DIY fashion is becoming the reality for many people now who just need to save some cash when it comes to their wardrobes. Even if you aren’t normally the crafty type, you can certainly learn to do a little bit to dress up your wardrobe without spending a fortune. If you’re getting a little bored or just flat out need new clothes, learning how to do things yourself could save you hundreds.
You don’t always need knitting needles or a sewing machine to make DIY fashion work, either. In fact, some projects are pretty simple. It’s a good idea to start small and work your way up if you aren’t sure how to use some of the more hardcore DIY equipment.
Something to start with might be your accessories. How much do you bet you spend in a year on headbands, necklaces, bracelets, and other accessories? You can save a fortune by making your own or dressing up what you’ve already got.
For instance, there are about a hundred online tutorials showing you how to take a bit of fabric or lace and make one of those giant headband or hat flowers that are so popular right now. All you need is a glue gun or a safety pin, and you can take a headband or had you already have and transform it into something totally new.
Learning how to do your own beading can be fun, too. With the chunky, layered necklaces that are in right now, you don’t even have to worry about lots of intricate design work. Simply lay out your beads in the order you want them, and string them on. Learn how to neatly tie on a clasp, and you’re good to go.
Another popular way to save through DIY fashion is to upcycle items. Check out places like Goodwill and Salvation Army for clothes that aren’t quite your style. You can find tons of ways to update them, make them fit better, or turn them into something new altogether.
For instance, a tee-shirt that’s a bit too large and a scarf can be turned into a super-cute cami with just a bit of sewing. Simply slice of the top of the tee-shirt just below the neckline. Use the sleeves to make a binding around your new neckline, and string the scarf through the neck in front and back. It sounds a little difficult if you’ve never sewn, but it’s really a pretty simple project. (http://diystyle.net/projects/fashion/tee-to-cami/)
A Few Things to Remember
Before you get into DIY fashion, there are a few things you need to remember. Here are just a few tips to help you save even more on your new DIY fashion adventure:
- Look online for tutorials. Sure, you can go buy books about how to make your own clothes and accessories, but that sort of defeats the purpose because you’re already spending too much money! Instead, look online for free tutorials to get you started. Libraries also have lots of DIY books that could be helpful in learning basic techniques. Once you get the basics down, you can make up your own projects with just a bit of creativity.
- Don’t try it all at once. Trying too many things at once can be frustrating – and expensive! Start with one thing, like beading or knitting, and get the hang of it before moving on to something new. This gives you the chance to really understand one art before moving on to the next. Plus, you’ll save on materials and equipment. Start with just the bare bones basics to find out if you like a new craft so you don’t end up with lots of unnecessary stuff cluttering your crafting room and your budget.
- Save on your materials and equipment. Saving on materials is simple for most things. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabrics offer great discounts every week. Just sign up for their newsletters or check the store frequently. Once you get really good, you won’t buy anything without a coupon! You can also get materials from Goodwill for super cheap, and these will work for many upcycling projects. To save on equipment like your sewing machine and such, buy used off of eBay or Craigslist until you know exactly what you like and need and can splurge on something pricier.
This article was contributed by Abigail Hall. She is a writer at the consumer credit card website, www.creditdonkey.com. Visit CreditDonkey to earn cash back on your next fashion purchase.
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.