diy: anthro bib necklace on the cheap

source: anthropologie

check out this necklace from anthroplogie. it’s beautiful, right? i really, really wanted it- at least until i saw the pricetag. $368! i immediately decided that instead of really, really wanting it, i really, really wanted to make a knock-off.

old lucketts is so amazing. go there.

so, while perusing old lucketts store, an amazing antique shop outside dc, my friends and i decided to have a craft night, which meant i had a perfect excuse to make my necklace. i didn’t have any supplies with me since i was on vacation (including a good camera, boo. apologies), so i had to buy everything. i spent about $50, but you can likely make this necklace for even less $$$ if you have some of the supplies on hand.

here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 pendants. they can all be the same or different, just make sure they have enough holes to create an interesting effect. i found mine at michaels and joann.
  • about 6 colors of embroidery thread
  • about 8 beads, 2 sizes (2 large and 6 small)
  • three varying chains
  • a clasp and small round findings to connect everything
  • embroidery needles
  • small pliers

{step 1} using your embroidery thread and a needle, weave different colors of the thread throughout the pendants. this is pretty time-consuming and possibly the reason anthro’s original costs $368. just a warning.

{step 2} arrange the pendants and connect them with the small round findings.

{step 3} add a finding to the top of the upper pendants. string four beads together, add another finding, and attach to the pendants.

{step 4} attach the three chains to a finding, cut to size, attach to the necklace. repeat on the other side.

{step 5} add a clasp.

{step 6} enjoy the necklace and all the compliments!


happy holidays: christmas tree skirt + diy felt garland

i was so hoping to do lots and lots of christmas projects this year, but of course work and the usual holiday bustle took priority. i was able to squeeze in a couple of fun things though. i had my first real christmas tree as an adult this year because i was hosting christmas at my {tiny} condo. my big project to compliment my grown-up tree was a tree skirt using some cool vintage christmas fabric i had been holding on to. my inspiration skirt came from baylee from the tanner’s. i followed baylee’s basic instructions, but with a few changes: a) after i cut the fabric i realized i wanted to put a hem on all the rows so it wouldn’t fray. this made all the rows a little narrower so i needed an extra. so, either cut the strips a half inch wider or plan on six rows of ruffles. and b) i ruffled my rows differently. instead of sewing a straight line and pulling the thread to create ruffles, i just set my tension and stitch length to the max and stitched each piece of fabric. super easy way to ruffle!

like i’ve said before, i’m not great a sewing, but i think my tree skirt turned out pretty nice!

the only other holiday project i attempted was felt balls, inspired by this west elm felt garland 

umm, but maybe i should have just bought the garland. felting balls is pretty darn time consuming. martha stewart explains it better, but here’s a quick run-down on the how-to.

1) shape roving wool into a ball that’s about twice the size of your desired ball.

2) dip the wool ball into hot soapy water

3) and shake, shake, shake. shake, shake, shake. dip again. shake, shake, shake. this takes forever. and it makes really awkward noises. this project makes a great giggle-fest if you’re attempting these with your girlfriends.

4) once dry, string the balls and hang on your tree.

i hope you guys had a very merry christmas! and here’s to all of us having more time for blog-worthy projects in the new year!

diy: fall yarn ball wreath

remember my round-up of fall fun a few weeks ago? one of my favorite things on that list was this adorable yarn wreath from write it down.

a girlfriend of mine threw a pinterest party a few weeks ago. everyone was to bring supplies for a project they had pinned and a bottle of wine. this was the perfect time for me to start this wreath!

i couldn’t find a link to any diy instructions for this, so i’ll give you my best interpretation. here’s what you’ll need:

  • three colors of yarn 
  • about 15 styrofoam balls. i used two different sizes
  • floral wire
  • burlap or ribbon for hanging

1) tie the yarn onto a ball.

2) and then start wrapping! wrap each ball until completely covered and then tie off. you’ll need about fifteen balls of different colors.

3) arrange the bottom layer of ten yarn balls in a circle.

4) string together with floral wire. i found it helpful to poke holes through each ball with an ice pick before i started stringing. also create a string of five yarn balls to attach to the circle. 

5) wrap some yarn around the wire between each ball and tie off.

6. attach a ribbon (or in my case a strip of burlap) for hanging.mine didn’t turn out quite as pretty as my inspiration, but i still think it’s pretty cute.
what fall crafts have you done this month?

diy: beach towel beach bag

since my discovery of pinterest a few months ago, my to-make list has increased infinitely. my free time unfortunately hasn’t increased, but i was able to squeeze in one project before i went t to the beach this summer. one of my pinterest finds was this beach towel tote bag from martha stewart:

i didn’t really understand the instructions though, so i decided to make my own version (read: i kept trying to follow martha’s instructions but still ended up with a completely different bag). also, i’m just learning to sew. i’ve gotta say that deciding to sew towel material as a novice wasn’t the best idea. i think i broke four or five needles! proceed with caution!

materials you’ll need:

  • a full-size towel; i used a really giant towel. pick a smaller one if you want a normal-sized bag!
  • a hand towel that’s the same length as the full-size towel is wide
  • leather strips for the straps
  • leather or burlap to reinforce the straps (not pictured)
  • sewing machine

1) fold the big towel in half (inside out) and pin the hand towel down to make a pocket. sew the hand towel on the bottom and two sides. also sew up the middle to make two pockets.

2) turn right-side out and fold in half. fold down the tops a few inches and pin the whole thing together. turn inside-out again and sew the sides together. beware: the fabric gets super thick!!

3) braid together leather strips for your handles. i used six strips per braid. then sew the handles to the inside of your bag.

4) cover the base of the handles with burlap squares. my bag was feeling heavy and i was worried that the handles couldn’t handle the weight (bahaaa), so sewing these squares on added some much needed reinforcement.

and there you have it! now for some awkward photos of me modeling my new bag on the beach!

diy: fourth of july cake pops

it’s been a while since i’ve baked anything, so i thought i’d try another round of cake pops to celebrate the fourth.

i’d love to be someone who always bakes from scratch, but there just isn’t always time for that. plus, i’m not the best baker anyway. that’s why i was excited to find this strawberry cake with cream cheese icing recipe from southern plate– it combines a cake mix and your own fresh ingredients (strawberries!).

here’s what you’ll need for the strawberry cake:

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 1 cup smashed strawberries
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 package strawberry gelatin (3 ounces) 
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs

you’ll need a cup of smashed strawberries. you could probably use a food processor or a blender, but smashing them in a ziploc bag with a can of beans works just as well. and it’s cathartic.

add the milk, oil, eggs, and gelatin into a bowl.

then add the flour and mix until the batter is smooth.

mix in the cup of strawberries.

pour the batter into a prepared sheet cake pan and bake according to the box (32-36 minutes at 350 degrees).

let the cake cool while you make the icing.

here what you’ll need for the cream cheese icing:

  • 8 ounce cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 tablespoons margarine, room temp
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar

blend together all of the ingredients until smooth.

now for the fun part. crumble the cake into bowl of cream cheese icing.

mix it all together with a spoon.

roll the cake into balls. i made these especially giant. place the cake balls into the freezer. these were super gooey, so they needed to be frozen overnight in order to work with them.

finally, here’s what you need for the decorations:

  • red, white, and blue candy melts
  • lollipop sticks
  • red and blue star-shaped sprinkles
  • red and blue edible glitter
  • styrofoam block (not pictured)
  • mini treat bags and ribbon for packaging

add lollipop sticks to the frozen pops and put back in the freezer. i pulled each pop out of the freezer right before i dipped it. warm pops=a giant mess.

melt the candy melts as directed. i found that the best way to do this was with a homemade double boiler. this kept the candy warm and runny.

yum. make sure the heat is really low, otherwise you’ll overcook the candy and it’ll be worthless.

dip the pops one by one and then sprinkle with the glitter or stars.

stick the pops into a styrofoam block for drying.

i ran out of sprinkles, so i had to figure out something else for the remaining pops! i melted candy melts in a ziploc bag, cut a teeny-tiny hole in the bag, and then streaked the tops of the pops with color. my mom would be appalled at the mess i made!

package them in treat bags (or saran wrap if you make giant pops like mine), tie them up with ribbon, and pass them out to all your friends on the fourth of july. i hope that you all have a lovely holiday with friends and family!

diy: mason jar chandelier

i’ve been working on a very big, very exciting project (hint hint), but the big reveal will come later- hopefully sometime this week. in the meantime, here’s a mini project within the big project.

i’ve been dreaming about a mason jar chandelier for a while now. they’re all over etsy as well as the blogosphere. the diy blogs i kept finding were a little too complex for my simple abilities. i don’t really want to get into wiring and all the dangerous stuff, so i had to figure out another way to make my vision come to life. this chandelier plugs straight into the wall, so if you have a way to hide the wire, then this is a really easy and safe project for you to recreate!

here’s what you need:

  • mason jars. i used three of varying sizes because it was going in a small space. use as many as you desire, though!
  • lamp kits. you’ll need as many as you have mason jars. i found mine at world market.
  • heavy gauge aluminum wire
  • scissors
  • ice pick, or something else sharp to make a hole in the mason jar lid
  • low wattage light bulbs (i’m using 11 watts)

{step one} using your ice pick or other sharp item, punch a whole into the lid of the jar. make the hole as large as possible because you need to get scissors in the opening (warning: i know i don’t always do things in the most sophisticated way possible. i basically make things up as i go, so feel free to make a prettier hole than i did. maybe using a drill? dang, why didn’t i think of that earlier).

{step two} using your scissors, make the whole big enough to fit the end of the lamp kit through. once i had made a significant hole, i cut slits in the circle so i could fold the metal down as needed.

{step three} slip the end of the lamp kit through the rim of the lid and into your newly created hole. if you used the slit method, the metal should be somewhat flexible. screw the plastic stopper that came with the lamp kit on. insert the light bulbs and screw on the jar.

{step four} wrap each of the lamp kits in aluminum wire.  i did this for merely aesthetic purposes, so change this out with another material if you’d prefer. i wrapped all three of the cords, arranged them like i wanted them, and then wrapped the three cords together with the same wire.

{step five} hang the chandelier in your desired spot and plug it in.

{step six} turn it on and enjoy!

{step seven} stay tuned for the unveiling of the location of my mason jar chandelier!

have you attempted one of these? i’d love to see how yours turned out!

this post is linked to:

DIY Club

The DIY Show Off

diy: tin can pencil + note holder

whoa, it’s been a while since i’ve blogged. just when i get into the habit, life comes along and acts all hectic. i’ve been sitting on this diy post for over a month now- my new job is keeping me busy, busy!

speaking of jobs, i wanted to do something nice for my coworkers when i left my old job. they threw me a lovely going away party and made me the perfect gift. i wracked my brain- and the internet- trying to decide on something that was crafty, functional, and that i could make in bulk. i finally decided to make pencil holders out of tin cans and cork board.

here’s what you need to make some, too:

  • tin cans. i ate lots of canned veggies for a few weeks. my coworkers also helped me out, though i wouldn’t tell them why they were bringing me cans.
  • spray paint
  • roll of cork (i got it at michaels)
  • hot glue
  • scissors

for the pushpins you’ll need:

  • thumb tacks
  • assorted fabric
  • felt
  • needle
  • thread
  • hot glue or fabric glue

and here’s how i did it (sorry about the lack of pictures. not sure why i didn’t take many, or if i did take them, i don’t know what happened to them; it’s such an easy project though- i have faith in you!):

first, spray paint the bottom of the cans and let them dry completely. i used a couple of coats of paint.

when dry, turn the cans over and paint the inside of the cans and the rim. i ended up painting the whole outside, but this isn’t necessary since you’ll be covering it.

cut out pieces of the cork roll that are the same height as your can. glue one end to the can and then start wrapping the cork. i wrapped two to three times around because the cork was so thin. otherwise, the pushpins fell right out. glue the end down and voila- you’ve got yourself a pencil holder!

i wanted to make the pencil holders a little more special, so i decided to make fabric pushpins as well. for some of them i made tiny rosettes (my rosette diy is here) and for the others i made pinwheels according to blair’s instruction (the first few of these i attempted were disasters. props to you, blair). after i had completed a whooole bunch of them, i cut out little circles of felt, popped a thumb tack through them, and then glued the felt to the backs of the rosettes/pinwheels. i swear i took pictures of this process but they are nowhere to be found (huh).

what a cute way to keep both your pencils and your notes-to-self organized! are there any other diy office supplies i should know about?

p.s. still speaking of jobs, don’t forget to check out krush. be a trend-setter and win prizes by rating upcoming lines of clothes, shoes, and accessories before they hit stores. seriously, we’ve got some cool things in the works, so you need to jump on the bandwagon now!

this post is linked to:

Catch As Catch Can Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap   up           party!