Saturday, July 28, 2012

Excuses, excuses...

It's not that I don't have a million and a half things to post about, it's more that summer is an exhausting exercise in family-time. Which is fun to be sure, but it doesn't leave a lot of sitting-down-at-the-computer-when-not-working time. Also, two weeks ago today I got married so it was a whirlwind of cheap craftiness before that. Luckily for you, I photographed it all.

Why yes. Yes that was a threat.

One of my last minute, thrown together projects was to make a birdcage veil. I went back and forth on whether or not I actually wanted one, but hastily bought half a yard of birdcage netting and a yard of regular ivory tulle when I picked up the fabric for my dress. I kept trying to figure out how to make a clip or something so a veil would even stay in my very fine hair, but then it hit me - a headband. I love headbands. I have nine million of them and I wear them quite frequently until I have to put on sunglasses and then I can't figure out how to maneuver both.

So the first thing I have to figure out is how to make a headband since of the aformentioned millions of headbands, none of them was really thin enough for this project. Also, it was late and I'd been drinking, but not so much that I thought going to Walmart in the middle of the night was a good idea. So I improvised. If you decide to make a birdcage veil it will probably look much nicer if you just start with a Dollar Tree headband and wrap it in ribbon. It's just that I had a deadline, you understand.

Step 1: Find some crap.

The crap I found is likely over-complicated by the distinct lack of headband. I inculded one that fits well as a template for whatever I was to come up with. You see here some Rigilene, floral tape, plastic coated wire, a former bra underwire, an old beaded necklace, a package of feathers, some hem tape, and a couple of ribbons.

So you can take some of that stuff and stick it together with floral tape.

It's SUPPOSED to look like this. REALLY...

When you have enough crap together to make a head band, wrap the whole thing in floral tape.

I used the headband I liked as a guide to help get the shape right.
And after that, wrap the whole thing in some kind of ribbon. I went with something I had on hand that was a pretty close match for my hair. 

The next step is to attach the birdcage netting. I gathered it by hand with matching thread and a needle and stitched it to one end and also a position at the top as determined by trying it on. 

Gather ye rosebuds... and netting.

Once stitched in place, it is essential that you test the fit while your fiance watches TV obliviously behind you. 

From here the only job left is embellishment. I started with a felt oval:

And to this I stitched quite a few white feathers, and then sewed the whole thing to the apex of the headband. Hot glue would probably work just as well, but I'm someone accustomed to sewing. 

After the feathers were attached, I cut layered flowers out of the tulle and used a very thin needled to gather them and affix beads from the cut up old beaded necklace. These were stitched to the headband as well. I didn't document this very well, but it's not a difficult process. Fold the yard of tulle along the length until it's 4 or 5 inches wide. Cut off the end to make a square, then cut out a basic flower shape. Keeping the tulle stacked together, stitch a circle around the center with a long running stitch. Gather this and tie off your thread. With a beading needle, pull the thread up, stick on a seed bead, then pull the thread back down through the fabric, and repeat until it's appropriately bling-y. I made three flowers, one smaller than the others. 

My bust of Rufus Wainwright models the finished veil for you:

Doesn't he make a pretty bride? 

A closeup of the feathers and "flowers". 

I thought it was just enough to say "wedding," but not so much that I'd feel silly walking down the street. I was pretty pleased with the result, and at a total cost of about $3, I felt pretty good about the investment as well!

I'm married YAY!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Making storage out of nothing at all...

(and other things to do with your sweet Air Supply vinyl collection)

Do you ever come home from IKEA, car bursting with LACK, EXPEDIT, and KARLSTAD, and wonder, "How will I live with so much storage?? I don't have enough things to store!" Yeah, me either. But I do frequently come home with a car stuffed full of IKEA goodness. On a recent trip, we picked up three of the small two by two EXPEDIT units to put behind our new KARLSTAD couch, and another eight-box EXPEDIT just because it was on clearance. We also needed a new coffee table because our previous "two rectangles make a square" set-up was too large for the new couch. So we got a new size LACK that they didn't make the last time we were in the market for coffee tables, which sort of defeated the purpose of the EXPEDITs we were purchasing because we thought we'd lose storage in the coffee table. 


So we got home, get it all set up, and then looked at the nine metric tons of cardboard packaging and thought there HAD to be a way to make something useful with all that. And, while open shelving is great, sometimes you need closed storage. Just a place to dump things randomly so you don't have to look at them. Drawers, for example. To do this, I gathered some tools:

Some cardboard packaging, burlap I'd bought years ago for Thanksgiving crafts, tape, a box cutter, ruler, duct tape, spray adhesive, etc. I also used a sharpie for measuring, and a boyfriend to do most of the cutting. It turns out if you let a man do the cutting, it will come out much neater. 

For boxes that fit EXPEDIT completely with no gaps you will need three pieces of cardboard that measure 12.75"x14.75"  for the bottom and sides and two 12.75"x12.75" for the front and back. 

It would make more sense if this picture were rotated, but it's not.

Tape the three large pieces together on the long ends. I used duct tape on both sides of the seam for strength. Tape the two square pieces to the middle piece to make a large plus sign.

Once the box is made, it's time to make it less like packaging. Lay it out on burlap (any fabric would work, I just wanted something that looked textured and was cheap) and then cut around the shape, leaving about an inch and a half all around to fold over. 

I suggest taking the next step outside because if anything smells worse than burlap, it's spray adhesive. Follow the directions on the can to adhere your fabric. I applied spray to both the cardboard and fabric, waited a minute for it to become tacky to the touch, and then carefully put them together and smoothed out any bubbles.

Again with the weird rotation of the photo, Blogger?
 Flip it over and clip the corners to the cardboard.

Snip, snip!
Next I used the spray adhesive to fold over all of the tops, as well as the sides on the front and back pieces. And I'm sure that's plenty to hold your fabric on, but I decided to take it a step further and go for a more "finished" look by top-stitching around the edges in a matching thread.

Yeah, there's a reason no one makes clothing out of cardboard.

With this step complete I was able to move on to making the plus sign more, er, box-like. Again with the spray adhesive on both the inside of the front and back flaps and the outside of the fabric "tab" still hanging off the sides. 

Eh, you'll figure it out.
Once it becomes tacky, stick it all together.

They're boxy, but they're good.
Well, not THAT good. Yet. See, the corners are a little weak, and the spray adhesive won't hold for long. 

You could probably solve this by duct taping up the corners inside, but I decided to go a different route. Again, using a matching thread, I stitched through the corners; cardboard, burlap, duct tape and all.

Do this for each edge et voila! I also added handles leftover from cabinets we removed in the kitchen to make it blend in with the official EXPEDIT drawers. Those are $35 each. Mine were made from things I already had sitting around the house. PRACTICALLY FREE! SCORE!

Think of all the junk I can hide in there!

You might have noticed that the EXPEDIT is perfect for vinyl record storage. So, likewise, vinyl record covers are also perfect for this project. See the lines here? It's almost exactly the same size as the 12 3/4" front and back pieces. 

I hate to disappoint you, but the WHAM! album itself is long gone, having been made into guitar picks and sold in our etsy shop - To turn this into useful storage, just tape five album covers together like the cardboard above, adding tape on the inside and outside of the corner seams and at the top for strength. I opted to go with a Jackson Browne cover that is not only a more popular music selection around here, but also works with our living room a bit better. 

Don't worry! We have another copy. This one was scratched!

Now all that's left to do is figure out what to put in all those boxes!

- FIN -