A DIY Pride Tee That Doesn’t Look Like A Unicorn Vomited On Your Clothes
Sunday, June 21st, 2015
Guys – I was waiting FOREVER for June to roll around so I could do five million LGBT pride month crafts. But if you’ve been following along with TCB for a hot minute, you know that it’s been pretty quiet on the blog this month. Life has been busy as f********k lately…in a good way! Luckily, a combination of being finished with freelance projects, a job switch, and plans to collaborate on a DIY pride tee with M.E. of We Can Make Anything has once again kicked me into high-gear for this lil’ blog.
Most gay pride gear looks like a unicorn vomited all over your ensemble. Yes, I’m down with glitter and multicolored clothing. No, I am not bathing in craft glitter, or wearing a rainbow tutu with rainbow Mardi Gras beads, all while carrying a rainbow flag. This is my first Pride after being all like “mkay, I’m going to let the Internet know about my queerdom now,” so I’m down to rock some rainbow, but I’ll be doing it in a classy way, thank you very much.
I decided to make a white, tie-front crop top with a geometric confetti pattern on it for this year’s NYC parade. I started with a set of multicolored fabric paint ($6 at Michael’s), and a plain white tee ($3 at Michael’s).
Before I started painting my shirt, I made the tee into a kind-of-cropped, tie-front shirt using this method.
My original plan was to use Scotch tape to stick triangle stencils onto my shirt, but I found it quite difficult to get each triangle in the same size and shape. Instead, I ended up cutting up some cardboard and making stencils. Each triangle side was 2 inches, measured out with a ruler, which is about as detail-oriented as I get.
After I made my stencils, it was time to fill them in with paint. My fabric paint kit only came with red, yellow, blue, and green, so I had to mix up some orange and purple myself. I also ended up running out of cardboard and reused some of the stencils.
Before you start painting, make sure to put paper in the shirt so the paint doesn’t bleed through to the back. I used a sponge applicator to brush the paint on. It gave the finished product a very smooth look. The cardboard stencils worked really well. The triangles didn’t end up looking totally perfect, but I can live with that.
After a few hours, it was dry and ready to try on. I think the pattern looks a bit like confetti. I’m really happy with how it turned out. So happy, in fact, I’ll probably wear it all year round. In fact, I’m wearing it RIGHT NOW AS A WRITE THIS POST.
Also, don’t ask me why my hair looks purple. It was an accident. I’m upset about it.
Now that you know how I made my top, head over to We Can Make Anything to see M.E.’s super-cute, musical theater reference pride shirt. IT’S SO CUTE I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT, I’M HAVING A CRAIG-FROM PARKS-AND-REC-LEVEL REACTION.
Here’s her super cute tee, and here’s a link to her post. Read it!!!!
Flying Tiger US Flagship Store: Cheap, Cute, Adorable Things
Friday, May 29th, 2015
If H&M and IKEA had a baby, that baby would be Flying Tiger. A home decor and cute junk store based in Copenhagen, Flying Tiger opened it’s first US store at 21st and Broadway in the Flatiron District in Manhattan, so obviously I had to stop by and check out what was hailed as “NYC’s cutest and cheapest new store,” by Racked NY. It lived up to the hype.
Most of Flying Tiger’s merchandise ranges from $1-$10, and it’s all absolutely adorable. I had a difficult time discerning between what I wanted to buy or not, because I could have easily dropped $100.
Here’s the coolest stuff I found:
I decided to wait on dishes, which range from $1 to $7 at the most expensive, since I really don’t need to buy them until just before I move into my new apartment come September. I was eyeing a set of pastel blue and green geometric ones, but they’ll probably be gone by moving day. Flying Tiger restocks with new designs every month. I’m sure they’ll be something just as cute replacing it.
I was impressed by the low price of everything in the store, and even more awe-struck when a quick Google search didn’t bring up any news stories about sweatshops or unfair labor practices. This meant I could enjoy my shopping experience without having the weight of 100 underpaid children on my conscious, which is always a good thing. Anyway, back to the fun stuff.
I was really impressed by the prices of their large, collage picture frames. It’s difficult to find frames under $20, but this big one was only $7. I passed on the frames, too, and will wait until I move. Hopefully they will stick around since they’re pretty basic.
It took every ounce of willpower in my body not to buy a bunch of these geometric shadowbox shelves. Think of all the colors you could paint them! Think of all the shapes you could build on your wall! And they were only $8 a piece! I may have to go back and buy these, since their merchandise changes so often. I’m not sure I could live with myself if I revisited, only to find they’re gone.
Speaking of DIY, this place is a crafter’s dream. They have a wall full of candles in every color of the rainbow in the back of the store, each $1 a piece, for endless melty wine bottle candle perfection. I bought myself two sets of googly eyes at $3 a pop, one large set and one small, so I can stick them to some album art I want to hang on my walls. What’s funnier than Bob Dylan with giant googly eyes? Absolutely nothing.
They also had a MASSIVE sketchbook for $15, for the illustratively inclined out there. Not me, but know they can be quite expensive, and $15 is a steal. Although I didn’t purchase any today, I was thrilled to see that Flying Tiger had small canvas for only $4 a piece. Also, OMG TINIEST CANVAS EVER SO CUTE STAAAAHP.
Other highlights included a toothbrush holder that looks like potted grass, plastic vases for plants that you can hang on the wall (I might have to go back tomorrow and buy those, along with the shadowboxes), and a hilarious iPad case that expresses how we all feel when we have the newest gadget in tow.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, here’s what I left with:
A mint green five pocket folder that cost $4, a set of strawberry string lights for $6, two sets of the aforementioned googly eyes, a phone case that looks like candy for $5, a heart-shaped chalkboard for $3, and a kitty cat sleeping mask for $3. With tax, it cost only $30. Money well spent, IMHO. Cute junk is always good to have around!
VERDICT: Flying Tiger is awesome, and if you’re in NYC you should go spend your money there. I plan on giving them a whole lot of hard-earned cash in the future.
I Glued An Old Scarf To My Shirt And Made An Adorable Pocket
Thursday, May 28th, 2015
It’s pretty rare that I see a cute DIY project online and say to myself, “hey! I already have all of the supplies I need for this!” Most of the time, I go to Michael’s Crafts, get frustrated because everything is so GOD DAMN EXPENSIVE, and end up cutting corners or giving up entirely. THAT BEING SAID, it’s a beautiful thing when I see a project that I don’t have to spend a single cent on to make. When I saw Ashlee’s DIY vintage hankie pocket tee and said, “I should try and make a no-sew version of this!” I had an epiphany. “OMG. I ALREADY HAVE AN OLD SCARF AND A GLUE GUN. I WILL DO THIS RIGHT NOW.” In case you noticed, I’ve been pretty stressed as of late, and as a result, I’ve been talking to myself a lot. I’m pretty sure everyone in NYC think I’m just a very well dressed homeless person as I walk by mumbling to myself.
AAAAANNNYWAY… let’s get started on the how-to for this no-sew, DIY, vintage scarf statement pocket.
I started out with a scarf I’ve had since college. I believe I got it at a thrift store in Springfield, Missouri for 50 cents. I used to wear it in my hair pretty often, but my hair is so thin that it doesn’t really stay in place, and I eventually got annoyed with retying it a million times a day. And so, it collected dust in my closet. First, I ironed that bitch so it was straight as an arrow. Unlike myself, LOLZ.
After it was wrinkle-free, I put the scarf over the breast pocket of a pink oxford shirt I got at Housing Works for $10. The color of this shirt is bright, bright, BRIGHT – so bright that I don’t wear it very often. I figured it was a good test subject for this project.
The scarf was thin enough that I could feel and see the outline of the pocket. I used a pen to lightly trace around the edge of the pocket…not ON the edge of the pocket, but just OUTSIDE of it. If you’re following along at home, this is important. Once you’re done tracing, you’ll cut out the shape and cut off the pen marks.
To finish it off, I applied hot glue directly to the shirt on every side of the pocket and pressed the now pocket-shaped scarf bit into the glue.
A FEW QUICK TIPS:
When you’re tracing with the pen, start at the edge of your scarf and not in the middle. If you fuck up, you can try again with the rest of the fabric. I had to trace my pocket twice.
Some fabrics may react in a weird way with hot glue. It could discolor the fabric and leave you with an ugly shirt you don’t want to wear. Before I glued on my scarf scrap, I cut two little pieces of the scarf off and glued them together, just to see how they reacted with the glue.
The finished product is super cute! In this picture, I’m wearing the shirt with a red suede skirt. I think all that pink and red with my red hair is a lot of warmth, but I’m planning on wearing this shirt with a pair of my signature high-waisted black jeans and the top buttoned all the way up. That’s for it’s official real-life debut. I’d also love to try this again with a white shirt instead of a pink one, because it a whole lot of bright colors. Overall, I’m happy with the way it turned out, and I think I’ll get more use out of this top now that it has a bit of DIY embellishment.
10 DIY Projects I Can’t Wait To Make For My New Apartment
Monday, May 25th, 2015
Every time I’ve moved into a new space, I have come up with many, many grandiose ideas for how to decorate. When I was a senior in high school dreaming about my college dorm room, I spent hours online deciding which posters I would buy. When I moved into my first apartment in college, I scoured thrift stores for diamond-in-the-rough furniture and tchotchkes. My current apartment, which is also my first New York City apartment, suffered from a lack of decor for a good long while, due to the stress of moving, running a blog, working for a demanding job, etc, etc. But now that I’m moving in with my favorite girl come September, I’m back on the DIY decorating Pinterest grind. FYI…I am going to make ALL OF THE THINGS. And you know there is going to be a blog post for each and every creation.
Although I can’t get my DIY decor on just yet, here are 10 quirky and colorful DIY projects I intend on eventually carrying out.
1. Concrete end table top
Incase you’re out of the loop when it comes to serious crafters, covering your tables in concrete is all the rage. It’s simple, it’s inexpensive, and it makes for a super sleek looking piece of furniture. Aimee of The Crazy Craft Lady covered her dining set in concrete, and I intend on following her instructions to revamp an unfinished wood end table I already have.
2. DIY Ikea Bar Cart
Because I intend on making my new apartment all kinds of grown-up sophisticated, I’m definitely turing this $30 Ikea utility cart into a retro-chic bar cart with some spray paint. At our housewarming party people are going to be like, “whoa. There is a bar cart in this apartment. That is some fancy shit.” You can check out the tutorial from Lindsey at The Curly Diaries.
3. Upcycled pickle jar containers
Starting now, I will be saving all of my glass jars and their lids. With a coat of rubber paint, hot glue, and a drawer pull, you can make old jars into apothecary-esque creations. The jars in this photo are used for bathroom supplies, but I’m going to use mine in the kitchen for salt, sugar, coffee, and spices.
4. Ombre fake flower wall hanging
This photo doesn’t come with much of a tutorial, but it seems pretty self-explanatory. First, acquire a canvas and some fake flowers. Then, hot glue the fake flowers to the canvas. Then spray paint the shit out of it with some bright colored spray paint. Voila! It’s art. Put it in your entryway, you crafty bitch.
5. Bleeding tissue paper canvas art
This idea from Fiskars is actually recommended for kid’s crafts, but I think it looks cool so I’m doing it for my grown-up apartment anyway. All you need is special bleeding tissue paper, which you can find at most craft stores, a white canvas and water. You cut shapes out of your tissue paper (or strips), wet the canvas, stick on your paper and then remove it after it sits overnight. So easy! So pretty! ONE-OF-A-KIND! My girlfriend claims she doesn’t like being crafty, but I am forcing her to do this with me.
6. Hanging copper pipe garment rack
I already know that no matter how great of an apartment we end up in, there is not going to be enough closet space for two girls with a whole lot of clothing. Since I have a lot of vintage clothes I’d love to show off in a cool way, this DIY hanging coat/garment rack will be practical and sleek. The instructions are simple: get tube. Get wire cable. Get two hooks. Hang it. If you feel you need more detailed instructions, check out Love Aesthetics.
7. Giant shower curtain art
This giant piece of octopus art is actually a shower curtain, and this idea is absolutely genius. Big wall art is so expensive, but all you need to make your own is a shower curtain and some plywood boards from Home Depot. Kirsten over at 6th Street Design School says this project only took her and hour of work. I say YAAAAAAAS to everything about it.
8. Hanging mason jar makeup organizer
Not only will we have a fuck ton of clothes in our new apartment, we’re also going to have a whole lot of makeup. This mason jar bathroom organizer is not only easy to make, but it will also be easy to clean with a quick swipe of a Clorox wipe. You can read the whole tutorial over on The DIY Playbook.
9. Hula hoop chandelier
I’m not sure how I feel about using Christmas lights for this project, but I’m thinking I’ll use wiry string lights like these instead. I’ll also paint the hula hoop gold and use gold wire to hang it from the ceiling instead of lace like Sarah from Sarah With An H did. I’d rather have a sleek chandelier than a shabby-chic one, but to each their own.
10. Washi tape accent wall
In most rented apartments, you can paint the walls, as long as you paint them back to white before you move out. That sounds like a whole lot of effort to me. Instead I’m going to opt for a less permanent accent wall and use decals or washi tape like Emily of Everything Emily did for her son’s room. Washi tape comes in so many colors, you could create endless patterns with it…and if you get bored, just create another one! Plus, she has a cool name, like me. Nice job, Emily.
Did any of these projects give you the crafting itch? Let me know in the comments.
Important Question: Is There Anything Uglier Than A Louis Vuitton Bag?
Monday, May 18th, 2015
Seriously though…is there anything uglier than a Louie Vuitton bag?
Now, I know I am not the right person to talk to when it comes to the fashion of wearing giant labels on your clothing/accessories, a.k.a. shelling out mad cash to be a walking advertisement. I’ll never understand how some people have $3,000 to throw at one accessory. BUT REALLY, GUYS… this bag is literally the color of your digestive functions.
When you carry around a Louis Vuitton, this is all I see:
Maybe this was a funny prank that Mr. Louis himself thought up during the Industrial Revolution? I mean, THIS is Louis Vuitton:
Not exactly a picture of style, IMHO.
Discuss in the comments below, please.
You’re Doing It Wrong: How To Use A Clay Mask
Monday, May 18th, 2015
Clay masks are a classic skin care staple. When I was a kid, I thought clay masks were the height of glamour, and that only fancy ladies in movies and stock photos used them. I remember being super excited the first time my mom bought a bottle of clay mask from the drug store, and we even bought a cucumber to slice and put on our eyes for ultimate fanciness. So when I found Freeman face masks on sale for $3 a piece, obviously I had to buy four of them. For research. For nostalgia. For glamour. Because I make impulsive decisions.
While I was trying out the sparkling pear mask, I noticed something on the back of the bottle. The directions said to let the mask dry for 5 to 10 minutes. However, after 10 minutes, the mask hadn’t completely dried.
I was under the impression that the whole point of a clay mask was to let it dry out, then wash off all of the dead skin and dirt clogged all up in your pores. But the clay mask took at least 20 minutes to dry out, and maybe that was because I caked that sh** on until you could not see a single pore…but seriously, was everything I ever believed to be true about clay masks a lie?
As it turns out, which I now know thanks to this Allure article, you aren’t supposed to let a clay mask dry completely on your face. In fact, when you let a clay mask dry all the way, you could have potentially negative side effects. The “wet” phase of a face mask is when your skin soaks up all the good stuff (like sparkling pear, I guess). Then when it starts to dry, the mask “stimulates blood flow” as it gets tighter on your skin. But if you let it get too dry, it starts sucking up natural oils, and that’s bad news. Nobody wants a flaky face.
A few more tips for using a clay mask:
This should be obvious, but wash your face before you use a clay mask. It’s not a face wash, and you don’t want to end up sealing in nasty sh** from your makeup with a mask. Exfoliating is also a good thing to do before using a mask. When you’re done with your mask, make sure to moisturize and replenish any natural oils that have been soaked up by the clay. You also probably don’t need to use quite as much mask as I did. You only need a thin layer to utilize the mask’s purifying qualities. But it is a lot less fun to use only a little, fyi.
How A Real Life Girl (Me) Stopped Shopping At Fast Fashion Stores
Sunday, May 17th, 2015
When you think about inexpensive fashion, the first stores you might think of are Forever 21, or Zara, if you’re really fancy. If you don’t, you’re living under a rock. But you might also remember how fast fashion is totally f**ked up, and while people think unfair fast fashion labor is only overseas, it’s alive and well in the U.S. of A., too, i.e. undocumented hours from workers who don’t know their employee rights, facilities infested with cockroaches, etc.. But somehow, it’s still easy to run up to the register with $10 dollar dresses and $3 jewelry. I’ve certainly been the culprit of such actions, so no judgment in these parts of the Internet. Forever 21 anonymous, here, and I’ve been fast-fashion free for 9 months…maybe more.
There’s a lot to wrap your head around when it comes to the consequences of fast fashion. It’s bad for laborers overseas, it’s bad for the environment (if we don’t change our fashion manufacturing ways, demand for water will exceed supply by 40%in 2030), it’s bad for undocumented people in the U.S. and documented citizens…it’s honesty just bad news all around. As a result, it’s hard to know where to shop that doesn’t screw everyone who’s ever handled those garments over. It’s also hard for those who don’t make a ton of money, and don’t want to spend their hard earned cash on expensive clothes. A.k.a. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE UNITED STATES, pretty much ever.
As a 23-year-old woman living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, I will swear on the holy bible that I’ve felt the difficulties that come with looking good on a tight budget. Call me selfish, but I believe looking fabulous is a right and not a privilege. That being said, I’ve completely changed my shopping habits over the past year, and built a 100% unique wardrobe from clothes I feel ethically confident in. Want to know how I did it? Lucky for you, I’m going to tell you how in only three simple steps.
Shopping at thrift stores and consignment stores is the most simple way to stop shopping at fast fashion stores. Consignment stores are the easiest solution to buying brand new items, because they’re choosy about on-trend merchandise. Think about how often you buy the coolest new item at Forever 21, and then it ends up gathering dust in your closet. Some people sell those items to consignment stores! And then, instead of spending $50 on that green leather vest, you’ve spent $13 instead. It’s a win for ethical fashion, and a win for your wallet.
I feel less guilty buying potentially poorly manufactured items from thrift and consignment stores, knowing that I’m not directly giving my money to those corporations. Buying new items, even if they aren’t produced in sweat shops, continues a cycle of toxic chemicals entering our water supply. By buying clothes from thrift stores, you can feel good knowing you haven’t hurt the environment or forced a child into labor with your purchase.
There’s a whole bunch of other benefits from shopping secondhand, too. After I stopped shopping in new-merchandise stores, Forever 21 and H&M made me incredibly anxious. The music was loud, the lights were too bright, and there were so many people…shopping in thrift stores is a much more relaxing experience.
I am also quite pickier about the items I buy in secondhand stores. If I don’t absolutely love something, I let it go. I’m not paying $15 for a used Forever 21 blouse that I don’t think really fits my style – f**k that! This principle has left me with a closet full of clothes I love. And if I decide in two months I’m not feelin’ it anymore, I can just sell it right back to the consignment store.
Buy pricier items when you can.
When you buy most of your clothes secondhand, you can afford to buy more expensive items that you really love. I personally love to hit up sample sales, and don’t feel bad splurging at stores that haven’t been involved in a sweatshop scandal. For example, ASOS is a part of the Ethical Trade Initiative, which works to improve global working conditions. Or, LOFT performs unannounced audits in their factories to make sure their factories are up to safety standards. Despite a history of destroying unsold merchandise, H&M is the largest user of organic cotton worldwide. I also love buying designer clothes from secondhand thrift websites like Fashion Project.
Google that shit.
If you’re ever in doubt, the Internet is handy tool for figuring out whether or not your favorite stores use sweatshops or have been involved in bad labor practices. I try to Google every company I purchase from before I shell out my cold hard cash, because I don’t feel comfortable giving my money to companies that are less than ethical.
Point being – you don’t have to settle for unethically made clothing because you don’t think you can afford to shop elsewhere.
What do you make of the fast fashion scandal in the U.S.? Let me know in the comments.
May Thrift Haul From Depop’s Closet Sale and Crossroads Trading
Monday, May 11th, 2015
I had a thrift haul for your last month, and now I have a May thrift haul for you! This either means that I’m incredibly dedicated to my craft…or it means I have too much free time on my hands. Enough time to sit in my room and talk to a camera about what I’ve bought recently. Watch the video below to see my steals, and my newly dyed hair looking like a hot mess. I was afraid to wash it.
This month’s finds (try saying that 5 times fast, it’s hard) come from the Depop Closet Sale held at Root Studios in Chelsea, as well as Crossroads Trading Company in the Flatiron District.
The Depop Closet Sale was a pretty awesome event. It was held by Depop and Nylon Magazine, and was basically a fashion blogger garage sale. Depop was selling clothes from big-name fashion bloggers like The Blonde Salad, One Dapper Street, I Hate Blonde, and Just Another Fashion Blog. I picked up a pair of Windsor Smith Birkenstock-like black sandals from the last one for only $15 (similar ones here). From Nylon’s sample closet, I got a color block mini-dress with a Peter Pan collar. I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of this in the short time I’ve had it in my possession. It’s so easy to throw it on and run out the door.
I love shopping at Crossroads Trading Company in Flatiron, but I’m there so often the staff there knows me. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or if it’s totally embarrassing. At Crossroads I picked up a Ralph Lauren Rugby cardigan with a simple athletic stripe detail, a bright yellow and floral printed Liberty of London by Target trench coat, and a pink and white striped H&M button-up.
At the end I threw in a cropped sweater my girlfriend gave me. Having a girlfriend is like having two wardrobes. It’s the best.