Artist Trading Cards DIY: Make and Collect

Inspired by the many trading cards of the past, artist trading cards (often called ATCs) are another fun way to trade with a personal flair. I have a feeling that even non-proclaimed-artists should create ATCs — what a cool way to revive aged-pop cultures? I plan to attach bubblegum to mine so let me know if you’d like a bite~

The cards must be 2.5in by 3.5in or 64mm by 89mm (no exceptions ^^). They are also generally made as limited editions (it’s a time to relax and handmake something small and exclusive) and should probably contain your name, theme, contact information and anything else you’d like to include! If they’re part of a series you can also number them, ex. Moon Cats 3/6. It might be a cool idea to use different themes or criteria for each series to keep it fun~ challenge yourself and be creative!

Pattern

ATC envelope pattern.

Swaps & Collecting

ATCs For All Forums
Swap Bot
Altered Art Swap List
Etsy ACEOs

Decorate and Upcycle Your Shoes Sweetly

This is a pair of old shoes I had lying around.. I felt they were a bit boring so I rarely wear them. hehe… I think a lot of people have a similar problem, there are always something we don’t want to wear / use, but we are reluctant to throw it away or be wasteful. It is a good idea to give them a new birth with alterations and decoration!

All we need to snazz up these shoes is some lace, two heart-shape cabochons, and some pearls.

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1.

First, wrap the heart-shape cabochons with some lace and sew it tight at the back.

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2.

Then, string up the pearls and sew them around the cabochons.

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3.

Sew some pearls on the ribbon (or shoe!) randomly.

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4.

Finally, stick the cabochons on the ribbon.

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5.

DONE!

Vinegar Beauty Recipes for Vamps

When it comes to DIY Beauty, recipes using vinegar are all the craze. Why? Because vinegar does an excellent job of cleaning, polishing and wiping away impurities. In addition, vinegar is easy to come by, inexpensive and always practical. Here are a few recipes to give a try the next time you’ve got vinegar to spare and money to save!

diy vinegar beauty

Apple Vinegar Hair Rinse

After using various products and chemicals on your hair, it tends to become dull, lifeless and not too healthy. A major culprit of this is product build up. This recipe does wonders for that dilemma and should be done once a week. Here’s what you need:

1 small-medium lemon
2 tablespoons apple vinegar
2 tablespoons warm water

In a small bowl, combine your water and vinegar. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze out the contents of half of it. Make sure to remove any seeds that escape! Mix thoroughly and let it set for 5-10 minutes while you’re washing your hair. After washing your hair in the shower, apply this mixture thoroughly. Let it set for 2 minutes and then rinse out with tepid water (cold if you can bare it).

Vinegar Astringent for your Face

This is great for oily, acne-prone skin and can be whipped up in a flash. All you need is water and a little vinegar and you’re all set. Here’s the specifics:

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons warm water
Cotton balls

Combine both ingredients and dip your cotton ball into the mixture. After using your regular face wash, apply this evenly by wiping the cotton ball around your face. Let it set for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with cold water to tighten pores. Gently pat dry.

Strawberry Vinegar Face Mask

This sweet treat makes your skin glow and is easy to prepare. Gather these items:

5-6 medium sized strawberries
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 egg white

First, separate your egg yolk from your egg white into a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, mash your strawberries until they are relatively smooth/consistent. Add the egg white to your strawberries and mix well. Gradually add the vinegar and stir until you have a nice paste.

After washing your face with your typical face wash, apply the mixture generously onto your face. Let it set for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. Splash cold water on your face to tighten pores and gently pat dry.

spoon full of vinegar

Knot Your Own Fortune Coins Necklace

Hi, my name is Amanda Yu, I am the owner and designer of ”Exotic Flavour” the colorful, playful and creative jewelry design. I am grateful that I had been invited by Miseducated to prepare this DIY story for you. I hope you will like it. I will show you how to make this Fortune Coins Pink Necklace.

fortune necklace

Instructions

1. The material is very simple, prepare a Pink cotton cord (length: 155cm and thick: 3mm) and Sex piece of the round wood ornament with a hole in the middle.
2. Put on one wood ornament and make a knot. This is a part of the clasp.
3. Coil two small circles, hold tight with your left thump.
4. Round the third circle between the first two circles, pull the cord generally.
5. Put another wood ornament and repeat (3.) and (4.) until you have five patterns.
6. In the end of the cord I made an oriental cross knot and tight it nicely.
7. If you think it is complicated, you can make any knots you like. Just make sure the little circle is not too big for the wood ornament – other part of the clasp. (1)
8. The Fortune Coins Pink Necklace is now finished.

I hope you find this is inspiring. You can combine with different materials or perhaps develop another construction from this basic oriental knot. Here are two other creation I made earlier based on the same techniques.

Sew an Adorable Business Card Case

I love this cute business card case. It’s an easy-to-make, quick project and it has such a big impact when it is finished. I love how easy it is to customize to your own taste (by choosing different colors and different ribbon) so it can really represent your own business style. I use a sewing machine to make it, but it would be perfectly fine to hand-sew the case if you don’t have a machine.

diy business card case

Supplies

1/8 yard of wool felt
12″ of ribbon (I used two pieces of 12″ ribbon in my case)
thread
optional: pinking shears

Instructions

1 Cut four pieces of wool felt: two pieces are 5.5″ by 4.25″, the other two pieces 4.75″ by 4.25″.
2. Fold the smaller piece in half so that the folded edge is the one that is 4.25″ across. Sew along the folded edge. I use the edge of my zipper foot as a guide when I sew to help make this seam straight – just line the edge of the fold up with the edge of your foot.
3. Optional: I use pinking shears to trim the seam and give the edge a more decorative look. You don’t have to do this step if you would like your edge straight.
4. Repeat with the other small piece of fabric.
5. Cut your ribbon in half. Pin one piece of ribbon onto each of the shorter edges of one of your larger pieces of felt. Fold the edges under your felt before you sew so they will be caught by your stitching and held securely in place. Stitch a seam across both edges of the ribbon to hold it in place.
6. Make a sandwich with all of your pieces: first lay your felt with the ribbon face down, then the other large piece of felt. Then place one of your folded pieces at each edge (with the stitched edges toward the center). Pin all these layer together so they don’t move while you sew them.
7 Stitch carefully around all the edges.
8. Optional: I use my pinking shears again to add a decorative edge to the bottom.
9. Yea! You’re finished! Fold your case in half, insert business cards into each side, and enjoy!

How to Create the Perfect Polymer Macarons

I believe many girls love macarons. Tell me who can resist the delicious and cute looking French macaron?

macaron diy

Besides the edible macaron, macaron accessories are also very popular in Japan and all around the world. There are may ways to make macaron accessories for yourself or for your little Blythe. The simplest way is to use air dry clay or polymer clay. In this tutorial, I choose to use air dry clay because I don’t like to use polymer clay that has to be cured in the oven.

macaron diy

You Need

Acrylic paint (any colour you prefer)
Clay cutter and measurement spoon (size is up to you)
9-pin
Embedded crystals (any colour you prefer)
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly or hand lotion
Air dry clay (you can use polymer clay which needed heat up in oven to cure)

Steps

1. Apply the Vaseline (or hand lotion) on the tools and surface that will contact with the clay. This step is important to avoid the clay stick at the tools or surface.
2. Apply the Vaseline on the surface and your hands too.
3. Cut this amount of clay (enough to make two macarons).
4. Put a little red acrylic paint on top of the clay (I chose red because I want to make a pink macaron).
5. Twist and rub the clay until the colours mixed evenly with the clay.
6. Then put the measurement spoon on top of the clay.
7. Press down so to get a shape alike the shape of the measurement spoon
8. Please see if it looks like the photograph above.
9 Then use any flat surface to press it down until it looks like this.
10. Repeat the step 6 to 9 for the bottom piece. Some embedded crystals are put on top of the top piece.
11. As shown in this picture.
12. Cut this amount of clay.
13. Put a little bit dark brown acrylic paint on top of the clay (to add some colour to the filling) then twist and rub the clay until the colour mixed evenly with the clay.
14. Then use any flat surface to press it down until it looks like this.
15. Sandwich the white clay in between the top and bottom pieces of pink macaron.
16. If you want to make accessories with it, you have to add a 9-pin. Enter the 9-pin from the side.
17. Set aside the clay macaron for two days for completely air dry.

Tips

1. I recommend you to trim your nails first before handling the clay, because clay tends to stick to long nails.
2. Make sure all the tools and surface are dust free to avoid any dust twisted or rubbed into the clay.
3. In case the clay become dry, add a few drop of water to get back the flexible feeling.

Inexpensive Do-It-Yourself Gifts

This whole economic downturn has left a lot of the country in a sorry mess, but I’m not here to wallow in financial troubles. No way! I view the scarcity of cash as a wonderful excuse to get crafty! And it’s always more fun to craft for someone else which is what inspired me to create this article.

These gifts are easy to make and inexpensive, to boot! You can make them for a loved one “just because” or give it away for a special holiday. The choice is yours.

diy gifts

Hearty Bread and Jam

For you domestic creatures out there, put your skills to use! Everyone loves an edible gift, especially if it’s made by you! Jam/Jelly is a very easy item to make, it just takes a little bit longer than some foods. Bread and jam come in a variety of forms, so choose the best one for your recipient.

Cozy Blanket

Blankets are also very customizable, making them an ideal gift for any time of the year. Try these different types of blankets:

Crocheted – Choose your recipients favorite colors and have at it! They’ll be thrilled with the amount of time and effort you put into their present.

Tied – Buy two different types of fabric that complement each other. Make sure that you get a big enough size that it serves as a blanket. Both fabrics should be the same size. Next, spread the two fabrics on the floor (one on top of another) and cut around the edge. Each cut should be 2-4 inches deep. Next, tie the two fabrics together (double knot). Do this all around the edge of the blankets. Viola!

Customize – (an already made blanket) One of my favorite gifts from a friend was a blanket that she bought inexpensively and did stitch work on. It was thoughtful and unique!

Quilt – You don’t need to necessarily buy quilt material, but you can if you want. Choose several types of fabric that you like and cut them into squares all the same size. Next, sew them all together. Buy another piece of fabric and sew it onto the quilted part of the blanket.

Lovely Soap

I come from a very large family and some of my fondest memories are from the holidays when we would all work together to make presents for extended family members. One of my favorite things to make and give away was soap and other DIY beauty gifts.

The great thing about soap is that it’s practical and customizable. This is an easy soap recipe. (You can make your own from scratch with this recipe from www.thefarm.org) Here’s what you need — You can find all these items at your local craft store.

– Soap Block (available at your local craftstore)
– Soap Molds
– Scented oils (your choice)
– Other items for your soap (eg. Lavender, oatmeal, almonds, cinnamon, chocolate, etc.)

There are step by step instructions on the soap blocks and it’s very difficult to mess up. Melt your soap blocks, add scents and ingredients of your choice and let it sit in greased soap molds until hardened. Remove and place in pretty packages or gift baskets!

* Also get some wonderful ideas for soap from this Miseducated article.

Scrumptious Chocolate Covered Strawberries

First, buy about 5-15 healthy-looking strawberries. When you get home, make sure there aren’t any bad spots (if there are simply cut them away). Choose the prettiest ones and keep the green leaves on top – they look more beautiful that way.

While you’re at the grocery store, pick up some dip-able white chocolate. You can usually find this in the crafts section or near the produce. Also pick up some red food dye.

Melt your chocolate in the microwave in bursts of 15-20 seconds. It doesn’t take long to melt the chocolate so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Set aside some of the white chocolate and then add 2-3 drops of the red food dye to the remaining white chocolate. Dip your washed strawberries into the pink chocolate and place on wax paper. Next, dip the bottom part of a spoon/fork into the white chocolate and drizzle on top of your pink strawberry to add a decorative effect. Place in the refrigerator until they are cooled.

You can mix up the chocolate colors (ie. White dipped, pink drizzle; dark dipped, white drizzle) and place the strawberries in a sweet box. Add a ribbon and a card!

Take the Pledge to Buy Handmade

To learn a new recipe or diy project, just explore around the DIY pages of Miseducated and within the links section above for some of our favorites!

I’m sure many of you crafty girls have your own shops so please post your shops and urls here! If you have your own idea for a project you’d love to share, simply email us at miseducatedlife@gmail.com as always! We love to hear from you.

Why buy handmade?

Buying Handmade makes for better gift-giving.
The giver of a handmade gift has avoided the parking lots and long lines of the big chain stores in favor of something more meaningful. If the giver has purchased the gift, s/he feels the satisfaction of supporting an artist or crafter directly. The recipient of the handmade gift receives something that is one-of-a-kind, and made with care and attention that can
be seen and touched. It is the result of skill and craftsmanship that is absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.

Buying handmade is better for people.
The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Buying handmade helps us reconnect.

Buying handmade is better for the environment.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production.

Learn more and take the pledge at http://www.buyhandmade.org

Easy, Colorful Jewelry and Plasticandy Bracelets

I guarantee if you enjoy making cute, simple items this has been or will become your new favorite hobby. Preferably when drinking, relaxing, listening to records grab out your big bowl of pony beads and plastic jewelry bits. Grab some elastic cord, elastic string, invisible elastic, etc~ make sure it’s stretchy and not annoying to work with. Go to a craft shop and look in the bead/jewelry section to find a selection of elastic cord. Double stringing the bracelets is also a great idea if you’re rough on your jewelry!

starbrights plasticone

Next, pick out a color scheme or shapes you like and string the beads onto the double cord. When the beads are on the cord long enough that you can easily wrap it around your wrist with no spaces between beads, Tie it. Tie it very secure and then dab a drop of clear nail polish or super glue on the knot and let it dry.

After it’s dry put the bracelet on or give it to a friend (ideal). Deck your arms out in your best ones when you’re going out to a fun club, party or rave for the night and hand out bracelets to friends and people you meet. You’ll find that when you go out and have fun you’ll usually come home with one or no bracelets. Now it’s time to make more!