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Gift and Let DIY
10 evidently EASY, actually AFFORDABLE, definitely DESIRABLE DIY holiday gift ideas based on designer wares.
Hey. Here are ten ideas for fashion-related gifts (for the holidays, perhaps?) you can DIY for cheap ‘n easy based on designer equivalents typically costing hundreds of dollars and will actually be pleasant to receive—no “macaroni necklace effect” here. There’s a BIG difference between making a personalized, very wearable DIY accessory and foisting some half-baked, summer-camp-ass horror upon a victimized loved one that they now have to take to their grave for fear of hurting your feelings.
Our goal here is to find already-covetable pieces that just happen to be ripe for DIY-ing—now is not the time to reinvent the wheel, unless you are very confident in your artisanal skills, in which case, godspeed, it could NOT be me. These ideas are all HR-proof, meaning they have Lowest Common Denominator skill prerequisites but come out looking really cool, and most importantly, wearable. Consider using the money you save on holiday presents to subscribe to this newsletter?? Tips of pointer fingers touching emoji :-)
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Screwing knobs, hooks, and handles into dilapidated facial formations on a structured, hard-walled thrift store purse not only gives them the uncanny anthropomorphism of a character in the ensemble of a live-action Beauty and the Beast or this one really good art piece by a really shitty guy, it also makes them handy to set on a desk or side table and use as a holder for jewelry or other hangable items. Of course, each bag is also 100% personalize-able, and I’d bet with total costs would come out to under $20 bucks, if you live near a good junk store or eccentric hardware store. Dauphinette did it first (as far as I know):
I especially like how the double hanger gives this bag a :3 smile.
The brilliant artist Astrid Terrazas (I get a suicide prevention message from Instagram whenever I try to search her username, @killyridols) gave me permission to share her idea for milagro ballet flats. The word “milagro” means miracle in Spanish, and it’s what these tiny talismans most frequently found in Mexico are called. They trace back to Spanish colonizers, and can be used as part of myriad religious or secular practices, so I personally feel comfortable using them as semi-sacred decorative elements in my outfits and home decor. They’re great on necklaces or other jewelry like the examples a few sections below, but Astrid’s idea to sew them onto an old pair of sturdy fabric flats is especially compelling (you could even ask the giftee to give you an under-worn pair of their own flats for upgrading so sizing won’t be an issue):
These huge Paloma Wool earrings are literally just a funnel/bouquet of tulle ribbon attached to a post. please, for the love of god, make them
for me. Use hot glue, a ribbon, and an earring from a craft store.
Big Eyelet Headband
Here is how to insert an eyelet into fabric, and below is some prime headband real estate in which to do it (search “yoga headband” for the right construction and width).
A chatelaine is an ornament tracing back to Ancient Rome, usually fastened to a belt or pocket, with chains bearing hooks on which to hang small articles such as watches, keys, seals (!), ear scoops (!!), writing tablets, scissors, and purses. According to google. Purchase a foot+long of chain, a huge jump ring, a few smaller jump rings and clasps with which your loved one can attach their loved things, and include a special charm or two to personalize this gorgeous (and utilitarian) thing. I won’t be mad if you support the incredible Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen by purchasing her gorgeous version, but it does look so easily replicable:
Your Own Hair
My internet friendrecently wrote about hair wear, and I’ve been trumpeting hair as accessory since July, so you must know this idea is validated by worthy sources. Please make sure you are close enough friends or lovers with the giftee that this is endearing and not horrifying. Cut a lock and hot glue/knot it to a hair clip, cover the knot with a little ribbon bow, and there ya go. The height of romance/platonic giftimacy.
Ad Hoc Socks
Collina sells these socks for $70 or $80. The socks below I guarantee (I have road tested each) are receptive to dye and wear in well (I’ve been wearing each pair in for two or three years), so fill a condiment bottle with fabric dye and spurt away.
Start searching now, and by the holidays, you’ll have found a robust selection of personalized charms to jump-ring to a 16 or 17 inch chain with a lobster claw at the end for the perfect, Marland Backus-esque necklace:
Or maybe your giftee is a little subtle or “classy” and you’ll want to use charms all in the same color/colorway:
Or attach ‘em to a carabiner as a keychain:
Or to a thick chain with a long tail as an adjustable belt:
Choose a wide, voluminous beanie and sew three strips of a similar-toned (or contrasting) knit fabric onto either side, making sure the finished braids are heavy enough to pull the sides of the beanie down over the ears. This would look especially good with mismatched, patterned knit fabrics, or maybe all-fleece? Tie the braids into knotted bows at the end, and you need no further accoutrements.
I already discussed this Chopova Lowena beanie in my last DIY-oriented post, but to me, it’s such obvious DIY bait—click the link for my attempt at creating a bowed beanie (it looked pretty good and I put less than five minutes and five dollars into it).
Hope you’re all now busy making crafts to send me for the holidays!