Another day, another sneak peek from our book, Homemakers.

Just under a month ago, we celebrated the release of Homemakers. This domestic handbook for the digital generation takes you through a redefinition of the word “home maker” room by room, from the dining room to the kitchen to the bedroom and all the way to the back porch. The back porch chapter of our book is where some of our favorite makers have stopped by to share their own awesome projects for living more beautifully and creatively.


Today’s project comes from Kirsten Nunez, creator of DIY and lifestyle blog Studs & Pearls and an avid DIY contributor here on! In this project, Kirsten shows us how to use fabric paint to create a faux cross stitch design on a basic gray sweatshirt. It’s a method that can be applied to any piece of clothing, and we love the way that it mimics embroidery but takes a fraction of the time. But that’s all we can tell you for now — you’ll have to buy our book for the full how-to! ;) In the meantime, read on to learn what inspires her, how she got started and what’s on her studio playlist.

What inspires you? Why do you love to design, create and make?

The idea of making nothing into something has always amazed me. Far too often, we look at something for the way it’s presented to us — usually with a pre-established purpose or reason. Yet, that something can be so much more, and it comes down to how you use it.

I also love how any tutorial can go a million different ways, depending on the person that makes it. No two projects will be alike, even if the same instructions are followed. I’ve always believed that DIY is the best form of self-expression…nothing can represent you better than something you created.

Tell us about your blog.

Studs & Pearls is a DIY blog featuring edgy DIYs and creative inspiration. Projects include fashion, home decor, general crafts and sometimes even food. Expect tons of tutorials, ideas and bad craft jokes.

Tell us a little more about yourself.

Kirsten is an author, nutritionist and women’s lifestyle writer focusing on health, crafts and creativity. Since 2010, she has been sharing DIY projects at Studs & Pearls. In May 2014, Kirsten published a DIY book, Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion. She was born and raised in New York, where she currently lives.


What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?

Never stop doing whatever you do. Do it every single day, if you can. Even if it’s for 5 minutes. You don’t have to produce something totally groundbreaking each time, and it doesn’t even need to be share-worthy. Most of the time, it probably won’t be. But every little bit counts, and it will all add up to something. Your creative spirit needs to stay active, and it all comes down to how often you run with it.

Tell us how technology has changed and supported what you do.

Social media and blogging makes it so easy to inspire others, whether they’re next door or in another country — it’s a pretty amazing thing. The growing prevalence of super useful apps and programs makes the process efficient and easy, leaving room for the creative thought process to flourish.

What’s on your studio playlist?

My Spotify is full of heavier punk-oriented playlists that never fail to get me pumped for a busy day of creating. Descendents and Rancid are the two that are always on heavy rotation. But, depending on my mood, I love the indie tunes for the more laid back days: Cat Power’s discography, Banks (more alternative pop), BOY and Feist are some favorites.

How do you get into the creative flow? How does it feel?

Once a concept snaps together, it feels like a hundred light bulbs going off in my brain! Usually, the ideas start snowballing from there and it’s exhilarating to envision a new concept or approach. I’ve definitely said “OOOH!” out loud a couple times, too.

What do you love about teaching people to make? And inspiring people who don’t think they are traditionally creative?

I love helping others realize that they aren’t limited to what the world hands to them. Even though you choose what to buy at a mall or a store, the company still has control over what you can even choose from. With the right guidance, it can be easy for people to make something for themselves in the way that they want. That’s where us makers come in!


Hear, hear Kirsten! Happy [home]making! :)