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Showing posts from 2009

Elevate shelves with old yoghurt tubs

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Beaded tiara headband for kids

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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

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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, firs…

DIY Christmassy Purple Beaded Napkin Rings

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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 …

Eco Friendly Handmade foldable 2-D Christmas tree

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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.



Creating storage compartments from excessive packaging

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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 my old packaging boxes (from supplements, cream, etc) to make small boxes. I then tape the top off with masking tape to secure the beads. Since these are not transparent, I took one of the beads to stick it outside the box to mark the type of beads in each box. I did this when I had to move away and had no choice but to store the beads away for a long time. Now that I can finally get my beading proj…

Handmade Turquoise Beaded Napkin Rings

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Handmade beaded pearly bracelet

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I have a dress with some lovely beads sewn on the front, but they started to come off after several wash (although I only do hand washing because we don't have a washing machine). I've tried sewing them back on but some beads have gone missing so I had to take them all off and kept them with my stash of beads collection for future use.


After a few drafts and drawings on the back of some old receipts (yep I use them as note pads), and a couple of trials and errors, I made myself a new pearly bracelet out of those fallen beads from my dress. This one is a slip-on with no hooks or buckles so it's really convenient, and just in time for Christmas!

DIY Festive napkin rings

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Last Christmas was the first time we ever had guests for dinner. So apart from the tree and pressies, I wanted to give the table a festive feel too, without having to spend too much or creating too much waste.

My sister once brought over a stack of old season's greetings cards from the company she used to work for. Those cards were unused but just out of date. I can't send them to anyone as they had the company's logo on. So I cut the covers to make tiaras for my nieces (forgot to take some pictures of those), but we still had some left overs.

So I tore the inside of the cards where the greeting message is, into long strips (by pressing a steel ruler over it). I then rolled them up and secure the ends with double sided tapes, and I got ourselves some rustic looking DIY disposable napkin ri…

Make your own multi-compartment handbag

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I thought maybe I could create something out of what I have in the house. These are what I used:
A good sized black shopping bag I received free from a magazine about 5 years ago (I took off all the sequins on the bag to keep for future craft use)A small black M)phosis (a clothing label in Asia) shopping bag1 of the 2 non-woven black shoe bags that came with a pair of shoes I bought in SingaporeA truly ugly-looking foil coated complimentary shopping bag from VisaA few black zippers taken out from old clothes, been lying in my sewing box for month, or years Here is what I did:
Folded and sewed the M)phosis shopping bag onto the outside of the large bag, to make a zipped-up pocket.


Sewed 2 other zippers onto the 2 shoe bags, then sewed them onto the inside of the large bag, on the back of the outer pock…

Handmade beaded choker necklaces

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Renewed apron

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Handmade pot holder

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Really handy for holding hot pots. I didn't spend anything extra on this, and I turned my frustration on buying something unfit to great satisfaction! It can be used to line hot dishes over the worktop too.

Handmade hanging flower pot holder

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Some leftover from a ball of parcel string bought in 2003 is finally put to good use when I made these 2 flower pot holders. Our tiny balcony is running out of space for all our plants, and these crawly babies were twirled around some old disposable chopsticks stuck in the pot. They didn't look very healthy then.


Since there are some pre-existing nails on the ceiling (probably fixed by the previous tenant to put up blinds), we thought that a hanging garden would be good for their new home. True enough, they now look really happy with their vines hanging down freely from the pots.

Hand sewn placemats from dress

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I then turned it inside out and sew stitched up the gap. To finish it off, I just ironed them to flatten them neatly. Now I have a new dress that I can actually wear, and 4 new reversible placemats.

Hand-stitched curtains

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It was that simple, except I don't own a sewing machine so all stitching was done by hand :'(
But the result was satisfactory. I even made a pair of curtain tie backs using an old belt that is no longer in use. The hooks can be removed and reused again, and the tie backs are secured by some old rubber bands tied on the hooks.

How to make picture frames from excessive packaging

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Handmade phone sock from real sock

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What to do with disposable chopsticks and old wooden spatulas? Some new pot stands!

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Frosted shade for oil burner

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Turning old videotapes into decorative doorstops

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I refused to just throw my small collection away and insisted on keeping them in the drawers, gathering dust for years. I do that a lot with most of my stuff: used envelops, boxes, bubblewrap, extra cloth material; you name it. But until I come across a useful task for them, they remain a clutter in the the corner. However, we recently moved into our windy new place on the hill, and I realised that we need some doorstops due to the strong wind.

The previous tenant has left behind one rubber doorstop but it only fits under one door, because every single door in the house has a different gap from the floor. That means it is quite impossible to find any doorstop in the shops that fit them all. Then I saw a sandbag doorstop in a shop which gave me an idea!

I ran back to my mum's and du…

What can we do with used CDs and DVDs?

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