It’s bike season again, and when I pulled out my ol’ ride from the garage, I felt it needed a little more than grease on the chain.
I used spray paint to make my bike two toned: rust red on the left hand side, and baby blue on the right. I painted the wheels yellow. To do this, get someone to help you hold the bike up, and spray in one spot as you spin the wheel.
Note: Be careful not to get paint on the metal frame of the wheel, as this can mess with your brake pads! I learned this lesson the hard way. If you get paint on it, no biggie: just use paint thinner and a cloth or sponge to rub it off; or, as it was cleverly pointed out to me, the paint comes off just as easily if you scrape the wheel with a rock. To avoid painting the chain, use a towel or piece of cardboard as a cover.
I’m in love with costume jewelry. My current crush in this area would be oversize chain link necklaces, like this one by Michael Kors. I did my own little twist on this trend by creating my own yarn-wrapped hoops. I made them out of shower curtain rings, which are super cheap and great for the project because they open and lock closed, allowing you to wear them in a million different ways.
What you need:
- a pack of shower curtain rings. Smooth rings (no ridges or texture) work best.
- ribbon or silk scarf (optional)
You can use any kind of yarn you want for this. I chose to use a soft cotton variegated yarn (I think it was intended for knitting a baby blanket) because A) I like the cool stripes it created; B) It was lying around my apartment and I was never going to use it for anything else.
- To wrap the hoops, all you need to do is cast the yarn on as if the hoop were a knitting needle. It’s important to do this instead of just winding the yarn around the hoop because it is more secure. If you don’t know how to cast on, no fear! Here’s a quick demo I made that shows you how to cast yarn onto a needle.
- To cast on the hoop, make sure to use the “female” side of the ring as the point of the needle, because it’s smoother, therefore easier to slip the yarn over.
- Do this all the way around the hoop. Keep sliding your work down the ring as you go, until the whole thing is covered. I left a really long tail (a few feet) since I had to cast on a zillion stitches with this thin yarn. If you run out, simply tie more string onto the short tail and keep casting on. No one will be able to see it, and my lips are sealed.
- Tie off the string when you finish and snip with a scissors.
- There will be a knotty seam on the hoop. You can keep this on the outside for a more textured look or spin it to the inside.
- Repeat this on as many rings as you desire/can handle. I made mine over a few days as to prevent my hand from cramping up permanently.
There are so many ways to wear these! Here are some of my ideas:
Chain link necklace
If you have plugs you can slip them on. For the rest of us, they have just the right size gap when the rings are open to wear as clip-ons! I was surprised at how light they were and how well they stayed on.
Ribbon necklace with hoop charms
I tied the long ribbon in a bow in the back for an extra somethin’ somethin’.
Ribbon chain link
Silk scarf chain link
I have tiny hands, and this was still really hard for me to slip on and off. If you can find larger rings, they would work better for this. I also found these easy yarn-wrapped bangles from craftstlyish.
I stumbled across this old blog entry from the coveted about gradient tights. Living in Chicago, it goes without saying that I rarely wear skirts without tights. There are a lot of cool colorful and textured tights for sale in shops, but they tend to run at high prices—and get runs in them by the end of the night. I just knew I had to make my own pair of gradient tights.
Since I was already whipping out the ole fabric dye, why not try do a gradient on something else? I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and picked up a bag o’ faux feathers for less than two bucks. Believe me, feathers have plenty of uses. It’s probably best to just keep some handy at all times.
What you need:
- Light colored tights.
- Fabric dye: try Rit, available at most grocery stores
- a bucket
- a hanger
- gloves (optional… but some of us like to keep our skin soft and un-blue.)
- Mix a dye bath according to the directions on fabric dye package. The kind in a box usually requires salt, the bottle does not.
- Rinse tights, or whatever you’re dyeing, in water. The dye takes better to wet fabric.
- Dip the tights in the dye bath as far as you want the color to go.
- Hang them up in the shower with a bucket underneath (your roommates will be glad you didn’t dye the tub). Gravity will make a natural gradient in your tights as the color drips down, saturating the toe more than the rest of the garment.
- Hang tight for a couple hours.
- Rinse the excess color out of tights.
- Hang tights to dry, hang tight once more
- say tight again.
My tights! They didn’t turn out as dark as I had hoped, but the gradient is more apparent in real life than it is in these photos. My apartment is very… dim. My legs kind of look like corpse legs, but hey, I can rock it.
The feathers turned out really well! They look cute if you pin them in your ‘do using bobby pins the same color as your hair, either near the top for a flashier look or as a subtle accent underneath.
I used a needle to puncture the ‘stems’ of a couple feathers and threaded black string through them. This made for a great invisible necklace over a black top, and was yet another way to put them in my hair. To shorten faux feathers, simply cut the stem and peel off as many plumes as necessary to give them the shape you want.