Of Inspiration Boards & Freebies

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I have some news for you. The good kind. And the other, grey-area-kind. Which means this will be a long post. You have been warned. But it also means there will lots and lots of beautiful photos to ogle. The decor porn kind. I know you are hooked now, aren’t you?

First of all, the other news. Not sure if it’s good or bad. There’s a slight chance that we will be moving house someday soon. Maybe the next month, or maybe the next year. And of course, instead of worrying about the logistics and the hurdles and the general headache such moves ensure, all I can think of is, “How will I do up my next house?”

I know, crazy, right? I’m worried about being allowed to paint walls (if it’s a rental) and what sofa to buy and how to make a budget so I don’t go overboard….you get the drift. To reign in the craziness (just a bit) and to keep calm in the chaos, I have put up an inspiration post. It is the done thing, after all. Right after creating a Pinterest board and calling up all your closest friends to whine and scream about it. Just to calm down.

The Living Room:

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I love the casual setting. The choice of colors. The simple prints.

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Now, I don’t love the entire look. I doubt I have ever come across a photo of any room that I love completely, and which is doable. Or livable. Here, that rug is just the right hint of modern. And how adorable is the sofa? Its just begging you to jump on it! And that wallpapered nook? Sweet surprise.

The Kitchen:

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Such soft, happy colors. Sigh!

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If anyone ever said “glamorous” and “kitchen” in one sentence, I wouldn’t believe them. Till, this. Its more glamorous than my best outfit. Better than my sexiest heels. The tiled walls. The bar stools. The chandelier! I would probably change the chair, but that’s it.

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Not that I own tons of beautiful white crockery, but if I did, this will be the perfect display. Getting giddy over all those colors!

The Bedroom:

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This is pure sex. The play of the deep purple and dark grey against the metal. This will be great for handcuff-lovers (all puns intended). I would much rather have a tufted headboard though.

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Ooo! The colors! This just makes me smile! The beautiful sky blue wall, the cheery floral-patterned lantern, the pom-pom lined bedding, and the colorful Indian/Moroccan(?) stools masquerading as bedside tables. So inviting, especially in hot Indian summers.

The Bathroom:

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I swear I swoon every time I look at this. Those beautiful mirrors, the copper washbasin, the pendants, the marbled walls and counter top. Luxury. Eye candy. Perfect.

All images from: here.

And now for the good news.

(I am a bit late with this announcement but I was waiting for a certain package to arrive. Now that its here, let me holler).

The fabulous people at The Keybunch in association with The Purple Turtles sent me this gorgeous set of t-light holders. I won them in their Diwali Décor contest, where we had to share our home décor photographs and they picked up three winners. Here’s the photo that got me the prize: (yes you have seen it before here but let me shamelessly replug, please?)

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Do check to their post announcing the winners – the décor photos of the other two winners are very inspiring! And while you are at it, browse through The Keybunch site. Looking at all those brilliant, beautiful posts makes me want to get up and do up a house or two.

And here are the beautiful t-light holders. Aren’t they pretty?! Sigh! I can’t wait to find a place for them in my home.

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Love the brushed metal texture. As you can see, they are NOT teeny-weeny. Quite big, actually. Also, be a dear, and ignore the wrinkles in the fabric, okay? Many many thanks to the wonderful people at The Keybunch and The Purple Turtles.

What are you favourite inspirational home decor photos? Do you have a Pinterest board you love? Share! Comment.

Till next time, stay safe. Be awesome. 

Diwali Decor

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There’s something about the constant bombardment of sales and festive offers and “Flat 80%” that puts me off nowadays. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I am against festivals or shopping (or discounts!). Nothing like that!

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It’s just that, sometimes when I look around the house, and see all the stuff we have, it overwhelms me. Yes, a lot of it is necessary. Yes, there are times that I want to wear a brand new, dazzling saree with the latest in blouses and jewellery and what not. There are times that I want to deck up my house in beautiful bright curtains, to buy that precious blue and white pottery, that fabulous wooden chopping board. And I do end up buying a lot of things. Over some period of time, though, I’ve started trying consciously to buy fewer products. Less is more, after all. I want my house to breathe. I want to have breathing space, in my house, in my cupboard, in my life. The more we accumulate, the more stuff we have to take care of – stuff to be dusted and cleaned and repaired and stored. Every single thing we own takes away some of our precious time. I’m not saying that a Spartan lifestyle is what I am looking for. I love beautiful stuff way too much to ever give up completely on it, but if I can stop myself from buying everything that appeals to me, I know that the future me will thank me for keeping it simple.

This Diwali, despite the discounts in the air, and the emails and advertisements temptingly displaying new flashy, snazzy stuff, I tried to buy as little as possible. Instead, I focused on “recycling” and DIYing stuff.

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We did buy a few new décor items – these beautiful tea light holders. They were slightly expensive, but they look fabulous with the lights and their lovely bright jewel tones add a wonderful color to the entire table vignettes.

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I went the usual way with the decoration – beautiful silk and brocade fabrics – the richer the better. I bought fabrics so I could make tablecloths and cushion covers out of them. It kept the cost down and I can easily recycle the fabric in the future. They work great as a base, like a table cloth, and you can add contrast (but in harmony) by adding another layer of fabric as a table runner. I simply folded and stapled/safety pinned whatever rich fabrics I had to use as table runners.

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Then its simply a matter of adding candles and diyas and flowers in beautiful colorful containers. Be it bowls or tea light holders or vases.

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My amazingly talented husband (he also took these beautiful photographs) painted this paper lamp – from bland white to brilliant rainbow hues. The transformation is to be seen to be believed. The colors are so vivid and mesmerizing, I don’t think I will ever keep it away. Its too beautiful to be locked up post Diwali.

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Don’t you just love how happy and bright and festive all those colors are together?

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How did you decorate your house this year? Do share in the comments below! And, Happy Diwali to all you gorgeous people!

Fabric Haul

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September will be over in a matter of weeks, yet the sky here is still overcast. Not that I mind. If I could, I would let it remain cloudy and rainy forever (very bad for the farmers, I know – I already feel guilty). But this beautiful overcast sky causes issues with photography.

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I recently got these beautiful fabrics as a gift from a very thoughtful friend (my love and squishy-whishy hugs to you!). I was having trouble trying to find decent fabric shops here in Bombay, so she brought some for me.

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Here they are, in all their (overcast) glory:

Warli Blue

Beautiful blue Warli art cotton fabric. I am already making something wonderful with this, which means there will be a tutorial post here soon.

Spiral Art Polka Table Fan

Sigh! Beautiful, no? I am falling in love with all the prints and the possibilities of creating something out of them are endless. Saree blouses, cushion covers, skirts and dresses… so many choices! Hopefully, this will keep me busy for the next few weeks.

I would love to know, have you brought any fabrics recently? Plain or printed? What do you plan to do with it? Do share!

Craft Gully – A Review

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Once upon a time, buying craft supplies online in India was an impossibility. There were no websites, other than ebay (that too only its U.S. branch) where one could buy the essentials for one’s crafty needs. I hated that – especially after looking online at how easy it was for people based in U.S./Europe to buy craft stuff from the comfort of their home. Oh, how I envied them! Luckily for us, now there are numerous craft supplies websites and one can find almost anything online.

This post, and the next few posts are going to be my personal reviews of these websites. Please note that these posts are in no way sponsored. Neither are they endorsements of the said websites. Its my review of the websites to see how good they actually are in terms of range of supplies, availability of said materials, and ease of navigation etc.

The first shopping portal that I am going to review is Craft Gully. It looks neat and is easy to navigate. The search bar works well and there are no dead-ends or empty categories. Also, one can easily zoom in at the pictures and get an idea at how the products look – a necessity, really, but not available on every website.

Other than the various products available, Craft Gully also has ebooks, templates and catalogues for download. All for free!

Other than craft supplies, there’s a whole section dedicated to paints – acrylic, glass & fabric. They also keep kits for paper quilling, art kits and stitching kits. Oh, and you can also buy books (though currently there are just four books available – insert sad face – I hope they add more).

Ok, so here’s the real stuff. Sit back comfortably because this is informative AND really long.

Craft Gully Products

Image credit: Craft Gully

Craft Gully has the following product categories (and we will look at them one by one): Quilling Supplies, Accessories, Paper, materials for glass painting, jewellery making, punch craft, clay modelling, crochet & needlework, scrapbooking, embellishments, flower making, and tapes and adhesives.

Glass painting has very few supplies, limited to glass colors by Fevicryl and four glass stencils. A pity really, because this is a craft I would like to see more range in. We really need more than those basic colors. I’m tired of painting all glass surfaces same old red, green, yellow and blue.

Jewellery Making has a huge variety! I was mesmerized by pages and pages of beautiful stuff! They have got beads of different shapes, sizes, materials and colors; bead caps, beading needles, various charms, connectors, tweezers, wire, earring clasps and studs, eye pins, various clasps, jump rings, blank pendants, wire cutters, pliers etc. Phew! I think this basically covered everything one needs to start making their own jewellery, no? Seriously thinking of trying my hand at this.

P.S.: They have categorised some flatbacked pearls and kundan stones in the Scrapbooking category (why?!) and not here. So if that’s what you need, go see in the other category.

Punch craft has a lot of embossing tools, paper tags, envelopes, googly eyes (?) and just ONE paper punch. No, really. Just. One. Paper. Punch. Which is sad because it would be nice to get a good selection of paper punches. Especially since the category *is* Punch Craft. This was a disappointment.

Clay modelling has very few products and three out of those five are currently out of stock. So the only things available are air drying clay and a shaper tool. Again, a sad state of things.

Under the Crochet & Needlework category I found some embroidery threads – all by Anchor, bells, buttons, sewing kits, crochet needles, pom poms (yes!), a tiny sewing machine and stitch kits (again by Anchor). The range of stitch kits is actually good – they have 2 and a half pages dedicated just to this and the cost ranges from Rs. 205 to Rs. 415. But a lot of these are Out of Stock, too. I wish they had some cross stitch stuff too, other than the readymade kits.

Scrapbooking has, obviously, a nice range of craft papers, die-cut shapes, fabric tapes (which I adored), flatback pearls, kundan stones in various colors (they should have also been in jewellery, by the way), magnets, stickers, tiny paper flowers and leaves (which seem slightly expensive but I love the range provided – so many colors & variety!), paper wreaths (wow! how adorable are these!), pearl stick-ons, photo corners and various rhinestones (again expensive – a pack of 5 for Rs. 27?!).

On a side note, even though the site has categorised everything nicely, I wish they had bunched together all the related stuff under sub-categories. Like various kinds of paper & beads separately as that would make browsing under a category so much easier. Then one doesn’t have to go through pages & pages of beads when one simply needs to see various types of craft paper.

Also, a lot of this stuff is also available under the Embellishment category (so I will be repeating myself), which kind of makes sense.

Under Embellishments, we have tiny acrylic/synthetic flowers, ball chain in various colors and length, charms, crochet tapes (OH MY GOD! Want those NOW!), decorative wire, fabric tapes (same as those in Scrapbooking), die-cut shapes, glitter, jewelled embellishments, kundan stones, stickers, tiny paper flowers and leaves (good range), paper wreaths, pearl stick-ons, photo corners and various rhinestones.

In Flower Making, we have artificial flowers, craft scissors, decorative wire, Duplex paper in different colors, foil coated wires in a range of colors, satin leaves (most of them were currently out of stock), tube moulds, paper flowers, paper wreaths and paper leaves, pollen strands in various lovely colors, pre taped wire in a few basic colors, stocking cloth in a variety of colors – even shaded and flower making tape again in a range of colors. Pretty good!

Accessories has a lot of stuff spilled over from other categories. We have 3D outlines, ball chains, buttons, various tools, papers, hot glue gun, key chain rings, magnetic sheets, foam pads & sheets, curly ribbon, cutting mat, cutters, magnetic tape, metal earring hooks, mobile phone danglers, paper flowers, pipe cleaners, pom poms, resin flowers, rhinestones, scissors, glue pen, stick-on tape, and envelopes.

Papers is self-explanatory. It has 65 items, a lot of which are out of stock. Still, a good range.

Tapes & Adhesives has Crochet tapes, fabric tape, stick-on tape, flower making tape, crystal coat glaze, glue drops, fabric glue, foam pads, glue gun stick and hot glue gun.

Quilling has a huge variety of supplies. I have never pursued this craft, so I am really not an authority on how good the range is, but it does seem exhaustive.

All done! Overall, a great site. Payment options are online only, so no C.O.D. I find paying online better though I know a lot of people prefer Cash on Delivery. And best of all, they offer a 30 days replacement guarantee for all products.

I hope this post is helpful to my fellow crafters. Did you find this post useful? Would you like to see more such posts (or should I just stick to DIY posts)? Do let me know in the comments below.

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Something Good!

So, I have been away for really long. Not that I haven’t been crafting. But nothing seems good enough to post here.

And then I received an email today from the good guys at Fashion Playtes.  They have compiled a list of 25 craft blogs for tween girls … and my blog made it to the list! Yay! This has inspired me to post more frequently from now on.

Do check out other blogs on the list – some very useful tutorials to explore.

DIY Jewellery Organisers

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If you Google jewellery organiser or look up some options at Pinterest, most of the stuff you will see will be about displaying your jewellery on your dresser or in drawers or framed on walls.

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(Click on the photos for their link. Via Pinterest)

Beautiful ideas, no doubt, but they are not always feasible. I live in a rental and cannot go around hanging things on the wall. Plus, its really dusty here in India, so displaying jewellery is totally out of question.

I have a lot of jewellery ( I hoard it!) which I hardly wear but I prefer to keep it well within reach. I needed something which will let me glance at my jewellery at one go, especially rings, but keep them safe. Also, my neck pieces had to be stored somehow so as to not get tangled.

I stored my rings in two clear plastic boxes. There were a lot of ideas online about storing rings, and I borrowed a lot.

For one box, I rolled up foam into 4-5 tubes/rolls, and glued them onto a piece of cardboard (cut to size of the box).

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Then I ran out of foam. And there was still one more box to be organised! :( I thought of rolling up pages out of old books, but I love books and couldn’t bring myself to do that. So I tore out pages from fashion glossies (2-3 year old) and created rolls out of them. You can use felt or fabric (like velvet) for the purpose. I wanted to create it from whatever stuff I already had.

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And then, the best part: placing your rings in the boxes and admiring how beautiful they look!

Now the second problem: my necklaces. For this project, I used stuff I already had with me. So basically, both projects cost me 0 money :D

You need:
A file binder/organiser, hole puncher, pieces of cardboard (I always store cardboard which comes with new shirts/mail boxes. Its great for craft), safety pins, glue, scissors, stapler, ribbons, ruler, gift wrapping paper
and your choice of embellishments.

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1. Cut the cardboard pieces 2-3 inches smaller than the file. 2. Cover them with beautiful paper of your choice on both sides. 3. Punch holes in them (you might have to press really hard if the cardboard is thick) making sure that the holes are carefully aligned with the file. 4.Take strings/wire/thread/twine/ribbons of your choice. Staple them from one end of the cardboard to another, keeping as close to the top as possible. This will help in holding the necklaces. 5. String two more ribbons around the width of the cardboard as these will help keep the necklaces from getting entangled. Add safety pins to the top ribbon or string. Hang your favourite necklace from it. Repeat steps for all neck pieces.

Note: I hung 4-5 neck pieces per cardboard page. Some of them are chunky hence I cannot use for than 4 pages in this binder. If you have a big collection, you will need to create more such files to store your jewellery.

Its been a week now and I must say I smile every time I open my wardrobe and see my jewellery all beautifully organised. I can open my “file” anytime and go through my neck pieces. I can see all my rings at a glance. Dressing up is so much easier now!

DIY Wallet/Cellphone case

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Its been a really long time since I last posted here.

Which is kinda ok because instead of posting irrelevant stuff I was busy creating and crafting. So I have more stuff to post about ;)

Though am kinda nervous. I have a bad feeling that I have lost all sense of how to put up a post nicely. Sigh. But one has to start somehow…

I have been on a organising and cleaning-the-clutter spree. Out went stuff I have never used, clothes that are ill-fitting or never seemed right, accessories that looked odd when worn but were beautiful when bought (sigh, we all do that, no?), and bags I have no use of anymore.

Like this green bag I had. I have used it just once in the past 2 years and even then, I wasn’t too happy with it. So I dumped it in the donation bag. But then I thought of that beautiful (cheap) leather (rexine) with all the zippers and sides stitched..hmm.. maybe I could create something out of it?

After hours of agonising thinking, more hours spent happily on Pinterest, I decided to create a wallet-cellphone case out of it. I have 3-4 lovely wallets. But none of them can hold my mobile phone. As my cellphone is bigger than the previous one (though not huge), I always end up carrying a purse (which I hate) or shoving the phone down my pocket, which, frankly, is risky and tacky. Hence the need for a wallet which could also serve as a mobile case.

Here’s a detailed tutorial of my fresh green beautiful mobile case:

Requirements:
1. An old bag. Or You can start from the scratch with leather or rexine or even felt.

2. Stitching aids. (I do not have a sewing machine, so I stitch by hand.) Scissors, thread, needle,

3. Wide Ribbon / Lace/ Scrap pf fabric to decorate.

4. A stud or a big button.

5. Snap buttons or velcro.

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I essentially needed the wallet to be just big enough to carry my mobile in, but nothing as big as a clutch. So after careful measurements (eyeballing!) I cut out a pocket of the bag. It had the advantage of already hemmed sides so I didn’t have to do any unnecessary stitching.

One side is  not hemmed and unstitched. It can be stitched or glued or covered with fabric or ribbon. I stitched a ribbon on the raw edges. It took time and I had to unravel my stitch many times. Its still not picture perfect, but it does the job for now.

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Cover the edge completely with the ribbon. Fold it over on the edge. Pin it up so it doesn’t move. Now start stitching the ribbon to its place.
Please do not try to glue the ribbon. If you do, check a little piece first. In my case, the glue showed through the ribbon even after drying and created unsightly patches. Stitching worked better for me. Plus, I find it relaxing.

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Fold the piece in half. Mark the central line with a pencil or anything erasable. We will create a pocket to carry money in. Measure how much fabric you will require for that. The pocket should be wide enough but not completely cover the inside.
Cut out a piece of coordinating fabric (or you can cut out from the original old bag itself like I did). Pin it up in its place and then stitch, stitch and stitch till its done. Remember to stitch just three sides, though! You can add a zip to it, or add two pockets instead of one. The choices are endless.

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Now, we need to add something to hold the cellphone in. I choose to stitch an elasticated ribbon (which doesn’t go with the color scheme at all, but I had no other color). You can choose to stitch another pocket.
Take a piece of elasticated ribbon smaller than the width of the cellphone. Now place it in the center of the other half of the wallet, but keep it closer to the bottom. Stitch its end very carefully. It has to be strong enough to prevent your cellphone from falling.

(I WISH I had a sewing machine. Hand stitching looks so sloppy!)

Slide your cellphone in and out to check if its tight enough.

Add three snap buttons on the wallet. Two on the corners and one in the middle. This will help in keeping everything inside from sliding out.

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Now, lastly, add any kind of decoration, glitter, sequin, studs to the wallet. I choose to add just one simple stud. But I have plans to add more on the next wallet I create. ;)

I am so happy with this. It may not be as perfect as those available in the market but I recycled an old bag to create something I really needed and am already using. Its the perfect thing I needed.

Ripped Tshirt How-to

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Hey people!

So the other day I saw this song on television and fell in love with all the clothes!! They are gorgeous.  But especially – this top:

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I mean, its not clear in photos, but the back is sexy! Doesn’t Deepika look hot in it? I have seen such tops before, but never felt the need to own one. Until now. And then I thought of making one. I had a black, never worn, Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt which would serve the purpose wonderfully.

The final product!

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Here’s the step-by-step instructions on how to make your own “sexy back” top (photos wherever I remembered to click- sorry!) :

1. The t-shirt had that high, choke-you neckline, so I decided to give it a boatneck first of all. With the help of a pair of scissors, cut the neck slowly. Follow the original seam so your cut will be even. If you are going for a wider neck like me, its better to mark a line with a marker etc. first, to avoid any later mishaps. I don’t know the measurements, just eyeball and go by your guts. :) (The photo was taken when I was still cutting. It doesn’t show the boatneck).

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2. Fold the back of the shirt in half. Its not as tricky as it sounds. Just match up the shoulder seams. See? It will be even now.

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3. Now, you have to cut a “V” at the back. Make it as wide and as deep as you carry – it will be sexier but cut only what you would be comfortable in. Use a ruler to mark the “V”. Cut thin strips all the way down. Make sure you don’t cut the front or more than you want. Don’t cut too low though. It will create issues, you will see.

4. There! Doesn’t it look nice? But we are not done yet. Now, very carefully, (and with loads of patience) take each strip one by one and stretch it out. So it rolls over itself. I love the strips at this step too, and you can leave them as it is. However, if you want something edgier, follow the next steps to create an awesome waves.

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5. Let’s create a weave in those strips. Take the second strip and put it under and over the first strip. (Very important!) Keep holding the second strip, and take the third strip and place it under and over the second strip. Follow this step till you are done with all the strips. Check that you haven’t missed any strips. You can still undo it.

6. Take the last loop and cut it in half. Now, take both the ends, and knot both of them to the previous loop. This holds your wave together. And we are done here!

You very own ripped tshirt – free of cost!!! Go on, hunt for those old tees hidden in the depth of your wardrobe and create some new awesomeness.

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Happily Ever Afters

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Once upon a time a girl had a beautiful, long, twirly-whirly skirt – the kind that every girl wants to dance in. She was very happy with it and would spend hours dancing around in it.

But one day, the evil eye of a few greedy rats fell upon the skirt. They had it for dinner, leaving the poor girl with the scraps of her beloved skirt. But she didn’t give up, and with the help of a fairy godmother (the internet) gave the skirt a new life. Now born as the sweet little summery skirt. The skirt and the girl were reunited and lived happily ever after.

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For more photos, check my fashion blog here.

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