Monday, January 27, 2014

Holiday Homemade Gift #4: Lavender Sachets

I almost forgot about these because they were so easy to do it didn't feel like work!

Making lavender sachets barely takes time at all when you have all the materials on hand. It's perfect for putting a dent on that fabric stash which, if you're like me, is more like a pile rather than a stash. The dried lavender buds were a little hard to find, but fortunately I found someone selling them online. I think you can find them from soap-makers or candle-makers too.

There are a different options on how to make them, but I opted for the simpler route which was to use my pinking shears. I was worried about fraying so I put a little fray-stopper on the edges.

Put a festive ribbon and tag and you have the perfect stocking stuffer! Bonus: it leaves the stocking smelling good, too!

The artful dabbler,


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Romantic Book Clutch

About two days before my friend's wedding, I was faced with a dilemma: to buy or to make a clutch bag for the wedding. The first choice will be expensive - about Php 500 at least if I buy from Landmark and I was covetously eying this glittery thing from Kate Spade. If I do DIY, I will be pressed for time and there was no guarantee it will turn out well.

Eventually I decided to go the DIY route, telling myself if it fails I can always buy a ready made one with time to spare. Now the question was - what design should I do?

There are a lot of DIY clutches peppering Pinterest, but one of the most popular is the book clutch. I love the idea because I'm a bookworm myself. Kate Spade also has her version but sadly it's not available here in the Philippines.

Most tutorials suggest using an old hardcover for the project, and I did see one months before at a used bookstore which had this beautiful green and gold cover. I regret now that I didn't buy it then. A part of me cringes at the thought of defacing books, though, so I got an idea of using this bag/diary that I saw in National Bookstore. It's for kids and costs only about a Php 100. It's pretty cute - I actually gave something like this to my goddaughter for her birthday. The bag part is perfect, since it was already a bag shape, with a hidden magnet for closure.

I cut the excess board to get the book shape. It occurred to me later how easier it was if I would have separated the "box" from the cover instead of trying to retain the shape in the first place.

For the cover, I scoured Pinterest and finally came upon this site - the University of Rochester. They have a collection of absolutely beautiful vintage book bindings. I picked one and did some trial and error to get the right size for my book clutch cover. I printed it out and mod-podged it. I do recommend printing a bit larger so you can sort of wrap it with a bit at the back.

For the sides, I found a picture of book textures and did some experimenting with the size on that too. I mod-podged it to the sides so it would look like a real book.

Before I put it all back together again, I put in a black ribbon on both sides for the tie closure. I put some black felt paper (which I already had) to serve as the lining on both the inside of the cover and the box before gluing all the parts back together.

And voila! I had my book clutch for the wedding. I got lots of compliments over it. I personally love it because it was DIY, cheap, unique and most of all - sort of romantic with the cupid on the title and, well, books are kind of a romantic notion now, aren't they? It's all about e-books nowadays.

I flirted with the idea of putting some dimensional glaze over it, but I was afraid it wouldn't dry on time. Still thinking if I should do it, though. Maybe on another clutch.

The artful dabbler,

Monday, January 13, 2014


"It is better to give than to receive." 

Yeah, probably true. But it does feel nice to receive some gifts, yeah?

So this past Christmas, I received some awesome gifts. I love that the people who gave them knew my taste - which was basically art and kawaii stuff. Give me something I can draw with and something cute and I will love it. Bonus points if they're both artsy and cute.

So here's to an artful 2014!

The Artful Dabbler,


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holiday Handmade Gift #3: Clay Ring Plate

(Not their rings - just used random rings as example)

As I've mentioned before, a friend of mine got married a few days ago. So as a Christmas present, I decided to make her something that she could use for the ceremony as well as for after.

I saw this ring plate in Pinterest and thought it was easy to do so I went for it. I had to look for some air-dry clay because I had no experience with that medium so I didn't want to experiment with oven-bake clay for this one. Most of the stores I went to only had the oven-bake one and the air-dry were out of stock. It was just chance that I went by Hobbes and Landes in Rockwell and found some.

Next I bought the alphabet stamps from Invitation House. There are a lot of stamps on sale everywhere right now, but I wanted this specific style. I used a vintage plate I bought at a second hand store as the mold for the size and an Arizona bottle as a rolling pin. 

It was supposed to be a plain round plate but when I put the clay in a punch bowl to get the hollow curve, the edges slightly folded. I just went with it because it ended up looking like a seashell and since they were going to have their wedding by the beach, I thought it was serendipitous. The ribbon was just something I already had, which was fortunate because I think it went really well and gave a seaside feel.

I had some extra clay left so I made a couple of small plates. Still don't know what to do with them, though.

They used it during their wedding and can be seen on their wedding video, so I'm really glad that I did this project. I still have about half a bar of unused clay that I would love to get my hands on so I'm on the lookout for projects.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Holiday Homemade Gift #2: Bottlecap Magnets

I know, I know... it's a super late post. It's been a busy couple of weeks with the holidays and my friend's wedding just soon after. I've been DIY-ing left and right but didn't find the time to post.
One of the gifts that I was able to make were these bottlecap magnets. I'm proud of this one because I used recycled materials. The bottlecaps were from a small canteen we run and had them save some for me. The magnets I had lying around because from the time I bought them at the Daiso (Japan Home Center) store... just because I thought I might need them - a couple of years after. And the picture inserts were from an old calendar which I still kept because the fairy pictures were too cute to throw away.

Basically all I needed was the 3D crystal lacquer which I bought at Shmily's in Rockwell and the heavy-duty glue from Ace Hardware.

And the white organza pouches I also had lying around in the house. Yeah, I know. I could run a craft store here.

It turned out pretty, but I think the magnets were too strong and they kept on sticking to one another and some of the pictures were damaged as a result. But other than that - they look great. I have one of them on my refrigerator right now.

It feels good getting rid of some of my craft stash and recycling to give as pretty gifts at the same time!