DIY – Digital Gold Typography with FontBundles.net

FTC Disclosure: This post is in partnership with FontBundles.net, where you can get a variety of beautiful fonts for great prices (around 96% off the regular price!) They also offer a free font download every week. My full Disclosure Policy is here.

diy-spring-typography-tutorial-chic-stealsHi friends – today, as promised, I’m sharing the tutorial for how to create your own digital typography art.

You see it all around the internet: pinned on Pinterest, prints on Etsy, shared on Instagram…the font-based typography layout as art has taken the world by storm. There’s nothing like a motivational or inspirational quote to get your going in the morning, or inspire you to pick up when you’ve lost steam. So here’s how to make your own:

DIY Digital* Gold Typography How-To

I’m using the Sobbers font from the Spring Bundle from FontBundles.net if you’d like to follow along. I’m also using Photoshop CS6 on a Mac – so replace any CMD (command) with CTRL (control) keys for PC’s.

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1. Create a new file, size it square, 72dpi, RGB. Save it as a .PSD on your desktop or somewhere as your working file.

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2. Hit T for the Type Tool shortcut, choose Sobbers font, and type one word on the canvas. Type the 2nd word. Type the 3rd word. You want each word to be separate (and to commit your typing, hit CMD Enter to exit the Type Tool and start another word).

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3. SHIFT-select your 3 separate words (that are all on their own layers) and choose the vertical align option from the Align panel to center them all to each other. I chose not to center to the canvas but you could do that by selecting all the layers and aligning them.

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4. With all 3 layers selected, press and hold SHIFT and OPTION keys, grab the lower right-hand corner of the transform control. (Make sure your “Show transform controls” option is checked when the Move tool (V) is selected. Drag it out so all the words are sized larger so they look nice on the canvas but are still aligned center to each other.

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5. Now select each single layer and move closer together so the spacing between them sees comfortable.

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6. I chose to resize both the words “Spring” and “Action” larger, again keeping the 3 words vertically aligned with each other.

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7. Then, move the words closer together again so they “fit” well – paying attention to creating similar white space between the ascenders and descenders of the font, and creating a path of movement for the eye through the artwork.

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8. Select all your word layers and choose CMD G (or CTRL G on a PC) to group them. I renamed my group “Words.” Then create a new layer (CMD SHIFT N) and hit OK.

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9. Choose the Gradient tool (G…keep hitting SHIFT G to cycle through the tools until the Gradient is chosen). Double-click on the gradient image at the top left of the window to open up the Gradient editor. I chose a 5-point gradient that was gold with 2 lighter stripes in it. Hit OK.

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10. In your new layer, click near the top left and drag the gradient down to the bottom right.

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11. To place (“clip”) the gradient to your words, hold down the OPTION key, hover over the line in-between the gradient layer and the “Words” group, and the cursor will change to a little bent arrow next to a box. Click on the line and you will “clip” the gradient to the letters.

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12. If you don’t like the placement of the gradient, select the gradient layer and just use the Move tool to move it around on your words. I had to play with it a bit, enlargening it and spinning it around until I liked it. Finally, create a new layer again and type your name, website name, or whatever you like in there. (I tend to type in black and set the Blending mode to Multiply, at 35% opacity. It’s something you have to play with to see if you like the results.)

Spring Into Action gold typography by Chic StealsAnd that’s it! It’s really simple to make with Photoshop (or GIMP, for that matter) – with spectacular results. Now you have something all your own that you can share across your channels to inspire your friends and family with quotes, ideas, funny phrases – anything!

sobbers-font-example-1 sobbers-font-example-2 sobbers-font-example-3

Get More Beautiful Fonts from FontBundles (for only $20!)

Happy DIY’ing!

xo

Carly

*Note: this tutorial is for digital typography – if you want to create something for print you need to set up your file as CYMK 300dpi.

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DIY Matte Tip Nail Art: Make Your Mani Last with a Tip Refresh

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I’m big on squeezing every.last.drop of usefulness out of a manicure. If I’ve gone to the trouble of painting my nails (and it’s not gel)…I want them to last as long as humanly possible. Some bottles of nail polish say that to keep your mani fresh you need to paint another coat on your nails every 2 days. But seriously…who’s got time for that?? (Plus, if you’re sealing your manicure with a topcoat once done…wouldn’t you have to paint…and then seal…again?) I want minimal time, minimal fuss, and minimal damage to my nails.

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This is where I’m at after about 10 days of wear using a base coat, regular nail polish, and topcoat. It’s almost time to retire it…or is it??

In the past, I’ve shared a Glitter Tip Refresh and a Sharpie Tip Refresh. How about another nail polish refresh…but this time playing with a matte version for contrast?      matte-nail-tip-art-refresh-urban-outfitters-nail-polish

I’m using: Urban Outfitters UO Classics Midnight Rider Nail Polish with Urban Outfitters UO Matte Violet Nail Polish on the tips for the refresh (aff. links)

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The tutorial is pretty self-explanatory: use tape to cordon off a cool diagonal stripe that makes the nail art cool city girl chic.

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Peel tape off while tip color is still wet.

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If you do the proper thing and add a layer of topcoat you’ll lose the pretty matte textural contrast…but your tip refresh will last longer. Matte polish chips a lot faster than regular, so you may only get a few more days out of this mani…but it’s good enough for me!

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What do you guys think? Something you might try to keep that manicure going a little longer?

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xo

Carly

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20 DIY’s to Elevate Your Spring Style

20 DIY Spring Projects by Chic Steals collage

Spring is on its way, bringing a revival of pastel hues, flowery motifs, and lighter fabrics. Want to start the season off with a couple DIY projects to freshen up your wardrobe? Check out these 20 Spring Fashion DIY’s from the Chic Steals archives:

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Illusion Jeweled Rhinestone Chandelier Earrings

Super-Easy Tattoo Tights

Tom Binns Neon Cameo Necklace

Colorblocked Bag (or How to Paint Leather with Acrylic Paint)

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Easy 1 and 2/3 Yards Lace Dress

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Alteration 101: How to Make a T-Shirt Dress Bigger

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Colorful Anthropologie Tassel Necklace

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Galaxy Print Mini-Skirt

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Radiant Rhinestone Belt

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Miu Miu Rhinestone-Embellished Flats

And I’m sure you’re looking for MORE Spring projects, so here you go!

10 DIY Projects for Spring crafts roundup

Clockwise, from top left:

Flowered Ballet Flats  |  Floral Applique Cardigan  |  Prada Rose Cabochon Stud Earrings

Gold Foil Easter Egg Nails  |  Flower Barrette

Flowered Snackcessory Clutch  |  Watercolor Scarf  |  Enamel Bib Necklace

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Lace Maxi-Skirt

Flower Petal Top

Happy Spring – and Happy DIY’ing!

xo
Carly

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DIY Agate Slice Drink Coasters

diy-agate-coasters-intro-chic-stealsOn a recent trip to one of my favorite gem supply shops in the Portland area (Ed’s House of Gems as I wrote in an earlier post here) I found some pretty agate slices that seemed like they would be perfect for drink coasters. Sure, I got the idea from Rablabs many years back…but those coasters were $65 at the time and way more than I wanted to spend. So I decided to make my own DIY agate drink coasters – with a little metal leaf to glam them up – and some cork “feet” to protect my table. You can find agate or geode slices many places now (including at your local Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabrics stores!) and you can buy them on eBay or here as well. I also shared this project idea on Darby Smart awhile ago…but I figured it was high time to turn it into a full-fledged tutorial. So here it is!

You Need:

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agate slices (you can use dyed agate though the dye may bleed a little)  /  Mod Podge or metal leafing glue  /  clean, soft brush  /  metal leaf sheet in your favorite metal color  /  adhesive cork disks (find these in the furniture protection section!)  /  small scissors  /  adhesive sealant (optional, not pictured)

How To:
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1. Brush the edges of an agate slice with Mod Podge or metal leafing glue. (If your agate is dyed, you may find that the color starts bleeding into the glue here.)
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2. Allow the glue to dry a few minutes so it is tacky. Roll onto a metal leafing sheet, pressing hard and covering all edges completely with the sheet. Just rip and reposition!diy-agate-coasters-step-3

3. Making sure your brush is completely dry (or just use a different brush), gently brush off the excess metal leaf.diy-agate-coasters-step-4

4. Usually the adhesive cork disks that are sold for furniture are too large for coasters, so cut each disk into smaller pieces.diy-agate-coasters-step-5

5. Place the cork pieces at opposite ends of the agate slice so the slice will sit level on a flat surface.

And that’s it! diy-agate-coasters-done-2-chic-steals

Pretty, colorful, organic coasters add a touch of class to any decor. If you’re concerned about the metal leaf coming off with use or exposure to liquids, I’d advise a quick spray of acrylic sealant around the edges of the coasters to make that permanent.diy-agate-coasters-done-1-chic-steals

These coasters look so lovely shimmering in pale colors below translucent drinks!

What do you think? Is this a project you’ll be trying out?

xo
Carly

And if you love agate projects (or need something to do with any extra agate slices you may have acquired ;-)…my DIY Agate Keepsake Box (above) materials are still available on Darby Smart…and you can buy them individually in case you only need one or two supplies. (And…pssst! Right now [early Spring 2016] in Target’s front $1 section right in front of the doors…there are beautiful hinged WHITE wooden boxes…for only $3, which I suggest you snap up IMMEDIATELY to take advantage!)

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DIY Gold-Painted Agate Bookends

diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-title-chic-stealsSo…sliced agate bookends are a big THING…but they can be ridiculously expensive. Just browse One King’s Lane or Joss & Main (and those are discounted to around $66, sheesh!) to see what I mean. Or Z Gallerie to see the full-priced version at $99. Even Target released a pair as part of their Threshold line…and of course the pair is about at the $25 mark. That’s still a price I think I can beat, so I began searching for how to create these lovely bookends for less.

Unfortunately to get good-quality sliced and polished matching agate chunks, you’ll have to pony up some cash, there’s no way around that. If you can score a pair on eBay for cheaper, that’s awesome…just be aware to factor in shipping to make sure you’re getting a good deal (those things can be heavy). Amazon has some great agate bookend options…similar to the lower pricepoint I found mine at – so I’d recommend buying through them!) Personally, I like to source my gems at local rock shops since I can get a pretty good deal depending on what they have in stock – and a favorite of mine is Ed’s House of Gems in NE Portland (don’t look at their website, it doesn’t begin to do this amazing store justice). Needless to say, I managed to find a beautiful pair of agate bookends there recently for a mere $18 – and set out to spice them up and make them look as nice as the Target (or the more expensive!) versions. (You could also cover the rough sides in actual gold or silver leaf if you wanted…but I had some spray paint on hand and figured that would be easiest.)

How to Make DIY Gold Painted Agate Bookends

You Need:

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sliced agate pair  |  painter’s tape  |  gold spray paint (here are a variety of great options)  |  acrylic sealer (optional)  |  newspapers or something to protect your surface  |  sticky-back felt dots (optional)

How To:

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1. Spread painter’s tape over the flat sides of each bookend, extending the tape beyond the side. diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-step-2-chic-steals

Press firmly at the edge where the flat polished side meets the rough, rocky edge to prevent seepage.

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2. Place on newspapers outside, and spray the rough, rocky sides gold. 1-2 coats should suffice.

3. Allow to dry.

4. (Optional) Hit the gold-painted side with a coating of acrylic sealer if you’re concerned about the gold rubbing off.

5. (Optional) Place sticky-back felt dots on the underside of the agate pieces to keep your shelving safe.

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And there you have it!

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You could easily just place the agate pieces as-is on your shelves and none would be the wiser…but I wanted some more finished pieces. They would also make a fabulous gift that looks oh-so-expensive…and you never have to tell anyone that you crafted them for a steal!

Happy DIY’ing!

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If you’ve made your own version of these popular sliced DIY agate bookends – how did they work out for you? Let me know in the comments!

xo
Carly

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DIY: Shine Word Sweater AKA How to Cover Up a Stain on Your Sweater

diy-shine-word-sweater-how-to-cover-up-stain-chic-stealsOh metallic lurex thread, how I love thee!! It adds so much dimension, so much Wintry sparkle, so much glamour to just plain old fabrics. But it’s a demon to clean.

Once I found a beautiful silvery sweater at H&M on the clearance rack for a mere $8.95. And it happened to be in my size, too. I wore it often for many years. I wore it here, for example.

And then while at work one day I dropped my lunch on it. A small mouthful of leftover Thai drunken noodles. In oily brown sauce. And my favorite sweater was ruined forever.

diy-shine-word-sweater-stain-chic-stealsI washed it multiple times, in both cold and warm water, and tried every stain remover known to woman. But nothing got the stain out of acrylic. That brownish-yellow stain would not budge. I tried to wear it after the unfortunate incident, but the stain was too obvious, and I felt self-conscious. I thought about discarding the sweater (heck, I had only paid $8.95 for it so it wasn’t a huge investment)…but I wanted to save it if I could.

And then I had an epiphany…to combine that trend of one big word on your shirt…with my poor abused sweater…hence forever covering up that stain and allowing me to wear it again (or at least, until it got too pilled and stretched out to even resemble clothing anymore). Hence this DIY. Here’s how to cover up that horrible stain on your own shirt if it has befallen similar circumstances:

DIY Shine Word Sweater (or, How to Cover a Stain on Your Sweater)

You Need:

diy-shine-word-sweater-materials-chic-stealssweater or top  /  black felt  /  fabric scissors  /  needle and matching thread  /  pins  /  graphic program to create your word if you’re not using the download below  /  printer (or print at an office store)  /  regular scissors

How To:

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  1. Choose what word you’re going to put on your top. It took me forever to finally choose a word (and yes, I browsed Pinterest, blogs, and magazines for what seemed like ages). But I found it: Shine. Quite ironically literal. So I went with that, and typed it out in Photoshop using the Ballpark Weiner font and printed out a copy of the word to see if the spacing and font would indeed cover up the stain. It did so I went with that.diy-shine-word-sweater-step-1-chic-steals
  2. Cut out the word using regular scissors. Don’t forget to cut out dots on i’s or punctuation as well. I didn’t cut out the negative space inside the letters at this point.diy-shine-word-sweater-step-2-chic-steals
  3. Pin the word to your felt.diy-shine-word-sweater-step-3-chic-steals
  4. Use fabric scissors to cut around your word carefully. You may need to make certain areas wider than the font so the felt doesn’t pull apart. For cutting the negative space out of the inside of loops, I just eyeballed it, cutting smaller than I needed to and then widening once I laid the cut-out on the original font.diy-shine-word-sweater-step-4-chic-stealsdiy-shine-word-sweater-step-5-chic-steals
  5. Place the the cut out felt word to the center of your top, and pin down so it is flat.diy-shine-word-sweater-step-6-chic-stealsdiy-shine-word-sweater-step-7-chic-steals
  6. Use a running stitch (looks like – – – – ) around the inside edges of the felt to secure the word to your top. This is long and tedious – make sure you have some Netflix or mindless TV to get you through. Also stitch on any i dots or punctuation as well. (If you’re dealing with a stretchy top like a sweater, be careful not to stretch the knit too much as you are sewing or else the finished word will pucker.)

diy-shine-word-sweater-done-3-chic-stealsAnd that’s it! A pretty upgrade to a soiled mistake…and I’ve just saved a major piece in my wardrobe. How to cover a stain on your sweater is really as easy as a bit of felt, time, and thread!

diy-shine-word-sweater-done-1-chic-stealsThis is something you will need to hand-wash cold and lay flat to dry. You could also use suedecloth or any other fabric that doesn’t fray when you cut it – leather or vinyl I would think a little tough to hand-sew but you could always try it if you prefer that look.

Download my DIY Shine Word Sweater graphic here if you’d like to make your own “Shine” version (click below):

Shine Font Graphic for DIY Shine Word Sweater

(77 KB PDF, sized at 300 dpi, for 8.5″ x 11″ paper)

diy-shine-word-sweater-done-2-chic-stealsdiy-shine-word-sweater-done-4-chic-stealsShine on, my friends!

Ever had a stain on your shirt where you did something creative to cover it up? Do tell!

xo
Carly

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