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.
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.
2 or more colors of embroidery thread
Plain hoop earrings
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.
4. Cut the end of the thread, dab on some more glue, and press down to finish one color.
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.
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!
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.
Chunky plastic chain
1″+ – wide satin ribbon
1. Use pliers to separate a chain link so you have a choker-length chain.
2. Heat-seal the end of the ribbon with an open flame.
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.
5. Fold the ribbon over.
6. Use clothespins to secure the fold until the glue dries.
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.
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.
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.
Stretchy foldover elastic
Paint in your favorite colors (try to use fabric paint if you have it)
Something to protect your work surface
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.
3. Cut the ends close to the knot.
4. Use a flame to heat-seal the cut ends.
5. Dab paint on to the folded end, putting less on near the knot to create an ombre effect.
6. Allow to dry.
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!
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!
braided gold leather trim
focal druzy stone
Apoxie Sculpt epoxy clay in black
necklace end crimps
small round jump rings
2 oval jump rings
clasp & ring
1. Remove an equal amount of both parts of the Apoxie Sculpt.
2. Knead together for a minute or so until thoroughly mixed.
3. Form into a long snake.
4. Wrap around the edge of your druzy focal.
5. 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.
7. 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.
10. Use a jump ring to attach to the loop at one end of the focal.
11. Wrap the braid around your wrist several times, until it is the length you want.
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.
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.