Clipped Art Frames

My house is full of art, most of it drawn by my 9-year-old (and featuring cats), and almost all of it is currently sitting in a large basket that we periodically go through to make albums of things we want to save long-term. In the meantime, though, she’s had nowhere to display her creations, so it was time for a change.

Her room has a conveniently empty wall that’s just crying out for decoration, so I thought I’d frame some of her work– however, with her rate of production it was clear that changing out the displayed pieces would be a ton of hassle if done on a regular basis, so I decided to make a more versatile display. I picked up a bunch of inexpensive picture frames on Amazon (I bought two sets of five) along with some metal clips, and pulled out some sheets of scrapbooking paper from my stash of art supplies. The procedure is simple:

First I cut my scrapbooking paper (12×12″) down to fit the picture frames. I bought 9×12″ frames, which were the perfect size to display 8.5×11″ drawings, so all I had to do was slice a 3″ strip off of each sheet.

Then I removed the backings from the frames (peeling the plastic film off the plexiglass) and inserted my decorative papers into them. This was to add color and keep things looking nice even when there’s no art currently in the frame.

Finally, I got out my hot glue gun and glued a clip to the top of each frame– on the frame part, not on the plexiglass. I’ve seen other people use Gorilla Glue or E6000, but hot glue worked fine for me and it was really easy to work with.

And that was it! Instant art display frames! They look great, are easy to change up with new art, and can double as art storage since the clips hold a whole bunch of sheets at once.

Making a Regular Tie into a Bow Tie

Have you ever needed a bow tie for a costume or event, but couldn’t find one in just the right fabric? And it’s tough to make one from scratch, because the silk fabric used to make ties isn’t usually available at regular fabric stores. What to do?

Make one out of a regular tie!

I wouldn’t recommend spending a lot of money on a nice tie just to make a bow tie, but if you happen to be at Goodwill and find a tie with the perfect fabric for $1.99 like I did (score!), here’s how you can make it work.

bowtie-original

First, unpick the stitches up the center back of your tie, and use a cool iron to press the fabric flat so you can see what you have to work with. I only unpicked the wide half of the tie so I could use the skinny back half as a neck strap. I removed the interfacing from the unpicked half.

Next, find a pattern for a pre-tied bow tie. I used this one , which worked great.

Continue reading

Upcycle: Blazer to Messenger Bag

My daughter decided this year for Halloween to be Kiki, from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Image result for kiki's delivery service

The black dress, red bow, and broom were simple to come by, as was the little stuffed cat (Gigi), but for some reason she focused in on the orange messenger bag as a crucial element of her costume, particularly as it would hold tons of candy for trick-or-treating.

Unfortunately, inexpensive orange messenger bags can be hard to come by, particularly if they need to be lightweight enough for a 6-year-old to carry around all night while full of candy. I had basically given up the search when I noticed an orange cotton sateen blazer on the rack at Goodwill that was crying out to be converted into a bag.

orange-bag-jacket

Continue reading

Tweaking Funtasma’s Edwardian Pumps

One of the things about making an above-the-ankle Edwardian day dress is that you suddenly have to care about your shoes. My previous Victorian/early Edwardian gowns were mostly long enough to hide my feet almost entirely, so the shoes didn’t stand out as long as they were a neutral color and shape. But my Edwardian picnic dress is intended to show some ankle (scandalous!), so shoes matter.

Of course, I already knew where I’d love to get my shoes– American Duchess. I’ve been drooling over her stuff for ages. But as much as I adore her gorgeous footwear, particularly the Astorias, they’re not really in the budget right now given how infrequently I’d wear them. So I turned to the cheap knockoff version made by Funtasma– the style known as Dame 02.

Check out the American Duchess shoes (left) vs. the Funtasma shoes (right):

  

Continue reading

Princess Play Dress #2: Isabel (of Avalor)

After Elena of Avalor, the next princess my daughter was dying to be was her sister, Isabel.

400isabel

This one was the easiest of the three dresses– I just found a basic blue dress with puffed sleeves and ruffles (sadly, Primary.com didn’t have anything that worked, so I had to get it on Amazon), and used some gold fabric paint to make the gold trim on the bodice and the swirls on the ruffled parts.

Continue reading

Princess Play Dress #1: Elena of Avalor

Our family is going to Disneyworld this fall, and my daughter is (of course) really excited about it. Not just the rides and attractions, but the prospect of meeting Disney princesses. When we first booked the tickets, in a fit of recklessness I promised to make her some princess dresses to wear to the park, so here we are. These aren’t going to be full costume-quality dresses– rather, they’re going to be soft and comfortable knit dresses she can play all day in, with some nods to the princess style.

Her very favorite princess right now is Elena of Avalor, so it was a given that one of her dresses would be Elena’s.

2232elenaofavalor

Continue reading

Flower Girl Hair Wreath

flower-wreath

My daughter is going to be a flower girl in my brother’s upcoming wedding– she’s extremely excited about it, of course! We decided that aside from the dress (which is huge and made of yards and yards of ivory tulle), what she really needed was a wreath of flowers for her hair. Because hey, flower girls need flowers, right?

Continue reading

My Fair Lady Ballgown, Part XIV: HAIR!

ef4920cdb5a8c2bce2e281eda3c6d04b

(Yes, I realize it’s been ages since I posted about this outfit, but I needed to get photos back to complete these posts! Forgive me?)

That’s right, today we’re talking about HAIR. Not just “hair,” but HAIR. Seriously, it’s deserving of all caps in this context. After all, you didn’t think I’d go to an event decked out in this gloriously glittery gown without correspondingly fabulous hair, did you? Of course not– you know me better than that!

So yes, Audrey Hepburn had some seriously gigantic hair in the Embassy Ball scenes– obviously not Edwardian in style, but hey, filmmakers in the in the sixties loved the gargantuan updos, so who am I to quibble when it comes to making the ensemble recognizable? Let’s take a closer look at it, shall we?

Continue reading

Queen of Hearts Costume, Part V: Sleeves

Once the main dress was done, I made a set of detached sleeve-puff thingies to wear on my arms. I bought some black satin and stitched it in stripes with the extra red satin from the back side of the shawl. Once I had two long striped pieces, I cut out some equally long but much narrower pieces of red cotton and attached them to the striped sections as a lining.

q-hearts-sleeve-stripe

The inner layer being narrower than the outer layer allowed the striped layer to puff out a bit along the vertical axis. Then I sewed narrow channels into the top and bottom edges and ran elastic through them, which gathered the sleeves horizontally into nice puffs that would stay up on my arms. I did have to stuff the puffs with fabric scraps to give them body– otherwise they were a bit droopy. Next time I’ll take the time to find some netting to do the stuffing– it would hold its shape better.

q-hearts-sleeve

I finished off the costume with a tiara from eBay and a pair of black satin gloves. Hint: do not balance your tiara on your head just to see how it will look, then forget it’s not pinned on and bend over to look at something– it will fall off, clang on the floor, and lose half a dozen tiny rhinestones which you will then have to locate and glue back in. (sigh)

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished costume!