Guest Post: DIY Shamballa Bracelet from Katrine of Make It and Fake It

Hello lovely readers!  Today I have a wonderful talented guest poster here: Katrine from Make It and Fake It.  Though her blog is fairly new on the DIY scene, she’s been a posting a number of chic and easy tutorials that can help you get the designer look at a fraction of the cost.  And she’s been especially prolific with her bracelet tutorials – giving you a TON of DIY options to make your own pretty, bejeweled, knotted, blingy, stacked wrists full of arm candy.  Check out her tutorials for the Orange Stud Bracelet, White & Stud ArmCandy, Hair Elastic/Bracelet, and Gold Clover Bracelets and to get you started!

But she’s here today to share with you guys a never-before-shared tutorial…for a DIY Shamballa bracelet!  What’s a “Shamballa bracelet?” you ask.  Well, just read on!  Katrine, take it away!

Hi everyone,

I am so excited to be a guest here at Chic Steals! Today I’m going to share a special DIY with you all so I hope you love it as much as I do.

Have you seen the Shamballa bracelets everyone from Jay Z to Heidi Klum have been effortlessly rocking?! Well if you don’t have the thousands to spend on a black diamond real one, this is a pretty cool swap.

You will need black (or what ever colour floats your boat) cotton string, different kind of round beads and 30min of patience. Lets get started.

You cut a piece that’s long enough to go around your wrist with a couple extra inches on both sides (for the centre string), and one that’s about 4 times as long for the string you’ll be wrapping around the beads.

Tie the longer string about 4-5″ from one end of the centre string and start with “braiding” (see pic for how to) I love this technique and I use it for several of my bracelets (for different ways to use it you can check it out this tutorial here and my Orange Stud Bracelet [linked above]). How you do it is that you take the right string over the centre string, then you take the left string over the right string, under the centre string and up through the loop made by the right string (see pictures). Then you do the opposite, so the left one over the centre etc., adding your beads as you go.

The clasp is adjustable which is perfection; I hate awkward clasps that are hard to put on by yourself. For this one I just crossed the two sides of the centre string did the same “braiding” technique to lock them together.

I seal all my knots with clear nail polish, and I find that does the trick.

Add beads to each side of the string ends so they won’t slide through…and then you are ready to go!





Well, that’s it for you, readers!  Hope you liked this post, and if you’d like to see more of Katrine’s lovely creations, check out her blog below!

Make It and Fake It

Thanks Katrine, it’s been a pleasure!



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DIY Friendship Bracelets for any Age

It was my best friend’s birthday this week and I had wanted to send her something I made.  Unfortunately it took me a lot longer than I had anticipated to make all the bracelets I had wanted to, so I ended up popping them in the mail a little after her birthday.

It’s been 20 or so years since I last made a friendship bracelet, and I remember back in the day only being able to make the kind with the diagonal stripes.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make the chevron, crossover, diamond-patterns, or Chinese staircase bracelets.  The bracelets I made back in the late 80’s were pretty horrible; too loose or too tight, bad colors, wayyy too short…  Now in 2011 there are tutorials all over the place and following one closely I finally was able to make a double diamond-patterned bracelet (the navy one above).

I was thrilled.

I also sewed in rhinestones and beads into my bracelets, and did wrap bracelets with bright embroidery floss and ball-chain and rhinestone chain, similar to what Honestly, WTF had posted on their blog a little while ago.

I figured that, no matter how old we get, sometimes something as both cheesy and iconic as the friendship bracelet can bring a little pop of color to an outfit – and a smile to one’s face.

Happy Birthday, J!!!

I hope she likes them.


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DIY in 5: Cage Cuff

Yesterday I mentioned it as a more realistic alternative project to the New York Times‘ labor-intensive 3-hour DIY (!), so today I’m going to show you how to make it. It’s DIY in 5minutes, that is. The easiest, quickest ways to take a piece from blah to fab and update it to current trends.

Wherever I go I’m always on the lookout for clothing, accessory, or jewelry components that can be used in quick ‘n’ simple DIYs. That’s why these silver cuffs I spotted in the jewelry-making section at Jo-Ann Fabrics, from the brand-new Dazzling Geodes line of findings (from Plaid Enterprises) caught my eye. (Technically they’re supposed to be used as a base for adding geode slices and embellishments.) And incidentally, like most of the fashion- and culinary-obsessed, I am a frequent visitor to and the Dazzling Geodes cuffs reminded me a lot of the arm-cuffs she sells in her web-store.

A Luxirare Cuff.

$95 for one of these cuffs is pretty reasonable considering she designed these and has these custom-cast with embossed LUXIRARE logo, and they look pretty hefty and durable…but if you’re in the market for something similar you can use 2 of these affordable findings to make your own version.

You Need:

*2 silver cuffs from the Dazzling Geodes line (available at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts stores)
*silver-colored dead-soft jewelry wire
*wire cutters/pliers

1. Cut 2 short pieces of wire.
If your wire is kinked at all, close the pliers on it and drag in order to straighten it.
2. Line the cuffs up side-by-side and wrap a wire piece around the outer edges where the two cuffs meet.

3. Weave the wire around the edges (I made a “V” shape as I wrapped), trim the ends down, and use the pliers to push the sharp ends back out towards the outside of the cuff so they won’t scratch you.

3. Cut a longer piece of wire and secure the center of where the cuffs meet. Twist the ends around each other on the inside, pull ends towards the outside and trim appropriately.

You’re done! And it may have taken you all of 10 minutes.;-)

Wear with minimalist clothing, sharp contrasts, and architectural details…and stay cool, calm, and cagey with this on your wrist.

Happy DIY’ing!


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DIY Ribbon Edwardian Cuffs

To continue on in the theme of strange things to wear on your wrists…

I’d like to share with you how to make your very own pair of pleated wrist cuffs.

As an accessory they may be somewhat unusual – but maybe you noticed them on China Chow from a previous episode of Bravo’s Work of Art? (Episode 3; the one where the artists have to create a piece of art for a book cover; I can’t find the screencap from  She’s wearing them though!!)

They’ve been seen on celebrities such as Audrina Patridge and Brooke Hogan, courtesy of Cuffs Couture, but at $58-$90 for a single cuff I find this brand a bit out of my budget.

I actually saw the cuffs I got the idea from in a February 2010 issue of Vivi magazine, and thought they were a great idea to wear with bare arms to add a bit of romance to an outfit.


You Need: (sorry for the hand-drawings, I didn’t photograph the step-by-step)


*2 pieces of black woven fabric, each about 3″ wide and long enough to wrap loosely around one wrist with about a 2″ overlap
*2 sets of black velcro strips (the furry side and the hooked side = 1 set), each about 2″ longpleated white trim (mine was grosgrain ribbon trim I found at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, though if you can find pleated silk or cotton that would be soooo much better)
*black grosgrain ribbon, 1/2″ wideAnd…
*fabric scissors
*sewing machine and needle for wovens
*hand-sewing needle
*black thread
*white thread
*fabric glue
How To:

1. Turn under all the raw edges of each fabric piece about 1/2″, and sew.

2. On the underside of one of the smaller ends of a fabric piece, sew a piece of velcro (the furry side out).  Do the same for the other fabric piece.

3. Cut 2 pieces of your black grosgrain ribbon and 4 pieces of pleated trim to the same length as your finished fabric pieces.

Use an open flame to heat-seal the edges if they are synthetic fibers; if cotton you will have to either fold the raw edges under or seal them with Fray-Check.

4. Sew 2 pleated trim pieces onto each long side of one of the fabric pieces.  Place them just far apart enough so that the 1/2″ wide ribbon placed in-between them will just overlap them in the center.  Do the same for the other fabric piece and remaining pleated trim.

5. Sew each piece of black grosgrain ribbon down in the center of the fabric pieces.

6. Make the bow: (For my bow I made two loops; one a little smaller than the other, and placed them on top of each other, gluing the top loop onto the bottom one, then wrapping the center and securing with stitching underneath. You can make two or one or however many loops you want!  The methodology is the same anyway.  The following directions are for a single-loop bow🙂

*Cut a 2.5″-long piece and a 1.5″ piece of grosgrain ribbon.  Double-thread your hand-sewing needle with black thread, and double-knot the end.

*Create a loop with the longer piece of ribbon, underlapping the ends.

*Push your needle into the underlapped pieces to the inside of the loop, then back through and out, pulling the knot tight onto the ribbon underside.

*Pierce the end of the smaller piece of ribbon and push it all the way down to anchor it onto the underside of the loop you just made.

*Curl the small ribbon around the loop, and anchor the other side of it with the needle and thread.

*Sew an X through all layers except for the tops of the loops, knot, and cut the thread.

*Make one more bow.

7. Use a dab of fabric glue to glue each bow onto the center ribbon of each cuff.

8.  Sew the other velcro strips onto the opposite ends of the fabric cuffs, onto the right sides, the hooked side facing outwards.

Each cuff is fastened by pressing the strips of velcro together on the underside of your wrists.

The stiffness of the ribbon pleats makes it stand out from the wrist more than I had hoped, thus something that is softer or thinner would be a better choice for the pleating.  You could even make the pleating by hand (with the help of an iron) if you were particularly hardcore.

I think they look equally as good with a casual ensemble as with a slinky LBD!

Hope this has inspired you to make your own!
Happy DIY’ing!

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Chic Steal: Curtain Rings to Boho Bangles

The other day I was just browsing in my local fabric and notions store, and something in the interior fabrics and curtains section caught my eye.

Yes, this little basket.  Full of wooden and antiqued curtain rings for super-large curtain rods.

Gold, bronze, and bone craquel enamel carved rings, and dark wooden rings.
It was like a basket full of happiness.

Not that I was really looking for curtain rings.  I just had my cheapskate ‘n’ DIY thinking cap on.

These curtain rings are so beautifully unique with the enamel craquelure!  I’ll just remove the eye screws…

And now I have a one-of-a-kind pair of boho bangles!

You can also find large rod curtain rings in flea markets, antique stores, and interior hardware shops, so keep an eye out and your cheapskate cap on…
Though at $2.50 apiece maybe Forever21 is cheaper??

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