Why I Love DIY (Design-It-Yourself) Fashion / Shopping and Why You Might Also
In recent years I have discovered more and more websites that allow consumers to design their own clothing and accessories, as well as other items. As someone who likes to create things and loves fashion, I get a special kick out of this. I find that as I get older, I desire more and more to be able to use products and wear clothing and accessories that are uniquely me, that no one else has but that many will want. I want to be more of a trendsetter rather than a trend follower.
And really, I think everyone should own a few items of clothing and accessories (and anything else) that they designed themselves. It allows you to design something specific to your liking. In other words, you create your OWN brand of cool, and you’re not just wearing or using what someone else decided is in at the moment. Everyone has different tastes that they should be allowed to explore and enjoy.
The DIY items I’m featuring on this lens aren’t handmade from scratch, which is what most of the DIY category lenses feature here on Squidoo– the Do-It-Yourself items. I have nothing against that type of DIY. In fact, I’m a tad envious of those who can create something cute and fashionable with their very own hands. But the DIY items I’m discussing here are Design-It-Yourself, where the website stores allow you to either use the designs and/or text they have available, or they allow you to upload your own designs and/or text before you buy the product from their store. (Therefore, this lens is– or will be– in the shopping category and not DIY.) In this lens, I’m going to feature what I think are the best DIY websites, starting with what might be the lesser known DIY online stores to Squids, and ending with the familiar ones. I’ll also note now that all these stores have pre-made products you can buy if you really don’t want to design anything. But at the very least, looking through the products might give you an idea and get your creative juices flowing.
So, lets move on…
Neighborhoodies.com initially started out as an online store that only sold hoodies, but allowed the customer to put whatever design wherever they wanted on their hoodies. The store has now expanded to include t-shirts, tanks, sweatpants, shorts, underwear & bras, as well as bags, hats, and so on. The products are available for both men and women, as well as children and infants…and even for your dog! There are several fonts available for creating text, and the graphics available are numerous, including everything from crowns and hearts to animals, skulls, religious symbols, celebs, political figures, musical instruments, famous landmarks & buildings, contenants (as in Australia and Africa, NOT consonants- that’s what the text is for), and more. A LOT to choose from!
On some of their products, they’ve made it so you can see what the product will look like as your designing it. this makes it easier to design your shirt exactly the way you want it, because you can see the adjustments you’re making.
I would use a few pictures from the website to show you some of what is available, but I don’t have permission for that. So you’ll have to go to the website to see their apparel. But I do have the pictures of the hoodie and t-shirt I bought from them. The first pic is the front of the t-shirt I made, and the second picture is the back of it. The same goes for the zip-up hoodie seen here and below.
I happen to love the way this site allows the consumer to make their text or design any size they want, as well as allowing that text or design to be placed not just on the front and back of a hoodie, for example. You can have it on the hood, on the shoulder of the hoodie, or, if there is a particular way you want your design or text laid out, you can simply write them a message explaining in detail EXACTLY how it is you want the design/text to be printed, and they will do it that way (for a little extra money, of course). Plus, if they mess it up, you can send it back (without having to pay more than shipping and handling, IF that) and they will send you the corrected version.
The company’s mission page on Spreadshirt.com is in agreement with my view about DIY fashion, and fashion in general: “Our clothes say a great deal about us. They are not only to protect our body from the elements, but also a sign of our personality and part of our body language. Our clothes help us to make a statement about ourselves.”
Spreadshirt.com backs that statement up in ten-fold. They offer products for men, women, children and pets, with product choices similar to the ones available at Neighborhoodies.com, but thousands more choices in graphics/designs.
For example, the picture above shows another Cherry Bomb t-shirt I made using their version of a viewable designer, which is available for ALL of their products, unlike with Neighborhoodies.com. I had over 400 choices to pick from when I did a design search on the word “bomb”. So when I say they have thousands of choices in graphics/designs, I’m not kidding.
Another great feature they have is that anyone can sign up for their own store and sell products they’ve created if they so choose. (Yep- so now it’s only a matter of time before Squidoo has a Spreadshirt.com module.) You can search the extensive list of the Spreadshirt t-shirt shops available– in English– at their T-shirt Shop Directory page.
Something else that I haven’t seen at any of the other online store I’ve listed on this lens- Spreadshirt.com has a page with a list of 10 major partner shops such as CNN Shirt (you can buy a t-shirt with a headline on it), Chuck Norris Facts (you know those silly Chuck Norris sayings), and SnorgTees (according to their little blurb, they specialize in “pop-culture inspired, random and all around funny t-shirt designs”). But these 10 stores are just part of the more than 400,000 Spreadshirt partner shops worldwide. Needless to say, their business is growing.
UberPrints.com is a lot like Spreadshirt.com in that it sells shirts, but sells a much wider variety of shirts (t-shirts, tank tops, long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, business shirts, maternity shirts, etc.). They also sell organic cotton tees, undies, boxers, shorts, pajama pants, sweatpants, baby onesies & dog tees. Instead of showing a base price for each item of clothing, the products are given a price tier star rating, which is supposed to give customers an idea of how expensive the item will be after customization. Products also have fabric weight rankings (sheer, lightweight, traditional & heavyweight), which describes the weight and thickness of the fabric each particular product is made of.
When it comes to designs, UberPrints.com allows customers to customize their products with provided designs, as well as allowing customers to upload their own designs as well, which allows for a lot more variety & personalization. Just like Spreadshirt.com, UberPrints.com has a visual design studio that allows customers to see what the edited designs will look like on their product before they buy it. Pre-made/pre-designed shirts are also available (see UberPrint’s “Site Map” for details).
I designed and bought a t-shirt (seen here) from UberPrints after looking around the website. Not to knock the other webstores on this lens that sell clothing, but UberPrint definitely has quality clothing made from quality fabrics, and definitely has more choices when it comes to shirts.
Currently, it does seem that they only ship within the U.S. and nowhere else. And there’s no indication that this will change in the near future.
Converse, as you may or may not know, is brand known mostly for selling sneakers. Converse.com provides 496 different kinds of ready-made sneakers for men, women and kids, in addition to some clothing, sunglasses, miscellaneous accessories & gift cards (all available under the “Buy” tab at the top of their webpage). But now it also allows customers to design their own sneakers as well.
Customers simply click on the “Make” tab at the top of the page, then click on “Start An Original”. Customizable shoes are available in kids’, women’s and men’s sizes. There are 32 different types of shoes– Chuck Taylor All Stars (pictured), Jack Purcell, Skate, Converse (PRODUCT) RED, Running and Court– all available in four different styles– Lo-Top, Hi-Top, X-Hi, and Slip-On– and all available in either suede, canvas, or leather. The customer can choose from several different colors or prints for 10 different parts of the shoe– the outside body, the inside body, heel stripe, tongue, lining, rubber sidewall, racing stripe, stitch, lace, and a personalization id (it can be your name for the shoe, your name, anything really).
In addition to all of the above, there is another tab at the top of the webpage titled “Play”, which includes four sections. The first section is titled “Talk”, which is where writers blog about various topics and life in general. The “Show” section includes written interviews about some female artist who’ve helped work on Converse designs (part of a special ongoing series), as well as short videos about music, art, and a few weird topics. “Tune” features a few playlists that span several different subgenres within the rock music genre. Finally, the “Nice” section is full of links to several sports, art and music sites, as well as links to Converse websites around the globe.
Their range of apparel and accessories are not much different from Neighborhoodies and Spreadshirt. However, they do offer some items that none of the other stores listed here have (at least not yet), which include throw pillows, clocks, flip video cameras/camcorders, keepsake boxes, tile coasters, framed picture tiles, framed prints, journals, teddy bears, and ornaments. Add all that to the greeting cards, postcards (like the one seen here), stickers, mugs, mousepads and posters they have available (among a few other things not mentioned here), and you have a lot of choices when it comes to designing.
Again, here you also have the option not just to buy what you design, but to sell it in your own store. They do have a Product Templates Page with templates available to download for each and every product. But here you are not given text or graphics to work with. They expect you to have a design/image ready to upload from your computer. If you have problems uploading an image or simply want to know how to do it to begin with, you can read their Image Upload FAQ, as well as visit their Image Workshop.
I’ve heard from various CafePress sellers on the SquidU forum that CafePress has made some pricing changes in addition to selling members/sellers products in the main CafePress marketplace at a marked down price. These changes have made it that much harder for members/sellers to sell products and see profit. I’m not on the site very much and not that familiar with it because I don’t sell anything on this site, and I’ve only bought a few things here. So if you are a seller who has had issues with CafePress, leave a comment in the Guestbook and let everyone know what those issues are. You can also read some of the comments left on the Cazacreations blog by current and former CafePress members about the policy & sales changes.
Finally, we have Zazzle.com. For those of you not familiar with Zazzle, they sell the following: postage stamps, postcards, greeting cards, mugs, aprons, t-shirts, necklaces, bags, bumper stickers, stickers, button, hats, key chains, coasters, magnets, mousepads, bookmarks/business cards (they can be made into one or the other), posters, calendars and even skateboards. Because therr are literally billions of products to sift through, not only does each product have a series of categories, but those categories have subcategories with their own subcategories. (I could explain it, but it would take a while- best to just search the site to see for yourself.) Customers are provided with various font and color options for text, but customers must upload their designs, as Zazzle does not provide the designs (aside from pre-made products with designs already placed on them). They also allow customers to view every single product as they are designing it, as well as the option to sell their products in an online store.
There’s several differences here. First, a user can have more than one store/account (and link them together if they wish). Second, there are several incentive programs to give sellers incentive to sell more products and reward them for their efforts.
There’s the Zazzle Volume Bonus Program, which allows for sellers to receive bonuses based on their monthly sales.
There’s also Zazzle Associate Referral Program, where Zazzle pays the seller a percent referral fee for each sale that they refer to Zazzle from their site, blog, email, or any offline marketing. Sellers can refer a sale to their own products or others. The percentage referral fee increases based on monthly sales.
Then there is the Name Your Royalty Program. When selling products on Zazzle, the initial percentage a seller makes is 10 percent. But with the Name Your Royalty Program (which every seller automatically has access to), the seller can set their royalty higher than 10 percent in order to increase their profits. The downside to this is that they will increase the product price to pay you the royalty you want. So sellers have to be careful about where they set their royalty, as they may price themselves right out of the market for their products.
Sellers are given promotion tools and tips to further their sales, and can also ask questions or give suggestions on the Zazzle Forum.
Making Cooking, Baking & Eating MORE Fun…
If you’re like me, you like a lot of color & quirk/kitsch in your life. Well guess what? There’s no reason not to have that with your kitchenware, as this webpage will prove to you. While some items are just for decoration, other items might even help you be more creative with your cooking and baking. And you can mix and match the dishware as you like for unique dining sets. So, if this sounds like it’s up your alley, scroll down to begin browsing!
Kitschy Kitchenware on Amazon
Play with your food…
Remember how your parents told you not to play with your food? Well, now that you’re an adult, you can do whatever you want to with your food. Below are some kitchen items in the shape of other things and/or oddly-designed kitchen items that will help you do that. Mealtimes can now become playtime with your food… in a semi-adult manner, of course.
Fun Ice Trays on Amazon
And now, play with your drinks, too…
Why stick with regular ice when you can have ice in the shape of ships, skulls, castles, functional straws and more? These ice trays will give you unusual ice shapes that can make a plain drink of water or juice a lot more interesting. Again, check out the list, and then browse through the fun ice trays below…
Punk Mugs From SourPuss, eBay & Elsewhere
Click on the photo to view more details about each mug and/or buy it.
First off is a 4-inch tall White Brass Knuckles Coffee Mug, priced at $15 each. Apparently, these mugs are so “dangerous”, the webpage previously had this note on it: “Just as a side note, we have had some of these mugs confiscated when shipping internationally.” If you live in the U.S., you’ll be fine ordering this mug. Elsewhere could still be a problem.
Next is the clear, 5-inch tall Glass Skull Stein Mug, priced at $10 each. This is not your mom’s glassware. (P.S. You can find these on eBay as well.)
Lastly is the 4-inch tall Black Death Skull Coffee Mug. It’s no longer available on the SourPuss website, but several similar versions of these are available on eBay. (Goes nicely with any black dishware [particularly Waechtersbach dishware] you might have.)
CafePress Mugs & Glasses
They aren’t oddly shaped like the mugs above, but the design they feature are just as playful. Take your pick from the mugs and glasses featured below…
Maybe even more playful than the mugs above…
More Mugs on Zazzle (Jumbo Mugs, Espresso Mugs & Bone China Mugs)
These mugs are different from the ones above. The Jumbo Mugs are 20 oz and the Espresso Mugs 6 oz. The Bone China Mugs’ size are unknown.
Zazzle Drink Coasters
There are two types of coasters available; the Sandstone Drink Coaster (round) & the Hard Plastic coasters (square). Both have cork backings.
CafePress Drink Coasters
These 10-inch diameter melamine plates are non-toxic, drop & break resistant and dishwasher safe. NOT microwave safe, though.
Some of MY Funky Dishware….
This is dishware I found by complete accident. The Waechterbach black skull mug and bowl I first saw on eBay while searching for other dishware, and they were much more expensive on eBay than what I paid for them. I saw them again in a local grocery/retail store, and they were about half the price of (or less than) what they were online. So I bought them in groups, getting 2 or 3 of each at a time, and asked for more as a gift for Christmas 2012. I now own 10 mugs and 10 bowls. There are plates that go with these as well, but I’ve only seen them online and they’re much pricier. However, I am considering buying the matching black skull tea cups I saw online. But I’ll have to save up for those, as they’d be coming from Singapore.
The hot pink leopard print plate was even more affordable. I bought 10 of these plates at $3 each (originally $6 each) from SourPussClothing.com, which happens to sell kitchenware and home decor in addition to clothing. I knew they’d sell out (which they did), and I knew I wanted a set of them, so I just bought what I wanted. The plates are made of melamine, so they can’t be microwaved unfortunately. But aside from that, I can still use the plates otherwise.
These placemats are made from 100% woven cotton. They measure 20 inches by 14 inches.
These napkins come in sets of 4 in two sizes; Dinner size (20″ by 20″) and Cocktail size (12″ by 12″)
19 oz. porcelain pitchers to complement your current (or soon-to-be) funky dishware…
Never thought you could have teapots like THIS, did you? They come in two sizes; small (11 oz.) & medium (44 oz.).
Skull-Shaped Sugar Cubes
Buy some or make your own…
I came across these skull-shaped sugar cubes one day when someone posted them on a blog I follow. I did a little more digging and found someone on Etsy who is selling them. However, I use vegan sugar, and was hoping to make my own one way or another. Someone else was thinking the same thing, and they did a blog post about how to make your own skull sugar cubes. So click that link to get started, or just buy the skull sugar cubes here on Etsy…
Zazzle Candy Jars
10 oz. porcelain candy jars to fashionably store all your candy (or sugar skull cubes) in!
The aprons come in 3 sizes (standard, long & kids) and 3 colors for each size (white, khaki & yellow).
Zazzle Dishcloths/Kitchen Towels
These durable, 100% twill cotton kitchen towels/dishcloths measure 16″ by 24″.
Available below for your kitchen: animal print clocks, drip font “PUNK” clocks, skull clocks, a rainbow clock and a Union Jack/British Flag clock.
More clock options for your kitchen…
Home Decor & Accessories (AND Interior Design) Website Links
Here are links to ALL of the websites I used on this lens (and thensome). So, if you’re looking for something and didn’t find it on this webpage, you can find it (or design it yourself) through one of the links below…
- Zazzle.com – Home & Pets (Type in exactly what you want into the search bar at the top right [i.e., "kitsch teapots" or "kawaii plates"]; NOTE: You can also design your own home and kitchen decor & accessories here if you don’t find what you’re looking for. You can also sell those items [some of my own designs are featured on products above])
- CafePress (Check out the “Drinkware”, “Wall Art” “Home” & “Photo” tabs at the top of the page; NOTE: This is another website that will allow you to design [and sell] your own home and kitchen decor & accessories)
- eBay.com (I did not add many items from eBay because the eBay modules are faulty, but anything you can think of for your home and/or kitchen will likely be here, including furniture)
- Amazon.com (although I featured more items from this website than I did eBay, pretty much the same theory, but with slightly less variety in items; also sells furniture)
- Etsy.com (features a lot of kitsch, indie and punk home decor & accessories, either vintage or handmade; use their search bar to find what you want specifically)
- FredFlare.com – “Apartment” Stuff (super-kitschy home decor & accessories)
- Shanalogic.com (check out the “For the Home” and “Fine Art” tabs at the top; features indie, kitsch and kawaii items & art)
- SourPussClothing.com – Housewares (features kitsch, retro & punk home decor & accessories)
- Retroplanet.com (also features a lot of retro & kitsch home decor & accessories)
- Momastore.org (features unusual but very functional home decor & accessories; check out the “Living”, “Dining”, “Workspace” and “Prints” tabs at the top)
- ThinkGeek.com – Home & Office (again, some unusual but very functional home decor & accessories)
- F***YeahInteriorDesigns.tumblr.com – if I linked to this on Squidoo, it would reject the link because of the f-word being in it. But you can copy and paste that into your browser with the word adjustment and the blog will come up. Put in “/archive” behind it to view and sift through ALL of their blog posts on a single page.
- Google.com (Seriously– it’s your best friend when looking for specific items or interior design ideas for your home. It’s how I found several of the websites above. Tip: Type in a specific items you want, then click on the “Images” link on the side to browse those items and see what catches your eye)
Beach Posters & Prints to Brighten Your Mood (or Someone Else’s)
I originally had this content on Squidoo, but Squidoo made a series of annoying changes and decided that this content was not sufficient enough for them. So I’ve moved it here to WordPress. Anyways…
I LOVE beaches. Coastal beaches, preferably. But I live in Ohio, where there are only sucky man-made beaches or beaches on Lake Erie that freeze over during the winter. They aren’t year-round beaches.
And my favorite beaches I’ve been to are in places like Florida or Bermuda. I can’t visit them as often as I’d like to.
So I have a few beach posters in my room to look at… and imagine that I’m there. One day I’ll live near a beach or on a beach. But for now, these posters will have to do.
If you’re also looking for beach posters & prints for your home, workspace, or as a gift for a friend, then this webpage should be a big help. There’s plenty of beach posters to check out here, and new posters will be added every so often.
Bermuda intro photo is my own. Please ask permission before using.
NOTE: Mouse Over and Click on the Posters – Mouse over the posters/photos for a title or short description of the photo (if the title/description isn’t already underneath the photo). Click on the posters/photos (or links below them) to view prices & or buy.
Beach Posters and Prints from Zazzle
NOTE: Zazzle will also allow you to take your own beachy vacation photos & make your own posters/prints (to buy and/or sell). Something to keep in mind…
Horizontal Posters from AllPosters.com
If you prefer the horizontal posters, there’s probably one here that you’ll like.
Vertical Beach Posters and Prints – From AllPosters.com
TIP: You can use vertical posters on your bedroom door or any door in your home. Just compare the width of the door to the poster to make sure the poster isn’t too wide for your door.
Panoramic Beach Posters and Prints – From AllPosters.com
Posters with a panoramic view (which, I think, make it easier to imagine that you are there)…
Beach Posters & Prints on Amazon
Amazon probably has as wide a selection of beach posters & prints as eBay. I’ve included some of them here…
Just a video featuring all the Jac Vanek products I’ve bought so far.
NOTE: This video is not sponsored.
And again, if you’d like to learn more about any of my other Cherry Ambition blogs and websites, you can start here:
I wanted to do a video featuring my fave home decor and kitchenware accent items. If you like animal print, skull, smiley face or cherry print, you should watch this (unsponsored) video. Then check out the links below…
Funky, Wild, Punk and Kitsch Home Decor & Kitchenware webpage (you could pretty much furnish your room/home with all the links on this webpage)
SourPussClothing website (has clothing & accessories in addition to home decor & kitchenware)
Black Skull dishware can be found at the following links (in addition to eBay):
And again, if you’d like to learn more about any of my other Cherry Ambition blogs and websites, you can start here:
For anyone who wants a nose hoop but can’t get a piercing (or just doesn’t want the risks & responsibilities of a real piercing). Excuse my lack of eye makeup…
If you’d like to learn more about any of my other Cherry Ambition blogs and websites, you can start here:
Just a short video about my brand and what type of videos I’ll be making soon. If you’re not familiar with any of my blogs, you can start here: