Tag Archives: diy

DIY-ish Clothing Labels

I’ve had “Order New Clothing Labels” on my to-do list for forever.  I put it off for so long because I know what I’ve had in the past and I know what I DON’T want, but I don’t necessarily know what I want.  Until I figure that out exactly, here’s another stop along the way: the DIY-ish label made from custom printed fabric from Spoonflower.  I consider them DIY-ish because it FELT like a DIY project because of all the stuff I did but I guess I didn’t print the fabric myself.  So, DIY-ish….?

What I love about these labels: very economical, able to make small orders, easy to change the design with each order, totally custom.  What I don’t love: they are printed (instead of woven), there’s several steps involved to turn them into labels, they either have raw edges or serged edges (or tediously folded and pressed edges).

Here are the steps I did to create my clothing labels:

WIth my freshly opened package from Spoonflower.

First I designed the labels using Photoshop.  I have zero pictures of this because the process was mostly me with RAGEFACE grabbing and shaking my laptop screen in frustration.  After I sorted through all that computer design, I ordered a yard of fabric from Spoonflower with my uploaded image.  I designed two different labels, but had them repeated within the same yard.  One label has my brand and website on one side and laundering instructions on the other.  The second label has the garment size on one side and a little sketch of me on the other, because why not?

Audio Helkuik Labels

I prewashed and dried the fabric and then pressed it to get ready for the next step.

Cut & serged.

Next I cut the strips of the labels apart and serged the edges.  I wasn’t sure if I would like the look of this but decided to try it out on this round of labels to find out.  They look kinda DIY, but I’m kinda into that so it’s totally cool.

Stacked and ready.

I clipped all the labels apart and organized them by laundering instructions (four different phrases) and garment sizes (five sizes).

Front of first tag: audio helkuik,

I already started using them in my upcoming collection, prysm.break.  Here are the labels sewn into a tank from prysm.break.

Back of first tag: machine wash cold, hang to dry. Front of size tag: S.

While I don’t necessarily love that I have to use two separate tags, it’s the only way I could feasibly have a zillion different size/laundering instruction combos without giving myself a mega headache. Plus, it gave me a space to put a little happy Audio waving hi!


Price was a huge factor in my label decision-making process.  I looked at a million really cool labels from clothing label companies, but most of them were pretty pricy AND you had to make really large volume orders.  Since I’m still deciding what exactly I want in a label, I didn’t want to commit to thousands and thousands of one label right now.  With this method, I got about 220 of each style, so around 440 labels total.  I think I paid $20-ish including shipping, so it was a reeeeeeeeally affordable option.

I’m definitely not the first to make labels this way.  I have seen some tutorials on it before. Here are two blog tutorials that I read:

See Kate Sew:

Little Kids Grow:

To create your own labels (or any custom designed fabric) on Spoonflower’s website:


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Customizing my World

DIY illustrated pumpkin coffee cup for my pumpkin cafe au lait.

If it can be customized, I’ll want to customize it.

This cute cup actually made my coffee taste better.


This cute cup made me smile every time I saw it, so my day was spent in a happier state of mind. With this uplifted spirit, my coffee seemed extra tasty.

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Posted by on 02.28.13 in art, Audio's Life


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DIY Skirt Makeover

In high school, I loved both art and creative writing.  This means I pretty much sketched and wrote alllllll the time. Sometimes my doodling and writing ended up on my clothes.  I had a closet full of DIY customized clothing.  (Didn’t every creative high school outcast?)

The other day I made myself a few quick skirts.  I had enough of this dusty teal fabric to make two skirts, but who really wants two of the same exact garment?  Borrrrrring!  I decided to go all high-school-DIY on one of them and write all over it.  I always have a hard time deciding just what to write on my garments, though. I’m usually too self-critical to wear my my own words as an outfit, so I narrowed it down to two others’ words.  And, just like in high school, I couldn’t decide between a miniskirt of Bible quotes or Nirvana lyrics.

I ended up choosing Nirvana lyrics.

My new skirt covered in Nirvana lyrics.

“i think i’m dumb.”

I used Marvy markers for the script.  I haven’t washed it a million times yet, so I don’t know how well the markers hold up.  I’ve heard good things about Marvy markers, though.  I’m not too worried…..if the repeating “i think i’m dumb” words wash off eventually, I shouldn’t be too heartbroken.


Posted by on 11.27.12 in Audio's Life


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Comfort zone, where are you?

When I drew up my sketches for my monoprismatic clothing collection, all the figures had on these great big, stylized glasses.  I loved them.  At first, I thought that the glasses were just a visually dynamic aspect of my fashion illustrations and I’d leave it at that, but then I started wishing that they would come to life on runway.

Making a variety of templates.

I was brainstorming different ways to make this happen.  Regular glasses weren’t going to be stylized enough. and if I DID find oversized glasses that were cool enough, I didn’t know if my budget would allow me to buy enough for every model.  This idea was dismissed. As I reverted back to brainstorming DIY methods, I crossed several of my regularly used materials off the list: fabric, leather, interfacing, buckram, etc.  Nothing would produce the results I wanted.  I remembered I had a huge sheet of PVC signage plastic leftover from a previous creative endeavor, but it’s so far out of my comfort zone that I didn’t want to use it.  Eventually, I faced the fact that it was the only material that I had at least had SOME experience with that would create these oversized glasses that I wanted for my collection’s debut at Omaha Fashion Week.

Figuring out template layout to keep waste to a minimum.

Tracing templates.

The reason I was so hesitant to use this plastic is because the tools I’d use on it aren’t my normal tools. During  normal projects I use: a domestic sewing machine, an industrial sewing machine, an overlock machine, and iron, hand-sewing needles, scissors, and maybe some pliers. Tools needed for this project: a hot cutting knife, sandpaper, a power drill, sandpaper, more sandpaper……and zero sewing machines!  WHAT?!

Using the hot knife to melt/cut the glasses outline.

Turning non-functional sunglasses into non-functional reading glasses.

I think it wasn’t until I had a few fully completed glasses that I finally relaxed and thought “Sweet! These are runway accessories that are actually feasible!”

POWER drill. Using the POWER.

I already had to drill holes into the plastic to thread the elastic through, so I thought it’d be cute to add a button on each side for a touch of color.  Then each pair of glasses would match its corresponding outfit perfectly! Monoprismatic is very matchy-matchy.

Attaching the elastic cording and colored button.

While I got pretty good at making these glasses by the twelfth pair, I’m no PVC plastic expert. It’s a material that I CAN use, but only when necessary. The glasses are wearable, but somewhat uncomfortable after awhile. My models are troopers.  I just wanted to share my experience of working well out of my comfort zone. As a costumer, I do this quite often, but I don’t normally document it and say “Look at me! I only kinda/sorta know what I’m doing here!” But really, I only kinda/sorta know what I’m doing here.

Finished glasses.


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Side Project: Rugmaking

When my partner and I started putting our dining room together after we moved, we decided we wanted a rug. A large rug. An awesome, large rug.  And it has to be the perfect color combination because I’m a total color snob.  Since we are on a decorating budget, finding a large one that wasn’t totally suck was proving to be frustratingly impossible.

This is about the time I just give up shopping around and try to make whatever I’m trying to buy. It happens all the time.  (I’m currently shopping around for suits in scrawny-but-bootylicious sizes……so, I’ll probably end up learning how to construct a suit soon. Stay tuned for that.) I started brainstorming different rugmaking techniques that involved skills I already have: knitting, weaving, latchhooking, crocheting, felting, stitching, etc.  I settled on trying out a layered fabric stitching technique, so I started making all the charts and diagrams because I would be cutting out ALOT of layers of fabric and I needed to be organized.

Charts help me keep sane.

The technique I chose is called faux chenille.  It’s based on the process of how they create chenille yarn, but simplified. Chenille yarn is made by weaving yardage of fabric, and then cutting it apart to create teeny-tiny strips of raw-edged fabric, aka chenille yarn. (Interesting sidenote: chenille is French for caterpillar. Cute.) With faux chenille, you stitch layers of fabric atop each other (usually stitching in the bias direction), and then you cut the fabrics in between to expose the underlayers.  The raw edges become fuzzy like chenille.  This faux chenille technique is used in quilting, but sometimes it’s called rag-quilting or slash-quilting. Also, there was a DIY craft movement circa 1992-ish where people took a standard sweatshirt and jazzed it up by doing some simple faux chenille patterns on the front. I think the one my mom made me had a giant heart on the front.  Inspired by my mom’s 90’s crafting skills, I decided a faux chenille rug would be awesome. I mean, if it’s cool enough for a sweatshirt, it’s cool enough for my floor, right?

Cutting in between the stitching lines.

A completed section: Black and beige. Black and sand…?
Black and grey/taupe/lavender/mystery neutral color that I love but can’t describe.

The process of stitching and cutting wasn’t overly difficult except that the sections were so large it was more like wrestling a rug than stitching a rug most of the time.  My sewing machine isn’t a long-arm style, so it was tough getting ALL that fabric in there.  The rug was pretty thick with all the layers (9 layers total!), so my machine was tired after all that sewing.  I have the rug put together in four large sections that velcro together to make one mega rug.  Each section is backed with a heavy black canvas (which was stitched through but NOT cut through).  I wanted to be machine washable, so it needed a way to actually FIT in the washing machine.  Also, I prewashed and shrunk all the fabrics before I started. With all the fuzzy edges that the faux chenille technique creates, you can’t really tell that the rug is made out of four sections. Success!

My finished rug! (And my grumpy giant Angora bunny, Frank.)

My new handmade rug on my dining room floor.

Still putting the room together, but at least the rug is in place. Next up: chair slipcovers.

I love the rug.  We’ve been walking on it and using it for months, and it still looks awesome.  Over time, the faux chenille strips open up a bit more and expose more of the underlayers. I like it.  Looking back, I really probably should’ve started my rugmaking endeavors with a smaller rug.  Maybe a 2×3′ or something.  True to my family’s motto, Go big or go home!, I just dove in. My first rug measures about 8×8′.  Heck yeah.


Posted by on 06.11.12 in Side Projects


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