How to Up-Cycle a Kimono –
Recently I’ve had a major obsession with wraps, kimonos, shawls and capes just because they’re fun pieces to wear around the house aside from sweats. I also had this picture ingrained in my mind of a 1920’s Paul Poiret cat-eyed muse wearing a turban and kimono, while holding a slimline cigarette in her hand atop her balcony on the Italian Riviera. Of course anyone can buy a vintage kimono off Etsy and be done with it, but I wanted to give my kimono a special look that evoked more of a luxurious appeal similar to Paul Poiret. There are two tricks you can do to make a kimono both luxurious and one of a kind.
Hand beading anything will instantly give your kimono a decadent allure. It’s not something that can be rushed or something that is quick, but it is surprisingly easy with the help of any YouTube tutorial. To cut down on time, I only hand-beaded the edges around the small designs on the kimono. I also threaded three beads at a time along the edges to replicate a thin line of beads. I used different color beads to create depth. The color choices for this up-cycle piece were silver and gold. Every day after work for about a week I sat in front of the TV and hand beaded the kimono, and one season of BlackList later, it was done!
The next tip to up-cycle a kimono is to add a bit of lace. There is something about a slight introduction of lace to anything that adds not only femininity but also sophistication. I picked a lace that would match the overall color of the kimono and made sure the lace was the kind that would be soft to the touch. I cut out two panel pieces along the side seam from the armhole down to the hemline and replaced the fabric with lace. Even though I’m a design graduate, this is a ten to thirty-minute DIY project that ANYONE can do if you can sew a pillow.
Kimonos are a great way to spice up your look, while lounging around the house. With these two simple tips you can add that special something that will make your kimono look like a high end couture piece.
What I’m Wearing –
The one I’m wearing in this photo shoot is a vintage kimono from the 1960’s that I found at a garage sale last year in Sarasota, Florida. I fell in love with the print because it was different than any print I’d ever seen on a casual kimono, and I LOVED the fact that it was floor length.
If you have a tip to up-cycle a kimono please share in the comments below, or feel free to share a picture of yourself styled in your own kimono. I love to get inspired by others too!