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! :)