Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

from the weekend: indigo dip & shibori dyeing

shibori &  dip dyed indigo // sarah sherman samuelThis weekend we stuck around the house, handed out halloween candy on friday, went out to brunch and caught a matinee (that movie is cray) on Saturday and then spent Sunday dyeing our hearts out! This is my first time ever dyeing and let me just say it is SO addicting and SO MUCH FUN. Once I got started I wanted to dye EVERYTHING. No white surface is safe.

Above are a few of the finished products. These are the tea towels I made, dip dyeing a few (and some curtains) and also using some shibori techniques to make the different patterns.

shibori indigo dyeing // smitten studio shibori indigo dyeing // smitten studio Here are a few of the shibori tea towels once they were pulled out of the indigo dye. For this technique, I cut down various wood shapes (2 of each size) and then accordion folded the fabric to just a bit bigger than the wood shape. Once the fabric was folded up I sandwiched it between the two pieces of wood and secured it with rubber bands. Wherever the rubber bands and wood blocks make contact with the fabric is where the negative space (white space) shows in the pattern.

Experimenting with different shapes and different amounts of rubber bands create endless pattern options, I could seriously have kept going and going but I had already turned my entire backyard into a dye-house and damn daylight savings time was cramping my style. (Sidenote: the dye does keep for a couple days if you keep it in an airtight container).

dip dyed indigo // sarah sherman samuelindigo dyeing // smitten studioI used this dye kit by Noon Design Studio which gave all the ingredients you need to make the dye, rubber gloves, rubber bands, and full instructions. Other items you will need are: a big bucket for the dye, the wood blocks in various shapes, clothes line/drying rack and the fabric for dyeing.

With how busy things have gotten with both A Sunny Afternoon and Smitten Studio lately, I haven’t made much time for anything but work or play in the form of travel. I forgot how much of a creative boost comes from trying out a new type of craft just for fun. I am currently on a maker’s high! Have you guys tried dyeing?

Images by me via iphone & instagram (I’m @sarahhermansamuel)

5 minute DIY halloween costume

last minute halloween // diy costume // burglar // smitten studioRunning a little behind on the halloween costume this year? ME TOO (insert clenched teeth emoji). I went to a costume shop yesterday and the line at the register was all the way out the door so I hightailed it out of there and turned to my closet to create a quick costume from things I already had. My maternity wardrobe isn’t all that grand yet, so I had limited choice, but a black and white striped dress (used as a shirt) was the perfect beginning to a sneaky little robber costume.

last minute halloween // diy costume // burglar // smitten studiolast minute halloween // diy costume // burglar // smitten studioFor the mask I sliced up a black re-usable grocery bag, cut two holes for eyes, tied it around my head, and done. I then drew a $ on a white canvas bag for my loot and called in my sidekick Pikku. A pattern mixing burglar of course tops it off with polka dot gloves.

One of these years I will start planning costumes before the day of, but it has worked ok for me for a mermaid last year and some creepy dolls the year before, and I swear some of the best costumes come out straight out of your closet.

Here are a few other easy DIY costumes that you may be able to find stuff around the house for.
A Pretty Pineapple
Audrey Hepburn
Rosie the Riveter
Mary Poppins

Sources: Maternity Leggings by Gap // Striped Maternity Tunic Asos // Black Suede Boots by Steve Madden // Gloves by Old Navy

home progress: patio, DIY built-in seating

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioThroughout our renovation we basically gave up complete use of the backyard to the construction crew, piles of garbage, and building supplies etc. Now that things are wrapping up, we are beyond excited to finally be able to use the backyard that we moved from a new modern townhouse into a small fixer upper house to get! I am equally ecstatic that Rupe and I finished another one of our lingering DIY projects, these built-in benches.

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioPreviously this corner of the yard was basically a dumping ground for old plants and old furniture, it was sorrily neglected, but now it’s another full living area (girl likes an outdoor room)! Rupe and I both already took naps on that corner bench (basically immediately after completion, DIYing is exhausting ;)) and I can’t wait to have some people over to properly christen the new space. Clearly the pups appreciate all our handy work too.

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio-crackerpatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioThere is a good amount of space back there so I wanted to create a few different conversation areas. The benches we made create a natural lounge area and I tucked a coffee table and some floor cushions around each of them. I also added a small cocktail/dining area in the far corner where we have been having our morning coffee together. The cement floor was in rough shape so I added a large outdoor rug to cover it up but also to tie the space all together.

See the before, the DIY steps, and all of the sources after the jump…

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house update: DIY built-in shelving

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioWe did it! We finished one of the gazillion projects on our hands right now and I am so happy to share our finished built-ins. We started the project a couple weeks back and just put on the final coat of paint this weekend.

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioDIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioDIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioThe paint was hardly dry before I dove into the garage and started digging out some of our favorite tchotchkes and books that I haven’t seen in ages (8 months of living through renovations and we are finally starting to un-pack some boxes and settle in). It took us (my dad, Rupe, and I) two LONG full days to build 98% of it, and then another day to finish trimming out the front of each shelf and to paint.

This project isn’t the easiest of DIY’s but if you know your way around a miter saw and a router it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds (just takes a lot of elbow grease). We also utilized Ikea kitchen cabinets for the base of our built-ins which made it a heck of a lot easier. The thing about built-ins are that of course they are unique to each room so I will outline the steps we took and hope you guys can take something away from it.

All the details and product sources for as much as I can remember after the jump!

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studio update & DIY shelves

smitten studio // a sunny afternoon // diy shelvesI am embarrassingly still not quite settled in the new studio (although it is doing better then the house right now), but these shelves I put up are helping A TON. I needed some organization in my life more than I can express (If you are remembering the corners of the house that I kind of had finished, like the living room and the entry way… erase them from your mind because they are now almost empty rooms with an inch thick of construction dust!).

Anyway… the studio is now my happy place :) You may notice I also painted the floors again. Thanks to my obsession with seeing other peoples workspaces, I’ve seen so many all white studios and I wanted to switch it up a little, so I went for this floor paint called georgia peach (I had them tint it 20% lighter). It’s bright and light like the white on white spaces I still love, but brings a subtle bit of color in.

Still to do in the studio is: Replace the light fixture, install skylights, find a place for a mood/layout board, and decide what to hang over that love seat.

Shelf DIY instructions after the jump…

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DIY: Sculptural bookends

DIY Gold Bookends // smitten studioI was on the hunt for some bookends when I remembered this vintage pen and pencil holder on 1st Dibs that I had been eyeing and thought I could whip up a little something inspired by it. The making of the bookends turned less into a whipping up and more into a blister inducing fight with my backsaw, but I’m thinking it was worth it. This DIY would have been easier with a sawzall (santa can you hear me. oh wait I mean birthday fairy can you hear me?), but I’m sure my manicure will recover eventually. :)

I shared the full DIY on A Beautiful Mess, so pop over there for the step-by-step.

See more of my DIY projects here.

Image by Sarah Sherman Samuel

DIY – copper wall hanging

Entryway // DIY wall hanging // smitten studioThis weekend I also put my crafting muscles to work with a little project to spruce up our entryway. I’ve been spending so much time in Home Depot that I started looking at the materials in a different way and thought of this simple way to bring the aesthetic of a macramé or woven wall hanging (with a little metallic flair) into our space.

All of our money is going into the renovation right now so we don’t have a lot to play with to decorate and I am SO over having blank walls. So, while I still plan on getting a real deal macramé piece made by fellow Michigander Sally England once our bank accounts have recovered, I made this to tide me over.

DIY wall hanging // smitten studioEntryway // DIY wall hanging // smitten studioPaired with some art, some of my favorite objects and this storage piece, I think it made a big step forward in shaping up our entryway. We bought that credenza, which is really a mini bar, from CB2 when we first moved into our old house (6 years ago) and have never actually used it as a bar. In our last home it was in the bedroom and here it works out perfectly as an entryway piece. I love that it has drawers for small things like keys and sunglasses and bigger doors for hats or bags (hiding all the clutter that usually lands on the kitchen counter).

Entryway // DIY wall hanging // smitten studioGet the full DIY instructions and list of materials needed in the post I shared over on A Beautiful Mess!

To see more of my DIY projects look here.
To see our entryway before look here.

Product Sources: Mini Bar/Credenza is from CB2 (old) similar sized one here // Rug from Rugs USA // Glass dome terrarium (homemade with an A Sunny Afternoon hexagon) // Octahedron Terrarium by ABJ Glassworks // Antler Art by Keri Herer // Brass xo & brass goblet are vintage // Leopard boots by Zara (old) // Basket holding the fiddle leaf fig is from Target

Photography, design, and styling by Sarah Sherman Samuel

DIY – painted floors in my studio

DIY painted floors // smitten studioHere’s the first peek into my new studio! Until recently it has been filled with moving boxes, with the exception of where I carved out a small corner for my computer desk (a glance in here last week and you would swear I was a hoarder), but I have slowly cleared it out so that I can start planning how to turn it into an inspiring workspace. I was getting pretty sick of looking at the ugly brown (poop brown to be exact) flooring and although I haven’t had a chance to do anything else, I figured I might as well start from the ground up, literally.

So, when A Beautiful Mess asked me to share a few DIY’s with them, I new this would be the perfect chance to bring some personality into the space that I’ve been spending most of my time.

DIY painted floors // smitten studioAs this is A Sunny Afternoon headquarters I wanted to make sure to get a little pattern in there but nothing that would compete with all of the products. I’m liking that it turned out looking like an extension of the collection and also as though we just had a party in my office and all that is left is the confetti on the floor.

What do you think? Too much, not enough? The best part is that it is so easy and inexpensive, I could even switch up the pattern whenever the mood strikes.

Get all the DIY details over on A Beautiful Mess and also see the before & after and furnishing sources after the jump…

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DIY a Modern Pendant Lamp

DIY pendant lamp // smitten studioThe ladies over at A Beautiful Mess invited me to contribute on their site with a few DIYs. With a blank slate for a house I figured I would have more then enough projects to go around so I’m happy to be able to share a few over there in the coming months.

First up, is this super easy DIY pendant lamp. My friend Lauren came up with the genius idea of creating a light out of this Ikea dish and I brought the idea to life with just a short list of supplies.

DIY Pendant lamp, IKEA bowl // smittenstudioThis DIY really is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Head over to A Beautiful Mess to see the full process.

If you like this, you might also like my garment rack DIY

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel