Showing posts from December, 2009

Elevate shelves with old yoghurt tubs

We live in the hot but humid tropics so stuff in the house tend to get mouldy easily, especially the 3-tier shelve units that we stacked up to make a sideboard. The construction site opposite our place makes it doubly dusty so we have to sweep and mop very often, and the fact that these shelves are in direct contact with the floor is just not helping.

The only short term solution (besides moving to another country which is not happening in the near future, bah...) is to give the shelves legs to elevate them from the floor surface. I've been collecting a lot of Sunglo Sour Cream and Sunglo Yoghurt tubs - mainly for freezing stock and storing leftover food in the fridge - which are rather tough.

So I scraped the paint off the tub label and stacked them under the shelf units, and this is how the sideboard looks now:

I've done the same to the book shelves in the study, hoping that they would not getting mouldy so easily. Whilst achieving the purpose of elevating these shelves off the…

Beaded tiara headband for kids

My nieces, like all other young girls, love everything about princess. Last Christmas, I made them tiara party hats out of old Christmas cards and sequins I took off a free handbag (which I've turned into a multi-compartment handbag). Since I have some leftover beads which are not enough for anything extensive, I thought I could make them some beaded tiaras.

I've used only fishing lines as I haven't any steel wire, and buying some just for that is going to defeat the purpose of using up existing material. Fishing lines are soft and flexible so they can't be worn like commercial tiaras. However, they turned out to be dual-purpose: 1. to be worn as a headband, and 2. as a necklace.

Perhaps I can make up stories about some fairy princesses whose tiaras can turn into magical necklaces that give them power, and I think the girls would like that.

Drawstring bag from excess fabric

My habit of saving up stuff and trying to make them useful traces all the way back to my teenage. This is my first handmade bag, made using the excess fabric from my blouse. My mum and her sisters were tailors so they used to make all my clothes and I learned stitching and operating the sewing machine by watching them work.

I didn't do this all by myself, of course. One of my aunties helped me with the more complicated bits. And we'd a sewing machine then so it was not exactly hard for a 16-year-old. More than 2 decades on later, this bag is still in good condition although it might be a little too small and girly for me now. I can always give it to my nieces, or use it as a gift packaging... well I'll make sure it's put to good use.

Note (21 Feb 2010)
On 14 February 2010, first day of Lunar New Year - my youngest niece used this for collecting her red packets, and I let her keep it as she loves it so much - it's just the right colour for her!

DIY Christmassy Purple Beaded Napkin Rings

Since the last bunch of beaded napkin rings, I've gone a little obsessed with napkin rings and have made another set with different coloured beads and design. I managed to make 5 with the leftover beads from making my choker necklace and a beaded belt.

I think they look really good with my mostly white table setting and crockeries.

Unlike the turquoise napkin rings, these ones have a slightly more complicated design so it took me almost 2 evenings to complete. Here is the step-by-step process in illustration:

1. I use a 0.35 nylon fishing thread (that's what I have in my drawer), but you can use a thinner one as the napkin rings are only small. I measure it to about 1.1m for each napkin ring. It's always best to use 1 whole thread for each, to save rejoining work halfway through.

Start with the beads in the middle of the thread and criss-cross to make shapes:
2. Here's to complete the first circle and move on to the next row (then repeat for the row after that):

3. To finish…

Eco Friendly Handmade foldable 2-D Christmas tree

Last year we made a Christmas tree out of used A4 and A3 paper with tapioca starch glue, but unfortunately we don't have the space to store it away as it can't be folded down flat except the legs. So we had to dismantle the tree and send the paper for recycling. However, the cardboard baubles, the foil star and the tree legs are saved.

So this year I thought we'd better have something that can be folded flat and stored away when the season is over, so that we can probably reuse it next year.

There are always some ends and leftover of cardboard packaging box lying around which can't be use for anything specific. So here is what I did:
Cut them into 1.5-inch strips and glue each pair into a 90-degree L shape.Join them up with a fishing line and some old beads (from a pair of broken old shoes before disposing them, as well as from my other beading projects) between every 2 L shapes.The foil star from last year's tree is sewed on to the top followed by a knotted loop at t…

Creating storage compartments from excessive packaging

We all shop. For essential needs or for leisure, we just can't avoid shopping in this new era of humankind. What annoys me is the excessive packaging, especially the unnecessary and over use of disposable containers in food industry. I notice that not only when you have takeaway, but even when you dine out at certain food outlets, they serve you sauces and/or drinks in disposable plastic or worse, styrofoam containers. I'm not sure how many countries practise that, but at least in Asia this is extremely common. I suppose using disposable is much cheaper than hiring someone to do the washing up.

Due to my nature of a hoarder, I have over the years, collected a number of these plastic tubs. I knew [ahem] they would come in handy one day. So when I needed to sort my beads in various colours and types, I found these sauce tubs really useful. I can see the size and colour of the beads, and I can stack them neatly in my craft drawers.

When I ran out of the tubs, I simply cut some of m…

Handmade Turquoise Beaded Napkin Rings

Last year, we had some disposable napkin rings made out of old Christmas cards. This year, since there are still plenty of beads left from my handbag project, I thought I'd make some permanent ones from the leftover beads.

I've tried a very simple and basic weaving pattern, and it took me less than 3 hours to complete this set of 4. And I managed to use up all but 2 of the turquoise beads from the handbag project. The white beads are leftover from the beaded bracelet. More clutter cleared this Christmas!

For weaving instruction please see handmade beaded handbag.