DIY Flair Display Board

When we were road tripping across America last month, I didn’t go on any major shopping sprees – the way I saw it, the more I bought, the more I’d need to carry! But I DID pick up an enamel pin from each location we visited. I wanted a memento from the amazing places we were lucky enough to see, and pins didn’t take up much room in my suitcase, which made them very easy to collect over the weeks we were away.

I wear a lot of pins and patches but (as much as I’d like to!) I can’t wear them all at once! So I decided to show off the ones that aren’t currently adorning my lapels – and share how I did it.

This DIY flair display is an inexpensive, easy and effective way to store your pins! Here’s how to make your own…

You will need

  • 1 x corkboard (mine was £1.75 from Amazon)
  • Paint in contrasting colours (I used two tester pots from Homebase, £1 each)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Something to protect your work surface (I used an old magazine)

  1. Paint your first colour onto the whole board, and leave it to dry.
  2. Using your tape, section off some areas for your second colour. You can be as creative as you like – I made some geometric shapes with mine!
  3. Add your second colour, paint the frame and wait for it to dry. 
  4. Once all of the paint is dry, peel back the tape (so satisfying!) and admire your handiwork!
  5. Arrange your pins and affix to the board. I decided to use my board for just for the pins and prints that I picked up on our trip.

…and that’s really all there is to it – I told you it was easy!

I love walking past this board and remembering our trip. I’m tempted to make a second board very soon for the pins I have by some of my favourite indie designers.

I hope you give this DIY flair display a try, and if you do, be sure to let me know!

Making Jewellery with Tatty Devine

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Tatty Devine have been a huge favourite of mine for…well, just about the full 15 years that they’ve been designing and creating unique jewellery and accessories in London, now that I come to think of it. I’ve gushed about their amazing pieces and genius collections here and on the podcast many times, and when it comes to jewellery you can keep your turquoise boxes (sorry, Tiffany’s!), I’m much more likely to get excited by a little black Tatty Devine box!

My bestie Elaine knows this too, and over the years of our friendship (15 of those too, incidentally!), we’ve exchanged Tatty Devine gifts at Christmas, texted each other frantically when the sample sale dates get announced and cooed over each other’s purchases more times than I can count. Our passion for brightly coloured accessories is one of the things that first brought us together (well, that and a love of music, Paul Rudd and good cake, of course!).

So, when I turned 30 this year, Elaine knocked it out of the park with her gift. “I’ve got your present sorted”, she grinned. “I’m not telling you what it is. But yeah…it’s good”. What a tease, right?!

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She wasn’t lying. It WAS good. On my birthday I discovered that she’d arranged a trip to Newcastle for us to attend one of Tatty Devine’s famous jewellery making workshops at the fabulous BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts. Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough, she’d also booked us places at an exclusive talk being given by the ladies themselves later that day! And as if THAT wasn’t enough, Gary and Craig were going to come with us, so we could spend a couple of days in the city and explore. A birthday road trip! I was BURSTING with excitement!

So last weekend, it was time to pack up and go! I’ll be posting separately about our road trip (though you can catch a sneak peek on Instagram by searching #TApurebaltic), so let’s fast-forward to just after lunchtime at BALTIC, when our workshop was about to begin.

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In a little section of the gallery, a large table had been set up with individual stations for each of us. I’d say there were about 20 places at the workshop in total, and we all started to file in around the table. At each station, we had everything we needed to create our own versions of Tatty Devine’s classic parakeet necklace – including pliers, jump rings and pre-cut perspex.

Tatty Devine’s founders Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine were on hand with the rest of Team Tatty to help us through the process, which took just over an hour. We learned how best to use the materials and how NOT to use them, in order to get the desired results. I have so much respect for the ladies at Tatty Devine – they make this gig look easy! The atmosphere in the room was really lovely – so many excited babes with a fierce sense of style were sitting round the table, it felt really special to be at the event.

I used Periscope during the workshop to share our experience, and ended up doing an impromptu broadcast with Harriet! It was so awesome to chat with one of my fashion heroes and tell her a little bit about Glasgow.

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Soon, our little parakeets were ready to fly! Made from mirrored perspex in a rainbow of colours, they were the perfect statement necklaces. I decided to use gold coloured jump rings and chains, and Elaine selected silver for hers. We couldn’t wait to put them on, and I love that we have matching necklaces from our day at the workshop.

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After the workshop ended, it was time for our next activity, so we whizzed upstairs to take our seats for Rosie and Harriet’s presentation. Taking us back to how Tatty Devine was formed, after Rosie and Harriet struck up their friendship at Art School, and shared the same dilemma – they couldn’t find what they wanted to wear in shops or at affordable price points. The solution? Making their own from whatever they could get their hands on. Within a few months they were meeting with Vogue, shooting a collection and the rest, as they say, is history!

Listening to Tatty Devine’s adventure was exciting, funny, and above all – inspiring. I’m a huge believer in doing things your own way, and having as much fun as you can in the process, so it was great to learn from other ladies that have the same approach to their business.

From collaborating with massive designers, to throwing incredible parties and beyond – Tatty Devine have come a long way since their roots in Harriet’s East London flat (which doubled up as their studio and office in the early days!). What remains throughout is the pair’s fun approach to fashion, celebrating the freedom to wear whatever feels good, “because, why not?”.

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I had the best time at BALTIC with Elaine and Team Tatty, and if you’re thinking about booking a place at one of Tatty Devine’s jewellery-making workshops I say DO IT!

Stay tuned for the rest of our adventure in Newcastle! In the meantime, share your fashion heroes with me – are there any style or design icons that I should know about?

Here’s to fun, fashion and friendship,

Signature

Screen Printing Saturdays with Square Club

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On a recent Saturday morning, the sun was shining and I found myself skipping along to the East End of town to take part in a screen printing workshop. After my recent bird/ snake creation (and I use that word loosely) at the Crafternoon, you’d be quite entitled to think it would be a while before getting stuck into something so hands-on again – but actually, I was feeling keen to redeem myself and participate in something that I had a little experience in!

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I hadn’t attempted screen printing since studying art (and that was…well, let’s just say it was over a decade ago and leave it at that, yeah?) but I remember really enjoying the process. I also love being able to customise things and make them my own – so screen printing is a pretty handy skill to brush up on in my book!

So, when I heard about Square Club’s 3 hour workshop held at their Shapes Of Things studio, I was all ears and couldn’t wait to revisit my high school art days.

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Situated next to Glasgow’s famous WEST brewery, the Shapes Of Things studio is a bright, cheerful space with massive windows and lots of room to get creative. It was the perfect setting for our class which, as well as having fellow bloggers, also had a few regular attendees to keep us right.

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Our workshop was taught by fashion and print designer Jamie Bruski Tetsill. Jamie’s work has featured in the likes of Elle, Vogue and Dazed and Confused and he has also shown at London Fashion Week – so I knew right away we’d be in good hands! Jamie started off by explaining a bit about the company, which can be tailored to individuals and groups regardless of their level of experience. He then took us through different stations of the workshop, explaining how they fitted into each stage of the process.

We had the option to create t-shirts or tote bags and all supplies were provided by Square Club, so you really can turn up empty-handed! I opted to make a t-shirt with a simple text print and started to prepare my art work. Multiple materials were provided, giving us a chance to experiment with different styles and decide on which we liked best. I created my base text on the computer and used ink afterwards to make it bolder.

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Next, I prepared my screen by affixing the design to it. It was then subject to high exposure in a custom-built device in order to transfer the design onto the screen itself. The process is a little like darkroom photography – timing is EVERYTHING!

After some washing and drying, my screen was ready to use! At this point, I inexplicably ended-up with textile dyes all over my hands (even though I was nowhere near the dye and pigment station…you must admit that is a skill in itself) but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, right?

I attached the fabric to the print bed, stretching it out and keeping it firmly in place.

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The next part took longer than expected – selecting which colours to use! With so many vibrant colours in the studio, I found it a little hard to narrow down. Since I was printing onto white fabric, I opted for yellow and blue dyes and marbled them together. Using the squeegee, my prepped screen and the dye I had picked out, I then printed the design directly onto my t-shirt!

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I decided to create a slogan tee inspired by one of my favourite meals – ’cause I’m all about that brunch!

3 hours might sound like an awfully long time, but trust me, the morning totally flew in and after the final print and fixing actions, our pieces were finished and ready to wear! Everyone was super happy with their creations and the thing that I enjoyed most about the class was the positive and encouraging atmosphere. By breaking the process into stages, it was easy and fun to learn how to bring our designs to life.

You can find out more about Shapes Of Things, Square Club and how to take part in their workshops here. What will you design?

With sunshine and squeegees,

Miss West End Girl x

 

All photos by Gary at Trouble WIth Film 

With thanks to Shapes Of Things