Monday, May 28, 2012

Decoupage Mini Journals

This easy project is made from materials that you've probably already got laying around! Since I recently finished making a new batch of mini-comics, the leftover paper scraps were more than enough to cover some cardboard I would've otherwise just recycled. Instead, these throwaway items became my pretty new journals!

-paper or fabric scraps
-recycled cardboard
-recycled newsprint
-button (optional)

Getting Prepared:
Step 1: Draw a vertical line down the center of the cardboard.

Step 2: Score 1/8" to the left of the line and then again 1/8" to the right.

When you've finished with steps 1 and 2 you cardboard will look like this:

Step 3: Fold on each of the scored lines. This gives you the shape of the journal.

If you already have some decoupage medium, skip this step...
BUT if you don't, making it is crazy easy! I found this terrific recipe from Life In Rehab a while back. I'm excited that this project gave me a chance to try it out. So thank you, Sandy, it works great!

After mixing mine up in an old jar, I decoupaged some paper to the top and added a bunch of rubber bands around it to look like stripes. Cheap, lazy decorating? Yes! But fast and instantly cheerful.

Step 1: For the first journal I wanted to do a simple weaving, so I cut my paper into strips and wove them over under until it was slightly larger than the cardboard. Set aside

Step 2: Brush a thin layer of decoupage on the inside of the cardboard, then cover with a piece of paper larger than the cardboard and press down.

Step 4: Flip over and paint the decoupage around the four edges. Turn the excess paper over top of it.

Step 5: Push the paper up at a diagonal at each of the corners and snip away the excess with scissors.

Step 6: Coat the whole side in decoupage and carefully lay the weaving over it.

Step 7: Cleanly trim away the excess.

Step : Cover the woven layer in decoupage (a few thin layers may be necessary).

*For the second journal, I just cut up the scraps randomly and glued them down without any real plan. Of course it ended up being my favorite. 

Set them aside to dry.

Putting it all together:
Step 1: Cut your paper so that it is 1/4" smaller on each side than the cardboard (so that it will fit nicely inside), then fold in half.

 (If you'd like the edges to be even, just trim with a ruler and knife.)

Step 2: After the journal has dried, binder clip the pages into the correct position.

Step 3: Flip over and use the awl to make holes in the center of the spine 1/2" apart.

Step 4: Start sewing on one side to the other and then back in the opposite direction filling in the spaces between the stitches.

Step 5: When you're back to the end you started from, trim the strings, leaving a little extra to tie into bow.

*You can add a closure by making 2 holes in the back flap. Sew string through and tie. 

Sew a button onto the corresponding area on the journal's front cover. 
Wrap the string around the button to close.
Tiny, free and the perfect size for keeping handy in your purse!

*Decoupage medium

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bandeau Top and Collar Necklace

I've had this spring outfit in mind for awhile now! I wanted to use a sheer blouse as a way to both play up and down the saturation of a brightly printed fabric (by creating a bandeau top to wear beneath it, and a collar made from the same material to go on top). 

The vintage scarf below was perfect for this. I used to wear it all the time, but the past couple of years has seen it just sitting in my closet, mostly because some areas had become frayed and worn, and like everything else in my life, has way too many coffee stains. This project let me finally bring my bandeau top idea to life while using the parts of the scarf that were still in terrific shape. So excited to be able to wear it!

-rectangular scarf
-5" wide piece of elastic

Bandeau Top:
Step 1: Measure around your chest with a tape measure. To make sure that my top was  fitted, I measured just above the bust to prevent the bandeau from ultimately being too loose at the top and bottom. The piece of elastic will accommodate the top's expanding where needed.

Step 2: Cut your materials. Of the measurement I took, I devoted 3/4 of that number to fabric and 1/4 in elastic. You may want to give yourself more elastic if you have a large bust or bought elastic without much stretch to it. (Do not add sewing allowance.)

Step 3: Fold the fabric in half longways...

Step 4: ... and pin.

Step 5: Sew the two long sides. First, the pinned edge, then the folded edge.

When you're done with this step the fabric will look like this:

Step 6: Place the elastic good-side up and lay a pice of double stick along one of the cut edges. Lay your fabric (good-side down) over top of the tape. 

*If your fabric is larger than your elastic, like mine, use this chance to distribute the excess evenly.

Step 7: Sew straight across.

Step 8: Repeat steps 6 and 7 on the other side.

When you've finished with these steps, turn right-side out and the bandeau top is done!
The front will look like this...
and the back like this....

Collar Necklace:
I chose to go about my collar pretty organically. Essentially, I wanted the end product to be worn like a bandana. Looking pristine from the from, but a bit more rough from the back.

If you like the idea of adding a collar, but want it to be a collar in a more traditional sense there are numerous great tutorials out there to coach you through it. I particularly like this one, from Wayward Daughter.

Step 1: Draw and cut out a general shape that you like for the collar. This will ultimately represent half of the collar.

Step 2: Next, divide the remaining fabric left from the scarf into to long strips each 6" wide.

Step 3: Trace the pattern onto your fabric.

Step 4: Place double stick tape on the angled lower line of your shape and fold the fabric over it.

Step 5: Follow by placing double stick along the top edge of your fabric and fold down.

Step 6: Sew both folded edges.

Step 7: Fold the collar in the other line you drew and sew straight across the fold. (No tape this time!)

Step 8: Repeat steps 4 through 7 on the other strip of fabric you cut.

Step 9. The last step is to line up the two top points of the collar and tack stitch them together.

To wear:
Tie around your neck in the back.

Insert the two pointed tabs on the back side of the collar behind the neckline of the shirt to help it stay in the position you want.

Fold the front half of the collar down.
Good luck and have fun!

*tape measure
*doublestick tape
*sewing machine / needle and thread