Sunday, March 31, 2013

DIY Painted Leather Bookmark

Hello, all! While I could do totally do necklace DIYs forever, I felt it was time for something new. :) So as I was staring at my pile of leather scraps leftover from past clutches, I had a fun idea for what to do with them—make bookmarks!

Ruler, scrap of leather (2 x 10 inches)*, bristol board/cardboard (also 2 x 10), paper scissors, fabric scissors, sharpie/pencil, exacto knife, gold craft paint, paint brushes, palette, cutting board, binder clips.

*Leather scraps are fairly easy to find on the cheap. Any fabric store that sells leather will have a bin full of bits and pieces of every size and texture.

I cut my stencil the same size as the bookmark to make sure it didn't shift around. And now it also serves as a pattern for future bookmarks!

Inspiration, as they say, is quite literally everywhere. I swiped this chevron pattern from the vents inside my ancient elevator. I'm glad I took a picture when I did because my elevator is being renovated starting this week!

Mark your pattern. I left 2.5 inches for the fringe and centred my design on the remainder of the stencil.

Carefully cut out your stencil with your exacto knife over a cutting board.

Mark your fringe on the back of your leather 2.5 inches from the bottom. Cut the fringe with fabric scissors (or you can use your exacto knife if you don't have fabric scissors).

Place your stencil on your bookmark. Since I used a thin material for the stencil I found binder clips necessary to keep it in place.

Paint two coats.

Remove the stencil. Touchups with a small brush were needed at this point.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

OWU Spotlight: Envelope Clutch

Is it the weekend yet? Almost? Thank goodness! I have been so excited for this coming long weekend. It means tons of free time for friends, sewing and, of course, more DIYs ;) I have a few on my mind so keep your eyes peeled over the next few days!

For now, I wanted to feature my envelope clutches. I had a mild crisis with this one, but it all came together in the end. What I really like about this style is that it can easily be dressed up or down, and the shape really shows off the beautiful tapestry patterns. :)

Have an amazing chocolate-filled weekend!

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Things!

Hello! It's shop update time!

Just a few things this round, but I have obtained some lovely spring fabrics that are just itching to be made into new goodies so watch out for those coming SOON! I have a feeling I'm going to a lot more productive as evenings are getting brighter and I no longer want to curl up in a ball of sadness.

Click here to see what's new!

Black and Gold Tapestry Box Clutch

Blue and Gold Tapestry Box Clutch

Pale Yellow Tapestry Large Clutch

Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY J.Crew-Inspired Necklace

This past summer, J.Crew had an explosion of exciting necklaces. The colours vibrant, the prices intimidating for a poor publishing professional like myself. I took this challenge to the streets of Toronto.

I hit pay dirt at Chaton Beads at Queen and Bathurst. They had the exact beads from the J.Crew necklace. Same size, shape, detailing… Would have preferred them in blue but I can't complain :D

Edit: I recently learned Chaton Beads has closed. Thus taking my heart with them.

Finding appropriate beads is by far the most challenging part of this DIY. As long as they are a similar tubular shape and length, you're golden. Otherwise the design might not form the way it should. Just be aware you're using lightweight beads because this necklace is heavy. I wore it to work once and whenever I bent over and then straightened up, I got smacked in the chest and temporarily winded. All in the name of fashion!

The original necklace. (Photo from J.Crew's website.)

What You Need:

BEADS (55 total), thick chain (like I said, this necklace is heavy!), eye pins, 1 head pin, larger jump rings (small ones just won't support all of your beads), clasp, pliers, round-nosed pliers and wire cutters.

String your first bead onto an eye pin. Using your pliers, bend the wire at a 90 degree angle.

Using your wire cutters, clip the wire so you are left with just under 1 cm.

Using your round-nosed pliers, carefully bend the wire into a loop.

Do this for all of your beads. (One bead goes onto the headpin instead. More about that later!) Using the image of the finished necklace as your guide, start placing the beads in the pattern.

To connect them with jump rings, use your pliers to open and close the ring.

I found it easiest to connect them as I went to avoid the beads going all over the place. I also found it useful to use the pliers to hold and guide the jump rings through each of the loops. Keeping your fingers out of the way allows the beads to remain unjumbled. Take your time. :)

Keep going until you have formed the pattern, connecting the beads with the jump rings.

The very bottom bead is the one you are going to string onto the headpin instead of an eye pin as it does not need to be connected to the rest.

You're almost done! Now cut the length of chain you want. I cut two pieces of chain at 11 cm (4.5 inches) long each. Use more jump rings to connect both your clasp and your beads to your chain.

Wear it!

The best part? This necklace retailed for $100 CDN. My supplies cost under $10. WOO!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Feathers of Gold // Bloglovin'

Hello, all!

My dear friend Jessica recently opened her Etsy store, feathers of gold, and I absolutely insist that you pay her a visit. Her handmade jewellery has a strong art deco vibe and the pieces are simply gorgeous. As a violent admirer of her style, I had to be the first to snatch up one of her creations!

© feathers of gold 2013

Mad love.

Check out the rest here. And her beautiful blog. Go on…

Speaking of blogs, are you on Bloglovin'? I signed up (as I'm sure you've all heard about Google Reader by now) and I love the interface! It's so clean and beautiful:


Click here if you want to keep up with owlswakeup! :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Tooth For An Eye

Happy Saturday!

It has been such a busy week! I have spent a ton of time just getting my workspace ready for my next update (spring cleaning takes us all over eventually) as well as prepping some new DIY tutorials! The Beaded Fringe Necklace had such an overwhelmingly wonderful response that I can't wait to post more! A friend of mine let me know that a Michael's opened up on Yonge Street so that makes future crafty supply shopping super easy ;) Lots of fun summer DIYs coming your way soon!

Stuff gets tossed into this box…never to be seen again.

Folding, folding and refolding.

So besides getting my act together and cleaning my crafty space, this weekend I am spending quality time with my new favourite toy. This will likely be the routine for all weekends to come…at least until it starts getting sunny in the evenings! Bring it on, spring!


This was taken last weekend when the path by my home was pure ice.
Such a difference now! Can't wait until it turns green :)

Probably the most exciting thing that has happened recently next to the camera would be the release of "A Tooth for an Eye" by my true loves, The Knife. This video is so much fun (sparkler dance class!!), the song has beyond exceeded my expectations—there will be no need to listen to other music when this album comes out. ;) I absolutely cannot wait. There is so much to get excited about and I love it!

Get outside!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DIY Beaded Fringe Necklace

Hello and welcome! Today's DIY is the super easy and lovely beaded fringe necklace:

This tutorial is for the red one :)

Supplies: beads, chain, jump rings, headpins, wire cutters, pliers and round-nosed pliers.

If your headpins were all wonky like mine, I find a quick fix is to flatten them between the thickest part of your pliers.

String your beads on your headpins in whatever design you prefer. Go solid, go stripey, go wild. I have used 7 headpins, varying the number of beads per pin to create a triangular shape. I wouldn't use more than 7, however, because they might not fit on the pin at the end otherwise.

Using your pliers, bend the end of your pin at a 90 degree angle.

Trim the ends with your wire cutters, leaving just slightly less than a centimetre of wire left to form a loop.

Using your round-nosed pliers, carefully bend the wire into a loop. This part can be awkward so practice makes perfect! Bending the wire first helps get an even circle. Set aside and repeat these steps until you have enough headpins to make your fringe.

Measure out your chain. I made my necklace 26 inches (66 cm) long. If you want to do a different length, the best way to know where to cut is to either test out the chain in front of a mirror and/or check out a diagram. Always cut more chain than you think you need.

If you decide to make a shorter necklace, it is simple to add a clasp. You'll need two extra jump rings and a clasp of your choice. Clip your strand of chain in half and open up jump rings with your pliers to attach your chain to your clasp. Easy peasy!

Trim the stumpy end off one more headpin and then make a loop. To do this you'll bend the wire down at a 90 degree angle (again leaving slightly less than 1 cm) and use your round-nosed pliers to carefully make the loop.

You can also use an eye pin for this step if you have one long enough! Eye pins are just like headpins (available in all colours and lengths) only they have a loop at one end instead of a stump. But it is easy to make your own out of headpins if you don't have any :)

String your beaded strands onto your new pin as shown below, alternating beads in the colour of your choice as spacers to keep the fringe hanging evenly. Bend the wire to create a final loop at the end of this pin. These loops are where we will be attaching the rest of the necklace.

Using your pliers, open up your jump rings and slip on one end of your pendant and one end of your chain. Close the jump ring again using your pliers and repeat for the other side. And that's it! You're done!

Try out different colours and patterns!