I’m such a hoarder.

Ever since the year 1998 or so, I have kept every magazine I ever bought/received/got in a subscription…to some degree or another.  As I read each glossy I turn down the corner of each page where I see something I like – either something as a piece of design inspiration, a possible “I’m gonna make this!” for the future, or simply because I just want to buy it.  I may re-read a favorite magazine again soon after the first reading, but usually I let it sit for a month or so.  Then in one afternoon of feverish scissoring, I cut out every picture I marked or page I dogeared, stack them together, insert the stack into a manila envelope, and write on the envelope what magazine, and from what month and year, is broken down in there.  Then I recycle the rest of mag.

I can usually fit the clippings of around 15-25 magazines in one envelope, depending on how inspirational and covetable their products seem to me at the time (Lucky Magazine and Vivi Magazine are my biggest bang-for-the-buck glossies, providing me thick piles of clippings ripe with possible DIYs and design inspiration, amazing trends and items I just can’t live without…Vogue offers up only the occasional “I could make that!” photo, for instance).

Over the years the clippings have increased in number, the manila envelopes multiplied…and now I have an entire banker’s box filled to the brim with manila envelopes bursting with clippings (and if the truth be known, I bust out of that box with my envelopes 2 years or so ago).  These manila envelopes (well, a singular envelope in the beginning) have traveled with me from Japan to Vermont to Virginia to Philadelphia to Honolulu and now here to Oregon.  I call them “the archives.”

And yes, I do often go back to them to find new DIY ideas, re-examine a trend, or in search of an item I suddenly want RIGHT NOW but can’t remember exactly where I saw it.  And I have enough of a system so that I can usually find a tiny 1″ clipping inside that huge pile of paper – exactly where it should be.

So to share with all of you some ideas I’ve pulled out lately (and to kick off a running article series here on my blog), I’d like to introduce you to:


<The photos are not arranged according to any theme, date, or trend – just how they come.>

1. Check out that double layered cardigan from Anthropologie (I believe)…just stitch together two thrifted cardigans at the seams!

2. A furry Rebecca Taylor coat is an easy DIY adding some faux fur to the sleeves.  In fact, I think Lipglossandblack shared a tutorial on how to do that.

3. This pretty army jacket from Anthropologie may only be $79.95, but you could easily save yourself most of that by cutting out the back of the jacket and adding a sweater back instead.

4. This Erickson Beamon + Bauble Bar Dirty Glam Necklace is no longer available, so you might as well just hook together 3 vintage brooches, and hang your homemade bauble from black silk rattail cord.

5. At $798, this James Nares for Coach Tote could be had for a steal with a little white paint, a wide paintbrush, and a fearless hand.

6. Hand-paint your colored suede ballet flats like these Taika Flats from Anthropologie…and yup, there’s a tutorial for that too (I know I’ve seen it…or linked to it on my blog…but can’t remember where…)

7. Stamp or stencil a pair of nude tights or pantyhose in card suits (like in my tutorial here!)

8. Create some colorblocking like on these J. Crew Heels with some Angelus leather paint.

9. This cute take on the smiley-face tee by UNIF is totally do-able with some metallic foil transfer sheets (available at Jo-Ann’s, Michael’s, or other craft stores).

10.  How cute is this pearl-studded bow-tie necklace from Japanese brand MIIA?  Find a man’s bow-tie, and some chain to the sides, hand-stitch some pearls on, and voila!  A sweet little accessory.

Hope they provide some great ideas for DIY for all of you!



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