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.