Before You Renovate, Take a Word of Advice From The Building Hugger

Home Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in CarharttHome Renovation Advice / Crafted in Carhartt

Amy Nicole Swift, Detroit’s Building Hugger, and master renovator, has a few tips for you before you start planning your home renovation.

1. Develop a list of priorities and a realistic timeline for working through those items, even if that means planning 5 years out. It’s important to remain flexible. Renovations are always full of unknowns, no matter how well you might plan. Sometimes you have to compromise part of your vision to make a project work, but that can open up other creative opportunities. It’s all in your attitude: challenges can either be problems or they can be opportunities. Having a clear set of researched objectives can help guide you through the hiccups.

2. ​When you’re renovating an older home nothing will end up perfect. Don’t lose sight of why you probably fell in love with your old home in the first place: there’s an intrinsic beauty ​in its imperfections. If you expect straight floors, perfectly plumb doors, and flawless finishes then an old home might not be for you. Your home renovation will also never be really be “done” as there will always be another project down the pipeline — coming to terms with this will save you some anxiety.

3. ​Don’t take too much on yourself without starting a project without a solid plan.​ ​I work with a lot of homeowners that try to cut out the project management costs of hiring a general contractor and/or architect to save money, but that often costs them money or time or both in the long run. I suggest working with a building professional that is open to helping you save money by accommodating DIY projects in their scheduling​, as well as coaching you through some of those projects. It’s an approach I started to take in my business because that’s what Detroiters seem to want.

4. It’s important that you find building professionals in your area that are familiar with the era and construction method in which your house was constructed. You want to hire someone that can anticipate the inevitable challenges that come with working in an older home because they will already have an action plan in mind based on their previous experiences. What is the contractor’s pricing structure? Do they make money on a markup if they sell you on new windows or flooring as opposed to refinishing? Because of course they’re going to tell you the windows or flooring can’t be saved. Don’t work with anyone that’s pushy or doesn’t listen to what you want. Make sure your contractor aligns with your philosophy for restoration and shares your vision because you will be relying on them to guide you through every decision you make.

Amy works on restoring windows often, as she and Jennifer are pictured above. Another tip to keep in mind is:

5. New window companies have been very successful at convincing the public that replacement windows are significantly more energy efficient than historic windows. But that’s simply not true. ​A well maintained historic window with a storm panel is at least as efficient as a new window, and if properly maintained with paint and routine care, will last another hundred years or more. The ROI of investing in your historic windows is actually better because of their repairability. Unfortunately, as a dying trade​, ​window restoration has become a somewhat pricey boutique craft in recent years, but I’m hoping to shift that perception with a new approach to the services we offer.

Amy is wearing the Carhartt Force Performance Tank (color available next spring), Driving Glove, & Series 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree. Jennifer is wearing the Carhartt Force Performance T-Shirt, Driving Glove, & Relaxed-Fit Sandstone Kane Dungaree.

DIY: Giant Mural

Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in Carhartt
Painting on a large scale can be intimidating. But if you take small steps, you can achieve a massive mural with ease. I went from a 11″x14″ drawing on a sheet of paper to a 9’x15′ mural. Here’s how.

You’ll need: pencils, paint, paint brushes, tape, a projector, a large surface like a wall or a giant roll of paper, and artwork you want to enlarge. (You can easily find a tracer projector at your local craft store or online.)
Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in Carhartt
Step One: Draw a sketch or print out an image of what you’d like your mural to portray. You’ll eventually need to fit your projector’s base over this image, so it’s best to keep it small. Use an 8.5″x11″ or 11″x14″ sheet of paper.
Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in Carhartt
Step Two: Use a light projector to cast the sketch or printed image onto the wall. To make the projected image larger or smaller, move the projector closer or further from the surface you’ll be painting on. Make sure you’re in a room that can get fairly dark so you can see the light from your projector with ease.
Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in Carhartt
Step Three: Use a pencil and trace the projected image onto your mural’s surface. Turn the lights on an off a lot during this process to make sure that you’ve traced all of the lines. It’s easy to miss some in the dark.
Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in Carhartt
Step Four: Start painting in small sections until it’s all filled in. I did the outlines first, in this case, to make sure I didn’t lose the pencil lines under paint. Then I filled in the buildings with color.
Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in Carhartt
Step Five: Keep going till you’re done! That’s when I moved on to the background and lastly cleaned up the outline in a few places. Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in CarharttGiant Mural DIY / Crafted in Carhartt
Giant Mural DIY / Crafted in CarharttWhat I wore: The Hayward Zip Front Hoodie & Series 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree. 


DIY: Copper Pendant Necklace

DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt DIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in CarharttDIY Copper Necklace / Chain Chain Chained / Crafted in Carhartt
Regina Pruss of Chain Chain Chained in Detroit is guiding us through a Lapiz Copper Pendant Necklace tutorial:

What you’ll need: about 3 inches of 16 gauge wire, about 2 inches of 22 gauge wire, 18 inches of chain, stones or crystals of your choice, jump rings, one lobster clasp.

Tools: flat nose pliers and cutters, hole punch, ball peen hammer, bench block

1. Start with cutting about 3 inches of wire, in this case I used copper wire.

2. Bend the wire into a half oval shape using your flat nose pliers.

3. Place the wire on the bench block and lightly hammer the ends of the wire until they are flat.

4. Using your hole punch, make holes at the end of each side you just hammered flat.

5. Grab your crystals or stones, in this case I used two lapis stones. Take your 22 gauge brass or copper wire, push through the small holes in the stones and leave about .25 inches on each end.

6. Create small loops on each end using your flat nose pliers.

7. Connect the copper piece to the lapis using your jump rings.

8. Cut about 18 inches of chain, in this case I used brass vintage.

9. Attach jump rings to the ends of the chain as well as your lobster clasp and place it on the copper/lapis pendant.

10. Voila! you just made a lapis and copper pendant necklace!

Build Flowers That Last All Year

With temperatures on the rise, it’s time to get outside and start a few new projects. I looked around in my junk drawer and recycling bin for some up-cycled inspiration. In keeping with the season, I came up with a few simple metal flower tutorials that are easy and fun.
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Large Loop Flower
what you need: large gauge wire and wire cutters
Step 1: Cut a large section of wire, depending on the size of flower you want to make. I used about 4 feet of wire for each flower.
Step 2: Make a 90 degree bend about one inch in from the end of your wire. You will use this section to secure the petals loops.
Step 3: Make a 2 inch petal-like loop and wrap it just beneath the 90 degree bend towards the shorter end. Pull the wire tight and make sure it’s securely looped. Repeat 4 or 5 times until you have a full bloom.
Step 4: Flatten the 90 degree bend so that it is flush with the bottom of the flower. This will lock your petals into place and create a clean look.
Step 5: Trim the stem to fit the vase you’re using for display.
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Faucet Flower
what you need: a water hose valve, small gauge wire, washers, and wire cutters
Step 1: Cut 2 feet of wire and bend it in half.
Step 2: Secure a small washer at the bend in the wire. Make sure the washer is bigger than the center hole on the hose valve.
Step 3: Insert the unbent ends of the wire stem into the center hole of the hose valve.
Step 4: Now add another washer at the unbent ends of the wire stem and push it all the way up till it hits the bottom of the valve.
Step 5: Secure the bottom washer in place by tying or wrapping the wire around it. This will permanently attach the valve to the wire stem.
Step 6: Twist the two ends of wire together to complete the flower stem.
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Washer Flower
what you need: several different size washers, small gauge wire, and wire cutters
Step 1: Cut around 2.5 feet of wire and bend it in half.
Step 2: Secure the washer at the bend of the wire.
Step 3: Make a 2 inch loop through the center of the washer and twist is closed. Repeat until the washer has a full bloom of loops around its edge.
Step 4: Twist the remainder of the wire ends around each other to create the stem.
Step 5: Trim the stem to fit the vase you’re using to display the your flowers.
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Mini Loop Flower
what you need: small gauge wire and wire cutters
Step 1: Cut about 8 inches of wire.
Step 2: Make a small petal shaped loop in the middle of the wire.
Step 3: Double that loop.
Step 4: Twist wire around the double loops so that it forms one sturdy loop.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you’ve created 5 or 6 petals. If you need more wire, simply cut a few more inches and wrap it onto the petals you’ve already created. You’ll most likely need to do this for each new petal.
Step 6: Depending on the vase you’ll use to display your flowers, make your stem accordingly.
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Mini Metal Flower
what you need: a flower punch, recycled papers or soda cans, a nail, a hammer, small gauge wire, and wire cutters
Step 1: Pick out what supplies you want to use to your flower punch on to create the petals of your flower. I used some recycled card stock and a few thin sheets of metal. Then punch out a few shapes.
Step 2: With your hammer and nail, make a tiny hole in the middle of the flower cut outs.
Step 3: Cut about 2 feet of wire and bend the wire in half. Twist it around a few times at the bend to make a loop that’s larger than the nail hole in your flower cut outs.
Step 4: Insert the unbent ends of your wire stem through the nail holes of 2 of the flower cut outs until they hit the loop you made at the opposite end.
Step 5: Wrap the loose wire ends together so that the flower cut outs are secure at the top of the wire stem.
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
Build a Better Spring / Crafted in Carhartt
While I was working, I wore my Carhartt Force Performance Tank and Denim Bib Overall. The lightweight Force material is designed with FastDry® and Stain Breaker® technology to wick away sweat, release stains, and fight odors. And if you ask me, a pair of Carhartt overalls are a must have in the wardrobe of any crafty woman.

A Valentine’s Day Craft With The Middlest Sister

Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Meet Nicole Smeltzer, the author and illustrator of The Middlest Sister. After the loss of her grandfather, Nicole sought out ways to cheer up her family with nostalgic recounts of days gone by. With a spark of craftiness and necessity, she began cutting up old greeting cards and junk mail to put together a comic that has now taken off with popularity. Her family centered plot-lines, painstaking attention to detail, and hard work has captured the hearts of thousands of followers.

Nicole is going to lead us through a Valentine’s DIY today that is easy on the wallet and designed with love:

Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
Paperdoll Studios Guest Post / Crafted in Carhartt
(on the right: the valentine designed by Nicole and on the left: the valentine designed by her 5 year old daughter)

If you’d like to be featured in a DIY Guest Post, email craftedincarhartt@carhartt.com.
Take a look at Nicole’s favorite Carhartt item: The Rapid City Utility Work Apron.

15 Fall DIYs That Will Make Any Fall Lover Rejoice

15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY PUMPKIN BOWLS
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY APPLE CIDER IN APPLE CUPS
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY APPLE VOTIVES
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY CANDY CORN NECKLACE
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY CANDY CORN GARLAND
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY CANDY CORN T-SHIRT
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY STICK HEART
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY JEWELRY ORGANIZER
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY LEAF DECORATIONS
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY INFINITY LEAF SCARF
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY PUMPKIN SEED GRANOLA
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY PUMPKIN SEED TRAIL MIX
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY GIANT POMPOM BEANIE
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY ELBOW PATCHES
15 Fall DIYs / Crafted in CarharttDIY JACKET EMBROIDERY

Happy Halloween! What is it about fall that gets you in the crafting mood? I’ve put together a list of 15 seasonal crafts that can be just for fun, help bring life to a fall party, or add to any Thanksgiving celebration. The thing I like about the projects above is that they can be done on the cheap. Creativity mixed with a little elbow grease can go a long way.

1. DIY PUMPKIN BOWLS
2. DIY APPLE CIDER IN APPLE CUPS
3. DIY APPLE VOTIVES
4. DIY CANDY CORN NECKLACE
5. DIY CANDY CORN GARLAND
6. DIY CANDY CORN T-SHIRT
7. DIY STICK HEART
8. DIY JEWELRY ORGANIZER
9. DIY LEAF DECORATIONS
10. DIY INFINITY LEAF SCARF
11. DIY PUMPKIN SEED GRANOLA
12. DIY PUMPKIN SEED TRAIL MIX
13. DIY GIANT POMPOM BEANIE
14. DIY ELBOW PATCHES
15. DIY JACKET EMBROIDERY

Free Fall DIY-ing

Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt
Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt
Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt
Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt
Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt
Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt
Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt

Bringing the Outdoors In / Crafted in Carhartt

There is so much to appreciate about fall: crisp air and crunchy footsteps, soft earthy tones and speckled foliage. It marks the start of bonfire season and cuddle-up in-warm-blankets season. I’m a big proponent of surrounding oneself with the great outdoors. That being said, it feels natural to pluck up a few flowers from the yard and put them in a vase, but what about leaves? They can be just as lovely, with free flowing branches and freshly turned hues. Why not give it a try? It’s a free way to decorate for the season and it challenges you to see the beauty in what most consider mundane.

what I wore: Carhartt Women’s Belton Shirt & Carhartt Women’s Series 1889 Sim-Fit Double Front Denim Dungaree 

 

 

 

Photography Hacks: 9 DIY Camera Filters

Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt
Camera Hacks / 9 DIY Camera Filters / Crafted in Carhartt

In the age of easily applied photo filters, pictures with effects applied are common enough. But how often do you see pictures that are artistically enhanced by hand instead of by technology? Follow these steps and create your own tangible photo filters. It’s fun, easy, and will entertain you for hours. I took my new camera toys to Montana to experiment and spice up my travel shots. Get creative. You can make a filter out of just about anything. Challenge yourself!

1.) Wrap an embroidery hoop with thread. This will create a soft maze of blurry lines across the photographs.
2.) Cut straws into small sections, each a few centimeters long. Then cut a hole the same size as your camera lens into a yogurt lid. Glue the straw bits together so that the holes of the straws are on the top and bottom of the bundle. Adhere it to the lid. This creates an beautifully obstructed view of your subject, hazy from the straws. Whatever color the straws are will effect the mood of the photo, so pick accordingly.
3.) Coil up coated electrical wire. Cut a hole the same size as your camera lens into a circle of cardboard. Tape the coil to the cardboard. This creates a cool looped vignette.
4.) Cut a small slit into the bottom of a ziploc bag. Use a rubber band to attach the bag to the lens. When using this filter, make sure the edges of the frame are covered by the plastic to create a fuzzy effect.
5.) Sandwich glitter between two pieces of saran wrap. Squirt hot glue into a small circle in the center to created a seal. Cut a hole in the yogurt lid the size of your camera lens. Glue the glitter filled saran wrap to the lid. This will create a colorful shimmery look on the edge of pictures.
6.) Prepare another yogurt lid. Cut a circle of no-slip shelf liners and glue it to the lid. Slice a few random slits into the liner. This makes linear shapes sweep across the frame, only showing sections of the subject.
7.) Shatter a piece of magnifying glass. Use a prepared yogurt lid for your lens. Glue the angular pieces of the magnifying glass to the rim of the lid. This creates a bit of distortion around the edges of the lens.
8.) Get the cover to a shower drain. Tape the edges so that it doesn’t cut your hands or hurt your camera. The holes allow light and an obstructed view to interplay.
9.) This filter is much like filter number 5, instead with beads. Sandwich tiny beads between two pieces of contact paper. Create a circle of hot glue in the center to form a seal. Glue the contact paper to a yogurt lid with a lens sized hole.

The Carhartt Legacy Tool Pouches are ideal for storing photo filters.

Floriole Olive Oil Granola Recipe

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Olive Oil Granola Recipe
FLORIOLEgranolaMIX12

With fall just around the corner, it’s raining pumpkin seeds! Sandra Holl, from Floriole Cafe and Bakery in Chicago, shared her recipe for a killer fall granola. It’s so tasty, you’ll hardly believe it’s good for you.

What you need: 
3 cups of rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup of pumpkin seeds (a.k.a. pepitas)
ÂĽ cup of flax seed
Âľ cup of grade B maple syrup
½ cup of olive oil (if your olive oil has a strong flavor, use ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of neutral oil like grapeseed or sunflower)
Âľ tsp. of fine sea salt
½ tsp. of cinnamon
½ tsp. of ground ginger
½ cup of dried cherries
ÂĽ cup of chopped dates
Âľ cup of toasted pecans
(serves 8)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or oiled parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for cherries, and dates. Mix until homogenous.
3. Spread mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and stir. Bake 20 minutes more and stir again.
5. Let the granola cool for 20 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl.
6. When it’s cooled completely, add cherries, pecans and chopped dates. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to a month.

Sandra is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree, & Rapid City Utility Work Apron.

 

 

Forget the Desk Job– I Make a Mean Chocolate Croissant

Froliole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt
Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

Floriole Cafe and Bakery / Crafted in Carhartt

 

It’s fair to say that most people would prefer an early morning routine of rolling out fresh chocolate croissants to a 9 to 5 desk job. But how do you get there? How do pin down your dreams fast enough to make a career out of them?
After realizing she wasn’t cut out for the daily grind of cubicle life, Sandra Holl decided to buckle down and follow her heart by attending culinary school. At that time, she knew she wanted to be her own boss and make the food she wanted to make. Seeing the opportunities at Chicago’s Green City Market, Sandra decided that opening her own booth would be a low-risk way of starting a business. There she and her husband, Mathieu, used it as a venue to test out their rustic, French pastries and built a name for themselves. Eventually, a brick and mortar space was next step. In 2010, Floriole Café and Bakery’s doors opened in Chicago’s quaint Lincoln Park neighborhood.
When I asked Sandra what the most rewarding part of her job was, she replied,

“I love that I have a family business. I work with my husband and can bring my daughter to work with me. She sees how hard I work and is so proud of her mama. She often tells customers, “This is my mom’s bakery.””

There is no greater feeling than to bring creativity and light to the world through the smile a chocolate hazelnut cookie can yield, while inspiring your own daughter and nudging her along to the discovery that she too can do the same with a little elbow grease and determination.

Here are a few tips from Sandra for anyone striving towards a similar path:
1. Find a chef you admire and work with her or him. Absorb as much of their knowledge as you can, then move on and learn more.
2. Perfect the basics before you get creative. No one really wants a wasabi curry cupcake but everyone wants a perfect slice of peach pie.
3. Everything breaks. Learn how to fix things yourself.
4. Know that you will work seven days a week. Even when you are off, you will run errands for the business, answer calls and emails and when the security alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you will go make sure that it was only a false alarm.

Sandra is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree, & Rapid City Utility Work Apron.