Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fake water/ Faux water /Resin water vases

Floral setting resin
Silk flowers/ leaves
Clean and dry transparent glass vases
Decorative stones/marbles (optional)
Disposable mixing container
Disposable stirring stick
Rubber gloves

Before you start working with the resin, trim stems of silk flowers to desired length and practice arranging the stems, stones/marbles in the glass vase. Determine the amount of floral setting resin you need for the arrangement. You can estimate the amount with regular water. For one of my vases, I used 80 mL of water. Once you have finalized the amount of liquid that you need to use 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener to make the fake water.

1. Place marbles/stone in the vase if you plan to use them, or omit this step.
2. Measure out equal amounts of resin and hardener (I used 40 mL of each) into a disposable glass and mix using a stirring stick (refer to the package instructions)

3. Pour the resin mixture carefully to the center of the vase. Be sure not to splash on the sides of the vase.
4. Arrange flowers/leaves in the vase
5. Leave the arrangement undisturbed for 24-36 hrs.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How to Make a Two Tier Veil-DIY First Communion Veil


First of all, decide the type of fabric, style, and length of the veil you are going to make. There is a wide variety of fabric you can choose, such as tulle (which is the most commonly used), English net, Swiss dot, poly chiffon, and organza. The length of the veil can range from cathedral, chapel, ankle, finger tip, elbow, to shoulder length.

This is a tutorial is about how to make a tulle fabric veil which is fastened on a comb. I  made this for my daughters first holy communion. This elbow length veil features two tiers, oval shape on the back, and half cut pearl embellishments along the edges.

You need the following supplies:

-Tulle fabric
-Hair comb (plastic or metal)
-Satin ribbon or a thin white fabric tape (bias tape would work)
-Glue/glue gun
-Thread, needle, safety pins, scissors, -Measuring tape
-Half cut pearls/beads/stones/crystals/laces
-Fabric glue

Preparing the comb
Buy a plain plastic or metal comb. It's available in most of the craft/fabric stores (I got mine from Hobby Lobby- Bridal section). Next step is to loop the satin ribbon/thin white fabric/bias tape around the comb, staring from one end. The purpose of coiling the ribbon over the comb is just to make a surface to fasten the veil onto the top of the comb either by hand sewing or gluing. 

A) Apply a generous amount of glue (a glue gun would be perfect) onto bottom side of the comb. Press down one end of the satin ribbon on glue. Hold it there until the ribbon stays there. B) Then, start looping the ribbon around the teeth of the comb,until the ribbon reach the other end of the comb, apply glue along the bottom side of the comb, in each loop. C) Finally, glue the end of the ribbon on bottom side of the comb.

Preparing veil
For this veil, the top tier measures 23" and bottom tier measures 28". So, you need appox. 51" long tulle (23"+ 28"= 51", ie. length of top+ bottom tier). Lay out tulle fabric flat and cut the fabric according to your length measurements.

1. Fold tulle in half, lengthwise.

2.  Then make one more fold and round off the corner. Make sure to trim it nice and smooth. You may trim the edge which is close to first fold, if you need to reduce the width of the veil. Or, leave it as such for a thicker and fuller veil.

3. Next process is to gather the tulle. For that, unfold tulle and using safety pins, pin along a straight line approx. 23" from one edge of the tulle so that the distance from the straight line to other edge is 28".

4) Make small pleats with your hands along the straight line marked using safety pins. Get a needle and thread, make a knot at the end of the thread and hand sew the pleats together. Make sure the combined width of all the pleats is same as the width of the comb.

5) Place the pleated veil on a table.  Get the comb that has been prepared above. Place the comb with its top side facing up. Slide in the comb beneath the pleated veil and be sure to orient the teeth along the side of the bottom tier (side with 28"). Hand sew/glue the veil on the top of the comb.

6)  Once the veil has sewed onto the comb, lay the top tier over the bottom tier. So the stitching will be hidden in between top and bottom tier. To wear the veil, point the comb downward with the veil coming over the top. I also glued a strip of half cut pearls on the top of the comb.


(Embellishment idea is inspired from Rebecca Walker designs)
For embellishing along the edges of top and bottom tiers, half cut pearls (got it from Hobby Lobby- craft section) are used. Instead, you can also use stone/ beads in different patterns.
Position the half cut pearls, with 1/3 of each pearl is sticking out from the edge of the tulle. Glue the half cut pearls, one inch apart, back-to-back on both sides of the veil, and allow around 30 min to dry.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Monstera Leaf Decorative Tray Made From Air-Dry Clay

Air-dry clay
Rolling pin
Utility knife
Paint brush

This tutorial is about a decorative tray made from air-dry clay using slab technique. Slab technique can be used to create strong functional or decorative forms of pottery from flexible sheets of clay, called slabs.

Here I am making a monstera leaf tray and you need a sketch of the leaf in a paper. You can either download a leaf drawing or draw one by yourself. Cut out the shape using scissors.

Prepare your workplace by layering a few old news papers on a flat surface (counter top/table etc.) so that once you are done, you can simply throw the newspapers without much cleanup.

Place a sheet of the foil/parchment paper over the newspapers. Take a big lump of clay (around 1.8 Kg / 4.1 pound) and using a rolling pin, hand roll it into a flat sheet/ slab, of at least 1 cm thickness (it will collapse if it is too thin). The slab should be a bit larger than the monstera leaf you have drawn.

Get the cut-out leaf sketch and place it over the slab of clay. Trace around it lightly using something sharp. A wooden skewer/pencil/ tooth pick etc. will do the job. After the shape has been traced onto the clay, cut the clay along the traced pattern using a knife.

Remove the excess clay that just cut off. Now make the leaf details such as midrib, stem, and vein on the clay. You can inscribe this on the clay by making small depressions using wooden skewer/pencil/ tooth pick etc.

The monstera leaf tray is almost ready, just one more step before I let my work dry. I want to make the tray more appealing by bending the edges of the leaf a bit upward. For that,  transfer the leaf along with the underlying foil/paper into a  8" wide cooking pan/bowl so that the bottom lies flat while the edges will curve a bit according to the shape of the pan. Allow it dry completely.

Once it is dried, apply two coats of acrylic paint (gloss finish). Dry the paint according to the paint package/tube/bottle instructions. For decorative purpose, a few lady bugs were also made using clay and painted. Glue the lady bugs on the leaf.

(As the leaf is very prone to cracking/breaking, handle it very carefully. If it broke, use an industrial strength adhesive to join the broken pieces)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Air-Dry Clay Succulent Planters

Air-dry clay
Acrylic paint-gloss finish
Paint brushes
Pencil/ pen or any stamps for making designs

Technique used: Pinching
To shape the clay into the desired shape of the planters shown in this tutorial, pinching method has been used. Pinching is a technique of pushing and pulling on a chunk of clay.
Take a handful of clay and roll into an orange-size ball.

Then insert the thumb halfway into it while use your other hand to cup the ball. Then, start rotating the ball while pinching the clay between your thumb and fingers. What you are actually doing here is making the opening bigger and wider at the same time thinning the clay to form walls.

Continue pinching until the thickness of the wall is uniform around the sides and at the bottom. While pinching, if you feel the wall is too thin at certain spots, place a wad of clay on it and fuse it to the wall using your fingers. The thickness of planter wall should be at least 1 cm. Adjust the height by pinching the clay upward. You can use a utility knife to cut off excess clay to make the rim perfectly round and symmetrical. If the planter is not standings straight, make the bottom straight. If required, smooth out the entire exterior surface of the planter and the rim using wet fingers.

In this project, I used a pencil with an eraser at its one end, to make texture on the exterior surface. You can any tool (kitchen tools like fork, spoon, skewers etc to inscribe patterns). I pressed the eraser side of the pencil on the outside wall of the planter to make a depression. This is repeated to make the desired design.

Dry at least for a week before applying any paint on it. Apply two coats of acrylic paint of gloss finish. Dry according to the instructions given on the paint tube/bottle. Transfer small succulent plants into the planters. (I also made and colored a few lady bugs out of clay for decorative purpose)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Terracotta Jewellery

Air-dry clay-Terracotta
Needle tool to make holes in beads (a tooth pick, or a skewer can be used instead)
Parchment paper/ aluminum foil
Paints (Acrylic/fabric paints)
Paint brushes
Thread and a hook
Utility knife
Rolling pin

Plan the style, length, shape, number, and size of the beads that are required to make the necklace. For this necklace, I used spherical and tapered beads and a pendant. If you want to make beads of similar size, use a weighing scale to get exact weight of the clay before rolling into beads. Or, you can eyeball the amounts.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper/ foil  and lay it over a flat surface. Take out a lemon-size clay and place it over the foil (seal the rest of the clay to prevent it from drying). Squeeze the clay with your hands to make a thick cylinder. Then, place the cylinder on parchment paper/foil and roll it using your palm into a long coil of around 1 cm-1.5 cm diameter. Make sure the diameter of the coil is uniform. Then cut into several small pieces. Each of these pieces are going to be beads. To make beads of equal size, be sure to cut into similar-length pieces from the long coil (or weigh the pieces)

To make spherical beads: Take a small piece that cut from the long coil in your hand and roll into a small sphere. Using needle tool or tooth pick, poke holes in the spherical bead.

To make tapered beads: Decide the length of the tapered bead and cut similar-length piece from the long coil. Using your index finger and thumb make the edges a bit curvy. Then, poke holes.

To make pendant: Take out a lemon-size clay and roll it flat (thickness should be around 1-1.5 cm) using a rolling pin. Then cut the required shape from it. Poke hole and make designs on the surface using stamps or simply by using a kitchen fork/skewer/tooth pick.

Once you made all the beads and pendant that are required to make the necklace, allow them to dry according to the package instructions. Make sure to dry at least a day before doing any painting on it. I used metallic shades of fabric paints. For painting a bead, strung it on a skewer/tooth pick/ needle tool, then apply paint. It is very easy to paint in this way than holding the beads with your fingers. Apply two coats of paint and once the paint has dried, apply spray glaze. Next, strung the beads and pendant using a thread and fix a hook.

Tips: If you feel the clay is getting dry while you working with it, you can simply wet your finger in water then work with clay.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Car Back Seat Organizer Made from an Old Jacket

A Jacket (the fabric should be thick, you can also use any upholstery fabric instead)
Bias tapes, or regular tapes (for finishing off the raw edges)
Sewing supplies

Take the measurement of the back side of the front car seat. (Height 24" and width 17")  Place the jacket on a flat surface and cut one piece that equals to the measurement of the back side of the seat. This is going to be the main panel of the organizer and you also need several medium and small pieces for making pockets. I used the backside of the jacket as the main panel. Three medium size rectangle pieces (referred to as pocket #1) and several other small size rectangle pieces (referred to as pocket #2) are cut from the same jacket fabric.

You also need regular or bias tapes to finish off the sides. See my previous tutorial if you want to make your own bias tapes.

How to make regular tapes and how to attach them?

Cut a rectangle strip anywhere from the fabric (a contrasting color printed fabric is used in the project)

I used 0.5 " wide strip for finishing off the edges. If you want to make a tape of 0.5" wide, you should start from a 2" wide strip. Decide the length of the strip depending on the requirement.
Place one 2" wide strip, with the wrong side facing up. Bring the two long raw edges of the strip to the center to make two folds and nicely iron.  Then make one more fold, length wise, along the center and iron. At this stage you can call it as a regular tape.

Attaching regular tapes: Place your fabric with right side facing up. Bring in the regular tape and sandwich the raw edge of the fabric in between the folds of the bias tape. Pin in place (you may also flip the fabric and make sure the pin has secured the back side of the bias tape). Sew along the folded edge of the tape to finish off the raw edge.

Attaching pocket #2 to pocket #1 
Get the small rectangles pieces cut for pocket #2 and and finish off their top raw edge with a regular or a bias tape. Then, place and pin pocket #2 onto pocket #1.

Sew along the remaining three edges of pocket #2. I used a straight stitch followed by zig-zag stitch to secure pocket #2 onto pocket #1.

Similarly, prepare the rest of the pocket #1.

Attaching pocket #1 to main panel
Finish off the top raw edge of all pocket #1 with regular tapes. Arrange all three pocket #1 prepared on the main panel.

Then, pin them in place.

Sew along the remaining three edges of pocket #1. I used a straight stitch followed by zig-zag stitch. You can also compartmentalize the pocket #1 to smaller pockets by making a straight stitch on the top of pocket #1. Finish off all the four edges of the main panel with regular tape or bias tape.

Attaching handle and fasteners
I am going to hang the organizer to the two rods that is in between the head rest and the car seat. Also, need two fasteners to secure the lower side of the organizer to the seat.

Decide length of the handle required and cut two strips of 1" wide from the same fabric. Attach them together by straight stitches along all four raw edges. Finish off the raw edge by regular or bias tapes. Attach the ends of the handle to the back side of the main panel.

To make the fasteners, a regular tape of 0.5" wide, is used. Sew along the folded edge to make fasteners.  Attach the fasteners to the lower backside of the main panel. 
To hang the organizer, slide out  the the head rest from the car seat and place the handle. Then, slide in and snap the the head rest. Tie the ends of the two fasteners on the lower back side of the car seat.

Organize cell phone, tablet, sticky notes, travel games, head phones, pen/pencil etc. in different pockets of the organizer.
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