PInterest is an awesome website. I kind of wish it existed when I was a kid, because I loved to do little projects whenever I could (and I had way more time to do them). I really needed a tasteful way to display photos in my college dorm, and the heart-shaped wall picture display just seemed too overused. So then I used this tutorial to make this little frame. The tutorial didn’t specify a frame size, but I found that a 11×14 frame works well with 2×2 photos. The hardest part of making this was figuring out where to print the 2×2 photos, because most places only print passport photos in 2×2. I ended up using an app on my phone to create collages with a 4×6 aspect ratio so that I could print 16 2×2 photos. I also couldn’t find the metal clips used in the tutorial, so I used mini-clothespins instead. Overall, it was a pretty simple project that ended up looking pretty great.
I was catching up with a good friend last week after two years when she mentioned that she was going to Disneyland that weekend. I asked her whether she would get the iconic mouse ears picture that everyone seems to take there, and she seemed pretty bummed out that those mouse ears were going to be overpriced, like most other things in the park. Being the broke college students that we are, we both agreed that maybe that picture wouldn’t be worth it. However, when we saw a red bow on a shopping trip we went on later that day, I realized that DIY-ing mouse ears isn’t too hard and is definitely way less expensive than buying them at disney. I regret not taking step by step pictures of the process we used to make the ears, but I will do my best to explain what we ended up doing.
We ended up buying a red bow and a simple headband. We also used a hot glue gun, black cloth from an old t-shirt I had, and cardboard. First, we cut the cardboard into two circles and wrapped the black cloth around the front of the circles. This was the hardest part. We tried our best to get the cloth to look as smooth as possible, and we glued an extra circle of cloth to the back to make the back look nicer. After that, we glued the ears and bow to the headband. We ended up cutting off a little from the bottom of the cardboard circles so that a greater surface area of the cardboard could be glued to the headband. We also attached the bow to the ears for extra support. For the ultimate DIY mouse ears, we could have also made our own bow (I could have used this tutorial which is also disney), but because we didn’t have a lot of time, we decided to buy one. I try to use stuff I find around the house for DIY for the most part because there is a certain pleasure in making brand new functional projects from the random things I decide to save sometimes.
I was shopping at the Cupertino flea market with a friend at the beginning of summer when we saw a whole pile of plain two-dollar t-shirts in black and a cream-ish color. We ended up getting one of each and decided that we would paint them later. I didn’t really think it was very easy to do fabric paint well until my friend made me an awesome elephant-print t-shirt for my birthday (because I love elephants). We used gold fabric paint when we finally decided to go through with the painting portion of the project about a month later. I really wanted to do something with the Harry Potter deathly hallows symbol, but I felt like just painting it onto the shirt would be too simple. I decided to do one row of the symbols pointing in alternating directions, then was inspired by my friend to continue along with smaller rows and create a triangle shape. I ended up cutting the collar off to make the neck wider, and I didn’t get around to hemming the edge of the neck until recently. This was my first legitimate sewing project, and though I still need to stitch the sleeves to make them shorter, I’m really happy with the way the neck turned out. Here’s what my friend ended up doing with her t-shirt:
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? She’s super talented.
This post is the first of a couple of DIY posts that will basically sum up projects that I’ve been working on over the summer/projects I decided to do over the past week. After two months of taking classes while doing an internship, this week was truly a welcome break. It was also a perfect window of time for me to wrap up unfinished DIY ideas and try to do projects I’ve been thinking about for a while.
The first of these projects was a DIY flower vase with paper flowers. For some reason, Eno bottles have the perfect shape for a little vase and are also made with very nice, clear glass. So when I found one of these buddies in my kitchen cupboard, I just had to save it for glass painting. I also bought sea lavender colored-frost glass paint (pictured below) to paint it with.
It took me many trials to get the paint to look even without too many brush strokes showing, but thankfully, it was relatively easy to scrape off the undried glass paint from the vase. I found that I got the best results when I painted one coat with vertical strokes, waited for it to dry completely, then painted another with horizontal strokes. I kept adding layers until I thought the vase had the right “frosted” look.
After the initial vase-painting, it was a while before I had the effort to make the flowers. Instead of doing the lazy pom-pom like flowers that I usually go for, I decided to do something different. Using a technique that my grandmother taught me a couple of years ago, I cut out individual rose petals then placed them around a stem one at a time, wrapping them tightly with thread to secure them in place.
It took a little practice to get used to, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to make the flowers pretty quickly. It is a tedious task though and it’s not as easy to make a whole bouquet as I thought it would be which is probably why pom-pom flowers are more common anyway. And here’s the finished product:
There is usually a lot of hometown/homestate based decor and jewelry on Pinterest, but this particular type of map necklace really caught my eye:
For some reason, I felt the need to make a bay area version of this necklace. Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling more and more fond of Berkeley, San Francisco, and the general bay area after being holed up in the little bubble that is Cupertino for the summer. Anyway, I decided to bust out the modpodge and try to replicate this buddy. The legit way to go about doing this probably would have involved “resin” and a bunch of jewelry making techniques that I just wasn’t prepared to learn, so I was pretty happy when I found these simple plastic pendant thingies that I bought a while ago for really cheap at Michael’s. So then all I had to do was print the particular part of the map that I wanted to be on the necklace and modpodge away.
There are a surprisingly large number of video tutorials on how exactly one should modpodge things, but I feel like there’s no real set of rules to be followed. So I just put on a thick layer on both the paper and the back of the pendant and stuck them together. Then I waited for it to dry and tacked it on to the end of a the chain from another necklace. And so we arrive at the finished pendant. And the end of my first actual post.
I tried blogging several times before and gave up almost every time, probably because I didn’t have the effort to really stick with it, and also because I didn’t feel like I had enough content to make something meaningful. However, looking at blogs throughout the year has made me realize that you don’t necessarily need something amazing in order to have a blog–you can simply write what you think and post pictures of random stuff you make. Sort of like Facebook? Except more conducive to creativity and private. Of course you could embark on a journey to fame and have your talents revealed to the world if you were so inclined. But that’s not what I plan to do. So what exactly am I going to do with this blog? I honestly have no idea. I guess we’ll just have to see.