Category Archives: DIY with Anjelica

Revamped Mexi-Style Foldable Chairs, Using Mexican Oil Cloth

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)
I recently went to a warehouse sale at a local Catholic charity thrift store.  Of course, that meant great sales at even lower bargain prices – really, a thrifter’s dream.  Actually, this was my first warehouse sale, and what an experience it was!

As soon as the doors opened, in flooded about 40 excited shoppers, literally running, trying to get first pick on whatever they could get their hands on before anybody else.

If you know me and my mom – she’s the ultimate thirfter – you already know we showed up a little late.  We calmly walked in, but at a very fast pace, getting a good overview of the entire place before we each made our next move.  I soon knew exactly where I wanted to go!  I panned over to my mom, waited until she looked back at me, and gave her the nod.  She nodded back, signaled at the furniture and we took off in that direction.  When we got there, entire teams of people were grouping furniture together to claim them as their own.  My mom and I, on the other hand, had decided to divide and conquer.  I had to think fast to come up with a good strategy to claim the pieces I wanted.  My technique became this one: I pulled the tags off of all the furniture I wanted, but that I could not carry on my own, and made my way over to the register to pay for them.   It worked!

So what did I find?  I stumbled upon 4 cushioned aluminum foldable chairs.  Their ripped seats and rusted legs did not make them much to look at, but at $2 per chair, I knew it was a deal I wasn’t going to pass up.  I already had a project in mind…

Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs

Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs Mexican Oil Cloth anjelica cazares la_anjel juanofwords
Supplies and tools used:
Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs Mexican Oil Cloth anjelica cazares la_anjel juanofwords

Mexican oil cloth, staple gun (upholstery friendly), staples to match, pliers, screw drivers (flat and crossed), spray paint (I used Rust-oleum satin classic low-sheen finish in red), E6000 Gorilla Glue (water proof).

The process:

I first wiped down all the chairs with a damp cloth to remove any loose particles and dust.  After removing the seats and backrests from the frame, with the corresponding pliers and screw drivers, I wiped down the aluminum frame one more time.

I was warned by Juan to not spray paint on the porch anymore without laying down some kind of floor protection first.  Apparently, he wasn’t very happy with the permanent white Hello Kitty silhouettes against the blue wooden panels on our porch, from a previous project.  So to protect the porch I used leftover table covering that was bought in the form of a roll and taped it down with green painters tape.

Quick note: Spray paint in a well ventilated area and read your spray can labels.  Some spray paint labels recommend certain distances, others have several settings with just the twist of the nozzle.  I only sprayed one coat of paint on my chair frames, making certain that all sides of the frame, especially those that would be most visible, were covered completely by folding, unfolding, turning them upside down, and laying the entire frame flat on the ground to be able to visually see all of my frames’ angles.

Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs Mexican Oil Cloth anjelica cazares la_anjel juanofwords

To reupholster the seat and back rest I had to first remove the existing vinyl covering.  The back rest was easy to remove.  It came off quick by just peeling the glued areas on the back.  Because of the unusual shape of the backrest I first sprayed a light adhesive on to the padding before laying Mexican oil cloth down on to the cushioning.  I then cut off the excess Mexican oil cloth, leaving only about half an inch extra along the entire shape of the back rest.  To glue down around the top and sides of the back rest I used Gorilla Glue as adhesive and binder clips to hold the Mexican oil cloth in place until the glue dried.  At the bottom of the back rest I used E6000 (since it dries completely transparent), and also used binder clips to hold everything in place until the glue dried.

Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs Mexican Oil Cloth anjelica cazares la_anjel juanofwords

To reupholster the seat cushion I removed the old staples from the bottom of the chair with a flat head screw driver.  I then cut Mexican oil cloth pieces large enough to cover each cushion and board, leaving a 1 inch allowance on all four sides.  I then pulled the Mexican oil cloth into place, making sure it was not too tight or too loose.  One it was in place, I stapled it to the board.

Once all the chair frames were dry, and all the seats and back rests were reupholstered, it was time to reassemble my chairs.

I took a step back and enjoyed the view.

Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs Mexican Oil Cloth anjelica cazares la_anjel juanofwords
Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs Mexican Oil Cloth anjelica cazares la_anjel juanofwords

I don’t think I’m ready to put these chairs to use just yet.

As always please reuse, repurpose, thrift, consign and all that other good stuff.

Mexi-Style: How To Add Some Sparkle To Your Skates

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)
So I know what got into me this time!  These crazy blinged-out skates were a long time coming.  I’m sure, in part, it had something to do with the movie Whip It – in which Ellen Page plays a roller derby enthusiast – or maybe it’s the Olympics.  It could even have something to do with all of the hype about Craft Wars.  Whatever “it” was, it finally made me work up the courage to just go for it.  I’m always reluctant to alter the look of something that is still functional.  I’d much rather play with things that I know are not.  So for this post we’ll be adding some sparkle to my skates.

how to bling out your roller skates mexi style juanofwords la_anjel anjelica
The original skates, without the sparkle.

They were classic, sleek, and still in very good shape… but they just needed a little bit of Anjelica. And so, off I went to work on them!  With a lot of Mod Podge, E-6000 adhesive, black glitter, pewter metallic glitter, black rhinestones (from the dollar store), and clear rhinestones, I was able to alter the look of these skates.

This is the end result:

how to bling out your roller skates mexi style juanofwords la_anjel anjelica
And afterwards…
how to bling out your roller skates mexi style juanofwords la_anjel anjelica
Here are a couple of different angles.
how to bling out your roller skates mexi style juanofwords la_anjel anjelica
What do you think? Is that enough bling?

I do want to once again mention just how much I love to alter, re-purpose, revamp (or whatever the occasion and project may call for) any existing items.  I was a deprived younger crafter, I like to say.  Sad, right?  No, not really.  We were just a family on a budget, and in those days glitter and extra Elmer’s glue were definitely a luxury.  Luckily, my mom worked in the maintenance department of a local college, in their architecture department no less, and the students there would sometimes give her whatever supplies they had leftover from their finished projects.  Whatever she didn’t keep she would give to me.  And with that, I was able to do what I could.

To this day, there is still paint on the concrete floor outside of my childhood home where I once ran out of material to paint on, and decided to just paint the floor.

HOW TO: Mixed Material Necklace – Mexi-Style

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)
As it must be pretty obvious by now, I love Do-It-Yourself crafts and pretty much just any projects in general.  Lately, I have been on this jewelry-making kick, with a twist – re-purposing all sorts of items.  I am not really sure why I like re-purposing so much, but I do.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that knowing things don’t have to stay and/or look the same, makes me feel content.

For this project, I’ll be making a necklace with everyday items that can easily be re-purposed.  I saw something similar to this jewelry piece and decided to make my own version for this post.

How to make your own personalized necklace la_anjel juanofwords
Picture 1: Your supplies

First, Supplies:  The jewelery-making items I used include needle nose pliers, wire cutters, and round nose pliers, any type of closing (I picked the spring ring clasp closing), two sets of jewelery caps (any kind you prefer), jump rings, 4 head pins, and a chain.

Quick tip: You don’t have to, but I prefer having all my hardware for any one piece the same color, including the thread.

Now let’s talk Beads on a string.  Whether its hand strung or machine strung – I  prefer machine strung since I don’t want to mess with the spacing when I wrap the thread around each bead – you’ll need some beads for this project as well.  This is a great way to get rid of those Mardi Gras beads you’ve been holding on to.

Fabric:  I’m using fabric to wrap my beads.  You can use the fabric of your choice for your necklace.  If you want a more bulky look, use thicker fabric.  For something smaller use a lighter fabric.  In addition, you will also need embroidery thread (whatever color you like), a good pair of scissors, and glue (I am using E-6000, but  you can use fabric glue if you prefer).

How to make your own personalized necklace la_anjel juanofwords
Picture 2: Wrapping your beads

The process: Cut two strands of the beads to the desired length.  I cut mine about 3 inches long. Then cut four pieces of chain to the desired length (6 inches for me).  Cut the fabric you picked about 2 inches longer than the strands of beads.  Roll the beads in the fabric leaving about 1 1/2 inch on one side of your roll and about 1/2 an inch on the other side.  Apply glue where the fabric meets and hold it in place until it becomes tacky enough for you to let go without it unraveling.  Try not to let the fabric stick to the beads.  I decided to add lace on top of my blue fabric following this same process.

How to make your own personalized necklace la_anjel juanofwords
Picture 3

Once the glue is dry, wrap the string/thread around the first bead starting on the side with the 1/2 inch fabric and tie it off before moving to the next bead.  Wrap string around each bead about 3 to 4 times.  Once at the last bead, tie your thread off.  Here you should notice you have a little excess fabric on each side, as well as one bead on each side that is not wrapped. Pull the fabric to expose your unwrapped bead and cut off exposed bead.

How to make your own personalized necklace la_anjel juanofwords
Picture 4

Now, with a head pin wrap the fabric at the end of the last bead.  You can use needle nose pliers to help bend and wrap your head pin.  After wrapping your head pin twice, bend excess of pin up (see picture).  Do the same for the other end of your wrapped beads. Cut off excess fabric. Now, insert a jewelry cap on each side.  Next, use needle nose pliers to make a loop with the excess head pin, once your jewelry caps are in place.  Make sure your head pin makes a complete loop – use round nose pliers for this step.  Next, pull one small jump ring slightly apart to insert one chain and one end of the head pin loop you just made.  Repeat the same process for other side of the wrapped beads using another chain of the same length.  Repeat the entire process to the other wrapped beads.  Position both necklace pieces on a flat surface, as pictured above (picture # 4), the way you would like the finished necklace to hang off your neckline.  Cut off any excess chain with wire cutters.

How to make your own personalized necklace la_anjel juanofwords
Picture 5

Pull apart a larger jump ring, insert both ends of your chain, as well as one end of a clasp.  Repeat for the other side of your necklace (See picture #5).

How to make your own personalized necklace la_anjel juanofwords
Picture 6

I hope you enjoyed this DIY.

Mexi-Style: Trending Colors

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)
What’s the new thing, the new big color?  I have no idea.  I like to believe I follow at least some of the latest trends, but it is just too much all at the same time.  By the time I’m finally digging the new color blocking trend everyone else has already moved on to the floral explosion.

I don’t like to take myself too seriously.  My style of crafts, arts and attire has always been eccentric.  I use to HATE that word: eccentric.  I didn’t get it.  I didn’t understand how my own awkwardness could be described by that particular word.

Let me explain.  What can I say about my art and style as a young girl?  I didn’t own a pair of gangster Nike’s in fourth grade – yes that’s what they are/were called.  Instead I adorned my feet in some very unpopular bright orange British Knights.  I vividly recall walking with my head down, not because I was embarrassed, but because I liked watching my bright shoes move one in front of the other.  The color would just make me so happy!  Today, I embrace my eccentric, ever-changing style in my arts and attire.  So that’s what I’m sharing today: colors that make me happy right now.  Some are on the latest trend list.  Others are not, and I’m okay with that.

These colors are in no particular order either.  Let’s begin with the color rose gold.  It’s just so pretty (warning: I may use the word pretty A LOT).  I remember in high school, girls that had just turned 15 would wear their new jewelry, and usually it was a gold chain with a gold medallion or gold ring, with a rose gold Virgin Mary in the middle.  Then, there is the color blue.  Not just any blue – bright cobalt blue!  It’s a very flattering color.  What can I say?  I am really enjoying neon colors at the moment!  Not so much wearing them as incorporating them into my crafts and accessories.  Also on my list, white.  Yes, white!  When in doubt I like to wear white.  It provides a very clean canvas that can be built on.

These are just a few of the neons in my collection right now:

mexi style color blocking juanofwords
For my crafts, cobalt blue and neon pink acrylic paint.
mexi style color blocking juanofwords
I painted these wooden Hello Kitty shapes in neon pink.  It felt appropriate.  The bottom half is some of my wrapping paper in popular prints.
mexi style color blocking juanofwords
Neon yellow clutch. White Tee.  Cobalt blue dress. 

Gold and Silver will always be popular colors for me.  As neutral colors, they go very well with just about any attire.  In my crafts, gold and silver usually become the main focus.  When I am stuck in a rut with a color combining craft project, gold accents usually do the trick.

The color pearl is also used a lot in my crafts.  When I want a color or object that I’m working with to catch more light I will give it a pearled finish.

mexi style color blocking juanofwords
Silver acrylic paint.
mexi style color blocking juanofwords
Gold glitter, a Gold leaf (love that stuff), and yellow-gold earrings.
mexi style color blocking juanofwords
Metallic pearl, white paint. 

Also on my list are “oh-so-pretty” coral colors.  Like my bright orange shoes, coral colors just make me smile.  Now if we’re talking neutrals and nudes, black has been my favorite color, off and on, for as long as I can remember.  Dare I mention my obsession for black high heels?!

Finally, nude colors.  Nude colored nails make for very happy hands!

mexi style color blocking juanofwords
Nail polish! Black, nude, an opaque dull nude, and light blue (the light blues is so easy on the eyes).  My only problem is that I have a hard time keeping nail polish on my nails for very long.
mexi style color blocking juanofwords
Coral vintage dress with ombré skirt. 

Here’s some more Mexi-Style with Anjelica.

Mexi-Style: Do It Yourself Mexican Talavera Pottery

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)
To say that I like Mexican ceramic painted pottery is an understatement.  I love Mexican ceramic pottery!  My only problem is that the coins in my pocket just don’t add up to enough money to buy some of the really nice pieces out there.  Usually when we’re somewhere like San Antonio I’ll just walk over to my favorite Mexican Talavera place and glide my fingers along some of my favorite masterpieces there.  I love the raised glazed paint and I’ll admire it until I finally work up the nerve to look at the price tag.

I do it to myself every time!

I can never justify a purchase like that for myself.   I’m just too frugal for my own good.  Instead I’ll settle for little things like fixtures, switch covers, or miniature door knobs all decorated in the same style, but much, much cheaper.  Still, despite my frugality, I completely understand the reason for such a high price tag on some of these beautiful items.  No two handmade, hand-painted of these artisan pieces are the same.

In terms of their design, there really aren’t any rules when it comes to drawing on Talavera ceramic – just technique!  I wouldn’t dare say that I know or even understand the full technique of this art form.  Instead I dabble in my own version of different styles inspired by Mexican Talavera pottery… basing a lot of my own technique on what I have seen in the past.

do it yourself mexican talavera pottery
You can make your own Mexican Talavera inspired pottery.

For this “How To” that’s exactly what I’m working with.  My own Mexican Talavera inspired glassware, haha!  I hope you like it.

So a quick run down of my supplies:

do it yourself mexican talavera pottery
You’ll need a couple of supplies.
  • I used this milk-glass coffee cup I bought from the dollar store a few years back.  It’s a very beautiful cup that came with a saucer, but I just had not used it until now.  Here’s a quick tip: If you ever find anything extraordinary at an unconventional dollar store, nab a few of whatever it is, but never more than what you think you might need.
  • I also used a couple of thin brushes for the actual drawing.  I find that synthetic brushes with fine bristles work a lot better for projects like this one.
  • Blue Acrylic paint
  • Some type of liquid translucent base.  I suggest some type of glaze.  I am using a triple glaze for this project.

1.  On a clean disposable surface mix about 1 tablespoon of the glaze with about 5 drops of paint.  Mix well.  This should be enough to cover a small cup like this one.

2.  Now you are ready to paint away to your heart’s desire.   If you’re not sure what you want to do, or even if you just want to get inspired, pulling up a few images on Google can almost always guide your inspiration in the right direction.

3.  Once you’re done, let the paint on your masterpiece dry according to the instructions on its container.

Here are just a few ways I would use my revamped coffee cup:

do it yourself mexican talavera pottery
This is an easy way to liven up your garden.
do it yourself mexican talavera pottery
Or use the finished piece for interior decoration.

I most definitely would not use it as a coffee cup anymore.  You shouldn’t either.  It’s not safe.

Here’s some more Mexi-Style with Anjelica.

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Mexi-Style: How to Make Your Own Scarf Necklace

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)

how to make scarf necklace la_anjel
This is the finished scarf necklace.

So last week Anjelica showed you how to Revamp a Rebozo.  This week, she’s taking on the scarf necklace – in a how to video that shows you step by step how you can make your very own scarf necklace.  I should mention the video was edited by me (Juan), and I’m definitely not a crafter.  We hope you’re enjoying these posts!

Here’s some more Mexi-Style with Anjelica.

Mexi-Style: Revamping The Rebozo

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)

I’ve known about rebozos since I can remember.  They have always been a staple of my grandmother’s everyday wear.  I recall, that regardless of the day, or the occasion, she almost always seemed to be wearing one of her rebozos.  They were functional and stylish, I always thought.  Inspired by that idea, I’ve put together a couple of different looks using a rebozo.  Some of them reflect my grandmother’s everyday wear, the others are a more modern reflection of my own personal style.

how to style a rebozo mexi style
The Sunday mass look.

My grandmother used her rebozos for functionality, not really in any vein way.  Of course, that doesn’t mean she didn’t look beautiful every time she wore one.  For example, I distinctly remember that every Sunday she would wear the most beautifully hand-crafted rebozos that were either crocheted with delicate threads or fabric from allá – you know, the imported stuff that came from somewhere far away.  These rebozos were only worn on special occasions or for Sunday mass.

how to style a rebozo mexi style
The Utilitarian Approach.

Taking a cue from my grandmother’s selective approach, I opted to take this beautiful lightweight rebozo and use it to enhance my neck line.  The sheer fabric is very pretty and it almost feels like it’s not there.  That’s very important to me, after all I do live in Texas.  The heavy charm in the middle weighs the fabric down and gives the look a necklace feel.

how to style a rebozo mexi style
The Rebozo everyday, Then.

For everyday life, a rebozo like this one would be more common.  They were a little bit nicer than what you would wear at home, but they didn’t include any of the fancier details like lace or more expensive fabric.  These rebozos most often were used when going into the pueblo or anywhere else in public.  They were nice enough for la gente to see and also served various purposes: they shielded your head from the sun’s rays when there was no shade; when walking around in the busy streets of the pueblo, they served as a shield to keep dirt, soot and smog away from your face.

how to style a rebozo mexi style
The Rebozo everyday, Now.

I’m definitely not as wise of a mexicana as my grandmother.  If I were – living where I live and knowing what I know about UV rays – I’d be wearing rebozos around everywhere I go too!   Instead, I prefer to alter the look for a more everyday usage.  Here, I just added a pendant at the center to hold the rebozo together.  I folded the fringe in on both ends and secured them together by overlapping them to make a circle.  Then I wrapped the circle-shaped rebozo twice around my neck and added the pendant in the middle.

how to style a rebozo mexi style
The Working Rebozo.

Yup, that’s what I remember about the rebozo!  Almost every piece of our clothing was functional in Mexico, but probably none more so than the rebozo.  You’d place it over your shoulder to carry la tina de agua or los sacos de maíz from half a mile away, and also to bring up the heavy, recently-washed clothes from el arroyo.  Again, it provided a shield from the sun, rain and dry dirt.  It even had a comfortable place for young children to lay their heads on and feel safe.  It put me to sleep a couple dozen times!

how to style a rebozo mexi style
The Rebozo as an Accent.

I’m not carrying around a lot of water or maíz on my shoulders these days, but I do still love to wear a colorful rebozo.  Right now, in the heat of this Texas summer, I’m using this rebozo to make my straw hat look pretty.

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Mexi-Style: Loteria Earrings

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)
Today, I’m very excited to introduce to you all a brand new section on my blog!  I’ve been working on getting Anjelica to agree to it for a very long time, and finally today we can officially spill the beans!  So y’all know Anjelica is super creative when it comes to anything crafty or artistic, right?  I mean she has like a natural gift or something.  We’ve got tons of works in progress and finished masterpieces at the house, and well… it finally just hit me, why not share some of them with the world on here?  We’re calling this new section an extension of Mexi-Style and it will include lots of her creative ideas like this one.  For this first post, Anjelica is teaching you step by step how to make your own mexi-style inspired Loteria earrings.  Show her some love y’all! 

How To Make Your Own Loteria Earrings: 

loteria earrings mexistyle
These are the supplies you’ll need.

Supplies: One part white glue (Elmer’s preferably).  Two parts water.  A paint brush to spread the glue evenly.  An exacto  knife or some other type of sharp, pointed blade.  Sandpaper.  Wood cut outs in the shape and size of your preference (the earrings shown here were purchased at a dollar store).  Finally, any newsprint or lightweight paper with an image on it that you’d like to use as the art for your earrings.  I’m using the Loteria images that can be bought in a roll.

loteria earrings mexistyle
Make sure your glue mixture is milky.

Step 1: Mix the water and the glue into a milky consistency in a small container.

loteria earrings mexistyle
Step 2

Step 2:  Apply the glue evenly to the wood cut outs using a paint brush.  Then apply the lightweight paper artwork over the wood cut outs with the glue on them.

loteria earrings mexistyle
Step 3

Step 3:  Once the image is secured on the wood cut out, apply the same glue mixture over the top of the lightweight paper using the paint brush once again.  Make sure that the entire surface of your image is completely wet.  Let it dry.  Repeat the glue application one more time, and allow it to dry once again.

loteria earrings mexistyle
Choose your sealant.

Step 4:  Next, once the glue is completely dry, take your exacto knife and cut off the excess paper from the surface of your wood cut outs.  Be careful not to cut into the wood cut outs.  You can turn the wood cut outs around to cut out the inner portions of the wood more easily.  Once you’re happy with the definition of your glued and styled pieces, you can decide how you want to seal the earrings.  Use Mod Podge if you want a more dull opaque finish; Triple Thick glaze if you want a more raised and shiny finish; Diamond Glaze if you want an even more, ultra-shiny, finish. You decide.

loteria earrings mexistyle
I’m using Triple Thick glaze for my earrings.

Step 5:  I chose the Triple Thick glaze for this project.  After following the instructions on the container about how to apply the glaze, I let the earrings dry for about 14 minutes.  There are also recommended drying times on the container.

Step 6:  After your earrings are dry, you’ll want to take some sandpaper and sand down all of the uneven edges on them.  If you need to retouch crevices or raw edges do so now using a thinner layer of sealant/finish.  Again, let your earrings dry.

loteria earrings mexistyle
Choose your extras for your finished product.

Step 7:  Now you can add the hardware of your choice to the earrings.  Depending on your personal style, you can call it a day and put on your new earrings or consider adding a couple of extra finishing touches.   A few creative options for the more adventurous among us include painting the sides and back of your earrings carefully, adding details like lace and/or beads to your hardware, or even adding things like chains and feathers to your creation.  I added a link of chain and  attached a bow made of lace with a pearl in the center to my earrings.

loteria earrings mexistyle
This was my favorite earring.

This is how my preferred earring style looked after it was finished.

loteria earrings mexistyle
Up close and personal.  Another look.

Here’s a closer look.

loteria earrings mexistyle
The earring without any of the extras.

Without all of the extras, this is the same earring with only basic hardware.

I hope you all enjoyed my first post.  Let me know if you have any questions about any of the steps and if you have any projects or crafts in mind that you would like to see me attempt.  Thanks for reading! 

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