Charli-DIY – How to DIY a Marc by Marc Jacobs Satin Stud Embellished Stars Playsuit

Because I’d jump at the chance to look like a star!
Images: Warner Music Group,

Images: Warner Music Group,

My latest DIY-scapade took me in the direction of the Marc by Marc Jacobs’ satin stars playsuit – a glam rock-studded party piece made famous by a host of festival fashion guides and the music video to Boom Clap by Charli XCX.

You will need…

DIY tools

I found my playsuit  by sniffing around eBay; it started life as a past-season H&M jumpsuit (I had to shorten it, in other words). I spent most of the weekend shortening and remodelling it to look authentic but, since satin’s a difficult material, I wouldn’t recommend the OCD-copycat approach – why not try the look on a jumpsuit or a strappy top and hotpants?



Quite easy

This straightforward customising project is a breeze – just be careful how much glue you use.


2-3 hours -using a hair dryer on the glue speeds up the process, so I’d definitely recommend it.

Bring the stars out


Trace out some stars and a flame shape and slather a thin layer of gemstone glue inside each one – don’t lay it on too thickly or it will take forever to dry..Method2

Sprinkle glitter over the glue and shake off the excess glitter.Method3

Stick the diamantés on with small blobs of glue – again, don’t apply it too thickly.

DIY MARC BY MARC JACOBS Satin Stud Embellished Stars Playsuit

The Trends on Wednesday: Wrap Chic

Beach, please – fashion’s last stop.Wrap chic

Fashion has, once again, taken a break from the city and hit the beach. It’s not the first time sun, sea and style have collided and made sartorial waves, from the underwear-inspired swimwear shapes between 1900 and 1940 to the navel-bearing scandal of the bikini, that was designed soon afterwards . This time, it’s the post-swim glamour of the wrap that’s causing a reported 40,000 kimonos a week to fly off hangers at New Look. The reason? It’s twofold: the art of dressing for the beach, like any occasion, is heralded in dedicated pages from every retailer, touting a melange of  surf-inspired rash shirts, board shorts, beach dresses and accessories; secondly, kimonos are the perfect combination of practicality, prettiness and poolside glamour. Their unstructured shape makes them easy to throw on between the pool and the bar and to keep you protected from the sun but unbound by any awkward constriction or excess warmth. Their graphic floral prints can create a mood of sultry evening glamour that echoes the fantasy of sipping cocktails on the beach as the sun sets.

The kimono was preceded by the bohemian chic of the kaftan and could give way to the buttoned longline beach t-shirt. Beachwear is now an established fashion category with as strong a prerogative to move in cyclic trends as any. The good news is that wraps and even kaftans are dead easy to DIY with a large scarf or piece of satin, a few remodelling stitches and a bit of creative thinking. If you fancy a holiday from lengthy sewing and crafting projects, a simple wrap would be a (gentle summer) breeze!

Gravy trainers – how to DIY Dior’s floral sequinned trainers

Running stylish with DIY-inspiring customisation from Chanel and Dior!



It was Dior’s Fusion trainers that caught my eye – and captured my imagination – when I decided, on a whim, that an indulgently customised magnum opus like these would be the perfect replacement for my old, worn, sad-looking trainers.

StyleBubble recently described Dior Fusion trainers as “the rise of 21st century contrasting mix and match in fashion.  High and low.  Expensive and cheap.  Couture and sportswear.  Casual and dressy.  The list goes on” in a favourable, admiring post. While the aesthetic, itself might have divided opinion, the conceptual statement of juxtaposition – and resonance, of the high fashion trainer trend being assimilated at the highest tier of couture – convinced me that intricately customised trainers wasn’t just inspiration, but relevant and a must for my next project and tutorial.

You will need…

DIY toolsA appreciate that it’s a long list, although it does include a lot of basics, such as pens and scissors (just make sure the ones you use are all-purpose) but it’s not as bad as it looks (in my over-enthusiasm, I realise I’ve neglected to include pattern paper and a sewing machine!). The only things you’d need to search for would be the beads, sequins and ribbon, the trainers and the staple gun. You can cut up a sports t-shirt or polo shirt to get airtech fabric  - it’s not as illusive or specialised as it sounds.






I’m not going to lie –  I underestimated this one, in terms of the work, time and technique involved. Hopefully, you won’t find it as hard with my guidance ;)



Two full days – I might as well be honest, here. Owing to the – hopefully hard-wearing – customising techniques I used, it’s a bit of an investment, time-wise.


Dior or DIY



Trace about 40 flower shapes into the plastic sheet and cut them out. You might need to use a metallic marker but try not to smudge it. Cut the flowers out and punch holes in the middle of each one.

Method1Cover a trainer in pattern paper (you can use tissue paper) and trace around the edges to make pattern pieces. Once you have traced them, add a small (about half a centimetre) seam allowance using a ruler or graded setsquare and cut them out. Cut out two of each piece in airtech fabric and sew them to make covers.

Method3After you have sewn the covers together, hand-stitch circles of green sequins. Then, stitch a flower, a blue sequin and a blue faceted bead in the middle of each one.

Method4Fold the cover over on the top edge, and onto the wrong (non-customised) side . Slip stitch the top edge to the fabric on the lining of the ankle and the tongue, if possible.

Method5Use the staple gun to attach the cover to the sole of the trainer. Trainers are typically padded at the soles, so, stapling the fabric at the side shouldn’t go inside it and into the area where your foot will go, although it’s always worth checking so that you don’t end up lacerating your feet when you wear them! I tidied mine up with a lick of white fabric paint, but that’s optional – you’ve just got to keep your staples as far out of view as possible.

Finally, hand-stitch the black grosgrain trim along the centre and in a bow shape.

DIY Dior Fusion trainers DIY Dior Fusion trainers DIY Dior Fusion trainers







Northern bites – an Instagram special

On a recent trip up North, to the Lake District and then Glasgow, it came to me – I am at a ripe age to appreciate the wonder of technology because I remember how much life sucked without it. I don’t just mean the convenience of Google Maps, YouTube et al either, I mean the joy of seeing something so stunning you wish you had an easel and forever at your disposal to capture the fantastical beauty, not merely of the object – although that rather helped – but of the moment: a scene that can only really be described as hardcore sightseeing porn! Granted, a pocket-sized camera and colour filter apps aren’t an easel, as such, but getting the angle just right before adding the drama of a colour filter like a snapshot of your own dream-like interpretation of the subject is damn close! I’m now moved to reach for my phone every time I’m met with the frisson of beautiful sights – okay, I admit it, I have an Instagram problem!:

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle Scenes from Penrith Scenes from Penrith Ceiling detail from Mar Hall, near Glasgow Ceiling detail from Mar Hall Mar Hall Mar Hall and the Scottish borders Aira Force tea room Aira Force tea room -tailor made for rich pensioners Aira Force tea room Aira Force tea room Aira Force tea room The forest at Aira Force waterfalls The forest at Aira Force waterfalls Aira Force and Patterdale



As my final thought, let me leave you with a spot of DIY and upcycling inspiration: a whitewashed chandelier with knotted rope and tassels (which can also be made of rope) and a black chest of drawers covered with prints that could easily be copied using varnish and vintage-style wrapping paper.DIY inspiration

Chic flicks – 8 easy art-inspired DIYs

Art fashion DIYs


While events have conspired to keep me away  from blogging for a while (said events include a seriously underestimated project from the weekend), I thought I’d share a blast from the past with the very big, very now art-inspired fashion trend. I’ve compiled an outfit’s worth of nine easy tutorials of paint flicking, drizzling and splattering in an homage to the great masters, along with recycling Roy Lichtenstein-style and Banksy-inspired stencilling.

The tutorial links are:

and of course…


An entry with polish – 8 easy DIYs you can do with nail polish

The natural and surely harmless high of shopping brings a giddy intoxication – one that can very occasionally skew one’s judgement and send inhibitions through the floor in an incident commonly known as the impulse buy! We’ve all been there, done it, bought the proverbial or perchance literal t-shirt and lived to regret it. Some prefer to bury their heads in the sand – or the offending item in the deepest recesses of their wardrobe, in sufficient confinements of darkness to compensate for the shame of it genuinely seeming like a good idea at the time. Others try to make the best of a bad situation; the match might not be obvious, on the dim return to reality, but surely you can make it work. Maybe it’s merely a question of customising or tweaking it for a better fit. Here at Chic Cheat, there’s no prizes for guessing which approach I endorse!

The impulse buy fear doesn’t stop at clothing. Many has been a time when I’ve treated myself to make-up that I haven’t managed to use within its lifetime, especially nail polish. If you’re not especially into nail art, or prepared to put the work in, it can seem like a waste to don something you have to remove within 24 hours for school, work or any other institution in which painted nails could bring shame on the professional reputation of the establishment or cause mortal contamination. Also, I get hangnails which sting murderously when they come into contact with nail polish remover. So what do you do with a nail polish collection you can barely wear? Use them as a glossy, economical alternative to enamel paint, of course!

An entry with polishTutorials clockwise from the top left:



Supra Duper – How to DIY Supra’s painterly look on high top trainers

High tops are the perfect ‘blank canvas’ for painterly effects!


Supra Cuttler SneakerImage:
You will need…
fabric paint and high top trainers
 * I used both but you can use one or the other. I know fabric paints are expensive and you don’t need to use anywhere near as many as I did – I’d recommend four colours, tops, with a mixture of runny silk paints and thick fabric paints.

Very easy

While an element of technique is required to pull off the messy painted look, it can be achieved by taking your time and really taking care. This is one of the easiest projects I think I’ve ever done and very therapeutic – flicking paint always is (cleaning up, not so much!).



As long or as short as you like, depending on how detailed and messy you want your project to be but I think you’re hard-pushed to take more than an hour (unless, like me, you’re extremely easily distracted!).


Get your splodge on!

The silk paint methodMethod1

Squirt drips of silk paint along the tops of the trainers and the laces, alternating colours as you go and varying the distance between each drop, so that some paints run into each other and some stay as they are – a straightforward way to get the most out of few colours. Method2

The fabric paint methodMethod3

Yes, that says ‘flick paint,’ gutter brain! The trick here is to keep your brush as dry as possible; put it straight into the fabric paint and use a generous amount. Flick your brush in a short, fast upward movement so that the paint tapers off and leaves brush-like streaks.method4

DIY paint high top trainers

Finally, get a generous splodge of fabric paint on the bristles and flick them at the shoes, causing the paint to splatter.DIY paint trainersA quick drip, flick and drizzle with fabric paint is all you need to make a powerful print statement!

The Trends on Thursday – Bucket A-List

The bucket hat’s no flop this time!
Bucket A-list
Fashion is a fickle mistress, in too many and too obvious a set of ways to mention. So many of my nearest and dearest cite at least one article they just can’t wear, either because their body shapes are too elusive for the formulaic proportions of high street clothing or they just don’t suit them. Whether they’re trousers, short skirts or wrap dresses, these garments very soon reach the point of sartorial anathema – a nemesis the wearer can’t even imagine themselves in. The subject isn’t even up for discussion. My mum, for instance, ‘isn’t a hat person.’ Just think, what chance would such an unabashedly functional, ugly accessory as the bucket hat have of capturing the imagination of the fashion industry?
Timing is at the heart of this. The bucket hat, as a trend, is nothing new in menswear circles, nor has it been for the past two years. Pharrell’s head gear has made fashion waves among both sexes but the bucket hat’s relevance was cemented by Rihanna in her Instagrams from the World Cup final. Of late, she’s been seen cannily teaming bucket hats with elegant feminine paradigms, including scarlet lipstick, leggy hotpants and satin twinsets. Given the current women-led zeitgeist of tomboyish comfort and a 90s revival under way, when better to take a bucket hat and make it your own?
Bucket hats originated in Ireland and are part of the nation’s traditional folk costume. They were also famously worn by  Beppe Wolgers, a Swedish author and artist, in the 1970s; in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; by Alan “Reni” Wren from the Stone Roses; by  rappers in the 90s and among urban black youth in South Africa, as a sign of streetwise edge. Within a fashion context, a bucket hat over your hair – a quintessentially girlie paradigm – represents a subversive, hard-partying look, that’s cool in a devil-may-care kind of a way. It’s the next logical juncture from beanies, not to mention infinitely more comfortable in the sultry summer heat! It’s such a good look, in fact, that I was moved to dig one out and capture the moment myself – in my selfies.That point I made about uncool being the new cool? …I’ll get my coat!



That’s the way I spike it – How to DIY an Eddie Borgo cone gemstone bracelet

Owing to the epic challenge of moving, things have been quiet at Chic Cheat HQ, but since I’m back, I thought I’d make my returning presence known with a bit of colour.


Seeing Rainbows: Multicolor Summer Fashion From Rosie Assoulin, Edie...
DIY Eddie Borgo cone bracelet
DIY Eddie Borgo cone bracelet
I’ll fill you in on the method soon, but just to give you the edited highlights, in amongst a seemingly neverending onslaught of packing boxes, lugging them and unpacking everything once again, I managed to fit in an hour or so of creating an homage to Eddie Borgo’s gemstone cone bracelet by deliberately mixing colours in polymer clay and gouache, rolling them into cones, adding the odd lick of pearlescent nail polish and topcoat and gluing them to a chain. It was generally easy but fiddly, and now I’m exhausted. So now you know.

Unleash your marbles – How to DIY a Jean striped rainbow clutch by Edie Parker

Cook up a stylish storm with a deceptively simple upcycle!

Edie Parker Jean Striped In Rainbow
Of late, I’ve fallen in love with Edie Parker’s marble-effect clutch bags. This designer’s clutch motifs range from stripe patterns to quirky fruits and flowers and even bespoke name designs in a handwritten signature typeface. But above all, my eye was caught and my imagination captured by the rainbow clutch design, worn recently by country singer, Kacey Musgraves at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.



You will need…

DIY tools* Amendment (added 21/07/2014): Use metallic paper, not tissue paper.*

DIY marble clutch


I would also recommend using a paintbrush for the nail polish, in the interest of speed (just go with this one). You can also use it to create marble-like swirls in the nail polish, but it’s technically optional.


An hour, tops.



Pretty easy

It’s reasonably straightforward, if messy. It’s a quick project, yet easier if you take your time – I mean that in the ‘more haste less speed’ sense, rather than the ‘add a painstaking extra hour’ you’ll be pleased to know!

Add some stripes


As you can see in the picture, I’ve already done one side so, turning our attention to the clear side, you start by cutting the paper into strips of a similar width. The width you cut should depend on how wide the plastic box is. Mine were 2cm wide. You might need to make the first and last stripes slightly wider if the width isn’t easily divisible by the number of stripes. Also, remember to measure with the curve of the surface if it isn’t flat.  Pour a generous blob of nail polish over a small area.Method2

Spread the nail polish in a messy ‘marbly’ way using a paintbrush or the brush inside the bottle. Be careful not to waste the whole bottle in one gush – nail polish dries quickly and, when it comes to coverage, a little goes a long way.Method3

Place each strip across the inside of the box. I recommend using metallic paper, so you should place them with the coloured side facing downwards. Method3.5Cut away the excess paper, close the box and you should be left with something like this:

DIY Edie Parker Jean Striped In Rainbow

Amended DIYDIY Jean striped rainbow clutch by Edie Parker