Monday, May 30, 2016

What to do with damp stained shirt

We believe in afterlife.
Not in a religious way particularly, just factually :)

This cushion cover is made from one of my husband's old shirts, which unfortunately had been damp stained on the collar due to the highly humid weather.

We can't give it away to the charity and the material is not suitable for cleaning. I was meant to upcycle it into a wrap dress but was too lazy to do so. Whilst I was staring into the buttons the idea just came to me. It was so simple:
  1. Just lay the shirt flat, buttoned, turned inside out.
  2. Mark out the square (whatever size fits your cushion) where the button panel will fall in the middle.
  3. Secure with pins or quick stitches, cut the excess material out and sew it all around. (I did it by hand as I don't have a sewing machine)
  4. Unbutton and turn inside out. Now you have a cushion cover with ready button fastening.
We probably won't buy another cushion cover - unless, of course - if there are some really nice ones.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Handmade Hand Fan

4 good reasons that made me think of making my own hand fan:
  1. Extremely hot weather
  2. Some used disposable chopsticks lying around
  3. An odd old table mat
  4. I can't be bothered to spend money on an ugly one available in the shops

And the whole process can't get any simpler:
  1. Cut out 2 identical rectangles from the table mat
  2. Spread strong glue evenly on the underside of each cut out mat, leave to dry.
  3. Stick the 2 chopsticks together with strong glue. 
  4. When the chopsticks are dry and firmly in place, apply thick glue over about 2-3 inches of the smaller end (depends on the length).
  5. Now place the glued part onto the middle of one of the cut out mat's underside, then press on the other cut out mat, making sure that all sides are in line.
  6. Leave to dry. Hold the sides in place with some paperclips or even clothes pegs would do.
  7. Trim to round corners with sharp scissors.

It's now placed next to my TV seat, ready to serve me on a hot evening when a ceiling fan is not enough to kill the heat.

Monday, December 7, 2015

DIY Tinsel Christmas Tree

Angel lights are placed inside of the tree for a softer feel

The bad news is, our tripod was broken (the top bit - heaven knows when and how that happened). The good news is, I can now use it for something else with no guilt (especially to all the photography enthusiasts out there) - as a base for our 2015 DIY Christmas tree!

DIY Christmas tree from a broken tripod and some Christmas tinsel

This has got to be the easiest-to-assemble Christmas tree to date. All I did was set the tripod up to the height I want, then tie the strips of Christmas tinsel around it. Everything can be packed away easily and reused for next Christmas. The wired ribbon has been used a few times on the 2012 Christmas tree on the wall, the 2010 CD Christmas tree, and our very first DIY Christmas tree in 2008.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

DIY Flash Drive Organizer

Due to work, I have to keep quite a few flash drives - each for a different type of job or client - in my bag. Although there are small compartments in my bag, I still find myself having to ransack through other stuff in the same pocket to get to the right flash drive. I've looked everywhere for a flash drive organizer but I just can't find one that I like; and most importantly, I do try not to make unnecessary new purchases.

So I went to get some inspiration and help from my sewing box, and made this:

I found some fabric scrap big enough for my flash drive organizer pattern, an old zip I saved from some old clothes, and an old and partly used Ikea fleece blanket (which I've used some for the snake stuffed toy). Here are the few simple steps of the making of the flash drive organizer that's now happily residing in my bag:

1. Little pockets sewn onto the inner layer, then wrapped around with the fabric.

2. Secure the sides with a basting stitch, then a running stitch all round.

3. Fold it up and stitch each side with running stitch (see needle).

4. Sew the zip onto the top open edge.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Handmade Card Tag Holder

I have to wear an access tag to work but I've never understood why the tag holders have to be designed the way they are. The lanyard that the office provides has a clip with sharp edges (red arrow), and my arms often get caught on it as I'm a naturally clumsy person. Also, the fabric based lanyard absorbs sweat and dirt so easily in this hot weather, it looks manky and disgusting. Not to mention that it is a plain ugly sight!

I tried looking for a commercially made tag holder but they are expensive yet not very user-friendly; and they don't last.

After a few scratches and losing some skin on my arms, I had to do something about it.

I dug out some fabric scraps I've been keeping for a while, and picked this one - a family member brought some really nice materials back from a trip to India and got some clothes made out of, and I kept the access fabric.

No more scratching my poor arms :)

The process is really simple - as shown here:


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Recreate to Reduce Consumption

Let me guess: you like crafts, and you want to do your part in preserving the environment you live in. You'd probably have a room full of clutter like me and like creating things out of junk too.

You may also already know that real sustainability means reducing new purchases and reusing existing material before we even take anything to the recycling centre. And I'm also guessing that just like me, you may have visited EcoStreet Directory at least once before.

I only hope that some of my humble little home craft and domestic ideas would help some of you clear some clutter, save some money, or at least have some fun with your little ones. Better still, some of you may even share your valuable ideas with me!