Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Upcycled Braided Hair Band Tutorial

When it comes to comfort, I love my old scruffy T-shirts.  The older they are, the scruffier they are, the softer they are.  But when the neckline of one particularly scruffy T-shirt got looser and looser...... it was time to say goodbye to it:

Scruffy old T-shirt

Usually, such T-shirts end up as a rag in my house.  But I wanted to try something different this time and I started to upcycle it into a hair band for myself!

Step 1:
Cut 5 strips of about 1 inch in width.  The T-shirt material doesn't fray, so there's no need to serge the edges.

Cutting strips of T-shirt
 Step 2:
Lay the ends of the 5 strips together and stitch (by hand or machine) them together securely
5 strips stitched together

Step 3:
Stretch each strip lengthwise so that the edges curl up, then proceed to do a 5-strand braid.  See here for instructions and lovely braided hair bands!

5-strand braid

Step 4:
Stitch the ends together after braiding the required length, it doesn't have to be neat as it'll be covered up with another scrap piece of fabric.  Ta-daa!  And here's the completed product:

Upcycled braided hair band

Lessons learnt from my first braided hair band?

  1. Measure the length braid smaller as there is some stretch in the braid.  Mine was a little loose.... 
  2. Stitches at the start and end of the braid should be secure but need not be neat.  Any ugly stitches will be covered at the end
  3. Old T-shirts make really comfy hair bands! :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Little Elly

Elephant Plushie

Little Elly say a big "Hi!" to everyone :)  Little Elly is a gentle elephant with a ready smile and he loves flowers!  One day, he saw a meadow sprinkled with lots and lots of colourful flowers and started to roll around in the grass.  He was having so much fun that he continued rolling around for a long long time.  When he finally got up to go home, he was covered in flowers!

Note: Little Elly is Mummy's little handmade toy for the Little One.  Since Big One had a handmade dinosaur plush, it was only fair that the Little One got something too.

If you would like a cute little elephant plushie, you can find them here!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

White Pouch

Every once in a while, I like to challenge myself and make something new, or use a technique I've never used before.  This white pouch has a zipper that runs over 2 sides of the pouch and there's a inner fold which is revealed when unzipped.  For a first try, I think it turned out ok, but I would say it's still prototype standard and may take some time for this to appear in my Storenvy shop.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Refashion - Shirred Tube Top

Before I got to know Agy from Green Issues Singapore, I had never thought much about refashioning.  Never thought about turning clothes that I no longer wanted/liked into something else.  So here's a big thank you to Agy for showing me by her actions how it is possible to be green in different ways!  There are a million and one ways to be green, we just need to choose those that suit us best.  i believe that every little effort counts, no matter how small.

After giving birth to my Little One, I could no longer wear the owl skirt that I made (thank goodness!!).  So I started unpicking the skirt.  Unpick, unpick, unpick....

Unpicking owl skirt

As usual, I went through many online tutorials about shirring and started my first ever shirring attempt.  I chose the lazy method whereby I sewed in spirals instead of separate rows.  The first few rows got me a little worried as there was not much gathering...

First few rows of shirring

But, after many more rows, the fabric gathered really nicely. Yeah!!!

Shirring - nice gathers

After lots and lots of shirring (this part really took ages!), I added a 1-inch elastic to the top and ta-daa, here's my new shirred tube top!

Shirred tube top

Friday, November 15, 2013

DIY Steam Mop Cleaning Cloth

One fine day, we bought a gadget that cleans the floor without the use of any cleaning agents.  It only needed steam:

Steam Mop
This set came with only ONE cleaning cloth, which attaches itself to the steam mop using velcro.  There was no way just one cloth would be sufficient to clean the entire house, but I was not prepared to buy a whole load extra cleaning cloths.  So I grabbed some old towels, sewed some velcro on them and made a few cleaning cloths myself.  Here's the original compared to the DIY one.  What do you think?

Original cleaning cloth
DIY cleaning cloth

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Custom Pokemon Pouches

Apparently there is a Pokemon craze in Primary schools.  Kids can rattle off the names of the uncountable number of Pokemon monsters!  Well, just happened that I managed to get some cute Pokemon cloth from Chinatown and was tasked to sew 2 custom Pokemon pouches.  The kids got to choose 2 of their favourite Pokemon monsters from the cloth and I proceeded to make the pouches.  Rather cute and cheery, don't you think? :p

Custom Pokemon Pouches
There's still some Pokemon cloth left, would anyone like similar pouches?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fabric Origami Butterfly

I was to make a hair accessory for a friend.  First she went through my existing stuff and let me know which were her kind of style.  Next, a dress to possibly match the hair accessory to.  Hmmm..... the procrastinator in me let this project drag on and on and on..... until it struck me!

My friend was really into origami.  The stuff I usually make are made from fabric. So, ta-daa -- fabric origami!  After some research online, I finally decided on a design and adapted it to suit my use.  Here's the end result:

Fabric Origami Butterfly Hair Clip
And here it is with a friend.  The yellow one is available here!

Fabric Origami Butterfly Clips

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Owl Skirt

This is a long overdue post about a skirt that I made for myself more than a year ago.  I hardly sew clothes for myself (other than this DIY shorts) for fear that it'll end up horrible looking and I'd have to throw it out.... what a waste of time, effort AND fabric!

Of course, I visited my best friend, Google, and visited numerous sites in search of something do-able, a skirt maybe?  My favourite was "The Circle Skirt Tutorial" by MADE.  Clear tutorial, GORGEOUS photos of skirts!  Pity I didn't have enough fabric to make a circle skirt, so I adapted and just used a rectangular piece of cloth and attached it to a 2-inch thick black elastic.  I also added pockets as I always seem to have something to carry around..... tissue paper, mobile phone etc... So here it is:

DIY Owl Skirt

Pockets added to skirt

Didn't turn out too bad, right?  Well..... as I was sewing the owl cloth to the elastic band, I was struggling so badly with it.... In the process, I think I overstretched the elastic and the skirt ended up way too big.  See.... what did I tell you about wasting time effort and fabric?

So this skirt was hanging in my wardrobe for months and months until one fine day, it fitted me perfectly!  I was preggy and this once-too-big waistband fitted under my belly just right!  Phew... luckily I didn't throw it out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Stegosaurus' Friend

Right after the craft party, I showed my little one the Stegosaurus that I made and also the packs of corrugated paper in the goodie bag that I got.  He was thrilled and wanted to make more stuff.  At first he wanted to make animals that were shown on the packaging but he eventually settled on his all-time favourite -- a dinosaur!

For a more kid-friendly project, we used white glue instead of a hot glue gun.  As the white glue dried so slowly, we had to leave all the parts aside to dry before we could do anything else.

Waiting for the white glue to dry...

After about half a day, the white glue was finally dry and we could proceed to assemble the pieces.  The hot glue gun was used this time as everything just kept falling apart when white glue was used.  And, ta-daa..... a dinosaur friend for Stegosaurus -- a Triceratops!


Now, both Stegosaurus and Triceratops live in their own little world  :)

Stegosaurus & Triceratops

Monday, September 30, 2013

My First Craft Party

Last Saturday, I attended my first ever Craft Party that was hosted by Katrina Alana, Kokoru Corrugated Paper and Crafty Singapore.  FUN FUN FUN!!!  This was no easy feat as the party was to last for 2 hours!  What about my 2 little fellows??  Luckily, hubby took both of them to a nearby mall while I enjoyed my craft party totally uninterrupted, a very rare treat!

As this was my first craft party, I didn't quite know what to expect.  I did bring some business cards along but didn't give any out as I was busy helping to set-up the place at the start, and was rushing off at the end.  There was lots of corrugated paper to go around and there were many glue guns provided.  And of course there was food and drinks... I love the little cupcakes with dainty flowers piped on them.

Corrugated paper provided by Kokoru

Katrina had also prepared some templates to create cute gnomes, owls, mushrooms and other cute stuff just in case anyone wanted to make her cute creations.  Throwing all caution into the air, I decided to just create something new -- a dinosaur!  Here's my first little critter:

Paper craft stegosaurus

Trying to replicate a more complete scene like Katrina's, I made a simple scene to put the little stegosaurus in:

Dinosaur Scene

Seeing my little stegosaurus, someone asked if I had a son.  Hahaha... YES!  All Mummies know that boys go crazy over dinosaurs at some point in their lives I suppose ;)

So that's my little adventure in crafty-land and I TOTALLY ENJOYED IT!!!!  This paper craft is quite addictive and I can't wait to make more stuff from the corrugated paper that was included in our goodie bags :)

Update: Here's a friend for little Stegosaurus =)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mid-Autumn Festival 2013

Today is the 15th day of the 8th month on the lunar calendar -- time to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节). Even though we do not have any harvest to celebrate in our urban home, this is still a time to bring out lanterns and to eat mooncakes (Yummy!).  My little one had a celebration in school and had to make lanterns for a friendly competition.  Here's our lantern:

This lantern is actually a blown up version of a spinner toy made using modular origami.  By using larger pieces of magazine paper, it came up to a good size for carrying around.  Instead of using candles to light up the lantern, I made a little holder and placed a LED torchlight inside.  This makes for a very safe lantern, especially for young kids.

LED Torch Lantern

Did you make any lanterns this year?  Or have you managed to buy any ultra cute ones?  Share your lanterns on our Facebook Page!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Custom Owl Pillow Cases and Cushion Covers

All the way back in 2011, I sewed cushion covers for M.  Just like the previous instances (see here and here), M provided me with the material once again to make pillow cases this time round.  The material was a comforter cover that was purchased from Ikea and it had such ADORABLE OWLS on it, that I just had to work on it almost immediately after I got my hands on it.

Here are the pillow cases:
Owl Pillow Case

Owl Pillow Case

There was still quite a lot of fabric leftover after making 4 pillow cases, so I went on to make cushion covers:

Owl Cushion Covers

Within a few days, these were sent to M and she was nice enough to send me this photo:

Owls, owls, and more owls

Isn't that an amazing overdose of owls???  And look, she even included my 3 handmade owls (read more about them here and here) in the photo :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pink Screen Syndrome

I've been holding off blogging for some time.... my computer is down with Pink Screen Syndrome :'(  It starts off with a pinkish screen on startup and all colours are way off.  I can't tell my oranges from my greens and there's no way I can edit my photos this way!  After letting it rest for many days, I turned it on again today with all fingers (and toes) crossed that it would recover, but no such luck...  I guess it's time for a new computer

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lovely Fabric

Another piece of clothing that I bought because of the design on the fabric.  Remember the previous one that I bought?  Hmmm.... am I subconsciously planning on upcycling these when I stop wearing them? ;)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Owl Pouch

I wanted something functional, yet cute and unique.  I also wanted to learn new skills, something I've never done before.  After some sketching, template making and sewing (and nicking my finger on the sewing machine needle in the process),  here's my latest product range -- Owl Pouches with applique wings!  All wings are quality Japanese fabric, some with gold highlights.  Would you like to give any of them a home?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Upcycled Blue Bow Hair Clip

I went for a baby's 1-month old party and received a box of cakes/cookies in a beautifully packed box -- Simple white box with windows to show its contents, tied up with a lovely blue ribbon.  I loved the ribbon so much that I kept it... months later, here it is, upcycled into a double bow hair clip.  Psst... even the yellow ribbon is upcycled!

Blue Bow Hair Clip

Monday, June 24, 2013

Crazy Haze

It's been crazy last week with the haze from Sumatra, Indonesia, affecting Singapore and Malaysia, setting new records in a bad way.

In Singapore, the  Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) started increasing from 17 Jun 2013 and over the next 2 days, the PSI was in the unhealthy range (PSI of 101 - 200).  All hell broke loose on 20 Jun 2013 with the PSI breaking all historical records at 371 (PSI > 300 is considered hazardous)!  And just when you thought that it couldn't get any worse, the PSI hit a maximum of 401 the next day.  *choke choke* *gasp gasp*

In a frenzy to keep the kids safely locked up indoors, all crafting work came to a halt...  At least we can breathe today with the PSI in the Good to Moderate range.  Hoping to get back to normal routines and start working on new products soon!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Upcycled Hair Clips

Having made a fabric flower hair clip for myself, I started making some upcycled fabric rose hair pins and clips for my Storenvy store too.  See any that you like?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sturdy Fabric Box

We shifted an old bookshelf near to the main door so that we could dump our bags and stuff when we come home each day.  Being door-less, you could see all it's contents AND it was facing our main door for all to see.  The shelves were not the standard Ikea size that you could get organising boxes for, so it had to be customised.

This project was 100% upcycled - outer fabric was from an old mattress cover (which I also used to make a cushion cover), and the inner fabric was an old bedsheet from my Mum that has not been used in decades, no kidding!

Unlike my other fabric box, I needed this to be sturdy and be able to hold it's shape, so I used corrugated plastic.  I made the fabric box in such a way that the corrugated plastic could be removed and the fabric box could be thrown into the wash.

Here they are:

Upcycled sturdy fabric boxes
And look!  Doesn't this look neat with most things hidden from view?
Sturdy fabric boxes

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happiness is Simple

What is happiness to you?  Is it having lots of money to buy whatever you want?  Is it travelling around the world?  I believe that happiness can be simple... happiness is waking up to your kid planting sweet kisses on your cheek.  Happiness is watching the clouds float by with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.

With this in mind, here are some stuff from the "Happiness is Simple" series:

Thursday, May 23, 2013


When I was in school, my textbooks had doodlings on almost every page.  From simple smiley faces, to cute little animals.  Over the years, I learnt how to draw new things, new styles, but.... I've never ever drawn dinosaurs.

With the Angry Bird craze a few years back, my drawing skills were still able to satisfy my little boy. One day, he wanted me to draw dinosaurs!  'Mummy doesn't know how to draw dinosaurs, dear', I went.  But he insisted, urging me on, even acted out the pose of the T-rex I was supposed to draw.  My dinosaurs then were hardly cute, actually not even very nice, but he was happy with them.

Now, as a tribute to my boy, I've started a range of dinosaur cartoons on my Zazzle products:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Elephant Puppet

You know when your kid's friends have a birthday celebration in school, and they come home with goodie bags?  I'm not fond of all the candy, sweets or gummies, so I thought this was much more useful: a puppet making kit!

Elephant puppet
The puppet making kit came with all felt pieces pre-cut and already had holes along the sides so your kid could use the child-safe blunt needles to sew it up.  Decorating the face was a breeze as all the felt pieces for this purpose had double-sided tape attached to them.

Has anyone else received any useful or creative stuff in their goodie bags?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Temporary Alteration to Baby's Clothes

Babies grow up very fast.... one day, they are wearing this comfy, cute little onesis, and then just days later baby seems ready to do an incredible hulk, stretching that same cute little onesis to it's seams!

We found a set of cute clothing (a shirt for toddlers, and an onesis) with the same design, but there was one problem: the smallest size available for the onesis was way too big for baby.  Elder kid was so excited about wearing the same design as baby that we decided to buy the set and see what we can do about the onesis.

Here's what it looked like straight from the store, way too long for baby:
Too-big store bought onesis

With a little adjustment, and just one line of machine sewing, it became:
Altered onesis

There was no cutting at all, and once baby outgrows this, I'll unpick that one line of machine sewing and make it slightly longer, longer until it's original size.  Here's one onesis that will last more than a month =p