Christmas Sweater Styling

Sunday, December 22nd 2013 • posted in: DIY


So you’ve already attended your “Ugly Christmas Sweater” party this year, and of course it was awesome. And you looked amazing. But don’t pack away your thrifted finds just yet! Sweaters are one of my favorite things to shop for at thrift stores (and wear), and with winter sometimes lasting until May in our lovely state of Minnesota, we might as well try to stay in the holiday spirit for as long as possible to try to make winter bearable.



Did you find a sweater with a pattern you love but a fit that you just can’t work with? Simply cut off the sleeves for a pair of one-of-a-kind boot socks/leg warmers that you can wear until the snow melts!
– DIY leg warmers: thrifted sweater
– sweater, leggings, & boots: model’s



Warm up your favorite little black dress by layering a sweater on top.
– sweater, black dress, tights, boots: thrifted



Keep it classy for a holiday party with a red and black sweater and a black skirt, tights, and boots. Make sure to top it off with a red lip!
– sweater: vintage
– skirt, tights, boots, purse: thrifted



Stay warm and cozy all winter long with an oversized mens sweater paired with your favorite leggings and your favorite hot cocoa.
– sweater: thrifted
– leggings & boots: model’s
– beanie: Forever21



Leave your coat in the car when finishing your last-minute Christmas shopping – or post-holiday returns – in a sweater, your favorite skinnies, and some (hopefully) comfortable ankle boots.
– sweater, jeans, purse: thrifted
– beanie: Forever21
– boots: model’s



Pair a colorful sweater with a black skater skirt, tights, and boots to feel like a kid again when you’re hanging out with Santa…or your grandparents.
– sweater, black skirt, tights, boots: thrifted



Layer a solid sweater over a collared dress for a fun, young look. Add a hat if you want to channel your inner-Madeline.
– dress, hat, tights: thrifted
– sweater: vintage



Hit the slopes (okay, maybe just the bars or your favorite coffee shop) with a sweater layered over always-classy red velvet.
– sweater, red velvet dress: thrifted
– beanie: Forever21

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DIY // Black Crushed Velvet Chair

Wednesday, September 11th 2013 • posted in: DIY

I know, these pictures are terrible…come on Sara, what were you thinking?  Well, to be honest, I really wasn’t.  I’d planned a last-minute shoot with my makeup artist Julie Lam and an amazing model from Ignite named Alex who was home from Thailand for a short while.  I had purchased some really inexpensive dresses a few days earlier (I’ll post about that soon, too) and wanted to use my new backdrop (which ended up being a HUGE pain to make, but I do really love it), but I knew I wanted some sort of dark chair for her to sit on for some shots.

I stopped at two thrift stores on my drive to the studio with my fingers crossed.  I ended up finding one chair which wasn’t really what I envisioned (it was light in color and had a glossy finish) but I wanted SOMETHING – so I spent the $5 on it, then stopped at a hardware store to pick up some sanding sponges to remove the gloss.  I had an amazing assistant for the day named Kelsey, and she got right to work on sanding that chair (I actually felt bad even asking her to do it because I’m just so used to doing random stuff like that on my own).  Once she was done, I realized it still wouldn’t work with the looks we were shooting – I even tried to stain it with my coffee (yeah, that didn’t work).  We then remembered this chair I’d scored from Goodwill for $2 a couple months back.  I liked the shape and the color of the wood (which is accurate in the photo on the left) but I knew the pink seat would NOT work for the black and red wardrobe.  I went to my garment rack, grabbed one of the many black velvet dresses I’d brought along (all thrifted for $5 or less, of course), and we cut off the bottom half.  We wrapped the cushion and pinned it into place.

Obviously it isn’t a REAL reupholstery job, but it worked great for the shoot – and I may keep it like this for a while before removing the pins and bringing it back to its pink glory.  Total cost…$5 ($2 chair, $3 dress).  And definitely not bad for something we came up with and completed before Julie and Alex were even finished with hair & makeup!

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DIY // Dyed Canvas Backdrop

Friday, September 6th 2013 • posted in: DIY

A while back my friend Elena Jasic blogged about a DIY backdrop she had made.  I’d been meaning to give it a go for months now, and finally got around to buying what I needed last night – a 12×15 canvas drop cloth from Lowes (or any home improvement store) and a few bottles of black Rit dye.  It’s currently soaking in an 18 gallon storage bin inside my bathtub…which I didn’t really think through very well, I’m hoping I don’t end up staining my tub when I dump it out.  Woops!  Wish me luck :)

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Monday, July 22nd 2013 • posted in: Behind the Scenes, DIY

After being inspired by a recent set by my friend Shannon Miller, I searched my house for props then headed to Goodwill and spent $20 on a bunch of fabric to put together this set in the studio.  My studio mate Sarah Blesener and I created a pulley system of sorts using a curtain rod from Ikea and some rope, tying it to the base on the back side of our movable wall.  We then safety pinned the fabric over the rod, and added another side to our “room” using a backdrop stand.  Sarah and I actually couldn’t believe that it actually worked, and how well it ended up turning out!

Sarah was an awesome model, too…full set coming soon!

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