My DIY

DIY MARBLE PHOTO BACKGROUND

Is it just me or is there just something about photos with a marble background? Call me romantic (or ridiculous) but for some reason marble evokes a sense of elegance, of misty castles and vaulted ceilings, and is able to elevate an average afternoon coffee to a somehow whimsical experience, even if it’s just me, myself and I in a roadside cafe. It’s for that reason that I think marble makes such a perfect background for photos, but who has the dollar bills or bicep strength to use actual marble? Even if you’ve being doing your pump classes and carrying marble isn’t an issue for you, you’ll find that it’s actually quite a very brittle stone and is likely to crack when not treated really carefully. Enter a well kept secret of the instagrammer/blogger out there – the faux marble background created using marble paper. So simple to create and such a neat trick!

To be honest I wavered as to whether to share this or not, it’s really such a good trick and I use it all the time – and I’d hate to think you know it’s just a piece of paper and not real marble, but thought you might appreciate this little behind the scenes!

DIY Marble Photo Background www.apairandasparediy.com

Daniel Wellington Watch, Necklace from a street side stall in Williamsburg (like this)

#shitbloggersdo

DIY Marble Background www.apairandasparediy.com

Vintage camera, Gorjanna gold necklaces, Grown Alchemist lip gloss and face cream, Pure Earth Face Mist, Body Oil, Face Sand and Face Cream, Nick Campbell Sunglasses, Daniel Wellington Watch

You need:

Marble photo background

How to:

1. Measure out the paper on your piece of plywood.

Marble photo background

2. Trim to size, making sure to leave at least 2.5cm (1 inch) along the edge.

Marble photo background

3. Starting on one side, press the contact paper onto the plywood, working your way carefully and removing the backing as you go so that you don’t have any bubbles. Use a tea towel to press the contact paper down well. A neat trick if you find a bubble along the way, use a small pin to prick the surface and squeeze the air out and then smooth down the bubble.

Marble photo background

4. Turn the plywood over and fold the edge over.

Marble photo background

5. To finish the corners, trim the folded edge to the corner as shown below.

Marble photo background

6. Fold the other edge down into a triangle.

Marble photo background

7. Fold that edge up and over the create a clean fold.

Marble photo background

Voila! I said it was easy didn’t I?

Marble photo background

Although when you KNOW the background is faux it might be a little more obvious, I’ve used it a lot and not once has anyone asked if it was faux. If you feel it might need a boost, increase the brightness of your photo and then also the contrast (I use Afterlight app on iPhone to do this) and you’ll find the marble looks more genuine. And if you make sure to put focus on the items in your photo (whether it be a coffee, a macaron or a necklace) rather than a marble itself, I promise people won’t notice.

Marble photo background

DIY HANGING BASKETS

Woven bamboo baskets are an iconic element of everyday life in Hong Kong and Asia in general, obviously they were the vessel of choice prior to plastic knocking them off the top spot when it comes to holding stuff. But even so, there remains a tradition of hand made bamboo steamers (see what you can do with one here), bamboo pillows (yes really) and baskets of all sizes. My favourite stores literally heave with woven bamboo baskets of all kinds, many of them the perfect blank slate for a DIY enthusiast. So in this second (or third, or it is fourth?) episode of ‘fun with bamboo’ today I’m going to show you how to make a set of tied hanging baskets. Read on, it’s super simple!

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.comDIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • 3 bamboo baskets, it’s best if they are tiered in size (i.e. fit inside each other like russian dolls)
  • Rope (I went with dark pink rope to add a bit of colour to the design).

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Cut your rope into three equal sized pieces. Starting with the biggest basket, push the rope through the sides and them underneath and bak up in the middle.

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Do that with all pieces of rope and them tie in a knot in the middle.

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Take a piece of rope and add another basket on top, making sure to leave enough room so there’s space between the baskets.

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Loop that rope through the top end of the basket twice to secure it. If you feel yours might slip down at all, simply tie a knot inside the basket at this stage – I didn’t have to because my holes wedged the rope and kept it secure.

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Do that for all of the rope. Done-zo!

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

Now fill with whatever you like – fruit if you put it the kitchen or spools of rope and hanging plants if you put it in the corner of your studio because craft.

DIY Hanging Baskets www.apairandasparediy.com

DIY SCALLOPED HEELS

I’m a firm believer that we make our own sunshine, whether it be in the form of a Monday that doesn’t kill you, a job that you love or that ripped denim skirt that’s been on your wish list for ages. For that reason, I’m excited to be working with Kookai this month sharing a handful of DIYs, based on their new ‘Make Your Own Sunshine’ inspired AW14 collection. Drawing from the world of pop art and soul music, the collection is all about creating your own happiness (or sunshine), and what better way than with a bit of DIY, right?

Ok, ok, so I know shoes aren’t the answer to lifelong happiness, but they’re certainly not a bad place start (after getting a good 8 hours of sleep a night!). So today I’ll be showing you how to make a very very simple pair of scalloped heels – the perfect centrepiece for an outfit designed to dance the night away to soul, hip hop, funk – whatever your jam! Although, to be fair you’ll probably find me shoes in hand by the end of the night… :) And you guys, in case you weren’t sold on this project, the scalloping is totally removable so you can get happy with these shoes over and over!

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.comDIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing: Skirt and jacket from Kookai‘s AW14 collection

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • A pair of strappy heels (these are simple Tony Bianco ones I’ve had for years)
  • A piece of scrap leather or suede (faux would also work too)
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • This Scallop Printable printed on A4
  • A few pieces of leather twine

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Start by carefully cutting out the template.

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Using the tape, stick that to the underside of the leather/fabric.

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

3.  Next, using sharp scissors, carefully cut out the leather along the template, so you end up with scalloped trim as seen below.

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

4. The end result should look like this. You’ll have to cut around 4 pieces or more for your heels.

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

5. To attach to your heels, you’re going to use two methods. For the ankle straps, simple cut two slits into the leather and weave the strap onto it.

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

6. For the front strap, make two holes at the edge of the fabric, and thread the twine through, tying it to he underside of the strap.

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

DIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.comDIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.comDIY Scalloped Heels www.apairandasparediy.com

Stay tuned for more projects that inspire you to make your own sunshine!

Photos by Marion Tessier

In collaboration with Kookai.