DIY Gold and Suede Stacking Bracelet

It’s spring ya’ll! And spring means color – so in honor of the season I pulled out my pink and purple eco-suede lace and soft gold chain and made a couple of bracelets perfect for stacking! The best part is that it only takes about five minutes to make one.

bracelet stacks.jpg

All you are going to need is about an inch and a half of gold chain (I used a 6mm curb chain) and two 12 inch peices of suede lace.

Thread one piece of lace through the last link on each side, and split it evenly. Tie a knot on each side about half an inch down. Tie another knot at the end of each cord. Use an additional link to secure the two ends together – or you can create your own attachment by spiralling a bit of medium-gauge wire tightly between the two knots.

 

Stacking Bracelet Collage.jpg

I have also paired these with my double wrap bracelet – I’ll have a tutorial for that one up in a few days. So what do you think? What color would you make yours?

DIY Curb Chain Ring in under a minute

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a lot of spare chain hanging around your house at any given moment. I hate to throw away scraps – it just feels wasteful to me and I think “there’s probably something I could with this!”

DIY Curb Chain Ring in under a minute!

December brought me an adorable For the Makers box – the Winter Solstice collection – which included this awesome chain “Icy Fringe” necklace.

For the Makers | Icy Fringe Necklace – Winter Solstice collection

 After putting together my necklace I had about 2 inches of chain left over. One day on Pinterest I spotted these super cute rings by A Splendid Assemblage:

Gwen Stefani Inspired DIY Curb Chain Ring | A Splendid Assemblage

But I didn’t have any ring blanks – so I thought.. hmmm I wonder if I could just make a ring with the chain itself? And sure enough – it worked! Let me show you what I did.

DIY Curb Chain Guide

Just a heads up – check your finger diameter before you cut – AND don’t forget to take into account the additional width of the jump ring. You could also bling this out by adding a gemstone where the jump ring is to make this fancy ;)

If you don’t have the supplies on hand, you can snag them from Whimseybox – pro members get free shipping, which is a pretty sweet deal!

Supplies

 

So what do you think? Would you ever wear or make a curb chain ring? Sound off in the comments! Oh and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to so you never miss a DIY!

Easy Blog Stats with Google Analytics

Easy blog statistics with Google Analytics - Yeah I made it!

Follow these simple steps to capture key data about your visitors to help make your blog more attractive to advertisers!

If you aren’t already using Google Analytics to keep track of the traffic on your blog, you really should start. I know that it may seem a little bit intimidating, but I promise you that it will be a good investment of your time because you will have specific data to provide to potential advertisers or ad networks about the quantity and quality of traffic your site receives. Not only will it provide you with critical statistics, but you will also be able to spot potential areas of growth or problems (I’ll explain more in a minute). In this post I’m going to take you through:

  • setting up your Analytics account
  • adding your tracking ID code to your blog
  • how to check your stats after installation
  • modifying your tracking code to allow advanced data collection
  • ways to use your data to improve your site

Each section is clearly labeled so feel free to skip around to the parts that are most useful to you!Ready? Let’s get started.

Analytics Account Setup

First of all you will need to create an account with Analytics – go ahead and click the link… i’ll wait….. –  which you should be able to do fairly easily with a google/gmail account. Next you will need to go to the admin section of your account where you will see a dropdown labeled “Account” and possibly a second dropdown labeled “Property”. If you do not have any accounts listed – that is your first step. Regardless of which option you choose, the next steps are practically identical. You can have multiple accounts on your profile, say for example if you are keeping track of several unrelated sites – or multiple sites on one account … but don’t worry about that too much for now.

You will be taken to a new page which will ask you to provide some basic information about your site and also your account (if in “create new account”). You are tracking a website so select it – and for purposes that will become clear in a minute choose “Classic Analytics”

Setting up your analytics account

Scroll down a bit more and here are where things might look different depending on if you went to “new account” or “new property”. I boxed everything that shows up when you select “new account” in the image below. Fill in all the information it asks for, and select whichever data settings make you most comfortable. Also, when it asks industry category – I just choose the one closest to what I blog about.

analytics_2-5

Final steps on account setup, hooray!

Click “Get Tracking ID” and you’ll be taken to another page which if you scroll down should have a tracking code that looks like this:Google_AnalyticsKeep this page open while we get your site ready to accept the code okay?! Onward!

Adding the code to your site

Ok those of you who use a genesis framework based theme raise your hands. You guys have it easy – just head over to “Genesis” –> “Theme Settings” –> scroll all the way to the bottom where there are the “header” and “footer” code boxes –> Paste your tracking code into the “header” section –> hit save. You’re done!

If you didn’t raise your hand I have two equally good solutions for you

  1. get yourself the genesis framework (it’s awesome to use, great for SEO, and very easy to customize, not to mention a developer favorite)
  2. use the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin by Yoast.

I strongly recommend that you think about investing in Genesis, because if you go the plugin route you will lose some of the tracking options due to not being able to make the code updates that are necessary for some of the features.

If you do decide to use the plugin (which I did for many months until I figured out the “header” trick) you will need to copy the “Tracking ID” which can be found at the top of the page that the script came from. It will be in large bold letters and in my case it starts with an UA followed by a string of numbers. In the plugin settings there is an box for you to add your tracking code – paste it there and hit save. There are a lot of other options which unless you are more comfortable with Analytics, I would leave them on the default settings.

Note: I do earn a small commission if you sign up for Genesis using my links – but I only recommend them because I use and love it and the rest is just a perk

Checking your Stats

Give Google about 24 hours to collect data before you start checking your stats – but once your results show up you’re going to be so happy! Home will show you a list of all the sites you are tracking, while Reporting will give you your actual statistics. There are lots of options but the most critical (at first anyways) are going to be the ones under “Audience”, “Behavior”, and “Acquisition” – click around and explore what information you can learn about your visitors! Audience will give you information about how many visitors you get, how long they stay, what OS or device they are visiting from, and – once you update your code – demographic and interest information. Acquisition will tell you how your visitors are finding you – searches, social media, etc, and Behavior will tell you what they are doing when they get there – are they clicking around, what is the general flow of traffic through your site, page speeds, etc.

Wait, how do I get demographics?!

Demographic information is a HUGE advantage when communicating with potential advertisers – they want to know that their target market is actually using your site when they invest. This is why I said you should enable Classic instead of Universal analytics at the beginning – unfortunately Universal doesn’t allow for the necessary code mods at this time to enable demographic tracking – AND why you need Genesis instead of the plugin! If you click on “demographics – overview” on the sidebar of the reports section you will get a message saying that you need to update your code.

Pop back over to your Theme Settings and scroll down to where you put your script code originally. Cmd+F (or Ctrl+F if you’re on a PC) to bring up the search and search for:

ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;

and replace with:

ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://’ : ‘http://’) + ‘stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js’;

Then pop back over to your Analytics page and hit “Validate tracking code” – you’re done! Again it’s probably going to take at least 24 hours before you start seeing data from this. You may also see a message saying that some data isn’t showing because thresholds were applied – this means that so few people in a particular demographic visited that you would be able to infer the characteristics of a particular individual so Google doesn’t let you see that information. I actually think this is a good thing in terms of privacy protection, so I’m okay with it.

How to use this data to improve your site

Well, there you have it! We’ve set up your Analytics account, linked it to your blog, showed you how to modify your code to get demographic data, and all without losing our minds (hopefully). Now you might be wondering just what exactly you can do with this new-found information? I’m glad you asked.

Including demographics data will help your potential sponsors to see that your readers fit their target market! Help them help you!

  • Make sure your site is compatible across the most popular operating systems, browsers, and devices that are used to view your blog!

I had a situation about a year ago where my site was not working on safari but I didn’t realize it because I was using Chrome but I checked when I saw how many people where getting to my page through Safari. Needless to say I worked quickly to rectify the situation (I was using a free wordpress.org theme at the time, my site is mobile reponsive now thanks to my Genesis theme)

  • Determining your target market for yourself to help make your blog better (future post on specifics coming up – subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss it!!)

Easy Google Analytics for Bloggers

You can see quite a bit of information about what age groups and genders are frequenting your site, and from there drill down on what content they spend the most time with, where they are coming from, etc. This can be useful in planning what topics you want to focus on in the future.

There are lots of things you can learn from your Google Analytics data – how could you use this to make your blogging more effective? Also, what kind of blogging posts would you find most helpful or interesting in the future? Let me know!

Fill Your Brain Friday

While most people are going to tell you what to make this weekend in their Friday roundups, I’m going in a slightly different direction. Ok, really different because I’m recommending two books to read. I love reading, especially a good science fiction (#nerdalert), but I’ve also been known to sport some chick lit every now and again. Unfortunately, you find any here today. But if you scroll to the bottom you will find something else pretty darn exciting.. shhhh no peaking!

The Books

Lockstep by Karl Shroeder

Despite the fact that the main character is only 17 at the time that he puts himself into cryosleep due to the fact that he is lost in space, orbiting a frozen planet – I highly doubt that this book is going to in any way emulate other popular novels where the main character should still be in highschool. Toby goes to sleep believing he will sleep forever (due to the whole lost in space thing) only to awaken 14,000 years later to discover that a) there is a thriving civilization on the planet below and b) it’s controlled by his family, some of whom now want to take him out because they see him as a threat to their domination. This concept is so interesting to me because apparently the society exists by people taking extended siestas in cryosleep only to awaken and live furiously for a short time before returning to their icy naps. Based on the title I’m guessing that the whole civilization lives in “lockstep” with the ruling family’s schedule. There is a short excerpt on the Amazon site which leads to believe that there is something wrong with his brother even before he becomes a dictatorial turd, but no clues as to what. I’m putting this one on my must read list.

Black Moon: A Novel by Kenneth Calhoun

I’m a huge fan of sleep – ask anyone who knows me – so the premise that 90% of the world’s population suddenly becomes an insomniac and goes insane due to lack of sleep? I’m totally there. As in, I believe it. I know that one night of poor sleep is enough to put me into angry bull in china shop mode – so I would probably be one of the crazies. The remaining 10% of the population who can still sleep have to hide it from everyone else because people will kill them.. and honestly could you blame them? (JK… sort of) The main character, Biggs, is a sleeper, while everyone else he knows, including his wife, has become a crazy insomniac. When she disappears into the world on a crazy bender he decides to go track her down only to find that the world is bat**** crazy. One person described it as a new take on the zombie apocalypse, except that the zombies aren’t dead they are just super tired. Ha! Check it out – but be warned, this one might keep you up at night.

Surprise!

Catching Fire – Rent to stream on Amazon

Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! I loved this movie and I’m super excited it is out on video now. JLaw is amazing and I’m pretty sure we would be best friends so I’m just going to call it now. Yeah, we’re best friends. We clearly have so much in common – we’re both good with a bow, walk red carpets, know how to hustle, know how to survive in appalachia… ok actually we have none of that in common. Oh well. This movie is still really really awesome though – they did a great job with world building and making you care about the characters. I still can’t believe that I like Lenny Kravitz as Cinna… but I do. I’m looking forward to the next flick – so this will tide me over until then!

Have I persuaded you to fill your brain with any of these suggestions? Or do you have your own? Sound off in the comments – and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter!

 

DIY Vintage Rhinestone Letter Art

A couple of months ago I received my first For the Makers box – the “Winter Solstice Collection” actually. One of the projects was what they called a “Mercury Initial” which consisted of stitching a medley of vintage rhinestones, sequins, and beads in the shape of my favorite letter. Thier example was stitched onto a glove but I live in Texas and rarely need to wear gloves… so I had to find something else to stitch it onto. A couple of months back I designed and built (courtesy of IKEA) a custom desk into this weird little nook in our living room that nothing else fit into and decided to add an art shelf with a strip of LED lights underneath to illuminate my work surface. My friend Jen suggested that I make a framed letter instead, and I thought it would go perfectly on my shelf. Take a look for yourself!

The Art Shelf

mercury a art shelf

My custom designed and built desk includes an art shelf! Spot any other For the Makers goods?

Here’s a closeup of the final product:

Mercury A Vintage Rhinestones

The frame is a small $4 frame from Hobby Lobby, which I removed the glass from and used it to trace a template onto my cranberry wool felt. Next I used my chalk pencil to trace an “A” onto the center of the felt. I used the edges of the frame as a guide for how big I wanted the letter (though, For the Makers has a template for every letter you can use on their tutorial page). Before I stitched everything down I laid them out to get a general idea of how I wanted it to look and took a couple of pictures for reference later. I tried not to put everything into straight lines because I wanted it to look a little abstract but you can really do whatever with this.

To finish it off I stuck the felt inside the frame (glass off) and put the back on. Voíla! This actually took me several hours to complete as the hand stitching of every piece and figuring out where I wanted it all to go took quite a while – but I’m going to be honest and say I was watching TV at the same time so… take that with a grain of salt.

If you like this you can purchase the materials to make this particular project directly from their website, or you can pick up the whole box (it was a great collection)

Northern Light Votive

Speaking of other great things in the collection – did you spot the Northern Light Votives? This was a pretty quick project – 5 minutes plus drying time – but added a bit of festive sparkle to my dinner table and then later my art shelf! All you do is apply a bit of glue (I used the Gem Tac included in the kit) and spread it out with your fingers to where you want the glitter to end, then sprinkle your glitter over it (do this over a box or paper to catch the excess glitter). You may want to go back and press in more glitter to spots that received less coverage, and overall just to make sure it sticks. I also pressed the rims down into the glitter (like salting a margarita glass ;) ) to make sure they were coated well.

Northern Lights Votives.jpg

Northern Light Votives with an antique finish

The German glass glitter they included is so pretty and I’ve been wanting to try a project with it for a while, but it’s pretty expensive (for glitter) so I hadn’t bit the bullet yet.  What’s really interesting is that the glitter seems to have tarnished over time, leaving a really cool antiqued look that the votives didn’t have initially. 

Well, that’s all I have for now – I’ve really been meaning to share these two projects with you guys for a couple of months but I just kept running out of time. What have you been crafting lately? Tell me about it in the comments below – and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss a DIY!

DIY Dupe: Anthropologie Rambla Tassel Necklace

Last week I discovered an amazing find in Houston for jewelry makers – May’s Beads! They have some of their inventory listed on their site, but the selection in the store is IN-sane! Row after row of beads in all shapes, sizes, finishes, and material not to mention chain, findings, cord, pearls, tools, wire, and on and on. It’s overwhelming how many options you have that if you don’t go in with a plan, well just forget about it because you’re going to spend all your dollars buying all kinds of things. I knew I had to go back with a plan, so I set out to make one.

The Plan

Anthropologie has great eclectic jewelry, but holy crap they charge an arm and a leg for it. So much of their accessory selection appears handmade … well, because it is. A lot of the stuff they sell is actually created in small batches by independent makers – but Anthro charges a lot more for it than the original creators. In any case, I don’t have enough money to buy that stuff… but I can DIY it!

DIY Anthropologie Rambla Necklace Knock Off

Pretty close eh? There are a few slight differences between my version and the Anthro version, but overall I was very happy with it. One of the biggest differences is the length – I’m 5’2″ and the original necklace is 34″ long .. I’m pretty sure that tassel would be in my crotch which is not cute. My version measures a much more manageable 26″ and the tassel just brushes my midsection.

I wish I had a step-by-step photographic tutorial… but it’s just me here and I haven’t figured out how to take the pictures at the same time. But I promise it’s very straightforward and I’ll walk you through it.

Don’t feel like making it? Buy one at my square store! I’ll make it for you :) 

The Materials

DIY Dupe: Anthropologie Rambla Tassel Necklace Supplies - by Yeah, I made it!

  • Black, yellow, and brown embroidery floss
  • 98 –  cream/white magnasite 4mm beads (about 1.5 hanks)
  • 12 – black glass 4mm beads
  • 6 – neon yellow glass 4mm beads
  • 6 – African hammered brass bicone 6mm beads
  • 94 – seamed brass 2mm spacer beads
  • 40″ – elastic beading thread

I also used a large book binding needle to help make the tassels and to remove any obstructions from inside the beads (as needed), scissors to cut my cord, and a dot of glue to secure my knots.

The Walkthrough

STEP ONE

Make your tassel. The original calls for a 4″ tassel but mine is only 3 because I was using my birchbox insert card and it was only big enough to make a 3″ tassel. I followed the instructions for making  tassel at Lula Louise and she has great pictures so it’s pretty straightforward to follow. You can also try the Martha Stewart method if you prefer. After making the basic black tassel, I came back with the yellow and then the brown thread to make the accents. I tied my knots to secure each band in the same place so that the front of the tassel look neat.

Step Two

If you don’t already have one there – loop approximately 5-inches of string of black thread through the head of the tassel, and knot it a couple of times. This will keep the head together and you will use the ends to secure the tassel to the necklace. You should have about 2-3 inches of excess thread on each side.

Step Three

Grab your elastic beading thread, a brass bicone bead, and your tassel. Find the middle point of your elastic (don’t worry if it’s not exact – you have extra elastic there), thread the excess thread from step two through the brass bead, and then tie a double or triple knot around the middle point on the elastic thread. This will secure your tassel to the necklace. Trim off the excess thread from the knot, and add a dot of glue to the knot to secure it. Let it dry while you get your beads ready.

DIY Dupe: Anthropologie Rambla Tassel Necklace Tassel  - by Yeah, I made it!

Step Four

You can do this part one of two ways – either alternate sides adding beads so that you know you are even, or count each side individually. Do whatever works better for you. I’m going to describe the pattern for one side, and you do the same on the other side.

  • Starting at the brass bead/tassel:
    • Repeat 13X: white bead followed by brass spacer bead
    • white bead
    • brass bicone bead
    • 3 black beads
    • 3 yellow beads
    • 3 black beads
    • brass bicone bead
    • repeat 34X: white bead followed by brass spacer bead

DIY Dupe: Anthropologie Rambla Tassel Necklace Beading Pattern - by Yeah, I made it!

Step Five

To finish the necklace you will need to tie a triple knot – but it’s going to be big, so before I tied the knots I added one more brass bicone bead (either strand, doesn’t matter) and then tied the knots as tight as I could. Make sure you pull really hard on the thread to get those knots tight! After trimming off the excess string the knots should tuck inside the brass bead. All done!

Rambla .jpg

So that’s how I made it! It took me about an hour all together, but mainly because I kept screwing up the tassel! What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you can get more makes in your mailbox!

Two It Yourself

What to watch this weekend

The Super Bowl is tomorrow, which means that there hasn’t been any good TV shows for like TWO WEEKS. ugh. As a result the husband and I have watched a lot of random movies lately – some good, some… not so good. In case you are also wondering what to watch here’s  a rundown of what is worth the eye-time or not. And for the lazy in all of us I’m coding the names red if it is available on Redbox and underlined if it’s a Netflix streamer.

The Bad (avoid at all costs)

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters – awful acting, stupid storyline, really bad CGI budget, plus the trio of main characters really wants to be Harry, Ron and Hermoine but I’m not buying it.

After Earth – really strange accents, blatantly a parable of scientology, huge plot holes

The Bling Ring – turned this off after about 20 minutes, no redeeming value as far as I could see. I just got disgusted by the crappy attitudes of the little punks and couldn’t figure out what the message of the movie was. (This one streams on Amazon Prime)

The Good

The Butler – really enjoyed this movie, very interesting juxtaposition of the main character’s life in service compared to his son’s work in the civil rights movement. Helped me to understand why some people feel so passionately about Obama’s presidency.

Prisoners – kept us guessing until the end as to who kidnapped the girls and what was really going on, also had weird religious undertones to up the creep factor.

Quirky But Good

Safety Not Guaranteed – a man (Brendan Deslaurier – male midwife from The Mindy Project) puts an ad in the classifieds claiming to be looking for a partner to go back in time, bring your own weapons, safety not guaranteed. The editorial staff of some small indie magazine finds out about it and goes to investigate, only to have the female intern get wrapped up in the whole scheme. Does he have a real time machine or is he just crazy? Watch to find out – you won’t be sorry, especially when the heat gets hot

The History of Future Folk – the (slightly exaggerated surely) origin story of the bluegrass-like duo “Future Folk” tells the story of an alien man coming to earth to prepare it for the arrival of the rest of his species only to discover music and fall in love. This movie gets an impressive 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Hondo!

The “OK If You’ve Run Out of Other Options”

The Wolverine – this really is a filler movie between the first wolverine movie and x-men days of future past. Lots of Hugh Jackman shirtless… if you are into that sort of thing.

The Purge – the director intended this movie to be about gun control (erm… ok it really missed the mark there) but honestly I saw it more of a look at how we relate to violence in that we look at the events of the purge (people being allowed to do whatever on purge day) as being horrible but find yourself rooting for the family to viciously destroy their attackers as the movie progresses. Oh and the 20-something psychopath kid looks like he could be Heath Ledger’s younger brother (and yup he’s Australian – I can almost always pick them out in movies… they have a look about them)

Well, there you go – a solid 12+ hours of entertainment should you so desire! Plus, I helped you avoid some really dreadful stuff too.. so you’re welcome

Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think? Or do you plan to add one (or more) to your lineup this weekend?

 

 

DIY Inspo: Heavy Metals

It’s no secret that I’ve been on a chain kick lately – and these little beauties are no exception. I really love the layering that many of these pieces have and how it’s girly and yet has a hard edge at the same time. Enjoy!

Inspiration Heavy Metals.jpg

All of these beauties are available on shopbop and from the top clockwise: Abigail Necklace, Multi Chain BraceletMia Fringe Cuff BraceletMonaco Single Bracelet, All Chain Watch Wrap.

Looks like I’ll be paying a visit to MJ Trims or Chain Gallery for some more chaaaaaaains :)

What is your favorite jewelry trend this year? Tell me about it in the comments!

DIY Nightfall “Leather” iPad Mini Case

Last week I received my January For the Makers box and immediately dug into the Sonoran Stone bracelet project, but knew that I wanted to make something a little different from the Nightfall Notebook Cover they suggested (I don’t carry paper notebooks).

Nightfall Notebook Cover | For the Makers

Fortunately my iPad mini was the perfect size for the leather supplied in the kit, so I decided to turn it into a sleeve to protect my tablet in style ;) I utilized the supplies included with the kit, plus a sheet of wool felt to line the interior pocket. By the way – this tutorial could easily be adapted to other sized tablets – just make sure that you have a large enough sheet of faux leather fabric and wool felt.

DIY Leather iPad Sleeve 4

Time to complete:

Day 1 – 15 minutes + overnight dry time for glue

Day 2 – 1 hour

Supplies Needed:

Majority of supplies can be found in the Sedona Sunset collection by For the Makers (in italics) – you can buy the whole collection or just the Nightfall Notebook kit in their shop.

  • “Leather” sheet (mine was approximately 17″ x 8.5″) 
  • Silver Collar Stud
  • Thread in smoke 
  • Needle
  • E6000 glue
  • 100% Wool Felt Sheet
  • Ruler
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  • Binder clips
  • Mini Phillips screwdriver  (to tighten the stud –  can hand tighten)

How to make magic happen

DIY Leather iPad Sleeve 3b

  • Steps 1 & 2:  I measured out the size of the pocket by laying the iPad on one edge, and flipping it over to measure out the amount of fabric I would need. For the iPad mini this ended up being 11 inches. I lightly marked the sides of the fabric at the 11 inch mark for later (on the back of the fabric)
  • Step 3:  I cut down the felt sheet to 11 inches as well – I used my rotary cutter and a ruler, however if you don’t have one you can also use scissors (just mark your line with some chalk or a permanent marker – you can put that side face down)
  • Step 4: As the felt is only 8 inches it won’t reach all the way to the side to be sewn up with the leather. To attach it to the leather I used the E6000 glue. I placed dots of glue around the edge area of the wool, in a very abstract “X” pattern in the center, and paid special attention to placing glue along the edges near the future opening of the pocket so that I don’t accidentally push it down with the iPad when putting it away. Leave it flat to dry (felt size up) overnight.
  • Step 5: fold the bottom end of the fabric up to the marks you made earlier for the size of the pocket. The leather sides should be facing each other, and it will be inside out.
  • Step 6: Use the binder clips to secure the top corners on each side. I used the ruler and pen to draw a guide-line for my stitches a few millimeters in on each side to help keep my stitches straight, though this is optional. Starting at the bottom corner on one side of the pocket, begin stitching small, even stitches all the way up the side.
  • Step 7: At the top of the pocket I sewed an “X” (see diagram below) followed by a double knot to make sure that the corner would be nice and secure.

IMG_5730.jpg

  • Step 8: Step back and admire your work. But not too long – you still have work to do! Repeat the process on the other side of the pocket. Once you’ve finished this side flip the pocket right-side out and use your fingers to carefully press all the seams into place in and smooth the fabric.
  • The Flap:  Sorry I don’t have pictures of this part – the light had really given out on me at that point. Instead I drew you a set of diagrams (located beneath the instructions) Here is how I did it:
    • Essentially, I decided how far over I wanted the flap to go (do this with the tablet inside the pocket to get an idea of how much fabric that will add to your total flap length), used my finger to mark it, and then used a straight-edge and the rotary cutter to trim it. Don’t forget to add a quarter to a half-inch allowance for the seams along the edge. Mine was about 5 inches long. 
      • For me the size of the seam was determined by the difference between the pocket and the flap edges – folding over and sewing up the seams allowed it to sit perfectly over without any weird bunching.
    • Trim the excess fabric from the top edge.
    • I measured in 11 millimeters from each edge and drew a line on the inside of the fabric – this was the point where my folded edge would end up to create my seam.
    • The side seams should rest just under the top seam (so fold it down just a hair further than the other two so it covers – this will keep everything in place.
    • Tie off with a double or triple knot when you reach the other side!
    • To add the stud figure out where your flap closes (with the tablet in it!) and mark a spot approximately one inch or so from the edge of the flap and the corresponding location on the pocket. Use an exacto knife to cut through the fabric (put something inside the pocket to protect the other side).
    • Push the base of the stud through the felt and leather fabric on the interior of the pocket so the screw is facing the exterior. You may have to fiddle with the felt to get it out-of-the-way a bit. Screw the other side of the stud onto the base.
    • I put a couple of stitches around the outer edge of the slit on the flap so that it wouldn’t tear as much from use but you don’t have to. The slit should fit over the stud and keep your sleeve closed!

DIY Leather iPad Sleeve 5.1

The final step came the next day when I realized that the base of the stud was going to be in contact with my iPad, and I was worried that it would scratch it. There are two ways of solving this problem as I can see – however one of them would be to attach the stud BEFORE gluing down the felt and that ship had sailed. My solution was to cut a teensy piece from the leftover felt and use a drop of E6000 glue to secure it over the base of the stud. I let it dry for a bit and BAM!! problem solved :)

Well, what do you think?

Have you ever, or would you ever attempt something like this yourself (considering I hadn’t sewn a single thing before that felt wallet a few months back)?

Have you signed up for For the Makers yet? What are you waiting for?!

Texas Women Bloggers

Sedona Sunset | For the Makers

New year, new crafts! I received my For the Makers box on Friday (it seems to come around the 17th or 18th (based on an n=2) so I can appreciate the consistency of that) – until I got the notification of what the box was going to be, I almost expected the box to be sparkly and really “New Years-y” but I was pleasantly surprised.

January For the Makers Review | Elements of Summer

Unboxing my January kit was very exciting!

FTM has clearly changed up their packaging (probably in favor of less expensive stuff) but honestly I didn’t mind. I have a billion boxes it seems so I really don’t need anymore. They included this stamped cotton drawstring bag which I was able to store all the components conveniently. I prefer this storage method because when not in use the bags are so much smaller AND can be used for other things as well.

As usual the box included materials to make 4 different crafts, and as I had already scoped out the tutorials a few days in advance I had a good idea of the time requirement for each of them.

The Crafts

sedona-sunset-look-book.jpg

Every month the kit comes with this hand-drawn print of the items you will be making created by Evie Shaffer

We were going to a movie at 7:00 on Friday night so I didn’t have time for one of the more complex crafts – so I decided to make the Sonoran Stone bracelet.

Sonoran Stone Bracelet (For The Makers) | Elements of Summer

Laying out the stones to create my pattern was a must

 The part that took the longest was actually laying out the stones in the pattern that I wanted (asymmetrical but not completely unbalanced) and once I was satisfied with that I strung them on the elastic cord, tied a knot, and had an awesome new accessory to wear to the movie that night! I was actually really impressed with the elastic cord – definitely not the stuff I can find at my local craft supply, but then maybe I just choose the wrong kind or something. I loved the mix of semi-precious stones, glass beads, and silver tubes and rings. I think it made for a really nice bracelet and my husband even said it was “one of the nicest things you’ve made so far” (he’s not one for extravagant compliments..).

The finished bracelet was very pretty!

The finished bracelet was very pretty! Just the right amount of sparkle.

I started the Verde River necklace the next morning – but sadly my pliers were NOT up to the task of closing the cord connectors (I have these teeny tiny ones that I bought when I was first starting with jewelry and wasn’t sure if I would stick with it, because.. well… that’s kind of my M.O.) so I need to obtain a real, adult size set of pliers to complete this project. I’ll most likely Insta the results (instead of a full blog post), so if you aren’t following me there you totally should. That’s also where I sneak peek new projects so yet another reason you should follow me!

I don’t have the rolling-pin and a good bowl to use as a mold to complete the Marbled Mojave Bowl, so that is going to have to wait until I make a run to Ross or Marshalls – Whimseybox sent me a bowl project last month as well (air clay with a doily) so I’ve used this time to decide what I’m going to use the bowls for. I’ve also considered using the Marbled Mojave for a pencil/pen holder for my desk at work, but I haven’t decided on a shape yet.

Future DIY Tutorial Alert:

The final project of this box is the Nightfall Notebook Cover – which is really cute! But, sadly, I rarely carry paper notebooks and when I do it is typically spiraled and wouldn’t work for this project. FORTUNATELY, I have an iPad mini, which fits the dimensions of the faux leather they sent perfectly! I’m currently in the process of turning the materials into a pretty wool-felt lined leather sleeve for the iPad mini, and will post my DIY process here when I’m done!

I had noticed that they switched to faux leather this month – either due to vegan customer requests or cost constraints – either of which or both could be true and are reasonable from the perspective of the business. I do wish that it was a nice supple real leather though, not being a vegan myself and l.o.v.i.n.g. a good leather. Oh well, can’t have everything I suppose.

The Verdict

With my Birchbox posts I typically give you a breakdown of the cost of the box versus the value of the supplies – but that is much more difficult to do with this kind of box, and really isn’t the point. As I personally know a bit about wholesale pricing of a lot of these supplies, I could estimate, however I know the creative ladies running For the Makers were professional designers for top companies (Anthropologie, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs) and they probably utilize a different set of vendors than I’m even aware of at this time. A better reading would be do I think that this box was worth the $29 cost – and the answer is unequivocally yes!

Do you receive any crafting/DIY kits? Have you ever considered signing up for one? Join the conversation below!