Monday, May 13, 2013

DIY Old Jeans to High-Waisted Shorts Restyle

After a 4-month long hiatus, I'm finally back! I've done a few projects with the intention of adding them to my blog, but laziness sets in and we end up here--months later, with no posts.

BUT! I liked my most recent project too much to keep it off my blog, and I'm now on summer vacation, so I have time!

For this restyle, you'll need:

  • Old or thrift pair of jeans
  • Another pair of shorts you like the fit of (not necessary, but very helpful)
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Bucket (or sink) big enough to fit your shorts in comfortably
  • Bleach (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional)

I knew I wanted to create these shorts for a while, so when I got home from college for the summer, I jumped right in to thrifting. I found these babies at Goodwill for around $5, I think. I tried on quite a few pairs of jeans, mostly just looking at how much I liked the butt/pockets and if they were comfortable in the leg, and aiming for higher-waisted pants. Not too hard to find in the ladies section of a thrift store. So I found these Levis that I really liked :)

After matching them up with my favorite pair of shorts, I marked them with chalk where I wanted to cut them. For how to cut them the right length, see my blog post from last summer on how to make cutoff jean shorts here. I think I marked these about an inch below where the other shorts landed.

Once you mark the shorts, try them on to kind of eyeball where they'll land. If you like it, cut them off. You can always cut more, but you can't add fabric back on, so make sure you're okay with cutting off that much!

The next step, bleaching your shorts, is optional. I knew I wanted mine a lighter shade, and the bleach also makes them a little softer, so I went with it. When you've cut them to the length you want them at, take your bucket and put some water in it, just enough so that the shorts will be completely submerged. I did a little research before to figure out how much bleach to add to the water, and I found all kinds of responses, from "two parts bleach, one part water" (WAY too much, in my opinion!) to "one part bleach, three parts water" to "a bucket of water plus a half cup of bleach." I happened to have another pair of cutoffs from last summer that I never did anything with aside from cut them from jeans, so I tested my first bleaching on them (didn't want to ruin my Levis!). For the first test run, I used 9 cups of water and 3 cups of bleach, so 3:1 ratio of water to bleach. OVERBOARD. I mixed it and then put the shorts in the bucket, and turned/swished them after 30 minutes. After only an hour, they were almost yellow from the bleach!

 While you might want that look, that's definitely not what I was going for. So glad I tested it first!

SO. For my real run-through, I filled the bucket up with a little more water than the first time, probably somewhere around 15-20 cups, and added ONE cup of bleach. This way, it's a whole lot more controllable. I'd definitely recommend doing a ratio with less bleach than you think you'll need. It might take longer, but you'll be able to control the lightness of  your shorts much more easily.

I still came back every 30 minutes to flip the shorts, just to make sure they were evenly covered. Mine were in the bleach around 3 hours. Keep in mind that they are wet, so they'll turn out even lighter when they're dry. That's something I definitely didn't think about haha.

When you get them to a color you're happy with, rinse them thoroughly in cold water in the sink, then throw them in the washer. I put a few white towels in the mix too, just to help the washer out a little bit.

And here's how they turned out! :) I didn't stitch these like I did in my other jean cutoff tutorial, because I wasn't sure what length I liked. I like them rolled and not rolled!

I also gave these a tiny but of character with distressing. I used the scissors to rough up the tops of the pockets and a razor to scrape up around the pockets a little. For the most part, I wanted to keep them pretty clean looking, but I wanted to do a little something :)

 So there ya have it! Oh and I just got the white top too at Salvation Army for like a buck, score! I'm all ready for summer now, as soon as it warms up here in chilly Michigan! :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

The 50 First Dates Jar

Ask anyone who knows me really well and they'll probably tell you I'm one of the most indecisive people out there. My dad will ask my sisters and me what we want for dinner, and the answer 99% of the time is something like, "Ummm........I dunno." Perfect summary of any time I'm asked to make a decision.

For my boyfriend, I'm sure my indecisiveness gets annoying. I rarely know what kind of food sounds good, much less where I'd like to eat.

So, I decided to make it a little easier on him. I see so many "101 Fun Date Ideas" on Pinterest and occasionally (meaning like once) referenced the pins for ideas. My solution: make a cute little jar of ideas to draw from when we (and by we I mean) can't decide on a date! It's really nothing fancy, but he loved it :) Initially, I was going to actually put 100 or 101 ideas, but the jar was too small. The next best thing: 50 First Dates! (Movie reference, anyone?) And my little footnote: Who says they can't all be as good as the first? :)

All I did was type up 50 of my favorite date ideas; most were free or pretty cheap dates--then of course I threw in the really good stuff like going shopping, because he loves to take me shopping, and who doesn't love a cute new pair of shoes every once in a while! I printed these out and cut each one out individually, then folded them once or twice and put them in the jar. Then I made a little "label" (not much of a label...I admit it's not half as cute as it could've been!) and added a cute little gold ribbon. To see all 50 dates, read below the photos :)

50 First Dates
Bike ride
Cook dinner together
Go see a play
Visit a museum
Go shopping – something new for you and for me :)
Play Scrabble
Walk on the beach
Video games
Watch a sunset
Take a cooking class
Go to a coffee shop
Find a local bar with music being played
Go bowling
Go to a basketball game
Check out houses for sale just for fun
Visit a zoo or aquarium
Go rollerblading or rollerskating
Couples massages :)
Create a video for your blog together!
Go to the beach and collect beach glass or shells
Play basketball together (he loved this idea, of course!)
Dance to our favorite songs
Bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch
Batting cage
Walk around South Beach
Go on a boat ride / whale watching :)
Test drive cars just for fun
Spend the night at a local  B&B
Go ice skating
Dinner boat/train
Local art exhibit
Movie night in
Visit an animal shelter to look at pets :)
Start a new series/season together!
Hammock park! (I've been dying to go to this place!)
Volunteer somewhere
Go out for ice cream
Play a card game!
Go for a night drive :)
Rent a funny movie
See if there's an outdoor concert playing
Have a game night!
Find a place away from the city to stargaze
Find a park & play frisbee or basketball or football
Photoshoot :) (Yay for Photography Major excuses!)
Go for a scenic drive & bring good music!
Fly kites
At-home massages
Have a sandcastle-building competition!
Plan a road trip or vacation

If y'all have any other ideas, feel free to comment! :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How To Make Your Own Handwritten Font

I'm not quite sure why, but for years I've wanted to be able to type on a computer in my own handwriting. I knew it was possible to do, and I'd seen websites where you could do it, but I guess I never had the means to do so.

Recently my boyfriend left his iPad with me...I use it much more than he does :) I immediately started looking for drawing apps, and found one called Paper that I really liked. It's so much smoother than any drawing app I've ever seen--on a touch screen OR a computer.

Anyway, I started writing words and realized I could finally make my font like I'd like to do, and now I'm going to pass on how you can do that, with a tablet or just plain paper!

First you'll need to go to There are other sites like this, but this was the best actually free one that I found (there's another that says it's free, but you have to pay like $10 to actually download your font). Download the font Template to your computer. If you're going to print it out and write on it with a pen, do so. If you'd like to do this with a tablet and Photoshop like I did, go ahead and open it as a 300 dpi, grayscale file in Photoshop.

Next, if you haven't already written out the alphabet and all the symbols you want to include, do that. Using the template as a guide will help you remember symbols you can use. I wrote letters and symbols on different pages of my book in the Paper app and then emailed them to my computer and opened them in Photoshop next to the template. If you're doing it this way, then you'll need to use the Quick Selection tool (shortcut "W") to select only the letter you're using. For some reason, mine came out a little fuzzy at first, so I expanded the selection by one or two pixels to really get the whole effect of the letters. You can do this by going to Select --> Modify --> Expand --> 1 or 2 pixels. Once you've gotten the whole thing selected, copy the selection and switch over to the template, where you'll paste it.

Find the designated space for that letter, and use Free Transform (Ctrl + T) to fit the letter into the box. I just matched it up with the gray letter, for the most part, to determine the size and spacing.

Continue this process for the rest of the letters and symbols until you fill the template. I added a few accented letters because I use one for my name and use the others on occasion :) Save your file when you're finished.

Go back to the website, and click Choose File to upload your file. Then name your font in the space provided.

Hit "Send File" and wait for your font to be processed.

Ta dah! You should see a preview of your font and a link (the part I circled) to download the TTF file. Click that.

Next, you'll need to open up the Control Panel and go to your Font folder. To make it easy, if you have Windows 7, you can just open the Start menu and search "Fonts" and you should see all the fonts on your computer. Drag and drop the file you downloaded to this folder to copy and paste your handwritten font to your font folder so you can use it!

You can test this out by going to a word processor to see if your font is now available, which it is on mine! :)

Congratulations! Now go type away or make a bunch of other fun fonts. I already have another one all written out! Now I just need to bring myself to do this long process all over again.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Update + Nail Art Inspo

Hellooo there, everyone!

Sorry I've been away so long! Headed back to school and got all settled in, of course without most of my crafting stuff :( Sad panda (my best friend says this to me all the time and it's caught on with me)! I went to Michael's the other day for the first time since being down here, but I wasn't able to buy anything. I have a few things I want to post soon, but haven't gotten the time.

I did want to thank everyone for 20,000 views, though! I never thought I'd get that many, especially within only a few months! So thank you all for the views, comments, shares, Pinterests, etc. They mean a lot! Glad to know I can pass along a little inspiration :)

Anyway, the point of this post! NAIL ART INSPIRATION wooo~ It's my favorite! I found this blog earlier today, and couldn't resist sharing. It's called Lucy's Stash. She does a fabulous job showing the steps of her nail decoration, and the photos are great too! Definitely go check her out when you can :) You might find something you like; or, if you're like me, you'll find way too many and want to do them all right away!

Hope everyone is doing well, and thanks again :)


Monday, August 6, 2012


I was fresh out of ideas for the polish colors I had, and my sister offered her coffee color, so I couldn't resister cheetah print. I mean, who can, right?!

This mani is super easy and doesn't have to be perfect by any stretch. (Speaking of which, you'll have to excuse the polish on my skin...didn't quite get around to cleaning it up yet).

I started out with two coats of this Taupe color from Love & Beauty by Forever21. Not exactly high-quality stuff, but I like to change my nails often so I'm not too worried. Then I mixed the Taupe with a drop of "Bowery Black" by New York Color, and used a blunt yarn sewing needle to dabble on some different sized shapes. They don't by any means have to be perfect dots. I did a lot of double dots to make a longer oval shape, some big, some small. Then once the spots dried, I used the needle again and went around the edges with the Bowery Black, enclosing the darker taupe in black circles and parenthesis-like shapes.

Once it all dried, I went over it with a quick topcoat of Sally Hansen's "Clear'd for Takeoff"!

And voila! Adorable cheetah print :D Consider yourself Cheetah'fied!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DIY Double-Piercing Chain Earring

I'm pretty sure this is the quickest, easiest, cheapest, and least complicated DIY I've ever done. So easy, it makes me want to make 100 more of them! I'm in LOVE! I whipped this up right before work so I could wear it for my long shift, and I got so many compliments on it! People couldn't believe I made it. Definitely put a smile on my face! :)

Here's how to make your own.

You'll need:
  • 2 ball studs w/ loop (Jo-Ann, $1.11!)
  • Thin chain of the same color (again, grabbed myself an 18" chain from Jo-Ann for $1.11)
  • 2 jump rings (yet again, Jo-Ann, $1.11!) (yes, there are way more than 2 in the picture) (parentheses spree!)

Told ya it was cheap!

Now. Ready to whip it up in 3 steps?

1. Take your chain (unless you've bought very short chains, unlikely) and cut to the desired length. I held the chain up to my ear to decide how long I wanted it, and cut it just a tiny bit longer than what I wanted; Better to have to cut some off than to be too short & not able to add! I cut mine roughly 3.5" and 4" (like I said...roughly).

2. Attach the chains to a jump ring, and then slide the jump ring through the loop on the bottom of the stud. I only have one chain attached in the picture below.

3. Attach the other end of the chains to another jump ring, and attach that to the other earring!

All done! Now wear proudly! :)

I'm also thinking about using a little bit of the leftover chain to make another earring for my left ear (which is not pierced on the cartilage) so I can have a semi-matching one (I don't have a lot of gold jewelry to match this). Maybe two different length chains hanging from the stud, but a little shorter? Perhaps? I dunno, give it a try and add your own flair to it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vera Bradley-Inspired Chain Lanyard

The second I saw my friend's Vera Bradley lanyard, I was in love. I'd never seen one like it before, and knew I could make it myself, so I set out to do just that!

I haven't seen any other brand selling these, nor have I come across a tutorial for them. So here you go--maybe I'm first! Hope you all enjoy.

You'll need:

  • Fabric (roughly twice the length of your chain, to be safe) - I bought a quilting square at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $1 and had to cut it diagonally and double THAT up.
  • Chain (I bought mine at Michael's for $3.99) - The length is purely personal preference; I made mine 24" because I'm short and don't want a lanyard hanging down to my knees if I have it in my pocket!
  • Wire cutters - This is only if you'll need to cut off excess chain. I bought mine at 48" and knew I only wanted my lanyard to be 24".
  • Scissors
  • Swivel latch(es)/clip(s) - I chose to use 2, simply because I was copying the Vera Bradley model, but you could use 1 and sew both ends of the lanyard to 1 latch to make it easier on yourself. These can be found in the purse-making section of a craft store.
  • Key Ring
  • Needle & thread OR Sewing machine
  • It also helps to have a large sewing needle (yarn size) to thread the fabric through the chain.
  • Jump rings (if you don't want to sew the fabric to the latches)

Start by cutting the chain to the desired length, if it needs to be cut. If you have a heavy duty chain like I did, you might have to bend the chain a little while you cut to loosen it. 
Then cut the fabric as long as needed (better too long than too short!), about 1" to 1 1/2" wide. If you, like me, have to double up fabric, sew the two strips together at the ends, right sides facing together. Then, fold the strip in half, with right sides facing together again, and sew down the length of the entire fabric strip. This part is MUCH easier with a sewing machine. Now you're going to turn the strip inside-out so it's like a tube. Unless you're a beast at this, I'd recommend using a small safety pin or something, and hooking it to the edge of the fabric and threading it through the inside, thus turning the fabric right side out. Be patient and gentle, it does take a little time, and you wouldn't want to rip it.

Once you have the pretty side facing out, thread it through your big sewing needle (if you have one), and begin to thread the fabric through the chain as shown.

After you've threaded it through a few links, take the fabric at the beginning of the chain and thread it through the same link it's currently in again to secure it. That'll make it so if you're pulling, your previous work won't come undone.

Continue threading the rest of the chain, then secure the end just as you did for the beginning. Cut off any excess fabric, leaving yourself about 1" to 1 1/2" to put the swivel latch on. Thread this fabric through the ring on the latch, and double over before sewing (using either the sewing machine or needle & thread) to secure to the latch. 

Repeat for the other side, and then attach your key ring!

TA-DA! So pretty! Now go put all your cute little keychains on it (and your keys, of course...and maybe a school ID?). I couldn't resist adding my favorite keychain that I got when I was in Africa last summer!

Share (with credit, please!), comment, etc., and enjoy!