DIY Carrie Diaries Personalised Paint Splatter Clutch Bag

25 May 2014

Ever since I saw young Carrie Bradshaw's personalised paint splatter bag, I knew I had to have it one way or another. I mapped out different ways of completing this DIY in my head as I wanted to make sure it turned out perfect. I was trawling the internet for a Kelly handbag similar to Carrie's and found it near impossible to find one with enough space for text and at the right price. So I turned to a more widely available option, a black clutch bag. I picked up this clutch bag for £7 at a discount store in Manchester and was quite surprised with the quality. Its weight and structure was perfect and came with a long chain so it can be used as a shoulder/cross body bag as well as a clutch.

- Newspaper or large plastic sheet/bag
- Bag
- Acrylic paint
- Paint palette or mixing tool
- Paint brush
- X-acto knife
- Cutting board
- Printer
- Paper
- Sponge
- Sharpie
- Q-Tips
- Nail polish remover
- Blue Tack

Step 1
Prepare your workspace and lay out newspaper or a large sheet of plastic. You can use bin liners for this too. Make sure you cover a large space, you will be throwing paint so there is a possibility it will travel far and possibly stain object nearby.

Step 2
Tape any accents you don't want to cover in paint. In this case, there is chain detailing surrounding the bag that I don't want the paint to hit so I've taped it, front and back.

Step 3
Decide which colours to splatter across your chosen bag. I chose to do the same colours as the original but added the option of a blue. Mix this on a palette to get your desired shades. Make sure you mix enough to make a decent amount of splatters across the bag. The reason I have chosen acrylic paint instead of using nail polish like a lot of other DIYers have used is because acrylic is longer-lasting. Nail polish in renowned for chipping which means it will eventually chip and fade.

Step 4
Scoop a good amount of your chosen colour onto a spatula or a paint brush of your choice and throw it towards the bag in random directions making sure your the path of the throw does not reach past the covered area or you'll get red paint on your new cushion like I did! After you have finished, you must wait for the paint to dry fully before continuing, this may require you to wait overnight depending on how thick the paint splatters are.

Step 5
You can choose to paint your name free-hand if you're confident enough but if you're anything like me, it may be better to use a stencil. To do this, create a Word document and type your name in a large cursive font, I downloaded Learning Curve from, made it bold and printed it out landscape.

Step 6
Lay your printed name on top of a cutting board and using an x-acto knife, slowly cut out your name. Don't forget to cut out and keep the spaces inside letters, so the shapes within letter A's, E's, etc...

Step 7
Lightly tape the stencil cut out onto the bag and blue tack the letter cut outs in place. Mix the desired colour for your name and using a sponge, lightly dab the paint over the stencil evenly. Do about 2 or 3 layers of paint, leaving a few minutes to dry a little in between. On the last layer, make sure to do really light dabs to reduce the amount of bumps in the paint which is caused by the pores from the sponge.

Step 8
Take the stencil off and clean off the edges with a q-tip dipped in nail polish remover. Sharpen the edges with the use of a thin brush dipped in the same colour paint as the name. To sharpen the lines even further, use a black Sharpie and go around any rough edges.


If you want to perfect this clutch even further, continue the pattern onto the back and under the flap. I absolutely adore this bag and I must admit, this is one of my greatest DIYs. This is a perfect way to upcycle and personalise and old bag and would make a fantastic present to someone who is a fan of Sex and The City and/or Carrie Diaries. Sadly, it has been announced that Carrie Diaries has been cancelled but be sure to keep the spin-off alive with this funky bag. There's no way of buying the actual bag from anywhere as it is a one-off piece created for the show but I have seen people selling versions on Etsy for $125! I think an at-home DIY is the way to go personally as this project only cost me £8.50. Check out the Oxfam shop for bags to customise here.

I hope you've enjoyed this DIY and again, I must apologise for my extended absence which was briefly explained in my Back To Basics blog post. I promise to get back into the swing of DIYing and already have two more projects planned so watch this space!

Who Made Your Pants Review

17 May 2014

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Who Made Your Pants to review one of their knickers. Who Made Your Pants is a company that sells handmade, ethical and efficiently sourced knickers. They are based in Southampton, UK and believe that no-one should have to work in poor conditions just to make a cheap pair of pants. The company offer a wide variety of styles in a number of prints and designs but also offer a subscription service to a year of pants at £21.50 a month. Sizes start from a UK 8 to a UK 18.

While handmade, the knickers are professionally finished with a care label, safety pin and card with the name of whoever made your pair of knickers. These knickers are made of upcycled materials which basically means that it was made from material wastage from other companies. Zuhra made this particular pair of pants and I recently discovered from the website that she was the first person at Who Made Your Pants HQ to get a promotion from a skilled worker to a supervisor. 

I went sent the Silver Shadow knicker from the Rosalind collection. It's a gunmetal silver colour on a silky stretchy material with black lace trims, decorated with a tiny black satin bow. At first I was sceptical about the seam down the front, I prefer my knickers to use a continuous single piece of fabric, however - I understand that if this was the requirement for all knickers, it would mean that less upcycling would be possible due to lack of larger pieces of fabric and after trying them on, I realised it made no difference to comfort. Out of all the styles WMYP do, I would say that Rosalind is my favourite so I am beyond grateful for them sending me this style, and in such a classic design. I'd say that this particular pair is very "me". It also held its shape well and didn't loosen throughout the day. 

 What really impressed me was the professionalism of sewing. The seam edges were sewn with zig-zag stitches to withstand stretch and the middle seam was overlocked securely and neatly - not bad for being handmade in Southampton!

After washing this at 30 degrees with a mixture of other colours and fabrics, on a full load - it's safe to say it has passed the wash test. It came out of the washing machine almost the same way it arrived to me through the post. The colour hadn't faded, neither did the lace. There was a little bobbling on the lace but this is from being mixed in with other fabrics in the wash. They still fit in the same way and the quality didn't deteriorate. 

My only gripe would be the cost of the knickers. From a business point of view (I am a lingerie and nightwear Buying Assistant) I feel that £21.50 a month/each is a little too much - the reason why people buy their underwear from retail giants like Primark is because of their price and affordability. I think to warrant Victoria's Secret prices, they would have to make more attractive designs and styles or they would have to bring their prices down to around £15 to compete with high street retailers like La Senza while keeping a fair wage to its employers. A knicker from WMYP would make a great gift to someone so it's good they offer a gift wrapping service and perhaps adding the option of limited edition knickers would increase desirability. 

What I really love about this service is that it's ethical, it's local, it's luxurious, it supports local woman and also pays them fairly. I love the motives of this company and can only hope that more people hear about the wonderful work that they do for women like you and me.

You can find Who Made Your Pants in the UK Subscription Directory in the sidebar and at

Back To Basics

4 May 2014

dont forget to fall in love with yourself 1st.... would live this as a tattoo

The very famous Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and The City once said "Don't forget to fall in love with yourself first." It is this quote which explains my recent lack of commitment to The Science of Happy. I fell out of love with myself. 

After my friend James passed away, I lost all interest in writing. I stopped submitting Oxfam posts and still have not submitted anything in 6 months. I stopped writing about all things profound and starting only writing about all things frivolous which goes against the whole reason I started this new blog. I stopped seeing life for what it was and started falling out of love with myself, my life and everything around me. I lost motivation, my aspirations dissolved into nothing and my desire to explore vanished. This was not helped by the lack of support I have, my living conditions, my troubled long-distance relationship, my 10 month (and still going) cough or my evaporating pool of close friends.

My heart has been shredded.

A year ago, I was on top of the world. I had created this new version of myself that I fell head over heels in love with. I was meeting new people, experiencing new things, appreciating all things big and small and was essentially, happy. Something I had never managed to accomplish in 24 years. 

It tears me apart to say that I am no longer happy. I even look unhappy. I've been told that my eyes look dead. I cried on my birthday and that was also the last time I saw my boyfriend. 

I don't know what tomorrow will bring but all I know is that miracles do happen. Around November 2012, I finally took an active attempt to change my life for the better...and it worked. From this, 2013 became the best year of my entire life. Even though right now, I feel like my hard work has been undone - it just goes to show that when you put your mind to it, your determination and hard work will pay off. I've done it before and I'll do it again. 

Your future is literally in your own hands. I don't believe that a path has been made for you to follow and I don't believe in fate. I believe the path is what YOU make it. You are your own destiny and while right now it may hurt, remember that after a storm comes a rainbow. Nothing worth having has ever come easy to anyone so stay strong, even if you feel like you're dying inside. 

Life is tough, but so are you.

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