Thursday, November 29

Cute kiddy costume bookmarks

Have there been times when a pile of ad-fliers got thrown around home for no reason? You had to toss them into the basket, but wondered what else could have been done!

Out here in US, that weekly mailbox flood of coupon fliers from local stores is a routine. Their volume and weight vary with changing occasions. And piles of fliers get heavier during the halloween-thanksgiving-christmas season.

Ahead of Halloween this year, my mailbox got full too, with some fliers of party stores. Cute pictures of kid costumes. I have not much use of them, as I do not have kids. Even if I did, am not sure the idea of all those cute but expensive costumes would draw me to the store.

So, I did what comes best to my head. Made bookmarks using some of those pictures.

It was not so much of an effort, considering I had supplies ready.
  • a pair of scissors, glue
  • felt pens, of the colour of paper that had to be used
  • cardboard from cartons of products that I buy
  • wooden beads, paper punch and yarn to match
  • most importantly, pictures cut out from coupon mail or ads 
First step, cut the strips or blocks of the pictures from the main flier.

Get to work next, with each of those pictures. Choose individual pieces that have minimal or no pricing prints on them.

Here, they resemble stickers that you buy at a bomb of price from stationery and craft stores.

If you do not make bookmarks, consider using some double-sided tape on their rear so you can use for some other projects, or simply stick them up on your kid's shelves and storage boxes.

 I love the `prisoner' costume at the bottom of this picture.

I cut out enough to store for later use. After all, it is not all times of the year that you get such pictures on fliers!

I cut some cardboard from cartons to size, sand-papered its glossy side, stuck brown craft paper on its sides for one bookmark, and patterned `tablecloth design' paper on the other.

I also made use of a heart shape that I had cut out from a used gift-wrap or wrapping paper.

Next step: Stuck the pictures up, and used felt pens to touch the bookmarks up. I used the paper punch on one of the two bookmarks, and strung some thread into a bead for its `tag' feel.

Here goes another picture.
That's not all,

I used another picture, of a baby, that I had cut out from another ad, to make the following bookmark. This one can be used as a gift tag too.

Try this using pictures you see around home. It only needs some patience, the paraphernalia apart.

For use of pictures, write to:

Photo courtesy: Radhika M B

Sunday, November 18

Wrap your gift in coconut shells

I've always wondered what to do with an empty coconut shell. That fleeting pang after I have used up its kernel and have to toss it in the trash can! Wish I had ideas - am saying this in spite of having bought coconut shell earrings, and growing up with a cutely painted coconut shell `face powder dabba' as a kid.

With Diwali and a post-Sandy relief slowly allowing sheen back into my life, it has only been a pleasant doodle-time on Facebook, watching all the different rangolis and diyas. My good friend Lalitha Menon sent me pictures of her latest gifting effort. And I loved it.

She made Magaj - the Gujarati sweet, for a start.

She kept it aside, and got ready with dressing coconut shells up. She wrapped the two halves in aluminium foil that is so handy in kitchens.

Using motifs she had cut out from old clothes, she decorated the outside of the shells.

Now, she filled sweet into the bowl shaped insides.

Does not that look delicious?

Using the violet satin ribbon, she packed the rest.

What a yummy gift? And an innovative gift pack too! My cells have begun working now, and the idea-thought trail has begun its journey, on what else to do with coconut shells.

Guess coconut shells can be used to gift wrap other knick-knacks and gifts too!

If you have any ideas, please share.

Pictures by Lalitha Menon