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Category: DIY (Page 1 of 3)

In Which I Answer Some Basic Goth Questions For The Masses

How spooky!

For whatever reason there are tons of people right now asking the same basic questions about the goth subculture. Who am I kidding, we know exactly why so many questions are being asked right now; being ‘goth’ is a huge trend train that lots of people who have no clue about the actual subculture want to jump on. All of these questions are ones that I have seen asked online over and over and over again. So they are real, not anything I have made up. All aboard!

Am I goth if I wear the colour black?

No, because the goth subculture doesn’t own the colour. Plenty of people outside of the subculture also wear black, such as metalheads, priests, nuns, etc… Go forth and wear all of the black you want, nobody should be stopping you for doing so. However, it doesn’t magically transport you into the goth subculture or make you a member of it. It’s a music based subculture, not one based upon the colour of clothes that you wear.

What clothes do I have to buy and what music do I have to listen to in order to be a Victorian/vampire/trad/cyber/mall goth?

This is the one question that really gets my knickers in a twist. Those ‘goth types’ were started as a joke in the 90’s, making fun of the stereotypes found in goth clubs. That is all it was meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be a roadmap as to how to belong to the subculture. There are some self described ‘elder goths’ who have actually argued with me about this, saying that people used to take it seriously back in the day. No they did not. In the area that I lived during the 90’s somebody even made stickers based on the stereotypes and I found some in a vending machine in a Pizza Hut in San Francisco in 1998. I only remember that because I was the assistant manager of a Spirit Halloween store during that time and would always get pizza for lunch. If you want to tick all of the boxes off to become a certain stereotype within the subculture nobody is going to stop you but you will get a massive amount of eye rolling. Instead of wanting to be a stereotype just be yourself. Announcing to the world that you want to be a certain type of goth is never a great look.

Do I have to listen to only goth music to be a goth?

Of course not. The only group of people in the goth community who have ever believed that are the uber goobers, who have always been boring as hell. I listen to goth, metal, thrash, punk, disco, 70’s/80’s soul, old school rap/hip-hop, classical, new wave, blues,etc… I have always been into multiple forms of music and I have no shame in admitting it. Goth music has many styles, such as deathrock, goth rock, darkwave, ethereal and cold wave. If you try out each style and don’t like any of them you are more than likely just darkly inclined and there is nothing wrong with that. If this pisses you off then you should be asking yourself why is being goth so important to you and as to why you want that label so much in the first place.

Do I have to buy clothes from expensive online dark alternative stores to be a goth?

The answer to that is a huge no! There are a bunch of younger people running around right now looking like wannabe witches and slamming onto the gates guarding the goth community wanting in even though they don’t listen to the music. It is a music based subculture not one that is totally based on how you look. The people saying otherwise are straight up liars. If you are starting out just buy black basic clothes from a regular store, or even a thrift store, and get some accessories off of Etsy to jazz them up. Some regular stores, such as New Look in the UK, are known for carrying some goth friendly clothes. Every single time I go to the one near me I walk out with something.

Do I have to buy clothes from thrift stores in order to be a goth?

One of the main ways I used to get clothes back in the 80’s/90’s was by going to thrift stores. I lived in an area that had a lot of good ones so I was very lucky. Where I live now the thrift stores are hard to get to and are very overpriced so I just avoid them. If there are no thrift stores near you, or if they suck where you live, don’t worry about it.

Do I have to learn DIY skills to be a goth?

I have been doing DIY type clothing projects for decades and I am completely self taught. I learned to hand sew back in the 80’s and I can hem, dart, add buttons,etc…I have always upcycled clothing. I have even bought Killstar items on clearance in the past and made them look completely different. I can also do stud work and paint on leather/pleather which is a very easy thing to learn. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube showing you how to do all of these kinds of projects. By learning DIY skills you can curate your own style so that you don’t look exactly the same as everybody else, plus it’s a lot of fun!

Do I have to be skinny and white to be a goth?

This question always breaks my heart. White skinny women and men have always been the go to for the goth aesthetic look that some directors, subculture magazines and others have been pushing since the 80’s. I would say it has only been within the last five years that you see people of colour being more visually represented within the subculture. It should have happened way sooner than that. You do not need to be white or skinny to be a goth. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Why is metal music not considered goth?

Metal music has historically never been considered goth. One of the main reasons being that metalheads, back in the 80’s, used to threaten and beat the crap out of punks and anybody else who looked ‘alternative’. That includes goths. I personally never got jumped, BUT a whole lot of male metalheads used to give me crap all of the time. Also, the music developed totally separately from it. Goth music developed out of punk, while metal developed out of 60’s rock and psychedelic music. You can, of course, like metal music and goth music at the same time. I have always loved the hell out of early Danzig and even saw them play in 1992.

When and how do I become an elder goth?

An elder goth is considered to be somebody who has been into the music for decades and still supports the subculture in one way or another. I started getting into the music in 1986 and have always been a goth-punk weirdo so I am considered to be an elder goth. I have seen some people around my age who just got into wearing black clothing who claim they are elder goths. Yes, I have personally seen that happen online and I find it really annoying and fake. You can dress in expensive clothing and wear a ton of make-up but just because you are older doesn’t mean you are an elder goth. It takes a decade or two, not a credit card, to be considered one.

How do I become a goth influencer?

This question does my head in. Seriously. Younger people see ‘goth’ influencers online getting a bunch of free swag and want exactly the same. For them it is not about the music, instead it is about curating an image; one in which they think will make them more ‘goth’. Nothing can be further from the truth. I call this the Kardashianization of the goth subculture and it is just gross. Not all goths with a YouTube, or other social media platform, push clothing, but so many do that it just becomes a blurry mess of pentacles, platform boots and loads of over the top make-up. They give the impression that all goths dress to the nines every single day, when in fact we don’t. I’m laying around in my Star Wars pyjamas right now typing this.

Do I have to dye my hair, or get tattoos and piercings to be considered goth?

Sometimes it trips me out just how ‘in’ it is these days to get tattoos, piercings and bright hair colours. All three have become totally mainstreamed so you won’t really look ‘different’ doing so. You don’t have to do any of this to be goth because it is just window dressing. These days if you see somebody dressed in all black with green hair walking down the street chances are you won’t have anything in common with them because they are just following a trend. It’s sad but it’s the truth.

Well, that is it for now. Whomever you are I hope this helps you on your journey into the goth subculture or at least points you in the right direction. Always be you, not a stereotype that you think people want to see.

I Have Finally Started Working On The Glenn Danzig Themed Jacket!

The patch placement on the back I am more than likely going to run with.

You have read that correctly, I have finally started working on the Glenn Danzig themed jacket! This will entail including patches from the Misfits, Samhain, Danzig and other related spooky stuff. The funny thing is that all of this is happening around the same time that I finally got my eyes tested and found out that I need reading glasses. It was getting difficult to thread a needle so that really needed to happen.

We own a cat, can you tell?

Without glasses I managed to sew on the Samhain death dealer patch. I used red thread to make it pop a little. I have decided not to tire the hell out of my eyes any further and just wait for my glasses to arrive before I start on another patch. So, I will be back at it next week. While I was waiting for the last patches to arrive I started yet another project.

Love this hoodie so much!

I bought the above Misfits hoodie from Hot Topic’s website about a month ago. I only order from the site once a year because they charge way too much money for shipping. I’m just going to slowly sew more patches to it and perhaps add some spikes.

All of the patches shown in this post I bought from Etsy.

Some Cool Shirts And Patches That I Have Found On Etsy

I had to get these…..because it’s Samhain.

As I have previously stated before on this blog I do not accept anything for free for reviewing products. I have always felt that it is really disingenuous to accept free swag and then brag about it online. That is what so many younger content creators are doing within the online goth/punk communities these days and I find it really boring and trite. This is all to say that I bought every single item that you see contained in this post.

The back of those same shirts. The red print looking white in these photos are just reflections, the lettering is not white at all.

Have you never seen these Samhain shirt designs before? Me neither, and that is why I had to get them. Out of Glenn Danzig’s three different bands Samhain is the one that doesn’t have the insane level of gear that the other two have, so it is difficult to find items of the band that are out of the ordinary. This seller on Etsy has designs that I have never seen before so I am assuming that they came up with them themselves. I mean some of the elements of the designs I am familiar with, but I have never seen them quite like this before. They cost me about £18.00 each and for the price they are really good looking. The red is a little orange in places but you can’t notice that unless you are looking up close. All in all I am very happy with this purchase.

Yes, that is a Bee Gees patch and I am not ashamed!

I have been buying a lot of patches lately. Some are going to be for the Glenn Danzig themed jacket while some others will be used in projects in the future. I especially love the hand-painted severed heads Misfits patch. It’s such a work of beauty that I had to order more patches from her. If you are into Glenn Danzig at all, or like spooky imagery, you will spend money at her shop.

If a band that you like has little to no merchandise Etsy is a great place to find gear. Make no mistake, you should always look on Bandcamp first but Etsy is there for you if you happen to like bands that broke up decades ago. The only thing I would make sure to do is read the reviews of the products, because there are people on there selling substandard gear out of China. In fact there are whole stores on there that do that. When in doubt do an easy reverse image search, because that will tell you if multiple stores are selling the exact same item.

Happy hunting!

DIY Project That I Will Be Starting Soon

A glass pumpkin cookie jar that has become my new spooky hair clips container.

I haven’t made a music themed jacket in a little over thirty years, Seriously, it has been that long. Why? Because I am a fangirl of so many different kinds of things that it makes it difficult for me to just focus on one aspect as to who I am.

I have been massively listening to the Misfits, Samhain and Danzig lately, if you haven’t noticed, and an idea popped into my head a few weeks ago; make a Glenn Danzig themed jacket! Originally I was going to use a New Look striped jacket that I got on clearance, but after some thinking I am going to use the one below instead. It’s another New Look clearance jacket that I got about five years ago.

Love the 50’s vibe of this jacket.

If you are a fan of Glenn you know that the number 138 is a Misfits reference. I had sewn those numbers onto the jacket a few years back so in reality it was already started. Over the last few weeks I have been scouring Etsy for cool Misfits, Samhain and Danzig patches and I have found some really unusual ones. Also, I will be putting some spooky little patches on it as filler because to do otherwise would be blasphemous. On top of that I have bought a bunch of cone studs. I just have to be patient for all of the goods to trickle in. I don’t want to start until they are all here. If I have some that I won’t use I will just save them for a future project.

I really hope that this inspires you to create something of your own. I believe in you and if you ever have any questions about how to proceed with a DIY project please feel free to contact me because I would love to help if I can.

My Very DIY Post-Apocalyptic Boots

I’m proud of how these turned out.

I just finished these the other day and I am very pleased with how they turned out. They are Angry Itch brand boots that I modified to fit into my post-apocalyptic/dystopian aesthetic.

The first thing I did was lightly stud the bottom straps. The leather is really thick so they warped a little bit but that’s fine. There were straps above but I took them off and hung some pandemic symbols from the rings instead. I bought the symbols off of Etsy and hung them from the outside ring with some jewellery wire that I wrapped around some clips. Finally, I coloured the white stitches with a purple acrylic paint pen. It is impossible to paint those stitches perfectly so I got some stray paint around them. Again, that is okay because my aesthetic isn’t based on a perfect appearance.

If you want to do some DIY work on a pair of boots I say go for it! It’s a lot of fun and you will be wearing boots that are unique to you.

Apocalypse Wednesday: Should You Be Prepping For Food Shortages Right Now? YES! Week 7

Lord Humungus thinks you should prep.

Before I start I would like it to be known that I am in no way a right wing loon who has built a bunker and who thinks the world is going to end. I am a leftist woman with mainly anarcho-communist tendencies. Now, let’s get on with the show.

When you read this blog you will notice that quite a few of my Apocalypse Wednesday posts include links to news stories about droughts and the devastation caused by climate change. Scientists, including those representing the UN, have announced over the last few weeks that there will be shortages of wheat this fall and winter due to climate change caused droughts around the world. Wheat farms in Canada, the United States, Italy and elsewhere have not produced the amount of wheat needed to feed the world. Countries that would normally export all of their excess wheat are now keeping it for themselves. This, in turn, causes those in poorer areas of the world to starve to death because they are not being sent the grain.

Do I think people in North America, Europe, and other affluent areas are going to starve? Nope, but there are going to be limited choices as to what you can buy. There might be only a few kinds of cereal when there used to be dozens. Prices are already starting to go up, especially when it comes to meat and fish. For example, I bought 12 tinned cans of salmon for £24 the other day and this morning the price went up to £33,

I know that all of this seems very scary, because it is. However, with a little planning you can lessen the impact that these shortages will have on you and your family.

  1. Only buy food that you already eat. Others are telling people to buy giant bags of rice and beans, BUT if you don’t already eat beans and rice it doesn’t make sense to buy them.
  2. Make sure you buy enough protein, and it doesn’t have to be fresh meat. You can buy tins of tuna, salmon, chicken chunks, Spam,etc… Peanut butter is another great source of protein, and you can even buy it in powdered form to freshly mix your own.
  3. If you bake buy enough flour, sugar and other ingredients that you normally use. The upcoming wheat shortage is already being felt in terms of pricing so this is a very important step.
  4. If you live in an area with upcoming water shortages buy water storage containers. Fill them as needed.
  5. Instant coffee sachets literally last forever. Buying them makes more sense than trying to store a bunch of coffee beans in the freezer. Plus, the sachets will be very good items to use in food trades, if things come to that.
  6. Buy tinned fruit and veg. There is still produce around right now but the quality has gone downhill.
  7. If you have a hobby get all the gear you will need sooner rather than later. I have stocked up on thread, studs, and other such things because I do a lot of clothing DIY projects.
  8. Been eyeing certain ‘alternative’ type items, such as bright hair dye or platform boots? It’s best to get them sooner than later because who knows what brands are even going to survive all of this. Some are already having constant clearance sales which isn’t the sign of a healthy business.

I hope I have changed some minds about the need to prep right now, because it is the logical thing to do to make sure that you and your family have enough to eat in the coming food crisis.

Fun With DIY: Applying Studs To Your Clothing, Bags And Anything You Want.

I added black and purple round studs to this cool Blade Runner bag that I bought off of Etsy.

A very easy way to change the look of your clothes, and to make them more your own, is to stud them up. This is something that is way easier to do than it looks. I actually taught myself how to do it over thirty years ago by using the tip of a sharp knife to create the holes in a leather jacket for the stud tines to go through. I’m lucky I didn’t stab myself.

These days it is so much easier to get the tools and studs that you will need for such a project than it was way back when. Etsy is an excellent place to find studs, and my favourite stud shop StudsAndSpikescom even sells a kit that includes an awl and a tool to push down the tines so that you don’t hurt your fingers. The only thing that I will tell you to watch out for when searching for studs on Etsy are the drop shippers that send studs directly from China. I would choose a UK, European or US shop that ships directly to you so that you don’t have to wait weeks for a package that may or may not show up.

I added some purple round, black pyramid and skull studs to these straps of my Angry Itch boots.

The photo above is what I did very recently. The leather was quite thick so it warped a bit when I did the stud work. This happens less when the material you are working with is more thin, such as fabric. The warping never bothers me because it looks DIY and not manufactured.

I’m so proud of how well this turned out.

The above is a Punk Rave dress, whose high collar I removed. The top of the dress is made of two layers of cloth so I used some studs to attach them back together at the now lower neck. I also added some random studs around the bottom to give the dress more depth. I think adding touches of neon green really makes this dress stand out more and not look so plain. Since my whole style is Blade Runner meets Mad Max nothing needs to look perfect, and that actually gives me a lot of creative freedom.

I hope this has given you some ideas and some encouragement to start your own projects. Doing DIY studding is seriously a lot of fun!

I Bought A Rotary Tool And I’m Gonna Use It!

My precioussssss…………….

I finally took the plunge and bought a rotary tool to use in my DIY projects. I am so excited about this because I can now cut, etch, drill and sand to my heart’s content. It isn’t something that I will use every single day, but it will come in very handy and it will let me expand some projects which is cool.

Yes, this is a cookie cutter. I found it on Etsy.

I bought some nuclear symbol green plastic cookie cutters in a few different sizes last year, because I knew that they would look cool hanging from belts, bags and jackets. I just didn’t have the tools to do it. I could hang them as is but it really wouldn’t move freely and it would look awkward. Well, today I cut into the lip and then I made a hole underneath it.

Peachy-keen!

I put some purple jewellery wire through the hole I made, wrapped the ends around a swivel clip, and then attached that clip to my new bag. Remember, never be afraid of colours. You use what you can find in the wasteland. I am very happy with how it looks and I look forward to coming up with other ideas.

I Have Been Working On Another Denim Jacket

Over the last month or two I have working on yet another denim jacket. This one has no theme and is just a collection of films, bands and other things I am a huge fan of.

I bought this plain black denim jacket from New look, mostly because their denim is pretty good for the price and won’t fall apart after a few weeks of wear. The photo above is of the jacket after I did some bleach work to it. I wanted it to look like something dripped onto it and I am very happy with the results. Remember, not all black clothing looks the same when bleached. Another brand might turn out orange.

The first thing I did after the bleach work was create a hole and sew some neon green fishnet behind it. I wanted all sorts of colours involved because it just makes the jacket look more realistic and wasteland based, rather than something that looks ready-made and too perfect. After that was done I studded black and purple pyramids all along near the bottom of the jacket ending at the front. I went with those colours because I have heavily relied on green and black on my two other jackets. I just wanted something different. Lastly, I cut the ruffle off of a blouse I have never worn and I sewed it onto the jacket below the studs. I roughed up the ruffles with some sandpaper, which created some holes and wear and tear.

The next step I took was trying to figure out patch placement. I hung the jacket in a doorway so that I could look at it all day and it really, really helped me. Safety pins held them in place while sewing them on with green thread. I used the green thread because it made the patches stand out more, and again it is more realistic when it comes to the wasteland. If some of them go on crooked that just makes it look more DIY, which I am perfectly happy with. Out in the wasteland you will use whatever you can find.

Since I have created my own post-apocalyptic/dystopian aesthetic I can make up my own rules as I go along. Which is something that is fun as hell. I will give another update once I am done with the front.

Fun With DIY: Cutting Patterns Out Of A Skirt

These skulls are pretty awesome I must say.

Sometimes you order clearance items off of a site and they don’t fit. What do you do with them? Send them back, sell them, or better yet would you keep them for a future project just in case?

You guessed it, I am a bit of a pack rat. However, saving such pieces of clothing can come in handy. Such is the case with this Hell Bunny skirt. It’s a winter themed skirt but the skulls themselves look both spooky and cute at the same time. Which means they would be a perfect addition as a patch on a jacket or as a trim on a skirt.

I took a pair of fabric scissors and cut out a strip of the skulls, and then I cut out some of the skulls individually. They can be used as patches on a jacket or a hoodie, and the long strip of them could possibly become a trim for something else. You can do this sort of thing with any patterned type material. See a pattern that you love on a piece of sale clothing that you would otherwise never wear? Buy it, and then Frankenstein it to piece of clothing that you would wear.

Never feel discouraged if things don’t go your way at first because every single person who does DIY type projects has been through the same things. Nobody starts out knowing everything and that is okay. You will go through a bit of trial and error but in the end you will have something that is unique to you and that is very peachy-keen.

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