DIY Glitter Phone Case

Prada Your Phone: DIY Decoupage Phone Case Tutorial

DIY Decoupage Phone Case Tutorial
DIY Decoupage Phone Case tutorial by Rain Blanken

DIY Decoupage Phone Case Tutorial

I was recently challenged to create a killer glitter phone case tutorial for About.com. But what is there to a glitter phone case tutorial? Add glitter to glue, then apply to phone case. Let dry. Not exactly the most informative or exciting read. Instead, I added a decoupage element to my case that adds this season’s hottest Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Pierre Hardy patterns to my phone case.. without the designer price tag.

Ingredients:

DIY Decoupage Phone Case Tutorial
Everything you’ll need to refashion your phone case. Just like Anna Wintour intended?
Decoupage Phone Case
Cutting up Vogue for the sake of my own fashion.

The phone case was my blank canvas, so right away, I set out on an inspirational hunt through Vogue. I cycled through what I call The Three Stages of Vogue Readership, and came out the other side with lots of inspiration.

Mixing Glitter Glue
Wasting glitter should be a federal offense.

There are more than a few glitter-glue tutorials online, but I have to disagree with most of them. They are always carting out a big ol’ bowl of glitter that poses nicely for photos, but isn’t very practical. We’re only painting a phone case, here, so I don’t need a lot of glitter-glue. Put a dollap on a tupperware lid next to a nearly-equal pile of glitter.

I even used just a blob of glue, then mixed white glitter into one side of the blob, and my other glitter colors into the other sides of the blob. Stop wasting glitter, internet!

Apply the glitter-glue to the phone case, starting with light colors first.


Working with the lightest colors first will make mistakes much easier to fix.

Here is what the dried first layer will look like:

DIY Glitter Phone Case
Let dry overnight. Here is what the first layer of dried glitter looks like.

Not quite solid coverage, so we’ll hit it with another coat:

DIY Glitter Phone Case
Push the second layer of glitter onto the first, filling in any gaps.

The second coat is more about filling gaps. Use a stiff brush to push the grainy glitter mix in there like you’re filling holes in concrete. I’ve never done that before, but this is how I picture it. Don’t let this layer dry before applying your magazine cut-outs.


Now that my ‘beach’ is in place, I can start adding my magazine cut-outs. I put a bit more glue on the spots where I was going to place my pieces, because the glitter-glue was still bumpy. I also swiped the back of each cut-out with glue. Push these into the wet glitter-glue a bit to sink them in.

Let this dry completely, then come back and add a coat of decoupage glue to the tops of your cut-outs, and about 1/8″ away from them. The goal here is to create a seal around each piece. Let dry, then add a second coat. If you’re particularly rough on your phone cases, come on back for round three. Let dry at least two days before you use your phone case.

DIY Glitter Phone Case
Rain Blanken’s finished decoupage glitter phone case.
Burlap Rose Tutorial

Rain’s Burlap Rose Tutorial

Burlap Rose Tutorial
Rain’s Burlap Rose Tutorial

If there is anything that I love about crafting fashion, it is the way that it brings people together. Recently, I bumped into Kirsten Nunez in the virtual cocktail party that is Twitter. Like all great conversations, we started out by complimenting each other on our stuff. She’s a DIY Fashion maven like myself, so it’s only natural that we start pointing at each other.

Burlap Rose Tutorial
Rain’s Burlap Rose Tutorial

Kirsten asked me to do a feature tutorial on her blog, Studs and Pearls, with a twist; an accessory that took only 5 steps to complete and followed a floral theme.

I ended up brainstorming a brooch that embodied the way I feel in New York City; a little lost and obviously from out-of-town, but definitely fabulous.

Check out my burlap rose tutorial on Studs & Pearls. I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it was to create this country-bumpkin beauty.

Detail of R2D2

Star Wars Shoes: Painted Heels by Rain Blanken

Star Wars Shoes by Rain Blanken
Star Wars Shoes by Rain Blanken

Recently, I created a pair of painted heels for About.com. These started out as a simple sunset, but it didn’t take long for me to start flailing and making ridiculous claims about two suns being better than one. This is how most of my projects start… good idea, followed by bigger idea, followed by impossible idea. Luckily, I could tackle this one.

For the full tutorial, visit my DIY Painted Heels article on About.com.

Before:

Paint on Heels Rain Blanken
Chinese Laundry heels before my Tatooine paint job.

Painting:

Painting on Vogue
My Vogue Palette… gotta do something with those old issues!
Tatooine Sunrise Heels
Painting the twin suns on my soles.

Finished Heels:

Detail of R2D2
Detail of R2D2. He’s so freakin adorable!
Star Wars Shoes by Rain Blanken
The finished Star Was painted heels by Rain.
DIY Painted Heels Tutorial
DIY Painted Heels Tutorial at About.com

Get the Full Tutorial: DIY Painted Heels at About.com

Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken

Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses

Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Nailpolish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken

Recently, I created a pair of nail polish strip sunglasses using just six adhesive nail polish strips. This is a great makeover for your sunnies that takes just minutes to finish. I published the full tutorial at diyfashion.about.com…

Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Nailpolish strip sunglasses supplies

Inspiration When you Least Expect it

I recently stumbled across the What I Wore site, where Jessica Quirk created a pair of decoupaged sunglasses using colorful striped tissue paper. I fell in love with this idea, but I am sadly short on attractive tissue papers.

At the time of my web browsing, I happened to be doing my nails, having recently purchased a pack of nail strips. These strips come in creative patterns that can be quickly applied to your nails. Nail strips are perfect for ladies like me who never seem to have time to put together the beautiful nail art that the internet keeps insisting on.

Sitting there, tissue-paperless and inspired, I had an idea… apply nail strips to sunglasses! What a quick way to apply an intricate design to any plastic surface.

I found these Sally Hansen nail strips half-off at Kroger. It’s a good day when you can grab dented cans of green beans and craft supplies off of the same shelf! They had a few animal prints, too, but I am a totally 80’s girl, and these nail polish strips certainly fit the bill. My sunglasses are a pair that I’ve had for a long time, but I don’t wear them that often because plastic sunglasses tend to pinch my temples and give me a headache. Does this happen to anyone else or am I just a total wuss??

Here are the steps:

Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Apply a large nail polish strip to the earpiece.
Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Smooth the nail strip from the center to the edges.
Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Use a thumb-sized nail strip for the lens edge.
Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Clip the both sides of the nail polish strip diagonally toward the lens.
Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Fold down the tabs and smooth into place.
Nailpolish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Add a pink-sized strip to the lower edge of the lenses and you’re done!
Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken
Nailpolish Strip Sunglasses by Rain Blanken

I’d love to see your interpretations of this fast DIY!

I’m really happy with my nail polish strip sunglasses. I’ll have to circle back to the tissue paper decoupage project after another child’s birthday party. After I completed my sunglasses, I looked online and discovered the my fellow DIYer, Kirsten Nunez, created some variations on this same idea:

Scalloped Nail Polish Sunglasses
by Kristen Nunez

Nail Polish Strip Sunglasses
by Kristen Nunez

Post your photos to DIY Fashion’s Facebook…

Film Noir Project DIY

Dark City-Inspired Jewelry: Film Noir Project DIY

Film Noir Project DIY
Film Noir Project DIY by Rain Blanken

During my latest New York Fashion Week frolic, I spent some time in the upstairs workshop of M&J Trimming. This is where Michelle Levy, the Lead Designer for M&J Trimming’s Project DIY, brainstorms fun projects that come complete with a theme and everything you need to build them.

Film Noir Project DIY
My latest Project DIY box doubles as a work space.

Project DIY will send a box straight to your door that contains all of the jewels, chains, notions and even tools to make beautiful jewelry projects. Not only that, but they come with a theme. From hardcore punk cuffs to glittering baroque-inspired earrings, each box is a different world for you to explore in the best way… through jewelry!

Actually, what I love best about the themes and materials is what you guys are out there doing with them. Not only can I build a Joan of Arc bracelet, but I get to see, through the Project DIY community, how everyone else interpreted the project.

Dark City-Inspired Jewelry

The January box was Film Noir themed, dripping with all the mystery of classic crime drama.

Film Noir
Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in Out of the Past Photo: RKO Radio Pictures for promotional use.

But mine was a very specific crime drama; one that is probably vintage now, but a lot younger than it’s hard-boiled counterparts. I like a little sci-fi with my detective stories.

My Film Noir character was all about hushed whispers in the corner of the lounge. She was Jennifer Connelly caressing an old ribbon-style microphone, crooning in Dark City,

Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore. Hold me close, sway me more…

Dark City-inspired jewelry
Connelly in Dark City

The Dark Romance charm bracelet remains my favorite piece from the set. I was able to use the Film Noir packaging to decoupage an ominous ‘knock’ to the flat heart charm provided.

Dark City-inspired jewelry ala Project DIY
Dark City-inspired jewelry ala Project DIY

The ribbon and chain belt project was easy, but it took me a long time, as I got picky with how my gray and black ribbons were twisting through the links. Can you see the Dark City inspiration in this one? There’s no way out!

Dark City-inspired jewelry
A bit more Dark City-inspired crafting

Which way to Shell Beach? Take the express. I highly recommend the Project DIY Film Noir set as a platform to create your own Dark City-inspired jewelry.

See how I customized the Project DIY Film Noir bracelet and belt to fit my personal vision of film noir in my full article on About.com…

Make a Milk Tab Bracelet

Recycle Milk and Juice Tabs into a Bracelet

Recycle Milk and Juice Tabs into a Bracelet
Recycle Milk and Juice Tabs into a Bracelet

My family has held up a great tradition of turning old into new. It’s so satisfying to make a truly unique piece of style out of practically nothing. From pop tabs to chip bags, I thought I’d morphed everything into wearable items, including the plastic grocery bags I bought them in. But as I cracked open a carton of almond milk one day, I happened upon a new little gem: the milk tab!

These little plastic tabs on milk and juice cartons are a relatively new invention. For some reason, people are no longer able to bend and tear open milk cartons like we did at the lunch table in kindergarten. A plastic screw-on lid is now necessary to prevent your milk from making a daring escape. These come with a delightful little pull-ring seal that can can be repurposed into little plastic charms.

Recycle Milk and Juice Tabs
Recycle Milk and Juice Tabs with a bit of decoupage.

My grandma, a wizard at turning garbage into art, probably never imagined these little craft innovations. There in front of the fridge, I examined the attributes of these wasteful little plastic bits. They have a large rounded surface that can be customized, and the rings on them can be linked to create strings of personalized plastic charms. Plastic lasts practically forever in landfills, so maybe I could postpone the fate of this particular milk tab.

I set to work figuring out ways to make things wearable. I landed on decoupage, one of the best ways to turn book pages, maps, photos and more into highly customized art. With decoupage, I could make a bunch of interchangeable personalized charms that offer an infinite number of style possibilities. I didn’t have to wait for weeks of milk consumption to get to my bracelet, either. I asked my buddies on Facebook to start setting their milk and juice tabs aside and the response was overwhelming! I soon had more milk and juice tabs than I know what to do with. Thanks to everyone who trusted in my weirdness and saved tabs for me!

I decided to theme a milk tab bracelet after one of my favorite places in the world: The Columbus Zoo! On a recent visit, I saved my free park map in the feeble hope of finding time to finally scrapbook all of my family’s adventures. Yeah, that pile just keeps on growing, so I used the map to make a milk tab bracelet instead. Follow along with my Milk Tab Bracelet tutorial to see these throw-away plastic tabs turn into charms that I’ll keep for a lifetime.

I’m Rebelling! It’s Spring! Spring, I Say!

Flowered Hair Clip
Rain contemplates trading her sanity for warmer weather.

I’m so desperate to rid myself of my winter clothes and, hopefully, the winter blues as well. Here in Ohio, we have been experiencing a delicate balance between snowstorms and insanity. Our weather is ping-ponging from 50-degree sunny days to blankets of snow and gloom. Meanwhile, that groundhog is somewhere snickering into his evil little paws. I’ll never trust an adorable overgrown rat with my weather expectations again. Fool me once, groundhog…fool me once.

Well, I’ve had it. I’m about to dig my way out of another week of hats and scarves to look optimistically toward spring. Yeah, I said it. It’s SPRING, Mother Nature. Do you hear me? What happened to you? You used to be cool; used to be loose with the warm breezes, and now all we get is snow. Mannnn, sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t understand.

Time for a good old-fashioned rebellion against mom. I’m putting away all of my heavy coats and gloves. I’m going to march my buns down to the garage and start up my scooter. I’m opening all of the windows in the house, then I’ll sit on the porch and just dare winter to show its mealy little face again.

At this point I’m truly convinced (and maybe just a tad desperate enough to believe) that if I embrace the possibility of spring with all the tank tops and bright colors I can muster, then winter will surely be banished forever. Well, for a while, anyway.

So, I’ll be spring cleaning this weekend. Time to take all of the fall clothes from the closet and replace them with items that I hopefully won’t be freezing in next week. Because I’m wearin’ ’em no matter what.

P.S. Mother Nature, please don’t strike me down with lightening or send your henchman groundhog to chew my eyes out in my sleep.

Photo Frame Bracelet

Photo Frame Bracelet Tutorial

Photo Frame Bracelet Tutorial
Photo Frame Bracelet Tutorial

Ahhh, spring…the flowers…the birds…the accessories! That’s my impression of Eva Gabor on Green Acres. There is DIY-to-die-for popping up like tulips this spring. The top designers of 2008 have dispatched a troop of models with boldly colorful accessories hanging off of them. They’ve turned up the hue to colors that really pop; tops and skirts have gone the way of Pollack and Warhol, with a painterly style that’s just too easy not to imitate.

Get the spring 2008 look without cracking your nest egg! Conjuring these colors is as breeze. Show off the artist in you and create hip and bold polymer picture frame bracelets.