Thursday, November 27, 2014

Creative Conversion of Vintage Wrapping Sheet

What do you do when you must wrap in a hurry? You make do with what you have. Since I was in that situation a while ago, I did exactly that. I had this wrapping paper and didn't know what to do with it. It was just sitting there, you know, not doing any thing. I was to wrap in a hurry. Weigh these two down and you realize you will have to go with it. So, I grab the sheet and start a-wrappin!

The sheet was too pink so I decided to tone it down a bit and add some more bright colors. I cross-bowed fluorescent ribbon in yellow and green. Put a bunched-up flower made with silver wired ribbon and added a flower made on a loom. This is what it looked like:

Still not happy with the result, I grabbed some of my left-over net pieces. I had this amazing lilac shimmery net and wrapped the whole thing in it. I left the bunch out so that it looked pweettyy. This was the end result:

I was satisfied and so was the little girl who received it. Smiles all around! =)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Learning Crochet: Making a Crochet Bow

Using double crochet and a very helpful video, I was able to make this cute little bow:

And so I believe since I have learnt the basic stitches, I may be able to do more! A major project is underway right now...I'm going to make a pillow cover using a simple granny square. Shhhhh!

Learning Crochet: Double and Triple Crochet Stitches

Crochet adventures are going well so far. I have now mastered the single and double crochet stitches and have moved on to triple/treble crochet:

I know right now something has gone seriously wrong with my triple crochet but I have figured it out.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Learning Crochet: Single Crochet Stitch

Crochet adventures are under way! It's been two days since, and I have so far learnt the basic chain stitch and the single crochet stitch. As you can see in the picture above, I have got one row of the base stitch, i.e. the chain stitch and I am on my second row of single crochet.

The first row of single crochet seemed fairly easy. However, the second row of stitches was not so. I couldn't figure out how to switch it as the piece was now upside down. I don't have an instructor either so I thought Id switch hands instead. Here's a short clip:

I still need more practice obviously but I'm positive I can do it!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Taking up Crochet: New Hobby? Maybe ...

Sitting idle is not really my forte. Since I have been feeling so discouraged to craft, I have decided to officially take some time off. Life has unsettling ways of distracting us but we have to keep the ball rolling. While the buzz is ongoing and till we find a solution, I am going to take up a new hobby.

This is one I have thought of adopting every now and again. The problem was always: I need some one to teach's complicated. However, I have come to learn that in life, you are your own teacher and your own student. Self-sufficiency goes a long way. So, I dove into the vast expanse of the internet, I threw the line and now have caught the fish, so to speak. I have found a wonderful website that has instructions and videos on how to crochet for beginners. Visit this site here.

Anyhoo...Let's see how it goes. When it comes to crochet, I really need an instructable for dummies kind of thing. But, I'll make do with this one :)

So far, I have learnt how to make the basic chain stitch (it's the easiest I guess). Now moving on to the single crochet stitch. This one seems to be a little complicated. Off to learn it now...will keep you all updated!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tutorial: From Drab to Fab

This drab box made for a fun project, and tutorial! Learn how to convert a lacklustre box into a fubulouso box for your accessories!

Find some coordinating pieces of fabric. I dove into my scrap bag and used a combination of raw silk, georgette and banarsi fabrics. Iron them if needed and then lay your scraps in a rough pattern of how you want your box to look like when it's done.

Take the first piece of fabric and start gluing it down. Glue the top edge first so that it is easy for you to cut out excess fabric. Although it will look untidy at this point, let it be because you will be covering it up.

Glue it down on the bottom as well, making sure to stretch the fabric in order to eliminate bubbles or air sockets. Next, comes the corners. Cut out a small indent right at the turning point and glue it down like so:

Now that you have covered about one-third of your box, mark where you want your second color to be:

Glue down the second color just like you did the first. Since my box had a flap, I covered it with the same color for continuity.

Glue down on the inside, neatening up the corners:

Lay down your third piece of fabric. Since I had a print, I wanted the motifs to be prominent so I aligned it accordingly. In order to neaten up the edges of this third color, and since I do not want to use ribbon on the top, I tucked in the edges to give it a finished look.

Line up your fabric for the sides and glue it down. When gluing on the inside edge of the box, tuck in the edges so as to have a nice, polished look. The bottom can look messy at this point ;)

To cover up the bottom, cut out a piece of scrap paper or fabric and glue it down. Voila!

Before you think you are done, you need to tidy up the inside of the box. Get a matching ribbon.

See these rough edges? Cover them with ribbon and this is the final look:

Now you are done! Accessorize if you want, but I wanted to keep it simple in order to emphasize the printed fabric so I let it be.

Fill with your favorite things! Use it as a jewelry box, or as a storage for knick-knacks.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tutorial: Making a Tote Bag From Old Jeans

If you have a pair of old jeans and would like to put them to good use, follow this simple tutorial to make a cute tote bag.

I had with me a pair of over-sized jeans and, coincidentally, I was also in need of a spacious tote bag for all my school books (and I needed a bag to fit my school file and about three sets of thirty pamphlets). Thus, I set about the task of making a simple tote bag.

I chose this pair as I wanted maximum space. These are a pair of large men's jeans. Fold the jeans in half as shown in the picture below. Measuring from the bottom hem, cut the approximate depth that you want for your bag. If you want a longer tote, I suggest you cut further up the pant length.

Next, take a lining fabric (I took a pair of old pajamas), set the denim on top and cut it out. You may also use a measuring tape for all of this work but I was short on time and took rough estimates.

Now with your cutouts, open the hem from one side so that the leg folds out like so:

Do the same with the lining fabric.

For the handles, I took some scrap denim fabric, folded it lengthwise in half, then in half, again. I ironed it feverishly as I did not have a stack of pins, and sewed the open edge to secure it in place. You may take the easy way out by cutting out the leftover jeans and making a ribbon smaller in length. Since I wanted this bag to be very sturdy, I took double the length required and sewed the ribbon from the bottom of the bag to the top (underside of the jeans), both to the front panel and the back:

In the end, however, the handles were cut off and sewn on the outside of the front and back panels (sheepish grin).

Once done with that, take the lining fabric and pin it right side up on the underside of  each the jeans panel and sew it along the edges.

Then, align both the panels, with the lining facing up, and sew the bag on three sides. What I did with my bag was, in order to save time, I left the natural hem of the pant leg to become the top of the bag (less work to do that way). This way, you dont have to worry about the finishing as it has already been done for you ;)

Now, to give more dimension to the tote, sew a diagonal line at the bottom corners of the bag (as shown by the blue lines):

Cut off all the excess fabric and turn the bag inside out. Give it a nice press and this is the result:

You may decorate the bag any way you want and let your creativity flourish with this one! Don't forget to post pictures of similar projects you may have done!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Grandma's Pickle Jar Revival


Ok, so remember how in the old days, our grandmummies used to make homemade pickle and stored them in large jars such as these ones? They are still found in use by some of the street vendors we have around town. Every time I see em, I think up of all the ways they may be revived and become pieces of art!

My grandma, who greatly appreciates this passion of mine, was gracious enough to hand me these mismatched array of jars while she was spring cleaning. Presto! I had an upcycle project in my hands! My goal was simple: to re-invent these jars into showpieces, which could then be distributed as keepsakes for my aunts. Thus, I set to work on these little babies: cleaning them and decorating them. I chose for a bohemian look for these vases to keep their originality and vintage-feel, but the design elements so random that they would make a nice fit anywhere!

Here are some of the best ones:

Hope these bring some inspiration for you guys! If you have undergone a similar project, feel free to post pictures of your upcycled goodies!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Revamping Boring, Uncoordinated, Boring Pencil Holders

Okiiiii.......I had this assortment of pen holders that I was just bored out of my mind with:

I had about five, may be more, and I really needed to get organized in a fun, upbeat way. A little research online on craft room organization was enough to get me motivated for this project. I decided to do away with the cuboid shaped holders that I had and replaced them with cylinders for uniformity (well, yeah...I am that way). I have been collecting discarded tin cans and cardboard cans for a while and decided to recycle, or rather, upcyle them into craft room beauties. The best thing about this project? I don't have to worry about spending a lot of money. All of these would have been going in the trash anyway (of course, I am their savior :P)

I searched in my bag of goodies for some nice, brightly colored banarsi fabric scraps. Although some of it is expensive banarsi, I need not worry about the cost as these are all remnants of my mother's designing escapedes and she is nice enough to save all the scraps for me. And need I say I love her for that? :)

I coordinated my cans by mixing some bright and dark colors to see how I would like the arrangement and colors on my desk.

After I pasted the fabric, making sure I have neat edges at the bottom and on the top, this was the result:

Now my pen holders are a nice complement to my "create" sign:

As soon as I got done with this, I wanted to do more...maybe revamp my storage boxes? Let's see...

Until next time.....Toodles!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Using Glitter Stamps

So remember I talked about using block prints as glitter stamps? Click here for the post. Anyway, here's another sample that I had made for #TheCraftersExpo 2013. The bright colors really bring out the glam in these cute money envelopes!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Craft Haul 2014

Heya peeps!

So i went craft shopping over the weekend and had the best fun in days! I decided to update my craft supplies and here I am with this multitude of goodies  in just about $40!

After much search to find craft punches in Pakistan which I could actually see and hold in my hand, punch and check before buying. I finally found them at #ParasArtFever (It's one of the major art and craft supply stores in Karachi). I never knew Paras had an underground but i finally went in its basement for the very first time and wasn't prepared for the craft beauty before me! So, I bought four punches. They are not of any particular brand but they were a good buy.

I bought an intricate corner punch ($5), a flower cutout ($6), a floral fantasy punch ($6) and a border punch ($4). Not only do they punch, they also emboss! So that's $21. Almost the price of ONE punch from a branded store in the US!

I also searched the local craft market and found some more goodies. I bought a Hana-Ami Floral Loom. It's original price (if you buy from #Clover's) is $18 while I bought mine for just $8!

It comes in this compact box and has six different looms! The flower you see in the picture above was my second attempt on the loom.

And here is my first attempt at floral looming! Yaaay!

I also bought a Pom-pom maker which is available at clovers for about $11 and I bought mine for $8. It comes with a set of 4 diameters and makes wonderful pom-poms. Just as good as an expensive pom-pom maker tool. 

Then I bought some knick-knacks as I needed new color pencils so I bought watercolor pencils as well (winks), some water colors, some glass paints, some block-printing stamps, some ribbon and popsicle sticks.

Happy crafting y'all!