The Smiling Journal

For all your creative needs!

DIY Fingerless Gloves!

Wanna make your outfits more exciting? Wear cute, upcycled fingerless gloves!

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You will need:
– One or two socks
– Scissors
– Permanent marker

Optional extras:
– 2 x 30cm pieces of ribbon

If you have two socks:
Start off by cutting the toe end off one of the socks. Now, put the sock on your hand as if it were a glove, with the elastic part around your knuckles.

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Make a small dot with the permanent marker at the base of your thumb (not the tip).
Take the sock off again, and poke the scissors through where the mark is. Now put the sock back on your hand, and stick your thumb through the hole. Use the scissors to widen the hole very carefully! Its easy to cut it too big, so keep checking to see if your thumb is comfortable.

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You’re pretty much done! All you need to do is cut the end to the length you want it, and repeat this process for the other sock!

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If you have only one sock:
Start off by cutting the sock above the heel part, and below. You should now have a strip with the heel part on it (you can throw this away).

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Next, put the piece of the sock with two openings on your hand as if it were a glove, with the elastic part around your knuckles. (these next few steps are the same as above, but I’ve written them again).
Make a small dot with the permanent marker at the base of your thumb (not the tip).
Take the sock off again, and poke the scissors through where the mark is. Now put the sock back on your hand, and stick your thumb through the hole. Use the scissors to widen the hole very carefully! Its easy to cut it too big, so keep checking to see if your thumb is comfortable.

Next, grab the last piece of the sock. Cut the toe part the same distance from the thread line as the width of the elastic bit of the other half of the sock. Like so:

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Now, just cut them to the length you want them!

Optional extra:
If you don’t want the glove to gape open at the wrist, you can do this step.
Using the scissors, carefully poke small holes all the way around the wrist end of your glove. Now, weave the piece of ribbon in and out of the holes, all the way around. Repeat this for the other glove, and you’re done! You can tie the ribbon ends into a nice bow if you like! 🙂

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Chain of Cranes decoration!!

Need a new phone charm, wall decoration, or even earrings? Then this is for you!

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You will need:
– Squares of paper
– Scissors
– Thin cardboard

Start off by folding all your squares of paper into paper cranes. Then, cut your piece of cardboard into quite thin strips.
Now, using your scissors, poke them through the hole at the base of one of the cranes, and all the way through to the other side to form a ‘tunnel’.
Next, fold one strip of cardboard in half. At one end is a loop, and the other is two separated ends. Fold each end in a different direction, like so:

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Now, poke the end with a loop into the base of the crane, and pull it through. Repeat this step with the rest of the cranes.

And thats it! You’re done! A chain of cranes, ready to be hung up anywhere you’d like.

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DIY braided skirt!

Have a plain old skirt and a bunch of old clothes that you’d like to upcycle? Then this is for you!

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You will need:
– Scissors
– An old skirt (or you can make your own, preferably black or white)
– About eight old tops, in solid colors that complement each other (better if they’re slightly stretchy)
– Knowledge on how to braid/plait
– Needle and thread

Start off by cutting the eight old tops into strips about the length of the skirt. An easy(ish) way to do this is fold the top in half twice, then cut strips all the way up as far as you can go.

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Theoretically, this should take you four times less than if you’d left the top unfolded. Yay!
Once you’ve cut up all the strips, cut each strip through one layer once (because the strips will actually be loops) in order to have a straight piece of material.
Now, grab three strips of different colors and tie the ends together. Its time to braid! A tip when doing this is to either tape/tie the end to a surface, or hold the end between your feet in order to keep an even tension. When you reach the end of the material, tie another knot.

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Continue braiding strips together until there’s no fabric left to braid. Then comes the annoying part – sewing them on.
Find the side seam of the skirt (or if there’s a zip, use that) and that’s where you start. If you’re using the zip, start about 1cm away from it. Thread your needle (with the thread doubled over) and tie a knot at the end.
Now, push the needle through the waistband of the skirt and one of the braids from the inside out. The knot should hang over the edge, like so:

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Now, pull the thread through until you feel the tug of the knot. Poke the needle back through, close to where the thread is coming out, then repeat. You should now have two lines of thread:

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Now, repeat these steps for all of the braids! Once you’re done that, you can trim the ends of the braids to your preference, and cut off the knots around the waistline of the skirt.

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One last optional step:
If you have a zip and you don’t want a gap, simply tie one of the braids to the zip and trim the ends!
Ta da, you’re done!

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Union Jack Nail Polish!

In spirit of the Olympics drawing ever nearer, I’m writing a post to teach you guys how to paint union jacks on your nails!

You will need:
– Red, blue, and white, and clear nail polish
– Sellotape
– Scissors

Start off by painting your whole nail red. I recommend you only do your thumbnail to start with, because its the biggest and easiest to do.

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Make sure the nail polish is completely dry, then cut a piece of sellotape into quarters so you have four very thin strips. Now sellotape a union jack on your nail (it looks like an asterisk). Now carefully paint over your whole nail in white, making sure the white doesnt get under the sellotape. Once the nail is completely dry again, peel the sellotape off slowly and gently. Your nail should look something like this (but probably neater – I’ve never done this before):

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Now cut a piece of sellotape just in half this time, so the strips aren’t as thin as before. Stick them down over the red lines you’ve just made. Now paint your whole nail blue! Once its completely dry, peel the sellotape off gently and carefully like before. You should now have a union jack on your nail!

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Masquerade Mask!

In this post, I’ll teach you how to make your own masquerade mask! I’m going to a Venetian masquerade ball in a few days time, so I thought I’d make my own mask! Its so hard to find affordable masks that look just right with your dress/suit.

You will need:
– A white paper mask
– Paint (in the color you want your mask to be)
– Paintbrush
– Sequins (if you can find some in a string already, they’re best)
– Superglue
– Sellotape
– A thin metal/wooden rod
– A selection of beads
– Two large feathers in the color of your choice

Firstly, cut the mask so its the right shape for your face, then paint both sides of the mask. Once the paint has dried, carefully superglue the sequins all around the edges of the mask (including around the eyes). Where the loop ends, add extra superglue to ensure it doesn’t unravel.

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Now, superglue the two feathers on one side of the mask. Like so:

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Grab the thin metal/wooden rod and place a bead on one end. Put a blob of superglue on the end to make sure the bead stays in place. Once the glue has dried, continue filling the rod up with beads until an inch from the end. Now, superglue or tape the rod to the bottom of the mask. If you tape it on, make sure you paint over it so it doesn’t look ugly.

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Now you’re done! Easy, huh? You can paint designs on the front if you like, but I decided to keep mine simple.

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Personalised Invitations!

People love things that are about them…right? These personalised invitations are a great idea, especially when you need to keep numbers down!

You will need:
– A piece of paper/card for each person you’re inviting
– A photo of each person
– A pencil
– Glue

All you need to do is glue down the photo of the person on the back of the card, then write the party details on the front!

I recently had my birthday party, and for my invites I did a drawing of each of my friends! Its a great way to keep down numbers if you’re struggling 😉

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Leg Warmers!

Just had to share this!
Seeing as its the middle of winter here, I’ll make a post on how to make leg warmers!!
Now, this project is not my own (sadly) so I’ll have to link you to the site. But not before I show you the ones I made!!! Oh yeah!!!

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And here’s how to make them:
http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/03/diy-leg-warmers-from-promise.html

Happy creating!!

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Poetry Paper Cranes!

Me and two of my friends decided to give each other easter presents every year, because we always had great ideas for gifts, and birthdays couldnt come around fast enough! The only condition is that they have to be homemade, not bought.
This year, one of my friends gave me a bunch of paper cranes with poetry and quotes written on them! Its quite a simple concept, yet they look totally cool! So I decided to share the idea with you guys – but my friend thought of it first!

You will need:
– Squares of paper about 10cmx10cm (the amount doesn’t matter, it just depends on how many you want to make)
– A nice pen to write on them with
– Knowledge on how to make a paper crane

Firstly, write the quotes/poems on both sides of each square of paper. Then, simply fold them into paper cranes! Easy, really.

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Cute, aren’t they?

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Inspirational Quote Book!

One day, I was sitting there thinking, there are so many inspirational quotes in the world that I always forget about…how can I remember them all? What could help me on tough days? The answer, is a quote book!

You will need:
– 1 piece of A4 paper (any color, but black or white look best)
– A gel pen or thin felt pen that will show up on the paper (e.g if the paper’s black, you’ll need a white pen)
– Scissors
– Stapler
– Quotes!

Firstly, cut the piece of paper into quarters. Layer the pieces on top of each other, then fold them in half to make a booklet. Then, staple the centre of the booklet two or three times along the fold (preferably with the flat bit of the staple on the outside of the booklet). Now all you need to do is write quotes in the booklet!

Tips:
Quote books look nicer if the writing is really small, and you start on the cover, rather than inside the booklet.
Try to work it so each page finishes at the end of a quote.
Use something like an arrow or star in between quotes so you don’t get confused.
Try not to repeat quotes!
Try to keep to a theme – inspirational quotes, song lyrics, quotes that remind you of someone, etc.
Its a great gift for a friend or family member!

I’ve made a collection of quote books, including a paramore lyrics one for my best friend, an inspirational quotes one for another friend’s mom, and a song lyrics one for my boyfriend. Here’s the one I’ve made for myself:

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5 Fun Projects!

I’ve put together a few projects for you guys to try, which aren’t long enough for a whole post to themselves ;P

Project One – Whiteboard Words

You will need:
– Scissors
– Thin magnets with words on them
– A magnetic surface to stick them on

Want to write a message to yourself, but don’t want to have to buy a whiteboard marker? All you need to do is cut up thin magnets into individual letters or words, and put them on your magnetic surface! Easy!

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Project Two – Wall Quotes

You will need:
– Scissors
– Lots of black paper OR paper and a black vivid to color in with
– Blue-tack
– Space on your wall

What you do, is count the number of each letter is in your quote (I.e 5 u’s, 3 t’s, 4 s’s, etc) and draw one of each of them on the paper. Then, if you have multiple of one letter, fold the paper until you have the same number of layers as the number of each letter there is (e.g, if there are 3 t’s, there should be 3 layers of paper). This means you don’t need to cut out 3 separate t’s – you only need to cut it out once to get 3! Then, blue-tack each letter to the wall in the right order!

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Project Three – Flower Phonebook Pencil Holder!

You will need:
– Hot glue gun
– Old phonebook
– Craft knife/scissors
– Paint (if you prefer)
– A piece of cardboard (around 30cmx30cm)

I find this project simply amazing! Admittedly, its not mine (though I wish it was!!!) so here’s a link to the project!
http://www.chicaandjo.com/2009/02/24/recycle-phone-book-into-pen-organizer/

Project Four – Butterfly-style Wall Hearts

You will need:
– A variety of colored paper
– Scissors
– Pencil/pen
– Blue-tack

This is such a cute idea (if I do say so myself)!
All you need to do is cut out many many hearts from different colors of paper, fold them in half, then blue-tack them to the wall! Also, you can put layers of paper on top of each other to save cutting time, and cut small hearts out of the remaining paper to save trees!

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Project Five – Paper Crane Window Decoration

You will need:
– Square colored paper
– Needle
– Transparent string (like nylon or fishing line stuff)
– A pin or something to attach it to the window

All you need to do is fold a few paper cranes, push the needle (with string tied on) through the body of the crane (twice – otherwise the cranes will all slide down), and attach the end to the window! Simple.

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Hope you enjoy making these 5 fun projects!

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