The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

TGWIF: Crafting Copycats

DIY iris apfel bracelet googly eyes

Last night, we hosted our first-ever DIY Boston Night at Collaboratory for about a dozen ladies — including some of our favorite thrift shoppers and swappers. Which was totally fitting, because the main craft we were all making was a Nate Berkus for Target “copycat” using upcycled glassware from Goodwill and jute twine (inspired by this recent post from Design Improvised on And Then We Saved.)

Nate Berkus for Target Hurricanes

I loved the nautical-industrial-earthy vibe of these pieces, but at $19.99 and $24.99 for just glassware and twine, there’s no way I was biting. (Thanks to How to Be a Heroine for this great photo of the Nate Berkus for Target store display.)

Jute-wrapped Goodwill glassware

Aside from the lack of buttons, I think we came really close — nee even better, because this vase Tara made is covered in Mod Podge and glitter. The vase was about 50 cents at Goodwill Boston and the jute twine was $2.09 for an 81-yard roll at TAGS Hardware in Porter Square. As I mentioned to Patty from Goodwill during our crafting session, Mod Podge and glitter are like our Frank’s Original:

“We put that sh*t on everything!”

Check out the step-by-step tutorial and more of the amazing variations each of our crafters created, putting their own unique stamp on each piece — over on DIY Boston today. No two were exactly the same, and that’s the beauty of making it yourself! Celebrate individuality, celebrate imperfections.

Iris Apfel Googly Eye Bangle

We also encouraged everyone to bring their own “PhDs” (Projects Half Done), so I finally got around to making this bracelet I collected materials for oh, about three years ago, after visiting the Iris Apfel exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum. (Huge hat tip to my friend Jen Mason of Sew Frugal & Fashionable in DC for the term PhD. I’m obsessed!)

The original bracelet owned by Iris Apfel (top, left, in W Magazine — if you squint, you can see it on her left arm at the bottom) is a one of a kind piece made for her in the 70s, and the reproductions for her HSN line (bottom, left and right) weren’t the same — plus they were about $50 each. Not happening!

DIY Googly Eye Bangle Bracelet

I picked up the googly eyes at SCORE Swap in Brooklyn almost four years ago, and the bangle bracelets came from Goodwill and garage sales shortly thereafter. They’ve all been sitting in a bag together at the back of my craft drawer ever since…until last night.

Iris Apfel googly eye bangle DIY

I would give you the instructions, but it was literally just glueing the googly eyes to the bangle one at a time using a glue gun, mixing the large, medium, and small size googly eyes in an attempt to cover the entire bracelet. What do you think? I had so much fun making it, and can’t wait to wear it this weekend!

Iris Apfel googly eye bangle DIY

Story & photos: Copyright 2013, Shoestring LLC & Courtesy.