What’s summer without a little DIY? Before I left for Holy Names last August, I was the self-proclaimed DIY princess… for as long as I can remember, I’ve tried to do basically everything at home, made from scratch! This included holiday gifts, greeting cards, decorations, school projects, and clothes. The DIY queen, also known as my mother, with the help of my father, taught me a few things– they even sewed my high school prom dress and a matching tie for my date, made my corsage and boutonniere, and took our photos, while I attempted to do my own makeup and hair. It was basically a homemade prom! Here’s a little glimpse of it… yes, I am wearing retainers, and no, I don’t know why:
Ah. The good ol’ days when I was much skinnier and had healthier hair. Alright, before I get all nostalgic, I’ve made a short list of some of my projects and recipes that I worked on during my stay in Southern California, which is quickly coming to an end. I hope to inspire some of you to venture outside of the box and dive into crafty, creative DIYs for yourselves!
1. Tie-Dye Shirts
Being a tennis player has resulted in piles and piles of old, yellow, sweat-stained white shirts. I figured that I would buy tie-dye at a local Michael’s and transform my ratty old shirts into seemingly brand new ones! You really could do whatever you want with this project because of the various techniques of dyeing clothes. Luckily, the kit that I bought came with an instruction manual and a bunch of neat ideas! And better yet, it’s super easy to make… but you do need a lot of patience, as it takes at least eight hours for the colors to set. I’ll definitely be tie-dyeing a lot more in the future!
2. Button Clock
I originally bought a $2 clock from IKEA, but I wasn’t content with the clock’s face. After being inspired by some pinterest projects, I decided to jazz my clock up a little bit with some fabric and random buttons that I found! Unfortunately, the OCD side of me was still not content– and I ended up changing the face entirely to a more minimalistic, eye-relaxing design.
I’m looking forward to hanging this up in my new dorm, but sadly, I won’t have an excuse for being late to class or practice any longer!!
3. Poncho-Style Blouse
Unlike my mother, I have never been very skilled with a needle and thread. Sewing is definitely not my forte, although I am a knitting fiend! However, I woke up one day just absolutely inspired to make some piece of clothing, so I found some old fabric laying around and made this poncho! I definitely had to practice a lot of patience, especially because our sewing machine was broken and I had to make it all by hand. My mom had to help me with the collar, though, because of some special technique that a rookie like me would have taken an eternity to do. Overall, I’m in awe of what I’ve created, and this really inspires me to make more of my own clothes instead of going out to the mall and buying low-quality and sweatshop-made products.
4. Framed Maps
For this upcoming school year, I’m really going for a minimalist interior design for my dorm. That means limiting the amount of paraphernalia as decorations (last year, I was the culprit to my victimized wall, as shown below, and I added a lot more pictures throughout the school year and even a Harry Potter wand):
One of my favorite decorations was my map of San Francisco that I used to navigate through its streets last summer as a tourist… Unfortunately, the behemoth wouldn’t fit in with my design scheme, so I thought, why not just make my own map and frame it?? I then drew my own version of the map, scanned it, printed it on some soft canvas paper, and had every intention of framing it–
But just like the clock project, I wasn’t content with how it looked. So I decided to do something totally different and print out a couple of vintage maps that I found online and put it in embroidery hoops for a dainty little twist instead of in picture frames. The Philippines map represents the place where I was born, Italy is my dream country, and San Francisco is where my heart is. This was probably my favorite project so far, because it resembles my essence and depicts my wanderlust and old soul. I can’t wait to hang these up in a couple of weeks!
5. Culinary Concoctions
As you know, I am quite the baker, especially when I’m having a sad day. And so, here are a few of the things that I’ve made, and since I was feeling extra heavy yesterday, I made the muffins and the ground beef on the same day. I’m not much of a cook, but I love to learn and try my hand at making meals! If anybody wants any of these recipes, just shoot me a message and I’ll gladly provide!
- Peanut Butter Cookies— I love peanut butter a lot, and this was so simple and easy to make.
- Apple Pie– This was my first time making a whole apple pie from scratch, and I was extremely pleased at how flaky the crust came out! I’ll be baking a lot more of these!
- Banana Muffins– Since I gave up sweets for the rest of the summer, this was my little way to cheat the system… but really, how can one resist a banana muffin with a brown sugar crumble on top?!
- Ground Beef with Peas & Carrots– This dish is my go-to comfort food that I always ask my mom to make for me whenever I’m feeling homesick or need a taste of childhood. I figured that since I love it so much, I might as well learn how to make it myself for the future. I might have under-seasoned it just a tad bit…. But it’s okay, it’s a work in progress! Everybody needs to try this dish sometime in their lives. So simple, yet delectable!
- Green Smoothie– It’s not a secret that I make this literally every single day. Almond milk, spinach, and frozen bananas. That’s it. Too, too good, in so many ways.
Well, I hope that I’ve stirred up some of your thoughts into a brainstorm. There is just so much that you can do with the everyday things that you have right at home! Good luck to all of your future DIY endeavors!