The Adventures of the M&J Intern: Interview with Allie

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Allie in Baroque n' Roll

M&J’s creative department is where all the fun happens! The creative team helps to run the M&J website, blog, social media channels, visual displays, and Project DIY! I got to sit with one of the essential members of the M&J creative team, Allie Scalici, to learn more about her role in the creative department.

Cookie: What is your role at M&J Trimming?

Allie: I am the visual merchandising coordinator. I first started doing window displays and visual displays for the store. Then Project DIY started, and I was in charge of making the Project DIY displays and packaging. I also make the weekly DIY for the blog and style the photos.

CC: When did you start working for M&J Trimming?

AS: April 10,2013

CC: When did you start crafting?

AS: Oh elementary school! There would be arts & crafts in school, but I really started at home. My mom and I would craft, and my grandfather taught me a lot about art and visual displays.

CC: What does your daily schedule look like?

AS: I check my emails and then check my Visual Display Projects Chart. It’s a chart I made with all the projects and deadlines. I see what’s a priority, and what I could put on hold.

M&J Trimming Color Board

 CC: How do you showcase the trim on the blog or in the store?

AS: I come up with the size board I want. I pick fabrics to cover the board and other elements to bring the board to life; if it’s patterned images, fashion photos, or creating depth with foam core. I experiment with how to lay out the products; whether I want to twist the cord, roll the ribbon etc.

CC: Where do you get inspiration for your DIY’s?

AS: Pinterest. It’s my go-to thing. Lets say I’m looking for an idea for a belt DIY, I just type in “2014 Runway Fashion” and see if there is are belts on the runway. Style.com is also good for inspiration because they have all the Fashion Week fashion shows.

Chunky Chains from M&J Trimming

CC: Favorite M&J product?

AS: Chunky chains! I’ve bought so many of this M&J product. I have three necklaces made out of their chain. I’ve given so many people necklaces I’ve made and they love it.

Tassel Fringe Pump DIY from M&J Trimming

CC: Favorite DIY you ever made for the M&J blog?

AS: I have to say one of the more recent ones, the pumps with the home decor tassels. It was simple, but fun. Those were inspired by Manolo Blahnik.

CC: Favorite Project DIY collection from past months?

AS: This is a hard one! I would have to say Joan of Arc. I was obsessed with the cuff. It was based off of Dolce & Gabbana. I took elements from the Joan of Arc necklace and added them to my cuff to customize it.

CC: Favorite DIY blog?

AS: Studs and Pearls is a good one. I also like Miss Kris Turner!

CC: Biggest DIY pet peeve?

AS: When you glue something, and you see the glue. It looks rushed and unfinished.

CC: Must have DIY tool?

AS: Glue!? You need glue…? Never-mind, I know! The Crystal Katana! This thing is a MUST HAVE! This tool allows you to pick up rhinestones with the wax tip. Very convenient when you are working with tiny rhinestones. 

CC: Rhinestones or ribbon?

AS: Ribbon.

CC: What’s your guilty pleasure?

AS: Junk food! I eat so much junk food. (She answered this after asking Michelle to heat up her queso.)

CC: Have any hidden talents?

AS: Yes. I can quote the whole Mean Girls movie. Maybe not the WHOLE movie. I am very good at movie quoting. Is that a thing? Movie quoting?

St. Patrick’s Day DIY Roundup

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St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away, which means that you’re probably going to be scouring your attic for all of the green decor items you can find, or trekking to the store to buy anything leprechaun or clover-themed! If you want to get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day with some new green without spending a lot of green, you’re in luck! (Pun totally intended.) We’ve compiled some of the best DIYs to celebrate this special day with.

St. Patrick's Day Gift Tags from A Little Claireification

Obviously any crafts that involve buttons are great in our book! Make your gift recipients even luckier with these fun gift tags from A Little Claireification!

Clover Wreath from Blue Sky Confections

This simple clover-shaped wreath from Blue Sky Confections adds a subtle celebratory vibe to your home, and we’re obviously in love with that thick satin ribbon.

Velvet Candle Wrap from BHG

Hosting a dinner party? This great candle wrap makes the perfect centerpiece. This DIY would also look fantastic with a cranberry red velvet ribbon around the holidays. You may want to make a few for future festivities!

Foiled Clover from Kiki and Company

The gold at the end of the rainbow is actually gold foil! Create this gorgeous print from Kiki and Company to add a classy touch to any St.Patrick’s Day party.

St. Patrick's Day Mantel

Designers rejoice! This cute paint chip board is perfect for those who like their decor a little witty and colorful. Celtic Chartreuse? Any jokes involving colors are obviously a win. Craftaholics Anonymous, you nailed it.

Which crafts will YOU be making for St. Patrick’s Day?

Burberry-Inspired Applique Pencil Skirt

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Embellishments are so hot for spring, and we couldn’t wait to take advantage of this fun trend! This DIY is modeled after the looks at the Burberry Spring/Summer 2014 show, classic shapes with sparkling accents.

Burberry Prorsum Spring-Summer 2014

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What You’ll Need:
Lace Pencil Shirt (Forever 21)
9 Silver Sun Disc Beaded Appliqués  #41991
Needle and Thread

Placing Appliques on Skirt

1. Lay your skirt on a flat surface, and place the appliques in your desired pattern. You can cluster them, or spread them out. We mimicked the pattern of the Burberry Embellished Lace Pencil Skirt.

Sewing Rhinestone Appliques Onto Skirt

2. Sew the appliques into place. You can place a little glue down first for added hold.

Finished Lace and Rhinestone Skirt

This skirt is the perfect thing to wear to an engagement party, or a semi-formal spring event. And the price is just right! You get the Burberry look that’s easier on your budget.

Applying Appliques

One of the most asked questions we get in the store is how to apply appliques. When it comes to appliques, there are a couple of ways to apply them seamlessly. Here are some of the most common:Bullion Crest

An applique like the Bullion Crest above is best affixed with glue. It is too thick to be sewn by hand unless you’re using a heavy duty needle, and a lot of strength. Save yourself the trouble, and take a look at our Glue Guide to find a glue that fits your needs!

Rhinestone Diamond Applique

This Diamond Shape Rhinestone Applique is great for adding sparkle to your outfit! The easiest way to attach this applique is by sewing it on. Glue may be too visible, and if it’s going on a delicate piece the glue may affect the garment’s flexibility. Use a strong invisible thread to secure it down.

2.25" HOT-FIX STONES SQ. MOTIF

There are some appliques that you can apply with heat like this 2.25″ Hot-Fix Stones Sq. Motif. Look for the terms “hot fix” or “heat transfer” to find these appliques. Use an iron to apply these by placing them on your garment then turning the clothing inside out and ironing on.

Spring Skirt DIY Roundup

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It’s almost spring which means that we’re finally thawing out of our winter gear! After a winter this cold, we’re welcoming the spring and its fashions with open arms, specifically the fun and flirty pants alternative, the skirt. Here are some of our favorite DIYs  for making this seasonal wardrobe staple!

DIY No Sew Shirt Skirt

No sewing machine? No problem! With some fancy twisting and tying you can have yourself a new skirt made of an old shirt!

DIY Draped Skirt from Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily

Another no-sew option from Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily is this draped mini skirt which looks perfect for a beach party!

Lace Skirt from Cotton and Curls

We love this lace skirt from Cotton and Curls! If you’re loving this look, check out our lace and use promo code LACE102 to receive 15% off lace! Hurry, the offer ends tonight (3/9/14)!

Fine and Feathered Maxi Skirt

The problem with maxi skirts is that they’re often too long for shorter ladies and too short for taller ones, so what’s a girl to do? Make her own of course! This great tutorial from Fine and Feathered will make all of your maxi worries moot.

Circle Skirt DIY from My Pink Life

Big, flouncy skirts are totally in this spring. Try your hand at making one with this DIY from My Pink Life!

We’re so excited to ring in spring! What are you most looking forward to do this season?

DIY: Lace Chandelier

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If you want to add some femininity or romance to any room without making it too girly and pink, pick up some lace trim. Lace is the quintessential feminine fabric, and can easily add softness to any room. Our latest DIY uses lace trim to create a sweet chandelier that any princess or princess-at-heart would love. This would be a great addition to a bridal party, and you can even dye the lace blue or pink and use it for a baby shower!

Lace Chandelier Materials

What You’ll Need :

4 Yards of 30mm Cotton Eyelet Lace #38898
4 Yards of 35mm Cotton Eyelet and Scalloped Lace #38907
4 Yards of 1.5” Scallop Rosette Lace #58826
E-6000
Scissors
Wire Cutters
Light Socket and Cord Set*
Light Bulb*
White 6″ Round Metal Lighting Base*
24 Gauge Galvanized Wire*
Round Lamp Socket Ring*
Screw-in Metal Hook and Eyes*

*Available at your local hardware store.

Metal Lighting Base and Round Socket

1. Turn over your round metal lighting base, and place the round lamp socket ring in the center.

Cutting Galvanized Wire

2. Cut out three or four 2 in. pieces of your galvanized wire, depending on the number of prongs in your lamp socket ring.

Gluing Wire with E-6000

3. Put E-6000 glue on one end of the wire, and slide into the socket.

Fixing Wire to Socket

4. Put some more E-6000 on the opposite end the wire, and glue down to metal lighting base. Repeat another two or three times with the other sides. Let dry.

Cutting Lace in Strips

5. Cut your lace into specific measurements:

35mm Cotton Eyelet and Scalloped Lace (12 in. Strips)
1.5” Scallop Rosette Lace (10 in. Strips)
30mm Cotton Eyelet Lace (6 in. Strips)

Layered Chandelier Using Lace

6. Glue down each lace piece into your desired pattern. The longer pieces should go first, followed by the next size, with the smallest going last. Let it dry.

Finished Chandelier Lamp

7. Connect your socket cord into the DIY shade and bulb. You can use a pendant chain to hang your chandelier. You can also screw in two hook-and-eye hooks to hang the light from the ceiling.

Now you have the perfect light that’s soft and feminine, but still really stylish. The best part is that you can recreate this look with other types of trim too! Try metallic or sequin trim for a glam vibe, or mix the lace with jute for a rustic approach!

DIY: Tassel Fringe Pumps

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Over the weekend we had a taste of spring, and we seriously can’t wait until this snow is behind us. There’s less than a month left until the season begins, and we are putting some spring in our step for this week’s DIY, literally. These pumps are adorned with gorgeous tassel fringe in fun, floral colors, making them the perfect segue into one of our favorite seasons. So what are you waiting for? Make this DIY today and kiss winter goodbye!

Materials for Tassel Fringe Pump

What You’ll Need:

Nude Pumps

Napoli Loop Tassel Fringe (Fuchsia) #39680

32mm Carnation Rosette (Hot Pink) #70453

25mm Carnation Rosette (Hot Pink) #76455

E-6000

Scissors

Sobo Glue

Measuring Tassel Fringe to Cut

1. Count 5 tassels on your tassel fringe trim. This is how much you will need for each shoe.

Gluing Tassel Fringe

2. Turn your fringe over, and put Sobo Glue after the 5th and 10th tassel. Let dry. You will notice the glue is white, but it dries clear.

Cutting Tassel Fringe

3. Once the Sobo Glue is clear and dry, cut a little past the fifth and tenth tassels. These two pieces will be the backs of each shoe.
NOTE: If you see your trim fraying, add some more Sobo glue to the edges and let dry.

Gluing Tassel Trim to Nude Pump

4. Put E-6000 on the back of your fringe, and place the trim on the back upper part of the heel. When gluing down the trim, make sure you place the middle tassel in the middle of the shoe back. Hold the trim in place for a few minutes so it does not slip off and let it dry.

Gluing Rosette Trim to Side of Shoe

5. Take two of the larger rosettes and place one on the end of the trim and one on the opposite side. Glue down with E-6000.

Gluing Rosettes to Edge of Trim

6. On the right shoe place two smaller rosettes on the outside right of the shoe under the larger rosette to make a triangle of flowers. Let dry.

Gluing Rosettes to Side of Shoe

7. On the left shoe place two smaller rosettes on the outside left part of the shoe under the larger rosette to make a triangle of flowers. Let dry.

Finished Tassel Fring Pump in Nude

This fun, floral footwear is just the thing you need to shake off the winter blues! So get a pair of pumps, a section of fringe, and start DIYing your heart out!

Tassel Fashion DIY Roundup

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Tassels used to conjure up images of old dusty libraries with curtains that weigh more than a small car. They were seen as antiquated and out of style. Now tassels are back with a bubbly vengeance, and they’re making their way into your closet!

Tiny Tassel Bracelet from Maize Hutton

This cute bracelet from Maize Hutton is so colorful, and a perfect addition to your spring jewelry box!

Tassel Shoes from Honestly WTF

These tassel heels from Honestly WTF are such an amazing upgrade to a basic pump! This look is so easy to DIY with cord and single tassels.

Vanilla and Lace Tassel Accent Skirt

The tassels on this skirt from Vanilla and Lace add a fun and whimsical feeling to this already feminine piece. We love how they add just a touch of color to an all-white canvas.

The Sweetest Occasion Tassel Necklace

These tiny tassel necklaces from The Sweetest Occasion are so easy to make. You can make a bunch to coordinate with any outfit!

Gina Michele Yellow Drop Earrings

These tassel earrings from Gina Michelle are gorgeous! Their skinny style and long length makes them look so sleek.

Would you rock tassels on your clothes, or do you prefer keeping them on decor only? Let us know below!

Project DIY: Cold As Ice Unveiling

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This winter has been one for the record books, and we’re probably not the first ones to wish that this slushy snowy season was over! However, we think you should put off packing up your parka for a little while longer because this February just got a few degrees cooler. We’re so excited to finally unveil our Cold As Ice collection! If you’re unfamiliar with Project DIY, take a look at what this subscription service for the crafty entails. If you like what you see, you can sign up to receive the Cold As Ice collection and make your own frosted jewels!
Project DIY Crystal Clear Statement Necklace

Our Crystal Clear Statement Necklace is a DIYers dream! It comes with a frosty acrylic base, gorgeous link chain, and a bevy of jewels perfect for bedazzling! We show you how to arrange the crystals in a specific formation, but the placement of the jewels is totally up to you.

Project DIY On the Rocks Bracelet Duo

The next project in this collection is the On the Rocks Bracelet Duo, a pair of stunning bracelets with chunky curb chain and gorgeous jewel embellishments.

Now that you’ve seen the projects in this month’s collection, start brainstorming about how you’ll personalize your OWN pieces! Then take a photo of your gorgeous customized creations, and tag us @MJProjectDIY so we can be frozen with awe!

Guy DIY: Red Racer Jacket

When it comes to creating DIYs just for the guys, Carlos is the man to see. He’s back with a cool jacket inspired by our other favorite MJ, Michael Jackson!

Red Jacket Before DIY

This DIY features our 6 Row Plastic Square Trim. This 8mm Iron-On Pyramid Nailhead Trim is another great option because the single strand allows for varying widths (and it comes in neon colors). As you can see, we started out with a simple red and black striped jacket. The only thing missing on this jacket was some of Carlos’s DIY flair.

Laying Down Trim

The first step was to measure how much trim we would need for the DIY. If you don’t have a jacket with stripes already on it, lay the trim on the shoulder, and extend it to the bottom of the jacket. Carlos also put the trim down the sleeve of the jacket.

Cutting Trim

He then cut each piece of trim to fit the stripes on his jacket.

Cutting Trim

Carlos had zippers on the end of his sleeves, so he cut out a row of studs in the middle so that his zippers stayed functional.

Gluing Trim with Hot Glue

Then he glued down the trim with a hot glue gun. This is just to give the trim extra hold because the next step involves sewing the trim to give it that much more stability.

Gluing Trim with Hot Glue

He made sure to glue those loose stud strips individually. If your jacket has zippers like this one, be sure to glue down the ends! Sleeves usually get the most wear and tear on jackets, so this will help your trim from flying away.

Sewing Trim to Red Jacket

Carlos sewed the trim down after the glue had dried. If you’re doing this project at home make sure to wait until the hot glue is completely dry, otherwise you might burn your hands!

Finished Studded Red Jacket

When you’re done, you’ll be left with a jacket that is fashionable, fun, and a little edgy. This DIY is perfect for refreshing an old jacket, and can easily be used on a woman’s jacket too!

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Do you have a piece that needs a little more pizzazz? Come see Carlos at M&J Trimming! He will help you take any item from average to incredible!