Monday, August 3, 2015

Upcycled Shoe Bag

This was a delayed project that I had wanted to work on when I first joined a fitness center last year. I had used a plastic bag, where one gets when buying groceries from supermarket, as my shoe-bag. Though convenient as it may be, it is an indecorous shoe bag for me.... Yes, I admit, I am a perfectionist.

I wanted something special; so I decide to make one. So I went through my stashed up old clothes and cushion covers that I had saved for upcycling projects. To be honest, I will never have the time to use them all. But being a person who is passionate about textile, I find it wasteful to throw away materials which could be reused, upcycled.

I like ethnic style; so I gathered materials based on that theme. You may select the theme of your preference if this post inspires you to make one too.

 Upcycle materials used for this project: 

An old bolster taken from an Indonesia teak bench - The shape which is ideal for the project. I had salvaged a few bolsters which had faded into unpleasant shades. 

A stained old skirt trimmed with Hmong textile

Stained and faded Akha cushion cover 

A piece of cloth hung above the door in my previous home during Chinese Lunar New Year

After hours of labor, the first shoe-bag was completed. One old bolster fully utilized in making one shoe bag.  I simply pleated the extra length of the bolster without trimming it. That added sturdiness to the material to firm the body.

 Added an ethnic trinket from Thailand to the zipper.

A little highlight was added to the bag handle. 

The finished work can be turned into a reversible shoe bag as the hem was sewm with cotton
bias binding.

After the first bag done, I made a second shoe-bag which was for my sister.

Added a leather strips onto the handle. My first try in leather embossing was unsatisfactory.

An elastic band sewn to the hem....

....which can hold a pair or two pairs of socks.

Alas I can say goodbye to using plastic shoe bags. I can now proudly use my handmade shoe bag when I go to the gym. It is also a useful shoe bag when I travel.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Creative Chinese Zodiac Sheep Year Red Envelope Design-

Red envelope, red packet or 'hongbao' is a monetary gift which is given during Chinese Lunar New Year or other special occasions such as weddings, the birthdays or graduation.

Traditionally the 'red' envelope comes in red which symbolizes good luck with gold print or hot stamping of auspicious greetings. Today, besides red, we see them in gold, pink, orange, yellow & hues close to red. 

Recently, a friend gave me a set of creatively designed red envelopes which she received from a printing company. It came in multiple colors including an unusual teal.

Each envelope are conceptually designed with spring couplets (duilian) in balanced four characters for the Chinese Zodiac year of sheep.

Too bad I can't do a good translation on them. And seriously please do not try to Google translate these couplets as it would distort the meaning and turn them into jokes.

I find the glue-less concept with just a die cut slit is brilliant idea for the closing the envelope. Just a piece of square paper with few folds, it is transformed into an envelope.

This is a good idea for other stationery and gift packaging designs besides red envelope.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Origami Lantern for Chinese Lunar New Year

Love this red origami balls that adorn my home on Chinese New Year. With a little improvisation from the tutorial I learnt from How about Orange, I have a red lantern on my memory lane by the stairway.

A minimum weight of 120gm paper for smaller ball. If you intend to add in the LED lights, do use at least 150gm paper up to card size. The 120gm paper I used for this 6 inches diameter ball is not ideal . The bottom petals couldn't support the weight n went flat on the bottom. String balls in various sizes is another great decoration.

Romantic night light in the bedroom

Adding in a battery operated LED lights. With 2 3As battery, it can last for the 15 days celebration!
Just drop the LED lights before assembling the last petal.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wedding Ring Pillow

I believe it is every woman's dream to have a beautiful wedding though that is not the most important part in a marriage. In fact, I am one of those who dreamed and fantasized.....but I didn't get the chance to walk the aisle on my wedding; get to say "I do" nor have a beautiful wedding ring pillow. But I would love to see others having a beautiful memorable wedding day.

Hence, when I received an wedding invitation from a young couple recently and having known their rustic wedding theme, I offered to make a wedding ring pillow with the similar theme as my wedding gift for them.

I looked into my stock of sewing scraps and found some fabric and accessories. The unbleached linen is the perfect choice. Matching it with cotton lace trimmings and laced butterfly; Sola flowers and metal initials.

I have a box of Sola flowers which I bought long time ago but I have no clue what it is until I saw this video clip. According to my discovery on the net, Sola flowers are made from soft bark of tapioca plant. These flower added natural charm to the pillow.

Having in mind the couple might like to keep this in their bedroom, I inserted some lavender potpourri into the pillow. 

The finished product as you can see is very pretty and authentic. I wish I had a wedding ring pillow at my wedding, but I'm as happy to have made one for a friend.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Father's Day & Teacher's Day Paper Medallions

Paper Medallion is a fun craft project to do with children. We can do this project as an activity to celebrate special occasions like Mother's and Father's Day ,Teacher's Day or even in recognition for peoples effort in keeping their neighbourhood clean. 

Use card weight paper to achieve a solid finishing. For a proffesional look use circle and scallop punchers for cutting shapes. This will make it easier to cut clean lines.

Recently, I introduces this project at my church teaching 32
32 children in Sunday school to make Father's day medallion. I used this opportynity for them to learn to honour and appreciate their fathers. They were very proud to award their parent with a self hand-made medallion. The children had much fun. I too had much fun sharing with them.

Teacher's Day gifts craft session at home with my two girls.

Check out Pottery Barn Kids for video tutorial to make paper medallion.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Vintage Butterfly Image Transfer Purse

When I first encountered with image transfer from other bloggers, I thought that was real cool technique to do personalize prints on fabric and other surfaces. With the many methods available working on image transfer, I had my first try in image transfer project with the Mod Podge method. The project was butterfly prints on a purse which I designed in the same theme with a journal I hand bound for a dear friend- Lynn as her belated birthday gifts.

Lynn fascinates anything designed with butterfly themes. With that in mind, I had my butterfly inspiration to hand bind a journal and sew a matching purse. I found some butterfly images from Graphic Faries who share great stocks of vintage images.

Little Jaipur - The label my sister and I created many years ago when we were running our little seasonal business

I used Mod Podge method to do the transfer from a laser print to fabric. Mod Podge is a water base, non toxic, all in one glue, sealer and finish. Though most people would recommend an ink jet printed image, the laser printed image did just well. The various kind of Mod Podge available would get a beginner confuse of choosing the right one to do a project. Here is chart to get some guide in making selection. Generally Mod Podge photo transfer medium is recommended for an image transfer project, but I make used of what is available with me - Mod Podge Matte, which did a wonderful job.

Mod Podge is not easily available in any store in Malaysia. You can find it in Craft Heaven in One Utama shopping Centre but it does not come cheap. Besides that, some local bloggers does sell this fantastic product. 

For the purse accessories used in this project, You may make online purchase from MayMayShop . By keying Yann's Journal, you get 10% discount for a minimum purchase of RM100 and above.

Click here for my tutorial on image transfer with Mod Podge.