Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Models Wanted for Holiday Fashion Show!

We are looking for models again!

On Saturday, December 13, we will be hosting a

We are looking for ladies that are at least
18 years of age...
all sizes and shapes! 

Please send your contact information along with a recent photo to 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY Holiday Mantel Decorating Ideas

I can't believe that the holidays are upon us and, if you are anything like me, the house is just begging you to decorate it for the season. I love beautiful holiday decorations, but I prefer simplicity, affordability, and smart investments that can be used over and over again. In our house, for example, we are decking it out with my favorite burlap wreath and my handmade yarn trees and we are even buying our first REAL Christmas tree this year (which I am awfully excited about).

I love to make handmade items that we can pull out from year to year so that is why I am excited to showcase some DIY Holiday Mantel Decorating Ideas from some of my favorite DIY bloggers. Of course, I am going to weave in some great deals found at Goodwill this holiday season too to round these mantels out.

Add a Little Typography

I am a big fan of typography and the roots of that just might come from being married to a web designer. I love this LET IT SNOW banner from The Proper Pinwheel that you can create with just a little cardstock and some scissors. To help balance out the piece, consider adding a mirror or scrap paper covered books from Goodwill to round out the mantels. I happen to love these little silhouettes too that would be beautiful in spray painted white frames to match.

Embrace a Scandinavian Theme

There is something so sweetly simple about red and white paired together and there are so many fun elements that could be added from your local Goodwill store in this Scandinavian Red & White Mantel. From spray painted candlestick holders and accessories, to vintage ice skates, to a simple red painted door, to stockings made from sweaters...there is just so much to love about this one created by Tatertots & Jello. The addition of paper garlands and pom-poms add those perfect homemade touches.

Light It Up With Snow Globes

Even as a grown-up, I find snow globes just as beautiful and magical as I did when I was a kid. I am also a big fan of terrariums so I really love this idea of pairing the two and creating a Snow Globe Terrarium to light up your mantle. This inexpensive idea adds a lot of holiday magic and would be a fantastic craft to create with a few of your favorite holiday helpers. Check Goodwill's houseware selections for jars to keep it budget-friendly thanks to this fun idea for Pink Pistachio!

Embrace Mixed Metallics

If there is one thing I love this year it is metallics and mixing them together. Luckily, it is easy to gussy up a vase or add a touch of paint to sticks from the backyard thanks to the metallic spray paints on the market. I love this mixed metallic mantel from Centsational Girl because it is so elegant and also looks very easy to achieve with a little spray paint or even glitter tape (as Kate did)  from your craft tool arsenal. How easy is this?

Add a Traditional Garland

Pre-made garlands can be expensive and may not have the color scheme you are after. I love a traditional mantel with evergreen garland and this tutorial recreates the Pottery Barn style at a fraction of the cost. Between Naps on the Porch illustrates one struggle that I have had with ordering garlands from PB...the length just isn't there. You have to buy many to achieve the length you need for a decorated porch or mantel. Making these yourself gives you the flexibility to create your own desired length and add in the perfect colors to bring it all together. The best part is that you can use these year after year!

Add Chalkboard & Marquee Details

I am such a big fan of chalkboard paint and almost anything at Goodwill can be transformed into a DIY chalkboard from photo frames to mirrors to cupboard doors. I love the idea of mixing and matching words in front of your DIY chalkboard for an elegant holiday mantel! The Crafted Sparrow shows off her style with a handmade MERRY marquee that she whipped up. Consider hunting the store for a basket for snowballs and for boxes or luggage to round out a corner.

Keep It Natural

As I get older, I appreciate more a simple touch provided by nature instead of fake greenery that requires packing and storing for the season. I love this simple mini wreath garland from the merry thought that you can create to decorate a mantel created from a little pine and adding berries, pine cones, and sticks from your backyard. This mantel isn't fussy and relies on all the beautiful things that nature provides to achieve a simple & clean modern look.

What are your favorite ways to decorate your mantel for the holidays?

Monday, November 10, 2014

DIY Jewelry Organizer

One of the things I seem to struggle with is wearing all of the great accessories I've collected over the years.  It seems I always wear the same few pieces...because I can see them, they are on top of the pile (know what I mean?).

The notion of being able to see all of my jewelry coupled with a good storage option has been something I've been frustrated with for a long time.  I've tried hanging everything on a necklace tree, I purchased a piece of furniture that held my jewelry, I even invested in stack-able trays thinking that was the ticket to storing all of my jewelry pieces.

None of those things worked.

When a modern mom has a problem like this, what does she do?  She turns to Pinterest of course!  I saw some DIY jewelry organizers that I thought might work, so I decided to make my own.  And I must say, it is working very well!  The best thing about this DIY project is you don't have to be crafty or own a bunch of tools to have a great looking final product.


First, head to your local Goodwill store and find a picture frame that you love.  It doesn't matter what is inside (what the picture is), just look for a decorative frame (or maybe something simple) that will match your decor. The best frames for this project will be large bulky frames.  Look for something that is made of wood  and that is at least 1 1/2" thick. I found 3 frames to use for this project.  Two smaller frames (about 8x10), and one larger frame (about 24x30).  I will use the smaller one for bracelets and earrings, and the larger one for necklaces.

The second step is to head to a craft store or hardware store.  I stopped by a hardware store and purchased $14 worth of supplies.  They include:
  1. A variety of small 'S' hooks
  2. A roll of chicken wire (sometimes called Hardware Cloth)
  3. Some heavy duty thumb tacks
Prepare the picture frame by removing all of the backing.

Next, measure how much of the Chicken Wire you will need to cut to fit the frame.  I cut the piece to fit the back of the frame, leaving about 1/4" border. Using wire cutters (mine are technically floral cutters), trim a piece of the Chicken Wire to fit the back of your frame.


Affix the backing using a hammer and the large thumb tacks.  Next, using the 'S' hooks, plan how you will organize your jewelry pieces on the frame. It is OK if the chicken wire is a little loose, or not flat.  If the wire is flat against the wall, it will make it harder to hang the 's' hooks.

I didn't finish the edges of mine, but I think I might add some heavy duty tape (like packing tape) to the edges on the back of the frame. This will help secure the wire to the frame, and protect the wall from the raw edges of the wire.

Step 5

The last step is to nail your jewelry organizer to the wall.  I used 2 basic picture hanging nails. Enjoy seeing all of your jewelry pieces neatly organized!  And the best part, it takes up unused wall space in your closet! BONUS!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn / Winter Trends for Kids

Fashion and kids seem to be 2 words that (when said together) add a lot of stress to the family budget. As a Mom of a pre-teen, I will admit the ever-changing likes and dislikes of my daughter could easily break the bank. On the other hand, I want her to embrace her own sense of style.  We all know when we wear something that we know looks great on us, we feel better on the inside.  That is the feeling I desperately want my daughter to have every feel confident and not be concerned about her clothing.

Being trendy is very important to our kids.  Even if they don't know the word "trendy" they do know there are certain things they will wear, and things they won't wear. Kids get much of their sense of style (and dare I say taste) from us... what they see us wear and the clothing expectations within our families.  As our kiddos grow up (sniff sniff), their sense of style comes from peers. I can't tell you how many times my daughter has told me "but all the girls are wearing that to school".  Can you relate?

Knowing the trends, you will be one step ahead of the wardrobe struggle in your home.   Here are some of this season's top trends for kids:

The hot colors for boys clothing this season are similar to the hot color trends in all fashion.  You are going to be seeing a lot of Royal Blue and  Orange.  The color trends are big and bold for boys with daring color combinations, and seemingly mismatched hues.
TIP: Not sure what colors work together?  Look at a color wheel.  Colors that are next to each other, or across from each other work together. Colors that are across from one another complement each other. Colors that are next to each other match.  More details about how to match colors can be found HERE.

SHOPPING TIP:  When I shop at Goodwill for the latest trends, I quickly glance down the racks for the hot colors.  Once I find a piece that is in the color I am searching for, I look for another piece (jacket, sweater for example) that will work with it.  Again, start with a color search.
The pieces boys are going to be hunting for this season are:
  • Jeans
  • Plaid
  • graphic t-shirts
Lumberjack plaid is a hot trend across the board. This pattern has an innate boyish feel.

The graphic t-shirts this season fall into 2 categories.  They either have a vintage feel (like the one on left) or they have a whimsical kitschy feel (like the ones on the right). 
In girls fashion, the color trends are a bit softer than with the boys. A hot color combination is harvest gold and royal blue.  Other trendy colors are pastels. Notice that the trendy colors are anything but 'fall-ish'!
SHOPPING TIP: Some of the girls trends this season have a boy-ish feel.  Don't discount looking in the boys section.

Girls clothing this season has a distinct dressed-up casual feel.  Hot pieces for girls this season are:
  • Skater skirts (circle skirts)
  • Lumberjack Plaid
  • 50's inspired (or Western) floral 
DIY TIP: If you are crafty, try this DIY circle skirt.  Find a great plaid skirt at Goodwill and make your daughter an adorable skirt!  
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you be the coolest Mom on the block. I would love to hear how you are letting your kids show their style personalities this season, and what you have found at your local Goodwill store. Post comments and pics here, or use hash-tag #GoodwillMichianaFallFashion on Pinterest and Instagram!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun Ways to Dress Up Boots for Fall

As soon as the temperatures start dipping, I know it is almost my favorite footwear season... boot season, friends!  There is nothing cozier than a warm pair of boots and this season, embellished boots and boot toppers are all the rage for making your boots feel fresh again. Whether you score your boots at Goodwill or if you find the perfect pair elsewhere, I have some fun and creative ideas for making a tired pair of boots feel like new again with these 7 tutorials for fun ways to dress up your boots.

Add Some Fringe

Fringe boots are quite popular this year, but buying fringe boots might be out of your boot budget. Instead of buying a bootie for a passing trend, check out these DIY Fringe Shoe Clips from Clones N Clowns made from a simple shoe clip and a little leather or faux leather (depending on your budget). These look like they are part of the bootie, but are removeable. I love these not only for how customized these look, but also for how much space you can save by not buying multiple pairs of boots for one trend.

Make No-Sew Sweater Boots

If last season's boots are looking tired or if you find a pair of UGG boots at Goodwill (which I REALLY have, if you can believe it!) adding a beautiful sweater detail can be a great way to refresh them for another season.

Since this blogger does not sew, I really love this fun no-sew sweater cuff that you can create from la vie DIY that can hide any imperfections in your boots. The button detail could also be created with brooches, pins, or earrings that you find in the store! 

Add Embellished Boot socks

If there is one thing that you can find at Goodwill in these Fall & Winter months, it is definitely loads of cozy sweaters.  This fun tutorial from My Sister's Suitcase showcases adorable embellished boot socks you can create from old sweater sleeves.

The picture highlighted here showcases a fun striped sweater sleeve embellished with a ruffled ribbon detail, perfect for a little trick-or-treat fun for Halloween!

Add a Knitted Detail

I can't sew, but I can knit so this past Fall, I created these easy knitted boot cuffs out of chunky yarn and big needles. Thanks to the needle size and yarn, this is a fast and easy two hour knit project.

I highly recommend this project for someone who is just learning to knit in the round or as a first-time cabling project. I promise that cabling looks far more complex than it really is and this is such a fun project to master the art of cabling since it is so small and quick!

I gave these beauties away to my best friend and have promised a few pairs for myself this year when I get back to knitting again this winter!

Add Faux Fur

Not only is fringe in this season, but faux fur seems to be enjoying its time in the Fall spotlight too. I love a beautiful fur detail and these faux fur boot cuffs can transform a tired pair of boots into something new and on-trend. 

Clones N Clowns strikes again with this adorable faux fur addition to her boots. Be sure to scroll down all the way through the pictures to see how she adds this same adorable detail to a pair of Converse sneakers. Say what?! Awesome! 

Add A Legwarmer Layer

Many tutorials showcase how you can use the top of a sweater sleeve to create a boot cuff, but why stop there? With Indiana winters, I love an extra layer around my legs so consider using that whole sleeve off a Goodwill sweater as legwarmers to add warmth in these colder temperatures. 

I love to look for sweaters with lots of details like striping, as pictured here, polka dots, or ones with interesting cables. You can get the whole scoop on these DIY legwarmers made from a sweater on Petit Elefant

Add a Little Lace

My favorite trends are always the very feminine ones and you can't get more feminine than a little lace. That is why I absolutely love these boot cuffs made from lace doilies for a fast and fun DIY boot cuff project. These "pretend frilly socks" from Blah Blah Magazine are fast to create and can be embellished with a beautiful button to finish. 

What are some fun ways you dress up your boots for Fall? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section below! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's almost FASHION SHOW time! LBD Merrillville, October 16th

The Goodwill Fashion Show Team is hard at work again to bring you an amazing runway show on October 16, 2014 in Merrillville, IN

For months we've been hunting down perfect looks at local Goodwill Stores, casting models of all ages and sizes, and finishing outfits for the runway. I can promise that those who attend this season's show will not be disappointed! 

The pop-up Boutique that will be at the luncheon will be the best yet. Dozens of racks of great on-trend clothes, gobs of shoes, tons of designer handbags, barrels full of great jewelry... it will all be at the store!

We know that you all love coming to our luncheon fashion show events for several reasons: an amazing Runway Show, 50% Off Shopping at the pop-up Boutique and a nice luncheon with your friends.  BUT, there is so much more to this event. 

All proceeds from fashion show events will benefit Goodwill’s Mission to provide jobs, training and placement services for people with barriers to employment. Giving back into our communities can help people with barriers find a new sense of dignity, meaning and purpose.  The intent of this event is to raise awareness of the many job programs that our Workforce Development Services Division has to offer as well as educating individuals about the affordable name-brand fashions that can be purchased at our Goodwill Industries of Michiana Retail Stores.

There is still a little time for you to get in on the fun, get some great deals and support a great cause. Tickets can be purchased HERE.   $45 per Ticket – act fast!  Seats are selling out! 

Major Debit and Credit Cards Accepted

Hope to see YOU at the Luncheon and Fashion Show...or maybe in the pop-up Boutique!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

7 Ways to Upcycle a Coat Into Something You Really Love

With the fall temperatures upon us, it is time to start thinking about an extra outer layer to help keep us warm for these cooler Midwest temperatures. Jackets can be an expensive investment and finding one that is the perfect cut and style can sometimes be difficult especially with everyone's unique sizing and build. Today's tutorial offers some fun ideas for refashioning a Goodwill jacket into something you really love.

As a disclaimer, I am a sewing school drop-out and actually take everything I need altered to a seamstress because I flunked sewing school. That being said, one thing I can attest to is having someone alter items for you is the most worthwhile investment so that you always look and feel your best. As I am in the midst of a capsule wardrobe project for the fall, many of these pieces have been altered so that I always feel my best even with a smaller & more minimalist wardrobe. Alterations, whether done yourself or by a professional, are the wisest investment when you really love something. 

We are providing the after pictures to these projects so please click on the links to get the full scoop on the before and tutorials for each of these alterations.

Add Ruffles & Details

If the cut of a coat is good in the shoulder area, but the length is not, consider cutting off some length on your coat. You can then use that excess fabric for feminine details that add femininity to a more masculine piece. One of my favorite blogging friends, Tatertots & Jello, shows off a coat that she added a ruffled edge too and a fur trim on the end of her coat to create a coat that any girl would be proud to wear. She offers 14 ideas for refashioning a coat that can help you while navigating the Goodwill coat selection. 

Transform a Leather Jacket Into a Purse

Buying leather for your craft projects might be out of your budget, but buying a thrift store coat and then using the materials from it to create something truly unique might not be. I love this beautiful leather bag made from an old leather coat from Luz Patterns. This showcases not only the beauty of making something yourself, but it also showcases the way a commonly found item can be made into something you really love.

Consider a leather coat as a plethora of craft possibilities whether it is using a wood burning tool to burn initials in the material to make tags for handmade gifts, being cut and sewn into an iPad cover, or simply adding leather details to a belt or headband. The possibilities with a leather jacket, no matter what the size or style, are endless. 

Turn a Suit Set Into a Long Jacket

If you are looking for the perfect jacket that feels more like a blazer than a heavy coat, then consider piecing together two matching suit pieces to create a beautiful Edwardian coat. It is simply genius to think of these two separate pieces as something that could be made into a long coat, but Of Dreams and Seams saw hidden potential in this suit and made it into something she truly loves. 

This looks like something I would shell hundreds of dollars out at Anthropologie and I particularly love that this suit started out handmade and was altered and appreciated for many more years. 

Refashion a Hoodie Into a Peacoat Jacket

The peacoat will never go out of style, but I can't say that I am mad for hoodie sweatshirts. Perhaps you went through a hooded sweatshirt phase and are looking to whittle down your collection or you spy one at Goodwill that is the perfect shade, but you would love to look a little more polished? 

This hoodie turned peacoat tutorial from Sisters,What! is such a great example of how you can refashion even the most basic piece into a cozy coat for fall by simply removing the zipper, adding a flap of fabric, and adding some buttons. How cute is that?

Make a Mixed Media Jacket From Two Coats

This year the fashion world is mad about leather and even I, a very basic suburban mother, bought herself a moto jacket to wear this year.  In this tutorial from dream create, she was inspired by a very pricey Burberry Mixed Media Trench Jacket and decided to make a DIY trench jacket from two inexpensive jackets

I love the idea that if you love the sleeves from one piece that you could attach them to another jacket to add texture and detail to a basic piece. 

Add a Feminine Ruffle

The before photos on this piece from Charity Shop Chic is jaw-dropping. She takes a piece of clothing that is stained and many, many sizes too big and uses the extra material to create a belt, feminine sleeves, and a ruffled bottom that was inspired by Kate Middleton. 

While this Feminine Trench Coat is definitely something to be created by an advanced sewer, any crafter can appreciate the beauty in these feminine details and can be inspired that even the saddest and most ill-fitting pieces can be made into something of beauty when put in the right hands. 

Turn a Sleeve Into a Clutch

You can never have too many clutches and this beautiful clutch is made from a simple coat-sleeve. Over on Craftaholics Anonymous you can get the scoop on how they transformed a suit jacket sleeve into a beautiful clutch that you can carry your essentials in for a night out on the town. 

Look for a sleeve that has beautiful button details or is made from a great fabric or pattern that will go well with other items in your wardrobe to really make the most of this DIY project.

With the holidays creeping upon us, it would also make a fantastic gift for a girlfriend, sister, mother, or grandmother.

What are some things you have done with coats from Goodwill? Feel free to share your stories here!