Category Archives: How-To

Painted Shoes Inspiration

I have this pair of suede shoes, they are Sketcher Retros.  I bought them sophomore year in college, sooo…2003?  Anyway, I still have them, even tho they are incredibly worn out at this point and you can’t even see the original color.  They used to be a light blue with dark blue leather stripes on the side, and the bottoms were this rubber sole…I can’t even explain.

I had this idea, they are horrible looking now to wear, however before I just throw them out, maybe I’ll try a project and see how it looks.  So I searched the web for “DIY painted shoes” and here are some of the projects I found:

By A Beautiful Mess

By A Beautiful Mess

 

By Guest Blogger at Lil Luna

By Guest Blogger JoJo and Eloise at Lil Luna

BY Refinery 29

BY Refinery 29

For awesome how-to tips, check out the ladies at Sassy Feet!  They have a great blog that they use to show everyone their adventures in painting shoes!  They do such lovely jobs and have so much inspiration to share!  Check out this How-To Page to get started!

 

Adventures with Rit Dye Part 1

I’ve been wanting to dye fabric for over a YEAR!  But have constantly been intimidated by it.  Finally, I had a full day without any plans, I decided to go for it!

I dyed a whole HEAP of clothes!  However, today I’m only going to highlight one of those items plus give you the rundown of how my process went!  I had so much fun, and perhaps I got a little carried away….near the end there, I just ran up to my closet and randomly pulled things out!

First things first, gather your supplies and be sure to do some research!  I bought Rit Fabric Dye, so many people use this stuff, even old ladies buy it, so I know it must be good!  I checked out their website before heading to the store.  I already had some Kelly Green fabric dye that I bought on clearance a year ago, so I wanted to choose 1 or 2 colors that would look good mixed with it.  I chose Black because I wanted to dye a few things black or darker black, then Teal because it mixes well with the Kelly Green (which you can read about here in their Color Guide).  It looked like I could make all sorts of colors with those, so it seemed a good choice.

I read suggests to use table salt or vinegar, so I made sure to have those handy.  I decided not to use them however, so you’ll have to search info elsewhere about that.  I read all the tips for dying fabric on Rit’s Techniques page, Stovetop Method like 15 times.  Its not my washing machine, so I decided to avoid the possibility of screwing it up.

For the stovetop method you need:

A large pot, (garage sale score $1)
Picnic Tablecloth to protect the floor from drips
1-2 plastic tubs for carrying the wet item around (to outside or whatever)
long 1/2″ wooden dowel, $0.75 for stirring
Measuring cups (optional)
Table salt (optional)
White vinegar (optional)
Pants hangar (optional)
Dish Soap (optional)
Gloves (optional but recommended)

Large Pot for Fabric Dying - Christina Designs Art - Rit Dye Adventures Part 1

This is how big your pot should be, you need to cover your entire fabric with the dye

I will cover tips and techniques, plus a few insights into things that didn’t go right, on another post.  I don’t want this to be long and boring.  So I’ll share the first shirt I ever dyed!

Before Flash Dye Shirt - Christina Designs Art - Rit Fabric Dye Adventures

Flash Dye Shirt

The only purpose of this shirt being dyed was to test out what I was doing, before I dropped in my main reason for dying.  That being said, I still didn’t want it to turn all black (my chosen starting color).  So I decided to just drop it in real quickly, like literally less than a minute.  I decided to just drop the whole thing in as quickly as I could, then let it completely be covered, and pull the whole thing back out again!

Thats why its titled the Flash Dye Shirt.  So it started out light grey and white striped.  Read the directions on the bottle and on the website thoroughly before beginning so you have an idea of what to do!!  I was expecting maybe a light grey where the white used to be and dark grey where the light grey used to be.  I got a totally surprise.  I was quite shocked when I pulled it out, how QUICKLY the dye had taken to the fabric!!!

In hindsight, I should have realized the dye would be most potent the first time around, and perhaps I should have placed my intentionally dark item in first.  Oh well.  It still looks ok.  In fact, I might dye it again and see if I can darken up the bottom of the shirt (which ironically was placed in first).

After Flash Dye Shirt - Christina Designs Art - Rit Fabric Dye Adventures

While drying outside

Here you can faintly see the stripes near the bottom, which I still find crazy that I see anything at all.  Also, the color isn’t quite so grey.  After it dried (no picture, sorry), it had that nice vintage/faded look which I think is fun.  However those bottom stripes look too accidental to keep.  Maybe I will paint stripes over them instead.  How interesting…

I dried everything outside on this partially cloudy day, that may have had some effect to the lightening color.  But I didn’t want to wait for it to air dry in the house.  I did put almost everything in the dryer after the items were partially dry to attempt the idea of “heat setting” the dye.

Keep checking back for the next installment when I share the piece of clothing I REALLY wanted to dye black!

DIY Easily Dress Up Some Flip Flops

I went to an outdoor wedding this past weekend that was “casual” so I already knew I was wearing a lovely sundress, but couldn’t decide what sandals to wear.  I had a pair of black Old Navy flip flops that I got last year (free from Crowdtap- read about that here), but plain flip flops seemed way too dressed down even for a casual outdoor wedding.  So while I was working the other day I had an idea to FINALLY use some of that pretty trim that people always buy and I have no idea what to do with.

So I brought my flip flop to JoAnns with me so I could compare and figure out how much I needed.  I searched the trims and settled on a pretty black lacey beaded trim.  I bought 3/4 of a yard, which was about 4 inches more than I thought I needed, but its best to buy a little extra!  Plus 50% off coupons right now, so it was ok.  I do have the 4 inches leftover because I didn’t mess up at all.  I already know what I am doing with it!

DIY Tutorial Dress Up Flip Flops

So it begins!  Grab your flip flops and whatever pretty trim you want to use.  The trim I chose is a Beaded Lace Trim with flowers, all black.  It is about 1/2″ wide and has about 1/4″ wide space to glue it down.  I used E6000 because I love that stuff for everything!  It worked perfectly.  And now they look great and its such an easy way to dress up an outfit!

DIY Tutorial Dress Up Flip Flops

DIY Tutorial Dress Up Flip Flops

And the final product!  I love it!  I got lots of compliments at the wedding 🙂  Check out some of these Party Sandals Under $50 that could be DIY’d a bit to make them even more fun!  I’m a Beso.com affiliate and get a small portion for every click.

PS.  These are my photos, if you’d like to share them on your website, please remember to cite back to this website as is listed on the photo, and do not remove my website or alter my photos in any way.  Please feel free to share on Pinterest/your blog/Facebook as long as it links directly back to my website/this post.  Thank you!

LINKING UP HERE:

Confession: I Want A New View with Pinterest

 

Lately I have been spending so much time deleting random Pinterest boards that I somehow have found myself to be following.  I assume many of these random boards are related to a “Follow All to enter this giveaway.”  I can’t stand those, why do I have to follow them all?  I’m still considered a follower if I just pick the ones I might actually enjoy.

You’ve all heard my thoughts on Twitter follows in a previous Confession post, but if you didn’t see it/can’t remember, read about it here.  I’m beginning to think similarily with my Pinterest.  I have never been one to “follow back” just because someone started following me.  I love Pinterest and want to look at quality content, so sorry if I don’t want to see images from your “Glamping” album because I have no interest there.

When I first started Pinterest I wasn’t gluten free, so I followed tons of recipe boards.  Now I find I have no use for “breads”, “pasta”, etc boards.  So a quick unfollow and I feel so much better!  While I am on said person’s board, I see I’m also following a myriad of boards I have no interest in, let alone ever even popup in my feed.  I am following too many boards, I never see everything!  So I am condensing.

I feel kinda guilty about it, but I unfollowed an Etsy board.  As someone who is hoping to sell their items and would love the joy of seeing a bracelet (find some here at my Etsy store!) pinned and repinned on Pinterest, I feel bad to unfollow a board that shares any awesome Etsy items.  However, thats all I see sometimes!  I wish those Etsy Handmade boards were more specific, but thats also so hard to regulate when you have like 50+ (or worse, like 500+) people posting to a board about whatever they want.  How does someone moderate a thing like that?  I suppose I could have my own boards, and share specific items like that, but I also hate having a million boards that people and/or myself aren’t even interested in.

After stopping following a few of the Etsy Handmade boards, I see so much more content!  But one thing I can’t decide, which DIY / Crafts boards should I keep following?  I must be following like 20 of those boards, but I only ever see a few of the same boards posting content, and some of it isn’t even all that “new”, even though most of it claims to be “genius!”  But thats another Confession altogether!  The big multi-contributor boards are the places that are constantly getting posted to, but I really don’t know how relevant some of these ideas are to DIY.  For instance, “Cleaning with Vinegar” is not what I would consider DIY or Crafts, and yet its in that board.  And while recipes are a type of craft, they belong under Recipes.  Know what I’m sayin?

Enlisting your help!  What do you think of these boards?  Keep?  Or unfollow??

DIY & Crafts – 5,000+ contributors!  96,000+ pins.  yowza   (basically takes over my feed)

Do It Yourself Today – 700+ contributors, 14,000+ pins

Budget Friendly DIY – 14 contributors, 176 pins.  must be fairly new

Getting Crafty – 30+ contributors, 3,900+ pins

Create – Just decided to unfollow but am so shocked by one of these pins.  I am sharing because I cannot be the only one who thinks someone’s political agenda was swept up into her mostly DIY board.

Getting Crafty & DIY – 30+ contributors, 3,900+ pins

Share Your Crafts – almost 800 contributors, 2,900+ pins

Mod Podge Rocks! – 125+ contributors, 2,500+ pins

Etsy Handmade Favorites- Group Gallery of Art & Jewelry  – I am also a contributor + 1,800 other people that rarely stick on topic, I’ve also only shared 1 time, and it was on accident. 28,500+ pins    (after looking at this, seriously considering making my own board and only inviting people who will stick to the topic)

 

After searching through my feed at 2 very different times (morning and night), the majority of pins comes from the 1st link: DIY & Crafts and the Etsy Handmade Faves boards.  They might have to go…at least for a time!

PS. I’ve added a few new items to my Facebook page’s photo albums, some of which are NOT on Etsy yet still for sale!

DIY: Add Glitter to the Details of a Shirt

I love shirts with bling, but they are always like $10 more than a shirt without.  And I don’t really buy tshirts anymore, unless they are somehow special, NYC, Vegas, California shirts etc.  I do like some graphic tshirts, but I won’t buy them.  That being said, I’ve had this tshirt from Delia’s for years!  I think I might have bought it in college even, and that would be over 6 years ago.  But I love this shirt and wear it all the time, it fits great and I love the nature graphics!

I was in the middle of testing out my fabric paint + glitter and seeing how that works, and decided this was an ideal time to try embellishing something else (while it dries).  I rummaged and found this shirt:

diy glitter embellished shirt by christina designs art

Supplies:
Graphic Tshirt to embellish
Fabric Medium (I use: Americana Fabric Painting Medium)
Paint Brushes: small tips for detailed work are best, does not need to be fancy
Glitter!  Any color you like, glitter size is up to you, the finer glitter the easier it will be to paint on

diy glitter embellished shirt by christina designs artStep 1: Choose your shirt.  Place a piece of cardboard or plastic in between the layers so the fabric medium doesn’t bleed through.  It is up to you if you want to tape it down, I did not.  I also didn’t stretch this because it is knit and I don’t want it to dry all wrinkly.  Scope out what you want to embellish.

diy glitter embellished shirt by christina designs artStep 2: Get started!  I put down 2-3 drops of Fabric Medium on a piece of plastic, then sprinkled glitter on top, then mix well.  Try a little at a time, you can always add more!  Besides if you paint it on and its not enough, wait for it to dry and paint over it again!  I chose specific areas on the shirt that were part of the upper half and included areas that could easily be added to without being over-whelming.

This section includes small purple glitter flowers.  These I just dabbed at the shirt with a blob of glitter, I didn’t do much shaping at all.  The gold I used very little glitter and I really had to take my time.  I am an inpatient crafter, you try not to be!  You should try to find the thinnest paint brush possible (choices on the left are pretty good, even smaller is better!) for anything this size.  I’m talking the size of a sharpened pencil!  You do NOT need to buy a specialty paint brush, especially if you are just crafting and not fine art painting, plus they are pricey.  I do fine art painting, that’s why I have these.

diy glitter embellished shirt by christina designs artStep 3: Before you freak out, wait for it to dry.  See that darker thicker spot on the feathers of the bird?  At the bottom there?  I took this photo when it was still wet.  The fabric medium has to soak in the shirt and it will look dark at first.  Don’t panic, most of that will go away, and again, you can always go over it with more glitter if you want.  The bird is half light green glitter and half light blue glitter.  I love how it highlights the wings.

The orange flower is actually what I did first.  It was so easy, this was the perfect place to start. Plus, its basically a coloring book, I just painted between the lines and if I went outside them, it didn’t matter because noone will ever know!

diy glitter embellished shirt by christina designs art

The full shirt!  I added some extra dots of glitter in red and orange on the middle and its not bad.  It may have been odd placement, but I still like it.  The colors give it some extra bling and it really takes one of my favorite shirts and makes it more awesome!  I will hand wash this from now on, just to be sure, however it should not come off.  Its not stiff either because of the fabric medium.  I do not know what would happen if this went through a dryer.

EDIT: Here is a better photo than the original one I had from an iphone.  I took this this morning:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not gonna lie, I’m looking for more clothes to add a little bling to!

Linking up here:

Stealing is Stealing and its NOT OK!

I’ve only been blogging for less than a year, and certainly not consistently.  That being said, its been brought to my attention these past few months about the INSANE amounts of intellectual property that is being stolen on a regular basis by various websites, many of which are claiming to “find” tutorials or do “roundups” of which are un-sourced.  Now we all know when you say “found” you really mean “stole” and manipulated it to be whatever you wanted.

How many people are aware of some of the many sites that are doing this?  I’ll admit I was in the dark about how important watermarking and logo placement was until this whole thing just became glaringly obvious.  That said, I am reluctant to share some of my projects or tutorials with the world here, if they might just end up in the hands of thieves.  In fact I’m trying to think up a way to keep certain sites from being able to access my page at all.  I think thats possible.

http://guang.taobao.com/   Chinese website that steals your tutorials and its almost impossible to find a way to contact them to take it down.
http://www.saifou.com/   “Inspiring Images” that don’t link back to their sources.
http://www.repiny.com/   Images are there and ready for you to pin to Pinterest, again with no links to the original source.
http://www.usefuldiy.com/diy-nautical-necklace/   This website is blatantly stealing, the images are watermarked and yet there is no link back to the source.  THIS is why its important not to put all the steps into one image!!
http://handmadera.blogspot.com/2012/04/braid-necklace-diy.html   Oh hey, where did this come from?  Because I know its not yours!!

And last but not least, there are plenty more stealing tutorials out there, Handimania, I don’t even WANT to link to their site!  But I want you ALL to know, stealing someone else’s tutorial, images, content, words, photos, and ideas is STEALING!  And it is wrong!  And we shouldn’t stand for it!!

PS.  Are you a handmade artist?  Do you think you’re safe?  Because you’re not!

Watermarking with your logo, your website, etc is incredibly important!  Learn how to do it!  There are a bazillion tutorials online to help you!  Here are some of my favorites: Add automatic group watermarks by Craftionary, Add a Copyright Watermark by PhotshopEssentials, Video on Youtube by Jen Swedhin, Create in Photoshop by PhotographyBlog, How to Watermark without Photoshop by ArtsyFartsyMama.  Figures, I can’t find the one I used, regardless, these all give great instructions and videos really help, plus if you don’t have Photoshop, no excuse!  Don’t make it easier for someone to steal from you.  Also, there is no shame in pasting your watermark right over your image subject!

And to go along with how insanely cranky and frustrated this whole talk makes me, I posted a comment to the Handimania Facebook page today for their “Ask us Anything! Monday” of which there are absolutely no answers, but like 20 questions.  Someone said “where do you find the instructions for things you find on pinterest? I always see awesome pics of the finished products, but I can never find the instructions.”  So naturally, I thought I would help out and give an answer: “The instruction are with the actual tutorial on the site they stole the content from.”  As of 10:20pm EST that answer has been on the site for 9 hours.  Soon after this, another brave soul made a similar comment.

I really think if we all spread the word, maybe more people, and maybe the people who don’t understand copyright infringement, will start to understand that its not ok to encourage this type of behavior.  That stealing is stealing regardless of where or how its done.  Just because you can’t hold it in your hand, doesn’t mean it wasn’t taken from somewhere without permission or without giving credit where it is due!

To make it easy for those of you who would like to share this message, I have made 2 screenshots of the above mentioned Q&A and already pinned them to some of my Pinterest boards.  I would LOVE if you would repin them: http://pinterest.com/pin/212443307395164061/  (currently located in my Digital Scrapbooking board and includes both mentioned comments)   &   http://pinterest.com/pin/212443307395164142/   (which only includes my answer and is located in my DIY Projects board).  I WILL be spreading these pins along my other boards, on my Twitter account, and to any other blogger I can.  You don’t have to be a blogger or DIY-er or Handmade-maker to support this and say no to stealing.  Every share could make a difference!

handimania1_2

I don’t believe in STEALING content from other DIY-ers and bloggers. Do you? If you agree that stealing is stealing and we should give credit to ALL the amazing people who take the time to show us how to make amazing things, SHARE THIS PIN! Tell sites like #Handimania that its NOT OK to take what doesn’t belong to them!!! #stealing #intellectual_property #stolen #content #diy #blogging #handmade #crafts #facebook

handimania2_2

The website #Handimania STEALS other bloggers tutorials and steals photos without giving proper credit to the creator. Help me tell them, STEALING IS STEALING, we are NOT ok with you taking whats not yours! REPIN THIS and lets make sure they know we won’t accept this!!! #stealing_content #intellectual #property #stolen #thief #handmade #diy #crafts #blogging #bloggers

Refashion Fridays: Tshirts

I’ve been going through many of my tshirts to look for a way to refashion them so I actually wear them.  Like many of you, I have collected a bunch of tshirts through the years, many of them too big to actually wear in public, even though they look pretty cool.  So I’m trying some ways to make them fitted, add fringe, or cutouts.  Here is my round-up of inspirations!

cardigan tshirt t-shirt video diy tutorial mark montano

DIY Tshirt to Cardigan video by Mark Montano

tshirt halter no sew wobisobi diy tutorial

No Sew Halter from a tshirt by Wobisobi

mens_refitted

Men’s Shirt to Fitted Tshirt Inspiration by Hot Diggity Blog!

Ruffle tshirt diy tutorial refashion

Tshirt to Ruffle Shirt Refashion by Melly Sews

tshirt cutout weaving diy tutorial

DIY Tshirt Cutout Weaving & Braiding by Bunte Freunde

diy tutorial video halter tshirt whitney sews

DIY Drape Neck Halter from a Tshirt video by Whitney Sews – I actually tried this and ran into a problem. Will share with you next week and with ideas for what to do next.

So what do you think?  Are you interested in trying any of these?  Check out my Pinterest boards to see my DIY Sewing Clothes and Refashion boards, for more ideas.