Tuesday, December 27

Wool-ball holder from baby food tin

It's a challenge these days to avoid storage containers for various foods. These days I am using a lot of formula tins or baby food containers - an unavoidable bit for me. The best thing you can do as a conscious user, is to prolong their life by repurposing containers. 

What better than to make it useful for the warm and cozy woollens that you knit or crochet during this winter? I had the advantage of sourcing my mother's old garment embellishing cloth and some old sequins from my stash. And so I got to making a wool holder.

What you need for this project that does not take much of an effort, but yes, you need to load yourself with patience for glue to dry on the container when you wrap it up with a cloth or paper or felt. I chose cloth obviously.


-- a piece of old fabric to wrap the container

-- a pair of two of scissors, one definitely to cut cloth

-- a ball of wool

-- either a small pair of scissors or knife to poke a hole on the lid

-- sequins and embellishments such as ribbons, glitter glue, deco tape etc that may come in handy

-- glue gun or craft glue, and decorative thread if you choose

-- sandpaper is useful, but I did not have it, and managed...read on

Start, by applying craft glue to the outer surface of the tin after washing it and drying it thoroughly. Let this dry. This layer will help the fabric stick better. The option otherwise is to sand the surface and roughen it up.

Using a piece of household cardboard, wrap the tin with fabric. My piece of fabric was in perfect size for the tin. Depending on the size that you have, cut it to fit the height of the tin. And glue it up. Towards the end, apply more glue for the fabric ends to stick well. You will notice dark patches because of the glue. Do not fret. It will dry up in due course of time.

You need not wait for it to dry, to fix the sequins. I had embellishments useful for embroidery. And used them up.

It helped that the tin's lid was a beautiful golden hue. And the fabric had a running zari or golden colour in its center.

Leave this to dry. Take the lid, wipe it up and use a small knife or pair of scissors to poke a hole. Make the hole consistent by rotating the sharp end of the knife or scissors.

You can fix the lid on the box or container to check. Bring out the ball of wool and insert it into the lid. You can use more wool balls depending on the size of the container. You will notice smudges in these photographs, where the cloth has been glued. It's a matter of few hours and it dries up. Worry not. The repurposed container for wool is ready.

Go on and crochet your beautiful piece of sweater, or maybe tuck in some twine into the box.

Pictures and content: Radhika M B

For permissions to reuse write to: radicreative@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 20

Chennille stems wall decor DIY

Whoever thought that pipe cleaner stems made of wire would one day become hot selling raw material for craft work? Chenille stems as they are called, are superb material for a variety of craft projects, simple and sophisticated. This week, am posting a simple photo tutorial for super quick wall decor or decor that you need urgently for a home event.

All you need for this project is:

- a felt sheet
- Chenille stems of colours of your choice
- a pair of scissors
- craft glue
- sequins or embellishments

You need to trim the stems on each end, where the bulgy part stays towards the outer end. I chose stems that had a wavy pattern so I could make flowers with them.

Bend the piece in half over another piece on its center. Do this with about four or five pieces in such a way that the core of the flower is secure enough to be glued.

Apply glue in good quantity on the center of these flowers, and glue them on to the felt sheet of your choice of colour.

Let it dry. Arrange and glue other flowers that you make next, into a pattern on the sheet.
I had some old buttons and a mirror, which I used, to embellish the center of each flower.

You can use this as table decor, or frame it up as wall decor. Or simply stick on your fridge with a double sided tape. Your decor piece is ready.

Photo courtesy: Radhika M B

Content: Radhika M B

Tuesday, December 13

Baby Onesie Christmas tree ornament

Perhaps the most convenient of designs in baby clothing during recent decades, is the onesie, that helps secure your baby's diaper with ease, and has come to symbolize all things babies. 

I was delighted recently to see how onesies can become beautiful party decor props for baby showers and gifts. It brings me to the joys of mommy-hood and how crazy mommas can get trying to record their babies' every coo. It's my little one's first Christmas, and I am all excited. What better a way to make it memorable, than make an ornament for a Christmas tree? And with a onesie design at that! I can carry this little piece, the size of a toddler's palm, anywhere.

It's a simple project, albeit, with a lot of patience from your end. Of course, it needs some stitching skills and some materials too.

What you need for the project:

-- a pair of scissors

-- a sheet or two, of felt...it usually comes in the size of an A4 size paper

-- a marker pen (dark colour)

-- some strong decorative thread or twine

-- embroidery skeins and a needle that can poke through felt

-- embellishments such as stickers, sequins, paint pen and the likes

-- some cotton if you need to fluff the ornament up

I used a beige sheet for an understated look. Draw out a onesie on the felt sheet.

Cut it out from the felt sheet.

Use the cut onesie as a stencil, to cut out another from the same felt sheet. You can choose to cut a different coloured one too.

You can at this point either embellish the front side of the onesie, or draw or write on it using a paint pen. I used a white paint pen to write `My first X'mas' . Use the blanket stitch, sometimes also known as the button stitch, to stitch up the sides of the onesies and join them. Where the neck part begins, you may stop stitching up, and insert some cotton into it.

Once you have adjusted the cotton balls inside, knot a 10 centimeters piece of the twine or thick thread on its end, and insert the thread with the knotted end inside the onesie, through the cotton. Adjust it for desired length. Optionally you may glue it in. I chose not to. Once these are secure, stitch up from where you left at the neck part, and finish up the stitches.

Your onesie Christmas ornament is ready. This piece I made is a simple one. You can give it a grand look by doing some embroidery, stitching in your baby's date of birth, name or other details into the piece. Try experimenting. It is a joy.

If you have a friend whose baby is on her first Christmas, this could be a cute handmade gift.

Pictures courtesy: Radhika M B
Content: Radhika MB

For permission to re-use, write to: radicreative@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 6

Hand puppet with an old sock

It is amazing how the art of crafting does not really need expensive things, but often things around home to transform something into something more beautiful and lasting.

Bulusu Kamakshi, an avid crafter with a passion for teaching little children has contributed a simple but beautiful photo tutorial this week, of a home-made hand puppet. It is a wonderful project when you want to entertain kids at home, during a party or otherwise. Traditionally India has had a history of puppet making, an art sadly lost in the din of gadgets. But bring out an old sock and convert it into something for a quickie toy, and watch how an old piece of cloth can find a new life.

She has used wool of two colours, a long pink sock, some crafting glue, a pair of scissors, colour paper, white paper and marker pens for the project.

Kamakshi cut the yellow wool into two bundles of roughly 10 centimeters each and fixed them on the stitched end of the sock. She then used two little circles she cut from a white paper for eyes, with white glue.

Using marker pens, she drew out the eyes and fixed a piece of red paper for the lips of the puppet. If you notice, the yellow wool worked as hair for the caricature puppet. Make sure that there is about one and half inches space from the stitched end of the puppet. your hand puppet is ready.

Pics courtesy: Bulusu Kamakshi

Content courtesy: Radhika M B

Tuesday, November 22

Plastic bangle refurbish

It's a trend these days -silk thread jewellery. After the craze for terracotta and polymer clay jewellery died down, it's been a clamour for the threads. I see umpteen posts on requests for silk thread jewellery and catalogue sales on Facebook shopping groups, again for silk thread jewellery. I understand that fashion is a matter of seasons. It changes before you know it. But it would do so much good if we kept our whims for jewellery types - terracotta, paper-quill, seed-jewellery, and the likes, diversified! Trust me it would go a long way in helping the artists and artisans who put their souls into making beautiful pieces.

I am not a fan of silk. But I love the idea of thread transforming any item into a beautiful work of art. It is why I chose to give a new look to a plastic bangle that I have around home. All that you need to transform it, is some handful of patience with embroidery thread and the bangle.

Here is a speedy method to get your own bracelet or bangle that dazzles as a result, before that party you want to rock at. This could also work well for festival-wear and your little one's school performances when you are left scrambling for those matching accessories that go with the right costumes. Alternatively, gift it to people you love. There's nothing to match that love poured into your effort for gifting.

For this project, you need:

-plastic bangles

-a pair of scissors

-embroidery or silk thread


-sticker bindis of rhinestones

Roll the thread over the bangle such that it falls along in regular lines along each other.

Towards the end, knot the ends and glue it towards the inside so that it does not protrude on the outer side of the bangle. That way, it gets hidden when you wear it will be on your hand-side.

Embellish using the sticker bindis using craft glue.


Tuesday, November 15

As real as could get: Clay flowers to decorate your home

Decorating a home is a challenge, with the thousands of choices available in the market. Have you felt crippled when you walk into that megastore only to find you did not get the vases and cloth flowers of your choice?

When my dear friend Sankgetha Sripathy introduced me to the super talented Athiya Nasreen's blog, I had reason to feel astounded. While a whole lot of crafters have been into terracotta and polymer clay jewellery sets in a trillion ways, she has chosen to make polymer clay flowers.

Athiya's runs the Facebook page Maple Mixed Media. Her clay flowers in their vases look straight out of a beautiful Zen garden. She used air dry Thai clay and a bunch of paints. The advantage with air dry clay unlike polymer clay and terracotta is that you do not need to bake it.

Can you actually believe these are not real flowers but made with clay and coloured? And before you get scared of their ornate detailing, Athiya has given a simplified picture tutorial that she published on her blog recently. Here is a big shout out to Athiya for sharing her work with Imprints Handmade.

What you need for the project:

 -- Oil colours in four colours - Crimson red, Golden yellow, Green and Orange

-- Rose flower veiners ( you get them in the market), Rose leaf veiners and Rose flower cutters

-- air dry clay in white

-- craft glue

-- a small foam ball

-- Ball tool, poking tool and frilling tool (they are clay craft tools available in the market)

-- pasta machine and flower vase

-- a fruit tray to help curve rose petals into shape

For a start, Athiya says you need to mix two parts orange and one part yellow colour to get a good blend of golden yellow.

Athiya says the next step is to place this clay between two transparent plastic sheets and flatten it using the pasta machine. After  this, you will need to use a rose petal cutter to cut out petals and use the veiner to create the petal and leaf texture.

Next step, use a fruit tray or any curvy bowl, to give these petals their spherical curve.

You will next need to start pasting the petals around the foam ball on a wire/thin stick.

The petals that you have used the veiner on you may paste for the outer layers.

Use your fingers to give curves and slightly roll the edges of the clay rose. Remember that when you do this, the wire meant for the stalk should stay intact. Give this rose flower a painted finish with shades of orange.

Use the rose leaf cutter and cut out stalk pieces. Roll these on to the stalk.

The next step is to create a separate bud, to give it the real look.

Use the leaf cutter and veiner to make the leaves, and fix them to the wire.

Paint them using shades of brown.

Fix this set to the main rose flower stalk. And add the bud to the set.

Fix a bunch of these flowers and place in a vase. Your super real looking rose flowers are ready. And they stay colourful for a long time. Check out Athiya's blog http://athiya.blogspot.in for more of her tutorials. She has incredible craft items one can learn from.

Pictures Courtesy: Athiya Nasreen

Content, re-used with permission from Athiya.

For permission to re-use from this blog, write to: radicreative@gmail.com