Thursday, August 17, 2017

Recycled Wrappers

My youngest son recently celebrated his 3rd birthday. He had a birthday party at school with 27 kids (including my son) in attendance. As a thank you to all his classmates and fellow students, we gave them loot "bags" filled with biscuits, jellies, chocolates, and toys.

Now, I'm the type of mom who would rather recycle magazine pages than spend money on plastic (or paper) bags that will eventually be thrown out as soon as the goodies were consumed. I used my eldest son's old Disney Junior magazines to wrap the goodies with. It was tedious, but the end result was worth it.

Friday, January 27, 2017

My First Try At Wire Crochet

Petals to Picots published 25 Crochet Patterns to Spruce Up Your Home and the wire tea light holders caught my eye. I got a few wires stashed somewhere among my craft box and decided to try my luck in making some. I ended up making only ONE. I'm not even sure if I want to do more to make it a set. Why, you ask? Because it was tiring, difficult to manage, has no room for error, and confusing.

Now, I'm no expert, but I'd like to share my experience with making the said tea light holder and elaborate on my rather negative perception of wire crochet.

Tiring and difficult to manage
Unlike yarns, wires aren't soft, and if you bend it or twist it, it'll be difficult for you to straighten it out. You also have to be more forceful in pulling the wire through a loop, but you also don't want to put in too much force. If you pull too hard, you mind end up tightening the loop too much. I tried doing that when I wanted to use the chain 2 trick instead of a magic ring (follow link above for the pattern).

After frogging

No room for error
I say there's no room for error because, like I mentioned above, if you bend or twist it, you won't be able to straighten it out properly. Plus, it is difficult to frog. I had to use a plier, poke the wire with my finger, and pull gently so the wire won't twist and make tiny curls.

I had to trace the loops to ensure that I was poking my hook through the right (top) loop.

Sometimes the top loops are hard to find.

I will not close my door to wire crochet. It really added a nice touch to the tea light, and there are many more things you can make with wire crochet. I know after a few more tries, I'll be able to make wire crocheted projects without my inner self whining.

My very first wire crocheted project!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Make Your Own Drawing Pad

My son loves to draw. We used to buy him drawing books but they are EXPENSIVE! And since he's only six years old, he does not fully utilize the drawing books. I cringe every time he asks for a new one or show me a page with a small drawing in the middle with lots of space surrounding it but he refuses to draw anything else on it. It's a waste of good paper.

So what do I do? I don't want to spend tons of money for a drawing book that he'll use up in a span of days and he won't draw unless I give him clean paper. The solution is simple, and waaay cheaper than buying him a drawing book: make him one!

I sought out the cheapest ream of bond paper that I can find, I bought a folder, a paper fastener, and a binder glue. I made him two sets of drawing pads: one for school and one for home use.

The picture above is the one I made for home use. I adjusted the length of the folder so it will have the same length as the paper that we will use. After that, I used a puncher to put two holes on a stack of paper and fastened it onto the folder. Easy peasy.

And this one below is what I made for his school use. It's half the size of the paper, bound it with the binder glue.

PS: Some of you may think that a  scratch paper is better than using a blank sheet of paper. Yes, I agree. But you see, we don't have scratch papers available around the house. When we print, we print on both sides. I also use it to practice my calligraphy.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Coin Purse with Curly Flower

My 6-yo loves to drag my mother-in-law to arcades. One time, I saw that she used an old plastic container for the tokens. I think it was an old cotton swab container. So I decided to make her a coin purse as a gift for Christmas. 

This is the purse that I made for her. I didn't use any available pattern for the purse it self, just freehanded it. I think I did it wrong because it wasn't my intention to have a tapering body, but it still turned out nice. I added a lining inside and a zipper on top to close the purse.

As for the curly flower, I used the pattern from It was a little difficult to follow the pattern, but through trial and error, I was able to successfully make one. And once I got used to it, I couldn't stop making 'em. For this particular embellishment, I made a cream-colored center, with two-toned petals: maroon and a baby pink trimming.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Make Your Own Pen Holder

I was feeling crafty the other day while I was cleaning up my son's crayons and pencils. Plus my inability to resist recycling things got the better of me, so I made our own pen (pencil or crayon) holder.

I know there are a lot of DIY guides for making pen holders, but I'm just damn proud of what I did.

I used an empty container of Gerber's Graduates puff snack for the pen holder body and my yarn scraps to decorate it. I didn't really put any thought on the color of the yarns that I used, I just grabbed a bunch from my stash and hoped that it will turn out okay. Aside from these recycled materials, I also used tape, hot glue, and a cutter.

Now on to the steps.

  1. The most obvious step is to clean the container: wash it, let it dry, and peel off the label. 
  2. Seal the cover onto the container with tape. I used masking tape for this.
  3. Use tape to mark where you want to slice through the container. I chose to make my holders in two different heights, because I was gonna use it for crayons and for colored pencils. The purpose of the tape was to guide you so you can cut it straight. I, however, failed to keep it straight. 😂
  4. Using a hot glue, wound the scrap of yarns onto the container.
Easy, right? I didn't put a design yet on the other pen holders that I made, but here's a picture of them together.