Category Archives: DIY

Make: Leather Barrette

February 5, 2016

Leather Barrette-2Over the holidays I was out shopping for gifts when I came across this really simple, leather barrette. It wasn’t super expensive (about $25), but I was trying to stay on track to buy gifts for the people on my list, not myself (it’s a slippery slope).

I went back after the holidays to the same store, and of course, that pretty leather barrette was nowhere to be found. Of course. It was such a little thing – why didn’t I just buy it when I had the chance. One thing about shopping in Paris that I’ve learned over the past year is when you see it and you want it – buy it. Because it may not be there again. Ever.

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This posed a problem with a simple solution- make one! I happened to have all of the makings of a leather barrette right at home: some old, leftover hyde from another project, some Snap Clip barrettes and, my very favorite lazy-DIYer tool – the hot glue gun.

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The process is simple really – no need to get too technical. Just cut the leather around the clip to measure, and cut a rectangle as neatly as you can (I guess if you really wanna be a perfectionist, grab a ruler, a pen and an Exacto Knife or leather knife. You do you.).

Leather Barrette-5Then use your hot glue (or fabric glue, if you think it will bond to the metal. Or old chewing gum. Whatever works!) and adhere the hyde to the barrette.

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Leather Barrette-1I like it. Simple and different and much better than that unsightly rubber band I’ve been using to tie my hair back lately.

Stay tuned for more fashion here on The Clever Bunny. I realized over the holidays that so many of my clothes are the same – I keep buying different versions of the same pieces every time I shop, mostly boxy cut tops and drapey blouses. As part of my New Year’s Resolution I decided to make an effort to use this fancy new sewing machine to master making those simple items I am drawn to. I mean, it can’t be that hard, right???? RIGHT?!

1 Shelf 3 Ways.

July 1, 2015

How to Edit a Shelf-74I have that one shelf in my living room that I never know how to arrange. We ditched most of our books back home in the U.S., so we don’t have enough to fill up a whole shelf at this point. Over the past few months living in Europe, I’ve collected a small treasure trove of keepsakes that I want to display, but admittedly, arranging or merchandising a display has never been a huge talent of mine. So I decided to try the shelf 3 ways to see which fit the best in this small corner of my home. On each shelf, I kept one thing in place and switched out the rest to accessorize. The top shelf has a black and white framed design, the middle shelf has two boxes that store photos and cards, and the bottom shelf has a stack of books.

1.) The Green Shelf

How to Edit a Shelf-42I like this simple take using lots of green plants. It doesn’t say a lot but that’s why I like it. And it’s nice to have bright green colors as a focal point in the room.

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I love buying these big, green, tropical leaves in leui of flowers.

2.) The Sentimental Shelf

How to Edit a Shelf-15This shelf is a little more cluttered but is full of things special to me. Photographs of my family, a couple of Colin’s toys, some baskets from a friend, a small collection of rocks/sea shells I keep from each of our family trips. How to Edit a Shelf-61 How to Edit a Shelf-59

3.) The Tchotchke Shelf:

How to Edit a Shelf-11This arrangement was fun to make because I was moving the items around like chess pieces. This arrangement seemed to work the best.How to Edit a Shelf-75 How to Edit a Shelf-74 How to Edit a Shelf How to Edit a Shelf-60Which way do you like the best?

Make: A Leather Scarf Organizer

April 10, 2015

untitled-35I don’t know about you, but my scarf collection is a little out of control. I’ve tried several frustrating ways to store them, and despite my best efforts, I’m always left with a mountain of scarves piled on my chair in the bedroom.

I came up with a solution to this problem by making this simple leather chain to hang by the door for guests or in our closet. It was easy to make and only requires a few materials:

untitled-3I used two straps of leather (the kind you can buy to make a belt), post & cap rivets, and a rivet setter. You will also need a hammer or rubber mallot, and a pair of scissors. Start by cutting the leather straps into equal** lengths.

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A leather hole punch would be a helpful tool for this project, but I don’t have one so I just used my trusty ol’ shears.

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Use your scissors to make a hole in each end of a strap. Place the post rivet into one end and make a cuff, putting the post through the other end as well. Place your cap rivet on top of the post.

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Use your rivet setter and rubber mallot to hammer the rivet into place. Also, please don’t judge my “manicure”.

untitled-21You should have a cuff that is set together like so. Go ahead and repeat this step as many times as you like, but cuff each strap around the last one to make a chain.

untitled-22 untitled-23This is, like, kindergarten art class easy.

untitled-30I used leathet twine to hang it. I’m sure there’s a more sophisticated solution for hanging, but I was being resourceful, so this works.

untitled-35 untitled-36 untitled-40I was hoping that this method of hanging would cut down on bulk in my closet. It’s definitely a little bulky, but not wide like many scarf organizers, so I like that aspect. What do you think? Do you have any closet organizing secrets??

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**you and I both know I’m basically incapable of making anything “equal” in length.

Make: A No-Sew, Fabric Storage Bin.

March 9, 2015

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The quest for home organization continues. After moving twice with the same bin of thriftstore fabrics, I finally decided to put some to use. I will occasionally see something like this bin at a store I like or online, and I always resist the urge to buy them because they usually seem too expensive. Storage is one of those things I always need, but HATE spending money on. Kind of the same way I feel about socks. Inevitably, I always keep thinking about them and when I finally decide to pull the trigger and purchase them, they are no longer to be found. So if the mountain won’t come to you, you must go to it. The “mountain”, in this case, being a fabric storage bin.

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This project was so easy and quick, save for a little wait time for the glue to dry. And if you are like me, “No-sew” is always a plus when it comes to projects because I am LA-ZY. And i don’t have a sewing machine here in Paris, so there’s that.

For this project, you need:
– 1 thick fabric (like canvas) and one thin fabric (cotton). The amount you need varies on the size or amount of bins you want to make.
-Scissors
-Fabric glue
-Grommets and grommet fastening tool (optional)

Slouchy BinSidebar: If you want a more structured bin, use interfacing between the two fabric layers to make it more sturdy. I was going for a “slouchy” look, so I didn’t use interfacing. Cut 5 identical rectangles (or squares) out of each of your fabrics, making 10 rectangles total. Starting with one fabric, place a rectangle on the table. Place the remaining four rectangles around the center one, making a cross shape. Line up the edges so that they are even. With two fingers, pinch together the two edges of two pieces of fabric, like the photo above. Glue the edges together. Do this for all four edges, making the base of your bin. Next, fold the corners in on the inside and glue the remaining edges together. Make sure the “seams” are facing inward, so you have a nice clean seemless look on the outside of the bin. Repeat this same process for your second fabric. At the end, you should have two bag-like pieces that look like this:

untitled-9 untitled-10For your exterior fabric, turn it right side out so that the seems are on the inside. For the interior fabric, or the thinner fabric that you will use as your lining, keep it turned inside out. Put the inside out fabric inside your exterior piece.

untitled-16From here, form the bin by making sure the fabrics are lined up seem to seem.

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Next, you will glue your interior fabric to your exterior fabric. I made sure to glue around the perimeter of the top edges thoroughly.

untitled-20Then, fold the top edges like a cuff to hide the raw edges and to expose the interioir fabric a little:

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Last, I added a couple of grommets which are a super easy way to make any fabric item look finished.

untitled untitled-3I’m using this right now to hold all of our mail. Incoming mail is always such an issue for us – we let it pile up all over our dining room table. Hopefully this will help us keep things a little more tidy!

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Make: A Eucalyptus Wreath

March 4, 2015

untitled-30Ever find yourself with a bundle of month old, dried out eucalyptus branches? Ever pluck the dried leaves off and stare at the pile for a couple of days pondering how your life came to be that you are the type of person to save dead, dried leaves of a plant to repurpose? No? Well, just in case it ever happens, here is what you do: make a wreath.

Eucalyptus has been abundant at the corner flower shops here in Paris, and it’s one of my favorite plants, so I have been treating myself to a bundle here and there. It smells amazing, even when it’s old and dead, and it lasts fooooooorreeeeeevvvveeerrrr (#sandlotreference)

Also, our walls are pretty bare because we are still figuring out how exactly to curate the photographs we have and are wanting to add some actual art eventually. So for now, it’s nice to have small and temporary pops of color to brighten up our apartment during the winter.

All you need is:

untitled-16Some dried-out-ole eucalyptus, scissors, a cross-stitch frame, and a hot glue gun.

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Gently pluck the leaves off of the branch – they tend to snap pretty easily when they are dry.

untitled-15Glue the leaves to the cross stitch frame in descending order, big to small.

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Disclaimer: The hot glue left permanent spots on the leaves. I tried this project with super glue and fabric glue, and neither took.

untitled-32 untitled-31And there you go.

Happy wreathing, everybody =)