DIY Projects by Gina

Hey everyone! It’s been forever! Although “free time” is not something that is abundant in my wife/mommy/business woman life, from time to time I just LOVE sitting down with a big glass of pinot and diving into a DIY project. About a year ago I got really into sewing. It’s a great pass-time while the kids are watching their cartoons or during any other down time. It’s also a great stress-reliever and can save you a TON of money in the process. I started my sewing with clothing. I have made dresses, shirts, skirts, even shorts! You don’t even need a sewing machine! My lovely husband saw how much I love to sew and he went out and bought me my own machine. That was a year ago, I’ve used it once since then! Those things are a pain in the ass. I prefer to do it by hand – gives me a little more satisfaction once I see the completed product.

My other favorite hobby in this world is to decorate. If you know me, you know that my furniture seems to have legs because it’s constantly moving around and I have totally run to the local hardware store on a whim and painted an entire room in my house before my husband makes it home from work. With that being said, a few months back I decided that I needed some new more modern window treatments. My boring drapes weren’t working for me. Has anyone else ever looked into getting custom shades?! They are so EXPENSIVE! I have an older house with odd sized windows, so to get custom Roman shades that would fit perfectly in my windows would cost well over $100… for one window! One window. This is what I wanted…

Would you believe that these custom-sized shades start at around $100.00 per window? I certainly couldn’t. I’m one of those people that would rather buy something inexpensive so I can keep changing it, rather than being stuck with one pricey item that I’m over in a year. So I thought about it, and VOILA! Why not use my love for sewing to achieve my goal of custom looking shades for literally one tenth of the price? The other totally awesome thing is that if you hate sewing or simply do not have the time this same exact thing can be achieved with an iron and iron-on fabric tape! I have made shades and curtains using both techniques. I hand-sewed this blue set…..

This beige one was done using fabric tape and an iron ONLY! No sewing.

I posted these pictures on my social media and had so many people asking me how I did this that I put together some instructions for you ladies! It’s so simple and these literally took me one hour BY HAND and about 30 minutes with the fabric tape. I get so many compliments on them and nobody believes that I made them. The trick is that the flaps (or folds) are created using $2.99 tension rods! No cords or pulleys like you would get on a store bought shade.



  1. Fabric of your choice (purchase a fabric intended for Interiors)
  2. Scissor
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Pins
  5. Thread/sewing needle
  6. Trim of your choice (I always go for the strands of crystals, but you can do ribbon, pom-poms, roping, whatever!)
  7. 2 or 3 or 4 tension rods (depending on how many folds you want on your shade)




  1. Measure the inside of your window (top to bottom and side to side)
  2. Add 2” to the width of your window (to allow for the side seams) and 4” to your length (to allow for the bottom hem and pocket on top for the tension rod to fit through).
  3. Cut your fabric to these measurements.
  4. Using your tape measure and pins fold each side of your fabric over one inch (the extra two inches we accounted for in step 2) and pin in place.
  5. Do the same with the top and bottom of your fabric. 3” at top (for rod pocket) and 1” on the bottom (for hem). Pin in place. Now that your fabric is pinned in place, the measurements of the material should be exactly the same as your original measurements of the interior of the window.
  6. Sew your sides and hems.
  7. Now, pin the trim you selected to the bottom of your shade and sew it in place (you can also use fabric glue to attach your trim to save some time, looks just as fabulous).
  8. Put one of the tension rods through the pocket you made at the top of the shade.
  9. Hang your shade in the highest point of the window. You should now have one sheet of fabric hanging and covering the interior of your window completely.
  10. Now you have to put the other tension rod… or two … or three in the window.
  11. Place them anywhere from 4-8” apart beneath your original rod depending on how big you want your folds to look.
  12. Now pull the fabric between the rods to make a fold. Repeat over each rod (again depending on how many rods you chose to use).


An added tip… Joann Fabrics ALWAYS has a ton of coupons available (usually one for 40% off any item), so it’s where I go to purchase my fabric. You can search for them on your phone and then screen shot them and use them at the register. How easy is that?? So my friends, now you have unique pricey looking shades on a budget so you can change them whenever you want. Happy Sewing… or taping 😉




Finding Foundation Part 3.. To prime or not to prime?

Hi Friends!

The last two posts we talked about finding the perfect color and the perfect formula of foundation. So you found your color and formulation but you notice that it may not leave you with that perfect poreless, blurred effect you are looking for. Or maybe you want your makeup to last through a special event like your wedding or someone else’s for that matter. Well….I can help with that!

Primer.. a magical step in the foundation application process that will turn your face into complete perfection! Unless you are running around with a surgically implanted selfie light (like below) we can all benefit from a little primer. Which one is the right one for you?

         Selfie Light No Primer

Like we discussed in the previous foundation post, I use a mineral BB or CC Foundation for everyday. I also use a primer after my oil free moisturizer and eye cream. Depending on what my skin is doing, ugh!, will determine which of 3 types of primer I use.

If I am looking to keep my oily T Zone at bay I use a mattifying primer. Only a pea sized amount is needed. I prefer Benefit the Porefessional which fills in pores but doesn’t clog them. You can find it here and with a discount for joining the Beauty Insiders at Sephora grid:p264900. This stuff will keep you blurred and poreless all day! I recommend for any special occasions too under any type of makeup or for that humid time of year. Your makeup will not move for 8 hours!

                           Benefit Porefessional

If you are a bit dry like I am after a night of retinol 🙁 I use Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer. This will also give you a little extra moisture and blurr your face a bit. You can find it here: grid:p387589. It will also help with any sensitivity and keeps a nice barrier between your sensitive overtaxed skin and your foundation.

                    Too Faced Hangover Primer .


The third and last primer I reach for is a luminous or natural primer. It will give your skin a more dewy, glowy base for foundation. I love the MAC Prep and Prime Skin and use this with thinner liquid foundations like the Nars Luminous Weightless Foundation, a liquid that feels completely weightless and has a natural look. You can find it at Sephora where I suggest you either get color matched or try a sample of a few colors that you think might work for you. Love that Sephora does samples!

Natural Primer: MAC Prep and Prime


                             Nars Foundation

If you use a powder foundation, after priming and applying your foundation, you can follow with bronzer and blush if you like and off you go!

If you have used a liquid foundation I highly suggest a translucent (no color) setting powder before bronzer or blush. I love the RCMA no color powder and the best part is it is extremely affordable. Find it here on Amazon:

                    RCMA Translucent Powder

Of course this step can be totally omitted but for all skin types if you are using liquid foundation, it will definitely help your other staples blend out better. Tried and true!

I wish I had known all this before a lot of wasted money and time! I always thought, eh, who needs a primer? I don’t have time for that! Now I won’t go without!

So, To Prime or Not to Prime? I say Prime all the way! Such a small small step but with a big impact !!!! Let us know what primer you use in the comments.

XO Bye for now, Melani