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DIY Style Contest This Week!

DIYstyleweek-474x356.grid-6x2Since I know this city is overflowing with creative talent, I figured I would pass this along…

As part of their first-ever “DIY Style Week,” is asking readers to share their DIY style projects—accessories, clothing, shoes, whatever—for a chance to win a DIY prize pack including roughly $200 worth of cool crafting goodies as well as a post on their Web site about their project.

All you have to do is submit a photo and/or video of your creation/design along with a short essay about the project (100 words or less). You’re allowed a total of eight entries (one per day) between now and 5 p.m on Friday. TODAY style editor, Bobbie Thomas will select a winner on Nov. 1.

Considering how simple the contest is, I encourage anyone working on any sort of style/design fixer-upper or craft to enter. As an additional incentive, I’m even going to welcome readers to share their DIY style project with PW Style.

That’s right, submit a photo and/or video to, tell us a little about you and the project and next week, we’ll highlight the submissions on this here blog (unless it’s just absolutely terrible). Deadline: Friday afternoon.

In the meantime, should you just be looking for some tips or inspiration, will also be posting a different DIY style tutorial from pros each day this week. Here’s the lineup:

Monday: TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas

Tuesday: Erica Domesek of PS I Made This

Wednesday: Geneva Vanderzeil of A Pair and A Spare

Thursday: Kristen Turner of Glitter ‘n Glue

Friday: Jenni Radosevich of I Spy DIY

Ok, so what are you waiting for? Start crafting!

DIY Beauty: Coffee Hair Dye

Besides being the main stimulant that gets you through your workday, did you know that coffee can also be used as a hair dye?!  Yes that’s right, along with Kool Aid and lemon juice, coffee is yet another beverage you can use if you’d like to subtly change the tint of your haircolor.  Since this process essentially stains your hair with carmel-colored tones, the lighter your original shade, the better.  And if you hate it, then no worries, it washes out in a couple of shampoos.

I’d had known about this trick for a while but only got around to trying it out for myself this weekend (thanks Hurricane Irene boredom!).  I generally followed the steps from this lovely lady I found via Google, who seemed to have great results.  Me?  Not much of a noticeable difference, but we’ll get to that later.

Basically, here’s what you do (note: your hair WILL smell like coffee after, so if you hate that, maybe reconsider):

-Brew a full pot of triple-strength coffee

-Pour into a small basin and let cool

-Brush your hair free of all knots and put on an old t-shirt you don’t care about.

-Using a small cup, begin drenching your hair with the coffee over the basin (you can do this in the tub because it gets messy).  Repeat this until well saturated, about 20-30 minutes or until your neck starts to hurt.

-Get as much liquid as you can into your hair and then wrap it securely with a plastic bag or something of the sort.  (Don’t use a towel as it will soak up all the liquid).

-Drape an old towel around your neck to catch any drips and wait.  Some gals keep it on for like 2-3 hours but being as I am impatient, I only did about 1.

-When you’ve had enough, jump in the shower – shampoo, conditioner and blow dry.  Voila!  You’re done!

Even if you don’t see the lovely espresso shade you were hoping for, it’s still a great treatment for damaged locks!  Here’s my result below:


Not much of a difference, but I’m not mad at the results.  And if it helps my bleached out ends, then that’s a good thing right?  Will you try this?  If you do, let us see your results!

— Kat Blazowski

Newsworthy Nails


Since my roommate and I follow nail trends like it’s our jobs, I was pretty excited when I stumbled upon this really cool and relatively easy new D.I.Y nail project. I was also happy that the stacks of newspapers covering my room could be put to good use.

Ok, so here’s what you do:

Cut out small squares of newsprint that are larger than your nails. Apply a coat of polish. Once dry, dip them in rubbing alcohol for a few secs. Press the newsprint on the nail (for about 20-30 secs) then slowly pull it off. Apply a top coat to seal.

Check out this blog for step-by-step instructions.

Having tried it last night, here’s some other things I’d recommend keeping in mind:

*You don’t necessarily have to use a neutral polish. As I learned last night, it’ll show up on pretty much any lighter color (my nails were neon pink).

*It looks better if you use a bold font even if on just a few nails.

*Don’t be afraid to mix it up—have the print going diagonal or sideways on some nails and horizontal on the others.

*Be careful not to move your hand too much while holding the piece of paper on the nail. It will easily smudge.

*Apply the top coat as soon as your done otherwise it’ll rub off.

*You’re going to need to wash your hands afterwords so just make sure they’re totally dry first.

Because my roommate is more patient and meticulous when it comes to her nails, she got better results than I did (see below).


Nicole Finkbiner | May 7 2011 11:01am | DESIGN, d.i.y, great idea, how to, just for fun, nails, on a budget, trends | Comments 0

Street Snaps: Tea and Indigo

Phew! Street Snaps is here, rest assured! Just sometimes things get a little backed up on the errand plate, you know? Anyway, today’s post features a young sweetheart that I almost passed by on Walnut Street near Rittenhouse. Many will contest that this little area is one of the most “fashionable” in the city, with a high concentration of brand name apparel stores and the ambiance of an affluent urban area (or am I pushing it with that last part?). It’s easy to pass the time people watching in this area, but spotting really exciting outfits is difficult sometimes (for me, anyway). So I get excited when I stop someone who piques my interest and discover that half of their outfit is hand-dyed. Shall we?

Dear Daimon

“My name is Daimon. I’m actually from Trenton, New Jersey. I’ve been in Philly since I was thirteen years old.”

Are there any things about Philadelphia style that you could comment on?

“It’s very eclectic. It’s not like most cities. Philadelphia is definitely it’s own city, with it’s own fashion sense.”

Is there anything you see people wear that you’re like, oh my god, this thing again??

“Polo boots! I hate the Polo boot.”

Like the weatherproof —

“I hate — with the fur? It sickens me. And the design, I hate it.”

So you’re looking forward to springtime?

“I love any weather. Any weather is Daimon’s weather. But Polo boots are no one’s weather.” (laughs)

Cool. Is there anything about the way you dress or the way you present yourself lately that you’ve been into?

“I’m definitely into things that don’t go together. Definitely things that mismatch, the misfit look, um… Things that you won’t see in men’s wear. Things like, from dying my own fabrics to mixing my shoestrings. Whatever it is to make myself opposite, I’m into it.”

phat laces

Do you have a favorite thing on right now?

“I would say my shoes. I’ve had these shoes since the tenth grade. And these shoes came from Virginia, and I never found them anywhere else.”

Are they Chuck Taylors?

“Yeah! I spent my last money on these in tenth grade. And I will never give them out. My favorite shoes in the world.”

Do you have any current obsessions?

“My new love in fashion would be, I think, dying fabrics. I love it now. I started dying fabrics maybe four months ago, and I’ve been dying everything I can find.”

Do you have any tips for people? Like a particular brand you really like? Or like, coffee? I dunno…

“Um, I dye with fabric dye — even bleaching. And using tea. Lipton Tea dyes great. Like this [motions to scarf], is Lipton tea, marker, and bleach. To get this color.”


That’s awesome. Do you have any other other comments about the city? Or shout-outs or anything like that?

“Shout-outs to all the people at [can't decipher! art school of?] Philadelphia, especially all the Port 2 students. And my bestie right here, who’s a marketing major for Verlaine [need help on this too!] in New York City. Um, as far as Philadelphia goes, I think Philadelphia has ups and downs with fashion, but I definitely think it’s come a long way. And I think it’s going to go further in the next few years.”

Maggie Eighteen | Apr 16 2011 11:39am | interview, street style, 19103, d.i.y, rittenhouse square, street snaps | Comments 8

Sunglass Cases Get Taken Out Again

If you’re like me, or like anyone really, you lose sunglasses constantly and have a plethora of sad, chic cases lying around serving no purpose at all. Re-purpose them by attaching some hardware, and , Voila!, a minimal petite clutch! (via WTF)

You’ll need a Hard Sunglasses Case, a drawer pull, a wrench, a bolt cutter, a drill and a drill bit.


Open the sunglass case and drill a hole in the top center. Run the drill through the hole a few times in order to make the opening wide enough to fit the drawer pull. Trim the screw of the drawer pull with the bolt cutter, leaving only half an inch. Push the drawer pull through the hole and attach the accompanying hex nut. Tighten with the wrench.




abigail | Mar 9 2011 2:45pm | art, d.i.y, clutch, Sunglasses Case | Comments 0

Street Snaps: Bike Expo jawn

Sorry, I know it wasn’t a jawn all like that, but I figure I would just throw that word out there for all my non-native transplants still not in the know. (What’s a jawn? Look it up!) Anyway, some truly excellent bicycle-minded folks organized the first ever Philly Bicycle Expo at the very end of October. There were workshops, seminars, and… a fashion show! Which, unfortunately, I missed because my timing was off and I had a prior engagement. But let’s talk about this!

before the show starts

Anyone who lives within five miles of Center City knows we have cyclists. On my own blog, I’ve written once or twice about cycling style in this city, and folks have commented that it’s fairly niche. In New York City, there can be high fashion ladies riding city cruisers in wedge heels no problem. Not so much here, right? But it’s been established that this town is more laid-back and no-nonsense. I spoke to a few people outside the fashion show before it began about these very things! Shall we get to the interview?

Fiona from Fifo Cycle
“My name’s Fiona. I’m from Red Hook, Brooklyn. From Fifo Cycle. It’s my company. I make hats and bags.”

Do you have stuff in the fashion show today?

“Yeah, I have a bunch of hats, and a backpack.”

Cool. Is there anything you wanna say like, you should totally buy my bags?

“Yeah! You should totally buy my bags! Well, I just started making these bags and they’re made out of wax canvas and leather, and they have a backgammon board on the inside. It’s hard to explain when I don’t have it with me. I’ll have some at the Armory tomorrow.”

[Cue long aside about the woes of finding good wax canvas for projects.]

What informs your style when you ride?

“What’s comfortable mostly. Shoes are really important. Like shoes that are good for riding in.”

Do you think it’s possible to wear heeled shoes and ride a bike comfortably?

“Uh, if you have the right bike. If you had a ladies’ bike. I saw a girl riding a bike up 1st Avenue the other day in New York and she had these huge, big wooden block heels. They were thishigh. Like real seventies heels? And she had like a Schwinn Caliente, and she had them just hooked in the pedals. She had bent the pedal in so her heel could fit, and she had the heel hooked on the pedal. And she was doing just fine. She was going much faster than I was. So, you know, I’m just saying, you can make it work for you. If you wear heels. I just don’t wear heels.”

Sara and Lewis
(Fiona’s posse, Sara and Lewis, showing off their fresh gear for me.)

Shortly after this question, the refreshments officially opened and I had to stop interviewing cause it’s rude to hold people from their beer, right? At any rate, I really liked Fiona’s cycling style, with its 1920s-something reminiscent lady aviator vibe. Riding a bicycle requires the leg of one’s pants to be slim so it doesn’t get caught in the chain, but that doesn’t mean one’s only choices are skinny jeans, leggings, or those velcro reflector cuffs! And Fiona’s pants demonstrate this perfectly.

Apparently, the fashion show had quite a few hardcore cycling-specific pieces (think spandex). Sara, below, is wearing some for real thermal cycling leggings, but I think they’re nicely integrated (like in a cool 90s Hackers way almost) with the rest of her outfit. I, myself, just invested in a windproof/waterproof jacket for winter that’s more or less an all-black parka. It’s functional and not hideous, but not something I would have purchased if I wasn’t commuting on bike everyday.

Sara & her sweet owl

That said, how do ya’ll feel about cycling fashion versus cycling function? Do you choose not to ride a bike on days you want to wear certain things? Does it not even matter? Let’s discuss!

Maggie Eighteen | Nov 11 2010 9:48am | bikes, interview, street style, 19103, bicycles, cyclists, d.i.y, fashion show, philly bike expo | Comment 1

Street Snaps: Mama Bird and Baby

Hello everybody! (said in Simpson’s Dr. Nick voice) This is Maggie from Broad&Market again. Last week I happened to interview a cool mom/cute kid combo in Rittenhouse Square, and this week, purely by coincidence, I’ve managed to capture another cool mom/cute kid combo! Like I said, it’s unintentional, but it reminded me of a cool mom magazine (Nina’s, whose tagline is something like “Cute and cool even as a mom”) I bought once when I was living in Osaka. It was really on some next level ish with regard to intensely cute parent/kid combos, and I bought it even though I’m not planning on kids anytime soon. (Here’s some shoddy Photo Booth app pictures so you see what I’m talkin about: click one, click two).

Anyway, let’s get to this week’s interview!

Mama Bird and wee babe

What’s your name, age, and hometown. If you’re not from Philly, how long have you lived here?

“Ariel, 25, Manhattan. I have been living in Philadelphia for 7 years.”

Do you think your personal style differs here than in Manhattan?

“Not so much.”

What do you think about the way people express their style in Philly? Is there awesome/awful stuff you see?

“I am super into the style of Philadelphia women. The dudes are usually pretty cool but, the women here are totally radical. Funky patterns, mix of thrift & store bought, handmade & found. I’m not really into it when people try to pull off the runway fashion thing in the real world. It doesn’t feel sincere. There are so many creative people in this city and you can see it in the way they dress. Real honest style, you know? Is this making any sense?”

Totally! Where do you get most of your clothes from?

“Thrift stores, clothing swaps, sale racks!”

What’s your favorite aesthetic right now?

“I don’t know if I can solidly define one sort of look I am into. I have a very certain idea of what I think looks good but, within that idea are so-oh-oh many variables. I guess somewhat bohemian, punk elements, a touch of androgyny…gosh, I really can’t pin point one aesthetic. Whatever it is, it is consistently casual.”

What’s your favorite thing today? departing details

“I will just say my sneakers, although this vest has been fun to work with.”

Do you think there’s a difference between fashion and style? What about it?

“Yeah. You got style when your outfits work for YOU.”

What’s your method of transportation usually, and does it affect how you dress

“I walk aheckofalot with my little girl & I also ride a sweet-like-grandma blue bicycle that I very recently named Eloise. I have these pretty awesome Oilily boots that I don’t like to wear when I am riding my bike. Other than that, I wear whatever whenever.”

Do you have a current obsession? (with anything!)

“I don’t really get obsessed with things but, I get what you are asking. I have been really into listening to my friend’s band lux perpetua…so, so good. etsy pouncing. Stumptown coffee. My new gnome hat. Cafe de Laos and their delicious food. Tasty beer. OH, I just started watching season 1 of dexter. Uhm…totally awesome. ”

Finally, any shout-outs?

“Hello to all my baby birds (, my bodhi family & my lovely amazingly creative friends (,,”

pleased with the Pirate Booty

Mama Bird! Do you ever see someone every now and then in your daily commute, and they always have this one thing you admire every time you see them? This is how I felt about Mama Bird’s backpack. I spotted it (and her) once before, without my camera, and was quite taken with the perfect offset the red patch offers to the green plaid.

Following this observation, riddle me this, dear reader: Does she not have a perfect playful mom/sophisticated lady ratio going on? As a huge fan of the versatility of Chuck Taylors (although I do have serious insoles in mine), I am vibing hard on the dark cherry/plum pair she has on, and how the layers of differing textures in her somewhat earthy palette make each aspect stand out so well, without fumbling (to bring back a high school-era term). And again, let’s talk about short curly hair — you can still accessorize if you cut it all off, as seen here with a choice scarf. (let me get the clippers for you!)

Mama Bird has the kind of style that makes you wish you paid more attention at the thrift store.

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