DIY in 5: Cage Cuff

In DIY, DIY in 5, Jewelry on January 6, 2011 by Naoko Takano

Yesterday I mentioned it as a more realistic alternative project to the New York Times‘ labor-intensive 3-hour DIY (!), so today I’m going to show you how to make it. It’s DIY in 5minutes, that is. The easiest, quickest ways to take a piece from blah to fab and update it to current trends.

Wherever I go I’m always on the lookout for clothing, accessory, or jewelry components that can be used in quick ‘n’ simple DIYs. That’s why these silver cuffs I spotted in the jewelry-making section at Jo-Ann Fabrics, from the brand-new Dazzling Geodes line of findings (from Plaid Enterprises) caught my eye. (Technically they’re supposed to be used as a base for adding geode slices and embellishments.) And incidentally, like most of the fashion- and culinary-obsessed, I am a frequent visitor to and the Dazzling Geodes cuffs reminded me a lot of the arm-cuffs she sells in her web-store.

A Luxirare Cuff.

$95 for one of these cuffs is pretty reasonable considering she designed these and has these custom-cast with embossed LUXIRARE logo, and they look pretty hefty and durable…but if you’re in the market for something similar you can use 2 of these affordable findings to make your own version.

You Need:
*2 silver cuffs from the Dazzling Geodes line (available at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts stores)
*silver-colored dead-soft jewelry wire
*wire cutters/pliers

1. Cut 2 short pieces of wire.
If your wire is kinked at all, close the pliers on it and drag in order to straighten it.
2. Line the cuffs up side-by-side and wrap a wire piece around the outer edges where the two cuffs meet.

3. Weave the wire around the edges (I made a “V” shape as I wrapped), trim the ends down, and use the pliers to push the sharp ends back out towards the outside of the cuff so they won’t scratch you.

3. Cut a longer piece of wire and secure the center of where the cuffs meet. Twist the ends around each other on the inside, pull ends towards the outside and trim appropriately.

You’re done! And it may have taken you all of 10 minutes.;-)

Wear with minimalist clothing, sharp contrasts, and architectural details…and stay cool, calm, and cagey with this on your wrist.

Happy DIY’ing!


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Unfair things happen to good people. It’s a fact.

In Announcements on January 3, 2011 by Naoko Takano

A bit of a depressing post; you’ve been forewarned…

Do any of you know someone who is a perfectly good person but who just seems to attract bad luck?  I do.

She’s a well-meaning, kind-hearted woman who could never be cruel, vindictive, or deceptive towards anyone, yet tragedy always seems to befall her.  Whenever something seems to go well for her, life steps in and gives her a good kick, as if to say “And you thought you were going to be happy.”  It’s some cruel joke, some sort of effort the Forces that Be constantly make in order to cut down someone who really did nothing except maybe be a little naive and believe that this thing called Life was finally working out for her.

This woman has had so many tragedies in her life it seems that if one were to write them into a script, it would instantly be rejected by Hollywood, with everyone saying “This is so unbelievable!!  You can’t have this many things go wrong in a person’s life!  It’s impossible.”  But it indeed is very possible.

That person is my mother.  Someone very near and dear to her just died today, after a sudden diagnosis of cancer and 6 weeks in and out of the hospital.

Needless to say I am not feeling particularly able to blog much right now.



Taking Stock: DIY’s of 2010

In Accessories, DIY, How-To, Jewelry, Men's Shirts, Of House and Home, Recipes, Remake, Shoes on January 1, 2011 by Naoko Takano

Now with almost midnight and 2011, while catching up on Gossip Girl episodes and eating peppermint ice cream, I just wanted to take a look back at 2010 and all the DIY tutorials I’ve shared here (and elsewhere).  Missed any?  Here they are, one more time:

Hair Accessories
Jennifer Behr Spike Turban
Givenchy Spiked Headband
Wired Scarf Rabbit Ears Headband from a Handkerchief
Flowered Hair Clip
Tube Flower Headband
Bra Strap Headband
Scarf Turban
Faux Fur Wrap
Knotted Cord Belt
Alexander Wang Zipper Sunglasses
Fur-Covered Basket
Laptop Sleeve from Leather Jacket
Chanel-Style Paper Bag
Feathered Cape
Edwardian Cuffs
Fringed Boho Bag
Lacy Convertible Belt
Rolled Tights Rose
Pierced Flower Brooch
Patterned Clutch Makeover
Fabric Leopard Scarf
Curtain Rings to Boho Bangles
Double-Fringed Necklace
Leaf Chain Earrings
Ruffle Studded Necklace
Woven Heart Shape Pin
Feather Bangles
Jeweled Cardigan Clip
White Embellished U Necklace
Spiked Crystal Ring
Black Embellished Bib Necklace
Rope Necklace
Square-Studded Cardigan
Pillowcase to Elastic Band Skirt
Michael Kors Slashed Top
Petal-Front Top
Butterfly-Embellished Tanktop
Zipper-Detail Alexander Wang Skirt
Faux Fur-Lined Hood
Hybrid Sweater
Too-Big Skirt into Paperbag Waist Skirt
Men’s Clothing Remakes
Summer Tank Dress
Button-Embellished Top
Ruffled Top from a Men’s Shirt
Men’s Shirt to Bow Tunic Dress
Men’s Shirt to Jumpsuit Romper 
Re-fit a Button-Down Shirt
Chain & Bead Halter Dress
Fitted Shirt
Happy Ice Cream Applique T-Shirt
Boot-Covers from a Leather Jacket
Flowered Ballet Flats
Ann Demeulemeester Lace-Up Boots
Corsage Shoe Clips
Fringed Gladiator Sandals
Home Decor
$4 Easter Wreath
$4 Fall Wreath
Super-Easy $7 Holiday Wreeath
Super-Easy $5 Holiday Wreath
Coconut-Banana Crunch Muffins
Low-Sugar Berry Cherry Pie
Low-Fat Baked Donuts
Healthy Like-A-Cheesecake 

Wow, it’s a lot when you look at them all like that! 63 tutorials and how-tos (and I only did 51 in 2009).  I hope this last year has been a wonderful, amazing year for everyone, filled with happiness and DIY!

Here’s hoping that 2011 is even better!

Happy New Year to all my wonderful readers, friends, fellow bloggers, and family!


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DIY Roundup 9

In DIY Roundup on December 31, 2010 by Naoko Takano

Project in progress.

Whew!  The holidays are going by FAST and it’s time for another DIY Roundup!  I was hoping I’d have a project to share with you, but alas…hopefully it’ll be done by tomorrow.  (There’s a little teaser for you above.:-)  After Christmas = Procrastination for me!  How about you?  Have you made anything you’d like to share in the past weeks?  If so, please add it to DIY Roundup 9!

So now you get to share your own DIY’s!  If you have a DIY project or tutorial that you’d like to share, please feel free to link below!  (However you can only link YOUR OWN PROJECT.  Please do not link others’ projects!)

If you’ve linked up your project to the Roundup, feel free to grab the button below.

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Can’t wait to see everyone’s projects!

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New Faux Fur Pieces Added to my Etsy Shop!

In Animal-Friendly Fashion, Etsy, My Designs on December 31, 2010 by Naoko Takano

Speaking of Etsy…

A few people have asked me about offering my faux fur tails in different colors, so I’ve spent the last several days making up new ones, in two BRAND NEW colors I just received in the mail.  One is a “fox”-like color: cream with orange-tipped fur.  The other is a “raccoon”-like color: tan with brown-tipped fur and stripes. (see above)

I also have a one-of-a-kind dip-dye pink-to-white tail (purely accidental, since I was trying to dye the tip black) that I posted for sale.

 I’ve also added a couple of “puffball” charms if you prefer something smaller and not so “tail”-like.
I’d love to hear your feedback!

Check Out my Etsy Shop Here


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Etsy Treasury: In a Galaxy Far (Far) Away…

In Etsy, Objects of Desire on December 30, 2010 by Naoko Takano

Since I was in the mood for Galaxy-printed items…I just put together an Etsy Treasury featuring such things.  (Though why I can’t find any galaxy-print clothing on Etsy boggles the mind…)  Check it out here if you’re interested & let me know what you think!


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DIY Roundup 8 Favorites

In Announcements, DIY Roundup on December 30, 2010 by Naoko Takano

Thanks so much for submitting your projects into my last DIY Roundup!  I had a great time visiting all your blogs and checking out your pieces.  You’re all so creative!  Here are the top 3 projects:

#3: DIY Rope Necklace
From Samantha over at Dollar Store Crafts, this woven rope necklace looks so high fashion!  (And it’s made from two jumpropes – can you believe it???)  I’m dying to make one of my own!!

#2: Tshirt to Cowl Scarf
Sarah from Simply Step Back made a beautiful stretchy jersey scarf (from her mom’s old tee) with a pretty fabric corsage as a bonus.  Just in time for the cold winter months – and I love the stripes!
#1: DIY Leather Boots

Stacie from Stars for Streetlights gave a pair of boots a new life by gluing scrap leather circles over them.  You’d never know that she didn’t buy them like that – so boho chic!

Thank you so much for sharing everyone!

If your project has been featured above, feel free to grab the button below.

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