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The Source

The Source

Make It Yours

DIY: Checkers Travel Game


Prepare for the beach and pack the fun with this painted travel game. The soft game board allows for easy transport and a small footprint in your beach bag. Prepare at least one day ahead of your trip so the board and pieces have plenty of time to dry. Gather the your family and friends for a few rounds as you sit and relax in the shade this 4th of July!



  • - 20x18" fabric
  • - acrylic paint
  • - paint brushes
  • - adhesive back foam
  • - scissors
  • - wood block
  • - sculpey
  • - washi or masking tape
  • - ruler
  • - needle & thread or a sewing machine
  • - cookie cutter
  • - rolling pin


how to make

Step 1. Protect your surface with plastic and lay the fabric flat.


Step 2. Squeeze some paint into a small dish. We wanted a fun 4th of July theme so we mixed up a nice shade of blue but you can make your board any color. Slowly add water to the paint to make a saturated wash.



Step 3. Paint your fabric using broad strokes. For a washy look, concentrate the paint in a centered square and then pull the color out to the edges using a watered down solution. Lay flat to dry on paper towels. 

Step 4. To make your game pieces, roll out a 14" thick pancake of clay. Press a cookie cutter into the clay and gently release the shape from the mold. For checkers each player gets 12 pieces- so 24 total. You can differentiate the players' pieces using two colors of clay, two different cookie cutters, or you can just paint them later. Follow the clay package instructions for baking.  


Step 5. When the fabric is dry, pin a 1/4" hem on all 4 sides. You can sew this by hand, or use a sewing machine. 


Step 6. Plan your board. A checker board is 8 squares by 8 squares, so if each square is about 1.5", the board should be 12"x12". Measure the fabric and center the board 

Step 6. Mask off the playing board using tape. Make small pencil marks every 1.5" on all four sides and use thin tape to mark the gap between checks. 

Step 7. Make a 1.5" square stamp using adhesive foam and a stamping block. 

Step 8. Use a paint brush to apply paint to the stamp. Use the tape as a guide to stamp every other check. Reapply paint between each stamp. 

Step 9. Remove the tape and allow the paint to dry completely. 

Step 10. If you made all 24 pieces the same, divide them up and paint them two colors. Spray paint, acrylic or even nail polish will do the trick.

Grab a For the Makers cloth bag to house your new game and pack it in your next picnic or beach trip!



Make It Yours

DIY: 4th of July Sparkler Printable

We're getting excited and ready to party down on the 4th! Let's light up night with these cute July 4th Sparkler Labels. It's a simple a project as could be but it packs a big punch and creates a celebratory vibe for your 4th of July festivities. Get the how to and free printable below! 




Step 1. Print sparkler label printables on 8.5"x11" card stock paper

Step 2. Using scissors or an x-acto knife cut along the dotted line. Make a slice at the top and bottom of each along the dotted guide.

Step 3. Slide sparkler through and voilà, you are ready to light up the night!



Make It Yours

DIY: Hanging Branch Jewelry Display

We’ve all been there: we reach for a necklace, only to be met with a tangled mess that feels impossible to de-tangle. So why not hang your jewelry instead? We decided to turn an ordinary branch (found at a whopping price of $0 in our local forest) into a hanging jewelry display so that you can display those beautiful necklaces you’ve been making!

What You’ll Need:

  • - medium/long sized branch (your preference)
  • - cup hooks
  • - thin-sized drill bits
  • - power drill
  • - 3-4 different colors of embroidery floss
  • - scissors
  • - sharpie marker
  • - pliers
  • - strong fishing line (also known as monofilament)


Step 1. Use a sharpie and mark where you’re going to insert your cup hooks


Step 2. Using the power drill, carefully drill the holes for your cup hooks


Step 3. Using the pliers, screw in the hooks


Step 4. Wrap your embroidery floss around the wood. We chose colors that reminded us of the summer and decided to wrap in different thicknesses with no particular order. Tie them off in the back where you won't see the knots.


Step 5. Take your fishing line and loop it on each end of the branch. Take a thin nail and hang the excess string in the middle. We chose to use clear string because we liked the illusion of the branch just floating against the wall, but you can use twine or a pretty ribbon instead!

Step 6. Hang all your pretty necklaces and bracelets on your new jewelry display!


Make It Yours

DIY Mixed Media Bracelet

This month we gave you lots of options in the Bryce Collection. The materials can be mixed and matched offering endless combinations. If dangling earrings aren't your thing, the Mixed Media bracelet is a super open-ended option, ideal for personalization. Gather a variety of materials for your strands, this is a great way to combine vintage with new components, metal with stone beads, and any other rare finds you have been holding onto. We combined brass disks and lapis beads with some vintage beads made from records we scored at Brimfield last month. To add a little more color and texture you can weave a few strands of DMC into the chain or hook on a friendship bracelet


How to make

Step 1.Thread one of the gold crimp beads onto the beading cord. Pull the end of the beading cord back through the crimp bead creating a small loop. Using your pliers squish the crimp bead really tight. 

Step 2. Begin stringing on beads. String on enough beads to wrap about 3/4 the way around your wrist. 

Step 3. Thread another crimp bead onto the beading cord. Repeat the crimping process on the other side. Make sure to leave a slight gap between the beads and the crimp, this allows the bracelet to bend and hang gracefully. Thread the beading cord back through the last bead and snip off the excess cord.

Step 4. Using the same stringing method, make a number of strands and use jump rings to attach the looped ends to the holes in the semi circle findings. Get creative and think outside the box for this one, give new life to old broken jewelry, add charms or even mini tassels. We cut the friendship bracelet to the right length and tied it on with the help of jump rings. We also added some strands of cable chain which was included in the Bryce Collection.

Step 5. Attach a medium jump ring to the top hole in one semi circle finding. Attach a jump ring and lobster clasp to the other side for a closure.

You're done! Twist it once and wrap it around your wrist.



Make It Yours

Pattern Techniques For Dyeing

Tie-dye techniques are not exclusive to brightly colored festival tees, you can use the same folding and binding techniques using natural dyes to achieve subtle patterns. You might remember these techniques from our Rye Market Tote using fabric dye.  Refer back to the tutorial for step by step instructions on creating folded patterns

You can use rubber bands to create straight lines or circles. Try a few techniques all-together in one piece of fabric and experiment to get just the right combination. Remember to use a natural fabric when using natural dyes. 

Learn how to sew up our Outerlands Tote Bag, shown below. Or use the fabric as a lovely wall hanging.


Making It With

Silk & Willow

Meet Shellie Pomeroy of Silk and Willow. Based out of the Hudson Valley, Shellie hand dyes silk ribbon and table linens using plant materials. Because she dyes in small batches, each piece is unique, varied and heirloom worthy. Shellie kindly shared her natural dying tips, her upstate haunts and what she's looking forward to this wedding season (a.k.a. ribbon season.)

I Make...Plant Dyed silk ribbon & table linens.

First maker memory...Some of my earliest memories are of watching my mother and aunt knit, crochet and sew. The ability to create something both useful and beautiful has always influenced me.  Growing up there was also a focus on traditional cooking and baking. Creating with my hands whether in the kitchen or studio continues to be a constant thread in my life.

Makers that inspire you...Makers of botanical apothecary. I am fascinated with the healing properties found in nature. Products created naturally, that can cure and comfort, inspire me. I am an aromatherapy junkie and have tinctures for every imaginable aliment. 

If you weren’t making silk ribbon in the kitchen, you’d be baking in the kitchen.

Favorite tool of the trade...Scissors. From the garden to my cutting table, I am always cutting and clipping so a collection of sharp scissors is essential. I keep them in my car, every room in my house, and there is always a pair or two in my back pocket.

Material(s) you want to work with...Linen. 

Top Places to Source...My dye materials are sourced from a variety of places. My two favorite domestic sources for dye materials are Mountain Rose Herbs and Botanical Colors

Something you wish you could make...Botanical extracts. I am lusting after a hand crafted copper still so I can make my own botanical extracts & essential oils. I'd love to take classes and learn from a master. 

Favorite place in New Paltz to snack....The Main Course Market Place. Not only do I visit often to get fresh made-to-order salads, but they also supply me with the avocado pits I use to dye my silk ribbons. 

Favorite place in New Paltz to get your drink on...Rock & Rye Tavern. It's cute, quiet & quaint. 
Favorite shop in New Paltz to blow your paycheck at...Water Street Market. I make regular visits to the Antique Shops and then usually end-up at The Cheese Plate.

Favorite song at the moment...Can't pin-point a song, but my two go-to albums are Muse & Foo-fighters.

First off, your silk ribbon is out of this world. The color you achieve all with sustainable and natural materials is breath taking. We'd love to here a little more about your process from the silk itself to dying. 
To create long-lasting natural color there are a variety of steps that need to take place. The material first needs to be scoured. Although your material might appear to be clean, silk has natural coating that needs to be removed for proper dye absorption. Then, you need to mordant your material.  Most dye materials require the use of a mordant to create a bond and allow natural colors to "fix" to the material. Now you can color. Cooking color into your material can take hours or weeks to achieve your desired shade. Finally is the washing.  Washing our silks, until the water runs clear, to avoid color bleeding is essential to our process.

This month we gave our subscribers the materials and guide to make their own plant dyed tote bag. What tips do you have for a first timer to the natural dying game?
Experiment! Changing the pH of the water can often create drastic color shifts. Try adding in some lemon juice or vinegar to make your water more acidic. To make more basic, add baking soda or soda ash. You will be amazed how drastically color can change with one of these simple additions.

During our research and prototyping, we found that plants can be a tad temperamental. Dye baths that looked vibrant would end up quite soft, and some would completely change when alum was added. What plants give the most vibrant pleasing color with no additives? 
Turmeric, annatto seeds and onion skins create strong vibrant colors without the addition of a mordant. Bonus, they are food & kitchen safe so you won't need separate pots and utensils for dyeing. 
We're suckers for all the colors at farmers markets. We found that local and organically grown plants and fruits produce a stronger color. What do you like working with seasonally? 
I love to gather & play with what is in abundance seasonally & locally. In spring- dandelion leaves, summer - golden rod, marigolds & black-eyed susans, fall- walnuts and winter- sumac. The variety of hues you can create with just these few dye materials are endless. Many of our "limited edition" ribbon colors are the result of experimentation with our local and seasonal harvest.
You're featured in pretty much every wedding blog ever. Now that wedding season is in full force do you have any custom projects you're looking forward to?
Oh, I have a long list!! Much of my work is repetitive manual labor which gives me time to brainstorm about all the pieces I want to create or products I want develop. Top on my list is a "ribbon guide", a go-to source for brides & florist to gauge how much ribbon they will need to create their desired look.

Thanks Shellie for sharing all of her plant wisdom! For jaw dropping photos, follow Shellie on Instagram and Pinterest @silkandwillow.

All photos by Rebecca Yale Photography.


Make It Yours

How to Make A Naturally Dyed Wall Hanging

We are going all out with the natural dye this month. We've basically tried to naturally dye everything in sight; wood beads, baby onesies, bedding and even an old handbag. While some have been more successful than others this idea stemmed from styling a previous post. If you subscribed to the Bryce Collection, grab your box and get started on this alternate #makertakes. If not, find a half yard of cotton fabric laying around or even an old dish towel and make it into something beautiful to spruce up your walls! 

What You need

  • - for the size shown in this post use an 18" x 44" piece of dyed fabric, ironed (learn how to dye it here)
  • - 2 wooden dowels at least 20" long
  • - cord for hanging to the wall
  • - sewing machine (or needle & thread)
  • - scissors
  • - pins

how to make

Step 1. Line up a dowel with the top of the fabric, fold the fabric over the dowel making sure to keep a right angle with the vertical edges. 

Step 2. Tuck the corners under and pin in place. Line up three pins across the top. Remove the dowels. Repeat for the bottom hem. 

Step 3. Sew a straight line across the top. Use the pins as guides and make sure you leave plenty of space for the dowel to pass through. Repeat for the bottom hem. 

Step 4. Insert the dowels.  

Step 5. Tie a slip knot at either end of the top dowel. 

Hang on the wall with a nail or decorative hook. This would also make a perfectly easy house warming gift!

...And don't forget to share what you're making these days by using the hashtags #forthemakers and #makertakes


Make It Yours

Enameled Indah Earrings

Make your new favorite earrings match that staple dress you plan on wearing everyday this summer. Create a pop of color with nail polish! Go all one color or pick three for a blocked look. This easy update will have you thinking about what other jewelry laying around can be transformed with a simple coat of polish.


What you need

  • - nail polish
  • - Indah earrings (unassembled)
  • - scrap paper
  • - toothpick


how to make

Step 1. Lay out the components you plan to paint on a sheet of paper. 

Step 2. After shaking the polish well, start to apply the enamel. Think of pooling the polish instead of painting; ideally it will have a slightly rounded surface. 

Step 3. If any of the holes get filled, take a toothpick and gently push the component across the paper. Eventually the polish will be pulled through the hole and down on to the paper.

Step 4. Repeat for all components and allow 3-6 hours drying time. Discreetly test by poking with the toothpick, if a depression is visible, allow additional drying time. 

Step 5. Refer to the Indah earring tutorial for assembly.



Bryce Playlist

Minimalist meets the wild with the Bryce Collection. We put together a playlist perfect for making this month's four projects or hitting the road and giving into to wanderlust. Listen to this month's playlist and check out our archive on Rdio.


1. How Did I Get Here Odesza
2. Desert of Pop The Ruby Suns
3. Lone Wolf Mozart's Sister
4. Eyes Be Closed Washed Out
5. Wander Tame Impala
6. Desert Pale Honey
7. Funetimes in Babylon Father John Misty
8. Rise To The Sun Alabama Shakes
9. Grand Canyon The Magnetic Fields
10. I Like To Move In The Night Eagles of Death Metal
11. Cowgirl in the Sand Neil Young
12. Canyon Girl Fruit Bats
13. Summer Holiday Wild Nothing
14. Camouflage Small Black
15. Canyon Ride Beachwood Sparks



Desert Vermillion

Marsala may be the color of the year, but vermillion is giving it a run for its money. These nine items rock that rusty hue with a nod to minimalist Southwestern style. 


1. Sandels Stella McCartney 2. Agate Coasters Jung Lee NYC 3. Vintage Books Chairish 4. Blush Laura Geller 5. Skirt Toga 6. Vase Aerin 7. Sunglasses ISSON 8. Clutch Charlotte Olympia 9. Bangle Christina Sin

Top photo of Coalmine Canyon by vtgohokies


First Glimpse

Behind the Design: Bryce Collection

With the increase in heat comes the need for fuss-free fashion staples. We're talking loose natural fiber garments, messy top knots and the four projects included in the Bryce Collection. Inspired by Southwestern landscapes and the runways of The Row, Ulla Johnson and Burberry, this month's collection airs on the side of bohemian chic with rusty reds, bold brass jewelry and speckled muslin. Follow the collection's process and take a peek at what goes on behind the scenes, below!

The mood board this month all started with brass hardware sourced from Turkey. Each piece is delicate, raw and unique giving it the rugged quality of ancient petroglyphs. Next we turned every fruit and vegetable in our path into a dye. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, onion skins, avocado skin, cabbage, kale (#CraftFail); essentially everything, but the kitchen sink. Our raspberry and blackberry swatches made it onto the board, along side some uh-mazing agates we found and photos of cacti and hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.

We honed in on this month's aesthetic with the casually structured ensembles of The Row's 2015 Pre-fall presentation. (Those hand beaded slides? A girl can dream.) Our Zion Necklace, illustrated in all of it's glory by the talented Evie would pair perfectly with such an outfit. The agates we used for the pendant were reminiscent of the sedimentary rock formations of Utah and Arizona

As the collection's name implies, Bryce Canyon was a major source of inspiration. We loved how the curved brass hardware used in the Indah Earrings suggest the slopes and inclines of Southwestern canyons and valleys, as well as the ancient petroglyphs engraved into its sides. Evie's illustration and these pieces by Demimonde Jewelry both incorporate that rustic beauty.  

Go wild! We've been wanting to explore the world of natural dying for months now, and we've finally done it with our Outerlands Tote. Make your own natural dyes from items already found in your kitchen. Like we said earlier...we tested everything.

A collection is never complete without the lookbook. With our projects planned and prototyped we called up our girl, Lindsey and had her model this month's pieces. 


Check out the Bryce Collection to make all four projects now! Miss out? No worries, check The Shop soon for individual projects and while you're at it, go ahead and claim next month's collection.