Snippets Issue 19 : The Glitz & Glam Issue

Chic Steals

Carly J. Cais teaches us how to DIY our own catwalk couture.

Chic Steals

I'm a struggling designer, freelance illustrator, and avid blogger with a penchant for DIY. In my spare time, I love making things to wear and creating tutorials to share with others.

I follow the fashion trends and am enamored with what's on the runways and on the streets - but often, don't have enough money to spend on big-ticket luxury items. When I see something fabulous, I always try to figure out "how can I get it for less?" Though I'm a pretty savvy shopper, nothing beats the feeling of putting something similar together with my own hands, utilizing ready-made and store-bought supplies.

I encourage people to make things themselves for a few reasons:

  1. It expands your existing skill set and empowers you.
  2. It truly gives you an understanding of the work and craftsmanship that goes into a finished item - allowing you to make better purchasing decisions in the future. (No more "is this really worth $xxx??" If you've made something similar - you now know! - and can shop smarter and buy value where it really counts.)
  3. You will value something more when you've made it yourself.
  4. It's FUN! It also encourages creativity and the creative use of materials -- and it'll usually save you a boatload of money!

Step-by-Step Tutorials

Saint & Sinner, Two Glitzy Necklaces

Jewel-encrusted statement necklaces have been all over the runways for a couple seasons now. I chose to make two: one black, one white - one for when I'm feeling a little saintly, and one for when I'm feeling a little bad.

Are you a saint or a sinner?

Saint: How to make a White Embellished U Necklace >>

Sinner: How to make a Black Embellished Bib Necklace >>

Men's T-shirt to Gossip Girl-style Chain & Bead Halter Dress

A.K.A. La Rok's "Navajo Chain Dress"

It's been awhile since this was seen on Blair Lively on Gossip Girl , but this felt so glam I just had to recreate it. And better yet? It's made from a men's t-shirt, cut up and sewn into a mini-dress, with just some wooden beads and chain as decoration.

How to make a Chain & Bead Halter Dress >>

Don't Buy, DIY: Spiked Crystal Ring

My obsession with all things spiked and studded has been well-documented, and this ring is no exception. An edgy Swarovski piece, there's no way I would be able to afford its price tag. But DIY? You betcha!

How to make a Spiked Crystal Ring >>

Styling Tips

Doll up an outfit with a rolled tights rose...

Don't toss those ripped-up stockings! Got a run? No problem! You can wear them as is and put some dabs of clear nailpolish on the ends of the runs like in my Shredded Tights Tutorial - or try this:

How to make a Rolled Tights Rose >>

Wear your bracelets over socks on your ankles...

Ankles feeling sadly bare? Spruce them up with banklets - my version of the ankle-bangle-bracelet. Since little ankle socks are all the rage right now, why not doll them up by slipping some stretchy rhinestone bracelets over your ankles? (A very simple shoe works best here.) Let those gals glitter and shine and kick up those heels!

Add a bridal applique to an old bra strap for a quick headband...

There's alot of fab tutorials out there for this one already. If you have an old black bra strap (or even one from removable bra) you can easily fasten it around your head and pin on an embellished bridal applique.

How to make a Bra Strap Headband >>

For more DIY couture and tips from Carly, check out her blog Chic Steals.


Thanks Lolly.Bot! You are so right - DIY is the way to go!!
The things you have made are wonderful.

I am totally for the DIY of stuff, not only is it cheaper but you do get that pride as well as the origionality (unless you altered or mimicked a design)
Thank you @Mallory and @Czeux Von Czeckeslovenisk!

I appreciate your sweet commentsHappy
The spikey ring you made really does look oh-so much better than the rip-off one Happy
These are great ideas. Thank you so much for sharing with me and I hope you experience great success as a designer! Happy
Jet H.: Awww, you're so sweet! Thanks for your comment - and if you ever make something, please post a photo! We'd love to see!<3

Thank you Squizita! Def. a great way to reuse stuff...especially if you have runs in the tights. Just a word of warning: you may need multiple pins to tack the rose in place since it does get a little weight to it once rolled...and the pins *may* leave holes in your tights. Just to let you know!
The tights rose is a great idea! Now I know what to do with all of those coloured opaques from last winter!
you make beautiful things and so funny too, i like that.;-D
i like the way of thinking ooo i must make one my self.
so thanks for telling this and all your great tutes and fun projects. love them!;-D

About Snippets

Snippets is the free online magazine from Cut Out + Keep featuring the best in indie & DIY.

Exploring the worlds of music, fashion, art & craft, our writers cover the things they love and we're always on the hunt for new contributors.

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