DIY Projects

T-Shirt Rehab: Project #1

Like you (I’m sure), I have collected a lot of t-shirts over the years. Sometimes they are free shirts from events, or one of my husband’s that I decide I will use as a PJ shirt and it never quite makes the cute, either way, I have  a lot of them. So, I figured what better way to put them to use than re-purposing them.

I wanted to start simple, and show how I size down t-shirts that are too large. Here is how I took a men’s size medium and altered it a women’s small.

Step One: Figure out which shirt you want to alter, then find a shirt that fits nicely that you’d like it to mimic. Turn the larger shirt inside out and lay the smaller shirt on top. Make sure the shoulders line up and your smaller shirt is directly in the center.

Step Two: Take a sharpie and outline the smaller shirt, being very careful not to get too close to the top shirt. You could even use a water soluble marker if you are altering a light colored shirt.

Step Three: Pin along the line, making sure that everything is lining up correctly (i.e., sleeve holes, any design elements on the shirt, bottom hem)

Step Four: Sew along the line, removing pins as you go.

Step Five: Turn shirt right side in. Try it on to make sure it fits right. If it doesn’t, tweak it until it does.

Step Six: Cut the excess fabric on the side of the shirt. Leave a little under an inch, you don’t want to cut too close!

You can hem your sleeves, but I like to roll mine, I find with shirts that have broader shoulders, it’s just easier. If you do roll them, you can add a stitch or two to make sure they don’t come unrolled, just make sure they are hidden.

DIY: J. Crew Toothpick Jeans Hack

toothpick jeans

I have had little time for DIY projects. This one came out of necessity and might not be the most professional job, but I am so glad I made time for it. I have had my eye on J.Crew’s Toothpick jeans for a while now, but they just don’t fit me right. I’ve tried similar jeans and they look worse. It’s super irritating. So I improvised.

I like to clear out my closet on a regular basis. I like getting rid of thing I don’t wear so it’s easier to get dressed in the morning. My Gap Curvy Bootcut jeans didn’t make the cut this round, because I just never wear bootcut anymore. BUT they fit so well! I figured if I was going to get rid of them, I might as well see if I can make them into the pants I wanted.

Toothpick Jeans

I first found this amazing tutorial on how to tailor jeans from The Vault Files. I followed this very closely. The Toothpick jeans have a 26″ inseam and a 12″ leg opening so I kept that in mind when pinning and sewing. This I took the length up 7″ by doing something very similar to this tutorial by Sew Much Ado.

toothpick jeans

I am so glad I did this one! Not, only did I get the jeans with the fit I wanted, but I didn’t spend a dime, which is always pretty awesome. I was a little paranoid to wear them out, because my sewing capabilities aren’t at a crazy great level of awesomeness, but no one noticed and I even got compliments! Super excited!

toothpick jeans

Make This Room


One of the biggest  struggles when redecorating is budget, and while I’d love to say DIYing your way through a room saves you money, that’s not always the case. Here are some amazing tutorials I found while browsing online that look so close or better than their source of inspiration!

1. Dodecahedron Pendant Light $440 vs. $10

View Along the Way is a great blog with wonderful, well designed DIY projects! I am obsessed with the dodecahedron pendant light. I think that Kelly’s DIYed version is much cuter than the original.

2. United States Chalkboard Map $168 vs. $8

Stephanie Lynn has a wonderful tutorial of this chalk board map for a much more affordable price. Her method is so easy, it looks professional.

3. Reclaimed Octagon Mirror $348 vs. $50

Kelly from View Along the Way made the mirror for free using a wood pallet and a used mirror. The only thing that cost money was a digital protractor used to measure angles. I am determined to do this one!

4. Kilim Floor Pouf $249 vs. $24

Erica from Retropolitan figured out how to makes these gorgeous floor poufs from West Elm for 1/10th of the price! Not to mention it’s a very doable tutorial.

5.Veneer Spheres $29 vs. $5

I love these spheres and love the price even more! I don’t like to spend too much on decorative pieces because I change my mind so often, but this tutorial from Hill Country Homebody is easy and inexpensive, so it’s a must try!

6. Chain Rib Throw $79 vs. $22

I love knitting my own blankets, but sometimes the cost actually surpasses the store brand item. This is a very simple tutorial, and can be cost effective if you have the right yarn. I suggest getting a less expensive yarn like this one and washing it first in a lingerie bag to soften it. For a throw as large as this, I’d also suggest doubling the width of the pattern and knitting for 10 skeins.

7. Factory Cart Table $995 vs. $150

Tom and I have had our eye on this coffee table from Restoration Hardware for quite some time, but the price tag so so off-putting! I was super excited to find this tutorial from The Blissful Bee!

DIY: Rope Basket

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out better storage solutions for my house. One of the things on my list was something to store toilet paper in. I came across this rope basket from Terrain, but there was no way in hell I was going to pay $100 (there is no toilet paper fancy enough for that). After researching different basket tutorials and different types of rope, I decided on a super simple project.

I love the added texture it gives, I actually used a crappy 11′ dollar store basket as a template, so it was super easy. It took a little under 2 hours to make, I put a movie on and went to town, but the best part was that I made it for under $5.

You’ll need: 100 ft of cotton clothesline/ Hot glue gun/ Plastic basket (optional)

Step One: Coil your rope into a flat base, hot gluing as you go.

Step Two: When your base is as wide as you like start stacking your rope on the outer edge. This is easier if your are working with plastic basket or bucket as a template.

Keep wrapping until you run out of rope. To make handles leave two sections of the basket loose. I made my handles three layers thick, and then then continued to wrap regularly for the last two layers. Then, pull out the handles and cut. Re-glue and secure as needed.

DIY: Bottom Sheet Skirt

This project started as an accident. For the past few months, I have been collecting vintage sheets for projects. I have a few bottom sheets, and when chopping one up, the lazy part of my brain figured, this would make an awesome skirt, because I wouldn’t have to deal with the gathering at the waist. Thus this project.

What you’ll need: A bottom sheet/ sewing machine/ pins

Step One: Find the corner you’d like to use and cut the length you’ll need. I made mine longer so that I could layer the bottom a bit. Then wrap the piece around your waist to measure how wide you need it to be and cut accordingly, leaving at least  a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Step Two: Sew together the two ends, creating your skirt shape.

Step Three: Turn the skirt inside out and fold the bottom edge up. Pin and sew the hemline. You could choose to stop here, but I added a little pleat in mine.

Step Four: Flip skirt inside-out. Fold you bottom hem up toward the waist. I folded about 9 inches. Using a ruler, measure out the bottom 2.5 inches and draw a straight line using a fabric marker. Pin and sew along this line, making sure to not sew the two sides of the skirt together.

Flip the bottom of the skirt down and you have a nice pleat. If you wanted to go a step further, you could create a waist band. I chose not to, because I always wear belts or tie my shirt at my waist.

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