DIY Dip Dye Shoes

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It’s getting colder in Scotland, and the change in the weather is getting me down.  Not that I don’t love Autumn, but I’ve been stuck inside working all summer and would have appreciated enjoying some of the lovely sunshine.  To cheer myself up, I decided to spend a morning dip-dying a pair of shoes, so even if it’s dull outside my feet can look bright and happy.

There are a few great tutorials for this already on the internet.  My method was a combination of these tutorials: Frankie exclusive diy: dip-dyed shoes and iLovetoCreate’s Ombre Tie Dye Sneakers

What you need:

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  • A pair of plain canvas shoes (Primark sells them for only £3!)
  • A packet of dye
  • Salt and warm water to make the dye mix
  • A cloth
  • A paintbrush
  • Vaseline

How-to:

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1.  Prep the shoes:  Remove the laces and set aside (if you have removable inserts take them out as well, my cheapo pair didn’t, so I’ll just have to live with the insides being pink as well).  Cover the soles and rubber bits with a tin layer of Vaseline to protect them from the dye.  Then throughly wet the shoes to help the dye spread.

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2.  Mix the dye:  Mix the dye according to the instructions on the packet (dissolve in warm water and add salt), be sure to do this in as deep of a container as possible for dunking the shoes.

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3.  Dip the shoes:  Dip the tips of the shoes into the dye and hold them in for a while depending on how dark you want the colour to be.  Take out of the dye and dip again, this time letting to dye spread further up the shoes.  Repeat as many times as you like until you’ve got as much colour as you want on the shoes.  I also dipped the heel into the dye to make it darker as well, leaving the shoes lighter in the middle.

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4.  Add more colour:  To get a really bright colour on the darker areas, use a paint brush to add some more dye to the shoes.

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5.  Blend the colour:  Using a damp cloth, gently pat the dye to blend the colour more evenly.  You can even dip the cloth into the dye to add more colour or spread the dye to areas the dipping missed.

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6.  Allow to dry:  Once you’ve achieve the colour you want, leave the shoes to dry for 5-10 minutes.

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7.  Rinse:  Rinse the shoes under running water until the water coming off the shoes is clear (hopefully this means that they won’t turn my feet pink).

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8.  Leave to dry:  Remove the shoes from the water and leave to dry overnight and rub off the Vaseline.

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These are bright and cheery, just what I need to lift my mood when the weather gets cold.  I forgot how fun using dye is.  Keep a look out for some more tie-dye projects as I can’t get enough of it!

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DIY Galaxy Print Shoes

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I have been dying to have a go at tie-dying with sharpies ever since I stumbled across this awesome tutorial for galaxy print shoes.  It took a bit of effort to track down rubbing alcohol (which I discovered is called surgical spirit in the UK – and they sell it in Superdrug), but this was so much fun it was worth all the confused looks I received when searching for it in the shops.  I found a super cheap pair of white canvas trainers and got to work.

galaxy shoes supplies

Time for Tea has a great step-by-step tutorial that is really straight forward to follow.  It basically involves drawing on the canvas shoes with the sharpies and dripping over the surgical spirit (open a window – this stuff makes you dizzy!).  It didn’t seem to matter that I made some mistakes getting the technique right, as any ugly bits can be covered up with the next layer.

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It is a good idea to start with the lighter colours and add the darker, brighter ones later.  It took about 6 layers to build up the colour, and you need to wait for the shoe to dry completely before adding subsequent layers.

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Once dark enough, I added white spaces and stars with acrylic paint.  I used the end of the brush to create most of the big stars, and a toothpick for the really small ones.

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I’m pretty much in love with these, but I haven’t worn them out yet as I’m afraid that the unpredictable Scottish weather will ruin them and I will end up with purple feet!

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DIY: The ‘Taylor’ Blazer

taylor blazer DIY amesstobemadex

There is a story behind this latest project, but it is a tad embarrassing, so bear with me.  Exam stress and the need to procrastinate led me to start watching The Rachel Zoe Project, which I quickly became obsessed with.  I also fell in love… with most of Taylor’s wardrobe, especially a black embellished blazer she wore in an episode from Season 2.  After some googling I found out that it was from Victor and Rolf, and as a poor student I could never afford it.  In most of the pictures it is impossible to tell what is used to decorate the lapels, but I figured something similar might be achieved using buttons or gems.  My mum then informed me that she had a large collection of vintage buttons lying around that seemed perfect for the job.  I snapped up a plain black blazer from the Topshop sale and some strong gem glue and got to work.  So, here is my new ‘Taylor’ blazer.  Hope you like!

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blazer - what you need

What you need:

  • Strong embellishing glue
  • Big buttons or gems
  • Some small seed beads (not pictured)
  • A plain blazer

How to: 

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1.  Lay the buttons out so you have a rough idea of where you want them to be and how many you will need.

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2.  Apply a generous amount of glue to the back of each button with a tooth pick and press them down onto the blazer.

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3.  Once the entire blazer is covered fill the gaps with glue and sprinkle over the seed beads to give extra sparkle and secure the larger buttons properly.

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4.  Wait at least 24 hours for the glue to dry.  Some seed beads will fall off when you pick it up for the first time, but the rest should be secure.

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PS. Lets all just ignore the fact that my t-shirt is really unflattering and that I look tired.  Thanks.

DIY Wrap Bracelets

DIY wrap bracelets - amesstobemadex

I made a ton of these bracelets using Honestly WTF’s tutorial during the summer and wore them so much that the coloured linen faded.  As my training day was cancelled today because of the snow, I figured it was a good time to make some more.  I wish I had more silver chain as I would happily wear these in every colour possible.  Erica has written a great tutorial with clear instructions and pictures.  As I ran out of chain I used some bead trim instead, not sure I like it as much, but it worked.  I also used hemp cord instead of waxed linen as it’s all I could find, but it seems to work just the same.

bracelet supplies -amesstobemadex

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Here’s the finished result:

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DIY Studded Shorts

I have been neglecting my poor blog lately due to an onslaught of reading for uni, but I made up for it today by standing out in the cold to take pictures for this project that I should have finished when the weather was actually nice.

I’m still completely obsessed with studs and when I found these shorts on sale for only £10, I thought they would be the perfect base for a studded shorts experiment.  I only later realised that the denim was not thick enough to hold the studs, but worked around the problem by only studding areas with several layers of denim.  My original plan was to cover the whole of the back pocket, but this was the best I could do.

What you need:

1.  A pair of plain shorts (with thicker denim than my Topshop ones preferably)

2.  Silver pyramid studs

3.  A craft knife

4.  A bit of polystyrene or cork (I snapped off a bit from the base of a frozen pizza)

5.  Pliers

How t0:

1.  Place the polystyrene behind the area you want to stud to stop the knife or the studs from going all the way through.  Make two small cuts with the knife where you want to place the stud and push the stud through.

2.  Use the pliers to turn the prongs of the studs inwards and flatten to secure.

3.  Continue for entire area you wish to stud.  I did the top of both the back and front pockets where the material was thick enough to hold the studs.

Excuse the goosebumps! It isn’t really shorts weather in Scotland anymore.

The Little Things…

The last few weeks have been a bit of a disaster for me.  I’ve had a couple of painful and scary encounters with angry wasps, got caught out without a jacket or a brolly in a sudden thunderstorm and was attacked by the forest when I attempted to exercise.  Despite all this I’m still staying positive.  Here are a few of the little things making me happy at the moment:

Amazing heels that I can actually walk in and only slightly kill my feet during a night out.  I’m so glad I bought these while killing time ‘window shopping’.  If you look close enough, you can actually see where I got stung!  

Sitting on the lawn on a sunny afternoon enjoying blogger Emily Schuman’s book, Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining with Ease, which has finally arrived.  She has such amazing style and taste.  I can’t pretend that I’m not jealous of her beautiful life, though.

Sipping a cup of frothy coffee in my pyjamas on a Sunday morning.  Bliss.

Coming home to a Topshop package always brightens my week (it isn’t a weekly occurrence though, promise!).  I’ve also decided to keep the lovely brown spotted packaging to reuse as wrapping paper.

DIY Moustache Tote Bag

Sometimes DIYs go wrong.  I found this out today when I started what I thought would be a simple tote bag DIY.  I think I may have managed to rescue it though, which I am pleased about.  I’m pretty sure this would have turned out fine if the T-shirt transfer paper I had used wasn’t over 5 years old.  I figured I would share the DIY anyway as it didn’t turn out too horribly in the end!

The first problem was when I realised the writing on the back of the paper transferred along with the design.  I tried to fix this problem by turning the iron down a little, but only half of the moustaches I ironed on after came out complete.  I also found that using an ordinary sized iron made it almost impossible to place the separate moustaches close together.  Because of this, I burnt the edges of several of them.  Eeeek!  Luckily, I managed to scrape the bits of failed moustache off and tried again, filling in the bits that were burnt or just didn’t stick at all with a fabric pen.

It isn’t perfect, but it will do.  If I were to ever try this again, I would just paint the design on.  It was far too much hassle using the iron on transfer paper.  However, I love the design and the bag looks pretty acceptable from further away!