10 Minute Knit Summer Cowl Scarf (A Tutorial)

How to make a 10 minute Cowl Scarf via lilblueboo.com

My desert wardrobe gets a little boring: tank top, jeans and flip flops….year round.

I made this easy cowl scarf out of some taupe tie dyed knit to spruce it up a bit.

First, I cut 2 long strips of knit, each measuring about 36″ x 8″:

 

How to make a 10 minute Cowl Scarf Step 1 via lilblueboo.com
I used my serger to sew the long sides together with contrasting bright thread:

 

How to make a 10 minute Cowl Scarf Step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Next, I twisted the scarf in the center, matched up the ends and sewed them together:

 

How to make a 10 minute Cowl Scarf Step 3 via lilblueboo.com

Lastly, I used my serger to finish all the way around the edge of the scarf:

How to make a 10 minute Cowl Scarf Step 4 via lilblueboo.com

Easy! Mix it up by using contrasting fabrics for each strip!
 

 

 

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles (Tutorial) and Weekend Stuff…..

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
I’ve got a LOT of scraps. So I’m always trying to come up with a way to use them. I made a few fabric bangles. For the larger bangles, I used Vanessa’s (from V&Co) tutorial (which you can find here). I used a bunch of different weight knits for a “wonky” effect. The braided bangle I made with the steps outlined below.

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
I used spandex knit leftovers that would curl and cut three long pieces:

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Since I didn’t have a clipboard (like we used in high school to make friendship bracelets), I attached the three pieces to my shoe using a safety pin. Then I braided all three together:

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
I created a loop large enough for wrist to fit into (the spandex will stretch) and sewed the two pieces together making sure to sew through each strand. Then I cut off the excess.

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Lastly I took a contrasting piece of knit and tied it around to hide the stitching.

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Mix-matched upcycled / recycled t-shirt bangles!

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Wear one at a time or wear a few at a time like I did below:

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com
P.S. It is really hard to get a photo of a bracelet with a pile of laundry on the floor…..my camera kept focusing on the pile, not the bangle. Keeping it real…..yes, my bathroom is a mess.

Hope you are having a great weekend! I had two Lil Blue Boo Studio “drop ins” today for some custom clothes. My customer/designer Mia combined three shirts and some trim to make a custom, upcycled tank. I LOVE “drop ins” to my studio. Look how proud she looks! I made zero design choices…..she picked out everything.

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Also….I have a 3-day listing up: LOVE HOO YOU ARE! 100% of net proceeds go to the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware as part of Team Anna’s Bananas goal! The shirt was donated by a customer Julie (picked out by her daughters). Anna is one of my favorite (out of many….ok, all are my favorite) little fashionista’s and since I can’t make it to Delaware to walk:

Upcycled / Recycled T-Shirt Bangles DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Hope you had a great weekend!

LBB Signature Fabric

I’ve been wanting to do an exclusive signature fabric for my Lil Blue Boo dresses for a while now. I finally got around to it!


The design is all hand drawn using a sharpie and then burned onto a silk screen frame (see my screenprinting 101 tutorial here). I wanted to work in some things I love so it includes the number Pi (as many decimal places I could fit), roman numerals, Chinese number characters and a few other surprises throughout. I was a math major and studied the Chinese language in China so I’ve got some random “loves”.

Note: I wanted to add in some trigonometry, prime numbers etc…..but then I thought the dresses might be banned as “cheat sheets” from school.

Speaking of Pi: I love this link which is a catchy recitation of it. I think I could memorize at least the first 100 decimal places of Pi if I listened to it enough ;) I am a little obsessed with all things geeky. Geek is the new chic right?


I love busy, intricate prints and have a hard time finding the perfect prints for the dresses I make…..so why not make my own? Stay tuned as I begin to incorporate the new prints into Lil Blue Boo clothing!

10,000 years ago…..

…there was probably a lake or ocean here. Thank you ancient lake for leaving all this sand behind in the desert and giving me a sandy back drop for a “beachy” photo shoot. I found this sea shell (slightly cheesy) printed knit to make some dresses out of…..so I lugged my camera along to the park for some photos this morning.

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Let me make one thing clear: I am not a photographer. I pretty much take 400 photos, on every possible setting, and hope for one or two to turn out.

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Our photo shoots are kind of hysterical….it is mostly myself trying to get Boo to copy something I do. She refuses to look at the camera. Today I resorted to throwing rocks into bushes to get her to look another direction.

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Here I was preparing to take the perfect photo…..and she fell backwards out of the picture:

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We play for a while and then I realize I’ve overstayed my welcome……and we’ve missed the beginning of nap-time:

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Graffiti Shoes (A Tutorial)

DIY Graffiti Shoes Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

My daughter is outgrowing shoes so fast I can barely keep up! Now I just stock up on plain converse style sneakers and we decorate them ourselves to make one-of-a-kind, personalized “art” for her feet. We get compliments on them wherever we go! People always ask her to stop so they can read the words.

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Materials needed:
:: Glittery puffy paints
:: Sharpies and fabric markers
:: Acrylic paints or fabric paints

For this pair of graffiti shoes I started with a plain pair of black shoes:

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Step 1: I covered the edges of the white rubber with scotch tape (which sticks well to rubber)….

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….and then added the masking tape to cover the larger areas. I put crumpled up paper towels in the inside to keep paint out.

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Step 2: I used gesso to cover the shoes in white splotches, but you can use white acrylic or fabric paint.

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Step 3: I started randomly covering the shoes in various bright colors…..

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……and adding some white back in.

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Step 4: I brought out the sharpies:

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I added words around the shoes in black marker and then used different color sharpies to color around them.

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Step 5: I used a small paint brush to keep adding in bright colors. The key is to just keep layering and changing your mind on words and colors……like graffiti. Great graffiti is made of layers over layers over layers!

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Step 6: I used a silver metallic sharpie to clean up some of the edges of my images and words.

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Step 7: Once the main portions of the shoes were finished I used a glitter puffy paint and made rows of dots along the toe (note: you will have to scuff the toes and prime first for the paint to stick)……

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…and randomly around the shoes. Let these dry and they will be a big glob of shiny glitter!

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The finished shoes!

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DIY Graffiti Shoes Tutoria- Shoe Makeover via lilblueboo.com

Asymmetric Lil Blue Boo

So it started with one top for Boo. The idea was a racer back muumuu …..floaty and lightweight for summer. I came across this fabric that reminded me of vintage Palm Springs resort style (or cushions on an episode of Mad Men) and combined it with some of my own silk screens…I dig it. I even managed to get a few good photos this morning at the park despite her being tired and grumpy. I love this style so much.


Here are a few that I added yesterday. I’ve been experimenting with some new bamboo fabrics…..loving how soft they are…..like butter. Some of the dresses have some upcycled pieces, others are 100% new. If I can find some help soon I’d love to start adding some adult sizes too…..as dorky as it sounds, I love matching with my daughter ;) As always, I try to add a few every day to my Lil Blue Boo Clothing shop….so if they are all sold out just keep checking (or check Facebook to see when I am listing them).

A letter from an imaginary friend…..

A few months back my friend Shari asked if I could write a letter to her daughter Finley from her imaginary friend Soren Lorensen. I finally got around to it:


It took SO long for me to get to it I had to come up with an elaborate plan to explain the delay! “Soren” explains to Finley in the letter that he was traveling the world and forgot about the letters in his backpack.


I included letters and postcards that “Soren” wrote while traveling the world (complete with fake postmarks and stamps)……


…..plus a little metal box of trinkets and gifts he picked up for Finley along the way.

Each letter corresponds with a trinket or gift and has a story behind it:

Letter 1: Soren visits “the beach” and collects seashells
Stamped and postmarked from Canada (you can get fake stamps and postmarks at your craft or scrapbook store), the envelope features a generic beach photo


Letter 2: Soren visits an “elephant” store and purchases some elephant gifts


Letter 3: Soren visits a farm, befriends a small mouse, and they both clean out a smelly pig pen.
Soren mentions in the letter that they had to wear clothespins on their nose, one for Soren, one for the itty bitty mouse!


Letter 3: Soren visits Australia and picks up some stickers and animal medallions in the hotel gift shop.
Stamped and postmarked from Australia.


Letter 4 (postcard): Soren runs out of money and gets a job at an eraser factory for a day, they pay him in erasers
I designed and printed out the company logo and pasted it to the front of the postcard.


Letter 5 (postcard): Soren visits Japan and China and picks up some
origami paper.
I made the postcard by pasting a note card to the back of some pretty origami paper. Used a sticker for the stamp/postmark.


And a few extra trinkets just for fun: a superhero necklace (see tutorial here) and a tiny origami crane.


I had so much fun putting this together the last day or so. It is kind of like a scavenger hunt in an envelope…..Finley will have to guess which gifts go with each letter!

Cigar Boxes & Labels

I love lining my studio with pretty things. I try to keep anything vintage, colorful in plain view (and hide all the plastic bins behind closed doors!) Cigar boxes, covered with vibrant labels, are perfect for storage.


I just use a label maker to identify what is in each box:


I love the varying colors and graphics……


…….and the plain wood ones are just as interesting.


I collect vintage cigar box labels. I use them to cover smaller boxes and also for layering into artwork. I think I picked up most of them through Silver Crow Creations.


To make smaller storage containers, I start with a small plain box:


I use Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish……


……to glue small label pieces to the top of the box (you can substitute Mod Podge):


I wrap a label around the outside to cover all the raw edges and fold the excess into the box:

A finished mini-cigar box…..


….vintage and perfect size for small trinkets!

Silk Screening Dimensional Monograms – Tutorial

I made this little bubble racer back for Boo today and added her initials to the front. We tested out the water in the pool…..still a little cold, but getting warmer!



The initials have a dimensional 2-layer look to them.


First I printed out the initials I wanted to use:

Then I used double sided tape on the back of a sheet of contact paper…..


….to keep my initials in place on the back of the contact paper to make them easier to cut out. I used a razor blade to carefully cut them out.


You can read my full tutorial on screen printing with contact paper, but in a nutshell I placed the contact paper stencil on the back of my screen and applied a glob of white screen printing ink at the top. Note: I’ve used many different kinds of white screen printing ink…..all with different results. I love the Versatex white ink because it doesn’t crack and is very soft when washed.


To get the three dimensional look, I pulled the ink DOWN the image and then repeated several times using enough pressure to bleed some of the ink under the contact paper. Then I repeated the same process pulling the ink from RIGHT to LEFT over the image to get the ink to bleed under the other way.

Note: You might want to practice this on a scrap piece of fabric to get the pressure right…..but since the ink is going under the contact paper you will need to wash and dry your screen for each print.


The finished print has a slight “shadow” to the left and bottom.


The finished dress!







Now onto my next project…..adding initials to our bedding!

Correcting/Repairing Images for Screen Printing

I tend to reuse my screens multiple times over for my prints and sometimes the images start to deteriorate as some of the photo emulsion starts to erode and wash off. There is a really simple solution to touch up these images: screen filler


I use a small detailed paint brush to apply screen filler into the areas where the emulsion has started to disappear to clean up my image:


Another problem I run into: the glass I use to create my prints is slightly smaller than some of my larger screens so a small amount of light is diffused leaving a faint line in the final image:


When this happens I just use screen filler to touch up the image:


You can also use screen filler to free hand a design onto a screen. You would apply it anywhere you don’t want ink to pass through. Happy printing!

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