DIY at the cottage

Photographs by Julie Lan

Now that we’ve packed away jackets and scarves, it’s time to indulge in colours and prints. Summer is the perfect excuse to brighten your wardrobe. What follows are some wallet-friendly ideas to tackle while enjoying the sun. Try them while sipping some DIY lemonade. (Squeeze lemons. Strain pits. Add Club Soda and sugar to taste. Drink!)

DIY Metal Head Harness

DIY Metal Head Harness

Thanks to Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow accessories line, metal head harnesses have become a staple for summer’s carefree hobo look. These attention-grabbers are easy to make and making your own, saves a bundle. Give it a try.

Materials

  • Two different types of gold chains, a thick one (preferably with some sort of embellishment) and a regular thin chain
  • Jump rings
  • Jewelry-making tools

The steps

  1. Measure the size of your head. Cut the thin chain to a length that wraps around your forehead. Cut another strand of the thin chain that is an inch and half longer. Connect both ends to a jump ring.
  2. The length of the thicker chain will be the length from the front of your forehead to the back of your head. Cut and attach the thicker chain to the jump rings from the thin chains in step one.
  3. Wear.

 

 

DIY Feather Hairclip

DIY Feather Hairclip

While feather extensions may be hard to maintain, DIY feather hair clips are maintenance-free.
DIYing your own feather hair clip lets you be as flashy or conservative as you like. For simplicity, use single-coloured feathers; for flash, try dramatic peacock or multi-toned feathers.

Materials

  • Feathers
  • Beads
  • A long chain
  • Bobby pins
  • Crimp wire
  • Jewelry-making tools

The steps

  1. Cut the chain into two strands. The length of the strands will depend on how long you want your feather accessories to drape.
  2. Attach the strands to a jump ring. Loop the jump ring through a bobby pin.
  3. Attach the feathers to jump rings and crimp.
  4. Add a few beads to the end of the chain, and then attach the feathers to the two chains.

 

DIY Friendship Bracelets

DIY Friendship Bracelets

As much as we love heavy, chunky bracelets, sometimes it’s nice to go thin and lightweight. And here’s the fun news: friendship bracelets are back in style. One can easily make a few without breaking the bank and customize them in all possible ways. This is the perfect DIY for a Sunday afternoon while you sit on the patio and enjoy the sun.

Materials

  • Scissors
  • Friendship bracelet thread
  • Gold chains and bail

The steps

  1. Fold the thread so that one end is the length of your bracelet while the other end is about six times longer.
  2. Tie a knot.
  3. Start knotting the longer end with the
    shorter end as shown in the picture above until you have your ideal bracelet length.
  4. Knot the two strings once you have your ideal length. Attach a bail and cut off the remaining thread.
  5. Attach some chain and a clasp to the
    bracelet.
  6. Make a few more in different colours.

 

DIY Tribal Necklace

DIY Tribal Necklace

We have all purchased nail polish in the spur of the moment, before we realize the colours we chose don’t suit us at all. Since tribal jewelry is one of the summer’s biggest trends, it is not a bad idea to paint an old necklace with some bright nail polish. The necklace will add a bohemian cool or ethnic intrigue to even the most basic ensembles.

Materials

  • Old necklace, preferably one with beads and multiple charms.
  • Some brightly coloured nail polish

The steps

  1. Paint! Don’t worry about the colours being too bold as that is part of the charm of tribal-inspired pieces.

 

DIY Burberry Shoes

DIY Burberry Shoes

A pair of black heels might match most outfits. But as the tribal trend takes the lead this season, try adding a few strings of coloured beads to your heels for fun. Before you know it, you have yourself a pair of Burberry Prorsum-inspired beaded heels. This pair is versatile enough to take you from weekend-warrior relaxed to nightclub flirt. Pair them with  jeans, a colourful midi skirt or an arm of bracelets. The more the merrier!

Materials

  • Jewelry wire and crimps
  • Coloured beads
  • Acrylic paint
  • A pair of simple heels

 The steps

  1. You can either buy the coloured beads or paint your own. For the sake of this DIY project, we painted our own white faux pearls.
  2. Next, paint the heel orange with acrylic paint.
  3. Strand the beads with jewelry wire and crimp the ends. Make equal length strands for each shoe.
  4. Attach the strands of beads from the longest strand to shortest strand to a jump ring on each side.
  5. Sew the jump rings onto the shoe.

Connect with Julie Lan |julie_lan@hotmail.com