DIY: Cut-out tee’s

It’s been awhile since we did a DIY post, and we were itching to get crafty again. After some poking around the Internet (seriously, what did people do before the Internet?) and a timely post from, we came across some cool cut-out t-shirts that we thought could be pretty easy to try our hand at. 

Some of our inspiration: 

Here’s what you need: 

– An oversized, slouchy t-shirt. Fitted will just look trashy here, not “I’m Coachella-ready”. Pick your colour! We chose tees from Joe Fresh for their punchy colours and solid value. *Protip: learn from our mistakes and pick a solid cotton shirt. The blends feel too flimsy after they’re cut.
– Sharp scissors with pointy tips. 
– Soft pencil or marker if you’re desperate (but a soft pencil works much better).
– Ruler.

We tried two different ideas, one more difficult than the other. There are tons more out there, so try these, then see what else inspires you.
DIY #1: Show Your Ribs
We loved the design of this one, reminiscent of a spine and ribs exposed down the back. Plus, we found a template online from the eternally-handy DIY Queen Martha Stewart that made our first attempt pretty simply. Difficulty factor: 2/10 (but it takes a long time. Have some wine and good tunes on hand while you’re cutting out all of those pesky ribs). 

Step 1: 
Print out the template. Fold the shirt in half to figure out where the centre line is (we like precision).

Step 2: 
Place beneath the shirt. If it’s moving around on you, tape it in place, because you gotta trace that bad boy. Trace the pattern with your soft pencil. Try and keep the pencil lines as light as you can, to make it easier to cut out without leaving any traces behind after.

Step 3:
Repeat above on the other side of the shirt, taking care to make sure the two sides line up. 

Step 4: 
Cut away! Cut out the parts that correspond with the black parts on the stencil – that is, the “spaces” in between the ribs. Take your time, but don’t worry about it being perfect. You are making a torn shirt, after all.

Step 5: 
Wear and collect admiring glances this summer. 

DIY #2: Woven V
This one looks super complicated, but it actually took less time than the one above. The cutting part is super speedy, while the woven effect is a bit trickier. Difficulty factor: 4/10 – we had to play around with weaving the back a few times, but once you get it, it’s a breeze. 

Step 1: 
Lay shirt out and fold *just the back* in half. If you fold the whole shirt in half, you’ll cut through the front. That’s a little too much exposed skin, in our opinion.

Step 2: 
Grab a rule or tape measure to use as a straight line to cut against. Lay it in a “V” along the edge of the shirt, up to the collar. The wider the V, the more exposed your back will be. Pick how much cut-out you’d like and grab your scissors.

Step 3:
Start cutting pinkly-width strips down the shirt, cutting all the way to the ruler. Again, don’t worry about jagged edges or crooked lines – they’ll just add to the effect.

Step 4:
Once you’re done cutting all the way down to the bottom of the V, grab each strip and stretch it out. This makes the cotton roll under, which hides the jagged edges and opens up the spaces between strips. 

Once you’re done stretching out the strips, your shirt should look like this.

Step 5:
This is where it was get a bit trickier. You can either leave it as is, or attempt to weave the back to add a little pizazz. 

To do this, you grab the top strip and the second strip. Pull the second strip under the first and over the top – the second strip should now be at the top of the shirt. Repeat this with the third strip – grab it and pull it under the second and over the top, so now the third strip is at the top of the shirt. Repeat all the way down; you will start to see a pattern forming on either side of the V. 

Step 6: 
Once you’re done weaving all the way to the bottom, cut the very last strip in half and use it to tie the weave off. Tie each half of the cut strip to the strip above to hold your weave in. 

We really liked the look of double weaving it, so we repeated steps 5 and 6 above. Then we realized our shirt looked a little business in the front, party in the back with the V-neck collar in place, so we cut that off to make the front a little edgier. This is the final result: 
Ta da! We’re excited to wear these to Field Trip this summer, to drink tall boys in Trinity Bellwoods, the beach off Toronto Island and backyard BBQ’s. Basically, to any event that involves sunshine and warm weather.

DIY: Wine glass charms

December is here! The first snow has fallen, many houses are already twinkling with lights and, oh boy, the holiday parties have begun. Don’t worry – there’s no need to stress hosting – this holiday season we are sharing our tricks. Take a look at our tips from earlier this week on stocking a home bar and giving gifts that don’t break the bank. We’ve got one more trick for you right here, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3. Unique wine glass charms are functional and pretty so why not try this DIY out next time you’re having people over for wine?

Time Needed: Two minutes.

Tools: Hinge clasp hoops and charms and/or beads.

All the supplies you need.

 Thin earrings will work if you can’t make it to the craft store to get hoops. Just make sure they have a hinge closure like this.

Step 1: Gather your preferred adornments and hoops.

Step 2: Add the charms to the hoops.

Step 3: Use.

There you go, another fast and easy trick. It might even save you, and your manicure, from washing a few glasses.

Rave: Easy Holiday Gift Ideas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And
unfortunately for many, it’s also the most expensive.  Luckily, we thrifty ladies on the fourth floor have compiled this list of easy, inexpensive DIY gifts for the lucky ones
on your “nice” list.

Ed. note: We’ve got lots of DIY ideas this week, in the spirit of making things for your loved ones this holiday season (nothing says love like something homemade, amirite?). Stay tuned for how to stock a home bar and a super easy wine charm DIY!

Lace Earring Holder

Not only
is this piece easy to recreate and adorable, it’s also serves a very important
purpose. Your BFF will love it. Just get your hands on a vintage picture frame (think Goodwill or
Value Village), a piece of lace, and a staple gun.
1.     Cut the lace to fit your frame
(leave a little extra – better to have too much than too little.  You can cut the excess off later)
2.     Pull
the lace taut across the frame, being careful not to rip it.  While keeping the lace tight, staple from
side to side and in the corners
3.     After
it’s stapled tightly all the way around, hold your frame on its side and staple
down toward the edges of the frame. Do this all the way around the inside of
the frame. This makes the lace pop forward in the frame, so you can hang earrings easily.
4.     Cut
off any excess lace in the back, et voila! Might want to make one for youself, while you’re at it.

Ball Pantyhose Necklace

We can thank our girl
Martha Stewart for this quirky gem.
All you need is a pair of sheer pantyhose, some scissors and a few colourful
rubber balls. Here’s what you do:

11.  Cut legs
off stockings. On one leg, tie a knot about six inches from toe. Place balls
inside stocking leg, one at a time, stretching stocking and tying a knot after
each. Repeat with second stocking leg.
22.  Knot legs
together end to end to create necklace.

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

homemade sugar scrub is a great, eco-friendly exfoliant that can be used on
your whole body, especially your dry winter hands and feet. Measure out three cups of white granulated sugar
, one cup of grapeseed oil
and peppermint oil. Mix the ingredients together, adding more
oil until you reach the desired consistency. Portion it out into mason jars, add a holiday gift tag and its ready to
rock. Note: You can use any essential oil to scent your scrub but we like
peppermint this time of year to put us in a festive mood.

Important tip: Don’t overthink it! Sometimes simple is best. Everyone
knows that the way to somebody’s heart is through their stomach. A cookie exchange is a great holiday party
idea and everyone leaves with a bevy of holiday treats ready to be gifted. Invite six to 10 of your closest creative bakers (not you, rice crispy square girl) and
have everyone bring a dozen of their best recipe for each of the guests (don’t
forget an extra batch for tasting at the party) and then swap. 

for your naughty list?

Nothing’but a classic lump of coal. 😉

DIY: Detachable Collars

We are loving the detachable collar trend. A collar can instantly add flair to a simple top, sweater or dress. The options are endless – you only need to tweak shape and material: from peter pan pearl to gold cuff to shiny or pointy rock-star-glam. While we love hitting up the shops, we thought this trend would be a perfect opportunity to infuse our own creativity in something simple, inexpensive and chic.

We decided to try a few versions of this fun and simple DIY project. The processes of making the pearl and sequin collars are quite similar, but demonstrate how varied the result can be due to changes in collar shape and materials.

Pearl collar:

Shopping list: a piece of felt, strands of pearls, goop glue or a glue gun, a needle and thread, thin ribbon, scissors and a felt tip pen.
  1. Outline the shape you want your collar to be on the felt.
  2. Fold the felt in half to cut out a symmetrical shape.
  3. Lie the felt flat and measure out the length of the pearl strands, adjusting the length to fit (tip: leave some extra space on the strand so that it will bend easily)
  4. Cut the length of ribbon in half and sew it to the ends of the felt.
  5. Apply glue to the entire surface of the felt.
  6. Press the strands of pearls into place on the glue.
  7. Use loose pearls to fill in additional spaces – this will make the collar look full.
  8. Leave to dry.
Sequin collar:

Shopping list: a piece of felt, a long length of sequins, goop glue or a glue gun, a needle and thread, thin ribbon, scissors and a felt tip pen.
  1. Outline the shape you want your collar to be on the felt.
  2. Fold the felt in half to cut out a symmetrical shape.
  3. Lie the felt flat and measure out the length of the sequin strands, adjusting the length to fit.
  4. Cut the length of ribbon in half and sew it to the ends of the felt.
  5. Apply glue to the entire surface of the felt.
  6. Press the strands of sequins into place on the glue.
  7. Use loose sequins to fill in additional space.
  8. Leave to dry.
Ribbon collar:
Shopping list: a piece of felt, a long length of thick ribbon, a needle and thread, thin ribbon, scissors and a felt tip pen.
  1. Outline a semi-circle on the felt.
  2. Fold the felt in half to cut out a symmetrical shape.
  3. Sew a piece of thin ribbon on one end of the felt.
  4. Fold the end under the thick ribbon and stitch it down at one end so that it completely covers the felt.
  5. Fold the ribbon over so that it covers the completed stitch and stitch this fold down.
  6. Continue this process until nearly at the end of the felt.
  7. Stitch the second piece of thin ribbon to the end of the felt.
  8. Cut the thick ribbon off with enough space to fold its end under and cover the felt and previous stitch.
  9. Stitch the final fold down and it is ready to wear.

Additional Ideas:

Now that we’re comfortable with the basics of this DIY, we’re going to let our creativity run wild and try some of these other shapes, colours and embellishments. 

DIY: Halloween Makeup

Happy Halloween! We
might be scared of ghosts, goblins and things that go boo in the night, but we
love taking in the wide array of costumes that come with this pseudo-holiday, especially those that display some
wit and artistry. And, boy, are we ready to indulge in the treats of the
While we all have an
inner geek or diva to tap for costume inspiration (and know how we want to dress our pets too) most of us aren’t trained
special effects makeup artists. Not to fear! We’ve found some tricks up our sleeves that are sure to earn you extra treats tonight. Check out these great
tutorials from the fourth floor and beyond:
Fake wounds:
Not for the faint of
heart. All you need is a little bit of flesh latex, fake blood, red, taupe,
brown and black makeup, a sponge, toothpicks and Q-tips to make an incredibly realistic
gash or laceration like the one below.
  1. Clean the area you want to build a wound on of dirt and oil.
  2. Apply flesh latex to the area and use Q-tips to create the shape of an open wound. Trick one: to add more detail/jagged edges wait until the latex is semi-dry and sticky, then use toothpicks to mould it. Trick two: to create the illusion of a deeper wound, use tissue paper with the latex to build up the outer area of the wound (note: this will require more drying time).
  3. Once the latex is dry, use the sponge to apply coloured makeup. Add shading that calls to mind bruising or putrid, rotting flesh.
  4. Add fake blood to the centre of the wound and smear some outside it.

Eye-popping alterations:

Are you channelling a cartoon character or starlet from Hollywood’s golden days this year? It doesn’t take much outside the standard makeup kit to make your peepers pop. If you don’t have these around you may want to pick up: false lashes, lash glue, black liquid liner and a white eye pencil. The more committed may want to pick up some eyebrow wax and sealer.
  1. Apply concealer and foundation to create a smooth skin finish.
  2. Apply eyeshadow as usual, using your character for inspiration to determine colour and intensity.
  3. Line the top of the upper lash line with a black liquid liner (again using your character’s look as a guide: for example, thicker for Betty Boop and thinner for Marilyn Monroe) and the inside of the lower lash with the white pencil.
  4. Fake lashes: Glue on your falsies. For the beginner, we recommend strips rather than singles. Before applying the lashes hold them up to the lashline you are applying them to – you may need to trim the length so they fit comfortably. If you’re using professional eyelash glue, apply it to the base of the fake lashes and wait for it to get tacky before pressing them on (most drugstore glue brands will be tacky right away). Position the falsies and wait a couple minutes for them to fully dry before applying mascara.
    *Tip: use a foaming face wash to remove the eyelashes. If you wash the glue off the base after removal and reform the falsies before leaving them to dry they can be used again.
  5. Brand new brows: Either use eye shadow and/or a brow pencil to fill the eyebrows in so that they have the distinctive linear quality of a cartoon character or cover the eyebrows and draw the preferred shape on with liner. Covering the eyebrows can be a tricky process that requires patience more than anything. First, use a professional eyebrow wax followed by a sealant or a glue stick to cover over the brows. The best bet if you’re using a glue stick (just make sure it is washable and water-based, you MacGyver) is to coat the brows in the direction of hair growth and allow the glue to set in several thin layers since they go on smoother and dry better. Once the brows are fully dry, cover them over with foundation and follow with a loose powder. Now you’re free to draw on new brows or even affix a feather or bit of lace. *Tip: don’t lose those real full brows trying to remove the makeup after. Press a warm, damp wash cloth to the area to loosen up the sealant before attempting to remove it with soap; you can add eye makeup remover to the mix as well. If you’re nervous it doesn’t hurt to test the product somewhere else first!

Remember this is a fun holiday – it’s not about perfection. For most of us the opportunity to go crazy with makeup only comes around once a year so we are itching to try something new. Here are a few more inspiring tutorials if you’re feeling ambitious:

DIY: Studded Denim

Studded errything has been all over the interwebs lately.
We love, love, love the look and wanted to attempt one of our faves in this
edition of DIY with the studded denim shorts. This really easy project has a
big impact.

Time needed: 45

Step 1:
Find your studs. We purchased ours at Neveren’s Sewing Supply Store (451 Queen St. W.), however, studs are cheap and easy to
online too.

Step 2:
Get studs out and pliers ready to craft with!
You’ll need approximately 40 studs.

Step 3: 
Plan where you would like to stud your denim.
Although top of the front pocket is a great look, we choose to stud our back
pockets. Use a permanent marker to plan where your studs will be placed. This
ensures that your studs are in (relatively) straight lines.

Step 4:
Keep studding till you have a finished product.

Step 5:
Rock your studded denim, and use extras to place onto other items (not to be worn together, please. One at a time), such as these rad studded converse shoes.

DIY: Golden figurines

We’re always looking for cool new ways to inject a little personality into our homes. Preferably as inexpensively as possible, since our tastes seem to always be changing. While perusing one of our new favourite blogs Smith, Here (yes, that is Morgan from Laguna Beach) we found perhaps one of the simplest, yet most awesome DIY projects yet: gold spray painted figurines. For about $10 and 10 minutes of your time, you can create a shiny new bookend or spruce up your coffee table decor with a little gold animal. Here are the foolproof instructions (seriously, anyone can do this and have great results):

Time needed: 10 minutes.
Tools: Spray paint, newspaper and an assortment of plastic or ceramic toys or figurines. We got ours at Dollarama.
Step 1:
Lay down newspaper in a well-ventilated area (preferably outdoors) and bring out your supplies.
Step 2:
Shake can of spray paint for about a minute before using. 
Step 3:
Hold can approximately 10 cm away from figurine and spray until completely covered.
Step 4:
Let dry for at least half an hour. 
Step 5:
Add a second coat or touch ups if needed.  

And voila!

Check out some of our other shiny new decorations:

DIY – Eyeshadow Palettes

We’re avid recyclers, especially when we’re offered benefits for our good deeds. That’s why we’re huge supporters of MAC’s Back to MAC program, where you receive a free eyeshadow, lipstick or gloss for every six empty MAC products you bring back to the store.

We’re such supporters that we have many, many eyeshadow pots in our makeup bags. Many. The unfortunate part about owning so many beautiful shades is that they’re difficult to organize and keep track of. Meaning that the pretty new green we bought last week might fall to the bottom, not to be seen again until December, well past prime season for spring-hued shadows.

A random mishmash of colour.
Luckily, we’ve recently come across an awesome DIY solution for the disorganized makeup bag. Here’s how to get all your single shadows into one lovely,
organized and portable palette! 

Time needed: 45 minutes

15 MAC eyeshadows
Empty MAC palette that holds 15 (available from MAC Pro stores)
Flat iron (think old – something you don’t mind melting plastic with. Preferably not your Chi)
Wax paper
Safety pin
Round labels (if you’re OCD like us and need to
label your shadows)

A smaller, less dangerous knife would also do.
Step 1: Arrange your shadows

Arrange the shadows
to be placed in your palette, and label your palette
accordingly. We suggest organizing by colour. If you have more than 15 shadows,
you can create a palette for neutrals, one for blues/greens, purples/pinks,
etc. (it’s quite addictive).
We heart MAC. Clearly.
Step 2: Pop out the base

Carefully insert the tip of the knife into the little space around the outside of the
container and pop the plastic case holding each eye shadow out of its plastic base. Go slowly. Be
patient. On the first attempt you may have a casualty, so start with your least
favourite color (save All That Glitters for when you’re an expert at
Plastic base and shadow case.
Step 3: Melt the plastic

Heat the flat iron and place a piece of wax paper over the bottom to prevent the
plastic from melting on the iron. Rest the de-potted shadows on the iron to
soften the plastic.
Watch carefully. Fires aren’t cool.
Step 4: Pop out the pan

After two to three minutes, the plastic will be melted enough for you to insert
a tiny pin. There’s a little plastic nub on the bottom of each eyeshadow.
Carefully push the pin through the softened plastic to lift the metal pan. If it doesn’t insert easily,
return the entire thing to the flat iron for another minute. 
This step should be easy. If not, heat some more.
Step 5: Place the pan in the palette

Carefully pick up the metal pan with tweezers (because it’s HOT! – danger warning!). Place the shadow into
the palette into the slot you labelled. If you want, you can attached a small magnet to the bottom of the shadow. However, the glue residue from the original casing will be enough to keep it in the pan.
Do NOT touch with your fingers. Seriously.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Have fun with your beautiful palette! You’ll get a lot more wear from your shadows by seeing them all at a glance, we promise. Time to get to MAC to start working on your next one 😉
Someone likes MAC’s Rice Paper.

Lovely and organized. 
Insider’s tip: It can vary by store/salesperson, but some stores may give you a hard time if you try to Back to MAC your containers with the eyeshadow pan missing. 25 empty pans available online and a tube of crazy glue for less than $10. Just sayin’.

DIY: Dip-dyed denim

You’ve probably noticed that dip dyed denim is all over the
interwebs. You can spot it on style blogs (seen
here  ), Twitter, Queen West and more. By now you know we love DIY of all types,
so we thought why not rummage through our closets and give some old denim a makeover? Sure beats buying something new!

Time needed: Three hours

Tools: Denim, bleach, sink or bucket, washing machine and of course, wine.
Step 1:
Cut the Denim.
Start with clean denim of your choice. We went with jeans,
however, denim jackets or shirts would work just as well. 
Don’t have old denim lying around? Check out the sale rack at H&M – we only had to spend $5. 

TIP: The denim doesn’t have to be cut perfectly prior to
bleaching. Perfect the length of your cut-offs after the bleaching phase is

Step 2:
Pour the bleach.
One part bleach, one part water and you’re good to go! This
can be done in a bucket or a sink, your choice. Be careful not to splash while
pouring, it’s your shorts not your entire outfit you want bleached. 

Step 3:
Dip the denim, yo!
Soak the jean in as high as you would like the jean to be
dyed. It doesn’t have to be even or perfect. Imperfections are what make this
look unique and fun. The denim needs to sit for two hours. At this point, pour
yourself a glass of wine and relax! 

Step 4:
Remove the denim from the bleach, rinse, and wash. At this point, you can alter your cut-offs to whatever length you’d like.

Step 5:
Rock your dip dyed denim!

DIY: Milkmaid braid

It’s an exciting day on the fourth floor – the launch of our first-ever video! Starring the lovely Andie and Natalie, they’ll take you through each step of creating an easy milkmaid braid.

What should our next video be about? Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below to let us know.