Not Your Average Knot

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With all of our talk about nautical style lately, we want to take a moment to send a shout-out to one of our favorite nautical elements: knots! There’s something so rustic and cool about an intricate knot, not to mention that it’s also surprisingly artistic. We often think of knots as a way to secure our projects, but what about making them the focus instead? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite unique knots, to help to make  standout DIYs!

DIY-Heart-Knot

 

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Just About Jute

Come spring and summer we see jute popping up everywhere! In fashion and home decor it adds the perfect earthy touch. But what do we really know about this fiber that makes a resurgence every season?

Jute Heart Bunting

There’s a reason why this material is so earthy and natural. It’s a vegetable fiber! The strong fibrous strings of certain plants are spun together into long course threads.

Jute Wrapped Vases

Jute is easy to create and can be used to a number of ways, which is why it’s also very affordable.

Jute Rugs in Natural Colors

Popular uses of this plant include weaving it into burlap, using it as a textured rug, or trimming a pair of your favorite summer shoes, espadrilles!

Blue Striped Espadrille Flats

How will you be using jute this season? For home decor, fashion, or something else entirely?

5 Ways to Stay Creative

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Every DIYer has faced a creative block at one point or another. It’s natural! Sometimes you just run out of ideas, and don’t know how to proceed. There are ways to boost your creativity though! 

Peruse Pinterest or really any other website with a lot of images. You may get an idea of what you’d like to make, find a DIY you’d like to try, or just become inspired to make something new altogether!

d5804b95c88b361a7bde79e79ebc2f78 (1)Take a walk. As simple as that sounds, doing an activity that let’s your mind wander has long been known to boost creativity. How many fantastic ideas have you thought of in the shower? Exactly.

Brainstorm with pen and paper. You can create an idea map, a flow chart, or anything else that allows you to get your thoughts down to help boost that creative flow.
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Explore outside of your comfort zone. Whether you try a new type of cuisine, read a fiction book when you usually read nonfiction, or go to an event you’d never step foot in; seeing the world from another point if view can only help your creativity.
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Take a nap. We know we just told you to take a walk two tips ago, but sleeping can also boost creativity! Just keep a journal by your bed to capture all of those creative thoughts.

DIY Tips and Tricks: Jewelry

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Jewelry-making is a popular way to DIY right now because the projects are usually quick, easy, and the results are stunning. There’s also the added bonus of having a completely custom piece that will have all of your friends asking where you got it! While making jewelry is usually a simple affair, there are a few things you can do to make it even easier!

Rhinestones

When working with rhinestones, a crystal jewel setter is your best friend. It allows you to easily pick up and place rhinestones without the hassle of turning them over and fiddling around with them manually. It also allows for more precision. Don’t have a jewel setter? A toothpick with beeswax on the tip works just as well.

Opening jump rings the right way is a lesson that will help you throughout jewelry making. Almost every piece needs a jump ring to attach closures! Check out our video to see how to open and close jump rings properly, so that you aren’t stuck with that annoying gap.

Organizer

Keep it in a caddy. With all of the tiny beads and charms floating around, its good to keep them organized so that you’re able to find the exact piece you need when you need it.

Chain

When it comes to buying supplies, the least noticeable parts are probably the most important. When buying thread or chain, make sure to get the good stuff, or at least the medium stuff. If you’re using a mediocre chain or thread to keep your item together it could easily snap and break.

 

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.

DIY Fashion Emergency Fixes

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Fashion week is well underway, and the air in New York City is vibrating with excitement. The latest trends are on display, and the most fashion-forward are strutting their stuff on the runways and sidewalks of Lincoln Center. While we all try to look our best in case a fashion photographer decides to snap a street style shot, sometimes we’re struck with a fashion emergency! These quick fixes will get you back on the catwalk in no time.

EarringsDid your earring back fall out? Erasers are a great substitute. Just pop one off of your pencil, and place the flat end against your ear. It may be better than the real thing!

Static overload? Spray the area with a light mist of hairspray to make all cling subside.

Boots and Leather Leggings

Scuffed shoes are messing with your swagger? Use some Sharpie markers for a temporary fix. Word of warning: this won’t hold up as well in bad weather, so just carry a marker with you wherever you go!

If you’ve got a run in your stockings, use the oldest trick in the book: clear nail polish. That run will stop in its tracks (temporarily).

Yellow Pencil SkirtIf you’re having problems with your hem, use a stapler! We wouldn’t recommend this on very expensive pieces, but if you’re in a bind and need a quick fix, there’s no easier way to adjust a hem. You can also use packing tape for a sturdy hold that does minimum damage.

Another use for tape is furry friend damage control. The tape easily picks up any unwanted animal hair!

Have you every had a fashion disaster that you fixed with a DIY? Tell us your story!

Great DIY Reads

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Whether you’re an avid crafter who needs new ideas or an avid bookworm looking to get your DIY on, we’ve got the book for you! Check out some of our favorite DIY books, and be sure to leave your favorite crafty reads below!

The Bust DIY Guide to Life

The Bust DIY Guide to Life by Laurie Henzel and Debbie Stoller is the perfect book for someone who wants a DIY guide for a little bit of everything, plus the added voice of Bust Magazine thrown in. This book has some of the best DIYs from Bust, and makes DIYing even MORE fun and empowering.

The Big Ass Book of Crafts

The Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano is exactly that. With over 100 projects that range from pillows to beauty products, this book has it all! If you love this one, check out Mark Montano’s other great DIY books! P.S. I Made This

Erica Domesek’s book P.S. I Made This holds a special place in our heart because  it’s written by one of our favorite bloggers! Get some great DIY ideas on how to make those basics fabulous.

Cupcakes and Cashmere

While not strictly a DIY book, the Cupcakes and Cashmere book by blogger, Emily Schuman, deserves a spot on this list because the DIYs that ARE included in this book are so whimsical, elegant and on-trend.

Simple Times

Simple Times by Amy Sedaris is the second book to come from this incredibly funny woman. If not for the zany crafts, read it for the simple joy of her hilarious writing! While some of the crafts may be a little odd, there are plenty of gems within.

How to Avoid DIY Disasters

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You see something on Pinterest, you venture to get supplies, and next thing you know your hands are dyed blue, you’ve put out a small fire, and you have successfully Gem-tac’d and feathered yourself. The DIY Disaster. We’ve all been there! Sometimes DIYs can get a little out of hand, and we’re here to help. Here are a few of our tips to keep your crafts and projects from getting the best of you.

Button Statement Necklace Materials | M&J Trimming

Read the Instructions – This may seem like a simple one, but going into a DIY unarmed with info and knowledge is a common mistake. Sometimes we get too excited to read them through! Sometimes we think we already know it all. Just do your future self a favor, and give those guides a good read-through. And then read them again. Just in case. If the project calls for a skill or item you aren’t familiar with, check out our resource guide!

Stacked Paintings from Mescaprices Belges

Put It Aside - Sometimes you just need some space. If a project is causing you grief, just put it aside! Maybe during your break you’ll figure out how to fix the problem or get really excited about making it again. If you’ve put it aside over and over again, don’t feel guilty throwing it out. With some projects, it just isn’t meant to be.

Organized Craft Drawer from Papier Valise

Ready Your Troops – Get your materials and supplies ready BEFORE diving in because do you know what happens when you don’t prepare? You end up cutting your finger with a butter knife because you were trying to use it as a substitute for a pair of scissors. Be prepared.

Work in Progress Watercolor from Lovely Sweet William

Enjoy the Experience – The DIY is all about the journey, so don’t forget to enjoy it! It’s easy to get anxious about the result, but DIYing isn’t just about the final product. Flip on your favorite movie or show, rustle up a bowl of popcorn, and bask in your creativity. This is YOUR time.

What advice would YOU give to DIY novices?

M&J Trimming Resource Guides

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We don’t like to brag, but we’re kind of experts when it comes to ribbon, buttons and all sorts of trimming. (We should be, we’ve been in the business for over 70 years!) We try to provide our customers with the best, most unique trim and findings; but we ALSO want to help you learn what to look for and how to use it. We’ve created some great guides, videos and tutorials for some of our most-asked questions. Here are a few of our favorite resources!Purple Buttons from M&J Trimming

If you’re looking for some information on buttons, check out our Button Basics blog post! If you’re ready to purchase but the measurements are confusing, take a look at our Button Size Chart. It will show you the conversions for popular-sized buttons.

Store Photo | M&J Trimming

If you don’t know the difference between E6000 and Gem-Tac, our Glue Guide might be just the ticket to get your DIYs to a good (and mess-free) start!

Pink Swarovski Crystals from M&J Trimming

One of our most popular items is our collection of Swarovski crystals. Learn the AB & Cs of Crystals, check out our Rhinestone Size Chart, or  find out what crystals are REALLY made of.

Rainbow Ribbon Wall from M&J Trimming

Do you know what you’re looking for, but have zero idea what it’s called? Take a look at our Product Glossary for terms and definitions of popular products.

If you’re obsessed with lace like we are, take a look at our Lesson in Lace!

We have a lot of great resources for DIYers new and advanced, and we’re always going to strive to bring you the latest news and resources. The question remains: what would YOU like to know more about?

Easy Holiday Gift Upgrades

Have you ever received a gift that just wasn’t your style? Maybe it was too simple, maybe it was too loud. Whatever the reason, you’re thankful for the gift and wouldn’t ever want to throw it out. But what do you do? Stick it in the back of your closet never to see the light of day? Not so fast! Here are some ways to make that meh gift your favorite of the bunch!

Jeweled Sweater

Did you get a piece of jewelry that has way too much going on? Break it apart and use the individual pieces for something else. You can add baubles to a pair of shoes, or make your shoulders shine by sewing your gems onto a basic sweater.Embroidered Headphones from Sweet Paul Magazine

You’re a music lover, but also a fashionista, so those basic headphones might not do. Upgrade them by adding nailheads, gems or even embroidered flowers!

Rugged Sweater Boots DIY

Make those boots made for walking into boots made for strutting! If you have enough basic boots in your closet, make these a fun pair by adding a sweater or some fun leather trim to them!

Studded Pillow

Got a home decor item that doesn’t match your style? Oh the DIYs you could do! Rit Dye will become your best friend. So will beaded trim and jacquard ribbons because they turn the boring and bland into unbelievable.

Did you receive a gift you didn’t absolutely love? Just DIY it into something you can’t live without!