How to ask your bridesmaids

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Once all the hubbub around our engagement started dying down, we immediately started thinking about who we wanted in our wedding party. I knew who I was going to ask, but for me the important thing was how I was going to ask.

I waited until we had already decided on the look and colours of our weddings as I wanted it to tie into that. I then tailor made a gift for both girls, one a close friend and the other my niece including small gifts (not the fragrance, that is only for colour inspiration).

The important thing is to give them as much information about your wedding as possible to help them make an informed decision. I decided that I want each of them to get a unique dress within my colour palette so I collected a few colour swatches from my local hardware store to include in the gift pack.

I also gave them a budget for dresses, a ball-park for wedding dates and in which region it would be. I think it is also important for them to know with whom they’ll be sharing the responsibility and fun and what extras I would pay for them or expect them to pay for. This is particularly important if your wedding party needs accommodation.

I made sure to finish it with a nice card asking her to be part of our special day and explaining why. Pretty wrapping also helps!

How did you ask your bridesmaids? Maybe you can steal a few ideas?

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DIY Sequin Tote

DIY Sequin Chanel ToteHello everyone! I recently realized that I had this gaping hole in my life that only a massive canvas tote could fill.  Unfortunately it proved quite impossible to find one with a zip so I decided to make one. If you’ve got access to a sewing machine (or consider yourself one), this is really easy and very affordable. You can even customize it!

DIY Sequin Chanel ToteWhat you need:

  • 1/2 m thick cotton like canvas in cream/white
  • measure tape
  • scissors
  • 35 cm zip
  • 1 m stringed sequins
  • Fabric or Bostic Glue
  • pencil

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Steps:

  1. The first step is to measure and cut out all the pieces. I like using a pencil and measure tape for this. Measure out a 1 m by 38 cm piece for the bag’s body and cut. Check weather your fabric frays as you might have to zig-zag it to keep it from unraveling.
  2. Down the length of your fabric cut two pieces for straps. I wanted mine quite thick and long so I cut two pieces about 80 cm long and 12 cm wide.
  3. As I wanted a pocket on the inside, I used a contrasting stripy fabric swatch of about 20 x 10 cm.
  4. Start by folding over what will be the opening of the bag and sew neatly in place.
  5. If you want to create a side pocket in the bag as I did, you’d have to sew a small piece of fabric (20 x 10 cm) about 8 cm below one of the fold. This will be the back of your bag as the sewing will be slightly visible, but if you carefully match your thread to your fabric this will be barely noticeable. I chose to sew mine simply down the sides and below and then again in the middle, creating two smaller pockets.
  6. The next step is to sew the sides of the bag together. Once this is done, you can flip the top over once more (about 5 cm) and sew about 2,5 cm in leaving a small flap on the inside. This is where you’ll sew in the zip.
  7. I also wanted to box out the bottom of my bag, which was way easier than I imagined even though it is the hardest thing to describe! I struggled to follow others tips as I had used one large piece of fabric instead of two pieces for the body. The simplest way is to flip the bag inside out and draw a pencil line where the bottom of the bag’s fold is. Then take the corners between your fingers and flip them open aligning the side seam with the pencil line on the bottom of the bag, creating a triangle. I hope this kinda makes sense! See here for a pictorial guide. Then you’ll sew the triangle in place and do the same on the other side, taking care to make the two triangles the same size.
  8. The next step is to take your straps, fold them in three and sew it in place. Next you’ll attach it to the bag. Take care to only sew it onto the 2,5 cm you left above the zip. I chose to sew it on the outside and used a square with a cross in it. This is a pretty secure way to sew the strap on so that it can take heavy loads.
  9. BAG done! Phew! Take a breather and decide on which words you want to write on your bag. I liked playing with it and draping a few words onto it to get a rough idea of how it would look and whether it would fit. I finally decided on Chanel, but cities like Paris and Rome and French Words like Merci or even Meow could also have worked.
  10. Once you’ve chosen your word, write it in pencil and then place glue over it and press the sequins in place. I cut a few pieces to avoid having to go over the same line twice, which made it easier to read.
  11. Voila! You’re completely done! If you had any trouble following my steps, please ask and I will clarify. 🙂
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DIY Book Sleeves

 

DSC_0168textI love collecting all the classic novels from Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and Charles Dickens but have found that hard covers are ridiculously overpriced. So instead I’ve been buying paperbacks which often feature some less than appealing cover art. Instead of replacing replacing them I decided to give them so love by creating these paper sleeves for some of my favourite novels. It makes my bookcase look so pretty and I love matching a design to each novel or author.

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Supplies:

  • Good quality paper (I used some off cut wallpapers, but very thick gift wrap or card stock could also work)
  • Scissors
  • Books

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Steps:

  1. Start by cutting the paper to size. About 4-5 cm  larger than the book.
  2. It is easiest to start by folding the paper in half and then placing the edge of the spine on that half before continuing to fold the other edge for the spine and then wrapping it around the cover and back.
  3. Re-position your book so that the paper is even on the top and bottom and then lightly press over the edges to create a line to fold.
  4. Remove the book, open the paper and fold along the pressed lines. Now fold the cover and back flaps into place.
  5. Place spine of book in the cover and wrap around like a sleeve.

DSC_0146Folding guide

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D.I.Y. Abstract Art

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I had been wanting to create art for my room for quite a while but struggled to find any ideas that matches my limited skills. Luckily Pinterest is an endless source of inspiration and I got some great ideas and inspiration. I love how easy and fun it was!

Materials:

  • Canvas
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Goldleaf

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Steps:

  1. Decide on two colours to use, I chose grey and pink. Start out by mixing two large batches of your colours.
  2. Applying liberal amounts of the paint to the canvas and work in varying horizontal and vertical strokes.
  3. Don’t worry if you didn’t mix enough paint on the first go. I went back a few times and tried to create similar colours, but in the end I decided to go darker.
  4. I also went back a few times and re-painted some sections to create a layered effect.
  5. Just before the paint dried completely I applied the gold leaf to some random sections. Let it dry before peeling it off.

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DIY Valentine’s Day Card Made With Standard Office Supplies

5I love making my own cards, it makes me feel so creative without requiring Da Vinci’s skill set, but I hate it when it requires a huge budget or rare materials. So I decided to share a Valentine’s Day card DIY that uses little more than your standard office supplies.

1Materials:

  • Plain white envelope
  • Red or Pink Pen (metallic optional)
  • Ruler
  • White card stock
  • Scissors
  • Red or Pink Lipstick
  • Pink Lace, 6 cm
  • Bostick

4Steps:

  1. Line the envelope’s edges with a pink or red pen. Use a ruler as a guide by placing it on the inside.2
  2. Cut the card stock to size (use the envelope as a guide).
  3. Pucker up with the lipstick and place a big fat kiss near the corner.
  4. Glue the lace to the left-hand edge of the card using small dots of glue on the paper. If you don’t have a piece of lace, simply skip it. You could alternatively trace the edges of the card similarly to the envelope.
  5. Leave to dry before writing your love note.3

I think this is a great last-minute card perfect for your loved one or your best friend!

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DIY Bow Sunglasses Pouch

100_7521Despite having a rather organised handbag I found I always have to wipe my sunglasses before putting them on- especially after the summer holidays with the travelling between beaches, poolsides and its permanent residence in my bag. I knew that I needed some kind of holder, but the hard-case variety on offer in-store are just to large to fit into all my bags. I knew this was something I’d have to solve on my own. This is a super easy DIY but the addition of the cute bow just makes it look so stylish. I love it!

 

100_7507Materials:

  • 3 Pieces faux or real leather (rougly 22 x 12 cm)
  • Matching thread
  • Pres stud or a magnetic snap
  • Fabric chalk
  • Scissors
  • Bostick Glue

Steps:

  1. If you have a sewing machine, set it up with the correct thread and needle thickness (if you’re using faux leather, I’d advise you to use a leather needle or something suitable for the thickness of your fabric.) If you don’t have a sewing machine you can do this by hand, but it will be more time consuming and look less professional.
  2. 100_7467Start by folding the top parts of two pieces of leather (portrait position) back 1,5 cm and sew straight across. This will be the top part of the pouch.
  3. Placing the pieces front-to-front, sew around the edges leaving the top part open.
  4. Carefully flip it over so that the faux-leather is on the outside and all the seams are on the inside.
  5. Glue the pres stud or magnetic snap in the centre of the opening. Alternatively you can sew this on before you fold and sew the top parts (my leather was too thick for this).
  6. Trace this PDF template (from the howaboutorange blog) onto the third piece of fabric and cut closely along the edges.
  7. 100_7496Glue the shape into place with the bostick glue before gluing onto the pouch. Let it dry completely before use.100_7499

Problems solved!

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Sparkly New Years Nails

100_7316I haven’t owned a proper glitter nail polish in years as I find that I only use it during the festive season, so it wouldn’t be worth it. I decided to recreate the look of glitter nailpolish with regular crafting glitter for New Years Eve. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than a soft atural colour complemented with golden glitter particles, but I also really like a dark nail with glitter for winter.

100_7332Materials:

  1. Revlon Colorstay Nailpolish in Natural Pink (my new favourite)
  2. Gold craft glitter
  3. Top Coat or Clear Nailpolish

100_7322Steps:

  1. Apply two thin coats of the nude nailpolish on all nails and let dry completely.
  2. One nail at a time, put three drops of polish on each nail: Place one drop at the center of the base and two drops near the tips. Spread evenly.
  3. Before the polish dries, lightly sprinkle a pinch of glitter over each nail starting at the tips and moving down and repeat on each nail.
  4. Apply a coat of clear nailpolish or topcoat once each nail has dried an you’re all set!

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DIY: Jeweled Sweatshirt

100_6535I love the jeweled sweatshirts from J Crew as it is a great way to introduce some bling to a more casual outfit. When I found this sweatshirt for a bargain at Mr Price I just knew that I had to recreate a less flashy version of my favourite J Crew sweatshirt.

The inspiration:

dc2898e0a06d30158ac92810c1e36c1bMaterials:

  • Plain Sweatshirt (Try Woolworths and Mr Price active)
  • Washi Tape
  • Jewels
  • Thread
  • Needle

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Steps:

  1. Decide on your design by laying the sweatshirt on a flat surface and arranging your jewels in a symmetric pattern. If you’ve got a long-sleeved sweatshirt, you can add jewels to the sleeves as well.
  2. Once you’ve got a design you’re happy with, replace each jewel arrangement with a piece of washi-tape. Try the sweatshirt on to evaluate the jewel placement and make any necessary adjustments.
  3. Sow each jewel into place with thread matching the sweatshirt. This is the most time-consuming step, but gluing it into place rarely lasts.
  4. Wear it with a smile!
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DIY: Plaited Charm Necklace

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Summer is just around the corner and the best way to incorporate summer colours are through accessories. This is a very easy project that can be customized to your preference. Pair it with a simple white tee and let summer dreaming begin!

100_5759You’ll need:

  • Thin silver chain (10 cm)
  • Coloured thread
  • Various charms
  • Large Faux Pearl
  • Silver needle
  • Silver rings for attaching charms

Steps:

  1. Take the tread and create a medium thick plait of about 10 cm. Tie off the ends and fray them.
  2. Cut the chain in half with a side cutter. Tie one side of the plait to an end of the chain.
  3. Take all your charms and attach a silver ring to them so that they can be threaded on to the plait.
  4. Thread the pearl onto the needle. Attach a silver ring to the needle by creating a loop at the end of the needle.
  5. String on all the charms in the correct order and then tie the loose ends of the plait and chain together.
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DIY: Pinboard Makeover

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I had an old, ugly pin board that I had been using to pin random inspiring and pretty pictures, but it was in desperate need of a mini renovation. Obviously not everyone has an old pin board laying around, so luckily there are many tutorials of how to create your own. This is just a really simple way to recover one and make the board as aesthetically pleasing as what you are pinning. I also decided to match my pins to my board. The end result is much prettier than miss-matched pins.

What You’ll Need for the Board:

  • Old Pin Board
  • Suitable Fabric ( the size of you board + a few cm extra each side)
  • Wide Tape

Steps:

  1. Position your board in the middle of the fabric.
  2. Starting with one side, wrap the side of board tightly and use a piece of tape down the length to hold in place. Repeat on the opposite side.
  3. Wrap corners neatly, as you would a present and tape it in place.
  4. Make sure that any ends of the material that could unravel is either neatly folded away or sealed with tape.

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What You’ll Need for the Pins:

  • Pins
  • Glitter
  • Clear Nail Polish (I always seem to have an old clear nail polish that is too sticky to use on nails, but the brush applicator makes it perfect to use for projects like this).

Steps:

  1. To make your push pins pretty is really easy. Cover the head of the pin with a thin layer of glue/nail polish and dip into the glitter jar. Repeat until you’ve done all the pins.
  2. Leave to dry, before covering in another coat of clear nail polish.  This does make it look less shiny but also prevents most glitter transfer- one of the main concerns when using glitter in a project.

I was extremely happy with the end results and couldn’t believe that it took me all of 5 min to transform it. Now I can fill it with inspirational pictures for summer.

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