Blogger Challenge: Smart N Snazzy

Smart n Snazzy Logo
Hi!  I’m Lia.  My real name is Amalia which rhymes with Mama Mia and not Somalia.  This is why I go by Lia.  I’m a single mom of 2 amazing kids who are 8 and 11.  I recently lost my job and am trying to blog full time now while looking for my next endeavor.  You know how you hear some kind of adage that goes something like ‘what you do when you’re procrastinating is what you should be doing with your life’?  Well for me it was blogging.  And here I am!  A former data analyst, now loving life at home with the kiddos! I started Smart n Snazzy to share my love of fashion, DIY projects, beauty, and decor.  I have expensive taste but a limited budget, so I wanted to hopefully inspire others!  I also started it to have a creative outlet.  I’ve always been making things since I was a kid; it’s helped with my anxiety and focus issues.  I graduated from University of Colorado Boulder with my degree in Mathematics after also studying a lot of physics and astronomy. I am obsessed with 90s punk music, the beach, Mediterranean food, sports, and a good drink. I snowboard, surf (well I did when I lived in FL), and work on DIY projects in my free time, what little of it I have that is.
Project 1 ~ Glam Cans!
I haven’t met anything I can’t upcycle into something else, and I’ve been dying for just the right embellishment to make some glam can succulent planters.  So when I spotted the gold bolo cord, I knew what it would be perfect for!

Challenge materials:

  • Gold faux-leather bolo cord

Other materials:

  • Tin cans
  • Decorative buttons
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Cutters to cut the button shank off the back of the buttons
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Lighter
Determine how much cord you’ll use for each can, cut and set aside with its can.  Measure the ribbon as well.  Hot glue your cord onto your can.

Hot glue the ribbon over the cord, and then remove the shanks from the backs of the buttons so their backs are flat.  Hot glue those on the ribbon.

I wanted to plant succulents in my glam cans, but you could also use them for pencils, craft supplies, or whatever you desire!

Project 2 ~ Woven Headband
I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to make with this gorgeous woven ribbon trim, so I asked my daughter and she immediately said ‘a headband!’  So I did!

Challenge materials:

  • Woven ribbon trim
  • fuchsia thread
Other materials:
  • Elastic hair tie (I was lucky to have a matching fuchsia one!)
  • Needle (we’ll be doing some simple hand sewing)
  • Scissors
  • Washi tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Lighter (not pictured)

Wrap a piece of washi tape around the trim, centering it at about 20.5″.  Cut down the middle of the tape (this prevents the ribbon from unraveling.)  Fold the trim over one side of the elastic, and sew the trim back on itself – make sure you don’t sew through the elastic!  I sewed up and down three times to ensure the stitches were tight.  Then trim the ends and fuse with the lighter.

Repeat with the other side, making sure that the ribbon is not twisted.  When done sewing, trim the excess and fuse the ends with the lighter.

All done!  So pretty, and I love the colors for fall.  It looks chic for the gym, or with any hairstyle!

Project 3 ~ Chic Tassel Keychain

Once I saw this lovely carabiner clip, I immediately wanted to make a chic keychain clip of it.

Challenge materials:

  • Gold carabiner clip
  • Gold and fuchsia thread
  • E-6000 glue
Other materials:
  • Scissors
  • Split key ring
  • Wooden bead (or any bead you have with a wide hole)

Start by making the tassel.  Use your fingers and wrap the fuchsia thread around them as shown, interspersing with a few wraps of gold thread here and there.  Once you have a good amount for a tassel, slip it off and tie it in the center, snip the ends, and slide your bead on from the tied top.  Slide the bead down a little so you can slip the tassel on the carabiner clip.  Apply a dollop of glue to the inside of the bead (or just on the threads where the bead will ultimately sit) and push the bead into its final resting place.  Add your key ring and you’re done!

I love how chic yet practical this is.  I can never find my keys in my purse, and now it’s so much easier to find them!

Project 4 ~ Chunky Link Necklace

As soon as I saw this gorgeous milky acrylic link chain, I wanted to weave metal chain through it.  It was so easy and makes such a unique statement piece.

Challenge materials:

  • Acrylic link chain
Other materials:
  • Lightweight aluminum chain
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Tape measure
  • 2 medium jump rings
  • 1 large jump ring
  • Lobster clasp

Measure and cut 5 pieces of chain 22″ long.  Measure your acrylic links and remove any links past 18″.  Gather the ends of the chain and attach using a jump ring at either end.  Weave through the acrylic links.

When you get to the end, wrap the chain around the last links.  Attach the lobster clasp to one jump ring, and the large jump ring to the other.

So pretty and fun!  I can’t wait to wear this with a plain shirt.  I think it will especially be set off by fall’s rich jewel tones.

Project 5 ~ Preppy Ribbon Clutch
Of all the challenge materials, I struggled the most with the fuchsia satin ribbon.  But once the idea came to me, this is now hands down my favorite project I made!

Challenge materials:

  • Fuchsia satin ribbon
  • Fuchsia thread
Other materials:
  • 9″ zipper
  • Coordinating colors of satin thread
  • Muslin
  • Fabric glue
  • Needle (we’re hand-sewing again)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

Measure and cut a piece of muslin fabric about 10.5″ x 12″.  Fold it in half, this will be the shape / size of your clutch.  Don’t cut the ribbon yet!  Use your fabric glue to adhere the ribbon to one side of your pouch, then flip it over.

Fold the ribbon over the edge and glue it down on the other side.  Let dry overnight, cut the ribbon where it was folded, and cut the ribbon excess so it’s flush with the fabric.  If there’s excess fabric at the top and bottom, fold it so it’s flush with the fabric and use the bottom edge of your scissors to crease the fold.

I didn’t want the zipper to be the entire length of the clutch, so I used some excess fuchsia ribbon to extend it at either end.  Sew it on, as shown above.  Now it’s time to sew it to your clutch.  Normally, you’d sew the zipper right side to right side, but I wanted for the entire stripe of ribbon to be visible, and I like the contrasting thread showing, so I sewed it right side (zipper) to wrong side (fabric).
Bring the other end up to meet the zipper.  You’ll have a tube, with openings on either end.  Open the zipper so it’s easier to sew on.  Once the zipper is done, turn the pouch inside out, I found it easiest to do this through the zipper.  Now you’re going to sew the sides.  When both sides are sewn, turn right-side out and use a pencil or something to poke the corners out.  I chose to add a simple tassel to the zipper pull by just looping through some thin velvet ribbon.
This is so easy to make, is sturdy, and beautiful for fall!  I love this color combo, and can’t wait to carry this with everything!  You could also use it as a makeup pouch, or for whatever your little heart desires!
Project 6 ~ Hair Ties

These might be the easiest project yet.  When I saw the foldover elastic, I thought ‘Twistband hair ties’.

Challenge materials:

  • Silvery foldover elastic
Other materials:
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Lighter

Cut lengths of elastic about 9.5″ long.  Fold in half, tie the loose ends in a knot leaving about a half inch excess.  Singe the ends with a lighter, and that’s it!

This style hair tie is so popular right now, and for how easy they are to make (and how inexpensive too!) I will never pay the outrageous prices when I can DIY my own!

Project 7 ~ Crystal and ‘Lucite’ Earrings
I love the look of bold, bright crystal stones on lucite, it really sets off their beautiful color.  There’s a much easier alternative to lucite, and you won’t believe how easy it is!

Challenge materials:

  • Blue crystals
  • E-6000 glue
Other materials:
  • Shrinky dink plastic
  • 2 sew on rhinestones
  • Hand-drawn template (for the marquise shape I drew it 5″ long by about 4″ wide; for the large circle I traced a soda bottle cap and for the small circle I traced my chapstick!)
  • Tape
  • 6 small jump rings
  • 2 earring wires
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Skewer or toothpick

Tape your template to the plastic and cut out the shapes.  Repeat for 2 of each shape.  Make sure to punch holes where you’ll want your jump rings to go before you bake the plastic!  Bake the shapes according to the directions on the shrinky dink package.

Squeeze out a dollop of glue onto some scrap paper, and use the pointy end of the skewer to apply a dot of glue to the back of a rhinestone.  Use tweezers to put the rhinestones in place.

When you are done with your stones, it’s time to attach the pieces.  Use jewelry pliers to attach jump rings, adding an earring hook to the top jump ring.

I can’t get over how glam these earrings are and how expensive they look.  You’d never guess it’s not lucite!

13 thoughts on “Blogger Challenge: Smart N Snazzy

  1. I love your projects, Lia! Can’t believe how many you did…and how we were thinking along the same lines for a couple (I almost attached tassels to the carabiner but I didn’t;-) Those earrings are just fantastic!

    1. Awwww!!! Thanks SO much, Carly! I am so OCD I of course had to do as many projects as I could lol. It’s funny how us DIYers share the same brain and think along the same lines so often… there should be a study done on it! PS ~ I now need to use that clay you used for that killer piece you made – I love how you don’t need to bake it or anything and it doesn’t seem to show fingerprints like polymer does!

  2. Very creative projects. I really like the headband, earrings, and of course the ribbon clutch! These ideas inspire me to be more creative!

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