The Better Leather Tassel Keychain Guide #DIY

Leather Tassel Keychains with Bottle Opener | DIY @ itsaLisa.comLike what you see? buy your own on Etsy now! *keep reading for a coupon code*

I love these. They embody Form, Fashion, and Function. Leather Tassel Keychains are the latest look, as made popular by couture leather designers like Coach. But this design of mine, unlike the others, has a bottle opener! Say goodbye to your old crusty bottle opener keychain, and say hello to this fabulous new accessory that looks good, feels good, and will give that bottle cap a lift when you need it most. 😉

Make Your Own

To make one you will need:

  • A Cutting Board
  • Durable Scissors or An Exacto Blade
  • A Ruler
  • A Glue Gun
  • Keychains with Lobster Clip
  • Bottle Opener rings (available on amazon)
  • Leather Scraps – contact your local leathersmith!

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

Begin by cutting the leather into sections 4.5″ wide by however long you can get, mine were about 5″ in length.

Once you have the shape of the leather you will want to create the tassels. Cut 1/4″ inch strips into each piece, leaving a remainder of 3/4″ uncut at the top for the ring. You will also want to cut many small 3/4″ wide strips, these will aid you in rolling the leather to fit snug in the ring to slide on.

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

To start your keychain cut off one of the 1/4″ tassels. Put one end through the bottom of your lobster clip and glue the raw sides together with your glue gun. Now lay out one of your 3/4″ strips and fuze the leather attached to the keychain into the piece with hot glue. Begin rolling once or twice around, and continue to roll into the tassels. While you’re rolling, be sure each new rotations is flush with the edge so you have a flat roll for perfect form.

Our next step requires patience, and trial and error. All of my different leather scraps had different weights so I could never find “the perfect” length to roll. Instead, continue to add the 3/4″ strip over the wider tassel strips as you roll, until you have enough bulk to fit the bottle opener ring around.

The bottle opener ring should be difficult to get on and fit snugly just over where the tassel marks start on the leather. You will know you have enough leather in the roll when the ring stays in place. If it slides around add more leather, if you can not fit it over the leather you have too much. Add or cut out some of the 3/4″ strips until the fit is just right.

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

To make this project your own, have fun with the colors, not all tassels have to be from the same type of leather! Play with your rings, maybe you would rather slide on a fancy cocktail ring for extra flair (the catch – you won’t be able to use it to open a beer). Or you could always ditch the ring and finish the roll  with hot glue to hold it in place.

I would love to hear about your own efforts! Post your photos and thoughts below!

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A little something extra, just for you!!

Maybe this is all good and fun, but you just don’t have time? Be sure to check out my Etsy Shop before you go! 😉 As a thank you for reading my blog, I would love to offer you this coupon code! Enter TASSLEME at checkout to save %15 off your order.

Sequintessential

A Sequin Bed | itsaLisa.com

With the holidays around the corner I’ve got a list a mile high of things that must get done!

Who doesn’t though?

Between balancing two part-time jobs, a social life, and reading my overflowing cycle of fashion magazine subscriptions, I have assigned myself several projects:

  • Make “End of Year” gifts for all of my dear fiends (Christmas is just too early of a deadline, sowwy.)
  • Design and sew a Rad NYE Dress
  • Fabricate my very own Sequin Sweat Pants

Hence the sequins… Don’t they look terrific on my bed? Unfortunately Fortunately, I will be transforming the glam fabric into a slinky dress to ring in the New Year. I’m also bedazzling my sweatpants,  mainly so I can scoot in style. It’s too cold to scoot in a skirt so I figure I can wear the sweatpants on my commute and rip them off upon arrival of each destination…

Can I do it? Will I succeed? Of course, because I do what I can to improve the lives of myself and others one small day at a time! Stay tuned for updates 😉 and wish me luck!

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Decorating Scents | How to Make Your Home Smell Nice with an Easy DIY Holiday Spice!

Holiday Spice Recipe | Make Your Home Smell Nice! | itsaLisa.com

Do you need to make your home smell like the holidays in a quick minute? Here’s how, with no trip to the store necessary! I used basic ingredients found in any kitchen.

The background story: I accidentally made my kitchen smell like gasoline the other day (long story – read my post in The Motorscooter Diaries for more details). So I needed to mask that awful scent pronto! I obviously did not want to light a flame because, well, gasoline… So I turned on the stove top (don’t worry it was electric) and I pulled out the sauce pan and put my ingredients inside. Read on for the how-to.

Holiday Spice Recipe

What You Need:

  • Sauce Pan
  • 1 Orange
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon and or Nutmeg

What to do:

  • Fill the sauce pan with water, put it on the stove, bring to boil, let it sit at medium heat.
  • Thinly slice an Orange and toss everything into the pot, including the rind.
  • Pour in anywhere from 1/2 to a whole Tbsp of Vanilla Extract
  • Toss in the Cinnamon or Nutmeg, ground or whole. They all smell nice.
  • I also threw in a few Cloves and a splash of Merlot but that’s just because I was experimenting, they really weren’t necessary.

I was inspired by the delicious holiday scent that fills Crate&Barrel stores.  It’s a Mulling Spice which they set out in a crock pot to engulf the store in a wintry warmth. (Find it here!) I have been a seasonal employee there this year, so naturally I crave that smell even after hours. Just kidding, but believe me when I say it is delicious!

Decorating Scents!

A little known fact about decorating, particularly for an event, is…

Stimulate all 5 of the human senses.

Those five senses (as a quick refresher) are sight, sound, taste, touch, and scent. You want your setup to be pleasing to the eye, the food must taste great, there should be music playing loud enough to hear but quiet enough where you can hold a conversation (at least until dancing ensues), keep your floor plan open and give the people something to engage in such as a party game or photo booth to include their sense of touch. Last but not least don’t forget your aromas! A candle will do, but candles can get expensive or burn the house down. Perhaps you are baking something and your whole home is filled by your oven’s aroma, in that case be merry – your work is done! But just in case your menu does not waft through the house, my easy mulled spice recipe will work like a charm. The hardest part is probably waiting for your water to boil.

Happy Holidays! Thanks for reading my blog.

Did this aromatic cocktail work for you? Were your holiday gatherings a big hit? I would love to hear your thoughts, you can leave them in the comments below! And feel free to share what you’ve discovered with your friends and family.

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How to make a Peter Pan Costume | DIY Video

I did it! I made my own costume! (oh wait, I always make my own costume)… but now you can too! Don’t let my awesome sewing and explaining skills deceive you, this really is an easy pattern for Peter Pan’s cap, tunic, and a few minor accessories. 

If you do not have time to watch my five minute one second video just follow along with the instructions below. Even if you don’t watch it, you should pretend to & maybe even leave a comment. Youtube comments are the best, right?

IF you do not have time to MAKE this costume – go buy it instead!!! Click HERE to shop similar styles on ETSY. Editors Note (9/2016) – I used to sell these myself, but I had to take the link down. I’ve found that I just don’t have time any more… HUGE thanks to all my past customers!!!! I enjoyed making and selling over 300 hats to all the Peter Pans out there! *hugs*

Peter Pan

Let’s begin, but first a story…

I knew this Halloween had to be different. Yes, this Halloween was the Halloween of Lisa’s fresh pixie hair cut, and probably the only said Halloween because Lisa is growing out said hair. Therefore I (she?) need to rock this ‘do while I can! So the questions were asked: “What type of costume has short hair?” I was just Harry Potter last year so we had to cross that off the list, and Emma Watson isn’t technically a costume, besides Hermione has long hair. We thought of Twiggy and Audrey, Tegan and Sara, even Karen O, but I kindof wanted to be something more recognizable to the bar crowd (where we will be going on all Hallows eve). Now allow me to share how I crafted this delightful Disney costume.

Disney Flashback! Check out itsaLisa and her brothers’ old Mickey, Minnie, and Donald costumes here

How to Make Peter Pan’s Hat

peter pan hatPeter Pan Hat pattern

You will need

  1. 1/2 yard of green felt
  2. red feather
  3. fabric scissors
  4. sewing machine (or by hand with a needle and thread)

The supplies should cost under $5 and this project will take under 20 minutes. 

>>Don’t want to make it?!?! Buy one on Amazon!<<

I did some research and this one looks the closest to my design! (and it’s under $10!)

How To Make A Peter Pan Hat Step By Step Instructions:

Lay your fabric out flat and fold 12 inches of it back over itself to create a fold on one edge. Now either print out a to-scale version of the stencil above or just eyeball it. This is the part where eye-balling skills come in handy, or maybe this is why I told you to buy so much extra fabric! Disclaimer: I’ve made 5 hats today, I only need one but I was getting the measurements right, and perfecting this awesome pattern for you! There’s definitely enough fabric to go around. The length is about 11 inches, and the height is 10. Line up the stencil along the fold and bottom edge, cut it out and sew along the dotted line, 1/2 inch seam allowance. Do not sew the bottom part shut! That is where your head goes silly.

Once you’ve sewn the two sides together take your fabric scissors or snips and “clip” the corners and curved edges. Clipping is when you cut little V’s into the seam allowance so the hat will lie flatter and look better when you turn it inside out. Now turn it inside out, press your finger along the seam to flatten it, if you have a Tailor’s ham go ahead and iron it flat. To wear your hat you want the seamless edge to be behind you. Fold it over as you put it on (see video). You might need to recut the front to be rounder if they do not meet at the center cut them until they are even. Once you are happy with your hat shape, cut a small horizontal slit into one side above where your ear would rest and insert the feather accordingly. Nice work!

How To Make Peter Pan’s Tunic

Peter Pan Shirt Pattern

You will need

  1. XL Green Shirt (or any length long enough to be a skirt)
  2. Fabric Scissors

The shirt should cost $5 or less, and this will take about 10 minutes to complete

<<Having some trouble? This costume on Amazon looks pretty similar!>> 🙂

This shirt is so easy to cut there is no skill level required. First I cut out the collar. Then I cut a straight line down the front, once the fabric falls open it creates a V, very similar to Peter Pan’s in the movie, and I tacked the V so it would remain open (see video). Tacking is a technique used on garments to hold pieces in place with invisible stitches, all you have to do is sew a piece of thread through the garment once or twice and finish it with a small knot on the inside of the garment. Cut into the sleeves. The XL size was already draping off my shoulders dramatically so I chose to cut almost all of each sleeve off so they would not be as long. Cut two V’s into the bottom, front and back. You want the pointy flap to fall in the center between your legs for obvious reasons. Some people prefer to cut more V’s out of their costume, but in the movie, he really only has a few. And that’s it. You did it!

(Like what you see? View more of itsaLisa’s creative costume DIYs here!)

Accessories

You will need: 

  1. Faith
  2. Trust
  3. A little Pixie Dust

Finally, the final touches! You’ll need some kind of rope belt to tie at the waist, a toy sword if you can find one, green tights or leggings, and brown floppy shoes. The tights can be bought at Macys, and the shoes at a thrift store or probably yours or your friend’s closet. For girls with long hair, you can attempt to stuff it into a bun beneath the point in your cap. Wear a fresh face of natural-looking makeup, Peter Pan is a young lad after all. I applied a subtle bronzer, eyeliner, and a pink lip to match my pink feather. But if you’re a guy, wear all the makeup you want, I’m not here to judge.

Peter Pan Hat, felt and feather craft

peter pan shoes

Peter Pan Costume for Halloween With Poor Nana | DIY Tutorial on itsaLisa.com

Click here to see the original image on instagram

I hope your costume goes well! If you need any extra help just follow the second star to the right and straight on till morning! If that doesn’t work though I’m here if you have any questions, need guidance, or most importantly if you want to share your own looks! I appreciate your feedback. Thanks a million and Happy Halloween!

UPDATE: (August 2015)

WOW You Guys! I am getting an amazing amount of views, thank you sooo much! This was all so much fun, that I want to make MORE!!! Click here for My DIY Cat Costume!

cat makeup halloween costume

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Classic Halloween Costumes – on the Fly!

Ladies and Gentleman, I am happy to inform you that I am a contributor to the fabulous blogs SparkleandFuzz.com (for the pretty ladies) and TheGentleManual.com (for the handsome gents). Speaking of such things, I am proud to present one of my latest posts, a Halloween DIY for the classy gals who needs a quick costume… (read the original post here)

Halloween is that fanciful time of year when being yourself is the last thing on your mind and finding the perfect costume is at the forefront of your thoughts. Yet, somehow, every year we leave the costume planning until the last-minute. Well, you can stop your stressing because we’ve come up with 3 great costumes that you can quickly put together with things that are already hanging in your closet: The Gypsy Dancer, the Fortune Teller and the Swashbuckler. When you have the right clothes paired with the right accessories, you can celebrate your favorite holiday in style.

Easy Halloween costume, pirate, gypsy, fortune teller, psychic

illustration by Lisa Van Wijk

The Gypsy Dancer

This costume can be easily accomplished with simple layering. Grab one of your long dresses or a loose-fitting top and maxi skirt, preferably in a solid or natural looking print. Next up, tie a colored scarf around your head in “the Esmeralda” (how-to shown here) and knot a bigger scarf, like this elegant and free-spirited number, around your hips. Give yourself an elongated cat eye and deep red lips, and you can add a beauty mark with eyeliner. To finish of the look, toss on as many bangles and necklaces as you can find. Now clang your tambourine and dance in the street. While you’ve got everyone entranced with your sultry whiles, pick their pockets.

Palm Reading Cheat SheetThe Fortune Teller

This costume is similar to the gypsy with the accessories tweaked here and there.  Start off with a loose top tucked into a maxi skirt. Add a pair of large round glasses and carry a crystal ball if you can get one. If not, you can be a palm reader instead. To complete the stereotypical psychic look, wrap a star studded scarf  around your head turban style and wear another scarf (like this twinkling scarf) as a shawl draped over the shoulders. For even more effect, you can make your hair big and frizzy and give your eyes a celestial glow with sparkling eye shadows like this look from makeup artist Linda Hallberg. You could even pick up a deck of tarot cards like this one at your local bookstore. Now speak in a mystical voice as you stare at people through your all-knowing-orb and give them unsolicited omens of bad fortune. The crystal ball tells no lies.

The Swash-Buckler

Who doesn’t love a good pirate costume? It is a classic look and it’s easier to accomplish than you might think. Let’s start with the foundation: dark skinny pants (highwaisted if you got ‘em), a light colored peasant top or loose blouse, and boots. Grab a dark solid scarf, wrap it around your waist and tuck it in so the loose end falls in front. Cinch it with a dark belt. You can top off this costume with a scarf tied in “The Bahama” (shown here), and wear a pouch of doubloons on your belt. To really seal the deal, paint your lips red and make one of your eyes black and smokey and cover the other with an eye patch. Check out this easy DIY from Art Platter. Caution: depth perception will be impaired. Print out this cheat sheet and practice your pirate-speak. Now yell nautical commands in slurred speech and swig frequently from a dirty rum bottle, ya bilge-sucking scalawag!

Halloween gives you the chance to transform yourself for a night (or two, or three). With these 3 easy last minute costumes, that transformation doesn’t have to be so difficult. Extra points go to those of you who never break character. Now get out there and have some fun!

Thanks for the read, but seriously, check out more on SparkleandFuzz.com, they have great DIYs, fashion updates, and seriously sensitive topics on how to get over heartbreaks (don’t ask)…

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