Category Archives: crafting

Blooming Bloomers!

I’m an all-thumbs lolita – while I can make a few simple accessories or deco items, I’m terrible with a sewing machine. I’m really hoping to learn this winter, and if I can get better, maybe even get a new sewing machine! (Psst… I love the Hello Kitty  sewing machine! It looks like something from a little dollhouse!)

This weekend I decided to use one of my own November style tips and whip up a pair of flannel bloomers! Supposedly they’re a very easy project for an afternoon, so I felt emboldened. I used this very easy tutorial from ABC Lolita, one of my reader’s blogs :) It was pretty easy to follow – here’s my pair of very simple white bloomers! (She’s also got another tutorial where the bloomers have an added ruffled hem!)

I wanted them to have a very winter feel, so I chose heavier, textured materials. I hand-stitched on some white cluny lace I had in my sewing box and made some pink velvet bows out of ribbons I found at a church sale. I probably could have done this on the machine, but I actually find it fun to do the work by hand – it’s very peaceful and relaxing for me. I’m really happy with them, I never thought I could make anything cute like that!

Since they’re so plain I thought it’d be fun to do embroidery on them. I’ve decided to make a heart-shaped pocket and applique it on with a blanket stitch. I’m not sure what would be best for a center design – roses (my favorite flower!  ) are my first thought, but maybe some whitework (white stitches on white fabric) would be more suitable for wintertime? Snowflakes are a favorite motif for this time of year, and since I’ll only be wearing them in winter snowflakes are perfect :) If you’re looking to learn embroidery or expand your knowledge of stitches, I recommend the Embroider’s Handbook. The pictures are easy to follow and the book covers ribbon embroidery, cross-stitch or counted embroidery, cutwork and eyelet work, and even beading embroidery. I’m really interested in practicing my cast-on or Brazilian rose, which is a 3D rose made from ‘casting on’ stitches to the needle just like you would on a knitting needle. Here it is combined with a bullion knot or Porto Rico rose stitch. For those who want to try more ribbon embroidery, the hardest part can be finding the necessary silk ribbon. This website has an absolutely gorgeous range of ribbons, from the purely beautiful spectrum of solids to even variegated and hand-dyed lengths of silk.The easiest ribbon rose is the ‘spiderweb rose‘, so named because the petals are fastened with a spiderweb of regular thread. 

I also found this pattern from an online magazine scan (I’m not sure if this is Kera or GLB – by the way, click for larger) for a cutesy, double-ruffled bloomer pattern. I love the pink plaid and the candy applique reminds me very much of the Nutcracker, so I think this idea would also be cute for winter or Christmastime. Even better, if you get good at them they’d make very cute presents for your lolita friends this holiday season! Candy canes or present boxes would also be very easy and cute. I’ve seen cute popkei appliques on Nile Perch where the present-box square is covered with a thin tulle, and star-shaped sequins and rhinestones stitched and scattered inside.

Bloomers look super cute for hanging out around the house and keep your little rufflebutt warm in winter! They’re really easy to make and you can do some very creative things with just a little trimming and appliques!

The Fake Sweets Bible and Cookie Locket!

While at my perennial favorite Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya, I stumbled across this unusual mook called FAKE SWEETS BIBLE. Mostly I was drawn by the image on the cover – a decadently Rococo-esque classic Lolita with a corsage of lilac macarons on her lapel. I was so used to seeing sweets jewelry dripping with whipped cream and fluffy cupcakes that seeing a more Victorian take on sweets jewelry intrigued me. When I got the mook home I was delighted to discover that inside the pages were a couple great extras – ‘fake sweets’ tags, an icing guide, and even a plastic set of sweets molds for chocolate bars, buttery printed cookies, and chocolate hearts.

Here’s a few scans from the book to give you an idea of their style:

What the Fake Sweets Bible has done with the notion of faux sweets and pastries is purely amazing and decadent – crispy crowns glittering with coarse sugar, military-style badges of deep bitter chocolate cookies, and everlasting macaron trees iced with silicone and beautiful foam white roses. For easier projects there are simple rings and necklace ideas sprinkled across the pages. The look is very Q-pot without the hefty price tag.

(above: some of the sweets I made – two cookies and a chocolate nub :)

My small attempt so far at fake sweets is a simple but sentimental project: a chocolate cookie locket, with the cream center being a portrait of my prince. The necklace is a triple-strand of creamy glass pearls, and makes a classy choker along the decolletage. Since I couldn’t find any of the necessary findings to make the pearl strands ‘stack’ correctly, the look of the necklace is a little more modern. However, the effect is still delicate. I’d wanted a pearl choker for a while from the usual brands like Baby the Stars Shine Bright or Angelic Pretty, but this has more meaning for me – the quiet evenings stringing pearls from tiny espresso dishes alongside my boy, who is helpfully prepping the openings of the pearls with a pin.

The cookie is made out of Sculpey clay, and it’s hiding a small round metal locket I picked up at the craft store. Then I painted with super-base clear nail polish to have the glossy effect of a piece of chocolate. I glossed my Bitter chocolate square the same way, and a tiny rhinestone for a little twinkle; I’m hoping to make this into a simple ring when I find the right base. However, the details come out a little faint with the Sculpey – I’m going to try paper clay to see if it picks up the subtleties in the mold better. I know paperclay is just the thing for macarons at the very least, but I still need some decent silicone cream before I can move on to those!

I never felt the deep pull to make sweets jewelry, but with this more maiden-like and elegant style, I’m much more inspired! :) If you’d like to see more of the Fake Sweets Bible, you can buy it on Amazon Japan!

Popkei, Puppies, and Paint!

Today I got dressed up to see some friends of mine to make cupcakes, and I chose my new Swimmer headphones as the popkei inspiration piece for this outfit :) I was a big fan of my old Swimmer headphones, which were pink with kitties, but they broke (rattling in one ear and no sound on one side, if you’re curious), so I was happy to get the new generation which no longer has any black hardware – just pink!

Skirt, socks: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes: Jeni
Bracelet, blue heart ring, cutsew: Angelic Pretty
Pink heart ring: Tarina Tarantino
Pink rhinestone bow: Chinatown
Bag: Sanrio

Here’s the headphones in action! And Misu ♥ (check back for more Misu this week – her Charm Channel debut! She really is adorable to watch scurry around and get into trouble! *w*)

You may also notice something about my background – the walls are now pink! Over the weekend my father and my boy worked hard to get my room repainted – from dusty lilac to a bright, princess-worthy pink with minty doors and a buttercream ceiling. I’ll be doing a video showing off my room at long last for everyone who’s asked to see it :) A lot of pink mostly, in case that wasn’t obvious ;) While they did the walls and ceilings, I snuck a little of the buttercream (Behr’s Social Butterfly, to be specific) to finish my long-wished for dream of framing my favorite Angelic Pretty full-size ads. I didn’t want to pay a lot of money for the frames, so I sifted through my local thrift store and found three frames for $2.50. One was a 70s-version nasty gold, and the other two were unfinished. With a little stolen ivory paint and putting in the glass, I now have the very cute start of my Angelic Pretty gallery. I’m looking to get a few new magazines this weekend when I go shopping in New York City, so I can add them to my collection – hopefully the Milky Planet or Fantastic Dolly ad! Currently I chose Royal Poodle (since I also have the red OP, pictured) and coats because I am excited for upcoming coat reservations! My smaller one on the side is a miniature flyer of a recent Gothic & Lolita Bible cover.

It was easy to make the frames match perfectly! My next project is a little more challenging – painting my china closet the matching mint! I can’t wait to see it finished!

Moshi Moshi!

There comes a time in every young lolita’s life… no, that’s not right. Let me try again. There comes an item in every young lolita life’s that she realizes is the most amazing, crazy thing she has ever bought. She couldn’t imagine it before she found lolita; even after finding lolita, she can’t believe anything this special and epic exists. It makes her want to be more; it makes her want to be better, pinker, cuter, frillier. She want to be worthy of it. She wants to have it for always. Is it her first brand dress? That cake hat? A unicorn-shaped purse?

For me, the answer is obvious.

It’s my phone case.

If you’ve been reading Lolita Charm lately, you’ll know my love and current fascination with deco. When I decided to get a new phone for the first time in two years, I wanted to go all the way. We’re talking the works – case, swarovskis, pink, lace, everything. After doing some research and snooping around deco image forums, I realized I could not make all that I wanted. If I wanted to have a phone as crazy and fabulous as I imagined, I’d have to hire a professional deco artist.


Alice Doll is the sugary and Angelic Pretty-loving label of Alex, who is well-known for bringing the cute. Her works range from phone cases to Nintendo DS cases and even picture frames and art commissions. I loved the style of her previous works – somewhere between sweets and hime, with lots of glitter and bows. So I dropped her a line and waited.

She got back to me quickly and we soon transitioned our chats from messages to instant messenger. Chatting was the best way to work out the final product. I chose a solid pink case instead of clear, because my phone was gray instead of pink – and we picked it out together for just the right shade of baby pink. When she finished the first version, she sent me pictures over IM and we could discuss it right there. I’ve never been able to work so closely and openly with any comissioner before – it was really tailor-made and customized exactly the way I wanted it.

Here’s the prototype:

After some discussion I decided to get both the front and back done – originally I wanted to do the back myself. This way they would match. She gladly agreed to redo the case for me, and after a short time she showed me this:

Which just knocked me off my feet!

After a few more adjustments, this is the finished product I received in the mail yesteday:

(shown here in its texting mode, where it opens like a DS);

The front plate, which is done in several tones of pink swarovski crystals and pearls;

Here’s the back plate, my favorite features being the bow she sewed out of satin striped fabric and the lace, which she hand-dyes to get just the right shade of pale pink. She also hand-makes the ice cream cabochons to your color specifications – mine are vanilla, strawberry (pink), and lavender (which, by the way, is a real flavor at my local ice cream stand and a perennial favorite!). The back also features a pink dipped crueller, two roses, a sakura blossom, a teddy bear, and two colors of cream topped with glitter and a few pink swarovskis.

It was the easiest thing to commission this case – she ordered the case, deco’d it according to your specifications, and then sent it out well-packaged and arriving only two days after shipping. We even talked over IM while I opened it, so she got to see my excitement and any problems could be discussed immediately (mostly I wasn’t putting it on right for a minute… oops!) And for the curious, the final total was only $35. I know I’d spend much more than that on supplies and then trying to replicate this beautiful style – let alone on time and effort that still wouldn’t have that touch of expertise Alex gives her finished pieces. I can’t wait to take this to my next meetup and show it off!

Alex was a great comissioner to work with and I can’t wait to see how Alice Doll continues to evolve and grow, with new products and options :) And you’ll probably be seeing more of Alice Doll around Lolita Charm – keep an eye out towards the end of June!
Psst — check out Alice Doll by clicking here!

Lolita Deco Log: Part 2

I promised an update on my deco projects, so let’s talk more about all that glitters, shines, and can be glued down to anything to moves! To begin with, here’s the finished product of my iPod case –

Materials used: rose crystal chain; roughly 200+ swarovski crystals; flatback pearls; Diamond Glaze glue; one plastic clear iPod case (which interestingly enough has a cellphone strap hook!); two plastic cabochons (bunny and heart).

Other tools: tweezers, napkin or kleenex for excess glue, good lighting!

I started by framing the screen in the crystal chain – crystals in stone settings that are interconnected. They work really well for making straight lines, which can be yourself for defining borders. Since the crystal chain has large gaps in it, I filled these in with smaller rhinestones (4mm rose AB swarovskis). The click wheel is framed in a pattern of flatback pearls.
The back was a different story. First I glued down the large cabs – the bunny to start – and then outlined the shape in varying sizes of crystals and pearls. From there, you just keep fitting them together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. This is for a ‘mix’ motif, which means that the crystals and pearls are not uniform.
I find deco to be a very relaxing hobby, much like embroidery, which is also close, delicate work which requires concentration. It hones your spacial skills as well as your sense of color and design.

I’m happy with my iPod, but it’s not my first piece, and I’ve mostly been learning by doing. Which leads me to:

Deco Tips I Have Learned the Hard Way
Make sure that your base is the same color as your crystals or main components. My first item was a black-and-white business card case, which created jarring gaps between the bright pink stones. The affect is much better with the pink iPod peeking out between pink stones.
If you’re going to deco something expensive or electronic like an iPod, DS, or cellphone, make sure you deco a case and not the object itself. Doing that will void your warrenty, and you can potentially break the item when it gets smeared with glue.
Deco items are like dye jobs – they need retouching and have a short lifespan. My iPod needed fixing up after five months of daily use, for example – it had lost some of the chain on top, and a few crystals. Make sure you have a few of your supplies left for touch-ups. Eventually your item will reach a point where it is used beyond repair – and that’s when you’ll be glad you have a case that you can throw it and start over, rather than a sad-looking electronic.
Think outside the box on items to deco! The usual things are pillboxes and electronic cases for phones and the like. But if it’s solid, you can most likely deco it – the backs of hairbrushes, the edges of fans, the tops of bento boxes, headphones – even sunglasses or keycovers. Universal Doll even shows how she decoed her bicycle!
The best way to design your deco projects is to look at as many deco pictures and magazines as you can. Look on tumblr, Livejournal communities, or just search ‘decoden’ or ‘dekoden’.
I haven’t decided yet what my next project will be – it’s a toss-up between a new phone case and a summer fan to carry! But that’ll be my next deco-themed post :)
Favorite Deco Resources – where I like to buy my swarovski crystals
Mimilolo – an etsy shop for cabochons and crystal chains
ToffeeHouse – another etsy shop for charms and cabochons, including plush princessy bears
Full Moon Nails – deco parts for nails as well as other items – now available in English!

Rose Lamp Tutorial

As part of the It’s Your Castle series (yes, still ongoing!) I’m slowly beautifying every little corner of my room. On my nightstand is a Rococo frame with photos of my lovely girls, Miss Lumpy and Miss Julia, with purikura from San Francisco tucked in; a Hello Kitty alarm clock; and two of my journals, one for personal things and another for my blogging. But my lamp struck me as a little plain. So I set out to do something about it!

Roses are some of my favorite flowers and because of Valentine’s Day coming up, the craft stores are having sales on faux roses. It was just the thing I needed for my project.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • smooth lampshade, preferably with a lip on the bottom
  • two bunches of roses, mine where $1 a bunch from Michael’s
  • ribbon of your choice

First, use some masking tape and take all of the lint and dust off of your lampshade. Then take your bunch of roses and your scissors and start beheading them, with as little stem as possible. Next, use your hot glue gun to glue down roses along the rim of the shade. It’s best if you lay them down on an angle instead of sticking straight up. It’s a sturdier model and you see more of the elegance of the shape. Here’s the first section of my lampshade finished.

Note: in this photo, the roses are not slanted to an angle. I found out the hard way and had to reposition them, softening the glue with a heat gun. Trust me, it wasn’t easy! So angle them to begin with. But if you do mess up, use a hair dryer or heat gun to make the hot glue more malleable.

Go entirely around the lamp shade. Be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot glue.

Next, get out your ribbon. If your ribbon was crinkled like mine, here’s a quick tip: don’t bust out the cumbersome iron. Instead, use a hair straightener to easily smooth out ribbons. Tie the ribbon into a few small bows and hot glue them evenly around the lampshade. I used mine to hilight the spokes of the lampshade.

And that’s all! This project took me about twenty minutes to do and cost me about $2 in supplies, as I already had the ribbon, glue gun, and lamp.

For my next project, I’ll be making a bow-shaped pillow to decorate your bed, sofa, or loveseat.

Paint It Gold… and Rhinestones

I’m a sucker for anything that sparkles, glitters, or shines. I’ve been known to chase silver gum wrappers on the pavement. I own Bodyline prints for the simple reason that they’re edged with glitter. So is it any wonder that I’ve jumped into the world of deco?

Deco, short for the word decoration, is a Japanese fad of decorating your items with rhinestones, lace, plastic cakes, anything you can glue down really. Originally the item of choice to decorate was cell phones, giving us the term decoden (den being short for denwa, or phone). But since then the trend has expanded to just about anything that can withstand glue. Nintendo DS lites, computer mouses, iPods, makeup compacts… if you can think of it, you can probably glue rhinestones to it.

My phone is going to be upgraded in a few short months, so that project is on hold. In the meantime, I’ve started in on a few smaller projects. My end goal is to have my entire electronics set deco’d – my Mini Toshiba notebook, iPod, headphones, flash drive, and earbuds.

I’ve already finished my pillcase, which was previously just gold with an image of pansies. Now with a few flatback pearls and Light Colorado Topaz swarovskis…

It looks like this. (Also shown in this photo: incomplete pink business card case.)

In the works-in-progress rings (of which there are many occupants), there are currently the Swimmer headphones (pink with kitties, bound for a new lease on life with light rose Swarovskis), my silver USB flash (the jewel in the center came with it and flashes green when plugged in, and it is acceptably done simply, but hopefully that will be covered someday, in light Colorado topaz I believe?), and my business card case (rule: finish for con season! that seems to be when I need business cards the most).

My currently upcoming big project is my new Ipod Nano 5th generation, which is naturally bright pink. I’m waiting on my supplies to arrive in the mail as we speak!

So, do you want to get into the hobby of deco? Like any hobby there is a cost involved. Depending on what you want to deco and what materials you use, however, it can vary wildly. For example, if you’re doing a small project versus a large project, or the quality of materials you use. Are you okay with acrylic (plastic), or are you dead set on Swarovski (glass) crystal?

Price wise, it’s the Swarovskis that get you. I’ve used plastic/acrylic jewels on my old phone and they are decent if you want to do this about $20 cheaper, or even $30 or $40 cheaper depending on the size of your item. It’s not water polo, but you could say that deco, normally populated by lolitas and gyaru, a group of big spenders, is a rich girl’s craft. I can only assume eventually, like all crafts, you just amass supplies – enough rhinestones and cabochons that you can make things without feeling your wallet ache.

Anyway, I did use plastic on my current phone. It’s not so much that I prefer Swarovski in that I disliked plastic. Swarovskis don’t sparkle to death like they do in the package, but the plastic ones in my opinion just don’t catch the light the way I want. If that means I do my projects piecemeal, so be it. I want to use this item for a long time, so I’m down with that. The other thing I will note from extended wear on my current phone, is that plastic, after being put in bags and on desks and used endlessly, the color or sheen wears off the crystal. Unfortunately it’s the same with flatback pearls, as they’re also plastic coated with a sheen. I’m going to experiment with extending its longevity by using a sealant.

So that’s my experience with the rhinestone district of deco thus far. I’m hoping to make the dive into the silicone candy land of sweets deco when I replace my cellphone this spring, and then I’ll add to my collection of deco articles.

Interested to know more about deco? Try going to decoden, a Livejournal community where girls post photos of their creations. Or look at Flickr, where you can see tons of inspiring deco crafts. For DIY advice, read Universal Doll’s article series on deco basics like rhinestone patterns and where to buy supplies.

I’ll also be showing the start-to-finish action on my iPod nano, so be on the look out!

Silhouette Tutorial

As part of the It’s Your Castle Series, I’ll be posting a few easy decorating crafts every few weeks. And I mean easy – no required crazy cutters, specialty glues, linoleum blocks – just things you can mostly locate around the house.

This week Miss Lumpy and I made Victorian silhouettes, the modern way. Here’s mine:

Looks kind of like me, right? My favorite part was adding the style to it. I wanted something really sweet and a little fairy-kei, so I used rainbow heart-speckled scrapbook paper for my background, and Swarovski gems as accents. So, here’s how it works:

1. Have a friend take a digital photo of you from the side – from mid-bust up. It’s best if you do something fanciful with your hair if it’s long, to show the nape of the neck. This is actually bow hair :) Make sure you stand up straight! Here is Miss Lumpy’s photograph (you can see her finished, classical silhouette here). You’ll notice she has short hair, so we made sure to give the back and front some definition and define her curls more.

2. After you have a photo you like, print it off your computer. Then trim around the picture’s edges, removing all the background, so that you have the silhouette pattern.

3. Trace onto black paper – crafting or scrapbook is best, as it’s sturdy with smooth edges (for example, avoid construction paper). Then carefully trim around the black silhouette. You can also use the picture to shape the image more carefully, like accentuating the neck or perfecting the nose or lips.

4. Cut an oval or rectangle out of your scrapbook paper background. You can get this in all kinds of styles, with hearts, stars, snowflakes, bows, crowns – just go to your local craft store for tons of ideas. I used an oval-cutter to cut my background, but you can also trace a tupperware container (the oval kind) or use your frame as a base (if you’re using an oval frame, like mine).

5. Decorate! This is the fun part. Get ribbon scraps, jewels, pearls, and glue (I used both tacky glue, which dries clear, and hot glue for the larger pieces (like the 3D glittery hair bow). When you feel like it’s done, affix it to the background paper. Careful – make sure it’s straight (unlike me! ;A;)

And that’s it! They look cute hung in your room, or given to your loved ones this holiday season (I know my mom would kill for one). It’s also cute if you and your boyfriend/girlfriend make a pair and then set them facing on another. Try experimenting with different background papers, decorations, or even switch your black silhouette paper to a bright or dark color (like hot pink, dark red, or chocolate brown).

I hope you give it a try, they’re really a fun way to while away an afternoon with a cup of tea :)

Presents Par Avion

Nothing is more important to the lolita than presentation. Think about it: a dress is nothing without the right accessories, tea without a pretty cup is just a beverage, and flowers look best tied with ribbon. Plenty of girls sell their items or things they’ve made, making attractive packaging high on the list. And with the holidays coming up (oh God did I just say holidays?), it’s a great idea to refine your presentation abilities for, well, presents. Here are some tips on adding that special elegance next time you send out a package!

First, make sure your item is in good conditions and fold carefully (if fabric), preferably so that the most attractive side faces outwards. Then, wrap the item in tissue paper. This keeps the item clean. Go crazy picking out matching or appropriate colors – red and green for Christmas, or pink and blue to match your item, let’s say. Glittery paper or paper printed with different designs is also cute! Seal your wrapped item with a little decorative tape or a sticker. I used a glittery carousel pony sticker on my recent package, hinting at the dress inside ;) I like to keep a few lolita-inspired stickers kicking around for just this purpose! You can also use a plastic brand bag to wrap your item if you have one, especially if it matches the brand of the item you’re sending.

Make sure to include a note (or a card if it’s personal). I bought a notepad from Daiso for $1.50 that contains four different ‘PRINCESS POODOLE’ designs, which can be individually used for stationary. Use a pen with pretty ink to add a message. If you want to add an extras to your package, now is the time – a lot of sellers include small trinkets from their area, or just something sweet. I’ve been delighted to find small Japanese hard candies, a Hello Kitty key chain, even a few sheets of stationary. And make sure to include anything else, like if your item came with extra buttons for repairs.

So now, get out your package (box or padded envelope) and fit your item in. Seal the outside securely as specified by the local post. If you sell or send items frequently, you could get your own return address labels made up – find cute ones or design them on your computer with brushes or graphics. Then use your pretty inked pen to write out the address, maybe with another little sticker. Whenever I write an address, I make sure it’s legible, but also with a few added hearts and swirls!

If you’re sending a present, remember that you can also get decorative packaging supplies down at the post office. They’re a little more expensive, but are a pretty punch of color compared to the usual white or brown envelopes.

So now you’re all set! Receiving your beloved dream dress is one thing, but receiving your dream dress in a shimmery little package? Even better! It’s like adding whipped cream to your cocoa. So I hope you give it a try!

photo by Karin Elizabeth on Flickr.

Memories in Glitter

One of my oft-picked up and oft-dropped again projects (I’m partially Gemini; can’t help it!) is a lolita scrapbook. I spent most of my time slathering the cover with jewels and ribbons, and used the best of my Angelic Pretty stickers on it. I’ve made it about three pages in since Christmas, unfortunately. In my meager defense, each page is huge and needs to be prepared before any few photos are added. I’m just not a traditional, magazine-style scrapbooker. I don’t keep any brads, grommets, or extra die cuts lying around.

I’m more interested in old-school scrapbooking. The Victorian era, 1920s style, where girls added trimmed out newspaper clippings, the odd photo, and a few pressed pansies in the pages. I already enjoy art journaling, which is full of pretty papers, emotion, and sketched unicorns. But I wanted this to be something special. Not just about lolita, but of the memories I have had with lolita and my darling lolita friends, The Court.

So now, with mounted annoyance and maybe a touch of guilt over the unfinished state of the large, popular-style scrapbook, I have found a small deliverance. It’s a violetish rose color, and has a shifting layer of delicate raschel lace on the cover. The paper inside looks a little like flower seeds.

Are you interested in lolita scrapbooking? There really is a lot you can do with it – well, anything you want, really. Maybe you like to do the new style, with tons of gadgets and glue and gizmos and layouts. Or maybe you like to paste in ticket stubs from your lolita outings (I am a terrible keeper of ticket stubs – I’ll save movie stubs for years, and I’ve already had Parisian metro stubs for two!), or perhaps you like to doodle. Whatever strikes your fancy! A few ideas:

  • Catalog your daily outfits and inspirations. If you’re not posting them on the Internet, you don’t need to worry about what’s lolita and what isn’t, or the fact your hair had a weird kink that day. It’s just for you, so feel free to do it as often as you like. If you don’t want to do photos, you can also do sketches – sort of like Fifi Lapin.
  • Or go in the opposite direction and print out your inspirations of other people’s clothes and artwork. It’s just for your personal use, so I don’t think there would be any copyright issues. Either of these ideas could be great supplemented with some of your favorite quotes.
  • You could put in photos from your lolita outings and lolita friends. Silly photos, photoshoots, and small souvenirs are an excellent start.
  • Or, if you have mostly online lolita friends or lolita penpals, add thread transcripts you love or the letters they send you. I think printing out an instant messenger conversation with a beloved online lolita friend would be so sweet glued in the pages, with a few doodles around the sides. And pretty Japanese or Victorian stationery can tell a story between you and your penpal. Some Victorian ladies would keep two copies of the letters they wrote – one to send away, and another to keep so that she would know the context of the others.
  • Practice calligraphy or old-fashioned script in your scrapbook.
  • Make your journal a living wish list by adding anything that catches your fancy while window-shopping online – dream dresses, impossible bags, and hugely expensive boots.
  • If you enjoy writing, add some short stories or poems to your scrapbook. A few photos interspersed with a couplet or so by your own self is a very sentimental touch.
  • Use sheet music on the pages for a pretty touch. You can use it just decoratively, or use the sheet music to your favorite song or maybe classical piano piece. Add your own words in the lyrics, or simply add photos.
  • Speaking of pretty touches: ribbons, bows, lace. You know your mission. Go!
  • If you’re really into the stickers that come with your Japanese magazines, make a glorified sticker book. I keep mine in my LC planning diary :)
  • Save your brand paraphernalia like tags, postcards, and extra fabrics and buttons. Sometimes they also send along printed ribbons, which can look lovely as ribbon bookmarks in the spine or looped around a spiral notebook’s hinge.
  • Pressed flowers are one of my favorite things as well. They’re especially fun if you pick flowers from an outing, like a picnic with your friends – or if you pick unusual flowers and then add their botanical names and maybe magical properties?!
  • Save any valentines you get or secrets that really speak to you. There is something quiet and beautiful about a well-loved secret or valentine sent anonymously; they warm the heart.
  • Use old-style photo corners for an antique-y look. Black is traditionally retro, but I like gold for a sense of Victoriana.

Got any other ideas on how to use a lolita scrapbook? Let us know! Every book is a work of your own thoughts and beauty, so they will all be different and unique – rather like lolitas themselves.

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