Category: DIY


Frugal-nomics DIY: Varsity Letter Sweatshirt

Rihanna has been rocking them; Jessica Alba too….and I even have one packed away somewhere in a dusty box in my parent’s garage. What am I talking about? The whole varsity craze. Varsity jackets are hugely popular right now and cropping up everywhere, so I decided to drum up a bit of nostalgia in a quick and easy DIY, and make a Varsity Letter Sweatshirt!  The key to the whole look is the boxed lettering, so once I had that down pat, rather than using chenille (which requires a special machine…I thought I’d try some boucle fabric, but it wasn’t quite what I was going for), I used a little faux leather and wool to complete just as cool of a look.  Tell me…still have your jacket? Comment below.

SUPPLIES: old sweathshirt (I got this Gap one for .75 cents at a thrift store), Varsity Font on your computer (which you can download here), some white wool, faux leather, a pen, scissors, e6000 glue, and a plastic butter knife (optional) for spreading. 

In just 8 easy steps, you will be on your way in no time:
1. Pick your desired letter using the font provided here, print it on about a quarter of a page, and cut it out.
2. Once you’ve done this, go ahead and flip your white wool and your letter over, and trace your now backwards letter to the back of the wool (that way when you cut it out in the next step, your letter is facing the correct way on the wool).
3. Now cut out the letter you traced.
4. The cool thing about the font I found, was that it comes with a few different outline — making creating the different layers of the varsity letter, easy.  So now you’ll want to cut away the first (black) outline.
5. Repeat Step #2 with your now smaller letter — this time you’ll use your faux leather.
6. Cut out this new letter.
7. Add a little glue to the back of your letter (Note: I had a new bottle and it was a little messy, so feel free to use a butter knife, and don’t forget to use the glue in a well ventilated area).
8. Place your faux leather letter on top of the wool one, then place both in your desired area on your sweatshirt, and allow it all to dry for a few hours. Now, it’s ready to wear!


Frugal-nomics DIY: Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire Inspired Costume

I gotta admit, I’m not a big Halloween celebrator….but get invited to parties and am always up to network with friends and contacts. But what do I wear?  For one party I wanted to wear my No Sew TuTu and go as a ballerina (which I did, and it was a big hit), but wondered “what else was out there for other events?”

Even though the movie isn’t out yet, in my mind I gotta admit that I kept going back to Jennifer Lawrence’s wardrobe in the new Hunger Games 2 movie, Catching Fire. I mean, what’s not to love? She just looks tough….the feathers, the flashes or red—I was immediately sold! I paired my edgy top with a snakeskin pair of black faux leather jeans and ankle boots, and my ensemble was complete. Tell me below what you’re creating for this year’s Halloween costume.

SUPPLIES: Black feather trim (in the end I used about 7 yards), 4 red feather patches, 2 red guinea feather pads, straight pins, plastic garbage bag, e6000 glue, scissors, an old tank top, a zipper, and a needle and thread. 

I used a mannequin, but feel free to do this with the tank top lying on a flat surface like I did in my Ostrich Feather Skirt post.
1. To use a mannequin, I suggest first covering the form with a plastic garbage bag so as not to get glue on your mannequin.
2. Slip your top onto the mannequin.
3. Measure your first row of trim by wrapping it around the mannequin, and snipping it at the desired length.
4. Secure one end of the trim to the shirt with a straight pin.
5. Apply glue to the entire band of trim.
6. Wrap the trim you just applied glue to around the form about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the tank, then press it into place, and re-secure it with the straight pin.
7. Start the next row of trim up about 2 inches from the last one….and continue.
8. For the main part of the body I made complete revolutions — using about 6 rows of trim on the bodice alone, going right up to the underarm.
9. I wound up using shorter pieces for the upper chest and top back , but as I finished the main bodice I lined the last piece up against the underarm (Note: It’s a little less noticeable if you opt to use a black tank instead of a colored one like I did).
10. Apply a line of glue to the entire neckline — meaning from shoulder blade to shoulder blade.

Now, for this part, I didn’t originally intend for their to be a zipper, but when I couldn’t get the costume off my mannequin….I had to improvise.
11. Take a piece of trim and place it on top of the glue line you created around the neckline.
12. It’s now time to do the top back quarter.  So, take a piece of trim the desired size and pull a few feathers out of the band on either side of the trim.
13. Glue this back piece into place, being sure to tuck the tiny tabs you’ve created on either side,  into the tank.
14. Repeating Step #11, glue a row of feathers along the back neckline (Note: I originally only bought 6 yards of feathers, but had to use another spare yard of a different set of black feathers I already had across the top back).
15. Take 2 of your red feather pads and 1 of the red spotted guinea pads and fan them out in the pattern you’d like (Note: here I nestled the red spotted guinea one in between the 2 red ones, but ultimately didn’t like it since I couldn’t get it to look the same on both sides. So, I decided to place the spotted one on top of the 2 red ones).
16. Place some glue on each shoulder, and set the 3 feather pad in place.
17. Hold your “feather pad trio” into place for a few minutes, feeling free to use binder clips if needed.
18. Near the underarms you may have some empty spaces, feel free to glue some smaller pieces into these vacant spots where you may see your top. Then allow the whole thing to dry for at least 3 hours.
19. Take your scissors and cut your top up the entire back.
20. Using straight pins, hem your back edges about an inch on either side.
21. Again, using your straight pins, pin your zipper into place on either side of the back edges.
22. Hand stitch your zipper into place, and voila — you are all set!


Frugal-nomics DIY: Halloween Personalized Napkin Ring Holders

Growing up I progressively got more and more into setting the table for holidays like Thanksgiving — I mean I would really go all out, hand drying leaves and pine cones from outside, for a finishing touch.  So, it was a natural progression for me to create these personalized napkin ring holders to get in the mood for Halloween.  I mean I saw one cut out of a bat as inspiration, and I totally took it to a new level.  You can add as many shapes and designs that your imagination can scare up — it will be a ghoul of a time. (Corny, I know…but enjoy!) 🙂

SUPPLIES: 1/4 yard of felt, silk organza ribbon (close to a yard for each place setting), fabric paint, straight pins, scissors, and a print out of all the images you want to use (I used Google Images to find some cute ones!!!) 

1. The first step is to find silhouettes of pictures you want on Google Images, print them out the size of about 1/4 of a page or less, and then cut them all out.
2. Take your organza ribbon and cut a piece for each of your place settings (Note: be generous so you can have a nice size bow — mine were each 31 inches long).
3. Using straight pins, attach each image to your felt.
4. Go ahead and carefully cut out your images.
5. In the spot you’d like your ribbon to run through your felt “character,” make a tiny incission (about an 1/8th inch) with your scissors. 6. Take the nozzle of your fabric paint, and carefully spell each name of your guests. (Note: I would practice first to gauge how fast paint comes out when you apply pressure to the bottle, because in the event you mess up, you don’t want to have to start all over). Let dry for a few hours.
7. Slip your organza ribbon evenly through the incission you made in Step #5, and you’re all done!