Category Archives: DIY

DIY Small Outdoor Dog Bed

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If you’re like us, you might spend a little too much money spoiling your dog. We always say we’re not going to buy Tina more stuff (this pup has more toys than she knows what to do with), but then we see something adorable and decide she absolutely needs to have it. It might be a little out of control.

Over the summer, we thought Tina might like to have an outdoor bed since she was spending more time in the yard. Instead of buying a ready-made bed, we decided to save a few dollars and make one ourselves at home.

Using PVC pipe and fittings (which are pretty inexpensive and available at most hardware stores) and a “replacement” canvas dog bed cover, we were able to put together a pretty decent bed. Here’s how we did it!

Note: This bed is intended for small dogs (under 20 pounds). We can’t vouch for how well it will hold up with a larger dog.

Materials

  • 1 nylon canvas dog bed cover (we bought a medium Coolaroo Replacement Dog Bed Cover)
  • 4 one-inch 90-degree elbow CPVC fittings (use larger size pipe for a larger bed size)
  • 4 one-inch tee CPVC fittings
  • 4 one-inch cap CPVC fittings
  • 1 one-inch 10-ft. CPVC hot cold pipe (you may need more for a larger bed)

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Tools

  • Permanent market
  • Tape measure
  • Ratcheting PVC cutter (you can use a handheld saw, but this gives you a cleaner, more controlled cut and no pipe dust)
  • Tiger Bond glue

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Directions

1. Measure the bed cover. Cut four pieces of PVC pipe to be 1.5 inches shorter than each side of the cover. Cut four additional 3-inch pieces for the legs.

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2. Thread the frame pieces through the openings in the bed cover. Place the tee fittings on the ends of each piece and connect the pieces one at a time, using a small amount of Tiger Bond glue to secure them.

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3. Attach the elbow fittings to the tee fittings, with the larger end facing down.

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4. Attach the leg pieces to the elbow fittings, then cover the open ends with the cap fittings.

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5. Give it to your pup to enjoy!

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Two dogs on the bed at once is not recommended, but Tina and Jake were just being SO CUTE.

So, it may not save a ton of money, but it’s just fun to make something with your own two hands sometimes. Tina loves her bed and we’re proud that we made it for her!

-Christine & Nicole

#TaylorBrides: Our DIY Wedding Projects

** UPDATE: Our wedding was featured on 2 Brides 2 Be, an amazing resource for engaged lesbian couples. Check it out! “Nicole & Christine’s Handmade Fairy Tale” **

Weddings are expensive. Like, really expensive. It varies by state, but according to Value Penguin, the average New Jersey wedding costs upwards of $40,000, and most are somewhere around $30-35,000. We were engaged for about two years before our wedding and had plenty of time to save up, but during that time we bought a house and a dog, and had sizable student loan payments to make. Spending that kind of money for a single day was absolutely out of the question.

We assumed we were paying for our entire wedding ourselves (which, thankfully, was not the case—our wonderful parents generously contributed about a combined third of our total costs), so we were shooting for $15-20,000 when we were making our budget. Although we did end up spending more than we intended, we were able to save a whole lot of money by DIY-ing most of our decor, stationery, bouquets and dress alterations.

Here’s what we did, our approximate costs/savings (national averages from LifeHacker), and the finished products. Beautiful pictures were all taken by Kara Battistoni and Nick Nittoli for Hurricane Productions.

Wedding dresses

Average: $1,357 (for one!)
Our cost: About $600 (for both)

Ladies, we’ll let you in on a little secret: If you’re pretty confident about your dress size and/or don’t mind having to get minor alterations done, David’s Bridal online clearance sales are the absolute best way to get beautiful formal dresses on the cheap. We’ve gotten a couple of very nice cocktail dresses that way for less than $50 each, and we knew that, since this wedding would include two bridal gowns, it would be far more cost-effective to get relatively plain white dresses and add details like beading ourselves. So…yeah. We bought our wedding dresses online.

We purchased two additional satin dresses in red and pink (which we cut short and wore to our afterparty) to use as fabric, as well as a yard of mesh beadwork from eBay. We also needed to turn Nicole’s zipper back into a corset back, because she has a weirdly wide ribcage. This grommet tutorial from SidneyEileen.com is incredibly helpful, if you’re looking to do it yourself.

We’re kicking ourselves for not taking “before” pictures (or at least saving screenshots of the David’s Bridal product page), but here’s what we wore on our wedding day:

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NICOLE: Added hand-stitched beadwork along neckline; converted to corset back; sewed and added bustle a la Nicole Kidman’s “Smoldering Temptress” dress from Moulin Rouge.

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CHRISTINE: Sewed in pink lining along entire top of dress; added hand-embroidered hanging sash to back to match existing embroidery.

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Invitations

Average: $439
Our cost: 
$120 plus printer ink cartridges

Wedding stationery is tricky. Your invitation can really set the tone for your event, and you don’t want it to look cheap or tacky. But at the same time, do you really need to spend an extra dollar or two per invitation for that high-end pearl shimmer paper? We came across Cards & Pockets, which sells DIY cardstock invitation kits designed for use with any standard inkjet printer. They had tons of color options and add-ons, so you can really get any look and feel you want. Christine designed our whole suite in Photoshop, and we went through maybe one and a half color cartidges for this project. Oh, we also saved money on RSVP cards and postage by having people respond through our wedding website.

Taylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane Productions

Taylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane Productions

Flowers & Decor

Average: $2,141
Our cost: About $1,000

We didn’t keep very good track of our decor/floral purchases (things were purchased over many, many trips to A.C. Moore and Hobby Lobby during the course of our engagement) so this figure is rounded up, because we probably spent more than we think we did. However, knowing the cost of everything we used—large silk flowers, greenery, mason jars, LED battery-operated candles, glass candle bases, satin ribbon, a ceremony arch, sand ceremony accessories, etc.—it didn’t come anywhere close to the $2,141 average. The best part is, unlike real flowers, our bouquets will always stay preserved in perfect condition, exactly as they were on our wedding day. They’re now part of our permanent living room decorations as a happy reminder of August 22.

Taylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane ProductionsTaylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane ProductionsTaylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane Productions Taylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane Productions Taylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane Productions Taylor Wedding, 8-22-15 / Hurricane Productions

-Christine & Nicole (Mrs. & Mrs. Taylor)

Photo Recap: Alcohalloween

Took a little longer than we’d hoped, but we finally have our Alcohalloween photo recap ready. This wasn’t everyone at the party, but we wanted to share the exceptionally creative DIY costumes some of our friends came up with (and of course, ours!). Enjoy our sartorial renditions of delicious alcoholic beverages—complete with recipes!

Out of respect for our friends’ privacy, we’ve covered their faces with emojis. Also, it’s kind of fun to look at.

Midori Margarita - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle) Electric Blue Lemonade - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle)Mudslide - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle)White Russian - - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle)Gin & Tonic - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle) Strongbow Cider - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle)  Tequila Sunrise - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle)  The Bee's Knees - - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle) - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle)
And of course…
Cocktail Olive - Alcohalloween DIY costume (Razzle Frazzle)

Preview: 2015 Halloween costumes

As loyal readers and close friends know, themed Halloween parties are kind of our thing. In 2013 we hosted RuPaulloween. Last year was What the Hall-oween (subtitled “WTF Sexy”). This year we’re carrying on the grand tradition of elaborate DIY costumes with….

ALCOHALLOWEEN!

We’re encouraging our guests to come dressed in a booze-inspired costume. This week, the Razzle Frazzle team has been working on the accessories for our outfits, which will be fully revealed after the party.

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Any guesses on our costumes?! I can tell you that Tina will be dressed as an olive (get it, because olives go in a marTINi? Nah, they don’t get it).

Stay tuned for the post-Halloween photo recap!

-Nicole

 

What the Hall-oween: A Collection of DIY Costumes

We know we’ve totally said this before, but it bears repeating: Halloween is easily our favorite holiday. We’re theater kids—it’s just in our nature to love dressing up and becoming somebody else for a night.

We’ve thrown a Halloween party for our friends for the past three Halloweens, and every year we’ve managed to stay true to our crafting roots by making (or at least partially making) our own costumes. In 2012 the three of us and another friend of ours dressed up as some of The Avengers; last year (as Razzle Frazzle readers may recall) we had our infamous “RuPaulloween” party, complete with hand-styled wigs and a crap-ton of drag makeup. This year we decided to take on the whole Halloween industry by making DIY “sexy” costumes. But these weren’t just any sexy costumes—these were concepts for costumes that had absolutely no business being sexy.

Thus, our annual theme was lovingly dubbed “What the Hall-oween,” where we challenged our guests to come up with the most “WTF” costumes they possibly could. We had some really great ones—Sexy Quail Man, Sexy Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and a two-part Sexy Menstruation couple costume, to name a few (yes, that last one is real and they totally won WTF sexy, hands down). In an effort to up the crafting content on Razzle Frazzle, we wanted to share our own costumes and the ones we helped make/inspire. Enjoy!

-The Razzle Frazzle team

Sexy Lean Pocket

Sexy Lean Pocket Costume - RazzleFrazzleBlog.com

Because Danielle is the queen of Lean Pockets, this costume was a natural fit for her. She crafted a Pocket sleeve out of poster board and wore it over a white tank top and shorts. Add in white fishnets and heels, and bam. A “hot,” hot microwaved treat.

Sexy Playground

Sexy Playground Costume - RazzleFrazzleBlog.com

Our friend Becca dressed as a sexy playground. There were a whole lot of elements to this costume, but she and Christie had a ton of fun making it. She included all the best playground elements: a “monkey bar” vinyl tubing skirt, swingset earrings, a rock climbing wall corset, and of course, a see-saw head piece. Primary colors were a must (the grass in our backyard is still covered in spray paint).

Sexy Rotary Phone

Sexy Rotary Phone Costume - RazzleFrazzleBlog.com

This was one of the first costume concepts we came up with when we started floating the WTF sexy theme around last year, and we were SO glad Brittney decided to run with it. It was so simple, but so clever and cute: A red corset and skirt with cardboard circle numbers. Bonus points to her, because the rotary phone handset she put in her hair turned her into an ACTUAL FUNCTIONING PHONE.

Sexy Snoopy

Sexy Snoopy Costume - RazzleFrazzleBlog.com

Nicole has loved Snoopy and the Peanuts gang for as long as she can remember, so it was high time she dressed up as her favorite cartoon character of all time. This was probably the least amount of work of all the DIY costumes, but it was still pretty effective. Though you can’t see the back of the costume, Snoopy’s classic black spot and a hand-stitched cotton-stuffed fabric tail make an appearance.

Sexy Woodstock

Sexy Woodstock Costume - RazzleFrazzleBlog.com

Can’t have Snoopy without his partner-in-crime Woodstock, right? Honestly, with the amount of metallic gold and feathers in this costume, Christine might as well have worn this to RuPaulloween last year (actually, those are her Ru shoes. No one saw them under her massive gown though). The feathers all came from a cheap yellow boa, which we cut up and affixed to various parts of the costume. What was left of the boa hung from the middle of her banana clip hairpiece to serve as Woodstock’s feather mohawk.

Oh, and Tina was Charlie Brown. Because of course she was. Christine somehow managed to replicate a perfect dog shirt pattern and make this out of an old yellow t-shirt.

DIY Charlie Brown dog shirt - RazzleFrazzleBlog.com

Hope everyone had an awesome Halloween! Stay tuned for next year’s photo recap of Alco-halloween.

A collection of DIY projects in our home

We tend to focus a lot on food here at Razzle Frazzle. When we started this blog, it was intended to be that way. But since crafting is such a big part of our lives, it only seems fitting that we throw in a DIY post here and there. Without actually giving full tutorials (maybe someday), here are three successful DIY projects that have found a place in our apartment:

Patron Bottle Lamp

Patron Bottle Lamp - Razzle Frazzle

This lamp was actually made/given to us as a housewarming gift from our wonderful friend Jesse. We made our own version, but the original is near and dear to our hearts. The process is a little complex and involves some potentially hazardous glass drilling operations, but once that part is done, all you need is a lamp kit (about $10 at Home Depot), some glass or plastic beads, and a lampshade. Oh, you’ll probably also need some kind of rubber or plastic stopper to hold the cord in place once the hole is drilled. The name escapes me, but those are in Home Depot somewhere too.

Utensil Clock

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Inspired by a far-too-expensive version of this that we found in Target a while back, we made this adorable kitchen decoration using clear plastic cutlery and a cheap wall clock. This one’s pretty straightforward—paint the utensils, hot glue ’em to the back when they’ve dried, and hang. Simple as that.

NES Controller Flash Drive

NES Controller Flash Drive 3

Pretty sure we couldn’t replicate this if we tried. Christie cracked open an old NES controller and stuffed it with cotton and a special flash drive cord she’d pulled from somewhere else. That’s about all I know and all she remembers about how she made it. It is a super cool DIY gift for a gamer, though.

-Nicole and Christie

Taylor Made: Holiday Gift Basket

The holiday season always turns out to be so much busier than you anticipate, doesn’t it? Every year, you know you have a ton of shopping, baking, wrapping and decorating to do, and every year, you’re just not ready for it. Before you know it, you’re a week away from Christmas Eve and half of what you had intended to do isn’t done.

We’re having one of those years, so apologies for the lack of posting lately! We have a low(er)-fat blondie recipe coming up really soon (you know, for all you last-minute baked good gifters like us), but for now, we’re so excited to share the result of our first “official” project under our future bakery, Taylor Made Sweets and Treats.

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Danielle is the president of NYU’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), and she organized their holiday banquet. The board wanted to host a charity basket raffle, with the proceeds going to the organization of the winner’s choice. We gladly volunteered to be a part of this wonderful event, and made one regular and one gluten free holiday-themed gift basket.

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Each basket contained fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, chocolate lollipops shaped like stockings, chocolate covered marshmallows (like these ones, only in Christmas colors), and oatmeal raisin cookie mix-in-a-jar (a super easy and adorable DIY holiday gift, by the way!).

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PS – Friends, if you want any of these things, tell us now!