a little lesson on how to do it and let me use their supplies to make my own! it’s actually not hard, as with most projects it just takes a little time and patience.

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what you need:

a paper umbrella- you can find these in chinatown or online at amazon or party supply stores. don’t worry about the design or quality of the umbrella because you’re going to cut it up!

you’ll also need some cord or heavier string, thread, beads and scissors. i used some strips of fabric our display team had lying around as well, but just for decorative purposes.

our display team had some really pretty beads they let me use, but you can find beads at any craft or art supply store.

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start by cutting the paper out from between all the framing – make sure not to cut the white string part! also our team, and i, opted to leave some of the paper on the frame because we like the way it looks and it gives the chandelier some color. i was able to pretty much just tear the paper right off, this part was easy.

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for the next step, measure out pieces of string to reach from the end of one spoke to the end of the umbrella handle – i tied some of the fabric strips just below where i was attaching the string so it wouldn’t slip down – you could also tape it into place.

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it’s ok if the spokes curve a little bit too – i actually liked how it looked that way. i also wrapped the entire handle in fabric strips… which i probably should have done before tying all the string on… ;)

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now its time to start stringing beads! to leave spaces of empty string in between beads, just knot the thread around a bead and continue.

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tie the strands of beads right to the spokes of the chandelier at random intervals.

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and you’re done! hang the chandelier somewhere that you can admire it, and enjoy :)

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snow day valentines

i hear chicago had quite the snowstorm yesterday…one of our fp girls sent along these great photos and said she and her roommate, who also works for fp, were snowed in with drifts up past the windowsills and no shovel – the fp store was even closed!

she wrote that they have a rule with every catalog: save one to cut up, and one to keep (i do the same thing girls!). so, being stuck at home, she decided to use old catalogs to make valentines! love this idea, might have to steal it…

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thanks for sharing lauren!

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i’m so in love with these hand-painted wooden coasters that i saw on design sponge the other day! they have been painted with hex signs that the author traced onto the wood with carbon paper, but it would be fun to make your own patterns as well :) such a great way to add a bit of color to your coffee table!

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the colors are perfect. click here for the full tutorial!

wednes-diy

i’m starting to think i have a strange obsession with sticks, driftwood, tree branches… i guess i just really like the idea of incorporating bits of nature into the home. regardless, i spotted this diy the other day and can’t get over it.

you all have probably seen this image before of beautifully painted driftwood by ginette lapalme… i’ve posted it before.  this was the inspiration for the diy project on the blog semi jewels, which takes a piece of driftwood and turns it into a rad key holder:

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i’m in love. check out the full tutorial here.

now does anyone know where i can find some good driftwood in the philly area?!?

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saw these adorable little fabric-embellished moleskine journals over on honestly…wtf and they’ve been hanging around in the back of my mind ever since! any crafts that involve taking a simple everyday object and personalizing it are always appealing to me – plus i am one of those people who does not go anywhere without a journal to jot down notes, song lyrics, doodles, and yes, even blog ideas. i love the little moleskines because they’re nice and small and can fit in any bag, or in my pocket.


what you need:
moleskine journal of whatever size you desire, fabric, scissors, a needle and thread.

i’m going to go off on a tangent for a moment and say that one of my favorite place in our building is our visual display team’s workroom.  they have everything you could possibly ever need for crafting! and yes i know how lucky i am that they lend me supplies for some of my projects :)

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these beautiful scraps of fabric are from antique quilts our team finds in india… you may recognize them from many of our store displays! it’s nearly impossible to pick one because they’re all so special but the rich cerulean blue of one really stuck out to me.

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cut the fabric to your desired shape.  honestly…wtf recommends gluing the fabric to the journal first so it doesn’t move around, and then sewing with a sewing machine.  while that would be much easier, i did it by hand, without any glue, and it worked just fine – and here’s my cute little journal!

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i have a feeling this is going to become a regular thing now…

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our senior stylist recently moved into a new home and painted one of the walls with chalkboard paint – such a fun idea! friends can leave little drawings and notes when they stop by, and it would come in handy for bursts of inspiration! i love how elegant her’s looks with the mantel and mirrors – and don’t you love the fire someone drew :)

there are so many cool things you can do with chalkboard paint…here’s some more inspiration from around the web.

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wednes-diy

you’ve all probably seen an image of photos arranged in a heart shape before… i know it’s been done. i found this one particularly sweet though – i like how it consists of all images of deer. and it got me thinking about other variations you could try this with. i have this one wall in my apartment with nothing on it, so i think i might do something like this but i can’t decide what!

my first inclination was to make a collage of my favorite photos of various places i’ve been… but then i thought this might be a really fun project for the new year – making a collage of photos from the past year. i decided to try it out at work today using some of my favorite images from our 2010 catalogs!

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it was really cool just looking back through this year’s catalogs and tearing out my favorite images.  i feel like they just kept getting better and better this year –  i didn’t think our team could top the august catalog shot in the desert in morocco, but then i saw september and fell in love.  and wait till you guys see our january 2011 book – it’s breathtaking.

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i don’t know if there’s a certain way to do this that’s easiest, but i started in the middle. it was a little tricky because my images were all different sizes.  i wanted the camel image to be at the center because i love it,  then i just worked around it, using different image sizes and rearranging them until they formed a heart.

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i really like how it came out!

top image source.

diy inspiration!

this awesome photo was sent in by our reader jenna, who wrote:

“so i’m on winter break…and have a ton of free time. i bought a cheap ukelele and am currently teaching myself how to play via youtube. anyway, i was still bored, so i decided to decorate my uke using acrylic paint… i think it ended up looking pretty freepeople-esque!”

i agree! i love it so much :)

you can check out her tumblr here.

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i can’t believe christmas is just a few days away… it always sneaks up on me! for today’s DIY i thought i’d give you guys a roundup of some last minute crafts. i wish i had time to do all of these!

a pretty fabric wreath… tutorial here.

a lace doily and christmas light garland – this would look cool with paper snowflakes too!

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love these sequin trees

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… and these felt ones.

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a pretty fabric fringe garland.

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make your own ornaments with little bits of nature inside.

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these little plastic figurines painted with nail polish remind me of our current store displays!

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another creative take on a wreath.

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and some really fun wrapping paper made with bits of crayon!

more stockings!

a couple of readers saw my stocking DIY a couple of weeks ago and sent in photos of stockings that they created based on the tutorial! i had to share cause they’re really cute :)

left: jeannie’s “charm stocking” with feathers and pieces of her own handmade jewelry.

right: a shorter version, from courtney – love them ladies thanks for sending in photos!

thurs-diy

sorry for not posting the DIY yesterday!!

i may be a little late to the game but i just discovered the site craftgawker and spent a little too much time perusing page after page of crafty ideas – if you have not already heard of this site you have to check it out! these little felted acorns by lisa of lil fish studios caught my eye and i haven’t stopped thinking about them since. easy to make and just so adorable…i love projects where you can play around with color combinations and create different arrangements (a la andy goldsworthy). take a look at these and tell me you don’t feel inspired!

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so cute! love the idea of using them on gifts this holiday season.

making the acorns is very simple, requiring just a few steps:

  1. collect a bunch of acorns and remove the caps.
  2. get wool for felting in various colors at your local craft store
  3. roll the wool into small balls, wet with hot water and add a little bit of soap. continue rolling the ball in your hands for about ten minutes, occasionally adding soap, until it is firm. mold into the shape of an acorn and glue into the cap using fabric glue or even krazy glue or guerilla glue.

for  the holidays add a little glitter for some extra sparkle :)

i explored lisa’s site a little bit and was also very inspired by her experimentation with natural dye:

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pieces of felted wool, from left to right: nothing/undyed, dyed with carrots, dyed with parsley and dyed with pomegranate.

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left – parsley dyed wool and thread; right – pomegranate dyed wool and thread

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left – red cabbage dyed wool and thread; right – onion skin dyed wool and thread

such gorgeous colors. check out her blog here!