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DIY

DIY Pompom Blanket

diy-pom-pom-blanket-3Moving is a pain but decorating a new place presents a whole world of exciting styling opportunities—especially when one arrives in a new city with hardly any furniture beyond a bed and a bar cart. Luckily I’m working with a pretty good blank canvas. My apartment was built in the ’20s as a monastery for the church across the street, and one can still find crosses carved into the wooden bannisters. It has hardwood floors, black-and-white checkerboard tiles in the kitchen and nice, high ceilings. Sure, it’s small, but it’s charming and it’s within walking distance to work. Continue Reading

Accessories, DIY

DIY Discount: Colorful Bag Charms

diy-bag-charms-2diy-bag-charms-6It’s no question that bag charms are the playful accessory du jour. Fendi’s furry monsters may have started it all, but the trend has spread to include everything from the now-ubiquitous and relatively plain furry pompom to the meta mini bag bag charm and the playful cocktail-themed bag charm from none other than kate spade.

As I’ve already amassed a significant stockpile of plain fur bag charms, I thought it was about time I started dipping into the kookier creations. So when I spotted these colorful dinosaur-tassel bag charms by Lenora Dame, I knew they was the perfect candidate for the DIY Discount. The original bag charms cost $5o each, but I was able to  make them for around $10 each—plus I got to customize them to my preferences (hello Iowa-inspired pig figure).lenora-dame-bag-charm

diy-bag-charms-10diy-bag-charms-1For this project, you’ll need the following:
• two gold key rings
• two big lobster claw clasps (I used these in gold)
• two gold eye pins
• faceted glass accent beads
• four jump rings
• a small drill like a Dremel or a pin vise
• two small plastic animals (I used a dinosaur and a pig, but you can use whatever strikes your fancy)
• two skeins of embroidery thread
• two teardrop crystals
• two strands of crystal cup chain
• neon spray paint or model paint
• super glue

diy-bag-charms-71. Start by drilling a small hole through the top of your animal with a very small drill bit. I used a manual pin vise, but a small rotary tool like a Dremel would make this task a breeze. Once the hole was drilled, I stuck a spare nail through the hole to keep if from closing up and to give myself something to hold while I was painting the animal.

2. Paint your animal figurine with one or two coats of neon paint. You can also leave your animal unpainted, if you prefer that look—totally up to you.

3. While your animal is drying, make a tassel using the method outlined here. You’ll want to use a whole skein of embroidery thread for the tassel, and be sure to comb through the ends once it’s assembled so looks nice and full. Attach a large jump ring to the top of the tassel.

4. Using a small jump ring, attach a teardrop crystal to the front of the tassel by theading it through the strands that are wrapped around the top of the tassel.

5. Once your animal is dry, it’s time to attach the crystal cup chain. Cut two lengths of cup chain that are long enough to span the back of your animal. If your little dude has spikes like my dinosaur, simply cut the chain into four pieces and attached two to each side rather than draping it across the back. Use super glue to secure the crystal chain.

6. Finally, we assemble the keychain. Attach the circular end of the eye pin to the jump ring you secured to the top of your tassel. Add one glass bead, the animal and another glass bead to the eye pin and close it with a loop. Attach the key ring to the eye pin and the lobster clasp to the key ring.

7. Use your playful new accessory to add color to you car keys or your handbag. Or do like I did and clip it onto your dog’s collar so she looks extra fancy. The possibilities really are endless.

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DIY

DIY Beaded Tassel Earrings

beaded-tassel-earrings-diy-2beaded-tassel-earrings-diy-9beaded-tassel-earrings-diy-7Who among us has not, at one point, wished to be the proud owner of a pair of Oscar de le Renta tassel earrings (may he rest in peace). When I win the lottery, those babies are definitely at the top of my To Buy list, along with a Birkin bag, a house with a library and paying off my student loans. After all, a girl can be stylish while being fiscally responsible.

Apart from renting a pair of these tasseled wonders for sixty bucks a pop—easier to justify, sure, but separation anxiety between woman and jewelry is a real thing—it seems that making my own version offers the shortest path between me and accessory heaven. You may remember I made another version of these earrings awhile ago, and since they were so popular but a little complicated for those with no beading experience, I decided to make another, more simplified pair. Really I just wanted them in red.

If you can thread beads onto a string and cut a circle out of felt (you’ll see) you can make these earrings—and I hope you do. They’re super simple, really beautiful and cost about ten dollars when all is said and done. Plus, whenever you get complimented on them you can say, “Oh thanks, I actually made these.”

beaded-tassel-earrings-diy-5For this project, you’ll need the following:
• seed beads
• rhinestones (I used these from Hobby Lobby, but you can use any rhinestone as long as it has a flat back and somewhere to attach a jump ring)
silver tassel caps
• E6000
• a small piece of felt
• flat earring posts (I used these 10mm ones)
• nylon beading string
• beading needle (I like these open-eye, non-pricking needles)
• 6mm jump rings
• needle-nose pliers

beaded-tassel-earrings-diy-6Directions
1. To make the tassels, start by threading your seed beads onto a length of nylon beading string, looping the beginning and end of the thread back through ten or so of the beads to finish each end (same technique used here). Make each string twice as long as you want your tassel to be; for reference, I used 70 beads for each string. The amount of strings you’ll need will depend on the size of tassel cap you’re using, but I needed seven strings per tassel, so 14 total.

2. Next, use a good length of beading thread to tie your strings together in the middle, thus creating a tassel. Make sure each string is hanging evenly so your tassel isn’t lopsided (this might take a few tries).

3. Use your end cap to trace a circle on a scrap piece of felt. Cut out the circle and sew the string you used to tie your tassel together to the round piece of felt. This is how we will connect our tassel to our end cap.

6. Apply a small amount of E6000 to the inside of your end cap and to the top of the felt circle, then insert the tassel into the end cap. Press down on the felt with a toothpick to ensure a snug fit and hold for about 30 seconds. Assemble your second tassel and let both dry completely.

6. While the tassels are drying, add a dot of glue to each earring post and the backs of each rhinestone and press the posts to the backs of the rhinestones. Again, let dry completely before assembling.

7. The last step is simple: use a small jump ring to connect the rhinestone to the tassel.

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DIY

DIY Simple Tassel Necklace

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Lately, I’ve added all things yellow to the list of things I love. Sunflowers, lemonade, pineapples, sweet corn—I can’t get enough of it. Besides craving beautiful foods to brighten up my plate, I’ve also been wanting to incorporate more yellow into my wardrobe. But since I have very fair skin, it’s tricky for me to find a shade that doesn’t wash me out.

That’s where this deliciously bright tassel necklace comes in. I can pair it with a fresh all-white look or throw it on with my favorite gray t-shirt and boyfriend jeans for an instant dose of sunny color. Even better? It hardly took any time to make (gotta love those instant gratification DIYs).

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For this project, you’ll need the following:
• end caps (I used one that I had leftover from this project)
• seed beads
• beading thread and needle
• E6000 or super glue
• a small piece of fabric or felt
• a necklace chain of your choice

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1. String a bunch of seed beads onto a length of beading thread, looping the beginning and end of the thread back through some of the beads to finish each end (same technique used here). Make each string twice as long as you want your tassel to be.

2. Make enough strings of beads so that, when folded in half, they make a good-sized tassel. The amount of strings you’ll need will depend on the size of your end cap, but I needed about 10 strings for this one.

3. Next, use a length of beading thread to tie your strings together in the middle, thus creating a tassel. Make sure each string is hanging evenly so your tassel looks even.

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4. Use your end cap to trace a circle on a scrap piece of felt or fabric. Cut out the circle and sew the string you used to tie your tassel together to the round piece of fabric. This is how we will connect our tassel to our end cap.

5. Apply a small amount of E6000 to the inside of your end cap, then insert the piece of felt with the tassel attached to it into the end cap. Press down on the fabric with a toothpick to ensure a snug fit. Let dry.

6. Now, all that’s left to do is thread your tassel onto a chain of your choice and get styling!

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