watch band refashion

i love the classic, simple face of my trusty timex watch...


but i don't love the janky band, especially since it broke and i had to press a hair elastic into service to hold down the end:


clearly, it was time for an upgrade. i decided to go for a cuff style.

first i removed the band, leaving the crossbars.


then i found a fabric that i liked and cut it up. i made the length the circumference of my wrist plus an inch and a half for seam allowance and overlap for fastening, and made the width as wide as i thought looked good.


i then cut the same size in another fabric--because i had chosen corduroy for the front, i used a thin fabric for the back so that the end product wouldn't be too bulky.


i placed the two fabrics right-side-together, pinned them, and sewed up on both long sides and one short side.


i snippped the corners...


...and then turned it inside out, using a letter opener to poke the corners into shape (anything semi-pointy will do---a small crochet hook, a pencil...). then i turned the ends of the open side in and sewed them up. next came a fastener. i had some snaps in my sewing cabinet, so i went with that:


but you could go with lots of other options: a button, hook and eye, velcro, whatever.

then i sewed the watch on to the band. i realized as i was doing this--and having to be really careful to only go through the top layer of fabric so that my stitches didn't show on the back--that i should have sewn the watch on the the top fabric before i sewed the two pieces of fabric together. so, learn from my mistake! i just sewed around the crossbars, at the corners, using thin thread that matched my fabric:


but you could use embroidery thread or yarn, in the same color as your fabric or a complimentary one, and make the stitching more of a decorative element.

and, voila!


stylish and comfy.

- cakehouse

Super Easy Brown Sugar/Lavender Scrub!

I cook the same way I sew... Recipes and patterns are really just a guideline! This would explain why I am not a chef OR a seamstress ;) I did a lot of research on homemade scrubs a while back when i was thinking of fun bridesmaids gifts. This is the concoction that I came up with. It is so easy to make. I used all organic ingredients where I could, but most of the needed things are already in your kitchen. Your skin will be very smooth and smell like lavender.. ahhhh!

Brown Sugar/Lavender Scrub Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar (I used organic.. it is a bit chunkier)
1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup oil (You can mix olive and canola if you'd like. I used all olive oil and it can smell a bit "salad-y")
1 Tbsp Vitamin E oil
1 Tbsp Lavender essential oil


mixing bowl
container for finished scrub. (I used a re-sealable mason jar. It is nice to use for a gift... you can tie a ribbon around it, or design a label for the top if you're feeling ambitious!)


1. Combine the brown sugar and sea salt in a bowl.

2. Once these are combined nicely, add the oil. Once those are all mixed together add the Vitamin E oil and Lavender oil.

3. Put your finished scrub into your container and enjoy!

Be careful in the shower because the oil can make the tub a bit slippery.

How to Make a Great Jewelry Display for Selling

Okay, I have had about half a dozen jewelry displays in my short lifetime and none of them really impressed me or made my jewelry stand out. I even had the opportunity to have nice designer busts and whatnot, which I then spray painted black, thus ruining them. I also don't like felted displays because I have a very large cat, so hair gets everywhere, even in closed spaces.

I really looked high and low for something affordable, portable and pretty to display my jewelry when I am selling and decided to just make my own jewelry displays! I make more earrings than anything, so I was focused on something that could display my earrings in one or two places and not make my table look too junky.

I came up with picture frames! They are in every thrift store, and with my simple instructions, they can make really nice displays for your jewelry. Also, if you really like a frame to something and it's not a picture frame, say a mirror, the instructions are the same.

I actually liked the pattern on this mirror so much, I decided it would make a great display. I got in from Salvo for around $4. Make sure the frame is in good condition, if not, it's okay to use it, you'll just have to take some extra steps in the middle of this how-to. You should also choose a frame that is pretty unique and will have a pattern or dimension that you will be able to see behind a few coats of spray paint.

Here's what you will need:

a picture frame or mirror, whatever size you can handle
1 can of clear varnish
a ruler or measuring tape
wood glue
screw in hooks ( you can get it from metalliferous or a hardwear store )
elmer's wood glue
a drill and drill bit ( a dremmel or flex shaft will work too)
a set of 2lb weights or heavy books
a great pencil
an eraser
spray paint of your color choice
Newspaper, scrap paper
Safety goggles
cut wood ( read directions first!)

1. Start with your nice, clean frame. Turn it over and remove the backing, any staples, cardboard and glass. Also, if you have any cracks in the frame, now is the time to glue the pieces with wood glue and set it aside for 24 hours before doing more.

2.After you take the everything off the back of the frame, measure the inside of the frame, as well as the depth, for instance, this frame measures 8x8 in and is 1/4" deep. You can then go to your local lumber yard ( I went to Metropolitan Lumber and Hardware in SoHo, NY) and get a piece of wood cut with the correct dimensions. My piece of wood cost less than a dollar, so this definetely won't break the bank!

3. Next, you will want to make marks on your wood, so you can find out where you will want to put the screw in. I did a graph of quarter inches. It doesn't really matter if you can't get everything really straight, as long as it's pretty lined up, it's okay. Afer you make all your marks, check off where you would like the screws to go. You can put the jewelry you will be displaying on the wood, to make sure you have enough space in between. Then you can mark off in dark X's where you would like to drill.

4. Depending on the size of the screw, make sure that your drill bit is a bit smaller than the size of your screw. Also, depending on the type of jewelry you have, you may want to make the screw go horizontally, or if you choose to make it go vertically, make sure to snip the back part, so the earrings will be easy to take on and off the display.

5. Now, for the fun part! With safety goggles on, carefully drill each X you marked on the wood. Erase the pencil marks that you made on the wood, as you don't need them anymore. Then insert each screw. They should be very snug in the hole. You might need to use pliers to tighten them into the wood.

Next, you 'll want to place the frame face down and apply a good amount of wood glue on the inside. Place the wood with the screws face down on the frame. It will take about 24 hours for the glue to dry completely, so place a few weights or books on the back of the frame and wood, so it can really be bonded.

6. After the glue dries, you're almost done! All you need to do is spray paint the front, sides and back with the color of your choice. Spray a few coats and finish off with a few coats of clear varnish and you're done!

You have a nice jewelry display for selling your wares!

Organization: Fabric Board How-To

I prefer hand written lists. There's a greater likelihood of getting things done if I actually see and read my lists. In my kitchen there's a perfect spot for a fabric board where I can post my to lists.

Here's a tutorial on how to make a simple fabric board for your kitchen or any other part of your home or office.

Foam board 1/2" thickness, cut to desired size
Medium to heavy weight fabric, larger than the board by atleast 2" all around
Heavy duty stapler with 1/4" staples*
2 sets of sticky magnets
*Depth of staples should be thinner than foam board thickness so they do not protrude.


1. Place Board in center of fabric
2. Hold top center of board and pull fabric tight towards you. While holding fabric staple across the top.

3. Flip board and repeat for opposite side.
4. Peel backing from 2 sticky magnets and place below stapled sides, one at the top and bottom.

5. For remainder, choose a side. Tuck and fold fabric neatly at corner edges, while pulling tightly on slight angle downwards and towards center of board.
Staple from top to bottom of board maintaining a tight hold as you staple. Adjust and tuck fabric as necessary.

6. Repeat step 5 for remaining side.

7. Attach 2 remaining magnets to the ones already on board. Peel the backing and hang finished board in desired location.

recycled bath mat

recently the towel that my husband has been using since college (!) sustained some injuries that made it unusable:

unusable as a towel, that is. as the base for a new bath mat, it was perfect. and so i embarked on a project to dress up our bathroom.


- an old towel
- a yard or so of fabric that you'd like to place your just-out-of-the-shower feet on [i used the ruffle from an old bedspread]
- pins
- needle and thread, or sewing machine


1) cut your towel into two equal-sized rectangles, at whatever size will fit best in your bathroom.


2) iron your fabric, and cut it into strips that are 4-1/2" wide, and 4" longer than the sides of your rectangle in length (so, unless you've cut squares out of your towel, you'll have 2 strips of one length and 2 strips of another).


3) iron down a 1/4" fold on each of the long sides of the strips, then fold in half and iron the whole strip flat, until it looks like this:


then fold back 2" at the short ends of each strip, and iron down.


4) place the two rectangles of towel on top of each other, lined up neatly. then place the strips of fabric under the edges of the towels and fold them over at the crease that you ironed in, so that they create a border. follow the photos below to make neat corners:


5) if you like the way it looks at this point, just sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the border, being sure that you catch both the front and back edges, and you're all done!


6) however if, like me, you're not crazy about the color of your towel, or just want more of the fabric in the design, or just want to make life more difficult for yourself, you can keep going. i decided to fill in the middle with a lattice design, like the back of an old lawn chair. if you are going to go this route, don't sew that broder fabric down just yet....


start by cutting a bunch of strips of fabric in a width that looks appealing to you (i used 2"). remember to add a 1/2" to that width for finishing the edges. measure the open space of your mat that you need to fill, and figure out how many strips you need to cut to fill it. for length, cut them an inch longer than the open space, to allow for them to overlap (or, acutally, underlap) with the border fabric.

iron down a 1/4" on each of the long sides of the strips, then sew them down with a straight or zig-zag stitch.


**if you are working with a fabric that's prone to fraying, add 1" to the width that you decide on for the strips, and fold the edges of the fabric over on themselves again before sewing down.

7) weave the strips together...

CIMG1098 them around the edges, and baste them to the towels.

8) then put the border fabric back in place, fold it over the lattice, and pin it down. sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the trim, being sure that you go through both the front and back edges.


and that's all!


- cakehouse

Gocco how to Tutorial:

History of what Gocco is:

Gocco is a device that was invented in the 1970's, is a system that develops quick and easy printing. It is somewhat similar to a rubber stamp pad. If you wish to read more about it please click on the following link: what is gocco?

Using a gocco isn’t that hard, it’s really simple as long you are prepare and that you have all your supplies with you. Although there are few times I made some errors – it’s all about experimenting and accepting the errors you made.

Supplies – Gocco models - pg –5 or pg-11 – these two are the most popular models, although I really like the pg-11 cause the pad table is movable where you want to align your work.

I’ll be using my pg-11 for my gocco tutorial. In this tutorial I’ll be working on wedding related project I recently accepted. I’m working on Save the Date cards.

First I gather all my supplies:

  • Bulb
  • Master screen prints
  • Inks
  • Blue filter
  • Papers
  • Pencil
  • PG-11 machine & PG-11 Lamp Housing

Using a pencil comes in handy cause I like to align all my work before I start the actual printing.

The Design:

When designing from the computer make sure your dpi resolution set to a high resolution. For instance the image that I set is on 100 dpi resolution and text part is 600 dpi. You want to avoid printing your work pixilated. I always like to get clear and smooth prints.

Then I printed out my design on a laser jet printer on a black and white format. Make sure print out has a lot of carbon ink so this way your artwork will transfer onto the master screen print with out any problems. Or another way you can use a carbon pen and draw on your work.

Next I set my print out work onto the gocco pad plate.

Tips: Be sure to use a cardboard to set on top of the sticky pad. Do not expose the print out straight onto the sticky pad, Your carbon print out might not capture your work on to the master screen print cause the sticky pad is too strong that the paper will stick on the pad from keeping it from being expose once you lift up the gocco device.

I had once incident that I did not put the cardboard on top of the sticky pad and the design that I expose was stuck on the sticky pad keeping it from getting exposed to my master screen print.

Once I align and set where I want to expose my screen – don’t forget the blue filter and also the lamp housing.

The filter is to help you from prevent the carbon print out getting it stuck to the master screen print.

Here's are the final results of two of my master screen print being exposed:

At this stage I’m inking up my screen and printing it out and tada here’s the final touch.

And here's the final touch print out:

In this project I split up two screens because the area within the gocco device isn’t enough space for me to capture everything within one screen print out. The most I can capture is 6x4, so be sure to plan out ahead and figure how much space you need before printing and working on your design.

Hope you enjoy the little mini gocco tutorial, it’s a fun little project for all different occasion. Just remember practice makes perfect.

Wedding DIY: Ribbon Flower How-To

I love the look and ease of making homemade ribbon flowers, but seldom have the occasion. So when wedding season rolled around here at the NewNew, I was happy to have an excuse to share a couple with you.

The only supplies and skills that you need are ribbon (I prefer it with wires removed if it is floral wire, but that is to taste), needle, thread, beads and the ability to sew a running stitch.

Primrose (4-petal flower)

Start with 4 pieces of ribbon cut to 3.5" lengths. The dotted line indicates the stitching path you will take. You don't really need to mark it, I just keep it approximately 1/8" from the finished edge and 1/4 from the raw edge.

Start with the first petal and do a running stitch around the 3 edges. Pull thread tightly when you reach the end.

Sew one loop through the gathered ribbon to keep the petal together tightly. Without cutting thread, repeat on the next piece of ribbon, pulling it next to your first one. Remember to sew the loop between petals and repeat for petals #3 and #4.

Sew #4 to your first petal in a ring. Add a few additional stitches to keep the center together adding beads to some of the stitches. Tie off your thread at the back with a knot and admire your handiwork!

Daffodil or Fuchsia (5-petal with trumpet center)

Cut one 10" length of ribbon, marking lightly in pencil every 2" of your outer edge of the finished flower. The dotted line across the top is the stitch line for the trumpet, which you can mark if you need a guide (I like to freehand it).

Sew your ribbon into a ring with a running stitch and pull thread tight. Follow along your trumpet stitch line all the way around the ring.

Before you pull the thread tight, flip your trumpet edge through the center so the raw edges are on the under side of your flower. Pull the thread tight and it should look like the picture on the right.

Sew out to one of your marks from the center of the to the edge and pull tight. Like in the primrose, sew a loop to secure. Repeat at all 4 remaining marks (the 4th is your stitch that made the ribbon into a ring). Then add beads to the center to style your flower.

I glued together a few of these flowers along with a ribbon to make a simple bridal hair clip. The addition of the blue ribbon is so it can qualify as the traditional "something blue." Ribbon flowers would also make a fabulous veil base, boutonniere, mother-of-the-bride corsage, wedding favor, etc.

Why not dress up your creations with some beads from the {NewNew} team?

SweetSwoozie for crystal or GlassHouseSupplies for something more colorful.


HOW TO: resuscitate that old t-shirt!

as i've mentioned here on the {newnew} blog before, one of my favorite forms of recycling is wardrobe recycling, aka wardrobe refashioning. instead of heading to h+m when you feel like you have nothing to wear, why not shop in your closet instead, and re-make something that doesn't fit anymore—or just doesn't fit your current style?

one of the easiest places to start refashioning is with t-shirts. we all have them: the t-shirts we don't wear but can't seem to let go of. here's what i did with one of mine.

this was part of my college uniform:


not only is it ridiculously big (as all of my clothes were back then), it had developed some issues in the back....


...and so had since been relegated to the pajama drawer. but i never wore it, because i was afraid it was just going to keep ripping and completely fall apart. clearly, it was time to dismantle it myself.

i started by removing the sleeves, then cutting across the back horizontally at the spot of the enormous gaping hole, leaving me with this:


then i cut down the sides vertically, making two pieces, and slit the part of the back that was attached to the front down the middle, comme ca:


i decided that those two pieces coming off the top of the front piece would become straps, so i trimmed them a bit to make them slimmer and equal widths, and hemmed the edges. i also turned the neckband under in the front and stitched it down to make a uniform hem all around.

then i put it all together: pinned the side seams and sewed them up, hemmed the top of the back piece, attached the straps to the back, and hemmed the front piece— which had ended up longer than the back—at the bottom. and this is what i got:



putting it on, i realized that the part where i had hemmed under the existing neckband stuck out...


...and i was going to fix it by turning it under one more time and re-hemming, but then i realized that i liked it the way it was. i also love that the finished product retained some of the pinholes and frayed edges of the original shirt.

and so something destined for the scrap heap became a fab, totally original "new" top.

- cakehouse

Friday Night Beauty Tip

Since this winter weather will keep many of us indoors with a little extra time, I wanted to share some beauty tips you can do at home. There is nothing better for the skin than natural, preservative free products. And what better than some you can make yourself! One of my favorites is face scrub used every other week (oily skin) or once a month (normal/ combination), it can make any complexion radiant and help promote cell rejuvenation.

The scrub I craft is a dry oatmeal base scrub and an ‘essential’ water that is mixed together before use. I currently make two types, one a rose-lavender blend shown in picture for normal/combination skin and the other a new blend, tea tree-green tea for oily skin. The green tea used I bought in Korea and it was part of the first picking, the aroma is light and herby when mixed with the tea tree 'essential' water, it is by far my favorite. Both will be available at the Brooklyn Home Show.

Following is a recipe made with Chamomille (anti-inflammatory and redness reducer) suited for this killer weather, it takes approx 10 minutes start to finish, try it!

5 Tablespoons quick cooking oatmeal – grind fine, hand grinding would be best for this amount

1 1/2 Tablespoons Chamomile Tea – try brewing the tea in half a cup for a strong golden color

Mix the two above and let sit together for 2-5 minutes, the mixture will cool and become paste. Once ready take a small amount, what ever two fingers can ‘scoop’ out and use over face and neck. Use circular motion and soft pressure, the oatmeal will be fine enough to do its ‘scrubbing’ without aggressive efforts. Remove by washing with warm water and pat dry. Any left over can be refrigerated up to a week.


by Josie