Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rolled Paper Beads From Gift Wrapping Paper

 More and more people are becoming more sensitive to the impact of irresponsible garbage disposal on the earth. We have the choice to LIVE GREEN.

Try looking around your home today and you'll be surprised to discover tons of papers you might have accumulated through the years.Let's do some clean up and a little organizing starting with the tiniest like receipts, envelopes to the bigger ones such as calendars and even cartoons and boxes. Each of these have a role to play in your  attempt to live eco-friendly so don't throw them just yet.

With your tons of paper, I'm sure you'll find one or two gift wrappers.We all love receiving gifts, we would be extra thrilled if these come in lovely packages. Savor the gift...Save the wrap!!!. Transform these into beautiful beads. Make leisure- earth friendly jewelries and save yourself from spending a fortune or better yet,sell them for an added income.
paper beads and decoupage craft
These paper beads were cut from a wrapper with Medieval Design with Gothic Prints that originally looked like this.
You may cut the paper into 4 with at least 12 inches in length. It is easier to cut especially if you don't have a metric ruler. I opted to use the whole paper cutting crosswise. I wanted a fuller bead for this project.
Mark  the back side with a pen or pencil at 20mm increments across the top and bottom edges. Using the pen mark as guide, position the ruler at the bottom and angle it very slightly to the top. Cut all the way using a sharp paper cutter. Instead of having a rectangle, you now have an isosceles trapezoid.
For each bead, begin rolling a strip around your bamboo roller, metal roller or  toothpick at the wider end. Continue rolling until you reach about one to two inches before the edge. Apply glue then finish rolling to the tip.

If the paper is glossy, you may not need to seal it but I still recommend a thin coat of acrylic sealer or plain glue. Let dry before coating with lacquer or gloss. I use three to four coats in my beads for shine and  durability.

These Medieval Print Beads are available in my Etsy Shop. Thank you.
paper beads and decoupage crafts

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ideas for Recycling , Upcycling and Reusing Glass Bottles and Jars

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”
- New England proverb-

Recycling can save our planet making it more beautiful to live in…Reusing can save you money by sparing you from buying expensive items which you can actually create… Redesigning can save yourself from a stressful environment by giving you a creative outlet for expressing your individuality.

It is not only easy but also inexpensive to upcycle and transform glass containers into something functional and decorative at the same time. Nothing beats the delight of seeing your beautiful creation sitting prettily on a desk with a bunch of flowers or displayed in an open shelf filled with herbs and spices.

Transform used bottles into pretty containers of dry goods and spices… A delightful addition to your decorative storage collection!

First, clean the jar. I usually soak it in warm soapy water for a few minutes to soften the label. This also makes it easier to wash out any left over grease or oil residue. Scrub inside and out then rinse well. Let dry.

Old containers of peanut butters, fruit preserves or jams, sauces, oils, spices, beverages and other food items come in handy for storing various small stuffs in the home and office. Bigger glass containers in particular are ideal to protect dry goods such as noodles, oatmeal, nuts, beans, sweets and cookies. You can use adhesive labels to mark the contents then embellish them with twines, shapes, and charms.

To decorate a spice jar, you can cut out photos of different spices and herbs and decoupage it on the front of the bottle. Finish it with poly varnish. You can do the same thing with the lid or just simply spray paint it to hide the original label.

Decoupage tall bottles with colorful napkins, pressed flowers or vintage paper cut outs. You may also decorate with any kind of twine, raffia, ribbons etc. Fill with vinaigrette, dressings or sauces to flavor your favorite cuisine. These will certainly lighten up your meal. You can display them in sets or simply let it stand alone.

Upcycle Glass Bottles…turn them into decorative masterpieces

You can recycle used glass jars to create recycled crafts such as flower vases, candle holders, unique storage for craft materials such as beads, shells, buttons and gems. These creative bottles are great to give as one of a kind handmade gift.

Recycle a champagne bottle by wrapping it with bold colored cotton twine. The result is a delightful decorative vase that can hold a single pretty rose. It is such an attractive way to display flowers.

Use decoupage designs for a vintage and unique look. You can use the same technique to create a beautiful votive candle holder or luminary. This functions well as a night light with its romantic soft glow.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Necklace inspired by Firefly and Serenity in an Asian Steampunk Style

I always get excited when raw materials bought from me ends up in creative hands. It's a good feeling to see how other artists made use of the once lonely beads and turned them into a one of a kind jewelry piece.

Lisa of ElainaLouiseStudios is one talented artist. Who would have thought that a simple wire-wrapped Chinese character paper bead scroll could be transformed into a unique necklace that embodies both time and place influenced by the East.

The Chinese Paper Bead scrolls came from pages of a vintage Buddhist prayer pamphlets. I have loads of these and other Chinese newsprint published in the 1940’s- 1970’s.

Visit ElainaLouiseStudios .Their wide offerings of jewelries are inspired by antique industrial, steampunk and Victorian genres as well as fairies, mermaids and other mythical beings.Check Lisa's Treasuries too, she has an eye for perfect color combination and fun, lovely themes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teddy and Friends in a Tin

Stuffed animals are such a classic and will never go out of style. They are also popular with all age groups, from children, to teens and even adults. They are soft, cuddly, lovable and comforting. They come in many faces, many names, sizes and designs and I for one, collect almost any kind. The big ones I use to baby proof my little boy's room especially the wall side of his bed and for the cute ones, I love displaying them peeping in my rows of decoupaged recycled tins.
These tins are empty formula milk cans. My son consumed quite a number of them and still piling. The big cans are used to organize rolled wrappers, craft papers etc. The ones I decoupaged are smaller, just roomy enough to accommodate Teddy and his friends.

Here's how To:

Choose the paper you want to decorate your tins with. I have different kinds of decorative paper so i used a different theme for each can. I have a vintage themed one, an autumn design, a papemelroti drama, a gold coin in red background, a vintage map inspired craft paper and many more.

Cut them into small squares.

Apply decoupage glue on the surface of the tin then start adhering your paper cut outs until the entire surface is covered. Let your creativity arrange the papers in a way that pleases you.

Let dry completely.

Apply varnish at least 3 times to seal making sure to let each layer dry before applying the next. You will be surprised with the result. The images/paper cutouts looks inlaid and as if they were painted on the surface and not adhered upon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Recycled Decorative Cardboard Tube or Tissue Paper Roll (Special Treat Holder, Gift Tube or Favor Basket)

Save some Cash…Reuse your Trash!
With the rising environmental concerns on proper garbage management, most societies are serious in their campaign of encouraging recycling. We can help in countless simple ways starting with our loads of common household items. One thing we can start with is a tissue paper roll. There are a lot of projects you can create when the tissue is gone.

Cardboard tube is sturdy enough to hold various items so before throwing it away think again. I have some great ideas on how to reuse paper rolls. The possibilities are endless, you may even discover other ways as you go along.

Favour or gift baskets for any occasion

Cut the tissue roll in half to make two equal rings Trace one opening of the tube onto a paper cardboard to make a perfect fit when attached. Cut the circle out. Securely tape or glue on one of the ends of the roll. This will make a sturdy base for the basket.

Cover the outside of the tissue roll with any materials of your choice. You may use paper, fabric or natural woven material to simulate an original woven basket.

To make the handle, punch a hole close to the rim on each side making sure the holes are directly across from each other. Choose a twine, cotton rope, wired ribbon, raffia or woven pandan leaves. Insert both ends through the holes Simply knot the ends for a natural look or fold then hot glue beads or button to hide the lump.

Embellish your finished tissue roll basket with ribbons, flowers, buttons or charms.

Fill it with chocolates, candies, real quail eggs for Easter, potpourri or any cuties. Great for give aways.

Special Treat Holder or Gift Tube

Instead of buying expensive boxes to hold cutie gifts such as candies, chocolates, hankies, cute towels, ties and other accessories, why not create your own. The special gift tube that you will make will not only serve as a gift wrap but will soon double as a decorative storage once the goodies are consumed.

Shut one end with a circle cut out from a cardboard. Make the lid by circling around the opening of a jar or bottle onto a cardboard. Make sure that the circle is slightly wider than the end of the tissue roll. Cut a strip of bendable cardboard. Attach both ends of the strip to fit around the circle that you made earlier. If it’s way to wide, simply cut it out. Attach the ring vertically around the circle. You now have a lid for the tube.

Use decorative paper, fabrics and other embellishment on the finished item including the top . If you plan to put candies or chocolates, cover the inside of the tissue roll with foil otherwise leave it plain. More ornaments can be glued on the lid to come up with a more striking piece. The finished product is a pretty gift in itself.

For a simpler gift tube simply cover the roll with any material of choice. Fill it with goodies or insert a rolled hanky or mini towel and wrap with wrapping paper, tie the ends with a ribbon and attach a nice tag.

Earth Inspired

Embellished with natural birch wood flower, corrugated board, leather cord and brown woven mat.


The lid is made of corrugated board and decorated with shells. The top and bottom are secured with brown craft paper twine.

Choco Party

Secured with corrugated board and embellished with a party theme handmade cardstock. The cards are kontted using abaca cord.

Pretty in Blue

Wrapped in paper with fabric inspired flower design. Decorated with woven blue and yellow green mat. Topped with blue birch wood flower, blue faux decorative butterfly, pressed fern and mini paper flowers.

Laced Gift Tube
Decorated with pure white lace, peach lace on the lid and embellished the top with embroidered peach flowers and handmade cardstock bouquet and three glass beads.

Go Green

Decorated with green paper twine, green and gold ribbon on the rim and tin flower bouquet. The top is made of green corrugated board.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Recycled Upcycled Fun and Funky Orange Things

With themes of green politics, conservationism and climate change becoming increasingly popular, I commit in putting eco-friendly philosophies to practice, with jewelries, accessories and home decors made entirely or at least 90% of unwanted objects.

It is my personal goal and these featured shops to help change people’s minds and hearts to reconsider what is garbage and realize that anything seemed worthless could still be salvaged. Ephemeras that are normally discarded can be transformed into eco-friendly accessories with just a bit of imagination, creativity and a sense of fun.

Take a peek at these adorable items from fellow Etsians who have the same goal of promoting recycled, upcycled and handmade products.
These pretty hair accessories are hand-colored and molded from plastic otherwise destined for the landfill. Seagrapes, the creator of these fun hair clips gladly shares how she fell in love with recycling on her Etsy Bio. Visit her Blog as well and be entertained by her eco adventures.

The fabric used to come up with this truly one of a kind necklace came from a recycled vintage fabric from a tattered (and dry-cleaned) handmade 1960s dress. DesignbyCassandra shares in her profile that she is fond of upcycling ordinary things into something unexpected and 'quirky'. By the looks of her creations, wearing them will definitely make heads turn. ..great conversation starters.

This fun, Bright Colored Funky Bracelet was made from a recycled orange juice bottle. Yes and who would have thought you could come up with a bracelet that beautiful?

Kathy of ArtworkbyKD says "I've always been serious about recycling, reusing and cutting down on waste. I'm so happy to be able to join my art and love of recycling into lovely, funky jewelry! These pieces are an extension of me and my style. I hope you love them as much as I do!"

These recycled Orange Crush and Brisk cans take on a new form when topped with a light blue button! A sterling silver earring loop makes them comfortable for all ears.

BrooklynRecycling is a very new seller on Etsy. She does not have much items listed yet but the earrings up for grabs in her store are all punchy, funky and one of a kind.

This jumper dress is made from two different vintage fabrics which once adorned a window.

Samibop shares in her Etsy bio: "Since the wee '80s I have been recycling all sorts of fabrics to create something entirely different and fun."

Samibop's creations are super cute! perfect for your little ones. Your kids will definitely love Samibop's shorts, tops, pants, dresses and many more.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reviving My Blog with a Map Bowl Giveaway

This blog had been sitting idly for a while now. The last entry if you've noticed was in December of last year. The holidays, frequent traveling and tending our local orders got in the way. And in late April when I finally decided to open a shop in Etsy, I thought it would be a great help to explore all avenues to market my store. Most of my previous posts are actually step by step procedures on how I came up with my creations. I believe in the good karma of sharing. If they decide to buy my item, it feels good that somehow they know how it was made, giving a more personal touch to it.

My upcoming posts will still focus towards project tutorials but with added features about my Etsy finds and favorite shops. I have several lovely Etsians I would love to brag. I didn't feel I was new at all, the huge warm welcome was a big ego booster for me.

And to celebrate the final kick-off of this blog (final because I'm sure this will be busier than ever). I am glad to host a giveaway for my followers and readers. I love suggestions, comments, constructive or otherwise, I am good at monetizing negative feedbacks LOL. The winner will be picked at random to win the unique decoupaged bowl pictured below. The bowl is decoupaged with vintage maps of North America, South America and Europe. The winner will be posted June 30 Midnight. (All you need to do is Follow My Blog and leave a comment.)

My thoughts on Giveaways: Just like enrolling in college or university, I consider promotions, giveaway and free gifts as part and parcel of the "Tuition Fees" that I am paying when I decided to open my shop. We have to shell out, money or products in order for our business to move forward. I firmly believe that the best marketing strategy is still through word of mouth, crossing my fingers that the winner of any giveaway I host would love my item and in return Pay-it-Forward.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Vintage Book Pages Series: Décor and Accessories

Just a little background about the book I found. The play Martin Lehnhardt was written by Flaischlen, Cäsar (Stuttgart, 1864-1920, Gundelsheim/Neckar), Flaischlen wrote it in 1890 but the book I bought was published in 1919. The spine was torn and the pages were falling apart when I found it tucked in a stack of vintage books . The price was so cheap I couldn’t resist buying it and besides, I already loved it at first glance. The book is written in German and in MEDIEVAL GOTHIC…I loved everything about it, the antiqued/aged color, the font, the border and the cover…just Perfect!

I will be making all sorts of crafty items from this book but let’s start with bangles. All of my designs are handmade and as much as possible from recycled materials. I use different kinds of bangles and different materials for decoupage but we will be using plastic bangles and vintage book pages this time.

This bracelet has been coated in a sealer for shine and to make it water resistant. It is slightly waterproof so don’t go showering or swimming with it on. The bangle is 1.2” wide and measures 2 1/2" and fits med sized wrists.

This can be a great gift for a writer friend or anybody who loves books…books and books. Wear it to add zing to your wardrobe!

(The other bracelet is decoupaged with Papemelroti's Drama design.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Handmade Decoupage Bangles: My Atlas Collection

Looking for chic jewelry pieces to adorn your wrists or planning to give away one of a kind gifts to friends this holiday season? Why not whip up some recycled decoupaged bangles which are vintage, green, fun and one of a kind!

This collection ofAtlas Bangles is for travelers and for daydreamers too…who journey in their mind (why not?).These bangles are wearable souvenirs from your travels while you dream of places yet to be discovered.

I create my bangles by using designs on a plastic, lucite, resin or wood bangles with the decoupage technique. The bangles available are 1.2" wide and 2.5"across to fit the wrist - a basic bangle size which fits most med size wrists. I use generous coats of decoupage glue and seal them with several coats of clear gloss varnish for added shine and durability. (Waterproof but don’t go swimming with them) Each bangle is entirely different and yet very similar in comparison.

For this project I used chunky plastic bangles as base. The maps are from the Atlas section of a 1948 Encyclopedia The colors and fonts are absolutely fabulous- perfect for us who love vintage images.

I left some creases and seams noticeable because I wanted to lend a bit of 3D to the design. They simulate mountain peaks and waves and I love it. The surface of the bangles are smooth though, the creases are slightly sanded then covered with several coats of varnish making them look inlaid.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Decoupage Map Series: Décor and Accessories for Travelers and Geography Lovers

Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters.
They make anything seem possible.

-Mark Jenkins -

As Mark Jenkins puts it, maps indeed make anything seem possible. Maps tell us more than pointing directions and routes. Maps tour us around the world in minutes…beautiful visuals of seas and lands and countries near and far. Maps allow us to marvel about far-away lands we dream of traveling to. They too keep memories of distant places we’ve been.

Instead of keeping your maps in drawers, why not display them. The simplest would be to mount them on the walls but if you love crafting things like me, why not take it further and show-off your crafty side and make various map decor pieces and accessories which are unique, easy and impressive.

Different crafty things can be made using new or vintage maps. I have a stock of various vintage maps that are waiting to be used and I plan to show off finished pieces in a series. I decoupaged a box earlier with postage stamps and maps. I loved the result thus prompted me to create more.

First in our collection is the Decoupaged Map Wooden Hangers.

This is a great set of 3 wooden adult size clothes hangers. Each of these hangers measures 16 inches across the base and 4 1/2 inches tall including the hook. These hangers have swivel metal hooks and grip inserts on the top of each side to help prevent shirts from slipping off. They have been decoupaged with vintage maps on all sides (1948 map of Europe from an old Atlas I bought from BookSale).. Each one is fully glazed with a durable sumptuous glossy lacquer. The lacquer really brings out the color of the old maps beautifully. They would be great to hang outfits on or display.

Watch out for our Map Bangles. They’re still on the lacquering process.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fern Botanical Leaf Box - Classic Decoupage

(Decoupaged with leaf-themed wallpaper)

One of my previous posts discussed ideas of designing using pressed ferns and flowers. Plain items can be given life by adorning them with natural designs.

I press ferns and flowers myself so they come in handy when I need them. I use them in various projects big or small. Small fronds end up in glass pendants and other accessories. I mount ferns on handmade paper to serve as gift tags (lovely Christmas tree tags) .All just waiting to be attached to Christmas gifts come December.

Our DIY project today is to make a storage or gift box using decoupage technique.

(Real pressed ferns rest on a light green wall paper background)

We will be needing:

A square box (paper mache, wood or cardboard)
Wallpaper with leaf design
Pressed ferns
Decoupage Glue
Clear Gloss Varnish

First step is to decoupage the box with wall paper. Cover the entire sides bottom and lid with paper cut outs. Brush decoupage glue all over. Let dry.

Select the ferns to use. In this project, use six pieces, one for each side and two fronds on top. All you have to do is to stick the fern fronds to the surface using decoupage glue or spray adhesive.

Other botanical such as pressed flowers may be added but I chose to use all green for this project.

Once dried, lacquer over the whole thing to seal. Let dry

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Decoupage Memory Box with Postage Stamps and Maps

I started collecting stamps way back in third grade. Our class adviser at that time encouraged us to collect and keep stamps as a hobby.. She showed us beautifully handcrafted stamp albums with canceled stamps, some dated way back before the second world war. As a child who was fond of history and geography, I was fascinated by postage stamps from around the world. I even asked my friends and relatives abroad to collect stamps for me. So aside from the letters that I frequently received, I was also able to accumulate heaps of colorful stamps from around the world, foreign and domestic, in all shapes and sizes, colors and value. With all the canceled stamps that I collected and sorted, I was just contented on keeping them in an album. I really never figured out how else to use them. However, with the art of decoupage, I finally found a way to incorporate them in my craft projects. So along with my collection of paper flags and maps, I am now able to create wonderful pieces especially with a travel theme.

The project I’m sharing is quick, easy and with just minimal elements so if you have piles of stamps and you couldn’t quite figure out what to do with them ,you can start with a simple decoupage memory box It is both lightweight and inexpensive yet functional. This is a wonderful way too to display your stamps especially if they have really pretty motifs. You can gradually advance as you perfect your craft, from simple boxes, you can work with dressers, coffee tables, trays, chests and trunks. A decoupaged suitcase or traveling bag would be cool too.

Supplies Needed

Square cardboard box, wooden box or any box with a lid
A good craft decoupage glue (Elmer's Glue-all or any inexpensive clear glue)
Two brushes, one for the glue and one for the varnish or glaze
Postage stamps of your choice.
Maps of your choice
Clear gloss varnish or glaze
Clean damp rags, newspapers or manila paper

How To Stamp Decoupage

Work on the lid first. Brush decoupage mixture onto the surface of the box. Goop up the back of the stamp as well. Carefully adhere each stamp on the box. arranging it the way you wish. Smoothen out, making sure there are no air bubbles.. Apply one thin coat of glue to the surface of the finished design .Allow to dry. Apply now at least five coats of gloss varnish letting the coats to dry between each new addition of glaze. Set aside and work on the base half.

Sweep glue onto each surface of the bottom half of the box so that it is well-coated but not slathered. Begin attaching the map cut outs on all four sides Get rid of blobs and wrinkles by gently pressing your fingers from center toward ends Apply another light coat of glue and let dry Once the maps are well-set, then seal it with varnish making sure to dry in turn.
When you are satisfied with how the box turned out, you may choose to line it with felt, fabric, velvet, drawer liner or anything else you think would match your motif. This delightful decoupage memory box is apt to hold photos, stationery, or travel keepsakes like tickets and other mementos.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Create Recycled Bangles Using Fabrics, Quilt Patterns, Turkish Rug Patterns and Maps

If you are a recycling enthusiast who keeps scouting for brilliant crafty ideas, then this project is fit for you. Ever thought of incorporating fabrics into jewelry? In this case- Bangles The idea of crossing over is just cool. If you don’t have scrap fabrics available but have photos or patterns of quilts and rugs, they too can make great results. I included one item with a map design to create variety.

All we need are empty packing tape rolls or any kind of tape rolls. Any size will do but the chunkier the better. The motifs will be more visible if they are bigger. If I should have held on better with used packing tapes, then I could have more designs to share- oh well, a fine good reason to start saving those cardboard cores!

Supplies Needed

Spent Rolls of Tape (any kind as long as it fits your wrist)
Scissors/Cutter (or pinking shears if you prefer designed edges)
Decoupage Medium or Glue
Clear Gloss Varnish
Fabric Scraps, Quilt Pattern Cut-outs, Turkish Rug Pattern Cut-outs, Map Cut-outs
Sponge Brush/Paint Brush

How To

Fabric Bangles

Cut the fabric scraps into small squares or triangles. I prefer to work on all random red and pink scraps. As much as possible, try to look for thinner fabrics with finer motifs so that if you adhere them to your bangles, the prints would still be visible.

Apply decoupage glue to the surface of the spent tape roll then carefully layer the fabric squares. Make certain that the fabrics wrap around the edges and extend to the inside core covering the entire rim. Finish the inside of the bangle by painting it with any acrylic paint that matches your design. I used lilac for this project. Use as many coats depending on how smooth you would wish the interior to be. Once both sides are dry, paint with several coats of varnish for durability.

Faux Turkish Rug and Quilt Pattern Bangles

I’m a regular to bookshops that offer back issues of magazines and vintage books. I get magazines featuring all kinds of crafty things. Quilting patterns, gardening, wallpaper samples, rug patters and atlases are my favorite things to buy. Sometimes I get lucky finds of old worn out books. Lucky for me because I can use the pages in decoupage projects for a vintage look and feel. The hardbound covers are just as useful. I recycle them to make scrapbook, notebook covers. and recipe albums.

Two recycled bangles were decoupaged with designs from quilting and rug magazines. One with photos of Turkish rugs that I cut into small triangles. The other one I covered with earth toned quilting patterns. Finished, sealed and glazed with varnish.

Recycled Map Bangle

Decoupaged with a map of Luzon, Philippines. A great idea of making a totally green souvenir from a place you dearly love. Buy a map and show off a place you visited in one charming decoupaged map bracelet.

Adorn your wrist with these recycled bangles…simple yet punchy at the same time!

Other Products: