Easy Crop Top Restyle

DIY cropped shirt from an oversized topHey, guys— it's Katie here! I'm sure you've heard me talk about this before, but I just love embellishments and alterations. I adore taking something I already own but may not be super into, and turning it into something I frequently wear. It helps stave off my constant need to be shopping for new things... which my husband greatly appreciates.  ;)

I scored this cute top at my favorite thrift store at the beginning of spring, but haven't worn it. There is nothing wrong with it, I just never really loved the way it fit. I decided to do a pretty small alteration, and now it's one of my favorites! Here's what I did:

Turn a baggy shirt into a cropped shirtSupplies:
-a top you'd like to alter

-scissors or rotary cutter
-measuring tape
-elastic (I used 3/8")
-sewing machine

Baggy shirt to fitted cropped shirt (before)I suppose I should start with a "before" photo to give you a point of reference. Like I said, there was nothing wrong with this top. It was just another thing sitting in my closet that wasn't getting worn.

Measure and cut the bottom sectionCreating a cropped shirt from an oversized top (click through for tutorial)Step One: Measure up from the bottom how many inches you'd like to remove from your shirt. Keep in mind you will need a little seam allowance for your hem.

Iron the hemStep Two: Turn your top inside out and fold up the bottom. Iron the fold (mine was 1 1/4"). After you've ironed your hem, fold up a second time and iron again.

Pin the hemSew the hemLeave an opening for the elasticStep Three: Pin your ironed hem. This will ensure the hem stays even as you run it through your sewing machine. Use your sewing machine to stitch along the top of the hem, leaving a small section unsewn (the circled section in the photo above).

Attach a paper clip or safety pin to the elastic
Thread the elastic through the hem
Step Four: Measure your waist and cut a length of elastic to fit. Attach a paper clip or safety pin to the elastic. Thread the elastic strip through the hole of your hem and out the other side. Make sure to hold one end as you thread the elastic. Pin and stitch the elastic once you've made it through.

Turn a baggy oversized shirt into a sweet cropped top (click through for tutorial)Step Five (optional): Sew the small opening closed.

Turn your top right side out and you're all finished!

DIY Cropped Shirt (click through for tutorial)Great tutorial for turning oversized shirts into lovely cropped tops (click through for tutorial)Turn an oversized shirt into a cropped blouse (click through for tutorial)And that's it! I turned a shirt that wasn't getting any love into a top I absolutely adore! I love pairing my cropped shirts with high-waisted skirts and shorts... and more than that, I love breathing new life into things I already own. Happy sewing! xo. Katie

Credits // Author and Photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with Imogen from the Folk Collection.

How to Apply Lipstick & Make it Last All Day

Tips applying lipstickKeeping your lipstick on your lips is a challenge for a lot of us. There are tons of great long-wear lipsticks out there on the market, but here's a trick to make your lipstick long-lasting even if it's a traditional formula.
Tools for getting perfect lipsAll you need is lipstick, a similar or matching liner, translucent powder, a brush, and a tissue.
How to apply lipstickStep One: Define your lip shape with liner. I like to start by making an x at the Cupid's bow, a little u shape on the bottom lip, and arrows at the corner, and then connecting the lines. Don't worry if it looks silly, you're going to be filling it in anyway! 
How to apply lipstick
Step Two: Fill in your entire upper and bottom lip with liner. This is an important step. Lip liner is drier than lipstick and will adhere to your lips, which will help the color stay, even if your creamy lipstick formula wears off.
Step Three: Apply lipstick. I like to use a brush for precision, but you can also just apply straight from the tube. If I'm doing a super intense color, sometimes I will do two coats, blotting in between. 
How to make your lipstick last all dayStep Four: Take your tissue and pull it apart so you only have 1 ply. Lay it over your lips and powder on top of the tissue. This will let a small amount of powder set your lipstick without it looking dry or dulling the color! 
Tips applying lipstick Make sure you take your lipstick with you to touch up just in case! This trick will definitely help it wear longer. Try it out and see what works best for you! xo. AnnaRose
Credits // Author:  Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. If you use AnnaRose's styling tips, feel free to tag her on Instagram or Twitter @theannarose.

Vegetarian Spaghetti and "Meatballs"

Easy homemade meatball recipeI bet you didn't know that us (mostly) vegetarians dream of meatballs too. At least this gal does (points thumb at chest). 

OK, we've got to discuss this real quick. Who decided that these should be called "meatballs?" I mean, is it just me, or is that not the laziest name ever? Also, it's not the most appetizing description ever. Meatballs. Balls of meat. 

And if your inner-middle schooler is giggling right now, it's OK. Me too. Or, conversely, if you are a middle schooler, and you're way too mature to be giggling at this...well, you win. 

My favorite vegetarian meatball recipeFocus now. We've got some meatless meatballs to make. These may not have meat, but they are still full of protein.

Still giggling? Get it together, you guys. We've got dinner to make. 

Best vegetarian meatball recipe  Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs, serves 2-3 (makes 14-15 balls)
Adapted from The Kitchn's guide, How to Make Meatballs

8 oz. tempeh
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 large jar of your favorite tomato sauce (or make your own)
salt + pepper
16 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles

In a bowl, stir together the milk and bread crumbs. This is sort of a breakfast cereal moment. 

Use a grater to shred the tempeh so it resembles the texture of ground meat. To the bread crumb bowl, add the tempeh, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, chopped onion and the minced garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Best vegetarian meatball recipe Use your clean hands to roll the batter into small balls. (Insert more giggles.) If you aren't using them all at once, you can place them in a zip lock bag and freeze them.

Best vegetarian meatball recipeGet your pasta cooking in some boiling, salted water. While that cooks, cook the meatballs in the tomato sauce for 10-12 minutes until everything is hot. They don't need to cook for very long. You're mostly just making sure the raw egg in the batter cooks and the cheese begins to melt.

Vegetarian meatballs (click through for recipe)Once the pasta is ready, drain, and serve the meatballs and sauce on top. Garnish with a little more chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese. Devour. 

Yes, you must devour. That's just part of the recipe. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection. 

Crochet Basics: Getting Started & Reading Patterns

Holly's cute tattooYarn partyElsie Larson crochetKatie Shelton crochetEmma Chapman crochet I don't know about you, but every autumn season I get the itch to start something new! I don't know what it is, but every year I feel in the mood to get crafty or start some kind of project that I can do at home. In case any of you feel the same, we thought it would be fun to do something together. So, we've worked with Holly Neufeld to create a series of posts designed to teach you to crochet! I have been looking forward to this series for a few months now as I am in NEED of brushing up on some long-forgotten skills. So without further a do, take it away, Holly:

Crochet basicsCrochet partyHolly NeufeldCrocheting is one of my most beloved hobbies. I think one of the biggest reasons I love it so much is the simplicity of it. You only need a hook and yarn to create something. And it’s so easy to bring your projects with you wherever you go. 

I was very fortunate to have my husband’s mom teach me how to crochet. She took a bit of time one summer afternoon six years ago to show me the basics, and I’ve been “hooked” ever since. I started off making scarves and dish cloths, but it didn’t take very long before I was trying amigurumi animals and making hats and cowls. I enjoyed crocheting so much that I was looking for excuses to buy yarn and make things. I ended up opening an Etsy shop in 2007 to sell the things I created.

Holly Neufeld teaches crochetMy wish for you, is that this series will be a simple way for you to grasp the hobby and be well on your way to creating crocheted gifts and lovely things for you, your friends, family, and your home. I hope it ignites a passion for yarn crafts like it has for me.

Lots of yarnTo begin, you will need yarn, a hook, and scissors. Other things that will come in handy are a measuring tape and a tapestry/darning needle.

If there is a specific project you have in mind, your pattern will suggest a yarn weight that is best suited. There are many different weights of yarn, such as:

0: Lace (or fingering)

1: Superfine (or sock)

2: Fine (or sport)

3: Light (or DK, light worsted)

4: Medium (or worsted, afghan, aran)

5: Bulky (or chunky)

6: Super Bulky

Your yarn label will have a little symbol with a number on it.

Reading yarn labelsThe size of hook that you need is determined by the yarn you are using. Your yarn label will also have the suggested hook size printed on it. Either in metric range or letter size.

0: Lace, 1.6 - 1.4mm (steel hook)

1: Superfine, 2.25 - 3.5mm

2: Fine, 3.5 - 4.5mm

3: Light, 4.5 - 5.5mm

4: Medium, 5.5 - 6.5mm

5: Bulky, 6.5 - 9mm

6: Super Bulky, 9mm +

HooksYour pattern will have a gauge that explains how many stitches (st) should be in a certain length, for example, 4 inches. Use your measuring tape to crochet 4 inches of single crochet (sc) stitches to make sure the gauge is correct.

To start, choose a medium or bulky weight yarn and the appropriate hook. With the hook in your right hand, hold it with the hooked end pointing upwards between your thumb and middle finger. Your index finger will be a guide for the yarn, and the handle end of the hook will rest on the outer edge of your hand, with your ring and pinky fingers lightly keeping it in place.

Right handed

Flip if you are left handed.

Left handedNow let's talk about reading a pattern. Crochet patterns are written using abbreviations, which makes them easier to read. Yarn industry designers and publishers use the same abbreviations in most patterns. Sometimes a pattern will have a unique abbreviation and usually explains what it means at the beginning of the pattern. These are a few of  the most commonly used abbreviations:

ch, chs - chain, chains

dc - double crochet

dc2tog - double crochet two stitches together

dec - decrease

hdc - half double crochet

inc - increase

rep - repeat

rnd, rnds - round, rounds

sc - single crochet

sc2tog - single crochet two stitches together

sl st - slip stitch

st, sts - stitch, stitches

tog - together

tr - treble crochet

yo - yarn over

beg - beginning

ch sp - chain space

A chain space is, for example, when you ch1 and then skip a stitch before making another ch1 in the next stitch. This creates a little opening which is called the "chain space". So when the pattern reads: 4dc in ch sp, you'll stitch those 4 double crochet stitches in the little opening that was created the previous row. A Granny Square pattern is a pattern that you will work in chain spaces.

Brackets [ ] and parentheses ( ), indicate that you work the instructions within them as many times as directed, often in the same stitch. For example, when the pattern reads (sc, 2dc), it means to do those stitches in the same stitch.

* or * * indicates to repeat the instructions after or between asterisks as many times as directed. For example, the pattern might read: "Row 2: Dc in next 5 sts; *ch 1, skip next st, dc in next st; rep from * to end of row."

Understanding abbreviations, how to read patterns, needle sizes, and different yarn weights will be less overwhelming. This series will teach you basic stitches, and equip you with everything you need to know to start crocheting. So look forward to some fun patterns and how-to videos! -Holly

Credits // Author: Holly Neufeld, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

20 Easy Craft Projects Under $10

Fabric lined built-in shelves (click through for tutorial!)Happy weekend! When's the last time you had a craft night with your friends? It's been a while for us, and this list has left us feeling super inspired and excited to have one. So gather up your girlfriends, get some refreshments, and make something fun! This list is extra awesome because each project can be completed for under $10. Let's start with these cute fabric-lined built-in shelves

Make your own spotted curtains!Transform a basic pair of curtains with some fabric paint using this spotted curtain DIY.

Lace planterAdd some pretty lace to your flower pots – so easy!

Make your own pop art pet portraitDisplay your favorite (it might be hard to choose!) pet photos on your walls with this Warhol-inspired pet portrait DIY.

Paint dipped wood candle holder DIYThese balsa wood candle holders are so fun, and they are easy to make – no saws required! :)

Try this- embroidered shirt with your favorite quoteAdd your favorite song lyrics or quote to a shirt pocket with this tutorial.

Sharpie mug DIYWe love these personalized his + hers Sharpie mugs. These make great gifts for any occasion!

Love this anchor wallLearn how to make your own stamp and transform a bare wall into a statement wall.

DIY color run powderThis non-toxic colored powder (inspired by the Color Run) is so easy to make on your own! We love how it looks in photos too.

Make your own soap on a ropeMake your own soap on a rope. How fun are these? They can be customized with your favorite essential oils. 

Use an old type tray to display nail polishDisplay your nail polish collection with an antique printer tray and some colored cardstock.

Custom phrase mat board- so cute!Combine your favorite phrase with a photo to make a custom mat board.

Chalkboard paint DIYOne of our favorite tutorials of all time! How to mix your own chalkboard paint (in any color).

Gold moon wall DIYThis gold moon wall is amazing, and you only need three things to make it!

Hand-stamped strawberry crib sheetHow adorable is this hand-stamped strawberry crib sheet?

Glitter shoesLearn how to make your own sparkly glitter shoes.

Interior washi tape!Change up a doorway with washi tape. The possibilities are endless!

DIY embroidered photo artMake a photo extra special with this embroidery DIY.

Serving tray makeover DIYAdd some glitter vinyl or a flower print to a serving tray.

Make your own clay word magnetsWe love refrigerator door word magnets, and these clay ones are super colorful and fun to make!

Be sure to tag your projects #mybeautifulmess, and we will pick our favorites to feature on our instagram! xo. The ABM team

The Shop

Check out our Photoshop Actions, E-Courses, Workshops and Crash Courses!

Browse by Category