Monday, July 25, 2011

Crashing The Arm Party!

I can't help, but be TOTALLY charmed by the Man Repeller. From the first time I read Leandra's site, I knew that my blog roll had just gotten way more fun. The more-is-more fashion philosophy , the hilarious photos and maybe my favorite of all, the "arm party"! If you are not familiar with her fantastic blog, I highly recommend it! She has an awkwardly endearing way of making serious fashion, seriously fun.

In true Man-Repeller spirit, I decided why make a single recycled bracelet project, when I could make an "arm party"??

Materials:
-scrap leather
-scrap cotton fabric
-3 bangles (2 narrow, 1 wide)
-3 recycled ties (all the better if designer and silk!)
-vintage link necklace


Preparation:
You can save some time in the beginning by preparing the scrap leather and the links from the necklace.

*For the leather, cut off a wedge from the end that is a little over twice the width of the larger bangle and about 2" wide, and cut it into a tallish triangular shape. What is left will be cut into two thin strips, preferably around 16" long to wrap around the two smaller bangles.

*For the necklace you'll need to decide how many links will go on each of the bangles. I chose for each of the smaller bangles to have three links and for the larger bangle to have two links.

-To separate the pieces, insert needle nose pliers into a link and bend backward until it can slip it off of the piece it is connected to.

-Use the pliers to bend the link back in to a closed position.

Small Bangles

Step 1: Begin by anchoring one end of the tie to the bracelet by putting a little bit of glue on to the bangle's backside.

Step 2: When you get almost to where you started, cut off the excess leaving just a little bit to glue down to the bangle. (Be sure that any visible fraying ends are in a place that will be covered by the leather strip.)

Step 3: Anchor one end of the leather strip with glue and begin winding the rest around the bangle so there is a slight overlap. Keep the leather securely in place by adding a dabs of glue as you go.
Step 4: When the leather band is the width you want, cut off any excess at the end and stitch into place on the bangle's backside.

Step 5: Finish by sewing both ends of the necklace links securely down to the leather. You can eliminate having any excess thread visible by inserting the needle under the leather for you first stitch.

Repeat these same steps on the other small bangle.
When you're finished, they should look like this:

Large Bangle

The process I followed for transforming the larger bangle was similar to the two smaller ones, but with a few additions. Also, I started by removing the brass plate on the top of the bracelet. This step wasn't a necessity, but because I was adding an extra layer of material, I wanted to reduce as much extra bulk as possible.

Step 1: Add hot glue to bangle and begin tightly wrapping the tie around it, adding extra glue to spots as you go to reinforce the fit.

Step 2: Cut off extra material, leaving a tab about 2" long.


Step 3: Fold in about half an inch to conceal the unfinished end and sew it securely (and flatly!) into place on the backside of the bangle.

Step 4: Glue one end of the organic cotton to the bangle and begin tightly winding around the bangle. Finish by slipping the end under the last wound piece of fabric on the backside and securing with glue.
(The fabric will be filling in the gap between the where the tie begins and where it ends, so make sure than none of the unfinished bangle is exposed when you are done with this step.)

Now you're ready to add the leather.

Step 5: Put a little hot glue on the back of the triangle and then place it in the center of the wrapped fabric. Pull both sides tight to have as flat a fit as possible and then sew the two overlapping ends together on the backside of the bangle.

Step 6: Finish by sewing the two chain lengths together down the center of the leather.

When you are finished it should look like this:

When added to a few others you get the resulting posse...
Thanks for the inspiration, Leandra!!

TOOLS:
*scissors
*needle and thread
*glue gun
*needle nose pliers



Twice Saved Flip Flops: Part 2

Oh, flip flops, here we are again.

While brainstorming what to do with the green flip flops (seen in the previous post) I came up with two ideas. I was still debating which one to go forward with when I found this second unused pair in a thrift store for 99 cents! Clearly I was meant to make both.

This post isn't entirely different from last week's in the techniques used, but the change in materials create drastically different, and less casual results.

Materials:
-2 ties (regular length, no shorties)
-flip flops
-piece of leather (or any non-fraying material)
-thin soling rubber
-shoe glue

Preparing the soles:

Step 1: Cut away the straps.

Step 2: Make a mark with the sharpie 2" away from one of the back two holes, going toward the toe. The hole you want is the one that would be on the outside of your foot, not the one closest to your arch. Using a punch and mallet make a hole directly over each sharpie mark.

Step 3: Lay each flip flop on the rubber soling. Trace around then carefully cut out the shape directly on the line.

Step 4: Trace the shape of the flip flop onto your leather, as you did with the soling rubber. Since this piece will eventually be going on the top you will also need make a mark within each of the holes.

Step 5: Carefully cut out the shape directly on the line and use the punch to make a hole directly over each mark from the three holes.

Step 6: Completely cover the the side of the sole that will make contact with your foot in thin layer of your glue. Take your time to carefully lay your material over top of the flip flop so that the holes are in alignment.

(It seems easiest to start at the toe and slowly work back toward the heel.)

Preparing the Straps:

Step 1 : Begin with the tie that you'd like to appear most dominantly. Measure 20" from the tip of the skinny end and cut. Cut that length in half. Follow, by measuring 17" from the tip of the wide end and cut. Then, cut that length in half.

Ultimately you'll have four pieces that look like this.

Step 3: Take your second tie and cut around 20" from the tip of the skinny end. Fold that length in half and cut.

(Keep things from getting confusing by separating the pieces into two piles, one for each foot.)

Step 4: Sandwich all of the pieces needed for one of the shoes together. The two skinny pieces on top of one another, both facing up, topped with the wider piece facing down. Binder clip them together a several inches from the end.
Step 5: Sew together at an angle. To make it a little stronger you can sew two rows of stitches.

If you've sewn them correctly it will look like this when you open it up.

Assembly

Step 1: Begin inserting the ends of the straps through each of the holes. It was easiest for me to do this was by inserting the straps into the holes with needle nose pliers and then again using the pliers to grab the material from the backside and pull until a least a couple of inches were sticking out.

Because the there is so much material going through hole at the toes, you may need to do a little twisting and pulling to get it in to the position you want.

When you have finished inserting all of the straps the bottom should look like this:

Step 2: Begin taping the pieces of strap onto the bottom of the flip flop. Having your foot in the shoe when you do this step is crucial to ensuring a great fit. Tighten or loosen the straps accordingly, before taping into position.

Step 3: If you have any strap pieces too close, or going beyond the edge of the sole trim away with scissors. When you are finished with this step the bottom of your flip flops will look like this.

Step 4: Begin gluing the straps into place by carefully lifting each strap and putting glue onto the sole and firmly pressing the strap back down over it.

When you are finished your flip flops will look like this:
(If yours seem excessively bulky trim away as much unnecessary material as you can without weakening the straps to the point that they may break.)

Step 5: Completely cover the the side of the sole that will make contact with the flip flop in a thin layer of glue. Take your time to carefully lay the soling leather over top of the flip flop bottom.

Step 6: Pound with a mallet to reinforce the adhesion, giving extra attention to the edges.
**Like the previous flip flop project, wait at least 24 before wearing so the glue has a chance to fully set**
TOOLS
*mallet
*sharpie
*scissors
*needle nose pliers
*punch
*needle and thread/sewing machine




Thursday, July 14, 2011

Twice Saved Flip Flops: Part 1

I'm a little surprised to have found myself so inspired by flip flops lately. My relationship with flip flops came to a brisk end soon after I moved to the city (the streets can do some nasty things to your exposed feet). But you can only sit on the beach dumping sand from your sneakers so many times before you start remembering that flip flops had their good points, too.

So I bought the inexpensive green ones, and like most flip flops I've ever owned they were blown out in no time, giving me the perfect excuse to fix em' up.

So without further ado, the first of two consecutive flip flop project...
Friendship Bracelet Flip Flops


If you happen to suck at making friendship bracelets, no worries you can still do this project! The super pretty bracelets used in the project? Totally did not make them! I bought these from L.A. Raised, one of many great shops on Etsy featuring friendship bracelets.

There are also lots of excellent tutorials online. My favorite for the chevron design comes from the ladies of Honestly... WTF. You can find it here. The more string used in your bracelet the wider it becomes, so plan your bracelet making accordingly.
Materials:
-flip flop soles
-4 friendship bracelets
-4 strips of leather, 8" long
-2 strips of leather, 6" long
-thin piece of soling rubber
-shoe glue (important note about gluing at the bottom of this post!)
Prepare The Soles:

Step 1: Cut away the straps.

Step 2: Lay each flip flop on the rubber soling. Trace around then carefully cut out the shape directly on the line.

Step 3: Make a mark with the sharpie 2" away from each of the two back holes, going toward the toe.

Step 4: Using a punch and mallet make a hole directly over each sharpie mark.

The finished sole should look like this:

Preparing the Straps

Step 1: Start by cutting away any excess string above the knot and then putting a small drop of glue on the end to keep any of the ends from slipping through the knot.

Step 2: Sandwich the bracelets between the two longer pieces of leather, making sure the good sides of the leather are facing inward. Also, be sure the bracelet's design are facing in the direction you want them to.

Step 3: Use a small binder clip to clamp the all four pieces together, to prevent anything from slipping out of place. Follow by piercing four holes through the pieces with an awl.

Step 4: Sew all together by sewing through the 4 holes. It's important that you use a strong thread for this part, such as #69 bonded nylon.

When you are finished sewing, open it up like this.

Step 5: Fold the slightly shorter piece of leather in half and lay your open strap on top of it with the loop created at the mid point sticking out.

Step 6: Put the two ends of the short piece of leather through the loop and pull to tighten. You may need to work this area with your fingers to make sure that the tightened loop looks uniform.

Assembly

Step 1: Now that the straps are finished you're ready to begin inserting the ends of the straps one by one through each of the holes. I found it was easier for me to do this with needle nose pliers, than with my fingers.

When you're finished it will look like this.

Step 2: Begin taping the pieces of strap onto the bottom of the flip flop. Having your foot in the shoe when you do this step is crucial to ensuring a great fit. Tighten or loosen the straps accordingly, before taping into position.

Step 3: If you have any strap pieces to close or going beyond the edge of the sole trim away with scissors. When you are finished with this step the bottom of your flip flops will look like this.

Step 4: Begin gluing each strap into place by carefully lifting each strap and putting glue onto the sole and firmly pressing the strap back down over it. If the glue you are using is a contact glue both pieces being glued with need glue on them and you won't press them together until both sides are dry.

When you are finished your flip flops will look like this:

Step 5: Completely cover the the side of the sole that will make contact with the flip flop in thin layer of your glue. Take your time to carefully lay the soling leather over top of the flip flop bottom.

Step 6: Pound with a mallet to ensure adhesion, giving extra attention to the edges.

Wait at least 24 before wearing so the glue has a chance to fully set, then you're ready to go!

TOOLS
*scissors
*awl
*needle nose pliers
*needle and thread
*sharpie
*glue gun
*mallet









**The glue I used for this project was the widely available, Shoe Goo, but if you can get your hands on some Barge permanent glue it's a more liquidy, making it a easier to spread around. No matter what glue you are using the nasty vapors are no joke! Make sure that you follow the glue's directions and definitely be in a well ventilated area.