DIY Buckle Ankle Boots

I wear dresses and skirts year-round. Tights are a must; but footed tights making your shoes slip off? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

That’s why I LOVE ankle boots. I’m a big fan of low profile, simple black ankle boots with a good sturdy heel that I can walk around in comfortably all day… but recently I’ve been obsessed with sturdy black ankle boots with  bad-ass-bitch straps and buckles.

After WEEKS of fruitless searching for a pair that perfectly combined style, comfort and a don’t-have-to-eat-ramen-for-a-week price, the closest I came was this pair on asos.com: Faith Spitalfield Black Buckle Ankle Boots, now sold out, but at the time they cost about $120 bucks.

Waaay too expensive, plus I’m not a fan of the open sides during rainy seasons. One of my favorite things about ankle boots is that I can wear them rain or shine.

Expensive designer version:

Asos Faith Spitalfield Black Buckle Ankle Boots in Black - Lyst

Here’s MY version that cost under $60 bucks:

Boots_2

Supplies:

  • Comfy boots with the perfect silhouette from Chinese Laundry – $42.59 (sale price on amazon.com)
  • 2 boys’ belts- $6.00 each from Walmart
  • Super Glue of your choice

Boots_1

Here’s what I did:

  1. Put on one boot.
  2. Wrap a belt underneath the arch of your foot, cross the belt across the top of your foot and wrap around the back of your heel.
  3. When you have the look you want, fasten the belt.
  4. Follow the super glue directions to attach the belt to the shoe where it wraps underneath your arch.
  5. Repeat with the second shoe.

Done, BAM. Take that expensive designer boot regime!

Crafting Tools 101

GlueGun_2

This is my glue gun. There are many like it, but this one is mine…

By far, the hot glue gun is my most favoritest crafting tool of all time ever. I use mine on almost every project and the love and good times we’ve had together are evident in the little community of crafting scraps making a home stuck to it’s side. Some  would say it’s gross, I prefer to think of it in the same category as a well-worn, dogeared copy of someone’s favorite book. It looks hideous because it gets a lot of use!

GlueGun_1

Anyways, glue guns generally come in 2 sizes (one for little glue sticks and one for big glue sticks) and range from obscenely cheap to fairly expensive. I prefer the small size, because they seem to fit my hand better, but in all honesty, I’ve been using the small ones for maybe 10 years now and maybe I’m just used to it. I think this is the one time where “size doesn’t matter” is actually true. Am I right ladies? Oh snap, I sure did just make a dick joke…on a crafting blog. Go me!

Back to topic: This little bugger cost me $3.99 and I’ve had it for at least 3-4 years, so in my humble all-knowing, all-powerful opinion, the expensive ones are a waste of money.

Besides my trusty ol’ glue gun there are other tools I like to keep handy. If you’re a veteran crafter you’ve probably got your own little arsenal of crafting weapons, but if you’re new to crafting you totes need to start your own crafting kit!

So here’s my suggested list for beginners:

  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Crafter’s Knife (also known as an Exacto knife)
  • Sharp Scissors
  • A Hole Punch
  • Pencils
  • Ruler
  • Measuring Tape
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Masking Tape
  • Scotch Tape
  • Cardboard Scrapes
  • Sewing Needles
  • Black & White Thread
  • Straight Pins
  • Multipack of Assorted Cardstock

DIY Vintage Harlequin Clown: Accessories Tutorial

HarlequinClown_IG2

Sometimes you just need a quick and easy costume. One of my favorite ways to whip up a costume in a jiffy is to make really cool DIY accessories that can be added to regular clothes. This is a DIY tutorial for my 3 piece Vintage Harlequin Clown accessories.

HarlequinClown_MeThis is especially awesome if you’re on a budget and have a bunch of parties or events to go to: it’s super versatile.  I LOVED the high waist short and contrasting striped shirt we dressed up my fantastic model Kelsey in, but you could slut it up (and I mean that in the best way) with a skimpy leotard, sexy dress, or maybe pair the shorts with a corset or halter bra for a pin up vibe.

I actually wore it to an early Halloween party while my main costume was still in progress, and it was a big hit.  (The top, skirt, tights and shoes are all direct from my closet.)

Included in this tutorial are instructions to make a cone hat, ruffle collar and ruffle cuffs.

Beginner level, low cost, and can be done in an afternoon; what’s not to <3?

Enjoy!

Supplies

NOTE FOR SUPPLIES: You want to get fabric 45″ wide or wider. The wider the fabric the more “ruffley” your collar will be (and yeah I just made up a word, so deal). If you’ve never shopped for fabric before, read this, then proceed.

HarlequinClown_Hat2

Don’t forget to download my cone template!

step-one

  • TIP:  I used the large size for my human-sized hat you see in the pictures and I used small and medium for doll sized  “party skeletons” that I used to decorate my “Circus of the Damned” theme Halloween party. You could  also  totally  use the small version and glue it to a headband for a cute mini-hat look.

step-two

step-three

step-four

step-five2

step-six

step-sevem

step-eight2

step-nine2

Repeat for opposite side of the hat. You’ll use these tabs to secure the hat to your hair with bobby pins.

HarlquinClown_Collar2

collar_one

Repeat step one with your second printed fabric- this time making a 6 1/2 ” fold.

NOTE: Save the excess fabric you trim off. You’ll use that to make the cuffs.

collar_two

collar-three

collar_four

TIP: You should end up with 15 inches marked off directly in the center of your ribbon and 12 1/2″ of ribbon left over at either end.

collar-five

collar-six

collar-seven

collar-eight

HarlequinClown_Cuff2

Start with your left over fabric from the ruffle collar.

cuff-one

TIP: Before moving on to the next step, trim edges so they’re nice and even like the photo in step one.

cuff_two

cuff-three

cuff-four

cuff-five

  • OH SNAP! Note on using snap closures: Each closure comes with two pieces (an “innie” and an “outie” if you will) that, uh, well, snap together. Cleverly named, these things are… but I digress. You will need to make sure that you keep track of which pieces are innies and which are outies as you apply them to your cuffs. Otherwise they won’t snap together, k?

cuff-six

cuff-seven

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 Repeat steps 4-8 for the other cuff and your done! Enjoy! XOXO

Love note from JoJo: This post was originally a 3-part post condensed and reformatted on 6/21/14.

How To Spot Treasures in Trash!

IMG_1138Ooh I scored me some awesome trash today!! Yeah, I know, not the most glamorous thing to get all hot and bothered for but, for realz, trash is a crafter’s best friend. Whenever I have a major crafting project coming up, like Halloween, I make a point to try and look at my trash in a whole new way before I toss it out. Newspaper automatically gets saved for papier-mâché projects, but I’ve discovered phone book pages work just as well. And since the dickweeds in Phone Book Land have completely fucking ignored all our requests to stop delivering them, I guess it works out.

Another great treasure is from the most super coolest gift ever: a 31″ giant Darth Vader doll action figure my man bought for me. Sometimes he is just such a guy  and brings home flowers, which is totes sweet, and sometimes he’s Super Boyfriend and brings home friggin’ Darth Vader! But I digress…

Vader’s packaging would make an excellent stand for a sign, if I laid it flat it could be a good angle for a display, or maybe I could weigh down the bottom and use it as a base for afore mentioned papier-mâché sculpture…lots of possibilities there!

Also exciting is a piece of very dense, flexible, non-corrugated cardboard that was included in the packaging of a duffle bag. What will I use that for? I have no fucking clue. But its soooo bendy!!! I’m sure it will come in handy for something.

And that’s really the point: learning to look at things with a creative eye and staying open to possibilities. It’s kinda like beer goggles, but for trash. If you’re not already a trash digger like me, it might be hard at first. To help you out I made a list of items I always think it’s worth saving when you know you have big crafting projects on the horizon. So put on your Trash Goggles and enjoy!

  1. Cardboard boxes, duh. Even if you don’t use them for a craft they’ll be handy for staying organized.
  2. Newspapers & phone books for papier-mâché.
  3. Wrapping paper & paper towel tubing.
  4. Shoe boxes.
  5. Buttons, trims and scrap fabric from old clothing.
  6. Trash bag twisty ties.
  7. Wire hangers (Mommy Dearest be damned!)
  8. Interesting cardboard, styrofoam or plastic packaging pieces.
  9. Spare metal pieces (for example curtain rods or nuts & bolts).

Easy NO-SEW Cape: How to make a cosplay cape for beginners.

AftersuppliesBefore

Level: Beginner, Time: 1 hour, Cost: Under $20

BEFORE YOU START:

Make sure your ribbon is at least 7/8″ wide.

The cape I made is 38” long and is knee length for the average height adult (5’5” to 5’8”). I used 2.5 yards of polyester crepe with 38” width, folded. So my total fabric size was 76” by 90.”

If you want a longer cape measure from the base of your neck to where you want the cape to end to find your “desired length.” (Hehehe. Get your minds out of the gutter ladies.) Consult Doodle 1 to calculate fabric size needed.

Doodle 1

IMPORTANT: Choose a fabric that will not fray because you are not going to be hemming this cape.
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STEP ONE: Unfold your fabric and lay it out flat. Iron out any major wrinkles and/or creases if necessary.

STEP TWO: Fold your fabric in half width-wise and pin edges together. Lay the folded fabric flat on the carpet. (Doodle 2)

Doodle 2

STEP THREE: Align the 0” mark of your measuring tape with an upper corner on the fold of your fabric and stick a straight pin directly into the carpet to hold it in place. If you don’t have carpet, find a friend to come and hold it for you. If you have no friends, put down the electronic device and go be social. (Doodle 3)

Doodle 3

STEP FOUR:  Starting at the edge of the fabric (Doodle 3), gently pull your measuring tape taut and place a pin at 45.” Make sure you pin the two layers of fabric together. Using your corner pin as the axis to rotate your measuring tape towards the folded edge and place another pin at 45”. Continue until you reach the folded edge. These pins will be your cutting guide. (Doodle 4)

  • Remember to gently pull the measuring tape taut each time to get accurate measurement
  • Be sure not to pull the corner pin out of place.

Doodle 4

STEP FIVE: Repeat Step 4, placing a pin at 7” each time instead of 45.” (Doodle 5) Then unpin your tape measure.

Doodle 5

STEP SIX: Cut along the pins. Make sure you are holding both layers together when you cut. You should have a quarter circle with a tiny quarter circle cut out when you are finished (Doodle 6)

Doodle 6

STEP SEVEN: Make sure you remove all the pins and unfold. (Doodle 7) Now you’re in the homestretch!

Doodle 7

STEP EIGHT: Plug in your glue gun and let it get hot while you measure out apprx. 52” of ribbon. Seriously, it’s no big deal if you go over or under an inch or two.

STEP NINE: Measure 15″ of ribbon and mark it with a pin. Lay your ribbon flat.

STEP 10: I’ll call the tiny half-circle cut out in Doodle 7 the “neck hole”. Starting at your pin and the edge of the neck hole, apply hot glue to half the width of the ribbon and attach the edge of the neck hole working in small sections.

  • Make sure your neck hole edge is only covering half the ribbon width as shown below.

step 9

  • When finished you should have apprx. 15″ of ribbon hanging loose from either end of the neck hole (Doodle 8).

Doodle 8

STEP 11: Along the edge of the neck hole, fold the ribbon over so that the edge of the fabric is covered completely. Glue in place.

step 11

That’s all. Wear it. Look awesome. Try not to spill too much booze on it. Mission accomplished.