Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cocktail Dresses and Jewlery Boxes

I have had random piles of half finished projects all over my apartment that have slowly piled higher and higher in the last few weeks. Since signing my new lease I have spent the last few weeks making lists of needed furniture and mentally planning how I want to re-arrange the furniture and where I want to put various pictures and items. After days and days and weeks of planning and listing, my creative energy needs to be forced into other projects, which is how I have found myself slowly drowning in " things I need to take 5 minutes to just finish" piles. Last night, with school being on Break for the week I took the evening to tear through as much as I could, and managed to get a ton done. It was a great DIY evening, and I feel like all of my slight changes made some major differences.

I've been on the look out for a better way to store my jewelry. I have a small jewelry box already but many of my bracelets and little trinkets don't have much of a place in the small space. I came across this used Jewelry Box at the local Goodwill for $3 and just couldn't pass it up. It clearly needed a little love, but with a $3 price tag, I knew I had some stuff in my craft box that would make this much bigger jewelry box look much better.

I started by getting out my necessary supplies. I have tons of Scrap booking paper, so I pulled out a few sheets of that, although standard card stock would work just fine as well. I also got out my scissors and some glue. With a few cuts, snips and a generous amount of glue, my new box looks better than it probably did to start!
I am still so astonished at how much better the box looks. The wood looks brighter and now I'm excited to start organizing some other pieces I have in my collection. I'm going to keep the other box to store my necklaces and plan to put my bracelets and other charms and earrings in this one.
I currently store my earrings in the cheapest, and most creative of fashions. I have a ton of " dangling" earrings that take up far too much room in small earring holders. I stopped at my local craft store and picked up one sheet of 8x10 plastic. You know those projects your grandmother has been making for years gifting tissue holders to all of your relatives for every holiday? That's the plastic "sheet"I'm referring too. I'm not quite sure what the proper name is for it, but they are 8x10 in size and look like plastic graph paper honestly. It is a bunch of little squares which are just perfect for hanging your earring from. I simply tack the plastic to the wall, using the holes already in the material and you have an instant holder. Plus they come in a variety of colors and run an average of about $0.50 a piece for one sheet. I stuck with the clear color and have used it for years. My friend decided to get a color that actually matches her bedroom and it instantly became a use able piece of art. Plus it really gives you a chance to see how all of your pairs look hanging making it convenient for picking out accessories.
I was in that same friend's wedding in October. Her colors were Red and White and I was so excited when she choose the dress for me. Each of the bridesmaids wore a different dress but all in the same apple color. What was even more exciting for me was that the dress was the perfect size right from the factory. It fit me well, and the length was perfect which is often very hard for me to find. Since the wedding, the dress has been hanging in the back of my closet. It is lovely, but I just don't have any purpose for a floor length ball gown. Even still I paid a good chunk of change for it, and hate to donate it with only 1 night of wear in it.

For that very reason I decided to get out my scissors and give it a little modification of my own. I figured it this way, the dress is getting no use now, and it will need to be donated. So why not make it a great cocktail dress in the meantime? If I hate it short, or mess it up, I'll donate it. If I love it I'll wear it and If I do nothing to it, I'll donate it, so really it was a great win win. The scissors came out, I did a little marking with a white color pencil and simply snipped away. I didn't even measure, and really I should have but I got pretty lucky.

The dress is now a great length and will look fantastic with a simple pair of heels and some well placed accessories. I have 3 weddings coming up this spring and I think this dress may need to come out for at least one of them. With a white half sweater I think the dress will be dressed down enough to make it not look like an obvious gown. I don't want to show up either the bride or her favorite ladies and so it's never really appropriate to wear the gowns anyways, unless you have a prom to attend of course. Either way, with the 3 minutes I spent cutting the dress I think it will get some use now. I happily put it back into my closet where it will wait for it's big reveal. Friends of ours are having an Oscar's party Sunday and we are all going to get dressed up for it. I may even bring it out for the baby shower this weekend. The colors are red and black so it could in theory work.
I think it's important to try to re purpose any items you have as best as you can, and my projects last night proved that you don't have to be creative to be good at it either! If you can steer some scissors in a relatively straight line you have a world of options at your finger tips!
P.S. Please excuse the mess in all of the photos. Because we are amidst the big move most of my stuff is in boxes that trail through-out the house. In approximately 1 1/2 weeks I will be re-settled into my place and everything will have a home making the pictures much simpler. Not as entertaining but much more appropriate!

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