As promised/threatened, the Bird is BACK.  I had some time with family to rejuvenate and recharge, and now I'm back with renewed energy. Or at least, that's what I tell myself -- there's always a bit of a vacation-hangover when you're back from a break. Uuuuugh. But whining aside, I wanted to share some simple DIY projects I worked on prior to my trip, something I like to call, You Look Cheap (in a good way) Upgrade existing wardrobe pieces with inexpensive fixes!

We all have those items in our wardrobe that we're a bit "meh...." about. They're not favorites, but they're good staples to have, yet it's tough to keep these staples in the regular rotation because of their "meh..."-ness. My answer to these basic staples is: Fabric Paint! Metallic, specifically, although a bold fluorescent hue would also be perfect. I had some leftover gold, silver and bronze metallic fabric paint from projects long past, and I remember how easy it was to use and how well it took to fabric -- nothing crazy, just a pretty sparkle and it doesn't flake off in the wash. They're like a dollar per bottle at the craft store, water-soluble for when you're cleaning your brushes, and once they've dried onto the fabric, they just need a quick heat-set using an iron (or if you're impatient/lazy like me, I throw it into a hot dryer for 15 minutes)

Stripes are always chic, and super easy when you have a roll of painter's tape -- a must-have for every household. Just sticky enough to adhere to a surface, but easy to remove without damaging that surface, and perfect for blocking out even, straight-lined stripes. I've been a fan of painting the bottom half of shirts and sweaters. I took a clearance rack $5 cardigan and jazzed it up with some metallic copper stripes. Tan can be so drab, but the little hint of sparkle and stripe pattern makes it more fun to wear. And it keeps you from looking like a baked potato with all that tan/brown. 

Another DIY/inexpensive upgrade -- Voltron your jewelry. Which is to say, all those random costume jewelry brooches and decorative pins you never wear? Attach them all to a lace applique you can buy at a fabric/craft store, attach this sparkly tangle to some spare jewelry chain, and make a big statement necklace. I had a lot of little brooches and odd pins that I don't wear often, but don't want to get rid of -- arranging them onto the applique, along with some spare decorative buttons, I made a big, chunky statement necklace that's full of personal pieces. And I don't have to stare into my jewelry box wondering how I'll ever get around to wearing all these little sparkly bits and bobs -- I'll just wear them all at once on one necklace!  

Jaunty Fine Print: Photos by Denise Sakaki

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