DIY Chokers — Three Ways

Leather Bow Choker DIY

Well, it’s official. Chokers have made the leap from trendy teenster fad to full-blown fashion trend! Fresh off the heels of the dainty neckscarf trend of 2015, 2016 brings with it a nice mix of fresh and tired choker styles.

Now this isn’t my first time on the choker bandwagon. I distinctly remember crafting my very own black velvet ribbon choker with a little drop pearl right when I was in the third grade. And then in middle school I was all about the stretchy black tattoo choker that I think I got from Fashion Bug. (Fashion Bug!) But this time around I’m more drawn to the early ’70s chokers that feel more delicate with a slight sense of boho. 

DIY Chokers

I had distinct ideas about what kinds of chokers I would like to add to my necklace collection, but I had a bit of trouble finding the perfect ones in stores. But I mean, if you’re going to DIY anything in your wardrobe— this would be it! They’re easy, fun, and completely wearable. These chokers vary slightly in skill more more complex to absurdly simple, but all of them are pretty quick to whip together and look great with lots of different sartorial styles.

DIY Fabric Flower Chokerromantic flower choker DIY

I love the Carrie Bradshaw vibes of this choker. It would fit in with a salsa dancing costume as easily as it would with a button up shirt and jeans. It can also be as bold or as subtle as you wish— just change up the ribbon width, size of flower, and color scheme to suit your own taste.

DIY Fabric Flower Choker

Supplies:

  • crepe or silk fabric
  • ribbon
  • ribbon end crimps (in width to match your ribbon)
  • two o-rings
  • one clasp
  • short chain
  • fabric scissors
  • pliers
  • lighter or candle flame
  • Not shown: embroidery floss and darning needle

DIY Fabric Flower Choker

Step One: Cut your ribbon to the length you need (a bit shorter than your neck circumference), then add the ribbon crimps to either end and close the crimps with pliers. Add an o-ring and clasp to one end and then an o-ring and the short chain to the other end.

DIY Fabric Flower Choker

Step Two: Cut your fabric into shapes as shown above in a variety of sizes.

DIY Fabric Flower Choker

Step Three: Hold the fabric shapes over a flame until the ends begin to curl up. Do not touch the flame to the fabric— just the heat will do the trick. After you’ve gone around the edges, it will have a petal look to it.

Step Four: Stack the petals you made from largest to smallest and stitch them to the ribbon with embroidery floss. As you stitch, make french knots on the top of the flower. You may also chose to create a fancier necklace by using a bead or some sort of bling for this detail.

DIY Fabric Flower Choker

DIY Bolo Style Choker DIY Bolo Style Choker

This style of choker makes me feel way more rockstar than I ever will be. It’s great with lower cut tops, but also looks cute draping over the front of a high-cut shirt. You can adjust the length of it to your own taste and add charms to the end that fit your personal style.

DIY Bolo Style Choker

Supplies:

  • cord
  • two charms
  • three crimp covers
  • two o-rings
  • one clasp
  • two crimps with rings attached
  • fabric scissors
  • pliers

DIY Bolo Style Choker

Step One: Cut a length of cord to be about 25-30″ in length then add charms to either end. Do this by looping the cord up through the charm’s o-ring then fastening the cord with crimp covers. Then trim away the excess cord.DIY Bolo Style Choker

Step Two: Hold the cord around your neck and determine about where you’d like the bolo fastener to be placed. Then use a crimp cover to fasten it. After fastening it, cut open the back so you can next add a clasp and chain.

DIY Bolo Style Choker

Step Three: After double checking that the neck circumference of the choker is appropriate for you (it should be a bit smaller than your actual neck circumference), add crimps to the end of the cord. Then add an o-ring and clasp to one end and an o-ring and short chain to the other end.

DIY Bolo Style Choker

Leather Bow Choker DIYleather bow choker

This is my favorite of all the choker styles I’m sharing today, and the simplest to make! I love how delicate it feels, and how easy it is to switch up the style a bit by changing materials (ribbon, satin cord, leather cord, etc..) Adding crimp covers to the end makes it feel more polished, and offers another opportunity to add style details to this choker.

Leather Bow Choker DIY

Supplies:

  • cord (I used faux suede)
  • crimp covers or any details you’d like to add to the ends

Leather Bow Choker DIY

All you need to do to make this necklace is trim the cord to the length you’d like for your bow and use pliers to fasten end crimps to either end of the cord. Then tie it in a bow around your neck and you’ve made yourself a choker!

Leather Bow Choker DIY

If a choker can make the stretch from 1950s dresses and shell tops to 1970s jumpsuits, I think they’ve earned themselves a place amongst my wardrobe. I think these DIY versions will be right at home with my style, considering how much wear they’ve received already. Do you think you’ll give making one a try?

DIY Carbs T-Shirt!

carbs t-shirt

If you really want to see me climb up on my soapbox, talk to me about how bad carbs are. Yeah, yeah, yeah… we shouldn’t eat carbs and only carbs, but man, sometimes carbs are life. And I certainly couldn’t get through a workout without a lot of ’em. I wanted to celebrate my love for carbs with a slogan tee, and decided to make my own!

I’m sure you could figure out how to do this yourself, but just in case, I thought I’d share the simple instructions with you.

diy t-shirt

S U P P L I E S :

  • iron on letters (like these)
  • t-shirt (mine’s from here)
  • iron
  • press cloth

diy slogan t-shirt

Step One: Cut out the letters you need to make your word or slogan.

Step Two: Arrange the letters paper-side-up onto the shirt. Spend some time making sure it’s centered and straight!

diy slogan t-shirt

Step Three: Using a press cloth, apply 30lbs of pressure using a hot iron for 30 seconds onto the letters to adhere them to the shirt. 

Step Four: Allow the shirt to cool completely then peel off the paper backing of the letters.

IMG_2018

carbs tee

There ya have it! A t-shirt for any purpose, but especially handy for doughnut runs and eating at Italian restaurants!

DIY Gold Striped Mug

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight holiday creamers

It just doesn’t feel like the holiday season unless I’ve made a fun holiday craft! As an adult, I’m much more into fancy housewares than paper chain garlands, so I thought a festive mug would be the perfect thing to make. This painted mug is dishwasher and microwave safe, making an impressive homemade holiday gift, or a nice addition to your own mug collection. I enjoyed using mine for drinking coffee with my favorite seasonal creamers from International Delight. After all, it is the holidays! The peppermint mocha and frosted sugar cookie flavors will only be around for the holidays, and then you’ll have to wait until next year to find them again.

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight

I thought gold stripes would be perfect for the holidays, but would also add glam to my coffee during the rest of the year. You can use any color you like, of course, as long as the paint is clearly dishwasher and food safe.

DIY Painted Striped Mug

yulu yogurt fudgesicles

  • clear glass mug (You can purchase a set of four from Target here.)
  • porcelain paint
  • high quality masking tape (Do not use easy release painter’s tape.)
  • small, high quality paint brush

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step One: Tape off stripes on your mug. You can trim the masking masking tape to be as wide or thin as you like— just lay out strips onto parchment paper and cut with a blade and ruler. I didn’t measure the spacing between stripes, but ended up pulling up the first tape job to slightly adjust the spacing. My goal was to perfectly incorporate the mug handles into the spacing of the stripes.

Tip: Press down the edges of the tape with your fingernail to make sure it adheres tightly to the walls of the mug. You don’t want paint seeping underneath!

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step Two: Brush several light coats of porcelain paint onto the open spaces between the tape. The first coat will be very sheer, but don’t worry, after it dries, you can apply a few more coats within mere minutes of each other. After 5 or 6 coats, the paint will be opaque.

Tip: Don’t brush on the paint too thick, or it might seep under the tape or dry in globs around it. The first coat of paint takes only a few minutes to dry, but don’t wait more than a few minutes between subsequent coats or the paint will be likely to pull up with the tape in step three.

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step Three: Gently peel off the tape, being careful not to peel off any paint with it. The edge of the painted stripes might pop up ever so slightly. Just rub your finger along the edges to push them back down. If any paint has seeped below the tape and dried there, just use your fingernail or a dull blade to carefully scrape it off immediately.

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step Four: Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours and then bake according to the instructions on the paint bottle you are using. This step ensures your mug will be dishwasher safe. Still— I wouldn’t scrub it clean with anything rough.

DIY gold striped glass mug

After they’re baked, feel free to use them immediately. Fancy, eh? Your friends will never guess you painted them yourself!

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight holiday creamers

The first time I used my mugs, I filled them with freshly brewed coffee and my favorite seasonal creamer from International Delight— Peppermint Mocha. It’s like Christmas in a cup!

International Delight Cartwheel App

You can find International Delight seasonal creamers at most Target stores, and until December 24th, you can get 5% off International Delight, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Silk Coffee Creamers using the Target Cartwheel app. We bought a bunch to keep on hand for holiday parties and cozy evenings at home.

Target Holiday Decorations 2015

And of course we couldn’t resist checking out all of Target’s amazing holiday decorations while we were there! We picked out the girls’ annual ornament, and impulse bought some wrapping paper that was too beautiful to leave behind. Target always has the best supplies for a stylish Christmas!

Target Holiday Decorations 2015

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight holiday creamers

Be sure to let me know if you make your own mugs! You could try hand painting trees, snowflakes, or fun phrases too. So many possibilities!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WhiteWave Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mandi Makes a Dollhouse

1:12 Modern Dollhouse Project

A month ago, I thought it would be really fun to make a dollhouse for Lucy’s Christmas present. I was so inspired years ago by Nicole’s dollhouse, and others who followed along with the I’m a Giant Challenge, and finally I have an actual excuse to make a dollhouse. It’ll be fun, I said. It won’t be too difficult, I said. I’m laughing at myself now. This project has basically consumed my life! For starters, I built a dollhouse that was the wrong scale (too small for the furniture I wanted to put in it), so I had to find someone to buy it to recoup my money, then I had to buy a new one and rebuild. (Kind of embarrassing to admit I did that!) So that’s where I am now. Working on finishing details to the interior before the next stage begins- decorating!

I haven’t been doing the best job at documenting this project, because it’s just nice to not have to worry about that all the time. Hashtag blogger problems! But you can see some photos on my Facebook page and at the Instagram hashtage #mandimakesadollhouse

1:12 Modern Dollhouse Project

Here’s the inside! You can see it before I did any painting here. I wanted to place the furniture before deciding on wall placement and colors for each room. I still haven’t settled on a color for the bathroom or other bedroom on the second floor. I figure, things should be colorful, because this is a kid’s dollhouse, after all! It’s not just for me to play with, though make no mistake, I will be playing with this beaut when it’s finished. I’ve decided to generally stick to pink, orange, and yellow for the main colors, with natural colored accents thrown in. Maybe I will do more of a neutral color scheme for the first floor, pinks and rusts in the second floor, and yellow on the third floor. That’s my plan so far, but as you can see, I’m still working on painting (masking tape still in place), and haven’t added trim or stairs yet, so anything is fair game at this point!

The dollhouse kit I decided on is pretty basic, but I decided to buy two dormer kits to add to the attic space. It was a bit challenging to add dormers that didn’t belong to my dollhouse kit, but I definitely think it was worth it. Cutting out angled holes for the dormers, sanding and wood filling my heart out until they were perfect, and then wallpapering one and caulking the other was no joke! Sometimes I feel like I’m building a real house. Each tiny little detail needs to much attention. Each little stair spindle and trim piece. So much priming, sanding down the primer, priming again, painting, and sanding between coats of paint. And let’s not forget hand scribing each individual plank into the plywood floors and staining it in layers to try to get the look of wood flooring. What?! Yes. Perfectionism at its finest. (Sanding down tiny clapboard is best done while frying out your brain to Gossip Girl episodes on Netflix.) I suppose it doesn’t need to be that much work, but I figure if I’m going to do it, I want to do it right.

DIY dollhouse accessories

I still have to add exterior details, like windows, shingles, etc, but am not looking forward to that so much. I’m really chomping at the bit to add trim and fill the interior with all of the fun things I’ve been making and collecting along the way. Some of the little things are vintage, found on eBay, and other things I made myself (I’ll share a couple of easy DIYs later), but here’s everything I bought new. I found some of these things at local craft stores (Pat Catans and Michaels) but I’ve linked to everything you can buy online:

1-12 dollhouse accessories

Dollhouse Kit (not pictured)
Dormer Kit (not pictured)
1. Bookshelf with miniature books
2. Porcelain bathroom set (this is getting glued down)
3. Cuckoo clock
4. Kitchen set (I painted mine)
5. Dollhouse rugs (I bought three from this shop, and am making the rest.)
6. Miniature tea set
7. Miniature Amber glass jars (I actually found mine in the jewelry section at a craft store.)
8. Step stools
9. Bathroom flooring
10. Nursery set
11. Attic wallpaper (scrapbook paper)

Here’s the Calico Critter family that will live inside:

calico critter cat familycat family available here / cat family babies available here

Wallpapered dollhouse dormers

Wallpapered dormers! This intimidated me so much, but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. (I thought it would be impossible, and it turns out it was just mildly challenging. hehe) I did decide to caulk the corners of every room that wouldn’t receive wallpaper. It was easy and took care of any little cracks, making it look really nice and finished. It’s a good thing I have all of those random supplies already on hand (like wood glue, super glue, caulk, wood stain, and interior paint), or else I can see how all the costs would really add up!

Dollhouse Dining Room

How cute is this dining set! I made the table myself, and the chairs are vintage found on Etsy. I kind of want this to be my actual dining room!

Dollhouse Dining Room

So excited to get everything inside! I’ll share more progress soon. Thanks for following along!

Older