DIY Pajama Shorts

I love wearing cute pajamas even if no one will see me in them… It’s kind of like wearing cute underwear right? I also love having super unique pjs that no one else will have and having fun with cute prints. DIY pajama shorts is my way of combining these two loves – it’s a cute, simple, and affordable DIY. Once you have the pattern perfected, you can make a whole bunch of adorable elastic shorts in no time at all! Continue reading

DIY Polaroid Travel Board… without a Polaroid!

diy polaroid board title

Yes, Polaroids are incredibly expensive, and yes, the film seems even more expensive after you’ve purchased the camera. So thankfully, this tutorial does not require you to own a Polaroid camera or film! You can easily make your own faux-Polaroids to create a cute travel board 🙂

I spent much of 2015 traveling, and along the way I ended up with many pictures of a special travel companion – an origami squirrel given to me before I left. I’ve always felt somewhat narcissistic taking pictures of myself in front of famous monuments, so I decided that I would remember the wonderful places I’d been by taking pictures of my little purple squirrel instead. With some simple photo editing, I was able to transform my iPhone pictures into cute polaroids without the cost and stress of trying to take the “perfect” shot. They whole project took half a day, and was a fun way of reminiscing on my 2015 travels!

materials for corkboard

Ready to create your faux-Polaroid board? 😀

The first thing you’ll need to do is edit your photos. I printed my photos as 4”x 6” photos from CVS for 14 cents each, but needed them to be 1.5”x2”. I used Gimp to edit, which you can download for free here.photo editing step

  1. Create a white canvas that is 4”x6” with 300px/in
  2. Scale your photograph so that it is 1.5”x2” with 300px/in
  3. Copy your photograph onto the white canvas and export

Once you have your pictures printed, you can move on to compiling the corkboard!

corkboard directions

  1. Add a white border. I added a 1/4 inch on the top, right, and left, and 3/4 inch on the bottom so I could write a description. I measured out the distance, and then marked with a pencil.
  2. Cut out the Polaroids. Cut along the border, making sure to keep your cuts as smooth and even as possible.
  3. Write the description with a Sharpie. I put the date and place of the picture.
  4. Arrange and pin the photos on your corkboard, and you’re done!

This photo board is both a commemoration of traveling in the 2015, a promise for my squirrel to see more of the world in 2016, and a gift to the person who made me the squirrel before I set off on my adventures. I hope it also encourages you to take pictures of moments in your life that bring you joy, and compile them into a cute collection without having to shell out for an actual Polaroid.

My little squirrel has been to Italy, the Netherlands, Paris, China, and Mexico, and is now tucked away safely back home in the United States…. I wonder where else he’ll be traveling this year? 🙂

DIY Onigiri Coin Purse

Onigiri are rice balls wrapped in seaweed, and I think they are both tasty and cute 🙂 Their round shape inspired me to create this coin purse tutorial. Instead of filling your onigiri with dried plums or shrimp, you can instead stuff it full of coins and the miscellaneous debris that gathers at the bottom of your purse. Continue reading

DIY-spiration: Pastries, Sweets, and Desserts!

Traveling throughout Italy and Europe has introduced me to remarkable art, breathtaking views, and…. delicious sweets and desserts! For me, a big part of experiencing new cultures is trying different types of food, and I have a special fondness for all things sugary and sweet. Mmmm….Desserts have always been an inspiration for me, maybe because I love them so much!  My cat macaron plush and mooncake charm are some of my favorite tutorials 🙂

For me, desserts aren’t just guilty pleasures; their delicate forms and compositions are truly works of art. From cute, fluffy creampuffs to elaborately layered tarts, the pastries in Europe are both delectable and a beauty to behold. I wanted to share with you guys my own mini “recipe book” of dessert DIYs, but of course the ingredients will be fabric and cotton stuffing!

brioche instructions

Brioche with a cappuccino is one of my breakfast favorites! I had this particularly amazing Nutella and white chocolate cream combination at a bar in Rome. Soft, buttery pastry combined with rich sweetness of the creams…. Well, I think it would make an adorable and tasty looking plushie 🙂

strawberry and pistacchio tart intsructions

One of my favorite parts of Paris was the amazing and decadent selection of pastries, and I only regret I could not eat more! This strawberry tart had a crisp base layered with pistachio (also apologies for the misspelling in the picture!), a light custard cream, and juicy, fresh strawberries. The beautiful colors and diverse textures would make it a beautiful DIY project.

upside down apple cake instructions

I made this upside-down apple cake in my Italian cooking class. The base was layered with lemon zest and the apples were stewed in homemade caramel. To mimic the layers of the cake and also to minimize sewing, I would suggest building up the fabric by layering and glueing!

Of course, all of these DIY projects are pretty hypothetical, since I don’t have access to sewing supplies. However, I just wanted to share the cuteness and happiness these pastries brought me, and I will definitely post the actual creations when I make them! Let me know which one looks the tastiest to you 🙂

 

DIY-spiration: Chocolate, Chocolate

Whenever I create a sewing/DIY project, I always begin with a theme in mind. Sometimes, its complex and serious; I want to express certain emotions, capture a certain moment, or design something for a specific person. Other times, it’s a little more lighthearted – cats, a , or… chocolate! chocobeer

During a recent trip to Siena, we stumbled on a little chocolate-themed shop. But it was more than just a store of chocolate bars and bonbons; there were also a variety of chocolate gadgets just full of DIY inspiration! And what really struck me was the passion behind the inspiration. Clearly, the shop owner simply loved chocolate and wanted to share his passion with the world. dessert decors signs

What I love about sewing and DIY in general is that you can use it to express your love for anything at all. No matter how simple, any idea can be transformed into a creative project, as long as it makes you feel excited. If there could be a whole shop filled with creations centered only a chocolate, then aren’t the possibilities endless?chocoroll box

DIY Fabric Decor Notebooks

fabric decor notebooks

Cuter school supplies motivate me to study harder- it’s true!  Sadly, my campus bookstore only has over-priced notebooks in unattractive shades of black and blue. So, in an effort to make my notebooks a bit cuter and to procrastinate on doing actual homework, I was inspired to make a tutorial on how to create these simple fabric notebook labels. Use these pretty labels to organize and encourage yourself for a new academic semester! Continue reading

DIY Hot Air Balloon Decorations

Today’s tutorial is whimsical and lighthearted; I’ll be teaching you how to make your own hanging hot air balloon decor 🙂 These balloons were inspired by the image of hundreds of multicolored balloons drifting off into a September sky.  You know how in the fall the sky turns a deep, clear sapphire blue? Now imagine that clear sky dotted with hot air balloons, each one different, each one unique.  What I love about this tutorial is that its easily customized to suit your own personality, and mistakes just make the balloons that much more special. Continue reading