Upcycled Cookie Tin Turned Craft Supplies Storage Carrying Case

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Re-use cookie tins by using them as storage bins for art supplies (or any other kinds of craft supplies, like embroidery hoops and thread). The round ones in particular are perfect for holding a round palette! Paint tubes fit, even brushes fit.

Specifically, I use this cookie tin for my watercolor supplies. This colorful artwork by Isabel Alvarez made me want to paint something and I easily took out the supplies I needed. All that was left to get was water. Seriously, the tin becomes a convenient little carrying case.

The tin I used was full of Christmas cookies and had an allover red with snowflakes theme going on. So I spray painted over it, nothing fancy though like I've seen some people do. I just didn't want to see the holiday theme. I spray painted it with the lid on and because of that there is still some of the old design showing when the lid is off. Doesn't bother me too much, it's closed most of the time.

If this cookie tin had been a vintage tin with a lovely vintage design, of course I would've left it alone. Just check out these fabulous upcycled vintage tins...

DIY Project: Ashley's Vintage Tin Candles
Craft Studio Organizer Caddy from Vintage Tin Canisters by Seelamade
Vintage Container Succulent Planters by House by Hoff
Upcycled Vintage Cookie/Candy Tin Bird Feeders by JUNKMARKET Style
Repurposed Vintage Tin Bangle Bracelets by Nostalgic Summer
Cookie Tin to Coffee Bin by Carolyns Homework
"Polly Wants A Margarita" necklace by Emily Hickman, Tin Moon Jewelryworks

Refashion: From Bottom to Top

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

An upcycled peplum button down shirt!

This was a mini skirt I found at a thrift store. It was the embroidered cotton that caught my attention.

I don't really wear short skirts though so I thought I would make this into something I'd use more. The skirt was in excellent used condition and fully lined, giving me a good amount of material to work with.

It wasn't enough material. I had to work in another article of clothing. A blouse, not in exactly the same color but in the same family. The condition of the blouse was okay except for fraying holes around the pockets and armholes. The fabric is beginning to thin...I could see why someone had donated it. It does have darling details on the pockets and collar though. I'll use those too but on something else.

This embroidered cotton blouse is one of my favorites. So I chose to copy it for this upcycle. Beside all the floral and eyelet details, I just love the peplum.

Your existing clothing make the perfect pattern, you already know exactly how it fits. Just give it a seam allowance all around the pieces.

I like to think I made it all work, piecing things together. I also added some cotton lace trim to embellish the top front and a cotton flower trim to the top back. The leftover elastic from the skirt will be used some other time. Is it cheating that I used the whole button plackets, with the buttons already sewed on and everything? Lol.

The Sunset Sunrise Painted Upcycled Bag Time Lapse Video

Thursday, December 29, 2016
I'm calling this bag "The Sunset Sunrise Bag" because the resulting art reminds me of such. The color scheme wasn't really planned. I just kept adding colors in front of me. I used non-glossy acrylic and metallic copper/gold paints. The video isn't much but I really wanted to give time lapsing work a try. Hopefully next time I'm able to record the whole bag making process. Until then, enjoy.

The completed bag is available, here.

Mad for Plaid | Upcycled Faux Layered Tunic Top

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

thee Inspiration:

How cute is this? Two shirts in one! or so it seems. Perfect for fall/winter! It looks upcycled too but these are not :/ These were selling on Zulily a while back. They caught my attention because they really do look like they could be upcycled. So it prompted me to want to make/upcycle my own. Of course I'm not the first to do this, here's a cute refashion by Chapter 37, where she added the button down's collar too.
One great thing about doing this is it's pretty easy since the main parts are already done for you.
I found this short sleeve knit top at the Goodwill along with the mens plaid button down. I really wanted a long sleeve sweater but didn't find any. This top is nice though, like new but dated so I think adding the plaid definitely spruced it up.
You want to cut however much you want of the bottom end of the plaid button down. Then of the knit top, cut the sides starting 2" down from the underarm. Serge the plaid pieces across the tops. Pin the plaid underneath the knit top, to both front and back.
Top stitch to sew the plaid in place with the knit top. Then serge the sides, front and back.
Next take the plaid shirt remnant use the back or sleeves if they're wide/long enough. This or these will be your side inserts. Make them however wide for whatever amount of volume you want added. Pin them into place, right sides together.
I left the inserts about a quarter inch longer than the side lengths so that when I hemmed it up, it would line up with the already done hem.
So you have it all pinned you sew it up. Make sure the tip of the triangle insert is sealed. Voilà, godets! Or really mine turned out looking more like inverted pleats but that's okay.
Lastly, hem the bottoms of the added plaid to align with the already done hem. I also added a second button to the bottom opening of the plaid. I thought it needed it.
It's quite the comfy top!

This is another one I did for my mom. Isn't a lovely marriage? It's basically the same process. Except this one actually has longer sleeves so I was able to add the cuffs.
You cut the bottom of the button down shirt and the sleeve cuffs, leaving about a half inch above the actual cuff. Then serge the raw edges of all pieces.
Then you pin it all in place. The cuffs go inside the sleeve so they fold out, if that makes sense. Sew it all up and your done.
I gave this one a little plaid detail on the top since it has a collar. It helps tie it all together too. So there you have it, a simple refashion, perfectly seasonal. I hope you give it a try!

Found New Life As: Upcycled Owl Bags

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Honestly, I cannot recall exactly how this came to be. I've always liked owls though. They are perfect subjects for abstract interpretation. The way I do the ruffles on these bags is suppose to be like their feathers but I think that's obvious. The first owl bag I made I listed and sold over on Artfire.

That bag was pretty simple, it was smaller than the ones I do now. I used a vintage eyelet cotton trim that came pre-gathered. Along with that bag I made one zippered barn owl inspired bag. Main reason for that was I wanted to try out a different kind of owl. I don't remember why I never made more of it but I went back to the original owl. I started incorporating the jeans hems after I had saved a good amount of them and have kept saving/using them ever since. For the most part, earlier owls consisted of vintage and thrifted cottons. These are owls from 2011-2012:
I did try once more to make a different kind of owl, where the flap was the top of the head and beak all in one. I wasn't convinced but it was cool to try out. I've never really used patterns. Using patterns is a more recent thing with me. I have realized how much time they save. Back then, every time I made an owl the measurements of the bag would be different. Some bags would come out so big and others way small. At first it was okay because I was trying to use materials without piecing them together. Some whole pieces were just smaller than others.
One time I made this custom owl that had depth to it. Only made that design once too. As I'm going through my pictures of past owls I am reminded that I used to use Ric-rac trim around their eyes. I stopped doing that because I ran out but honestly I didn't want to keep adding it. It was a nice touch while it lasted.
Eventually I did draft myself a pattern. I want them to be more uniform in size. It no longer matters if I have to piece together materials for their faces or the backs. I try to make those seams indiscreet not to take away from the rest of the design. That hasn't been too much of problem though.
One problem I have tried my best to make better is the weight. The weight of the bags was fine at first, using mostly cottons and non-denim materials. After I started involving more denim, that's when it became an issue. If a bag starts heavy with nothing in it then it's only going to get heavier with your belongings in it. For example, the owl with the medium-weight crochet lace over lined denim wings, never again. Sure it looked pretty but I know that was added weight that could've been avoided. I wish I would've given that a lot more consideration since the very beginning. I like to think I've resolved that issue by being careful with the amount of denim and heavy materials I incorporate.
I know these bags are a novelty, boho whimsy, not everyone's cup of tea. They may not look like they are all that practical but I have always tried to make them as functional as possible, like by giving them a good amount of pockets. I love pockets. Also by having shoulder and cross body options. This goes for all bags I make, not just my owls. There has been trial and error but that's what keeps you progressing.

A while ago I had someone tell me they were tired of my owls, they were "just saying". I wasn't quite sure how to take that. I'm well aware that if we never listen to feedback, we’ll never improve but what even was that? Well sorry, not sorry, I'm not tired yet. This isn't a trendy fad. It's like my whole mission statement being completely ignored. I make these bags as an on-going upcycling effort, not to mention artistic endeavor. So as long as there is clothing to be upcycled, I will continue.

Thank you for reading. You can check out the owls I have in the shop ready to ship, here.

VINTAGE FINDS | Cloisonne and Enamel Earrings

Friday, November 4, 2016

I have a penchant for vintage cloisonne and enamel earrings. Both pierced and clip on, it doesn't matter. In fact I find clip on earrings to be more comfortable.

I especially like Laurel Burch designs. You can always tell by the signatures on the backs.
My collection is not what it use to be though. A while ago I started selling some off with the idea that I had too many. Several pairs were sold and gone. I have since regretted doing so. Luckily they're not that hard to find. The majority of mine I got from my grandma and the rest are from the flea market. Recently I've found a lot on Etsy too. I think it's time to add to the collection. Here's some of my favorites so far...
Sources from top left to bottom right: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Sources from top left to bottom right: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4