08/28/15

6 DIYs to Try This Weekend

I think this weekend, Jeff and I are going to have to suck it up and clean the house. We don't have anyone coming to visit or anything, but it's just gotten to THAT point where we have to clean up or move out. Kidding! It's not that bad. But we probably need to mop the floors and just get everything a bit more tidied up (AKA corral all of my props and crafts - I can't wait to move into a studio space so I don't have to deal with that aspect of things anymore).

But anyway, aside from cleaning, I don't think I really have any plans. Maybe a DIY or two. What about you?

If you want to give a few projects a try, I have rounded up some of my faves from the week for ya, as always...

1. Upgrade any tote with DIY sewn leather straps
2. DIY Tetris cookies (!!!) from Sugar & Cloth
3. Pastel popsicles DIY from Studio DIY
4. Herb planter cutting board DIY from The Merrythought
5. DIY canvas magazine hanger from Design Sponge
6. Recipe for red velvet waffles with donut glaze

P.S. If you're looking for a quick / good read over the weekend, check out this post about the trouble with social media. I feel the exact same way. And would love to hear your thoughts on the subject too if you care to chime in.

Hope you have a great weekend.

-Brittni

08/27/15

Chocolate Dipped Banana Chips

When I was a kid I hated banana chips. FYI, I was down with regular bananas, but banana chips?! Hell no. As I get older though, my food likes and dislikes continually change. And now, I buy banana chips pretty regularly and bring them along on car rides and hikes.

So, today, in honor of banana lover's day (which is today), I whipped up a little something that even my childhood self would have devoured...chocolate dipped banana chips!

Because once you add a little chocolate to the mix, it's pretty much go time, regardless of what is underneath said chocolate dipping. Amiright? Plus, this mini sugar rush is one part healthy - it is one half banana after all. So you don't have to feel too guilty about these little treat. Bonus!

Chocolate Dipped Banana Chips

Ingredients:

- banana chips
- white chocolate morsels OR almond bark
- gel food coloring
- parchment paper

Instructions:

Start my melting the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is completely melted.

Then mix in the desired color of gel food coloring thoroughly.

Note on colors: I started with purple to create the lilac color that I love so much. Then, added other colors as I went to change it up. So, to get the pinkish color, I added pink to the purple chocolate that had already been mixed. To get the orange color, I added yellow to the pink. And to get the grayish green color, I added blue.

Lastly, dip the banana chips half way into the chocolate. Pull out and let each chip harden on parchment paper. Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Banana Chips

Chocolate Dipped Banana Chips

Eat the finished chips alone, add it to a homemade trail mix, or (my favorite) sprinkle onto of a bowl of ice cream for a little bit of crunch.

Chocolate Dipped Banana Chips

Chocolate Dipped Banana Chips

Chocolate Dipped Banana Chips

Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

So what do you think? Are you a banana lover or do you fall more firmly into the hell no category for this one? Would love to hear your thoughts.

08/26/15

How to instantly upgrade any tote bag with this DIY sewn leather handle tutorial (click through for the step by step instructions on Paper & Stitch)

A while back I bought this giant shopping tote that I'm willing to bet you've seen before. Why? Because it's from ban.do, it's color blocked, and it's only $9! So, it is pretty much calling all of our names from sun up to sun down. Right?

I mean, when I saw that it was less than ten bucks, it basically flew itself to the register for checkout. Admittedly, I wasn't super into the nylon handles, but that was the ONLY drawback. So, I brought it home and got to thinking about how to change up the handles to make it perfect (for me anyway). And in the end, decided to go with short leather straps.

DIY Leather Handle Tote Bag

How to instantly upgrade any tote bag with this DIY sewn leather handle tutorial (click through for the step by step instructions on Paper & Stitch)

I bought the leather on Amazon because I'm lazy and don't want to have to drive 30 minutes to the nearest craft store. But you can purchase a similar strap locally as well.

This 3/4 inch vegetable tanned leather is the exact one I bought (brace yourself, it's a horrible photo, but the leather is great in person, I promise). The full length was under $13 and I used less than half of it for the straps (about $5 worth), which brings the total cost of this DIY to $14!

DIY Leather Handle Shopping Tote for Under $15

Materials:

- tote bag
- 3/4 inch wide leather strap
- seam ripper
- upholstery thread
- size 18/110 sewing machine needle (jean & denim)
- heavy duty or industrial sewing machine (capable of sewing leather)

Quick Notes: If you plan to carry heavy items regularly, then you'll likely want to use cowhide straps for extra strength. Thick leather can be harder to sew, though. So, depending on how thick your leather is, it can take a bit of horsepower to get through it.

The type of sewing machine that you would need to use depends on the thickness of your leather. We used a Bernina 5 Series sewing machine and it was able to get through the leather. But, before beginning, be sure to test your sewing machine on a scrap piece of the leather to see how it goes.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get started...

Instructions:

How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

1. Using the seam ripper, remove the nylon handles from the tote.

How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

2. Measure and cut the length of leather strap desired.

How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

3. Sew the handles in place. Back-tack several stitches at the beginning and end of all seams. This is important so that the stitches do not unravel.

Also, we sewed three parallel lines to attach each handle as a design element. Alternatively, you can sew a rectangle or an X, both of which are often used. Just be sure that the top and bottom of your stitch design are symmetrical so as to not cause uneven strain on the stitches, which may cause a stitch to break.

DIY Leather Handle Tote Bag for Under $15

Sewing DIY // how to easily sew leather handles onto any tote

This would be a fun project to try with one of the extra tote bags you have lying around the house (if you're like me, you have a huge pile of them). And it's a great way to replace broken bag straps too, if one of your favorite bags has kicked the bucket in the handle department.

DIY leather handle tote

DIY Leather Handle Shopping Tote for Under $15

How to easily sew leather handles onto any tote (click through for the full tutorial on Paper & Stitch)

Sewing by Linda Jednaszewski
Concept, styling and photography by Brittni Mehlhoff

Think you'll give this DIY a try? What other ways have you upcycled a basic tote?