Second hand stores are a great place to find material for cheap and personal diys. I have been collecting and buying embroidery thread now for a while in every color. Tassels are easy to do from these threads and Pinterest is filled with great instructions.
Then it is just up to your own taste how to combine colors and shapes…I usually go with the flow.
Taking photos of my designs outside in the nature with my Canon Digital camera is one of my dear hobbies. These pics from my green and turquoise neckpiece are from the beach.
Striped denim fabric I found from Netherlands Delft from a second hand store. There is total 5 meters of this fabric so I have plenty over for something cool in the future.
I wanted to try out a pair of high-waisted culottes. I cropped the waist so that it fits tightly and added a zipper in the side. I also made a belt from the fabric to give the trousers finished and chic-easy look.
A pair of culottes and one top with denim patches. Culottes is the trousers to have at the moment but being more difficult to style than skinny trousers culottes have not been seen so much on the many…you really need your moment in front of the mirror with the lenght and to get it right. Get some tips here.
Of course my culottes are recycled from old jeans. I found nice fitting jeans that became the base of my culottes and the widening panels are from old denim leftover pieces. First I decided visually where I wanted my jeans to begin widening and after that I ripped the side seams open and inserted a panel that made the jeans as wide from the starting point as in the hem. With culottes it is important to keep the proportions right; the pant has to hit above the ankle.
The top is a patchwork of old denim leftover pieces, cool denim blue hues…and matching these two denim clothes together is a base – by adding colors and layers and accessory it will bring out the personality and style.
The avant-garde (from French, “advance guard” or “vanguard”, literally “fore-guard”)are people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture and politics.
Sometimes creative process can begin with only a word…in this case a word I came across printed on a t-shirt and after studying the meaning I could relate to avant-garde easily…being daring, innovative, experimental and stating out your own ideas with a bold or unusual way. If I have a statement written on my clothes it has to be saying something I can truly stand for.
The gray jumper is of course a bargain found on second hand, woolblend mens basic knit which I shortened leaving the hem raw without any sewing. Cuts in the elbows gives the altered knit a rough and worn feeling. By wearing under the piece coloured or textured layers it is easy to make different combos. Lettering I made free hand with silver acrylic paint.
Another garment upgrade I did to a Finnish designers Anne Linnonmaa long cardigan. Found this extra nice piece also second hand and after a while decided to give it more outstanding look, something that complements the piece but makes it more unique. To the back piece I cut out from another jumper a sleeve which I attached with basic zigzag stitches. From the same jumper I also cut out a pocket piece and placed it on the front of the cardigan only on the other side…cardigan did not loose its original shape or look but it became more outstanding and bold.
Sewing something different from recycled denim. This pattern called chevron needed some time and accurate measurements but the end result is worth all thinking and calculating. I came across this print in Pinterest and used this blogpost as my guide. I was a bit surprised how seamless and floating the pattern is with my three colors, denim fabric is out of old jeans and the white fabric is linen.
For a final touch to give the cushion “a stamp” that it is totally recycled I attached the label from jeans I used as fabric. Pillow has a zipper and reverse side is rigid cotton fabric.
Recycling second hand leather jacket
This black leather bag with modest shine is actually a gift so the size of the bag and as well the color combinations are carefully thought trough. Inside the bag needs to fit a smart phone, wallet and home/car keys and the person who is going to to get this likes shades of black and grey…and of course silver color. For easy carrying cross body the strap is longer and a flap with magnetic clasp safeguards carried important items inside the bag.
I took apart my latest second hand bargain, long black leather jacket and cut the parts for the bag from the back and the sleeves of the jacket. Adding silver colored leather stripe decorations (cut out with my Fiskars zig zag scissors) enhances the shape and personalizes the whole bag. I used the same zig zag pattern in strap fastenings and in the lining.
Unique details with Fiskars zig zag scissors
Zero waste clutch bag; made out of old suede trousers and a white leather vest into my all time favourite clean and graphic pattern stripes. Pattern that looks good with almost any outfit you choose. Triangle decorations on the sides add interest and more body to the clutch. By adding the option that I can wear this bag also on my shoulder makes it more versatile, although the solid purpose is clutch in which only the necessary items fits in, such as lipstick, keys and my phone.
Tämä laukku sai alkunsa inventoidessani nahkavarastojani. Löysin palan hiekanväristä nahkaa ja mustaa mokkaa joista leikkasin samanlevyisiä, suorakaiteen muotoisia paloja. Ompelin palat yhteen värejä vuorotellen ja aikani valmista nahkapintaa katsellessani päätin tehdä siitä kädessä kannettavan laukun, clutchin. Laukun sivuihin ompelin tehokeinoksi “kolmio”nahkasomisteen, näin laukku sai myös yksilöllisen ilmeen. Lisäsin laukkuun olkahihnan joka näin muuntaa kädessä kannettavan myös olalla pidettäväksi. Olkahihnaa vaihtamalla laukun saa myös nopeasti päivitettyä asukokonaisuuteen sopivaksi. Irrotettava metallinen olkahihna löytyi kirpparilta mutta hihnaksi käy myös vaikka ohut vyö. Clutch ei ole tilaihme mutta mukaan mahtuu kätevästi kuitenkin kaikki tarpeellinen.
Green stands for balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress. In Japanese culture, green is associated with eternal life and in the highlands of Scotland, people used to wear green as a mark of honor. Green is the color of love associated with both Venus, the Roman goddess and Aphrodite, the Greek goddess.
And green hues are also the base in my artsy small bag, together with black patterned leather and gold colored metallic parts. My wardrobe were one green bag short, that I could notice when I was choosing my outfit one day and the last detail was missing: the green bag. In this design I joined triangle shapes out of different structured leather and fabrics together with zig zag seam. As usual I started up not really knowing how to fix the handles but in the end it all came together part by part. It is totally 100% recycled materials, made out of thrifted bags and belts.
I am experimenting different ways to do leather decorations.
I love to take photographs of my designs, usually I take my back bag carrying my Canon and the design plus a variety of stuff you might need when taking photos outside (clamps, tape, silk paper etc.) This photoshoot took place one misty morning upon a hill here in Gränna. The weather was just perfect, mysterious shapes and blurred colors everywhere. Enjoy the pictures, I do for sure!
Little bit of staging does wonders.
Taking a moment of reflection.
I could not refuse the temptation to take a selfie.
Cross stitching crazyness! Really how can people give/throw away these beautiful and extra nicely stitched piece of art works? I believe there will be a time when these vintage cross stitch handcrafts will be worth gold.
But until that, let`s do a bag out of one zig zag patterned, thrifted cross stitch. It was a pillow cover when I found it from second hand Erikshjälpen Jönköping. Mostly when I come across these old handicrafts they are pillow covers or wall decorations. The colors on this one are bold and I like how the lilac color pops up from the whole palette. I had a piece of brown leather from one earlier project and decided to go towards gold color in the metallic parts and decorations. For the lining I choose sturdy denim so the bag will stay in shape even when empty.
Again all parts fort this bag are recycled from second hand bags. My mission is to buy as little as possible straight from the craft stores but to do a bag with good and functional elements requires a lot of different metallic parts. Such as magnetic closures which I usually take apart from my second hand bags. Handles and straps are also quite tricky; to do a long leather strap requires a lot of good leather and usually that is hard to achieve with leftover leather scraps, so again second hand bags to the rescue!
I am pleased how solid the outcome is, all colors match together and even the gold colored labels fit in with the look.
Watching anime gave me the idea for this bag. I strongly relate to the phrase and I think that the emotions described as “mono no aware” are similar to the ones that are present when I seek for ideas. Beauty lies silent and hidden and it never reveals itself when one is looking for it, beauty happens.
Mono no aware on japanilainen sanonta, jonka yleensä käännetään tarkoittavan “herkkyyttä asioiden edessä.” Sillä viitataan kaihoisiin tunteisiin, jotka syntyvät kauniiden asioiden katoavaisuudesta ja hetkellisyydestä.
There is a number of ways you can repurpose a basic jersey tee—everything from braided accessories to full-blown woven rugs. It is all about making yarn out of your old, worn and torn T-shirts…and it is super easy just check out these instructions. For my bag I used three old T-shirts and the color stripes I crocheted horizontally…I did not decide the pattern or shape of the bag beforehand, I just went with the flow. When the bag was ready I came up with the idea to add long shoulder strap so that it would be easy also to carry the bag across my chest. Tassels I made out of black cotton yarn and by adding two different buttons I wanted to underline bags rugged hippie look…and buttons are of course vintage!
Simple denim shirt that I turned into a vest. Metal rings round the neck are thrifted, bag with 30 pieces for 2€. I sew the rings loosely so it is possible to decorate the neckpiece with for example a scarf or more metal accessories. By turning the hem to the sides in the front I created handy pockets.
Denimpusero muuntui jakuksi. Kauluksen tilalle ompelin kaulasomisteen johon pujotin metallilenkit ja kiinnitin ne paikoilleen. Metallilenkkien alta voi vielä pujottaa lisää denimiä tai vaikka värikkään, ohuen huivin. Denim on aina kuulunut suosikkeihini, kangasta voi työstää monella tapaa ja reunoja ei tarvitse huolitella, raakareunat denimissä antavat asuun kerroksellisuutta ja elävöittävät kankaan pintaa. Etutaskut käänsin puseron helmasta.
I often take pictures of my designs by the waterside.
I am so into stripes at the moment. Black and white can not ever go wrong, timeless color combination and easy to mix and match with a variety of other colors and styles. Material for this bag is cut from second hand leather jacket and trousers…the white jacket is already several years old. Stripes are 3mm wide and I joined the pieces together by zig zag stitch.
Lining for the bag is denim that also supports bags structure. Shoulder strap is taken from another bag and the studs and other metal pieces are also recycled from old bags. Pattern and placement of the studs are irregular…it needs to feel like the deco just “rain” on the bag.
This beatiful fabric “Kaktus” is designed by Erja Hirvi for Marimekko. When I bought the fabric over five years ago I had it hung as curtains and now after a long search for a cool fabric for a long jacket I found it from my pile of old curtains that I had statched away.
To the shawl collar I left raw edges and also some of the seams in the jacket are inside out and left on purpose unfinished so that the fabric looks like it is worn and old. Frontpiece of the jacket is right way out but both sleeves and the back part is showing the garment inside out, which in this case makes an interesting look for the whole jacket. Lining is only put in for the front and back, to make the jacket heavier and more comfortable to wear.
I made a matching bag out of the leftover pieces; a bag to have on with the jacket. In the bag I left the name of the company and designer to be seen when I carry the bag, it makes the bag unique and shows in cool way the designers name.
I am amazed how this pair of single colored, old and basic sneakers turned out after some camo pattern refresh! For the camo patterns I used old leather scraps from which I cut out rounded shapes and simply glued them on! I were inspired by a cool designers outfit.
The botanical pics I took here. Great place for inspiration and downshifting.
Found laying around in the garage a piece of metal with holes. I used tools which made easier to bend and cut the metal. Outcome is a pair of rings with a rough and unfinished look! And why not use the bigger one also as a pendant with a leather cord?
Rei’itetty metallilevy, peltisakset, vasara ja metalliviila ja vahva visio mitä teen sattumalta löytyneestä metallinpalasta.
Muotoilin sormuksen metalliputken ympärillä pyöreäksi ja viilasin kaikki terävät kulmat pois. Toisesta sormuksesta tein peukalosormuksen josta taivutin metallin ulospäin. Hain sormuksiin viimeistelemätöntä, raakaa ilmettä. Pujottamalla reikiin nahkaa, ketjua tms. sormuksen ilmettä pystyy muuttamaan ja pitkänomainen sormus toimii myös kaulakoruna.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style Fjord, hair Sanna-Mari Mustajärvi (Bang by Ara), photoshoot Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling and close up craft photos Susanna Kaunisto.
Velour, leather, metal and chiffon. Top is made with Burda pattern and the material is a second hand long cardigan. Skirt is Finnish vintage leather made by Friitala, I turned it inside out to give the material more deeper color, shortened it and made a belt from the hem. Long chiffon skirt under the leather skirt is made out of curtains. Necklace is made out of jewellery that I found second hand, pieces are tied together with leather strips. My inspiration for this outfit is a brave and mythical woman warrior from the land of elf, trolls and castles.
Velouria, nahkaa, metallia ja sifonkia. Toppi on tehty Burdan kaavoilla second handina ostetusta pitkästä jakusta. Hame on Friitalan vintagea, mokkahame jonka käänsin nurin jotta väri olisi syvempi, muokkasin myös hameen pituutta ja ompelin vyön ylijääneestä helmapalasta. Sifonkihame nahkahameen alla on maahan asti ulottuva pitkillä halkioilla, modattu vanhoista verhoista. Kaulakoru on kuparinvärisellä spraylla maalattua metallia, osat vanhasta kaulakorusta jonka kokosin uudelleen haluamaani muotoon. Kaulakorun osat on liitetty toisiinsa nahkasuikaleilla. Inspiraation tähän asuun hain tarujen ja myyttien maailmasta, naissotureiden vaatteista.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style Northern Lights, hair Marko Sutinen (HS-Salonki), photo Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling Susanna Kaunisto.
All materials for this outfit are recycled. Neck piece is made out of old leather pants, top out of a skirt and the skirt out of a jacket. Shoes are second hand; handled with a coat of black paint and added extra bling with a pair of earrings.
Vaatteiden materiaalit ovat kaikki kierrätettyjä, kauluriyläosa on tehty housuista, toppi hameesta ja hame paidasta. Kengät ovat second hand ja koriste kengissä pari strassikorvakoruja. Käsikorusta kerroin jo aiemmassa postauksessani. Kauluri on tehty nahasta ja kaavoitin sen tyköistuvaksi mallinuken päällä, rypytetty hihaosuus on ommeltu kiinni kauluriin. Maalasin myös kauluria hopeamaalilla jotta pinta heijastaisi valoa peilipinnan tavoin. Hologrammipalat ovat samaa materiaalia kuin käsikoruissakin. Tämän kuvauksen tyyliin hain inspiraatiota mm. avaruus ja urheiluaiheista.
These hologram wristlets I made for a fashion photoshoot. The style that had to be created stated “futuristic”. My inspiration came from sport fashion and fencing. Material on the wristlets are soft plastic that was easy to sew and the reflecting part is self adhesive vinyl. I wanted to create the feeling of weightless body armor that just floats on your skin.
Muotikuvauksiin tekemäni hologrammirannekkeet. Rannekkeet täydensivät tyylisuuntaa tulevaisuuden klubbailijasta, yöelämän futuristisesta tähtösestä. Inspiraatiota hain urheiluvaatetuksesta mm. miekkailusta ja show-painista sekä avaruus/tulevaisuus aiheista. Materiaaliksi rannekkeisiin valitsin taipuisan ja ohuen muovin jota pystyi helposti ompelemaan. Päällystin rannekkeet hologrammiteipillä niin että käytettäessä ihoa näkyisi myös rannekkeen alta ja hopeinen hologrammi ikäänkuin leijuisi käden päällä. Rannekkeen sivuihin ompelin mustaa kangasnauhaa tukemaan kiinnittämisessä käytettäviä muttereita.
This clutch is actually a placemat called SNOBBIG from IKEA. Structure was quite stiff so it was easy to handle. First I sewed the lining and decorative ruffles and the belt while the placemat was still flat then I joined the sides together. For the lining I used one old t-shirt from which the ruffles are also done. Studs are actually plastic ones and each of them hand sewn.The lock is an old belt.
Shirts are my older DIY designs, necklace a showpiece for a photoshoot. Ankle boots and hats all vintage and second hand findings.
Fall is my favorite season; it accompanies mind and spirit as well as body, from the crackle of leaves to the sweet smell of decay.
Fall is also the time of the year when you can daringly play with your outfits- layering different materials and shapes takes the whole autumn look into new dimensions. Why not layer a long cardigan with a short leather vest and experiment freely by mixing scarfs together with different sizes and colors.
My long cardigan is self-made from woolen blend jersey. It is a pattern from 1992 Burda which I altered by lenghtening it and also took away the collar. Rounded patch pockets has a lining inside them and pockets are big enough to create an eyecatching element in the front but also super comfy to keep your hands in. My back bag is made from old leather pants (seen in the blog earlier)…but the black scarf is a new player!
I bought 8 rolls of Ambiente black wool/alpaca yarn (not cheap) and crocheted the scarf with 15 sized hook (made from bamboo). Reason why I spent so much for the materials were that I wanted a black basic scarf with quality material; alpaca mixed with virgin wool makes the scarf super soft and quite light to wear. The extra that makes the scarf pop are the tassels I made from the same yarn. I just love autumn <3
Thrifted the skirt already while ago and did not really know what do with it. Animal print; black spots on turqoise, glittering base is not really my type of fabric but this crazy combo could work on some smaller surface. Inspiration for the shape I got from a round leather bag and I wanted to experiment the shape on this fabric. Adding some support inside to keep the form as round as possible was necessary and using foamy placemat cut into shape worked out perfectly. The shoulder strap and zipper are both thrifted, it is amazing how much accessories for sewing you can find second hand for only few euros…these things usually build up the price on a bag but in this case the total cost for the bag was 5€. Oh and the denim jacket is also second hand…just adding a lot of different fabric patches to make it fab!
I do find the Finnish Red Cross Kontti second hand department stores very exiting and worth a visit every time. They have a special deal for all the craft items they sell…it is priced by weight. So these fabric sofa samples (at least over 20 pieces in one bag) were all together 2€.
My first try out from the samples is this bag. I used five of the samples and the lining and handles are made out of old jeans.
I added the chain which is an old necklace and the decoration parts in the handles and on the both sides of the bag are actually from various old bags.
And a bag is not finished until the tassel is there! Inspiration picture for statement bag, click!
I have always been a fan for all things miniature. These small denim cubes started out as a test to do something three dimensional out of denim but soon I noticed that I had done already few in a row…and really enjoying hand stitching the sides together. Some of the cubes got beads as numbers on the sides- small soft dices and one cube got really attitude after adding studs!
Delicate and dreamy leather pendants. Top that is used as the background is one of my old designs, simply a pattern with triangle and a circle. The jewellery I started calling DaVinci…cause at that time I was reading more about his designs. All materials are again recycled…pieces from old jewellery.
Symbolism and mysteries fascinates me and one way or another leaves their signature in the outcome…
Headpiece is also one of my old designs.
Super easy and comfy striped blouse. When I visit Finland I usually always visit Eurokangas fabric store. They have huge section for fabrics that are already cut on different sizes and priced by weight. It is exiting to dig into these big boxes cause you never know what to find. This time I was lucky to dig up a pice of black and white striped fabric and knew immediately what to do out of it. I draw the pattern using my old blouse as the base. These type of sleeves are called batwing sleeves.
The hem I left raw…it is actually the end of the fabric so it had already kinda nice structure in it.
Little X pouch is one of my designs to carry your smart phone in. Matching the stylish theme of black and white I included it in the photoshoot. Love the blouse- easy to mix and match.
This biker type woolen jacket I found second hand for a bargain price. The jacket was to me like an empty canvas, just waiting to be standing out from any other black jacket. It had military style buttons which I replaced with some simple black round buttons. First I thought to sew something on the jacket, leather or denim but after a visit to the best fashion pages Vogue.com my vision become clear and I came up with the paint idea. And also with inspirational help of a knit dress from Guy Laroche.
Oh and the hat is vintage…and my boots too.
This red checked fabric was a last minute found from a thrift store for 2€ and after this pic I knew what to do out of it. Pattern for the dress is again from 90s fashion magazine Burda with some slight alternations. The dress turned out to be too easy and “nice” so I cut out some free hand patterns and stamped them on.
It was supposed to be tough looking chick wearing a checked punk inspired dress with dr. Martens shoes…but it turned out to be slightly nicer version of that. When you want the picture to be taken full torso and you wearing the dress it is hard if you have to do it by yourself—-but hey let´s use a selfie stick—which is not as easy as I thought it would be…photoshoot took place in the botanical garden of Delft.
For carrying mobile phone cross-body. All pouches are made from recycled materials; denim, leather and all the metal parts are from thrifted bags or jewellery. Lining is made out of old scarves, as long as they have silky and smooth surface to easily slide in and take out the phone. I used various type of cords for the strap…from shoe laces to self made ones.
Some of the pouches I painted and stamped with lines and circles and the swiss cross symbol was just perfect for the more simplified and sharp look. Love to use also washing instructions from old garments as decoration.
Now I just need to find homes for these unique pouches…
Arts and crafts. Because I love leather, because I love finding different ways to express my love for leather, because combining recycled jewellery and leather makes awesome and unique outcome.
I searched for some cool backgrounds for my “blue pipes” and found a book graphis annual 83|84 from which I picked these ones to tell a story with my jewellery. I think the pics I found are just spot on…especially the one with the bird…”Dream Boat” by Robert Giusti.