Wednesday 28 November 2012

DIY FYI: Glue's Who

Thought I'd share some crafty tricks of the trade by comparing notes on my top 5 different types of glue, which one to choose and what they do best.

Glue Gun


What's it for?

Joining just about anything, haberdashery and stationery, alike. Examples include gems and beads to clothing, fabric to fabric, leather to fabric, beads to plastic. It's your faithful, familiar jack-of-all-trades.

Good because...

It's versatile.

It's quick-drying.

It's easy to control

Bad because...

It leaves a (very) visible residue

It can be brittle, especially if you don't let the glue heat up enough before you use it

Careless handling causes burns and blisters - owie!

Contact Adhesive

What's it for?

Another one-size-fits-all option, contact adhesive, particularly when it's of the hardware and industrial strength variety, is good for bonding two surfaces. It works best with hard surfaces and leather but not fabric as it ruins and stiffens the fluid texture. It's also a strong , fail-safe option for bonding heavy, stubborn surfaces which are likely to fall apart otherwise. Generally you have to apply it to both the desired surfaces, leave it to become tacky and press the sides together. Personally I'm a big fan of it when it comes to shoes and leathers.

Good because...

Strong, fail-safe option for heavy surfaces and - to my knowledge - wash-safe.

Bad because...

I'm not gonna lie, the waiting's a bit of a pain as some contact adhesives can take as long as 15 minutes

Not very good for fiddly detailing and embellishment. Hello! Are you really going to wait 500 sets of 5 minutes for a set of beads to part-dry before you can cut to the chase?

Gemstone glue


What's it for?

Bonding gems, beads, sequins and other embellishments - even glitter - to fabrics, shoes and accessories. This is a great, quick-drying option for all your fiddly detailing and also works for gluing fabrics together if needs be.

Good because...

Like I said, it's quick-drying

It's a mess-free, option for tiny embellishments and the best makes tend to be clear-drying so they don't really leave a visible residue (though they may affect the lustre of diamant├ęs if they leak to the top)

It's easy to control and contain within the desired area

It's really versatile and a potential money/ effort saver if you're keen to limit your glue selection

Bad because...

It's not very strong and doesn't really go beyond bonding tiny gems and flimsy fabrics to surfaces

All Purpose Clear Adhesive

What's it for?

As the name suggests, it covers most of your creative bases vis-a-vis material bonding, think gems, beads, sequins and lightweight (but not sheer) fabrics on hard surfaces, such as shoes and bags. It's probably best described as a marginally stronger, harder-drying version of gemstone glue but they're basically in the same sticking category.

Good because...

It's clear-drying

It's quick-drying

It's easy to control (most tubes have a fine nozzle for precise application)

Bad because...

It's relatively weak and best kept to smaller objects like beads

There's not a lot that it does that gemstone glue doesn't do better

Craft Mount


What's it for?

My sermon on the Craft Mount? Umm, well, it's one of my favourite glues to use when it comes to bonding lightweight fabrics, foil and glitter with big areas to cover as it's quick to apply and use. Just spray away at the desired area and stick your stuff down.

Good because...

It's quick-drying and easy to use

Most types of craft mount allow for repositioning so it's not disastrous if you make a mistake - always check the label rather than assume

It's a fast, relatively economical way to cover big areas

Bad because...

It's messy and hard to contain - always make sure your work area is well protected

One word: Fumes. You need to make sure your work area is well ventilated and that you don't spray too near your face or where you might breathe it in

Sunday 25 November 2012

Hello Dalek!

A brief trend update before I reveal my long-awaited damask intarsia jumper tutorial, as promised in my last entry. Couldn't help but to notice the resemblance the - seriously hot - embellished cut out suede dress from Miu Miu bore to the iconic oeuvres of Paco Rabanne in the '60s.

Also, upon checking out the equally delectable video on the official Miu Miu Tumblr. site I couldn't help but to notice...

As explained in my collages, verbally and visually, the irony is uncanny with both designers romancing exact opposite decades with the same statement: Paco's trademark futuristic style is captured with a sense of 21st century futurism; this current season's (21st century) Miu Miu designs that reference the metallic cut out trend are presented in a nostalgic way with an authentic 60s colour scheme, both in the campaign and the video. Paco, himself was known for his interest in paranormal phenomena, although he did get his prediction wrong about the Russian Space Station Mir falling on Paris in 1999 (thankfully) I wonder if he could have seen an echo like this coming almost half a century after the golden age of his metallic designs.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Get your Baroques off - an Update

Just a quick post to let you know there's been some development on the tapestry textured DIY front. Those of you who've read my DIY Dolce & Gabbana-inspired textured tapestry handbag entry will know that I used Dylon pearlescent paint on tapestry woven fabric to create a brocade effect. Well, after a bot of brief experimentation, I thought I'd update you and let you know that Pebeo's Touch Textile Volume paint is better for getting a more puffed surface and a softer, more fabric-like texture. Since I aim to please in the field of near-plagiarist authenticity, I tried it out on a purse and thought I'd share a picture of the result below:

Sunday 11 November 2012

Tunic Top of the Pops - How to copy the Roy Lichtenstein-inspiredjumpers by 3.1 Phillip Lim

Q: What's the difference between the boldest fashion must-have of this season and a pile of old clothes?

A: Less than you might think.


Pretty Easy

Skilled-ish but it has to be one of the easiest, most straightforward, least time-consuming DIYs I've ever had the immense fun of doing.


About 2 and a half hours for the tear-eyed motif, 3-4 hours for the 'Ka-Pow!' design.

You will need

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Be Jewelled - How to make your own Kotur gold faceted clutch bag



Relatively skilled and fiddly in places but easy when you know how.


4-5 hours.

You will need

And so, to grasp the nettle for this clutch bag...