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!

Keeping Your Crafts Organized

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When it comes to organizing craft and fashion supplies, we’ve got it down to a science. Just go visit our store and see for yourself! You’ll find rows of rainbow ribbons, aisles of beaded trims, and walls of colorful buttons; and somehow everyone knows exactly where to find what you’re looking for. We would like to share some of our favorite tips with you, so that your space is relaxing and beautiful!

Sort by style first. This is a simple tip, but sort like with like. We keep our jute separate from our braided trim because it makes finding exactly the type of trim you’re looking for really easy.

Ribbon Wall M&J Trimming

Color code. Take a cue from our organization and sort by color. When it comes to craft supplies, it’s great to know what colors you have on hand quickly without having to look through your entire stash to find the right shade. Plus it can look really gorgeous!

Purple Buttons from M&J Trimming

Use boxes to separate different items or styles. It easier to have items in their own designated area instead of floating around in miscellaneous dishes or strewn on countertops.  Label each box so you know what goes where without having to search through stacks.

We hope these simple tips will help you when you’re reorganizing your space! If you have any additional suggestions, share them down below!

Ribbon & Wrapping Roundup

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Christmas is almost upon us, which means many homes are about to be taken over by scraps of wrapping paper and knotted trim! Although there are a select number of individuals who have a natural ability in the wrapping arts, most of us are left to fend for ourselves against the growing heaps of gift wrap and tissue paper. Here are some tutorials to help you wrap presents and tie ribbons like a pro.

Gift Wrapping

Gift Wrap Tutorial from Hideous Dreadful StinkyClassic and professionally perfect, this gift wrap tutorial is great for the standard boxed gift. Just try not to wince when the recipient tears off that beautiful wrapping job!

Eco Friendly Wrapping Tutorial from Hello, Handy Heart

We love the idea of using a napkin to wrap a gift. It’s practical, reusable, and really cute! This tutorial from Hello, Handy Heart is perfect for those of you who prefer an eco-friendly fabric approach.

Holiday Bundle Wrapping from Honestly WTF

The girls from Honestly WTF have just changed the gift wrap game with their Holiday Gift Bundle! Now you don’t need to find a box to hold that adorable cashmere sweater. Just bundle it up!

Once you’re confident in your wrapping abilities, take a look at our Holiday Gift Wrap DIY Roundup for some creative gift wrap ideas!

Ribbon Tying

Ribbon Tying from Design Mom

Design Mom takes you through the steps of tying the perfect classic bow! We love how a simple ribbon can totally transform the look of your package!

Gift Bow from How About Orang

These fluffy bows may appear difficult to make at first glance, but they’re actually pretty easy with the tutorial at How About Orange! Substitute the paper for some of our beautiful Wired Edge Ribbon, and you’ll have the most gorgeous bow this side of the North Pole.

We hope these tips and tricks have helped you conquer your wrapping anxiety. Now time to make a molehill out of a mountain, and start wrapping!

Stay Stress-Free During the Holidays

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The holidays are a  time for togetherness and celebration, but they can also be extremely stressful. From planning to shopping, hosting and decorating; the stress of the holidays can take the joy out of the most wonderful time of the year! Here are some ways to keep your cool during this busy season.

Black Wrapped Presents

Keep It Simple – When it comes to gift wrapping or decorating, you can use shortcuts without sacrificing style. Wrap all of your gifts with one type of wrapping paper, and then customize each with different trim.

Gingerbread from Honestly YumFocus on One Thing – Whether it’s wrapping the presents beautifully or making a gingerbread house even a seasoned architect would be envious of, focus on doing one or two things really well. If you put too much pressure on yourself to make everything perfect, you’re bound to crack.

Dining Room Thistlewood

Accumulate Over Time – There’s no reason to buy or make all of your decorations at once. If you choose a decorating style that’s timeless you can continue reusing the same pieces year after year! Don’t hop on the color trend bandwagon every year. You can also reuse gift bags, and gift wrap. You’ll save yourself both time and money.

Vintage Star DecorationsEnjoy Yourself – When it comes to the holidays, sometimes we become so wrapped up in getting ready for the season that we forget to enjoy it while it’s here. Try to take a breather every once in a while, and take part in the holiday fun!

How do you stay sane every holiday season? Let us know below!

Trimming Your Tree Tips

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The Christmas tree often plays a central role in holiday festivities. Whether it’s trimming the tree to bring in the holiday season, or unwrapping presents underneath it on Christmas morning; the Christmas tree is almost its own character on Christmas! Here are a few tips to make this year’s tree both memorable and stylish.

Bold and Colorful Tree

Play with Color – Don’t be scared to use a rainbow of color in your holiday decor. How does the tree above embrace almost every color of the rainbow, and still look cohesive (and cute)? The neutral white tree and floor make the ornaments pop, without overpowering everything else!

White Monochromatic Tree from Traditional Home

Or Lack Thereof –  Sticking with one or two colors on your holiday tree can have a very elegant and modern effect. We love the two pictures above because, while they both use that white tree as a canvas, their decorations couldn’t be more different!

From Top to Bottom – Place heavier ornaments toward the bottom of the tree, so that they are on sturdy branches. Fragile ornaments should hang closer to the top to avoid being broken by pets and wayward children.

Rustic Tree from Home Decorators

Don’t Knock Tradition – Sometimes classic approaches are the best. Traditional red and green, white lights, and burlap trim make the tree look cozy and welcoming.

Chalk Christmas Tree

But Embrace the Unconventional – If you prefer a chalk tree to a traditional tree, then draw away! Decorating your tree is meant to be a fun activity that shows off your creative spirit!

White and Traditional Tree

Take a Step Back – Every once in a while it’s helpful to take a step backward to admire your handiwork, and see which areas of the tree look sparse. Getting an overall picture is helpful when working on such a large-scale project. We bet Michelangelo did the same thing when he was working on the Sistine Chapel.

Every year there are certain holiday decor trends that rise to popularity. Do you change your tree up every year to stay on trend, or do you prefer to stick with a traditional style each season?