What I Wore: Have an old pair of shorts laying around? Instead of throwing them out, you can show your patriotism by turning them into a wearable flag! I collaborated on this project with my intern Val who is a fashion design student at Indiana University. It was super helpful to have two sets of hands, but you could definitely do this project solo. Full instructions after the jump!
Before we get started, remember that fabric paint is meant to be permanent so wear old clothing when doing this project.
- Old Shorts
- Red and Blue fabric paint (preferably a spray so it goes on light and won’t be too heavy/crispy on the shorts. We liked the brand Simply Spray)
- Painter’s Tape
- Star Stencil
- Stiff Paintbrush
- White Fabric Paint
We’ll start with the red stripes on the right side of the shorts. Begin by taping off all parts of the shorts that won’t be painted like the waistband, front pockets, belt loops, side seam and inseam.
Next tape off the stripes. Make sure the tape is pressed down firmly; otherwise the paint will seep through. I used a scrap piece of tape to evenly space each stripe.
Make sure you have something in between the back and front of your shorts. We had a small issue with some red paint seeping through… Not good.
Begin spraying. The lighter and more even the coat, the better. If your shorts have creases in them be sure to spray all angles so they are completely covered. Also, the spray gathered in droplets on the tape and overflowed onto the shorts, so have some paper towel ready to blot between coats.
I can’t emphasize enough how awesome the Simply Spray paint went on. It dried quickly and is soft to the touch.
Now for the blue and stars side of the shorts. We had some issues at this step. The blue spray we bought was too bright, so we concocted our own using the matte blue fabric paint and a lot of water. We had a spare spray nozzle that we attached to the top of the bottle that seemed to work alright. (Always test on a scrap piece of fabric first!)
We affixed the stars (traced onto tape and cut out using the stencil) on the taped off shorts and began spraying, but the mixture was too watery. It soaked through underneath most of our star tape. Time for plan B!
We decided to use some spare white paint lying around the house and stencil the stars in by hand. Get a stiff brush and take a small amount of white paint, making sure to blot the excess, and begin pressing straight down onto the shorts. Again, the lighter the layer of paint, the better.
Now you just have to let it dry! Different parts will dry at different speeds given all the types of paint used.
A lot of the charm in these shorts are in the imperfections. I like the balance of crisp lines and little run over. However, if any paint went through the shorts or under the tape onto the back of the shorts, we recommend a small patch that adds to the “Old Glory” look.
WhatIWore: This project is best for DIYers who have made friendship bracelets before. If you’d like some pointers (or pattern ideas) check out this site to get started!
First you’ll need to cut the original watch band off of your watch. To start, I only cut the lower portion of the band off, while keeping the top half secured as a point of tension for my braiding/knotting.
Next, you’ll need to measure your floss and determine your pattern. I did a simple chevron design, using 16 total threads or 8 threads doubled over. To get a wide stripe as shown here, use 4 threads of navy and another 4 of white per half of the chevron.
The total length will depend on your wrist size. I always like to cut more floss than I think I need - and I used at least 2 yards per thread (times 8 doubled over threads). Now start creating your pattern! Once you’ve reached your desired size, you’ll need to trim off the extra floss and protect your final row of knots. I used a dab of Fray Check and allowed it dry completely. Finish the lower portion of the watch band by whipstiching the ends with matching floss.
Now you’re ready to work on the upper portion of the watch band. Attach floss in the same method as the lower portion and start knotting! After you’ve got enough length, trim and Fray Check as you did with the lower band.
Before you finish with the buckle, you’ll want to make a mini band that will secure your lower strap once it’s on your wrist. Some watches have two of these (a permanently placed band adjacent to the buckle and another sliding band), but I opted for one.
Slide on the mini band and wrap the strap around the buckle, poking the prong through the weave. Secure with needle and matching floss.
WhatIWore: I recently cleaned out my piggy bank and realized I have quite the collection of coins that I’ve picked up around the world. Over the weekend, along with MAJOR help from my dad, I made a charm bracelet using these coins. Here’s how!
- Coins, tokens or metal discs
- Chain link bracelet (I used an old one I had on hand!)
- 9mm Split Rings
- Small square of scrap wood
- Drill Press
- 1/8” Pilot Point drill bit
- Needle nose pliers (Jewelers pliers would be even better)
- Brass or Copper polish (optional)
Heads up! This project involves power tools and other sharp objects. Please use precaution and style yourself up with the proper safety gear (like goggles or gloves) when necessary. Proceed at your own risk!
1. First you’ll need to identify where you’d like the hole in your coin and then position it accordingly under your drill press. We used a small block of wood to help stabilize our coin. We also think it helped with getting a clean cut.
2. Speaking of a clean cut, you need a drill bit that’s made to cut metal. My dad had a 1/8” Pilot Point drill bit on hand that we used.
3. My dad did the drilling, holding the coin steady with his finger. Power tools scare me, so thanks for the help Dad!!
4. Once all of the holes are drilled, you can polish up your coins if you want to! Some of these were a little grimy, so a quick clean up really helped! We used Brasso, but you could use any formula meant to clean metals. Make sure to use gloves and do this step in a well ventilated space.
5. After our coins were cleaned and dried, I started to lay them out in different patterns to determine the final look. Play around with it! And remember, the bracelet will form a circle, so if you’re alternating colors or sizes, keep that in mind!
6. Using two different pliers, a screw driver and a knife, we pried open the split rings and secured them through the hole.
We My dad tried a couple of different ways to get the rings open. Play around with this step and be patient! It’s a lot like putting a key on a key ring.
7. Finally, Using the same technique, attach the coins to your bracelet via the split ring.
You could do this project with so many little things! One reader on facebook suggested guitar picks! The sky is the limit! Just make sure you use the proper drill bit and allow one or two of your “charms” for trial and error!