As a backstory to this project – I am in the phase of my life where bachelorette parties/weddings fill most of my summer weekends. While these parties are more or less, more organized versions of our typical summer weekends, original themes, give-aways, activities get harder to come up with as the summer/years go on.
Enter the “Wolfpack Weekend”. Part of this weekend includes a competition that required us to split the “wolfpack” in two, which we did by colours (easy enough). These sick cut-off tee’s were done in about 2h (all 12!) and then left overnight to dry. You can run with the idea and basically customize to use any clipart or silhouette (or free-hand design, you creative SOB!). We went with wolves. Because we’re a wolfpack (duh). Plus, they have that “my mom made me wear this in the 1990s in a matching sweatsuit” feel)
What you’ll need:
-Fabric spray (Tulip brand in black and neon pack, available at Walmart)
-Newspaper/plastic bag (to protect your floor)
-T-shirt/Tank top/Cut-off muscle T
What you’ll do:
- Find a clip art or silhouette of your desired design. You can free hand this or find one on the Internet. If you go with the Internet version, you can simply print or trace over your screen and then transfer that onto cardboard. Plain paper can work if you only do 1, but if you are using the stencil multiple times, the paint will soak through and it won’t be functional past 1, maybe 2.
The part where you place your stencil will remain white (or whatever colour your fabric is). You can also use the stencil as a stamp and spray the paint on it first, then transfer it onto your fabric (keep in mind, it will be a transfer aka backwards).
- Once you have your stencil ready, place some paper/cardboard/plastic between the layers of your shirt so your spray doesn’t soak through to the back.
- Place your stencil where you want it. (this stencil looks black because its already been sprayed once).
- Spray! We did a two-parter – a) First, we used black with the wolf stencil. b) Once that was dry, we placed a full circle of cardboard over the “moon” and “wolf” to keep them white and black, respectively, and then went bananas with the neon sprays for that “Northern Lights/rave” feel.
– Try to hold the bottle as upright as possible, especially when it gets low (the sprayer sucks from the bottom so if it’s tilted, it doesn’t spray as well).
– Use a fondue fork (or some other type of long skinny implement) to hold the stencil down securely to save your hands).
- Let em’ dry
- Soak in those compliments!
When we first decided to open our Etsy Shop, we thought we would keep it simple by sticking to what we know: goods made from rope and other reclaimed items found around our homes and cottages. But, as with most famous last words, that was short lived. On our first supply shopping trip – a highly anticipated visit to Designer Fabric Outlet – we may or may not have stumbled upon some of the best fabric we had seen in…possibly ever. It was very quickly agreed that it, when turned into a pillow, would make an epic accessory to any couch or chair in any cottage or chalet. We also agreed that said pillows (obviously) needed to have leather backs. We also agreed that it had been years since either of us had sewn a darn thing, but that we could figure it out…ideally with supervision.
So, what are two crafty critters going to do with limited skills and no machine of their own? Head to a sewing studio, thats what!
Sew Be It Studio, just north of Yonge and Eglinton, is a sewing mecca in Toronto. Filled with the obligatory sundries, multiple high tech machines, and a very friendly staff eager to help, it was the perfect place for us to find.
The studio offers a variety of group or private classes and workshops for all levels, as well as drop in sewing. We decided to take advantage of their generous ‘first drop in free’ offer and strolled in one Monday night (after booking online to ensure our spots, of course). Armed with our leather needles, thread, and a dream we set about our evening of adventure. Instructors were on hand to answer any questions we had, to give us a walk through of how their machines work, and offering (mildly shaky, however much needed) words of encouragement.
As two entrepreneurs trying to keep costs low, this was the perfect alternative to buying a machine and hoping things went really, really well. Places like Sew Be It allow you to hone your craft before jumping into a big purchase, maximizing your income and limiting expenses. And hey, it could just be the place that helps you see that you’re just not cut out for handiwork. Either way – dodge the bullet!
You can check out the finished product Here on Etsy!
When we first decided to create our line of earrings, Maple Leaf Forever, we realized we needed a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to get the dirty street grime off of each penny. We started racking our brains (read: googling) for ideas and, after narrowly dodging a volcanic reaction due to mis-remembered grade 3 science facts, we found our solution (see what we did there?)
What you’ll need:
– White vinegar
– Salt…lots of it
– Baking sheet or large bowl – the more surface area the better
Spread your pennies on a baking sheet – try to avoid overlap, as the solution needs to cover all parts of the coin.
Pour a generous amount of vinegar over your pennies, ensuring all are entirely immersed in the liquid.
Sprinkle salt over pennies. A lot of salt. If you think you’ve added enough – add more.
Leave your coins to soak, moving them around the tray periodically (so you feel like you’re doing something to help)
Test your pennies by rubbing them with dry paper towel – the grime should come right off. If not, put them back in. More salt!
Repeat until your pennies are satisfactorily shiny
Craft until you are blue in the face
The Finished Product
I purchased this skirt from Zara and it has been yet another perfect separate piece. The pockets (pockets in anything, really!) are an added bonus that makes any outfit a bit more playful. I love how easily this skirt transitions from a day at work to a night out with friends. My one qualm with the fabric (55% linen) is that, more often than not, I feel like I look like an unmade bed after a long day. When it comes back from the dry cleaner, though – let me tell ya – she’s a beauty!
The shirt: I picked up the Crop Top at Top Shop ($18) for a specific event that I was going to earlier this Spring. I didn’t think I was “hip” enough to pull it off, but after some coercing from a friend I caved. I find that pairing the top with a longer, more feminine skirt and more polished hair makes you look less hip and more on trend than with cut offs or jeans.
The hair: The amazing Hair Doughnut came from H&M ($5.95) because my hair, although long, is extremely thin and hard to do anything with. When the sock bun craze started, I tried to do my hair this way with a sock and I looked like a deranged puppet. Seriously. My hair wouldn’t wrap properly, and what would wrap would not cover the sock hiding underneath. I tried it with a dress sock instead of a sport sock; no dice. I tried a nylon instead of a dress sock; not a chance. And then, one day while strategically shopping, I stumbled upon this little gem in the ‘impulse section’ on my way to the cash. I figured that Bobby couldn’t object to this one, as I had already butchered two pairs of his socks. The best part? They come in Black, brown, and beige to hide under your hair!
I absolutely love gift giving. I know that it is something that most people hate, but to me it is like a game. A personal challenge to see how well you know someone and how wide you can make them smile when they unwrap your gift. I also [not so] secretly love seeing the looks on the faces of everyone else who showed up touting re-gifted wine (lovely gesture, but not that personal.) In my totally random and not so lengthy experience, a surefire way to make someone’s day is by ironing their face onto a piece of clothing. Don’t think they’ll dig wearing their own face? Substitute your face, or a pet’s, or a spouse’s, or a teacher’s (the list goes on, really) and you’re hilariously golden!
What you’ll need:
– Plain white t-shirt
– Iron on transfer sheets (here)
– Small towel (two if you are working on a surface other than an ironing board)
– A hilarious photo
Once you have printed your images onto your transfers (see the instructions in the box) trim the transfer sheet so there is a thin white boarder around your image. Place your t-shirt on a flat surface, with your image centred and face down.
Place a towel over your transfer – make sure you don’t move the image when you do this!
Apply heat and pressure to the image. A lot of it. For a long time. If you think it has been long enough – you’re probably wrong. Make sure you get the edges of your transfer sheet – there is nothing worse that a peeling t-shirt after just one wash!
Occasionally, as you iron, test the edges of your transfer sheet to see if the process is working. If your image is still attached to the sheet…it obviously isn’t. More heat!
When you have decided that your image is as stuck as it’s going to get, slowly peel the transfer backing from the t-shirt. If sections of your transfer aren’t “cooked” yet, slowly put the sheet back in place and go over the transfer a few more times. If you are having a tough time getting your image to stick, remove the towel and apply direct heat. BE CAREFUL – you can burn the image this way so do not apply for as long in each spot.
Ta-daaaa! You’ve made yourself a rad new t-shirt. Wear it yourself or give it as an amazingly personal gift!
I recently read a great blog post on buying with intention and it made me think of shopping for clothing. (Because, honestly what doesn’t?!) When I go shopping things can, admittedly, get out of hand in a hurry. Since we’ve moved in together, Bobby has instituted a very strict (and at times cruel!) “one in – one out” policy for me when I go shopping. If I buy something, it replaces something else in our closet and that item is donated to charity…sometimes also known as my girlfriends’ closets! Naturally, I have become very strategic in my endeavours and try my best to purchase things that are multi-function. I find that buying separates, i.e. a skirt instead of a dress, allows for a lot more versatility. By changing your top or your hair you can easily transform an outfit from day to night or from work to weekend without much effort or, most importantly, huge cost. This skirt, from Zara, was a great find. At only $49.99 (now on sale for $15.99!), the light navy colour makes it easy to pair with anything and the silver buttons add a perfect amount of detail. How do you like to style your separates?