Wednesday 30 December 2015

New year's eve-angelic - How to DIY Sophia Webster Evangeline sandals

Spot the difference



All set to party for new year's eve? Got plans in place? (Like, had them since April, duh!) And yet completely stumped on what to wear for the big night? I here at Chic Cheat can help assuage your last-minute wardrobe worries a straightforward statement shoe refashion that can give an old pair of black evening shoes a lift or - one might even say - wings!

You will need...

Black high-heeled sandals (unless, of course, you want yours to be in another colour to the original. This is, after all, a free country!)

Gold leather or faux leather (I'd recommend the latter in terms of affordability)


Stick 'n' Stay craft mount

Glue gun

Gold fabric paint

Black pen

Printer (optional but recommended)


Quite easy

In principle, it's very straightforward in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of a way; you cut out a design and stick it in place. On a practical level, however, it does help to be dexterous with a scalpel on leather (faux or otherwise - I'd say both were the same difficulty) and therein lies the challenge, if any (if that makes sense).


A few hours; cutting shapes can be painstaking!

Taking flight

This is a template for the design I used. To save yourself the hassle of tracing or copying, I'd recommend printing the design, which measures roughly 18cm x 10cm, and cutting it out.

On the back of the gold material, trace around the template twice, then turn the template over and trace around it twice again, so that the last two shapes mirror the first two shapes.

Using a sharp scalpel (I'd recommend one with a fresh blade) cut all the shapes out.

Use craft mount to stick the shapes along the sides of the shoes and a glue gun to stick the four points down at the back of each shoe. Finally, paint the backs of the wing shapes gold to match the front sides.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Thunder stuff - how to DIY geometric Balenciaga earrings

My latest creative outing was inspired by Balenciaga's geometric Thunder earrings. This latest venture of festive sparkle-inspired imitation came partly as an ode to the statement earring as an invaluable companion to the classic LBD for carrying off a streak of individuality with seamless elegance. However, it was the idea of making wire jewellery that didn't look like a paint-by-numbers (as it were) craft project that swung my decision to take on this quick, simple project.

You will need...

Soldering iron and solder

Gold stud earrings

Gold wire, about 2mm thick

Jewellery making pliers


Very easy

If you're reasonably dexterous with wire and long-nosed pliers, this should be a quick, straightforward and enjoyable outing.


I wasn't really watching the clock this time around - you might almost say I got too caught up in the moment - but it was definitely under an hour.

Styling thunder

Bend the wire into a geometric design. I found that the best way to get the tight oblong corners of the original was to twist the wire as far as you can in a semicircle around the tip of the pliers.

Make a loop at the top of the earring and solder it to the stud.
N.B. I used studs with quite wide bases and would recommend them for best results.

Repeat the process to make the other earring.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Luxe and Tux - a brief refashion

For those of you who are wondering if I'm still alive or have been abducted by aliens just as the respective mid-winter festivities are starting, the good news is that tonight I have finally found the motivation to write up my latest project with a mini-tutorial in picture form. My refashion of an evening jacket was inspired by the YSL tuxedo jacket Cara Delevingne wore to the Paper Towns premier.

Having a glam jacket to add at least a token gesture of warmth over skimpy party dresses is no bad investment for the chilly winter months. What's more, a boxy suit jacket is the perfect match of devil-may-care glamour and aloof androgynous mystique, a twist on traditional elegance that gives festive glitz and sparkles a razor-sharp edge.

You will need...

A suit or evening jacket

Leather, faux leather or satin trim, about 10cm wide

Sewing machine with a leather needle (which you can pick up at all good haberdashers) unless you're working with satin



5-6 hours.


Quite easy

In principle, it's a straightforward project but you need to be reasonably confident at sewing with leather.

Luxe it up

Since I was just covering the collar, I let the picture speak for itself with a few pointers and directions.

This is how mine turned out:

Wednesday 25 November 2015

How to DIY a pair of Dries van Noten brocade platforms

You will need...

Platform sandals

Purple brocade fabric

Red sequins (ideally sequin string)

Needle and thread

Fabric scissors

Stick 'N' Stay craft mount

Staple gun

Iron and ironing board


Quite easy

Parts of this project are a bit on the fiddly side but it's straightforward in principle.


About 2 hours.

To cover the toe straps of your sandals, cut two pieces of fabric with the following dimensions.

Fold each piece along the middle and fold back the seam allowance by 1cm along the sides. Press them with an iron.

Stick them along the toe straps with craft mount and slip stitch the seams together at the back.

Attach the toe straps to the platforms with a few staples at the sides.

Sew or glue on your flower design.

Spray some craft mount onto the sides of the platforms and the straps and cover them completely with fabric.

Thursday 19 November 2015

The Trends on Thursday - Pompom go

I rather fancy I have two genuinely legitimate reasons to be rocking these DIY dangling pompom earrings:

    1. Christmas is  just around the corner (in real terms - yes, I said it!) and the various inexplicable novelty rituals that  we observe year-in-year-out in its honour aren't just socially acceptable but a contractual obligation.

    2. Pompoms have edged their way back into fashion as a subtle yet stylish way to add the idiosyncratic character associated with quirky craft trims, while staying inside the line of good taste.

So, really, it's only fair that I should share a quick tutorial with you for getting this simple yet bold look.

Monday 16 November 2015

Quaint as folk - a quick DIY tutorial for making fringed shoes

Put some swish in your step with a touch of fringing.

You will need...

Tip: use a scalpel with a fresh blade, as it's likely to be at its sharpest.

Not pictured

T-strap sandals


Very easy

In the interests of safety, it helps to be dexterous with a scalpel and glue gun. However, this is basically an easy, straightforward, what-you-see-is-what-you-get project.


About an hour.

Get your fringe on

Decide on a design and cut out the shapes you want to use, making sure they're symmetrical and consistent on both shoes.

Cut the shapes into fringing with slits about 2mm apart (eyeball it!).

Glue the pieces on top of one another, then stick them underneath the t-straps.

It really is that simple!

Monday 9 November 2015

Wedge of glory - How to DIY a Jimmy Choo Notion Tricolor Wedge Sandal

Unfortunately, owing to technical difficulties and lack of hours at my disposal I've been unable to upload the video tutorial for the DIY that these beauties inspired:
Jimmy Choo Notion Tricolor Wedge Sandal

Tune in soon to find out what a pair of platform sandals and some faux wood adhesive paper have in common (clue: the following picture).

Monday 2 November 2015

Brooch the subject - How to DIY a Prada floral crystal brooch

Blooming brilliance to brighten up any outfit.brooch the subject

You will need...

N.B. You want the PVC to be as thick as possible.



While it helps to be dexterous with a scalpel on PVC, this is one of my quicker, more straightforward tutorials. Whoever said you can't get the look of vibrant opulence without keeping it simple?


About 2 hours.

Badge it up

Use this template (simply copy, paste and print it)... trace a flower shape into both pieces of PVC and cut them out with a scalpel.

Punch holes where you want the ends of your brooch clasp to go on the top layer. Decide where you want the bottom layer to go, place it underneath so that it overlaps but is not completely covered by the top layer, mark where the holes should go to match the top layer, remove the bottom layer and punch the holes.

Paint over the two flowers with clear nail polish or resin to harden and thicken the material.

Stick the two layers together with craft mount, making sure the holes are aligned. Undo the clasp on the brooch and put the two ends through each hole - you might need to widen the holes with the scalpel and coax the two ends through. Fasten the brooch.

Monday 26 October 2015

Not another hanging branch clothes rail tutorial!

Branching out into DIY rustic chic.
For those of you who have wondered where I've been of late I'm now ready to break my silence on why things have been so quiet over the past month. My recent move has been a roadblock-ridden, time-consuming nightmare (though I fancy I've become quite the expert on wall fixtures and light fittings in the process) but undeniably worth it in my fabulous new 19th century maisonette flat.

I thought I'd share my method because,  while my imagination was captured by the rustic DIY hanging branch idea, I struggled to find a tutorial that gave the specifics, like the type of rope you needed (although I found plenty that used chain), so after consulting with my trusted sources, I thought I'd share the experience so that you too can get the look. For the branch, I'd recommend whitewash paint. I also threw in a few sprinklings of Fimo gold powder.

Expect many a home DIY project to come your way, as well as my usual fashion fare. In the meantime, I'll leave you with some other details from my glamorous new pad.

A photo posted by Charley H (@chiccheatcharley) on

Thursday 15 October 2015

The Trends on Thursday - How to upcycle a blouse 'cold-shoulder-style'

What springs to mind when one thinks of shoulder-centred fashion? The distinctive padded power-dressing silhouette? Military chic epaulettes? Bare-shouldered bandeau tops or Bardot necklines? Well, this season takes a less-is-more approach with the current cold shoulder cut, hence the inspiration behind this quick, simple DIY fix for making a tired old blouse or top on trend for 2015-2016. Here's to hoping shoulder patchwork is the next seasonal trend so your new creations can be brought up to speed once again in the near future!

Monday 12 October 2015

What to make of the Spring 2016 Paris Fashion Week shows

The final stop of the top fashion capitals didn't disappoint in the DIY inspiration department.

Paris, where fashion's wildest dreams are famously woven gave me plenty of inspiration for my wardrobe and workshop alike - so much so that I came up with not one, not even two but three collages of DIY ideas.

First stop was at Chanel which, while it's usually among the most high-profile and talked about shows at Paris Fashion Week, this time it excelled itself in craft-worthy ideas to the point where I had to make my own DIY collage.
Elsewhere, there was plenty to work with in the way of DIY and customising ideas including dramatic lace trims at Dior and Céline, sumptuous satin bows at Lanvin, African beading and fringing at Valentino and - my personal favourite - floral cross-stitched wellies at Saint Laurent (festival season's sadly over for this year but as a sure-fire statement to get ahead of the curve for next festival season, you can't get the cross stitch kits and craft mount out too soon).
If DIY isn't your idea of fun - perchance the very sight of a sewing machine fills you with dread - there's still plenty to choose from to get the Paris Spring 2016 look, from brooches at Chanel (again) and Loewe to beady belts (i.e. a new lease of life for an old or second-hand necklace). Also, brace yourselves for some cascading cobra chain coming to many a fashionable wrist near you if the editorial endorsement of Loewe's bracelets is anything to go by for next season.

So there you have it - PFW projects for every occasion and ability level. What would you make of it all?

Thursday 1 October 2015

The Trends on Thursday - what to make of the Spring/Summer 2016 fashion weeks

Apologies again for going quiet on you. The horrific teething problems of moving into a bought flat (which included dealing with the most incompetent internet service provider on the planet) have once again got the better of me and so sadly all I have to share as of yet are some DIY ideas from the looks at London and Milan fashion week that have inspired me the most so far.