Thursday, January 28, 2016

How do you store your crafting tools and materials?

I often come across this question from other crafters, "How do you store your crafting tools and materials?"

I used lots of bead in my jewellery making hobby, so I use a rotating spice rack that comes with bottles to store my beads and head pins.  I like it that the bottle is clear so that I can see what is stored in it. It is neat and does not take up too much space on my working table.

The beads I bought came in small plastic screw top jar like this that I can slip into my spice bottles.

I keep my crafting tools in tool box with trays like this.

Here are some other condiment caddies meant for your kitchen that you can consider using.

This is a coffee storage carousel for K-Cup Pods to consider using if you already have bottles like the ones above for spice, large enough to slot them in.  There are also models available that can rotate.

This is meant for storing what you need for making coffee.  I use knitting needles and rods to roll my wires, so, I could use the space for storing cups to keep them.  I will have to put a container inside the slot to hold them neatly together.

I think it is good to be able to see what you use in your projects.  You would not want to be caught in a bout of inspiration to discover that you are short of the material you need to complete your work.

Here is another see through example that I like.  Since there is a cover, I will be able to carry it around with me.  I like it that the space meant for storing ice can be used to hold my tools.  The five containers are removable.  So, if I buy more than a unit, I should be able to interchange containers of beads that I need for my current project.

How do you store your craft tools and materials?

The products that I share here can be purchased from Amazon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Midori Style Note Book with Pockets

I discovered that Japanese travellers carry with them Midori note book to record their trips.

It inspired me to create my own note book as I am trying to find ways to make use of old exercise books and papers that my children no longer use.

Here is what I used in this project:

1) stained printing paper
2) old CD cover
3) rubber band or thread and needle to sew

Measure the the height and width of one side of the CD cover from the inside.

Mark on the paper the height and width that you would like your note book to be so that it sits neatly inside the CD cover.  For my project I marked height for 11.5cm and decided to fold the paper in half to create the width I required.

I then fold the paper so that I now have 2 pieces of the same height of 11.50cm.  The balance remaining is shorter than that.

Fold the corners of the shorter piece at right angles to touch the folded crease mark, as shown below.

Fold the pointed end by about 2.5cm so that the edges meet neatly in the centre.

Now you are ready to cut the paper, as shown, so that you have a piece 11.5cm in height and the other with the angled flap to create the pocket.

Fold the angled flap, as shown, so that you now have 2 pieces of same height.

Fold both pages in half.

Arrange the pages as you see fit.  You can have the first page plain without the pocket and alternate it with the ones with pocket.

Now you can place your pages in the CD cover and hold it in place with a rubber band.

If you stapled or sew the pages together, you can add another set of note book in the CD cover. However, it will not be a good idea to have too many pages in the cover, if you will be sticking "flash cards" into the pockets like I have decided to.

You can decorate your CD cover by sticking leftover wall paper or wrapping paper.  I decided to make a cover for it with a cardboard.

This is how my notebook looks like with my flash cards after I am done with the cover.

You can check my earlier posting if you would like to know how you can make use of such a note book.

You can find Midori and other stuff I used in this project can be found at Amazon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Midori style note book with flash card

I got inspired when I came across Midori style note book used by travellers. Here is my version which my children can use with "flash cards" to study.

Those who like to cook should find it useful too as you can use the "flash cards" to list ingredients you need to cook a dish so that you can take it out to go shopping for them.

Of course, you can use it like a regular Midori while traveling.

Material Required
- Paper from old exercise books

- File fastener or book binding ring of 1.5cm in diameter

1) Cut strips of about 5.5cm in height out of each page.  That should give you 3 strips per page.  
2) Fold the paper so that the edge touches the line at the side of the paper.  
3) Gather folded paper and punch a hole to insert a file fastener to hold them together.

On each strip of flash card, write the question to a topic you are studying on the folded top.  Open up it up to write the answer.  

Now you can create a Midori style notebook with pockets so that you can slip the flash card in it. This is how my Midori note book looks like with the flash card.  You can read how this is made at the following link "Midori Style Note Book with Pockets".

Following are other ways you can make use of this note book.

- Write recipes on the blank pages and slip the list of ingredients required into pockets created.  Y9ou can then take list out when you need to go shopping for the ingredients.
- Use it as a travel/souvenir collection book.  Insert boarding passes, tickets of shows or events you have attended into the pockets.  Write your thoughts on the blank pages.
- Save cut out of images that inspire in the pockets.  Note what it has inspired you to create on the blank pages.
- You can also use as a journal and if you are wondering how you can start, read this book, ""How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad): A Creative Workbook" by Lee Crutchley.

I think this is a great way to make use of old exercise books or scraps of wrapping paper and cardboard you have on hand.

You can read more about study hacks, about book binding or find stuff you need in this project at Amazon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DIY Eco poo scoop

The school holiday is around the corner, what can you teach your children to make?

For pet lovers out there, how about learning to make a poo scoop? That way you can make use of the grocery plastic bags you have received and the bottles from soda drinks your children will be gobbling on.

Your children can also make them as gifts for their friends who have pets at home.

You do not have to cut curves on the bottle to make it look like a scoop if you do not want to.  Just make sure that the cut edges are smooth. 

I discovered that Twister 1.5L bottles works best as scoop as the bottom section of most 1.5L bottles can fit in firmly into its top section cavity so that it will not easily drop even when you swing it. 

To use Twister 1.5L bottle, you have to cut out the narrowest part of the bottle and cut 8 slits to enable it to widen to push in bottom section of bottle.  Cut curves into the edges as shown in the picture below.  That way plastic bags inserted will not be torn by sharp edges.

Are you ready to use the scoop?  This is how it works.

Share this concept with your friends.  Let us work together towards poo free parks.

P/S You don't have to mess up your home collecting grocery plastic bags.  Here is how.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Need chairs? Go find some cardboards!

Inspired by Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, who can build shelters using cardboard tubes as construction material?  If you would like to follow in his footsteps, start small.  Try to build this chair for yourself.

Once you get the knack of it, you can figure out how to create a 2-in-1, in this case, a bed cum chair convertable.

Need more inspiration?  Watch this video then and see if you can create the same.  A Slinky Chair to seat from 1 to 10 people.  One that you will never get bored with as you can change its form in a variety of shape.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Need a drum? Go find a cup instead.

Mummies, if your kids are asking you for expensive musical instrument like a drum, maybe you should get them to show if they have the talent for music by getting them to play with a plastic cup.

Here is a video to give you an idea what using a cup as a musical instrument is like.

It can also be done solo.  You can find a rendition by Calvin Ho on SoundCloud.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cardboard box? Great for lantern.

Would you like to make the lantern I created for my son this year?

Go find a good pair of scissors, an empty cardboard box, 16 rubber bands and follow these steps. I used a box for packing a 17" monitor to create this lantern.

If you would like to create templates for the lantern to keep for future reference, here is how each piece should look like.


1) To draw the circles to form the top (1 pc) and base (1 pc) of the lantern, look for 2 plates with one about 3-4cm larger than the other in diameter.

24cm in diameter

20cm in diameter

2) Where there are straight lines marked around the circumference, cut slits through about 2-3cm towards the centre for both circles. The width of each slits depends on the thickness of the cardboard.

Here is a photo of a slit I made at the base.

Note: You can see that I have included a cover from a biscuit tin to protect the base from being damaged by lighted candle and rubber bands to secure the panels to the base.

3) The slits will enable you to slot in panels "C" (8 pcs) to form the sides of the lantern. The length of my panels are based on the height of the box I used, which came up to about 41cm. The width of the panel is 6cm.


4) Once you have cut out 8 pieces of panel "C", cut along dotted line marked on the template to shape the panel.

5) At where you see straight lines, cut a slit of 1cm through at the top and bottom of each panel.

6) Do not discard the cut offs from the base of each panel. Shape the cut outs (8pcs) to form a semi circle before cutting a slit in the centre along the diameter as shown below.

7) Now cut out "D" (16 pcs) to decorate the lantern. The length should be double the width of panels "C". Mine came up to 12x4cm. Cut at dotted lines to shape them.


Note: Two pieces of "D" will be required to decorate each panel. It will only be stapled to the panels, one on each side, after all panels have been inserted to the top and base of the lantern.

To assemble:

1) Get your 16 rubber bands ready. Secure two rubber bands to the base of each panel "C" as shown here.

2) Bottom to bottom, slot all panels to base, circle "B". The slits at "B" should sit between the "V" of the rubber bands which will hold each panel in place.

3) Slit to slit, top to the top, slot the panels to circle "A".

4) Staple "D" one and each side of panel "C", right below circle "A". Then push a semi cirlce into each panel as shown here.

5) At the top of lantern, cut a smaller circle in its centre. Punched two holes opposite each other. Push a string through one hole then the other end to the other before tying knots at each end. I used a string that I removed from a paper bag I have.

6) You can decorate it further by colouring it or sticking coloured papers on it.

7) Your lantern is ready. Just remove 1 panel to insert candle for a light up.

8) Push the panel back in place once candle is lighted. Enjoy.

If you like this, check out the free tutorials for other lanterns that I have created.