Style yourself with DIY projects

Journal staff writer Jessica Munshaw outlines the steps for three simple and stylish do-it-yourself pieces

With two months left of school, many of us are feeling the pressure of an endless pile of assignments, midterms and exams coming up. While some people resort to unhealthy lifestyles like foregoing meals and basic hygiene, I suggest another option: taking the occasional break from the monotonous pile of work to relax your mind and do something you enjoy. Maybe it’s tossing the football, maybe it’s reading or maybe you want to really get your creative juices flowing and just make something. If do-it-yourself sounds like your kind of thing, then go ahead and give some of these fun, cute and easy to make projects a go.

Magazine Paper Beads

These beads are artsy, simple, take about 5 minutes to make and look great.

Materials you will need:

colourful pages from magazines
various beads of choice
some sort of string (fishing line, hemp etc …)
clear nail polish (optional)

How to make them:

Step 1: Cut strips (approx. 1 inch by 8 inches long) from a colourful page in the magazine. I found that four strips make enough beads for a bracelet. Then cut the strips diagonally, so you have eight diagonal strips total.

Step 2: Place the large end of one of the strips against a toothpick and roll it around once, glue the rolled paper and continue to roll the rest of the strip around the toothpick, gluing as necessary.

Step 3: Slide the bead off the toothpick once completed and let the glue dry for a bit. This next step is optional, but is important if you want your beads to be relatively water-proof: paint the beads with some clear nail polish to make a seal.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the rest of the magazine strips.

Step 4: Arrange your magazine beads and any other beads you’ve assembled onto the string to make a bracelet, necklace, anklet or whatever else you fancy. Voila, you’re done!

Duct Tape Wallet

Yes, these were all the rage in grade 8, but lately I’ve been noticing more and more people whipping these duct tape wonders out of their back pockets. Why not? They’re cheap, durable and easy to customize.

Materials you will need:

duct tape scissors or an Exactoknife (although scissors worked just fine for me)
optional: decorations (buttons, patches, or pictures, oh my!)

How to make it:

Step 1: Cut three 10 inch (you can just eyeball it) strips of duct tape and lay them down side by side horizontally (sticky side up), overlapping them about 1 cm over each other.

Step 2: Cover them with 3 more strips of tape, face down so you have a solid rectangle. Trim any remaining sticky edges.

Step 3: Fold the rectangle in half horizontally and then fold the new thinner rectangle in half vertically (basically forming a small wallet-sized square). Tape the two side edges, so any money you put in doesn’t fall out. You should now have something that looks like a pocket-less wallet.

Step 4: To make the pockets, cut two strips of duct tape just longer than a student card and place one face down on the other. Then tape the sides and bottom of the small square onto the wallet.

Repeat step 4 for as many pockets as you would like, piling them on top of each other leaving a small gap between the top of one pocket and the pocket on top of it.

Step 5: Now that you’ve made a basic wallet, you can decorate it as you please. I decided to make a Queen’s themed wallet because really, who doesn’t need more Queen’s gear?

Cut-out Shirt

You can wear this top to class (depending on where you made the cut-outs or how scandalous you are feeling that day), Stages and maybe to go an exam if you want a little extra confidence.

Materials you will need

a shirt (I used a tank top, but you can use a t-shirt or even a sweater)
sheer material (I used a sheer scarf, but you can use any semi-transparent material you can get your hands on)
needle and thread (in the same colour as your shirt)
safety pins

How to make it

Step 1: Turn your shirt inside out, draw out the shapes you want the sheer material to appear through and cut them out.

Step 2: Cut out sections of the sheer material big enough to fit over the shapes and pin them over the holes.

Step 3: Sew (or suck up to someone who can sew) the material onto the shirt, sewing along the edges of the shapes.

Step 4: Trim away the excess sheer material about 1/2 cm from where it was sewn, turn the shirt right side out, and admire your completed cut out shirt!


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