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Today's Life Solutions / Sports & Leisure /

Revitalize your style: spring projects refresh your home and wardrobe

February 24, 2014

(ARA) - After months of dark, sleepy winter, many of us look for ways to bring spring's sense of renewal into our homes. This year, go beyond the typical spring cleaning with projects that repurpose things you already own. You will revitalize your home's style - and your own - and add a new, fun spin to life in sunnier days.

Start with that closet, basement or attic that's cluttered with items you don't use but can't bear to throw away. You probably have clothing and jewelry that you either inherited from loved ones or outgrew - in one way or another. Sometimes changing fashions dictate that it's time to retire what was once a favorite item. Mining these possessions and getting some crafty tips for ways to repurpose them is not only a great way to be environmentally friendly, but it's also a perfect way to stay on a budget without letting your style stagnate.

With a little creativity inspired by current trends, you can 'upcycle' your loved memories into wearable art. The craft masters at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores offer projects that capitalize on what you already have in a lovely presentation showing before and after photos. For example, a brooch bouquet necklace allows you to incorporate brooches and other past-its-prime jewelry into an of-the-moment statement necklace like those featured in glossy fashion magazines. And if you have a skirt with gorgeous fabric, but outdated style or size, has tips on how to turn it into a fashion-forward fringed scarf.

Refreshing or repurposing retired home decor items is good for the environment and for you. A few simple and fun projects seasoned with your own creativity are all you need.

To refresh the look of old frames, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores has advice on how to add a splash of color and turn them into stylish wall art straight out of your favorite high-end interior design magazines. Incorporating family memories into your decor is easy with a project for heirloom display frames that combines items such as antique doilies and photos, buttons and picture frames into a beautiful piece of history to adorn your home. For instructions on these projects that will help you upcycle your heirlooms, visit Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores or go to

Brooch bouquet necklace

Supplies and tools:
1 brooch of choice
1/4 yard blue organza
1/4 yard green tulle
12 inches bridal applique or lace
1 spool 1/2-inch wide ribbon, cornflower blue
Ultimate Crystals Facet Bicone beads: sapphire and peridot - 1 package each
1 package Beader's Paradise Seed beads, key lime
2 strands Darice Round Clear beads, 7mm
1 strand Darice Glass beads, sapphire blue
2 strands Darice Preciosa Crystal beads, 3mm
1 package Beyond Beautiful Faceted Round Silver Mirror beads, 6mm
1 package Darice tiger tail jewelry wire
1 package Darice 7mm jump rings
1 package crimp beads
1 candle and matchbook
Basic sewing supplies
Basic jewelry-making supplies

To make organza flowers:
1. Cut four or five flower shapes from organza.
2. Taking one organza flower at a time, hold the edge of the flower close to, but not touching, the candle flame.
Have a small bowl of water handy, just in case the flower touches the flame. The edge will melt and curl
slightly. Turn flower and continue to curl the edges. Repeat for each organza flower shape.
3. Layer the curled flower shapes, turning flowers to alternate curled edges. With needle and thread, stitch through center of flower.
4. Embellish flower center with beads as desired.

Note: Step 2 takes a little practice. You will most likely lose the defined petal shape, however, once flower shapes are layered in step 3, it won't matter.

To make ribbon flowers:
1. Cut a 12-inch piece of ribbon. Stitch a row of running stitches, by hand, along the long side of one edge of ribbon.
2. Gently gather the ribbon.
3. Fold the short edges to the back and stitch in place. Adjust gathers.
4. Embellish ribbon flower with a mirror bead.

Heirloom display frames

Supplies and tools:
3 photo frames
3 artist canvases
Green and blue spray paint, or colors of choice
Lace doilies
Vintage photos
Scrapbook papers: green, blue, cream, brown
Small candle cups
Pearl and brass buttons
Ribbon: green, blue, brown
Sawtooth hangers
Needle and thread
Acrylic paints: brown, gray, silver, gold
Small paint brush
Border punch
Paper trimmer
Glue stick
Tacky glue
Double-sided tape
Screws and screwdriver

Directions for canvases:
1. Spray paint canvas front and edges. Let dry.
2. Position lace doily on canvas and tack down with needle and thread, starting at back of canvas. Fold lace neatly if it covers a corner and secure to back of canvas.
3. With glue stick, apply a bit of glue to tips of doily to help it lay flat on the canvas surface.
4. Sew thread through buttons; sew or glue buttons onto lace and canvas. Attach sawtooth hanger to back.

Directions for frames:
1. Remove backings from frames and use them as templates to create the background for your photos. Mix and match scrapbook papers and ribbons. See photo for design reference.
2. Arrange photos on background. Single or double mat them as desired and attach with glue. Decorate with buttons, ribbons and other embellishments. Set aside.
3. Basecoat candle cups with acrylic paint color of choice and add accents of the other colors to blend with the frames. When paint is dry, screw the candle cups onto the frame. Be sure the screws will not interfere with the glass when frame is reassembled.
4. Apply glue to the top rim of each candle cup and place a brass button on each, with the button shank inside the cup. Let glue dry.
5. Reassemble frames. Add additional sawtooth hangers, if necessary; then hang.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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