introducing our march featured guest bloggers!

i am very excited to welcome our guest bloggers for the month of march, erica and lauren of the amazing blog honestly…wtf! these ladies are a constant source of inspiration for DIY projects, art, fashion and more, and i’m thrilled they will be sharing some of their projects and inspiration, as well as an exclusive DIY for free people this month – and keep an eye out on our website for some items from erica’s awesome line the 2 bandits!

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Lauren and I, a fashion stylist and designer respectively, started Honestly…WTF several months ago as a way for us to document a shared love of art, DIYs, travel, and most importantly, fashion. We were beyond thrilled when Free People asked us to contribute to their guest blogger series with a few things that inspire us. Honestly, we can trace our love of Free People as far back as we can remember (circa 1990s)! And so in true FP spirit, we are sharing a handful of images from a DIY Tepee Sewing Workshop we hosted on my family’s ranch in California last Fall. After 3 days of handling 400 yards of heavy canvas, sewing 160 button holes, carving 40 willow pins, attaching 36 stress patches and ripping through 20 spools of thread, we successfully made a beautiful 20 foot tepee. Stay tuned this Spring when we paint the outside of the canvas and decorate the inside!

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if you haven’t already, check out erica and lauren’s blog here.

wednes-diy

good morning! today’s DIY is once again inspired by our spring store displays – specifically, the colorful silk scarves floating around the ceiling.  our team dyed and hand-painted each one of these scarves themselves! i think they’re beautiful and such a great way to add some color to a space for spring.

what you need:

for our displays, our team used silk scarves from dharma trading co. and dye-na-flow silk dye.

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the dye can be applied to the fabric by simply dipping it in the dye or by using a brush, squirt bottle or sponge to create different patterns on the scarf. once dry, iron the fabric for a few minutes to fix the dye, then wash in cool water with synthrapol and rinse.

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i love the mixture of printed and solid scarves our team used!

if you check out the instructions for the silk dye here, there are a number of other cool dying methods you can try, such as sun printing:

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i never heard of this method before but what you do is arrange cutouts or found objects like leaves and flowers on the fabric while the dye is still wet, and lay out in the sun for a couple of hours.  when you remove the objects you’re left with ghosts of the shapes that look really beautiful.

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i love the idea of sewing a bunch of scarves together like our display team did…they look like prayer flags. i am definitely going to try this and string them up in my apartment!

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wednes-diy

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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wednes-diy

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?!?

wednes-diy

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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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.

wednes-diy

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!

wednes-diy

i’m sure some of you remember these adorable stockings we sold a few years back.  i’ve been kicking myself ever since for not buying one – so i finally decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own free people stocking inspired by the ones above!

i went over to a.c. moore during my lunch break in search of a stocking and embellishments.  they didn’t have the plain old red stockings i had in mind, but this knit one worked just as well. i also got some fake fur trim, ribbon, feathers, sequin trim, and some tassels and pom poms i didn’t end up using.

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the only items i used from here at the office were a free people bag (which many of you may have!) and some strips of fabric from our display team.

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the only other things you need for this project are scissors and fabric glue! your stocking might come out a little bit prettier if you sew things onto it but the glue worked just fine and was quicker :)

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i started out by gluing the fur trim to the top and then worked my way down by adding different embellishments at random. it only took a little over an hour, and here’s the end result!

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i’m really happy with it and it will look lovely hanging by my desk. now i want to make more!

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if any of you are inspired to make your own stockings i would love to see photos! you can send them to blog@freepeople.com :)

wednes-diy

some of you asked for a tutorial on how to make the sequin hangers in our holiday displays… well ask and you shall receive! one of our lovely visual display gals was kind enough to put this together for the blog. the hangers are actually quite easy to make!

a hanger, scissors, needle & thread, marker, pins and fabric! we obviously used sequin fabric, but any kind of fabric works and would look great. i’m already thinking about all the other fun fabrics i want to try :) and if you can’t find sequin fabric, try looking for a sequin top at thrift stores!

steps

steps (pictured above):
1. trace outline onto fabric 1/2” around outside edge of hanger – do this twice for front and back pieces.
2. cut out both pattern pieces on marker outline.
3. place the two patterns on top of each other, with insides of fabric facing out. pin together. sew tops together only, 1/4” in from edge of fabric, along pink dotted line.  if you are using sequin fabric, we suggest sewing by hand – the sequins might break your sewing machine needle!
4. turn cover right side out.
5. cut small hole in top center of hanger cover.  poke metal hanger through hole.
6. cover hanger with fabric.  sew bottom shut by hand.

all done!