Happy New Year!

happynewyear_chicstealsHello, lovely readers – it is now January 1 of the New Year. Somehow I thought 2015 was going to be a bit more…futuristic. Like with hoverboards and time displacement vortexes. I’m a little disappointed.

As you may have noticed, there’s a bit of construction going on around here. I’m sprucing things up, starting with a new website theme for Chic Steals and new functionality. Plus new content is on the way! Still working and tweaking, though (you may have noticed my DIY Galleries are down right now as I have to rebuild the whole gallery from scratch)…so it will be a little bit of time until everything is sorted out and running smoothly.

2014 was an absolutely awful year for me, personally – not going to lie – and 2015 is not looking very promising either…can I just skip over it and arrive in 2016?? 😉 There’s been something going on in my life that I am still unable to share on the blog because everything is still completely unresolved and things are in flux. When I know more, and it is finally in the aftermath…then I can share, but right now I cannot because I could impact my legal position. Seriously, it’s THAT bad.

Onto lighter topics. In any case, I’d like to share with you a round-up of the DIY’s I shared on this blog in 2014…like I do every year around New Year’s. Perhaps you missed one or two? Check them out below!


I was working as a Guest Contributor for WeHeartThis for awhile, until I got too overwhelmed with the personal stuff. Above are my DIY Alphabet Earrings. Made from pasta.

DIY Windowpane Shirt

I noticed that Windowpane-print was trending…so I created a boldly graphic Windowpane Sweatshirt using black trim.


My DIY Free People Wrapped Quartz Bangle was a huge hit and was probably my most-shared DIY of 2014. Easy and full of impact – what’s not to love?diyamorirsunglasses_done3

I went a little crazy and decked out a pair of sunglasses with Sunglass Warehouse A-Morir style with rhinestones and beads.diyclaymacaron_done3

Finally delving into my love for Deko Sweets, I shared how to create these cute and realistic Pastel Clay French Macarons.diymacaronstand_done2

You can use those clay macarons to make cute crafts – for example, these Stacked Macaron Card Holder Stands.0.diyevileyering_introphoto

Another post for WeHeartThis: my DIY Evil Eye Ring made with clay, paint, and rhinestone trim.diyneonstingrayclutch_done2

Partnering with Tulip Neon and I Love to Create, I made a Faux Stingray Clutch using dimensional fabric paint.z.diysweatshirtsleeveskirt_done2

I refashioned a sweatshirt into a Tied-Sleeves Skirt a la Chloe.diychocolatechipcookiepurse_done1

I shared a tutorial for making a cute Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin Purse – which people loved. I have to make some more of those!!diyeastereggnails_done1

With Easter coming up, I made some DIY Gold Speckled Easter Egg Nails.diy-kit-wander-and-hunt-1-(3)

I designed some DIY kits for Wander & Hunt, namely this Anthropologie-style Rhinestone Ribbon Beltwander-and-hunt-projects-50

…And this Dannijo-style Rhinestone Pendant. (The kits both sold out!)diystenciledphotoframe_done1

For Father’s Day, I made a Patterned Mod Podge Silver Leaf Photo Frame.ChicSteals_agatebox2

I worked with Darby Smart to create this high-end-looking Agate Keepsake Box – and the kits are still available here for purchase!diydaisyapplique_done2

Noting that Daisy-print was trending, I made an Iron-On Daisy Applique Sweatshirt. Very Mary Quant!diyicecreamnecklace_done1

For Summer I crafted up another Deko Sweets piece: this Ice Cream Cone Necklace with Polyform Souffle Clay.stayfree_pillowdone2_chicsteals

I felt my home needed a bit of decoration, so I created a knockoff Handwriting Quote Pillow for my bedroom…diytypographypillows_done1

…And a couple of outdoor Ombre Typography Pillows with Tulip Tie Dye and I Love to Create.diyanthrotasselnecklace_done4

I loved making this Anthropologie dupe of a Colorful Tassel Necklace for Summer!diymexicanbracelets_done2

Making these Thread-Wrapped Mexican Bracelets with TrenDIY and their kits was super-fun.julepnightskypedi5

I made an Ombre Night Sky Pedicure featuring Julep.diygalaxyskirt4

I also finally finished my Galaxy Print Mini-Skirt, made from the Blue Star Field Galaxy Fabric I designed and sell on Spoonflower.bathroom_after5

It took me a couple months to redo my downstairs bathroom into a modern Geometric Makeover – but it was totally worth it!alteration101dress_done5

For those who need to add some fabric to a simple T-shirt dress, I shared the Alteration 101: Making a Dress Bigger how-to here.diytombinnsneoncameo_done2

Inspired by Tom Binns, I created a Rhinestone Neon Cameo Necklace. Would Marie Antoinette approve?diyglowskulltshirt_done5

Partnering again with Tulip and I Love to Create, I made a Glow-in-the-Dark Skull T-Shirt for Halloween.diy-quartz-paperweight-done3

I had my eye on quartz paperweights and objets for awhile…so I just made a Faux Quartz Paperweight out of quartz pieces and beach glass vase filler…that looks so much like a real chunk of semiprecious stone that you’d be surprised!diy-woodland-ornaments-done4

I made some stuffed Illustrated Woodland Ornaments for my mini Christmas tree.diy-illustrated-giftwrap2

I then took the illustrations I made and designed some Printable Illustrated Wrapping Paper for wrapping small presents.

Well, that’s it! Not as many as 2013…but hopefully this coming year will be better and filled with more fun, creativity, and above all, DIY’ing!

May 2015 bring many wonderful things your way!!



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7 Ways How to Make Good New Year’s Resolutions – And Keep Them

Women-day-deaming-about-her-New-Years-ResolutionsI would have loved to roll this post out while everyone (including me!) was still in the planning stage for their Resolutions, but, alas, an Internet issue has delayed this post. But it’s never too late!

Some of you may have already made your Resolutions for 2014 – and others may still be deciding (the old ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ question). After all, how many Resolutions have we been able to keep in the past?

I think there’s a distinct reason why Resolutions are so hard to keep – and why the concept of endeavors spanning a year are so difficult to visualize to fruition. Here’s how to make good Resolutions – and set yourself up for success! – in keeping them:

newyears1 1. Don’t Focus on the Whole Year – Split It Into Parts

12 months is a huge timespan to consider, and resolve inevitably fades after a month or so. Why not split your year down into manageable sections? The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington advocates this approach in order to concentrate focus and productivity. It’s an excellent book on the piecemeal approach to planning for the long-term, and I highly recommend it in order to help you achieve your Resolution goals. Split up your year into 4 quarters, focus on separate goals during each quarter, reassess as you go, and the whole year of a Better You is way more doable.

newyears22. Don’t Make Too Many Resolutions – Stick to 5 or Less Per Quarter

Again, a hallmark of productivity advice is to not self-sabotage from the outset by focusing on too much. Even with a shorter timespan to focus on, you can still put way too much on your plate by trying to tackle 10 or 20 goals. Pick 5 -3 goals (the fewer, the better!) with which you want to start out in order to maximize your results.

newyears33. Make Your Resolutions Quantitative and Measurable

Don’t write down “Be more thoughtful to my Grandma” or “Get healthy”…be specific! How will you be nice to Grandma – what will you do? Write a letter every two weeks? Send impromptu flowers? What does “Get healthy” mean to you? Is it “drink no soda”? “Limit coffee to 1x per week”? “Walk 5000 steps per day”? Make it as specific as possible so you can measure your progress and make sure you are achieving the overall goal.

newyears44. Create a String of Unbroken X’s

A common motivator is to have a physical calendar with your daily goals on it, and draw a big X on each day that you hit your 5000 steps, post a blog post, don’t spend any money, take the dog for a walk, etc. The visual chain of X’s that you create when you repeat these actions day after day, week after week, will help motivate you to keep going so as not to break the chain.

newyears55. Create Regular Check-Ins For Yourself

Designate a day of the week, each week, and a day of the month, each month, to check your progress. Are you hitting your daily, weekly, monthly goals? If not, step back and assess. What can you change, how can you help yourself achieve what you want? Set aside 5-10 minutes at least to reflect and recalibrate in order to better tackle your Resolutions.

newyears66. Create Motivators and Rewards for Yourself

Accountability is a huge part of achieving goals – as is rewarding yourself. Schedule in a fun experience, shopping treat, time with your friends, whatever motivates you as a reward for all your hard work. (These rewards have to be motivating enough to keep you going when the going gets rough – and help you put down that donut, refuse that drink, do an extra set of dumbbell curls…when you really, really would rather not. Plus, those rewards can’t be such that they undo all your hard work and set you back into the habits you are trying to change: i.e., a shopping binge for someone trying to curtail spending for example.)

newyears77. Remember It Takes Time

It is said that to change any habit permanently you need a minimum of 21 days. Each time you do not indulge in that habit, you create new neural pathways that reinforce good habits. But the slope is slippery – and it’s very easy to fall back into old ways. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up and decide to throw in the towel. It’s just one day – so what? Get back on that horse, back in the saddle, and keep going. That is the hallmark of a true goal-getter – and someone who will be keeping those Resolutions this year at last.


Images source: here, here, here, here, here, here, here

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2013: The Year in Review for Chic Steals

chicsteals_2013diysAnother year has gone by, and now it’s time to do my yearly wrap-up of content. (This was supposed to post New Year’s Eve, but my home router is broken, so I had to write this at my local Starbucks, using their wi-fi. Thanks, Starbucks!!)

Every year on New Year’s Eve I republish a list of all my DIY’s that I shared on this blog during the past year. Just like last year, I decided to do a Best Of list as well, to share some of my favorite content from this past year with you: (more…)

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13 DIY New Year’s Eve Headbands and Head Adornments

0.13newyearsevehairadornmentsNew Year’s Eve is rapidly approaching – do you know what you will be wearing yet? There is a definite trend towards wearing something sparkly, large, and a total showstopper on one’s head for that evening – and I just love the boldness of it! Here are some fabulous DIY’s for making your own New Year’s Eve head adornment to ring in 2014! (more…)

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2012: The Year in Review for Chic Steals

Every year on New Year’s Eve I republish a list of all my DIY’s that I shared on this blog during the past year.  This time around, I decided to do a Best Of list as well, to share some of my favorite content from this past year with you:


How Do You Maintain Your Life While Facing Stress? 5 Ways to Deal When It Seems You Just Can’t was a great post that offered tips for dealing with complete meltdowns and crazy stress (I’m sure we all experienced a little of that during the holiday season!)

DIY Watercolor Kitten Tee with DecoArt Ink Effects was a super-fun project with amazing, watercolor-style results.  Speaking of cats, the DIY Cute Cat Beret project was a way to use a 99-cent Goodwill pirate’s hat (found just after Halloween) and make it into a darling little beret and jump on the cat-themed bandwagon.

diychocobark_done2DIY Holiday Chocolate Bark: 4 Recipes to Gift Last-Minute can be made any time of the year, thank goodness!  That Tropical Coconut-Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bark was akin to ambrosia…and the Godiva-Inspired Caramel Cashew Bark is already a staple in my candy-making repertoire!  Also for the holidays, I made some DIY Glittery Ornament Napkins and some DIY Easy Pinned Sequin Ornaments.

In December I launched a bimonthly podcast about bringing creativity and craftiness to your daily life, called Creatively Chic.  You can listen to both episodes that have launched here.

I also partnered with Echoed.com to create a Stories area on my site (now located in the upper left-hand corner) where anyone can upload their DIYs!  Post your tutorial or your finished project to share with everyone – and create a link back to your site!  Vote, share, and comment on those stories to get a ton of inspiration and meet some other DIY’ers in the community!

Some of my favorite books (and accompanying reviews) from this year: Steal Like an Artist, DIY Couture, New Dress a Day, and Mod Podge Rocks!

instagramphotosweek1I got an iPhone for my birthday and joined Instagram!  Slowly becoming an addiction.  I also was featured as the first DIY Fashionista on Cut Out + Keep’s new series!  What an honor.

I designed some repeating Universe Prints on Spoonflower.com and ordered fabric swatches to test the prints.  I still have to sew them into something beautiful!


3 Reaons Why Your DIYs Are FAILS: The Spore Sweater Resurrected offers some tips for how to get past mistakes and failures when making your own things.  Plus there I shared my resurrected Spore PomPon Sweater…a project 8 months in the fixing!!

julianobisbutterflyI shared tons of DIY inspiration, including From the Archives, DIY Inspiration from Street Style Photos, DIY Ideas from New York Fashion Week S/S 2013, DIY Fashion Week Street Style, DIY Inspiration from J. Crew August 2012 Catalog, and DIY Ideas from Fashion Weeks Around the World for Autumn/Winter 2012, among many others.

DIY: Sequin Trompe L’Oeil Peter Pan Collar T-Shirt is a great way to jazz up a plain tee really quickly.

In 2012 we also traveled to Tucson, AZ, Timberline Lodge, OR, and Tokyo, Japan (part 1 of Japan photos here).  I was also able to go to the Japan Hobby Show 2012 while I was in Japan too, which was so inspiring.

5 Easy DIY’s Even a Beginner Can Master can get you started in making your own things, with easy, fun projects that are simple to start, simple to collect the tools and materials, and a snap to finish.

My son Lil Tot had so much fun making the Kiddie Craft: DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder from Parents Magazine.  It’s a great little project to do with any little one in your life!  (Or even for your own yard;-)

done4Now that Spring is on the way you may want to update your wardrobe with flowers, and this DIY Floral Applique Cardigan for Spring would be perfect.

If you have a spare curtain laying around (or find one at the thrift store), a DIY Lace Maxi-Skirt…Made From A Curtain! is a simple and quick project.

done2DIY Mixed Media Bib Necklace with Tulip Beads in a Bottle was another project I did playing around with a new material.  Tulip Beads in a Bottle is so fun!

So here is a comprehensive list of all my tutorials from 2012 (29 in all):



Sequin Trompe L’Oeil Peter Pan Collar T-Shirt

Watercolor Kitten T-Shirt

 Lace Maxi-Skirt from a Curtain

Floral Applique Cardigan

Upcycled Colorblock Chiffon Top


40’s Style Cute Kitty Beret

Preppy Initial Back-to-School Keychain Bag Charm

Tattoo Tights

Dolce & Gabbana Flowered Sunglasses

Jil Sander Gathered Removable Peplum

Skull-Printed Scarf


Mixed Media Bib Necklace

Rhinestone-Wrapped Neon Tasselled Earrings

Jumble Chain Choker Necklace with {styled} by Tori Spelling

Metal Collar Necklace

Bolo-Tie Style Necklace


Stenciled Convertible Tote/Backpack

Flowered Clutch Snackcessory

Shell Jewelry Case Clutch


Lace-Covered Boots

Luxury Jones Belt-Wrapped Cowboy Boots


Neon Sign Manicure

Acrylic Nails Sculpture

Half-Moon Manicure

Nails Inc. London Magnetic Manicure

Home Decor

Pinned Sequin Ball Ornaments

Glittery Christmas Ornament Napkins

Milk Carton Bird Feeder


Holiday Chocolate Bark: 4 Recipes


My DIY’s from 2011 (46 Tutorials)

My DIY’s from 2010 (63 Tutorials)


My DIY’s from 2009 (51 Tutorials)

(some of them may be missing photos b/c of my move to WordPress awhile ago – if you see any posts missing photos, please let me know! {Leave a comment on the post}  Thanks so much!)

2012 has been a great year for me…hope it has been just as wonderful for all of you!

So, as I raise my glass of sparkling grape juice, I wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  May 2013 bring even more wonderful things for everyone~



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