My Closet Purge

(All pictures from puttingmetogether.com)

I don’t know what happened during my maternity leave, but I went on a clothing and make-up kick. Maybe it was the cabin fever feeling… In high school I was so trendy (in an “I just wear whatever I want and it ends up looking cool but I really don’t care what people think anyway” way) but somehow, somewhere I got so… boring. I needed to spice things up!

When I realized there was no way I was going to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans I was a little upset. I LOVE wearing jeans and I don’t mind paying a little more for a good quality pair. (Normally I’m pretty (cheap) thrifty). I have about eight pre-pregnancy jeans and having to start a new jeans collection didn’t sound that appealing to me. Then I discovered Audrey at Putting Me Together and my urge to purge the closet got out of control. If you haven’t visited her site, go do it now. (By the way, she doesn’t know who I am, I just love her site and highly recommend it.) If you’re feeling like you’re in a clothing rut with your current wardrobe or want to start from scratch on a budget, her site is the place to be! She totally helped me “re-imagine” what I already have and gave me great tips on how to choose wisely for new additions to my closet.

I used to just buy what I thought was cute, wear it one way/style, and then be on the lookout for something else. While I still want to shop all the time (that’s just in my blood), I now take time to think about what I’m getting, make sure I can wear it more than one way, and decide from there if it’s something useful for my closet or if it’s just something to spend my money on. Hubs and I give each other an allowance so we can save for things we want and not have to worry about asking each other if it’s okay to buy something. Whenever I have money in my pocket I totally get that “burning a hole in my pocket” feeling and sometimes I’ll go out and buy a new top just to buy something. And sometimes that top sits in my closet, tags still attached, for MONTHS. Now I really think about the item and make sure it’s something I’ll wear and again, is actually useful and not just something to spend my money on.

Another awesome thing about her site is that it’s SO realistic. Two major places (that I noticed) she shops is Target and Old Navy. Everyone has one of those stores close by, right? It’s so discouraging when you’re reading about this awesome outfit on a site and then find out the top is $100, the jeans are $200, and the handbag is $250. That’s just sooooo not realistic. I love that when I see an outfit on Audrey’s site it’s actually an outfit that I can go buy. It’s not like, “okay I have to find something similar to that because that actual one is way too expensive”. You can get EXACTLY what she has. Since following her site I’ve gotten an olive pair of skinnies (that I got on clearance for $6!!!), a cargo jacket, a jean jacket and nude flats with black cap toes (from Old Navy but they’re not on their site). Olive skinnies are something I never would have gotten before because I wouldn’t know how to wear them. My initial thoughts would be a white top or a black top, done. But why not blue or gray? Why not black AND white? And throwing in a mustard colored cardigan?!!? I NEVER would have thought of that. (I am now on the hunt for a mustard colored cardigan by the way.)  Admittedly, I’ve had to check back to her site to see how she wore her olive skinnies. I’ve also gotten a black and white striped shirt and a chambray shirt, all because of her. She has really helped me put together outfits that I never would have thought to do myself.

Olive skinniesWhile I was purging my closet, I realized that I have so many pieces that I don’t wear. It looked like I had so many clothes, when in reality, when looking at what I actually wore, I didn’t have that much. But also, thanks to Audrey, I learned that you don’t have to have a ton of clothes. It’s more useful to have key pieces that can work in a variety of ways. To get more ideas of what I mean, definitely check out her post about re-imaging clothes. There are little tweaks you can do that make a HUGE difference.

reimaginingHave you noticed all of the Instagram closets lately? I’ve had a Poshmark and Vinted for a while now, but I just jumped on the IG closet band wagon too. (Poshmark and Vinted are sites you can use to purchase gently used, second hand items. If you’re a little worried about the whole PayPal thing, Poshmark and Vinted are more “secure/legit”. As a seller on Poshmark, they take a 20% commission and have a shipping rate of $4.99 for up to 5 lbs. As a buyer you get the peace of mind of tracking your shipment and being sure you’re able to return the item if it’s not as described. Vinted is pretty similar – as a seller they take 19% commission and you can chose the shipping costs by being able to chose the shipping weight. As a buyer it has the same benefits of peace of mind.) IG closets are a big deal right now, but they are run by the honesty policy. If you search “#shopmycloset” on IG you will find tons of things. It can be dangerous. =] And feel free to click on over to my IG closet at www.instagram.com/runt_closet.

Anyway, enough talking. If you’re in need of a closet refresher, want some ideas on versatile key pieces, or just want to see how to put together different outfits, definitely check out Audrey’s site!

(Again, she has no idea who I am and all of the pictures I’ve posted are from her site.)

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Fabric Mod Podge Pumpkins – FAIL

I’ve been seeing fabric Mod Podge* pumpkins circulating the web and thought that they were super cute. When my neighbor sent me yet another link last week about these fabulous looking pumpkins, I decided I was going to give it a shot! I went to Dollar Tree and got a couple of pumpkins and then headed over to Walmart where I found some fabric in the clearance section. SCORE. I paid about $2 for a little over a yard of fabric.

You might have noticed that I put “FAIL” in my title. Well, I’ll tell/show you why and then add my two cents about what I would do differently next time.

To get started you will need the following:

Pumpkin (Mine is just a foam pumpkin from Dollar Tree, as mentioned above.)
Fabric of your choice
Scissors (I used a rotary cutter.)
Ruler
Mod Podge* (I used Matte.)
Foam brush (I got mine at Dollar Tree. It came as a pack of ten or something like that. Don’t buy expensive ones because you’ll probably just throw them away when you’re done.)

First, cut your fabric into strips. I did mine in two inch strips.

Here is a closer look at my clearance fabric. Cute right? =]

Now, you want to take your Mod Podge and paint a stripe down your pumpkin where your strip of fabric will go. Be pretty generous with this.

Lay your fabric strip down and Mod Podge over it as well. This will help seal it and keep it flat.

Continue all the way around until it looks something like this.

I had some strings hanging all over the place so I ended up cutting them off/Mod Podge-ing them down so they wouldn’t stick out.

Here is my finished product on my porch shelf. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.

Okay, so the reason I say “FAIL” is because the instructions seem easy enough, but this project was actually a little difficult.
Here are some things I would recommend doing differently:

1. Make your strips thinner. It may take you a little longer to complete, but it will probably look a lot better. I found that using two inch strips made it hard to lay the fabric flat against the bumps and ridges of the pumpkin.

2. I wouldn’t recommend doing your strips from top to bottom. I would go from the top to the middle. Once you start doing top to bottom, there’s no way to set the pumpkin down to keep moving around the pumpkin. (I ended up cutting my strips in half and then even had to cut some smaller strips to get to places where the fabric wouldn’t lay flat because my strips were too wide.) Once you set the pumpkin down (with strips going from top to bottom) it starts to stick onto the surface you are working on. I do kind of like the imperfect look though, so it’s completely up to you.

3. I wouldn’t use a white fabric again. Unless you like the orange coming through the fabric. Like I said, I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either. (At least this was a relatively cheap project and I’m not crying about wasting a bunch of money.)

4. This one is completely up to you, but I feel like I should have painted the “stem” brown.

I hope this helps! Do you think you’ll try it?

Here’s another picture of the pumpkin on my shelf. I am going to leave it there for now. It’s not horrible and it does bring some color to the shelf.
Don’t you love my “Believe” star? I do! (Thanks neighbor!)

 *Amazon affiliate links

How to Cut Burlap

Burlap – it’s all the rage right now! You can make it look rustic or elegant, it’s inexpensive and …. it’s a mess! =] Really, it is! When I cut my burlap I go on my back porch because I don’t like all the fibers, dust, shreds, whatever you want to call the shards floating around.

Have you ever tried to cut burlap and thought that your line was straight only to find out that it’s super crooked? I have!
I discovered a trick that’s going to save you lots of time (and burlap)!

Listen up:

When you buy your burlap the selvage (ends) will probably by sewn down the sides like this…

See that white thread going up the burlap? Go ahead and cut that off. Cut as close to that line as possible. (In the picture above, I would cut to the right of the white thread because I want to cut that end piece off.)

Then, measure over a couple of threads (burlap threads) and pull it until it starts to bunch. (I wouldn’t measure the actual piece of burlap you want just yet, go ahead and just take the second or third thread so that you can make sure your burlap is straight from the beginning.)

It will look like this…

(I was actually measuring the strip of burlap that I needed, but pretend I pulled the second thread over.) You are going to pull on this thread BUT DON’T PULL TOO HARD because the thread WILL break off. Ask me how I know that. =] The burlap will start to bunch and you’ll just have to flatten/pull where it is bunching and keep pulling the thread…

Once you have completely pulled out that string you will be left with a runway like this…

TA DA! Now you have an actual guide to cut down! =]

I made this flower with my strip of burlap…

To be honest, it was pretty difficult to make so I’m not going to do a tutorial on it. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it’s an idea. I want to make really big flowers (out of burlap, I thought) to put in the center of my curtain tie backs. Kind of like this…

Picture taken from here.

… but one BIG flower in the center. Any burlap flower making suggestions anyone? =]