Friday, November 30, 2012

The 29 by 30 - Project 12: DIY Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt

I've been wanting to make a new Christmas tree skirt since I first saw this HGTV ruffled tree skirt on Pinterest. I had a moment two weeks ago when I realized that it was almost December and I haven't started on any of our Christmas DIY's and I freaked. But then I came to and remembered that I am super obsessive and can usually finish a project in a day. Which is how long it took to finish the skirt. It's easy but a tad time consuming.

5x5 canvas drop cloth
3.5 yards of linen-look fabric
Glue gun
TONS of glue sticks

HGTV materials calls for a 4.5 x 4.5 drop cloth but Lowes had a 5x5 so that's what I bought. I found some awesome linen-look-a-like fabric that has stripes of gold and I'm all about some bling. HGTV says 4 yards but I only used 3 and a half yards.

So for those of us that learn by trial and error - please read carefully. Fold your canvas in half, half again, then fold over into a triangle. This is where I got all kinds of confused. The original tutorial said the center of the fold should be at the "point".  There are 3 points in a triangle and of course I had the folded center at the wrong point (I mean anyone could make that mistake, right?!). It's a good thing I bought two dropcloths.

Arrow shows where the folded center SHOULD be.
With your triangle, folded center at RIGHT, cut a quarter circle into the left angle (I had to cut a couple of times to make it resemble a circle).

Then cut a quarter circle into the right side of your triangle - this will be the skirt's center hole that wraps around the tree.

At this point you should have a circle of fabric with a circle cut out in the center. Lay your drop cloth out and cut a slit from the edge of the circle into the center circle. This step can't be done without several animals lying around or directly on your fabric. I don't know what I did before I had thirty animals and a husband looking over my shoulder.

And now it's time to start ruffling the linen fabric. Yay! I cut the linen into 2-3inch strips. Put a think line of hot glue about 2 inches from the bottom of the dropcloth and bunch the end of the linen fabric on the glue, ruffling it as you go. I started at the bottom and worked my way up to the top. I started each layer about 2 or 3 inches above the start of the one below it.

After I ruffled, I added some smaller strips of the linen fabric as ties. I just super glued the strips below the ruffle - a tie under every 3rd ruffle. That will keep the skirt together when your furbabies are rubbing their dirty, wet schnauzer beards all over it. Yeah Shooter, I'm calling you out.

Updates will follow when I get some presents under the tree! I've got some more DIY Christmas ideas that I hope to finish this weekend. Are you doing any fabulous Christmas decorations?

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

The 29 by 30 - Project 11: Chain and Rhinestone Bracelet

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I pin a lot of jewelry. I love putting my own spin on all the cool stuff out there. You can find all that jewelry awesomeness HERE. For this bracelet diy, I got the inspiration from i spy diy's chain and rhinestone bracelet. I made my bracelet a tad different but it's the same concept. She has tons of cute diy jewelry and accessories on her site.

40 inches of suede cording
Rhinestone chain
Clasp {pictured in #9}
Super glue

For this project I used bigger link chain {the bigger the links, the easier it is to weave the cording}. I had a hard time finding chain in stores with links larger than the ones pictured but I found this matte gold chain at Michaels which is also where I got the suede cording. AND {insert super excited jumping here} WalMart has rhinestone chain. It's nothing spectacular and kinda small but it will definitely bling out some jewelry. The rhinestone chain pictured is some I actually had ordered a while ago from Etsy and has an AB finish which WalMart's rhinestone chain lacks.

1. Separate your chain into two links- each 6 inches long. Thread the 40 inches of suede cord through the first link in both chains so that the cord is even on both ends and knot once.

2. Bring the cord from the BACK of the chain and thread through to the top. {The top of the chain is where the rhinestone chain will go.}

3. Criss-cross the cord {creating an X} and thread it back through the first link. This step is a little redundant but I wanted to make sure that my cord was secure and wouldn't move around too much once I started wearing it.

4. Thread the cord up through the second link. Add your rhinestone chain to the center of the two chains. From this point on you're pretty much repeating steps 2 and 3. Criss-crossing the cord over the center link of the rhinestone chain.

5. Something that I noticed half-way through my bracelet - you should keep a pattern of which side of the cord you thread first. For example: holding the end of my bracelet with the beginning knot facing me, I thread whichever cord was on the LEFT side of the bracelet through the chain link first so that it was always on the bottom. I'm OCD and really wanted the pattern on the back of my bracelet to look the same. If you're not worried about what the back of your bracelet will look like then you don't have to pay attention to my worrisome ways.

6, 7, & 8. When you reach the end of the chain, criss-cross the cord through the last links and then tie a knot and cut off the excess cord. I secured my knot with some LocTite super glue and then let it dry.

9. I added two extra chain links to each end of the bracelet and attached the clasp. OCD alert: To make the ends a little more even, I attached the extra links on the opposite sides of the bracelet - one end, the links are on the right; the other end, they're on the left. My bracelet would flip over when they were on the same side and we can't be having that!

I hope that explains everything. I really tried on this project to document everything. It was more work than I'm used to which is why it's taken me two weeks to write this post. If you have any questions, please let me know - I'm super horrible at explaining things but I can try ;0)

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