DIY personalized hair accessories for weddings, and formal events

An older project from 2016 needed a refresh.

A Beautifully decorated headband that I created by hand.

I didn’t measure the first rectangular piece of black felt before I cut, but it is approximately 8.5 x 3 inches. Any kind or colour of medium weight felt will do for this DIY project.

Folding the rectangular piece in half, I roughly sketched an oval shape on one side using chalk.

I used straight pins to hold the two pieces together while cutting and making the oval shape out of felt.

The oval shape isn’t perfect, but you can tweak the smoothness later on if there are jagged corners. Felt can be tricky to get perfect shapes out of.

Using my sewing machine (or you can do this by hand), I sewed two straight lines to create a channel down the middle of my felt pieces. Sewing this channel creates a secure bond between the two felt pieces; as well as a tight passage way for my metal headband to pass through.

I went the extra mile and also sewed the edges with a thin seam, taking extra care not to sew over the middle channel that I sewed earlier. The edges could be glued together, however using thread makes the felt stronger and less likely to fall apart. It is also more rigid now to support the decoration that it will display.

As always, I made sure that my metal headband pieces would snugly slide into the channels before decorating, or else it would be impossible to fix afterwards without ruining my design.

Using turquoise beads and a hot glue gun, I began making my design one row at at time.

I incorporated another colour to make an updated yin and yang design.

I used layering techniques with the white beads.

As well as adding texture by using big and small beads.

A very pretty and unique design for a DIY headband.

Two variations of my idea are seen here:

The pink and white design is my least favourite as the lines look messy instead of what I had intended.

The design with feathers looks the best of the three. I tend to produce better designs when I keep them simple. I used 2mm brown flat sided beads with fabric glue instead of hot glue from a glue gun.

The feathers are short, and I would like to design something similar with longer plumes in the future.

This is definitely a project I will return to again in the near future.

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How I became a model for my designer fashions 

I recently took some photos to model new apron designs for my Etsy shop. New designs mean new potential customers, and so fresh photos are integral to making sales and showing off product. Since I don’t have many people nearby who appeal to my target customer base to model for me, I must be my own model.

I don’t mind however, as I have recently learned that knowing how to operate your business from start to finish, and having experience with the day to day operation is often referred to as “full stack”. What that means for me is that I design the apron, draft the pattern, construct and finish each apron, model photos, complete photography and editing and also sell and ship to buyers.  I suppose one day I will need to delegate some of these duties to other people that I will need to hire; but, a huge asset will be for me to know how the task is done myself.

I have a basic mannequin to showcase my designs, but I think that a human model is a better at showcasing the “fit” of garments for many reasons. One particular reason is, unlike a mannequin the human body has more curves and is less perfect than a factory made representation. I think that it is important to capture this imperfection when it comes to sexy designs such as the ones in the LillyBoChic line. We have all seen Victoria Secret ads, so I think I can be different from that fake and unattainable ideal. 

Also, the head and arms are missing from my mannequin, so the ability for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in the item is diminished. I love the pose where a woman puts her hands on her hips and accentuates the hourglass shape we all know and love. My mannequin can’t do that. 

Taking photos of myself in my designs pose significant challenges. One of which is that I do not have a tripod capable of holding my only functioning camera (which is my smartphone currently). After hair and makeup, I undergo a tricky exercise of balancing my camera at an angle that captures a particular area (usually in front of a nice background in my house), and using the self-capture setting I take burst photos of myself that often turn out quite well. For the photos that do not turn out well, I use Photoshop to enhance and crop as needed- but never to augment particulars like size or shapes a la Kardashian fame.

It is not ideal, but so far I believe it has improved my online presence to have candid photos of a model (me) wearing my apron designs. I have posted these photos on Tumblr with links to my Etsy listings, and save the best shots for the Etsy listings themselves. Some of the best responses to my photos have also been from pinning on Pinterest (a program that I absolutely adore).

Stephanie models sexy apron
Modeling my designs
wp-1480593378057.jpg
Stephanie modeling designs in cream and white

Thank you for visiting!

-S

$$Save Money$$ Make your own stretched canvas frames

As an artist, one always needs to conserve money and resources.

It totally goes without saying that artist canvas is one of the most expensive items you buy. Each piece requires at least one canvas: there is no way around that!

Once you start getting into you 40th and 50th piece, you can really start feeling the pinch!

Here is my quick guide to making your own stretched art canvas frames for a fraction of the cost of buying it at an art supply store.

Own Art Canvas Ad


Materials

  • Staple gun
  • 12 mm stainless steel staples
  • 8 foot lengths of 2″ x 2″ wood (quantity depends on size of frames you wish to make)
  • Miter saw (or miter box and hand saw)
  • Wood glue

Decide on the side of canvas frame you want to have. Keep in mind that the larger your frame, the more supports you will need; so try a small frame (no larger than 2 feet x 2 feet) for your first time.

3
Measuring your wood

Measure the lengths of your required pieces from your 8 foot lengths of wood.

1
8 Foot lengths laid on garage floor

Tips
Before you cut your wood, check for significant “bows” or crooked parts.Any inconsistently straight parts will make your frame crooked.

Also avoid cutting where the wood has “knots”. Your saw will have a tougher time cutting through knots in wood.

6
Miter Saw cutting at marked and measured point on wood

Cut your wood smoothly and carefully. Always wear goggles, and something to cover your nose and mouth from wood dust.

8
Measure twice and cut once! Always mark where you need to cut on your wood with an easily visible pencil or pen.

Clear away any mess and start laying out your structure on the floor or your work area.

11
Arrange your structure to align at 90 degree angles on the floor

Lay out your entire structure to ensure that you have measured and cut all proper lengths, and have no missing pieces.

10
Align your pieces to meet at 90 degrees

Using wood glue, slather your corners and join them to fit at 90 degrees. The size and thickness of the 2″ x 2″ wood make it easy to have well formed corners, but I recommend confirming the 90 degree angle with a carpenters square.

13
Use enough glue! When you put your corners together, glue should squeeze out from all sides.

For this frame, I cut small triangle supports to reinforce the structure and prevent bending. I also used glue to secure these supports at each corner.

14
Staple Time! Use lots of 12 mm staples to secure each corner.

Using 12mm stainless steel staples, secure each corner.

There is no set rule of how many staples to use, but since the 12 mm staples are very long and get driven deeply into the wood, I would say that it is safe to use 3- 4 staples for each corner.

15
Ready to start drying!

Let your new frame dry from 3-6 hours, however I would recommend letting the glue dry overnight.

Once you have let the frame dry, you can stand it up to save space.

Here are some variations I have made in the past.

Note that these have cotton canvas stretched over and stapled in place. I will post a tutorial on this DIY project soon.

Tips

If you have any staples that didn’t get driven in all the way, simply use a hammer or mallet to drive them all the way in.
For really large frames, remember to put in cross bars, as well as long wood screws to secure pieces longer than 5 feet.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

-S

Do it yourself: turn a men’s dress shirt into a cute blouse

 

 

Press entire shirt flat at seams with iron on high- always consider the type of material when using an iron. Never burn your threads!
Press entire shirt flat at seams with iron on high- always consider the type of material when using an iron. Never burn your threads!

 

Cut sleeves off evenly- avoid any "jagged" cuts.
Cut sleeves off evenly- avoid any “jagged” cuts.

 

 

Turn the shirt inside out and mark curves to give a more feminine fit to the shirt.
Turn the shirt inside out and mark curves to give a more feminine fit to the shirt.

 

Take both sleeves that were separated from the shirt body; and cut down the arm seam.
Take both sleeves that were separated from the shirt body; and cut down the arm seam.

 

 

Lay the cut open sleeve flat on your ironing board- press with your hot iron
Lay the cut open sleeve flat on your ironing board- press with your hot iron

Yes- this quadrilateral is supposed to illustrate a sleeve cut open and pressed/ironed flat. In the next step it will be clear why we did this…

 

dress_cleave
Cut strips of fabric that are two inches wide using a ruler to get uniform cuts. Do this for each sleeve, as you will be using this material as bias tape.

We will use the sleeves to make bias tape for our sleeves and add an accent waist strap for our new re-fashioned top.

I will post future items on how exactly bias tape making works- but for now you can check out this blog at www.danamadeit.com to see how it is done.

The finished product includes bias taped sleeves, and a waist tie accent.

 

final_shirt

 

Ladies Blouse made from a refashioned men's dress shirt diy.
Ladies Blouse made from a refashioned men’s dress shirt diy.
Ladies Blouse made from a refashioned men's dress shirt diy.
Ladies Blouse made from a refashioned men’s dress shirt diy.
Ladies Blouse made from a refashioned men's dress shirt diy.
Ladies Blouse made from a refashioned men’s dress shirt diy.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!

-S