Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DIY: Distressed Denim Overalls

Whoever said denim overall (shorts) weren't back in style clearly didn't know how to DIY.

I'll admit it; a few months ago, I was on the fence about denim overalls. And especially for a trend that I wasn't sure on, I wasn't about to go and pay $128, $148 or $248 for a pair to wear this summer. Absolutely not. For a pair of denim jeans I might like? $20 maximum.

That meant only one thing - it was time to hit the thrift store for another DIY project!

I'll be honest with you. Of all the DIYs I've done, this is one of the projects that took a bit longer than the others. But the result? Totally worth it.

Thankfully, I had a few of my favorite lady bloggers to help me out (Free People and Drifter and the Gypsy). With their help, a few hours and $20, I was able to make my very own pair of dyed, distressed denim overall shorts. I never thought I'd say denim overall shorts are a summer must-have, but by golly, I think I'm converted.


Thrifted denim overall shorts
X-Acto knife
Sandpaper or sandpaper block
Washing machine
Laundry detergent

Spray bottle


Purchase a pair of denim overall shorts. I purchased mine for $5.99 at Goodwill. The brand is Xhilaration (90s throwback!)

Gather your bucket and bleach.

Fill your bucket 3/4 full with warm water. Next, add bleach. Depending on the color you'd like your denim, add more or less (general rule of thumb is to use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water). My overalls were a medium-tinted denim, so I used roughly 2 cups. Stir the mixture.

Submerge your overalls into the water and bleach mixture, but make sure you're wearing gloves! Bleach can irritate your skin.

Make sure your overalls are completely submerged. Monitor your overalls as they lighten color. Since I wanted my overalls to be a very light denim, mine were submerged for nearly two hours. This can vary between 30 minutes and 3 hours depending on the tint of your denim and the end result you'd like to achieve.

Once your denim is the color you'd like, take them out of the bleach mixture and run them through the washing machine on cold. I did this twice to minimize the stiffness from the bleach.

If you don't want to distress your denim, the DIY-ing stops here! Just make sure to wash your overalls in warm or hot water to completely remove the stiffness and the harsh scent. 

If you're going for the bleached and distressed look, it's time for your X-Acto knife and sandpaper. These tools will help you age and distress your denim.

For the ripped look that you'd normally see on the knees of denim pants, use the X-Acto knife and make horizontal cuts. Before making your cuts, make sure you place a piece of cardboard in the leg you're cutting to ensure the cuts don't penetrate through the back layer of fabric. I chose to make these near the bottom of the shorts, where wear and tear would likely have occurred. For a natural look, make sure the lines are uneven, but parallel. 

Right now they'll look like cut jeans (just wait until you wash them - you'll see the distressed effect!)

Use the X-Acto knife to make similar "distressed" cuts on pockets and seams, where excessive use would occur. The X-Acto knife is great for slash marks on the tops of pockets (see below), while the sandpaper is great for creating a truly aged denim look (slight wear and thin denim spots on the edges of pockets, near buttons etc.) Feel free to really "sand" your denim; you really can't go wrong when distressing.

If you're looking to add a bit more bleach to your overalls, grab a spray bottle and fill it with bleach only. Take your overalls to a safe surface (i.e. a patio with newspaper underneath your denim) and spray selected areas with bleach. I chose to spray the right leg and left side. I wanted my overalls to look like they'd really been worn and used, but this is totally optional.

If you do opt for this look, give your denim 30-40 minutes to dry. At this point, the bleach will be vibrant against the denim. 

Now it's time to give your overalls a good, solid washing and drying! This will help complete the distressing process. Wash and dry your denim twice (I washed them on warm water to complete the bleach effect and rinse the jeans of their stiffness). 

Then, get ready for the grand finale...frayed and distressed denim!

After two cycles of washing and drying, the white fibers of your denim should be exposed, and the cuts/sanding marks you made during the distressing process should now be visible. If you chose to spray your dyed denim with additional bleach, these stains will now be even more vibrant than before. 

The metal from my overalls even added to the distressed effect with rust stains. Really, anything that you do during the distressing process will only add to the final look. There really is no way to mess up.

Now, enjoy your final product! Lived-in, vintage and just the perfect amount of distressed, these overalls are the perfect addition to any outdoorsy summer wardrobe.

I wore mine on our camping trip this past weekend. They were comfortable, easy to mix and match with my favorite camping attire (flannel and Birkenstocks), and I didn't feel guilty about getting them dirty. My new favorite shorts!

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. || 


Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY: Room Spray

There is nothing that makes me feel more at peace than walking into my apartment when it smells amazing.

I've been looking for a natural room spray for a while now. In the past, the room sprays I've found have always smelled a little too chemical-y for my taste. We've been using incense as a room freshener (which smells great), but I wanted something that could help freshen up the smell of our couch/rugs/curtains/throw pillows etc. Not that they're dirty and smell bad; I just wanted a nice little summer scent to brighten up our apartment.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a DIY natural room spray from Free People (if you don't read their blog, it's an absolute must). Not only was I excited that the product was all-natural, but it's took only three ingredients to make! All-natural and easy? That's my kind of DIY. Oh, and I should also mention, it costs less than $10 total (and you'll have leftover ingredients for the future!)


Spray bottle (any size)
Witch hazel
Essential oil (I used lavender)


Gather your goods.

Fill spray bottle 3/4 full with water.

Add witch hazel until the spray bottle is nearly full.

Add essential oil (20-50 drops depending on pungency).

Shake it up!

Use around your home (and label with pretty lettering).

 || Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. || 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DIY: Sea Salt Hair Spray

I hope you had a lovely weekend, gems! I don't know about you, but I need a solid day to get back into the swing of things after a great weekend (lots of live music, warm weather and good friends). Thank goodness Monday happened and gave me the chance to get back on track (I can't believe I said that).

Since my shoulder injury, I've said adios to my hairdryer and have been going au natural when it comes to my hair. Thankfully, my hair usually looks acceptable enough for me to be out in public. Truthfully, I've grown really comfortable with my morning routine now (a breeze) and am enjoying showering at night more than I ever thought I would.

Only one problem; one of my favorite hair products for beachy waves (Alterna Bamboo Beach Ocean Waves) is nearly empty. I've used this bad boy on my hair nearly every day since we were in China (I rarely used hot tools on my hair due to the humidity), and it's nearly gone.

To supplement my Alterna product while I'm waiting for a new bottle to ship, I decided to make my own version (I just had to for my month of DIYs!). Inspired by Free People's tutorial on Sea Salt Spray for Hair, my version is nearly identical. 

The best part about this spray is that it was so easy to make. With only four ingredients (most of which I had lying around our apartment), it took me less than five minutes total.  Not to mention, it smells just like summer, which to me, is nearly priceless.

A must make (and must have) in my book. 


Coconut oil: 1/2 teaspoon
Hair gel: 1 tablespoon
Water: 8 ounces
Sea salt: 1 teaspoon
Spray bottle


Gather your goods.

Pour 8 ounces of slightly warm water into your spray bottle. This will help ensure the salt, coconut oil and hair gel dissolve. 

Add your sea salt (1 teaspoon). While salt is known to be harsh on your hair, the coconut oil will help keep it healthy.

Add your coconut oil (1/2 teaspoon). Feels and smells amazing.

Add your hair gel (1/2 tablespoon or more depending on desired hold). I used Aveda Confixor - it has such a great smell and a lightweight hold.

Tighten the nozzle and shake away! You want to ensure all of the products dissolve in the water.

Get ready to use! It can be sprayed on wet, damp or dry hair.

This was how my hair held up with the spray. I used it after sleeping on wet hair. A couple spritzes and I was ready for work (and my hair smells so, so good).

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. || 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY: Braided Anklets

Talk about a throwback. Every summer since I was about nine years old, I made endless amounts of friendship bracelets. For myself, my sister, my mom, all of my girlfriends, my dad (he was a good sport). For me, these bracelets bring back the best of nostalgia - mostly days spent at our cabin sitting around a picnic table with miles of colored string, tape and scissors.

This summer, I was craving a bit of the old days, and decided to brush up on my friendship bracelet skills. While my braiding skills have definitely improved, my patience hasn't! I forgot how long it took to make a really nice bracelet or anklet (about an hour for me). But the end result? Totally worth it.

While it might not be totally acceptable for me to stroll around the office with dozens of bracelets on my wrists, a pop of color on my ankles is the perfect compromise. Not to mention, I think anklets are adorable and perfect for summer sandals and bare feet. So dress up your ankles with this super easy braided chevron anklet.


Embroidery thread


Choose your thread. Choose more colors depending on how wide you'd like for the chevron to be, and how thick the braid. For this bracelet, I chose five colors.

Cut two pieces of each of the five colors (ten pieces total). Each piece should be as long as your wingspan. This should be enough string for a braided/chevron anklet, as well as a plain braided anklet (I think stacked ankle bracelets look best). Tie a knot at the top, leaving 3-4 inches extra string to secure your anklet with when it's finished.

Tape the knotted string to a hard surface.

Braid the thread 5-6 inches, or roughly 1/3 of the final length of the anklet (it may help to measure around your ankle at this point). Then, tie a knot, closing off the section of braided thread.

Separate the thread into two sections. Each section should have one of each color. The colors should mirror each-other when separated.

This is a little further along, but this is how your string should look on each side (mirroring each-other). I'm starting a few rows in to demonstrate how the chevron will eventually look.

Start with the outermost color on the left side (in this case, pink). Make a forward knot by making a "4" shape over the second color (in this case, light blue). Once you've made the four, loop the thread under and back through the loop.

Once your fingers are removed, it should look like this when correctly looped. 

Pull up and to the right to tighten.

Do this twice over each color, knotting toward the right, until the outermost color (still pink) is in the middle. You're half way done with one line of chevron pattern!

Now it's time to do the same thing on the right side. This time, you'll want to take the outermost color on your right (it should still be pink) and make a backwards "4" shape over the second color (it should still be light blue). Once you've made the backwards four, loop the thread under and back through the loop.

Once your fingers are removed, it should look like this when correctly looped. 

Continue looping until both pink strands are in the middle (make sure you make the loop twice over each piece of thread). When you get to the middle, make the backwards four loop with the string to connect the two halves. You're done with the first row of chevron!

Don't worry that your chevron pattern doesn't look great for the first few rows (just take a look at mine). It takes a bit of time for the pattern to develop (around 4-5 rows). Just make sure your colored thread stays in the correct order. It's difficult for the first few rows, but eventually the thread stays in place.

After braiding 5-6 inches in chevron (about 1/3 of the length of the final anklet), tie a knot to close off the chevron section. Next, braid the remaining 1/3 of your anklet, similar to the first part.

Your anklet is now complete and ready to be worn! Feel free to use the extra thread to create an additional braided anklet (they look great stacked).

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. ||

For more details on how to make this bracelet/anklet, check out Honestly WTF for their awesome (and much more in-depth) tutorial!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Style: Evergreen Girl + Guy

Technically I said this was going to be a month of DIYs (which it is!), but Jack and I snapped a few outfit photos over the weekend in my parents' backyard that I just couldn't help but share (you'll see why when you scroll down).

Honestly, outfit posts are just not my thing. While I usually like how they turn out in the end, I don't think I'll ever be comfortable posing for pictures, even in front of just Jack. Sensing my shyness, Jack jumped in and posed for a few himself while we were shooting this over the weekend. The photos are hysterical and totally helped me open up in front of the camera. While I don't think this will ever be natural for me, seeing him mimic my poses with his goofy sense of humor totally helped.

He's a keeper.

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. || 

on her || tank: Gap || shorts: Target || shawl: Target || sandals: vintage
on him || tee: gifted || shorts: Banana Republic || socks: Under Armour
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