Monday, July 7, 2014

Stay Golden: Gold Leaf Candle Holder

This summer I have made a new best friend and that friend is gold leafing. I'm TOTALLY kicking myself or not getting into this stuff sooner! I'm sure I've expressed this before, but seriously, everything is better with shiny gold. Having never met an old jar or bottle that I didn't want to rehabilitate in some way, gold leafing has turned out to be a game changer! With just some tape and a cheap gold leafing kit, the spaghetti sauce jar is now my new favorite votive holder. 
Materials Needed:
-clean jar
-gold leaf (I used the imatation stuff, but you can also buy 24K as well)
-gold leaf adhesive
-masking tape
-fine point sharpie

Prepare you Design
Step 1: Make a simple stencil for your pattern. My gold cross is 1/2" long and wide, giving me a total design area of  1 1/2" x 1 1/2"

Step 2: Lay you stencil on the jar and trace using a fine point sharpie, gel pen or china pencil.

Step 3: Repeat until you have the desired amount of designs drawn on to the jar. It's worth keeping in mind that the more designs you have, the more time you'll need to finish the project. If patience isn't your thing, you may want to go with a less-is-more approach or simply enlarge your stencil a bit.

Step 4: Now that your designs are drawn onto the jar you will need to block off the area around your design with masking tape. Lay the tape around the sides of your designs, just outside of the tracing.
**(It makes it go a little quicker to cut your tape into a number of small pieces in advance so you can just grab them as you go.)

Step 5: When you've finished take a moment to firmly press down all of the pieces of tape.

Gold Leafing
Step 1: Paint inside all of the design areas with your jar of adhesive. Let dry until tacky.

Step 2: Get out a sheet of gold leaf and lay across as many of the designs as you can. You'll continue adding sheets until all design areas are covered. The gold leaf is pretty forgiving so if there are any edges or crevices left uncovered, just add a little bit to those areas.

Step 3: Rub over all of the gold leaf areas firmly, but gently with a soft cloth.

Step 4: Moment of truth... remove the tape! If you find any extra bits stuck in places where they shouldn't be,  just remove them.

**(Also, be sure to save all of those extra pieces of leafing that came off when the tape. 
You can use those on your next project!)**

Step 5: Paint over all of the designs with the jar of sealant. This will protect your design from knicks as well as tarnish.

The beautiful results are great to use as a vase, or you could add a bit of sand 
or rice to lay a votive onto. Hope you'll have just as much fun with this as I did!

<<<I must give credit where credit is due: my inspiration to jump into gold  leafing came from NC artist  (and my childhood friend), Sullivan Anlyan. She's an incredibly prolific artist whose work often pairs nature/animals against a guilded background. I'm a little obsessed (especially with beauties like this). Thanks for inspo, Sully, and please keep up the shiny, good work!!>>>

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vintage Tie Sunglass Case

It took its sweet time getting here, but summer is here, friends! After this painfully drawn out winter I think we're all deserving of a little extra basking, so of course we'll be need our sunglasses and a great case to put them in.

 I have to this easy project felt a bit like a celebration to me:
#1) Because my sunglasses from last summer somehow made it to this summer, for probably the first time ever.
#2) Because the colorful/slightly over the top results are reminiscent of something my way-too-fabulous Memaw (grandma for those of you who don't speak southern) would use back in the 80's. I think it's the gold trim. It's kind of impossible to go wrong with gold.
-tie (no skinny ones)
-4 1/2"length of trim or ribbon

Step 1: Lay the tie out flat (with its backside facing up) and set your sunglasses on top just beneath where the lining becomes visible.

Step 2: Fold the tie over so that it's completely covering the sunglasses.

Step 3: Cut off the extra length of tie, straight across 1" above the sunglasses.

Step 4: On the end that you just cut, pull back the outer fabric about an 1 1/2",  exposing the material inside. (Snip through any stitches that prevent you from being able to do this.)

 Step 5: Cut away 1" of the material inside.

Step 6: Fold the outer material inward so that you have a smooth finished edge.

Step 7: Stich straight across.

Step 8: Again, fold the end of the tie toward the point. Pin down just beneath where the lining starts to show.

Step 9: Now you need to run a few stitches to attach it. Start on the top right corner of the edge you stitched in step 7 and sew down about 1/2". When you've finished repeat on the left side.
 **It's VERY important you push away the areas not being attached, or you'll sew the pouch shut.**

When you've finished step 9, it will look like this:

Step 10: Finish by sewing the trim to the right and left sides, 2" down from the pouch's opening. 

 //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\ //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\Happy summer!!//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\//\\//\\//\\/\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\

 //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\ //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\ //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\//\\//\\//\\/ //\\//\\//\\//\\\

*double stick tape (or pins)
*sewing machine (or needle and thread)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Done in a Flash DIY: Infinity Bracelet

You know, I originally had one more chilly weather project ready to go, but I'm so over this cold I've decided that the time has come to just ignore it and hope it goes away. 

So on to more fun things! Like making some colorful new bracelets to stack up my (soon to be in short sleeves) arms. This one is so easy - takes less than 5 minutes easy - and utilizes hair elastics. Working with used elastics is just fine, but remove any lingering strands of hair or this can quickly go from so pretty, to pretty nasty :P
What you need:
-2 hair elastics
-2 jump rings
-2" of chain
-a pair of jewelry pliers

Step 1: Place the two elastic bands so that they are layered, with the adjoining seam on each facing out.

Step 2: Fold the top band so that half of it is now on the backside.

Step 3: Pull the seam of the folded band to the left.

Step 4: Tighten.

When you're done, the elastics will now look like this:

Step 5: Open a jump ring and slide on one end of the elastics and one end of the chain. 

Step 6: Use your pliers to close the jump ring. 

Step 7: Finish the project by repeating steps 5 and 6 with the 2nd jump ring on the other end of the elastic and chain.

<<<<<Warm thoughts, everyone!>>>>

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Upcycled Denim and Fleece Scarf

I don't know about where you're living, but here in New York, this has been the LONGEST winter I can remember! This denim scarf has been a happy addition to my many, many layers. If you've got a worn out pair of jeans, repurpose this into a modern accessory by adding some cozy fleece and a few snaps!

-old jeans
-1 yd fleece (or flannel)
-3 snaps

Step 1: From the bottom hem measure up 28" and cut.

Step 2: The top it will flare out, but for our purposes we need the pant leg straight. Place a ruler on the straight seam extending on the flared area and mark with tailor chalk.

Step 3: Cut straight across a 1/2" above the chalk line.

Step 4: Flip the pant leg inside out and stitch 1/2" down from the cut edge.

5: Follow by stitching the top of the pant leg closed.

When you're done, flip right side out again.

Step 6: Lay your piece of fleece out flat... (The bears? I know, they're amazing! Thank you, Etsy!)

...and place the pant leg over top of it.

Step 7: Cut the fleece so that it is the same length as the pant leg, and same width plus 1".

Step 8: Fold back 1/2" allowance on the fleece and pin to the bad side of the jeans.

Step 9: Pin the bad sides of the fleece and pant leg together.
(The extra denim you see on the left and sides is where the snaps will be placed. You'll need at least 1/2" on each side, but you can fold back as much as an 1" if you'd like.)

Step 10: Stitch around all sides to secure the denim to the fleece.

Step 11: Finish by stitching closed the bottom of the pant leg, near the hem.

When you've finished sewing it will look like this:

Step 12: Lastly, Add the closures by marking the placement for the snaps on each end and setting them with a pedestal and snap setter.

Ta-da! It's a scarf! 

*Please remember that textiles are not trash! With what's left over from the jeans, you can turn into new cutoffs, make another scarf for a friend or even split the seams to upcycle the fabric for other projects. If you still have that desire to kick the remnants to the curb, try to find a textile recycling program in your area. They'll be happy to take these and  any other fabric scraps you're looking to ditch.

++Warm thoughts+++

*tailor's chalk
*sewing machine or needle and thread