DIY Box O'Luck

After a business conference and a much-needed rest, due to feeling burnt out, I am back with this little DIY.  I shall be making my way to catch up on blogs this week. 

As promised, this year I am showcasing more familial areas and what better way to continue than with textured craft boxes! 

St. Paddy's Day will soon arrive and I am excited because this year I will actually be able to celebrate it with my father. Last year, I had a group of friends in town and made delicious soda bread with a slight unconventional tweak. If you've been following my blog for awhile then you know that I grew up in a very multicultural family, and although food-wise I am typically influenced often by my mum's side, my father's heritage has also inspired parts of my life (albeit indirectly). 

My father's family emigrated to Germany from Ireland, so that's why I grew up knowing some German, and even though other family still lived in German-speaking areas, such as Switzerland, Germany, etc., they were originally from Ireland so I grew up also celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

Stay tuned for exciting food and décor inspiration but for now, enjoy this DIY.

Materials:
4-6 Cardboard boxes or 4-leaf clover containers 
Emerald green glitter paint
Paintbrush 
Metallic gold spray paint
Plastic bag or newsprint lined surface
Plastic gloves
Tape, to hold plastic or newsprint down-(optional)
 *Painting the boxes is like icing a cake! You'll have a lot of fun doing it.

Method:
  1. On a lined surface in an open area, place boxes atop the surface, dispersed at least 8cm apart from each other.
  2. Spray metallic gold paint on each box, slightly turning the box as you spray and making certain to cover the sides, and top of the box. Do this one box at a time. Let all boxes dry, according to the directions on the spray paint bottle.
  3. Next, squeeze out or scoop out a generous mount of glitter green paint on the centre of the box top, and start spreading the paint in a circular motion to cover the too of the box with the glitter paint (not the sides of the box). The paint should look translucent overall, but you may need to add more paint in order to properly cover the box top with a thick layer. 
  4. *Optional Tip: To make faux leaf lines, as you apply the paint, use the paintbrush to draw lines in a diagonal or cross motion in random areas of box. Then, use excess paint from the brush-end by placing the brush-end on the top edge of the box and wiping the paint atop the box. Now, use small circular motions to dab and release the brush. (See the effect via images). Repeat this step for each box.
  5. Let the boxes dry overnight.
  6. Add jewelled stickers or gemstones to the boxes if you prefer. That's it!
Use these boxes as trinket boxes or party favours (which is what I will be using them for.) Otherwise, these would make great storage for small desk pieces (paper clips, USB, binder clips, etc.)
What do you think of this DIY? 


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Simply Style For All

Hello lovelies! As much as I actually do adore certain parts of winter, I am readily anticipating the impending change of season very soon. Boot wearing season is very much still alive and well but there's nothing wrong with grabbing a little fashion inspiration for your spring wardrobe, namely footwear. 

Simply Be carries a range of footwear and accessories that are quite perfect for multiple wearing occasions, including the office, garden parties, date night, or afternoon tea with your girlfriends, just to name a few. Recently, when I perused some of the styles on the site, I had any and every type of fashionista in mind because just like a particular handbag, shoes can say so much about a person be it colour, silhouette or style.  
The British brand is known for influencing and inspiring real women in the world to be confident in themselves at any size. One unique piece that women globally can don is a pair of shoesI am partial to wearing ankle boots throughout the year so I make an effort to buy special boot styles with diverse fabrications or textures, and heel heights. Although, the past few seasons I have been into metallic footwear (flats, brogues, etc.)

Simply Be has collection of new styles to love for the upcoming season. I have curated several style selections from the range of shoes and other offerings to inspire you. Have you ever thought about why you choose certain styles of footwear

 
Above: Shop accessories, including headbands, hats, and sunglasses here. They also offer UK clothing sizes 12-32. This post is brought to you by SimplyBe, a Fashion Tales sponsor. All opinions are honestly expressed and my own. 




Above: 1-Sole Diva-Leather Mules, 2-Sole Diva-Court Shoes, 3-Joe Browns-Printed Ballerina Flats, 4-Jewelled Flats, 5-Loverodbe Jewelled Sandals, 6-Sole diva Leather embroidered Boots 7-Square Toe Boots, 8-Sole Diva Snake Loafers. First image: Metallic Jewelled Court Shoe.


Do you tend to buy the same shoe styles despite the season?



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DIY: Affordable and Time Saving Jewellery Tray

Over the past two weeks, I have given you a few tutorials on fun home décor transformations and party themed projects. Now, this project below is quick, simple and will have you wanting to go out to buy a frame to get started. You can even use an older large frame that you already have in your possession.

I have jewellery boxes for fine jewellery pieces, but I have wanted to create a way to display fashion jewellery and those extra ring trays that I have not used lately, so I decided to create a framed jewellery tray. Remember my mason jar project? Well, this DIY blends that same ease of crafting with a little sophistication and an old aesthetic.

Here's how to create a quick luxe jewellery tray:

What you’ll need:
1 Large picture frame (in any scale of preference)
1 Krylon “Looking Glass“ paint
1 Lint-free cloth/microfibre, for cleaning glass
Newspaper work surface

3-4 Sewing pins/straight pins-(optional)
Metallic brass or gold, and black paint pens-(optional)
1:1 water & vinegar ratio in a spray bottle or on a lightweight sponge-(optional)
Paper towel (to dab water/vinegar mixture, if used)-(optional)

FASHION TALES - diy mirror effectFASHION TALES BLOG - HOW TO MAKE AN ANTIQUE JEWELLERY TRAY

Method:
  1. Firstly, I used an empty pale gold patterned frame that I applied brass paint to with metallic pens beforehand. After it dries, carefully remove the glass panel from the frame, and set the glass aside on a newsprint/paper lined working surface. 
  2. Clean glass thoroughly with a lint-free cloth. 
  3. To achieve a more rustic look, place 2-4 pins on top of the back side of the glass before painting. I placed 3 pins scattered in the corners of my glass and a 1 or 2 on the middle areas of the glass. *You may also use the edges of toothpicks instead of pins, laying them on the glass surface if you prefer or nothing at all.
  4. Next, start spraying the first coat of mirrored paint (according to the instructions on the spray can) spraying directly on the back side of the glass and over the placed pins. Repeat this step for the second and third coat of paint. *Remember, you are only spraying one side of the glass.
  5. Let glass dry. Afterwards, remove pins if any were used, then carefully set the glass panel inside of the frame (with the mirror-like side facing toward the front of the frame. Enclose the frame and use as a jewellery tray or wall art décor.
Extra: I also used metallic paint pens to roughly fill in areas that I felt needed more paint in some of the frame's bevelled edges (see detailed image above). You can embellish this tray in various ways, such as using several sequins pieces and glueing them atop the painted glass.
FASHION TALES - DIY painted jewellery tray

Note: You may use a spray bottle or cloth (with a 1:1 water/vinegar ratio in-between each coat of spray paint, (as mentioned here) if you prefer, however, it is not necessary) since this is a smoother antique finish. When I did this project, it was rather windy outdoors which helped with achieving the ageing on the glass.

What do you think of my framed DIY jewellery Tray? 
FASHION TALES BLOG - DIY FRAME TRAY
The mirrored effect works on any clear glass that you want mirrored. Voilà!  The results are priceless.
I hope now you are inspired to do some of these lovely DIYs. Have a great weekend!


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Charming Gatherings & Valentine's Inspiration

I recently threw an early girl's day party since I was working on Valentine's Day décor, but this one was going to be different. A close co-worker friend announced to a few of us that she was leaving for a year of travelling, so I was asked to quickly put something together, not exactly à la "Eat, Pray, Love" but certainly with detailed tokens to remember.   

I decided to merge the farewell party since I wanted to also showcase Valentine's party ideas. If you're not into traditional lovey-dovey themes, there are other avenues ttake to make it fun. For example, I added humour in darling gift boxes with comedic accents inside to combine sweet expressions, yet also used charming miniature heart cut-outs to balance everythingHere are some tips for blending a special occasion with an already prepared theme. 


How to merge themed parties and ways to make it fun: 

1. Think of one to three crowd-pleasing games: 
Think of games that everyone can get involved in (charades, creative match or guessing games, or a themed bingo, to name a few). It is best to have two in mind in case you end up not doing your first choice. Select games that are easy, engaging and fun! 

2. Dedicated Space:  
If you're putting together a themed party with a person in mind, but you still want the party to be special for everyone, then have a small area dedicated to said person and their interest. 

Even though I knew that I had a Valentine's theme and table to get done, I also added some local flair and décor that the honouree could appreciate, such as travel. Knowing she's a London lady (although currently in Swansea) gave me plenty to work with for creative accentsI knew that the miniature goodie bags that I made with passport stamps would strike her fancy, yet it still did not take away from the main party theme. 
 I made this card label for a travel game that we played. This party theme was filled with DIY creations and playful details. I used passport labels here, then mobile scanned them to design my own label background.



3. Give Yourself Boundaries & Budgets: 
It is very easy to go overboard with decorating, especially when you have a friendly budget or if it's for family and friends because of course, you want them to ultimately love what you've created. However, there's nothing worse than an overdone party that has a major disconnect with the attendees. Make a budget, give yourself parameters and stay within them. 

I always make a budget and I am pretty much either under budget because I save money with crafty DIYs or by finding inexpensive unique pieces. For this theme, I gave myself 3 DIYs to make!  

4. Think on your feet! 
To be honest, we found out about her leaving quite abruptly just a few days before announcing to others of her departure. Therefore, I just took some tube maps that I had, then merged it with fun cut outs to make a little statement. It was effective because I only used it in a small area. Now, for the actual table, I actually used printed foil tissue paper and placed it on burlap fabric to give it a natural rustic yet refined vibe, then I mounted it to the tablecloth with satin ribbon.  
 

Helpful Tips: When you have an odd number of attendees, here are simple solutions to tackle any place setting space issue:  
  • To make your area more spacious, space out the settings, then add second centrepiece in the middle of the even numbered side of place settings to accommodate the area. Alternatively, the space can also be filled with decorations such as an ornate serving platter.
  • Sometimes I use decorative tea towels on each side of the table to draw the attention toward the space in a positive way. Style the tea towel by folding it or scrunching the towel in a pleasing way. View this as inspiration.
  • You can also separate one setting from the rest and have it at the head of the table. This works well especially for a person's birthdayyou have symmetry on both sides with a special setting at the head of the table.  

What do you think of these blended details? Have you thrown a farewell party before?

I used takeaway gift boxes and personalised them with decorated jewelled adhesive gems for party treats and prizes! 
*The goods: View the DIY cutlery votive holders here. Shop some of the Valentine's Day pieces that I used here- c/o Oriental Trading. As always, all opinions are honestly expressed and are my own. View the floral centrepiece tutorial here.


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DIY Décor: The Mercury Effect

I have said many times before, and I will say it again when it comes to revamping pieces one of the first questions that I am pondering is probably, "Can I paint it?" The answer is generally a resounding, "yes," however, it doesn't apply to everything. 

Fortunately, when I was doing a pre-spring cleaning (I know, how crazy! Who wants to talk about spring when it's still winter-ish ... Brrr), I came across another box of extra mason jars that I used for a wedding event. Apparently, I had forgotten how marvellous mirrored paint was. Right, as you may have deducted, yes, I painted them and so much more!  

Take a look at my results below for some lovely inspiration plus a tutorial:  

Materials: 
Glass or Mason jars to paint 
Mirror Spray Paint (I used both Krylon "Looking Glass" and Rust Oleum's "Mirror Effect"). 
1:1 vinegar to water ratio  
Spray bottle or sponge 
Paper towels  
Cloth (lint-free/microfibre) 
Newspaper work surface 



Method:  
  1. On a flat surface in an open air workspace (outdoors is perfect), follow the instructions on the spray can. Then, spray the first coat of paint on your glassone glass at a time. Most people spray the inside but I liked the way the outside looked in a craft before and I sprayed the outside for my first test. 
  1. Use a filled spray bottle or a damp sponge with the 1:1 ratio of vinegar/water mixture to lightly spray over the paint, then carefully dab off the excess water and drops from the glass with a paper towel. This method depends on the effect that you desire. I used a sponge for my jars because I wanted a smoother finish, but if you aren't as confident with having a steady hand or if you want the traditional mercury effect, then I suggest using a spray bottle, as it works quite well. 
  1. Move on to your next coat of paint,  repeating steps 1-2. For the ultimate mirror effect, you may use anywhere from 3-5 coats. I used a total of 4 coats of paint with Rust-Oleum, but only 3 coats of paint with the Krylon version on the other jars. 
  1. Let the paint dry completely before handling. After your glassware is dried, get fancy and use them as posh vases, stylish storage containers, brilliant homeware accents or essentially anything that doesn't involve food (that is, if you painted the inside, obviously).  

Notes: 
The faux mercury glass effect really brings your simple pieces to life. I've done small projects in the past but lately, have a deep adoration for painting glassware for interior décor and gifts. You needn't worry, after a couple of times, you will find your rhythm and the best formulas of layering to get your preferred results. 

In the end, I was pleased with Krylon's Looking Glass the best. It was hard to find for me but I found some on Amazon. Depending on where you are do check your local art/craft stores or department stores in the home section. 

What do you think of my mason jars and mirrored makeover?  

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