03/13 DIY

DIY No Sew Tote Bag

DIY No Sew Canvas Tote

Guys, I have to say I’m really proud of this one, though it was both simple and a bit difficult.  Difficult because it required a lot of steps and because I’m going to have a hard time explaining them (I apologize in advance), but simple because there is NO SEWING required!  Hallelujah!

When I first set out to make this tote bag, I did some research to see what kind of no sew tutorials were out there, and to my surprise there weren’t many at all that I came across.  So if you’re in the I-don’t-have-a-sewing-machine camp like I am or have a general interest in not using a sewing machine, then hopefully this DIY will help you out!

Unique Stitch Adhesive (affiliate link)
Rivet Kit (affiliate link)
-faux leather handles with holes (I got mine with pre-made holes at the ends so that I wouldn’t have to get a leather punch)
-Martha Stewart Satin Paint in Beetle Black (I recommend this particular paint because it does not require fabric medium. You can just paint and go!)
-1/8″ tape

I started with two canvas pieces that I measured and cut to 18″ x 21″.  The rest of the steps detailed from here on out will be done to each of these pieces.

First Three Steps

On the edge that’s 21″ long, I folded over about a half inch and ironed it down.  Under this fold, I applied Unique Stitch, the one thing that made this entire DIY possible.  This stuff HOLDS.  The key, at least that I’ve found,  is to use a generous amount, not to the point where it’s globbing out the edges of the fabric, but enough to soak through the layers of fabric that are being melded together.  Make sure to protect your surface like I did in the photo above with an old towel.

The next steps are for painting the stripes.  I protected my surface with a towel again since the paint will seep through the back.

I flipped the canvas over to the front side, which is the side that does not show the folded over edge that was just glued down.  The top of the bag will be this folded edge, which I had to keep in mind to make sure I painted my design on the right way.

Painting StripesIt would take three years to smooth out the bubbling in the tape shown in the top photo above, and ain’t nobody got time for that, so I rolled with it.  Since this meant that I wouldn’t be achieving clean and crisp lines, I tried to stay consistent with this “organic” look and didn’t pounce on the paint completely opaque everywhere.  You can see there are some parts of the stripes that look like not enough paint was applied (I did that on purpose, I swear!).  I didn’t paint stripes on the bottom three inches of the fabric since it would become the bottom of the bag, which you’ll see how later.

Next I measured where to attach the leather handles.

Leather marking

Placing the end of the handle 6 inches from the left side of the canvas and lining up the top hole near the top of the bag, I used a pen to mark where the holes were.  I repeated this 6 inches from the right side of the canvas as well.  Using an awl, I punctured through these pen marks to create holes just big enough for the rivets to go through.

Now for the rivets.  I had the most fun with this because it was my first time working with them and now I want to rivet all the things.


The rivet kit I used came with an anvil, setter, and rivets of several sizes.  I used the smallest (~8mm) rivets.  I pushed the rivet backings through the back side of the holes I previously punctured, lined them up with the holes in the leather handle, then snapped on the cap of the rivet.  I placed each rivet sandwich one at a time on top of the anvil and hammered down to secure the rivet permanently.  Do this on a hard surface!  Not on an ironing board, like I initially tried to do.

Now with the the leather handles attached, I glued both canvas pieces together, front sides facing each other.

Corner Folding

I applied the glue on all three edges (not the top edge where the opening of the bag is) and let it dry.  At the bottom corners, I pinched each side of the fabric (you can see the diagonal fold on one side in the photo above and it’s also on the opposite side as well) and pulled them apart to create a triangle.

Folding triangle

Measuring 5 inches at the base of this triangle, I folded it over to the bottom of the bag and glued it down only under the point of the triangle just to keep it in place.  After doing this to both corners, I flipped the bag inside out while the glue was still fresh, then reinforced the triangle folds by pressing them down.  What this does is create a flat base for the tote bag.  This is where I DIDN’T paint the stripes, which I mentioned before.

Corner glued inside

Once here, I lifted up each triangle (glue at the point is still wet) and applied glue all underneath it before pressing it down again to the bottom of the bag.  I held it down a little bit to let it dry a little, then let it dry completely after letting go.

Glue outside fold

On the outside of the bag, you’ll see that the base of the triangle is unattached from the bottom of the bag.  So, I applied glue in between here, pressed it down, and let the glue dry.  This was done on both sides.

No Sew Canvas Tote

That. Is. It.  Was that enough steps?

No Sew Canvas Tote Bag

The idea for this tote bag came about when my friend suggested I make one since California now charges for paper bags.  So while this tote makes an excellent, casual weekender bag, it can absolutely be a cute grocery tote as well!  I take it with me to Trader Joe’s and it makes me ridiculously giddy watching the cashier load up my groceries into it because in my head I’m shouting “Yes, it works!!!”  Hoping I don’t continually forget to bring it like I do with every other grocery tote.

03/10 Life

New Blog Design + Giveaway!

Hi guys!  I’m SO excited to announce that I have finally redesigned my blog!!!!!  This has been in the works for a couple months now and I’ve been anxiously looking forward to the design going live.  What do you guys think of it??

I wanted a simple, black and white design that would reflect my style and put focus on my content, which I think it does beautifully.  My blog is also now mobile responsive, which is a goal I set out to achieve this year!  The mobile site still needs a bit of tweaking, but your overall mobile experience on my site should be improved now :).

I have big dreams for this blog, and a redesign felt like the appropriate next step for me to start taking bigger strides forward.  With this sentiment, I have to express my sincerest gratitude for your support.  For every view, comment, like, share, re-post, re-pin, everything, you all have made this blogging journey more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.

As a thank you, I’m hosting a giveaway for a $75 West Elm gift card!  Purchased with my own money, so no sponsorship here.  Just me wanting to give a gift to my cherished readers <3.

West Elm Giveaway

This giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday March  25, 2014.  One winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email.  The winner must respond within 48 hours or else another winner will be selected.  Enter below in the Rafflecopter widget and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

03/06 DIY / Inspiring Spaces

Copper: To DIY, Inspire, and Shop

Copper is a very close second to gold in my world of metallic colors. I’ve even come close to thinking maybe I like it better than gold, though that will never truly happen.  Still, I’ve been really into copper lately and that’s due in part to seeing it trending everywhere these days!  I’ve grouped 5 DIYs, 5 inspiring spaces, and 5 decor items to shop for that made me fall in love with copper even more, and maybe will do the same for you :).

5 Copper DIYs

Copper DIYs

1//Copper Salad Servers  2//Copper Laptop Table  3//Copper Wire Pendant Lights  4//Copper Pipe Pencil Holder  5//Copper Furniture Trim


5 Copper Inspirations

Copper Inspiration

1//Copper and green  2//Copper planters and containers  3//Copper side table  4//Copper ball light pendant  5//Copper, gold, and marble


5 Copper Items to Shop

Copper to Shop

1//Hanging planter  2//Moscow Mule mug  3//Copper cord  4)//Tealight holder  5//Paperclip box

Feeling inspired??  How do you feel about copper?

03/03 DIY

DIY Gold Desk Dishes


DIY-Gold-Desk-DishesI had a really hard time coming up with a name for this DIY.  “Desk Accessories” or “Desk Organizers” didn’t feel specific enough, but I wonder if “Desk Dishes” is even regularly used in desk organizing terms…  You get the idea though, right? Everyone needs something to corral random knick knacks on top of their desk!

They’re actually made from glass sugar jars, which  added to my confusion on what to call them.

Taping the jars

I applied painters tape on the inner rim of the jars, having to make vertical cuts along the part of the tape hanging over the edge so that it would fold over.  Then I taped aluminum foil to the outside surface since I only wanted the inside to be painted.  I sprayed two coats of Rust-Oleum Gold Spray Paint (affiliate link) and two coats of Clear Acrylic Coating (affiliate link) on the inside surface.  The acrylic coating is to protect the paint, especially since it will be coming in direct contact with whatever is placed in the dishes.

Dishes painted gold

I love how painting the inside looks, as opposed to typically painting the outside.  This way it looks more like liquid gold was swirled around on the inside (ooh fancy!)  Since these are clear glass vessels, the gold shows through on the outside anyway, so either way is a win.

Gold Desk Dishes DIYThat acrylic tape dispenser is what inspired the design of this project.  Yea, true, I like to paint everything gold always, but I thought the glass and the gold of the dishes would look consistent with the acrylic and gold of the tape dispenser.  There’s also a matching stapler, which I shared on Instagram and man did you guys like it!  Still have a few more things I want to add and finalize with my desk, and for sure I’m keeping strong on the gold.

Curious to know… what would you call these gold dishes?  Holders?  Catch-alls?  Containers?

02/27 DIY

DIY Graphic Circle Wall Art

DIY Graphic Circle Wall Art

So this previously blank wall above my bookshelf has been bothering me for a long time.  Before that, there used to be a tall plant that helped cover up the space, but it’s no longer there since it outgrew the shelf, which is a yay for plant thriving and nay for blank wall.

I’m a huge fan of graphic black and white designs and was inspired to make one ever since I saw this pin on Pinterest, especially because of how easy it is!  I followed the same steps except I simply used black card stock for the circles.

Graphic Circle Wall Art How To

First I used a pencil to trace the inside and outside of the mat from my frame onto poster board and cut along the outside lines.  The inner edges of my mat measure 10.5 x 13.5″, so I used a 1.5″ circle punch and glued on a 7 x 9 circle grid to the poster board, using the inner pencil tracings as a guide.  I glued the circles on edge to edge so that they’d fit perfectly inside the mat.

DIY Graphic Wall Art
I love how the art looks with the white mat.  It creates such a nice contrast to the bold cluster of circles.

Graphic wall art above bookshelf

The art is hanging up in this corner of my living room and I’m sure you can imagine how glaring that space above the bookshelf would be without it hanging there.  I would have gone with a mirror if it weren’t for the mirrors on the right side.  There are actually twelve more of those square mirrors off to the right.  Yeah, another mirror would have been mirror overload.

I’m contemplating making a collection of black and white pieces maybe to hang up all together gallery style.  Probably not to hang here but on another blank wall that’s bothering me!  What do you think about black and white designs?


02/24 Seasonal/Holiday

Flower arranging- Ranunculus, Poppies, and Kumquats

Ranunculus kumquats and poppies

Say the title of this post 5 times fast.  What a mouthful!  These guys are currently trending in the floral design world, and when I saw them this past weekend at an Anthropologie pop-up farmer’s market, I jumped at the chance to design with them myself.  You may have caught a glimpse of them on my Instagram.

I always prefer arranging flowers myself.  It’s hard to say how I do it exactly because I just go with the flow and do what feels right (I’m truly sorry for how unhelpful that is).  In general though, I follow the formula of starting with fillers, followed by adding smaller intermediate blossoms, and then ending with the focal flowers.

Flower Arranging
In order after the filler, I added the kumquats, ranunculus (ranunculuses?  ranunculi?), and the poppy.  I took inspiration from the display at the pop-up market and arranged the flowers in a mason jar, then tied the black ribbon they came with around the rim of the jar.

Now… something beautiful happened a day after I arranged this.

Blooming poppy
A poppy bloomed!  Whaaat?!  You can see the casing still hanging off on the right.  How can that not make your heart soar???

I was actually wishing I had gotten another poppy, and clearly I didn’t know that the alien looking bulb that I added in step 6 was a poppy waiting to be born!

Ranunculus kumquats and poppies arrangement
You can see it sticking out on top to the right.  It unexpectedly added the final, finishing touch, and is absolutely necessary.

What do you think of these blooms?  I’m completely in love with them, if that wasn’t clear already!  And can someone shed light on the plural form of ranunculus?  I’ve seen it used all ways, and I’m thinking there’s no one, “right” way.