Blogger Challenge: Chic Steals

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Carly J. Cais has been a DIY’er from the moment she strung macaroni on yarn to make necklaces at age 3. Completely self-taught, she produced a short-lived clothing and jewelry line, RIVETED, in 2007, and founded her DIY and fashion blog Chic Steals in 2008. She loves sharing ideas and how-to’s for making one’s own clothing, accessories, and jewelry on her blog, along with local fashion lines lookbooks, styling inspiration, and outfit photos.

Chic Steals Logo

I was thrilled to be able to take part in M&J Trimming’s latest DIY Challenge, this time using rich Fall purples and shimmery golds from their box overflowing with fun DIY supplies and trims. I had a blast playing with pretty ribbons, delicate thread, and chunky chains! With M&J Trimming’s latest trims and embellishments, it’s easy to add personalization to pieces to take you from late Summer into Fall. Here are the projects I’ve been working on:

DIY Thread-Wrapped Hoops
Add a little texture and color to some plain hoop earrings by wrapping them in thin embroidery thread: an easy project to do while watching TV to keep your hands busy! Colored thread pops against metallic thread and creates a delicate – rather than overbearing – decorative touch.

Materials:
2 or more colors of embroidery thread
Plain hoop earrings
E-6000 glue
Scissors

threadwrappedhoops_materialsHow To:

1. Dab a small amount of E6000 glue onto the inside of one of your hoops where you want to start wrapping.

2. Place the end of the thread into the glue.

3. Wrap the thread numerous times around the hoop until you’ve built up enough.

threadwrappedhoops_step1

4. Cut the end of the thread, dab on some more glue, and press down to finish one color.

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5. Wrap the second (and third, if you’re using 3) color of thread in exactly the same way.

6. Allow the glue to dry before handling.

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That’s it! This technique can be done on any jewelry as long as there is something to wrap around – and it is also a great way to hide tarnishing or rubs! Plus, if you get tired of the colors – snip, snip! – And you’re back to your original piece!

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Enjoy jazzing up some boring jewelry with a bit of color for Fall :-)

DIY Chunky Chain Ribbon Necklace
Sometimes a chunky chain is just begging for a bit more adornment. Adding a bright pop of color with a soft satin ribbon adds a feminine touch that contrasts with the boldness of the chain.

Materials:
Chunky plastic chain
1″+ – wide satin ribbon
Scissors
E-6000 glue
Lighter
Clothespins
Pliers

chunkychainnecklace_materials

How To:

1. Use pliers to separate a chain link so you have a choker-length chain.

chunkychainnecklace_step1

2. Heat-seal the end of the ribbon with an open flame.

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3. Thread one end of the ribbon into the last link of the chain.

4. Spread a small line of glue onto the end of the ribbon.

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5. Fold the ribbon over.

6. Use clothespins to secure the fold until the glue dries.

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7. Repeat for the other end of the ribbon.

8. Once the glue is dry, cut the ribbon in half, angling the ends.

9. Heat-seal both ends to finish.

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And you’re done! With a statement piece like this, you can wear all on its own, or layer more delicate chains underneath for a truly over-the-top feel.

chunkychainnecklace_done3

DIY Ombre Hair Elastics
It seems in every store soft, tied hair elastics are flying off the shelves – and at $16 or more a set, they pose a pretty serious threat to your wallet. Foldover elastic by the foot is much more affordable – and totally customizable – for your own unique take on the trend.

Materials:
Stretchy foldover elastic
Paint in your favorite colors (try to use fabric paint if you have it)
Paint brush
Scissors
Lighter
Something to protect your work surface

ombrehairelastics_materialsHow To:

1. Eyeball the size of your elastics by making sure you have enough to go around your wrist + 2″ or so. Fold over.

2. Tie near the end in a tight knot.

ombrehairelastics_step1

3. Cut the ends close to the knot.

4. Use a flame to heat-seal the cut ends.

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5. Dab paint on to the folded end, putting less on near the knot to create an ombre effect.

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6. Allow to dry.

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And that’s all there is to it! You could potentially use the elastics as-is, without color – but I love adding a bit of personalization to everything, so why not? Try different colors of elastic, and contrasting colors of paint, to create a fun rainbow!

ombrehairelastics_done3

DIY Rhinestone Focal Braided Bracelet/Choker
Sparkly jewelry livens up any outfit and brings glamour day or night. Creating your own custom rhinestone-encrusted setting to a focal piece is a challenge, but the results are amazing and truly worth it. Plus, what could be better than a piece you can wear as a bracelet or a choker necklace? Double duty accessories are always a blast!

Materials
braided gold leather trim
rhinestone crystals
focal druzy stone
Apoxie Sculpt epoxy clay in black
necklace end crimps
small round jump rings
2 oval jump rings
clasp & ring
toothpick
scissors
pliers

rhinestonefocal_materials

How To
1. Remove an equal amount of both parts of the Apoxie Sculpt.

rhinestonefocal_step1

2. Knead together for a minute or so until thoroughly mixed.

rhinestonefocal_step23. Form into a long snake.

rhinestonefocal_step34. Wrap around the edge of your druzy focal.

rhinestonefocal_step45. Smooth the Apoxie clay with your finger to fix any cracks or bumps.
6. Press an oval jump ring into either end of the focal, pressing into the clay and smoothing any gaps around the wire. Allow the jump ring to protrude slightly so you can attach jump rings to it later.

rhinestonefocal_step57. Use a toothpick to press the rhinestones into the clay around the edge of your focal, making sure to sink them in slightly so the clay “grips” them.
8. Allow to dry 24 hours until the clay is hard. (*hint: For a glossy enamel-like finish to the epoxy clay, once dry you can coat with 1-3 coats of Mod Podge Gloss if you so choose.)
9. Attach an end crimp to one end of the leather braid.

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 10. Use a jump ring to attach to the loop at one end of the focal.

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11. Wrap the braid around your wrist several times, until it is the length you want.

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 12. Cut.

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13. Attach a crimp end and jump ring to the cut end of the braid, and attach to the other side of the focal.
14. Cut the braid in half, and finish each end with a crimp end, jump ring, and the clasp pieces.

rhinestonefocal_step10

You’re done! Wear wrapped around your wrist several times (as a single piece arm party!), or even as a necklace if the mood strikes.

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Chic Steals Blogger of the Month-October!

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Hi everyone! I’m Carly from Chic Steals, and I’ve been a huge fan of M&J Trimming for such a long time.  I make it a point to always stop in the store and meander through whenever I’m in New York City.  It’s like a glittering treasure trove for me, stocked full of beads, baubles, trims, rhinestones, and appliqués – so much so that I’m never able to leave with empty hands.  It’s amazing how easily you can update a piece of clothing or an accessory with said beads, baubles, and appliqués…and how incredibly high-fashion projects can look when you’ve added a bit of frivolous sparkle to them.

________________

Project 1:

Sequin Nails

I love a metallic manicure as much as the next girl, but most polishes aren’t bright enough to truly gleam like the real thing.  Though a little tedious, a sequin manicure gets those fingertips a-sparkle: a true conversation piece!


*6mm Flat Loose Sequins Style# 34424 in Turquoise
 *scissors
*toothpick
*thick clear base coat nail polish (the stickier the better!)
*thick clear sealing topcoat nail polish

How To:

1. Cut a bunch of sequins in half, and some into quarters.

2. Work on each nail one-by-one.  Spread a thick coating of base coat onto a nail.  While it is still wet, use the flat end of the toothpick to pick up a half-sequin, and place at the tip of your nail in the center.  (It’s easier to pick up the sequin if you lick the end of the toothpick.)

3. Fill in the sides of each nail with the quarter-sequins.
4. Continue to fill in the nail with more half- and quarter-sequins, layering each one overlapping the previous one a little, covering the center of your nail going back to the cuticle.
5. Cover with at least one coating of topcoat; thick enough so that the edges of the sequins don’t lift up or feel too scratchy.
Flash those holographic talons!  My manicure lasted about 5 days before the edges of the sequins lifted up too much, so something like this would be perfect for a party or a special occasion.

 ________________

Project 2:

Ribbon-Wrapped Bangle

It’s so simple to update an old bangle with wrappings of brightly-colored ribbon and thread!  You can even use scraps of fabric to keep things fun and festive.

*38mm Silky Grosgrain Ribbon in Sapphire and Grey Style# 42053 (1-800-9MJTRIM) 

*Thread Style# 42681 in Flint and Mink Blue 

*M&J Trimming ribbon

*contrasting color of fabric paint

*bangle

*glue for fabric, metal, and plastic

*scissors

How To:

1. Use fabric paint to paint designs on your ribbon; I chose lines and dots.  Allow to dry.

2. Place a small amount of glue on the end of a ribbon, and glue it to the inside of the bangle.  Wrap the ribbon around the bangle a couple times, then cut and glue the free end to the bangle inside.

3. Add the other color of ribbon, and the painted ribbon as well, overlapping the ribbons on the bangle as you go.

4. For visual interest, add an area of thread wrapped around the bangle as well.

5. After all ends are glued down and the bangle is covered completely, add a contrasting ribbon tied around the bangle for a little sass.

Wear stacked with other bangles or on its own as a cute accessory to brighten your day.

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Project 3:

Bead-Edged Cut-Out Top

Give them all the cold shoulder with this skin-baring top.  Take it to the next level with a border of bright metallic beads around saucy cut-outs.

*8mm 60″  8MM 60″  Faux Pearl PKG Style# 49380 in Silver (1-800-9-MJTRIM)

*long-sleeved knit top

*Thread Style# 42681 in Flint

*marking chalk

*scissors

*fabric glue

*clear bead cord (I’m using Magic Stretch)

How To:
1. Try on the top and mark where you want to cut out the shoulder (remember to mark an oval a little smaller than you want for your finished piece).

2. Cut out where you marked with scissors.  Try the top on again to make sure it’s the shape you want, and make adjustments if necessary.

3. Turn the top inside-out and carefully notch around the cut edge so the fabric won’t pull too much when you turn it inwards.  Spread a small amount of fabric glue around the edge of your cut-out.  Fold the fabric inwards to create a finished edge.

4. Make a double knot in your beading cord and thread your beads onto it, until you have enough to go all the way around the cut-out.  Knot the end loosely so you can add more beads later on if you find you haven’t strung on enough. 

5. Use a doubled length of matching thread to stitch your string of beads around the cut out.  Stitching over the cord in-between each bead I found is
enough to secure the string onto the top.

6. If you get to the end of the string and find you still haven’t gotten all the way around the cut-out, un-knot the cord and add more beads on. Finish the cord with a double-knot and trim the cord close.

Wear with something a bit more covered-up on the bottom to play off the sultriness of the cut-outs on top.

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Project 4:

Bead-and-Ribbon Fishnet Necklace

*8mm 60″  8MM 60″  Faux Pearl PKG Style# 49380 in Silver (1-800-9-MJTRIM)

*Thread Style# 42681 in Flint

*38mm Silky Grosgrain Ribbon in Sapphire Style# 42053 (1-800-9MJTRIM)

*metallic beads

6mm Flat Loose Sequins Style# 34424 in Turquoise

*6mm Mesh Tube Ribbon Style# 36876 in Grey  (1-800-9-MJTRIM)

*large crystal pendant

*assorted jumprings, rings, and chains

*necklace closure

*eyepins

*pliers (I used round-nose, flat-nose, and wire-cutting)

*optional: lighter or open flame

How To:

1. Tie the end of the ribbon to a ring.

2. Make the closure of the necklace and add a jumpring with chain attached to it to one side.  Add a jumpring to the other side and attach it to the ring from the previous step.

3. Make the pearl bead string by dropping beads into the mesh cord, and knotting the cord on either side of each bead.

4. Attach the pearl bead string to the ring with the ribbon by simply double-knotting the metallic mesh cord around the ring, and trimming the excess.


5. Make the metallic bead string by threading a sequin onto an eyepin, then a bead, then another sequin, and finishing the eyepin in another loop, trimming the excess.  Attach each beaded segment to each other to create the bead string.

6. Try on the necklace and decide how long you want it.  Cut the attached chain accordingly, and attach the beaded string to the end of the chain with a jumpring.

7. Attach another large ring to the end of the beaded string – this will lie in the center, and hold the pendant.

8. Tie the free end of the ribbon to the ring, and trim the excess.  If the ends of the ribbon are fraying too much, you can heat-seal them with an open flame.

9.  Attach a smaller chain to the end of the pearl bead string, trim the excess, and attach it to the center ring as well.

10. Slip the pendant inside the mesh cord.  Twist the ends tightly around the pendant, roll to the back, and trim.



11.  Attach the pendant to the center ring with jumprings.

Wear a regal piece like this with simple, understated clothing so it stands out all on its own.

Tip: Choose black or orange beads for a spooky Halloween-style spiderwebby piece!

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Project 5:

Sparkly Beaded Hairclip

*4″ x 2 1/4″ Rhinestone Applique Style# 47335 in Black ( 1-800-9MJTRIM)

*stiff black felt

*hair barrette

*scissors

*hot glue & glue gun

*hand-sewing needle and matching thread

How To:

1. Remove the center spring from the barrette and spread hot glue on the top.  Press on to the felt and allow to dry.

2. Use the needle and thread to stitch around the barrette to secure it to the felt further.

3. Hot-glue the appliqué to the other side of the felt, directly on top of the barrette.

4. Once dry, trim around the felt with scissors.  You can even take a small pair of scissors and cut out all the intricate spaces in the appliqué for more visual interest.

This piece looks lovely securing a ponytail, or glittering out from the back of a braided chignon.  The ways to use a beaded appliqué are numerous: you can add it onto a ribbon belt, a boring cloche, an old clutch, use as a shoe-clip, attach to a ribbon and wear as a wristlet, or even attach a chain to either side and sport it as a pretty pendant necklace.  Wear it with flair!

Blogger of the Month, October!

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By Blerona

Our New Favorite blogger for October is Carly J. Cais from Chic Steals

Carly J. Cais is a self-taught DIY maven whose lack of funds never stifles her creativity.  She operates her fashion and style blog Chic Steals based on the motto, “Be Stylish * Get Creative * Spend Less,” telling everyone that the designer look is easily attainable through budget shopping, thrifting, and DIY’ing.  She always loves the challenge of creating runway-inspired pieces and clothing refashioned from thrift store finds – from men’s shirts refashioned into rompers, sweatshirts re-made into blouses, shoes detailed like Louboutins, and designer-style accessories made from foam and clay.  Chic Steals is all about looking on-trend and chic – for an unbelievable steal

 Chic Steals DIY’s

Here’s what we sent her for the Blogger of the Month Challenge…check back on Tuesday, October 11th 2011 to see what she made!