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Dark Blue Casual Summer Outfits with DIY Paper Bracelet Page to Bead Examples

Today I'm sharing two recent casual OOTD based on dark blue pieces along with the DIY paper bracelet sets I wore with them. With each bracelet set, I will also show the magazine and/or catalog pages I upcycled to create them to provide some more examples of how a page becomes a bead in the paper bead making process.


Outfit #1


I continue looking for new ways to wear this beloved (but sadly shrunken due to incorrect washing instructions) rabbit shirt as a lightweight jacket over a knit tank or T. I had previously discovered that due to its shortened length, a normal length top pokes out beneath it. This is less apparent when the under-layered top is either a similar color to the bottom (an inner column) or a similar color to the rabbit shirt itself. (While tucking in the top so it's shorter is a theoretical possibility, this looks ridiculous on me because I have almost no distance between my bust and my waist! I know there are temporary ways to shorten tops also, and I do employ these techniques at times, but I admit to often not feeling like futzing with it for a casual weekend outfit.)

Coldwater Creek rabbit shirt

So I decided to try the rabbit shirt with a peacock blue tank and denim capris in a relatively dark wash...making a three shades of dark blue outfit in which neither the under-layer tank or the rabbit shirt stand out strongly. I love this low-contrast look! Thinking of the dark blue background of the rabbit shirt as a neutral rather than an accent color has made it psychologically easier for me to experiment with color pairings like this one.

Peacock blue tank + dark blue rabbit shirt + denim capris - plus size summer outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 8/1/22

This simple 3 piece layered necklace formula works well for me: statement necklace + pearls or beads + long pendant. This one in mixed metals and pearls worked out quite well, I think...and I do like to wear white pearls with this shirt to highlight the white rabbits in the print.

Peacock blue tank + dark blue rabbit shirt + denim capris - plus size summer outfit idea for women over 40

The blending of warm and cool offered by mixed metal jewelry does make me feel more comfortable sometimes with my own mixed-up warm and cool coloring. My white-to-pink skin has a cool undertone, my lion's mane is quite warm, and my green eyes have olive, sage, teal, and navy in them. I'm also wearing rose gold/brown glasses, a glittery gold headband, and peacock blue/silver earrings, so the mixed metal floral necklace feels like a nice unifying piece.

Peacock blue tank + dark blue rabbit shirt + denim capris - plus size summer outfit idea for women over 40

This bracelet stack is based on a somewhat experimental set of 3 paper bead bracelets. I had thought I would try making a single set with a range of colors in the Blue-Green category, from peacock blue (on the blue end) through teal (in the middle) to mint (on the green end). This wasn't to go with any particular item of mine, for once...I just picked a color scheme that is common in my wardrobe. I'm actually not sure whether this experiment was successful or not! I'm not fully satisfied with this stack, but I don't know if it's because the disparate blue-green colors are too different from each other or...huh, perhaps my eye wants to see a bracelet that has all these blue-green colors together to give it a stronger sense of cohesion. Hmm...I was thinking of pulling that middle peacock blue tube bracelet out as the starting point for a separate set (leaving the teal/white tube and mint/white bicone ones together). But maybe I should try making a mixed peacock/teal/mint stone or glass bracelet to wear with them. It's worth a shot!

Peacock blue tank + dark blue rabbit shirt + denim capris - plus size summer outfit idea for women over 40

We'll save our verdict as to "Can this DIY bracelet set be saved?" for after I play with adding another bracelet to it. (Does anyone else remember the "can this marriage be saved?" articles in women's magazines in the 1980s?) Let's look at the magazine and catalog pages I used to create the paper bracelets. First, the two tube bead bracelets. I knew that the top of this magazine page would make great beads in a variety of teal shades with some white thrown in, and because only the very end of strip shows, the rest of the white page with boring text was irrelevant. I like the dappled look of the rolled beads. I painted the bead ends with white metallic acrylic paint.

The peacock blue/black print fleece image from a Lands End catalog yielded some delightfully fuzzy looking tube beads. The textures that come through from paper with photographs of an actual 3D item is one of the advantages of upcycling magazines and catalogs rather than using scrapbook paper etc. that has been designed with flat 2D prints. I painted the bead ends with peacock blue metallic acrylic paint for a low-contrast result.

I don't have a photo of the original image but I think you can get a good sense of what this drawing looked like from the bicone strips. My favorite bead is the third one down (from the second strip from the left), so I put that one in the middle of the bracelet.

Outfit #2


I am a huge fan of striped Ts, and this one has a really nice color palette of navy and white with several different shades of green, aqua, and light blue. I also like the overall fit and the V neck. Oddly, it wasn't as much a favorite when I bought it (May 2018) but unlike most $5 (and perhaps even expensive) Ts, instead of getting stretched out/faded/shrinking over time, it's as good as the day I bought it, and I think the sizing is just right now. Most of the Ts I purchased at the same time as this one have been relegated to sleepwear, but this one is still in my main wardrobe. Buying T-shirts...it's such a crapshoot, you know?

Croft & Barrow/Kohls T-shirt

I generally wear this T with a combination of green, navy, dark denim, and white...and I have yet to feel bored or limited by that color combination at all. This is the first time I wore it with this textured dark blue cardigan, but I liked how the slightly lighter color and the marl knit worked with the plain navy capris and flat knit fabric of the T. I am pretty happy to wear a variety of green accent colors with this T, perhaps because the different colors in the stripes gives a vibe of "it doesn't have to match, it goes" to the outfit I wear it in. Whatever the reason, I had no mental barrier to wearing a darker soft green necklace and brighter green flats to work with the light green of the stripes.

Striped T + navy marl cardigan + navy capris - plus size summer outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 7/17/22

This bracelet stack was also created using a common color scheme rather than based on an inspiration item - I like to combine navy, green, white, and gold so I made a bracelet set in those colors. In addition to the three paper bead bracelets, I also made the dark blue/navy bracelet from round lapis lazuli beads. (The gold bracelet is one of the Amazon metallic set that I wear all the time.)

Striped T + navy marl cardigan + navy capris - plus size summer outfit idea for women over 40

Unfortunately the documentation of my original pages is not complete for this set! But the deep navy/green bicone beads were made from a full page image from Audubon magazine with trees and a very dark river. The flecks of white in the beads came from the pale areas of the image between the trees where the light showed through.

For the tube beads, I used this white tunic with a green leaf print image from a Coldwater Creek catalog. (Clothing catalogs make great sources for tube beads because with the images reduced to catalog size, the prints are a great small size to show well on the finished beads.) The page wasn't very big, so I glued the tunic image to the end of a longer page before cutting the strips. The leaf motif looks great on the rolled bead.

Sadly I didn't "fix" the bracelet by re-orienting the beads (which get all turned around when I roll the bracelet onto my wrist) with the leaves to the front before taking the OOTD photo, so here is a look at the final bracelet in which you can actually see some of the leaves! I painted the bead ends in gold metallic acrylic paint and added gold spacer beads to complete the bracelet. I really like that there is a range of green colors in these leaves.

The last set of beads are also missing the original image, which was a night scene of graduating students from an alumni magazine. It's interesting that the deep navy color is so dark that it almost appears black. But with the Audubon tree and river bicones also having a very dark navy, I think it's OK. Because the alumni magazine paper is rather thick, I used a gold metallic marker to edge the long sides of the triangular strips before rolling, which adds a nice striated effect on the finished beads.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these page to bead examples and the outfits I wore the finished bracelets with...because I have been rather prolific in my paper bead making and have more bracelets to show in the future!

Other posts in this series:


DIY Paper Bicone Bead Tutorial

DIY Paper Tube Bead Tutorial


DIY Magazine & Catalog Bicone Bead Examples - Part 1

DIY Magazine & Catalog Paper Bicone Bead Examples - Part 2

DIY Magazine & Catalog Paper Tube Bead Examples - Part 1


Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Scarf (Summer) - Part 1

Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Scarf (Summer) - Part 2

Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start with a White Floral Shirt (Summer)

Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start with a Pink Outfit (Spring)

Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start with a Colorful Striped Top

Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Butterfly Scarf

Design a DIY Bracelet Set: Start With a Two Color Summer Outfit (Navy + Green)


When something goes somewhat wrong with one of your items (like my rabbit shirt shrinking debacle), do you tend to try to make it work or do you just let it go?


Blogs I link up with are listed here.


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