Blogger Interview: Sugar & Cloth

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After featuring Sugar & Cloth a couple weeks ago, we were so pleased to have the opportunity to chat with the genius behind the blog, Ashley.  She let us in on what some of her favorite DIY products are and who she got her DIY genes from!  Read on to get a peek inside the mind of a great DIYer!

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How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?

I started blogging when I had just gotten married and moved across the country away from all of my friends and family. It was my way of staying accountable to be creative.  I’ve always loved DIY’s, which I think I picked up from my dad who would always rather make than buy something.

Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?

Magazines, shops, craft supply shops. etc. A lot of the projects I make are things that I couldn’t afford from the store, but that could be easily recreated.

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Which of your DIY projects are your favorite?

I really love the marquee letter DIY, my DIY no-sew sequin camera strap, and the branch clothing rack.

What are some of your favorite upcoming DIY trends?

I really love anything sparkly right now, especially with snowy weather!

What advice would you give to beginners looking to DIY for the holidays?

Try projects that are simple, but pack a big punch. You don’t want to spend too much time crafting instead of enjoying the moment.

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What are your DIY must-haves?

Glitter, spray paint, chalkboard paint, hole punch, twine, the list is endless haha!

Blogger Holiday Interview: Creme de la Craft

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One of the bloggers we’ve turned to for holiday DIY inspiration is the lovely Natalie of Creme de la Craft.  She has such an amazing ability to create DIYs from items everyone already has in their homes.  From VHS garlands to shoebox wall art, her skills are endless.  We were so happy to have the opportunity to chat with her to learn more about her DIY experience!

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How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?
I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. My first job was also in crafting, where I was a scrapbook instructor at Michaels Arts & Craft Store. Over the past few years, I also developed a special interest in upcycling everyday items that may be typically tossed out. I collected items like empty jars, old t-shirts and wine corks, and transformed them into some amazing DIY projects. I started blogging to share these ideas and inspire others to embrace the DIY movement.

Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?
Ever since I started repurposing everyday household items into craft projects, I now see the “treasure” within the “trash” wherever I look. Just the other day, I turned empty wine bottles into flower vases with a little bit of spray paint and ribbon. I have an even harder time throwing things out ever since I started to DIY!

Which of your DIY projects are your favorite?
One of my favorite projects has to be my DIY pocket notebook that I created out of a cereal box. I still take notes the old-fashioned way so I carry at least two if these in my purse every day. Plus, I love eating cereal, which means I am left with tons of empty cereal boxes that I can transform into a lifetime supply of notebooks! To me, a great DIY project is one that uses everyday items you can find around the house and, most of all, is fun to make.

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What are some of your favorite upcoming holiday DIY trends?
I love seeing more and more people upcycling items for DIY craft projects. I’ve seen some amazing ideas this holiday including paper napkin snowballs, light bulb ornaments and painted pine cones. My CD ornaments were also one of my favorite projects of the year.

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What advice would you give to beginners looking to DIY for the holidays?
Take some simple pieces and add a few creative touches to create custom handmade holiday decor. It can be as easy as wrapping a piece of colorful ribbon around a glass ornament or painting your favorite design on plain stockings.

What are your DIY must-haves?
Lately, I’m loving gold spray paint. Take an Altoids tin, drinking straws, or even a rock, and watch them transform with some gold paint and a little bit of creativity.

Blogger Interview: Syl and Sam

Ever since we saw the awesome DIY studded camera strap by sisters Sylvia and Samantha of Syl and Sam, we become huge fans of their blog. The sisters are constantly adding creative tutorials, nail art, and recipes to their blog, and we definitely count it as one of our daily reads. We chatted with Sylvia about their DIY projects – keep reading to find our their secrets!
How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?
We started becoming active in the early 2000′s on livejournal.com. Samantha had started selling our handmade purses and accessories online under our business name Lipgloss and Black and we were just becoming a legitimate online company. During this time, we were also frequenting an online community that was solely for posting your “t-shirt-surgery” projects. This forum was a huge inspiration for us because we saw that there were other girls around the world reconstructing their XL mens band t-shirts into amazing dresses or into purses. This community is where we first started “blogging” our before & after reconstructions. Our mother had taught us to sew and reconstruct clothing at a young age, so we were comfortable with tearing apart clothes just to re-sew them. Over the years, we fell in and out of blogging and tried our hand at writing about personal style and fashion, but in the end, we went back to our roots and our tutorials are the most popular corner of our blog.
Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?
We find our inspiration from everywhere! It can be directly from the runways, from fashion magazines or what we see girls wearing on the streets. Our one condition for projects is that we personally want to use & wear our DIYs after we make them.
Which of your DIY projects is your favorite?
My current favourites are our studded loafers (because of the amount of time, effort and blistery fingers involved), and our designer camera strap because it’s something I get to use everyday!
Have you noticed any upcoming DIY trends?
The only “trend” I’ve really noticed is that there are more & more people out there blogging about DIY! It’s actually wonderful that this niche is getting so much more attention now because everyone should be inspired to create. With fashion being such a wasteful industry, being able to rework unloved items is invaluable.
What advice would you give to DIY beginners?
I recently read Made by Hand by Mark Frauenfelder (the founder of Boing Boing). Although the book was preaching to the converted here, it was amazing reading about someone finding meaning and purpose through DIY. The one thing that really resonated with me was how Mark wrote about how we’re taught to feel like we’re failing when we make mistakes. When you’re learning to DIY, there’s no rule book or proper way to make things because you’re often making up the project yourself. This turns out to be a major hurdle for beginners in DIY, but if you can learn to work through your little accidents you’ll only get better!
In short, my advice is just to not fear the mistakes you make. Embrace them & learn to fix them; the better you are at improvising, the better you will be at DIYing. :)
What are your must-have DIY supplies?
Our sewing machines & our stockpile of fabrics and sewing supplies!

Blogger Highlight: Taylor & Demolish

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Candy of Taylor and Demolish has been one of our favorite DIY bloggers for quite some time now. From pearls to glitter, we love seeing the different ways she embellishes her clothing – her projects are so unique! The NYC girl is a familiar face in the M&J Trimming store, and we always get excited to see what she makes next. We were lucky enough to get to chat with Candy about her DIYs. Keep reading to see her interview!

How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?  
My DIYing skilling started when I was a kid.  I will never forget the night my mom took me to Toys-R-Us when I was 8 years old to buy a Barbie doll for Show’n’Tell.  The night before Show’n’Tell, I made a necklace from baubles from old barrettes and a shoelace.  When it was my turn to present, I decided not to show off the doll so I stuffed it into my bookbag and presented the necklace.  To this day, my mom still doesn’t know I wasted her money (but I guess she will now lol).  Now looking back, I know it was at that moment that my destiny was determined!

My blog didn’t happen by chance.  I planned my blog an entire year before the launch.  I came up with the name, saved and bought my DSLR, created a business plan, planned a ton of DIY projects, and promoted it before I even launched.  It’s the businesswoman in me.

Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs? 
Tumblr!  There are so many great streetstyle, runway, destination, and random pictures that I am able to find hidden DIYs in.  It’s like a massive treasure chest!

Which of your DIY projects is your favorite?
My favorite always changes, but for now I will have to go with my DIY chained collar tips. It’s the most ridiculously easy thing I’ve ever made.

Have you noticed any upcoming DIY trends?
Since the summer is almost here, I can’t wait to see all of the DIY cutoff shorts that will hit the streets of NYC.  Stencil tribal prints, stencil floral designs, dip dyed, studded, distressed…the possibilities are endless so I have a ton of these in the works!

What advice would you give to DIY beginners?  
Invest in a giant sketchpad. I always write out what it is I am going to do or sketch out what I am going to do.  It is crazy how many mistakes you can avoid with a simple plan.

What are your DIY must-haves?
Studs and spikes!  I always walk around with some in a ziploc in my handbag.

Blogger Highlight: Studs and Pearls

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No matter what craziness erupts in the DIY world, we know we can always fall back on Kirsten from Studs and Pearls for great DIY projects. The New Yorker constantly inspires us with her original tutorials, adorable jewelry, and edgy clothing. Her site is definitely one of our daily reads, and of course we love that she’s a frequent visitor of M&J Trimming! We adored her creations when she was our Blogger of the Month last May, so we wanted to catch up with Kirsten and steal all of her DIY secrets. Check out her interview below!
How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?
I’ve been making and creating things for as long as I can remember, so I suppose I’ve technically been a “DIYer” my entire life. It’s something that’s always been second nature to to me and has always been a significant part of everything I do. As for blogging, I started in July of 2010. I was always making fashion projects as it is, and finally came to the realization that it would be almost impossible to solely shop for things that truly expressed my evolving taste and style. I also always believed that true style doesn’t have to come from a certain store or a brand, and really wanted to support this concept. I decided to create a blog to share my DIY projects, in order to show that there’s more to fashion than the monetary value. Even if I didn’t start studs & pearls, I’d still be making all of these projects.The only difference is that I’m sharing them with readers from all over the world.
Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?
Many different places. Most of my ideas come from seeing items in stores, on the web or sometimes even on other people. I have a really photographic memory, so when I see something, it sometimes reminds me of something else I’ve seen in the past…thus resulting in a project idea. Often, inspiration stems from simply seeing or working with certain materials or supplies.


Which of your DIY projects is your favorite?
So far, one of my favorites have been the Studded Trench Coat (inspired by Burberry), however I’m planning on redoing this to make it even more awesome! Another favorite is the Leather Sleeved Denim Jacket, which is in constant rotation in my wardrobe. Other favorites are the Multi-Strand Chain Watch (so useful!) and all of the bracelet projects.
Have you noticed any upcoming DIY trends?

Neon and ombre are still going pretty strong, as well as lace in every style and form.

What advice would you give to DIY beginners?

Don’t be afraid to try a new technique or work with a new material. You really never know how it will turn out until you try. Most people I talk to who are hesitant to try DIY projects are scared of messing up…which, to be honest, isn’t even a bad thing! The awesome thing about making things is that you can always just try again. If you’re working with something of value, like a favorite shirt or jacket, try doing a test run on a thrifted or old piece of clothing. Another piece of advice would be to use the Internet to your advantage. If you can’t figure out how to do a certain method or want to learn about certain materials, Google is just a few clicks away.

What are your must-have DIY supplies?
Black and white thread, sewing needles, super glue, a hot glue gun, a pair of scissors, and jewelry pliers. There’s a really good chance you’ll use at least one of these items in any DIY project!

Blogger Highlight: Runway DIY

Runway DIY is always one of our go-to blogs for incredibly chic projects. Arianna, the lovely girl behind the blog, creates trendy tutorials that mirror some of our favorite designer pieces – without breaking the bank! We adored the Prada-inspired midi skirt that she created when she was our Blogger of the Month so we wanted to see what Arianna has been up to. Check out her interview below!
How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?
I was making all of these projects anyway and deciding to share them was a big step for me. I just kind of took the plunge and started the site!
Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?
I read every fashion magazine and I’m usually more interested in the ads than the content- that’s where you can find the most current and recognizable trends for the season. I also spend a lot of time on fashion blogs and style.com.
Which of your DIY projects is your favorite?
That’s tough!  If I had to choose, it would probably be my DIY Celine Loafer Heels or my DIY Distressed Balmain Tee.
What advice would you give to DIY beginners?
Focus on quality! You don’t want to make something that feels like a costume. Hot glue is not always the answer.
What are your must-have DIY supplies?
Quick Stitch is an amazing glue for fabrics, needle and thread, very sharp scissors, eyelets, a bag of trims and ribbons, basic tools like a hammer etc. You can do so much without pro tools- I don’t even own a sewing machine!
See more of Arianna’s projects at RunwayDIY.com!

Blogger Highlight: Chic Steals

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Carly of Chic Steals is one of our DIY idols – she’s great at recreating trendy pieces without the huge price tag! We adored her creations when she was our Blogger of the Month in October, so we wanted to catch up with Carly and snag a few more DIY tips. We chatted about everything from peplums to power tools – see the interview below!
How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?

I’ve always been making things; even from the age of 3 or so I loved working with my hands to create something tangible.  I loved crafting in all its forms, and that coupled with a lack of money made me turn to creating my own clothes and accessories during my teens.  Making pretty things helps me relax; the patience and concentration required turn it into a zen-like experience for me.  After I closed down my short-lived clothing and jewelry line in 2007, I wanted to stay connected to the world of fashion, and offered to write blog articles for the Editor of FashionTribes.com.  She taught me so much about blogging and audience engagement, and I found I really enjoyed being able to share my ideas and creations with a larger audience.  I started Chic Steals as a place just to house all the articles I wrote for FashionTribes, but after awhile I started to add more original content and blog about the projects I was making…and I found that people liked it…so I kept going!  It’s now been just over 4 years since I founded my blog and it’s opened so many doors and connected me to so many people in ways that I could never have imagined!

Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?

Many of my DIY’s are from runway collections, or of things I’ve seen for sale in stores or online, as well as items featured in magazines.  This gives me a good idea of what is popular now, or what will be popular soon, so I figure there would be interest in making your own version!

Which of your DIY projects is your favorite?
Probably my Christian Louboutin for Rodarte Super-Spiked Heels…they took me a very long time to make and it was the first time I’ve actually sewn a pair of shoes on my sewing machine…I was really proud of the end result and even now people email me asking me to make them a pair!!  (I don’t do commissions on projects like these which are essentially knock-offs; original designs and projects I’ve created I gladly make for others upon request!)

Have you noticed any upcoming DIY trends?

DIY peplums (both attached to clothing and removable) are currently very popular, as is neon accessories and clothing.  DIY’ers are using tons of neon spray paint to give their accessories a new life, as well as sparkly Mod Podge to add a little bling to shoes and bags.  Cut-outs, fringe and tassels, and clear and translucent plastic are also making the rounds recently.  And using power tools (drills and cutting attachments) for DIY’s, as well as old-school macrame, are also currently trending.

What advice would you give to DIY beginners?

Try everything and don’t give up!  Seriously, you never know what techniques or materials might strike your fancy, so it’s a good idea to dabble and try different things.  And don’t be discouraged by projects that go awry…I’ve had soooo many DIY fails but each time I learn something more, and am able to apply that knowledge to the next project.  And most importantly, have fun!

What are your must-have DIY supplies?

All manner of studs and spikes - I love adding a little edge to projects!  High-quality sew-on rhinestones in settings…they’re extremely hard-to-find pre-set and those little metal rims make all the difference between a project that looks homemade and a project that looks high-fashion.  Finally, pretty trims (like chiffon with beading, or lace with ribbon through it) can easily dress up any piece of clothing or accessory and give it a look that’s all your own - so I love working with it!

Blogger Highlight: Glitter ‘N Glue

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It’s safe to say that we have always been obsessed with Glitter ‘N Glue, a DIY blog that is run by the lovely Kristen Turner. She participated in our Blogger Challenge last year, and we adored all of the projects that she created. Her sparkling zebra flats were definitely a favorite around the office. Kristen was kind enough to chat with us about everything DIY-related – see her interview below!

How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer? After maxing out my credit cards, I started DIYing as a way to feed my fashion appetite without breaking the bank.

Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs? I find inspiration from all over… magazines, window shopping, blogs, old Hollywood photos, vintage family photos.
Which of your DIY projects is your favorite? I just made these stackable ball and chain rings that I’m currently obsessing over. They were super cheap, super easy to make and come in so many different colors. I wear them almost everyday now. I pair them with my Michael Kors stackable rings as the perfect mix of designer and DIY
 

Have you noticed any upcoming DIY trends? Summer is upon us so I’m excited to see the DIY projects the change in weather will bring. I’m predicting lots of color which I’m very excited about!
What advice would you give to DIY beginners? Start simple. I find the best projects are usually the ones where I’ve used a can of spray paint to change the color of something. So simple yet it totally changes the look of my accessories.
What are your must-have DIY supplies? Glitter and glue, obviously ;-) I also seem to not be able to live without studs. Lately I’ve wanted to put studs on everything!

Blogger Interview: Sketch 42

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Nicole of Sketch 42 has such an incredible eye for design, and we were lucky enough to chat with her and grab a few DIY  tips. Her floral crown DIY is on the top of our must-try list – and we love that she used M&J Trimming Products! See our conversation with Nicole below, and stop by Sketch42Blog.com to grab some more tips and tricks.

How did you get started as a blogger and a DIYer?
I got started as a blogger in 2008, after my husband and I moved into our first real apartment and I decided to decorate it on my own. I started the blog as a way to connect with other design-enthused-freaks on the internet. As for DIY- my grandmother taught me about art, design and crafts as a child. I was that kid with a hook rug sit on the side of the room at summer camp.

Where do you find inspiration for your DIYs?
My DIY’s are inspired by things I like in fashion, or, most of the time, I see a trim or material, or technique I want to use and then I play around until something cool happens!

Which of your DIY projects is your favorite?
Hmmmm…. My paint splatter TOMs, Neon nail polish collar, adjustable vintage-looking camera strap, a ruffle ribbon collar… and last a flower crown I just made for my daughter!

Have you noticed any upcoming DIY trends?
DIY’s in general have become a huge trend. But specifically, bracelet making is huge and tie dye is up and coming. Last year I did a pair of DIY tie dye jeans, and now they are right in style!

What advice would you give to DIY beginners?
 Use good products, get the right tools, and plan your project properly. As a beginner, before I amassed the proper tools, there were many instances where I had to compromise the quality of the piece by using sub-par tools!

What are your must-have DIY supplies?
Beside the basics like: Paint, Glue Gun, E6000, a leather hole puncher is quite useful, as well as an electric staple gun.