Friday, 9 December 2011

Do-It-Yourself..."A beautiful Vase"...

Here I am with… yet another creation of mine…’A vase- made from egg cartons’…!! Simple but interesting…!!

So let’s get started…

Take any type of container which will work as a very good base for the vase. It can be anything...which you feel is a waste. I had an empty ‘Pringle’ chips container which I thought was good enough for the base. I could not take out the sticker from the container so painted it with white acrylic paint. You can paint it with any colour you want. Let free your mind here…!! Go with any colour- light, dark, bold…any…J Apply around 2-3 coats.
Scared of bright & bold colours? Then go through my very first blog…!!

I have taken this type of carton. 

The top portion or the cover of the carton will have 2 cones (top cones) whereas the bottom portion will have 6 cones (bottom cones).

Cut the bottom tray into proper cones.

After cutting & trimming the cones will look like these.

Now cut & trim the top portion of the carton into these cones.

Now you need to make the petals of the flower. Take the bottom cone and slit it into 5 equal portions. 

Trim the top part of each portion giving it a petal shape. Repeat the same with the top cones except that the slit should not run down till the center.

What you need to do now is…take 2 bottom cones and 1 top cone and glue them at their centers as shown below.

Now start decorating these flowers using your own creative ideas. I wanted to keep it very simple. Since Christmas is round the corner so I thought of giving it a silvery touch. The edges of the flowers were touched up with silver glue. A small round mirror at the center of each flower is the perfect icing on the cake. 

After gluing all the flowers on the container, I was left with some space at the top. This space was just not enough for another round of flowers…So thought of winding a natural rope and ending it with a bow. In Hindi we call it rassi. It’s brown in colour. I searched the whole house but just could not find one. It is then that I chanced upon a match box which was simply there in my kitchen from many months. So I used these match sticks for filling up the space. Hope the idea clicked…!!

There are end numbers of ways to decorate your vase. You can have colourful flowers while keeping the base colour simple. But you need to paint them before gluing the cones. Instead of mirrors at the center put some colourful glue. If you have any ideas of your own please do share with me!

This vase stands proudly on my dining table now…!!

Hope you had fun going through this activity…J So next time think twice before throwing away the egg cartons…!

Will be back with something new very soon. JJ   

Friday, 18 November 2011

WREATH...made from old magazine pages...!! is an interesting wreath that you can make straight from your home...Sounds interesting right...!!

First and foremost, go and search for a bundle of old magazines hidden somewhere in your cupboard. And before you rip it from its spine, please take a moment of thanks..."Thank you book for all your service" so that you don't feel guilty when you rip it apart...:)

So lets get started...You will need:
1) 2 to 3 magazines
2) Stapler
3) Glue
4) 10" x 10" hard cardboard
5} Strong string
6) Small & light decorative balls
7) Cello-tape

First, rip the book apart at the spine. Once you have open up the spine of the book take the pages out section by section and cut the edges straight. Take a page, put your hand in the corner, roll up the edge and its like a cone...!! Stick the other edge with cello-tape. It takes a little bit of practice...Be patient...!!

Make about a billion of these. OK do not panic. About 120.

Staple each cone 2" above the tip making sure the point of the cone is centered.

On your cardboard draw 2 circles- An 8 inch circle and a 4 inch circle with a thick dot in the middle. Draw them towards the bottom of the cardboard to make hanging it easier. 2 holes will be made at the top of the cardboard to hang it.

Fill the entire 8 inch circle with cones gluing the staple to the line. This staple pin works as a reference point for you. Add a second circle gluing the cones to the inner circle. Again taking the staple pin as the reference point glue it to the second inner line. Add a third circle to the center dot and press it all down.

Once you have finished gluing all the cones on the cardboard, you need to create a center piece or a focal point of the entire wreath. You can put some sparkling ornaments, natural potpourri or Christmas decorative balls...anything....!! Glue them in the center and make sure there is a mount in the middle. Here I have taken small plastic balls, put glue all over and sprinkled glitter powder. My decorative balls are ready.

Make 2 holes at the top of the cardboard and put the little string through them to make a loop.

Put it on a nail on the wall...and you have...a truly lovely WREATH...!!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Empty "water & cold drink" plastic bottles...USED...!!

How I came up with this idea? Here is the story...

I have a habit of storing things which are meant to be thrown away after their the egg cartons, coconut shells, cold drink & water bottles, silver foil and the list goes on...!! I guess I got this habit from my father.
One day I was looking at this ever increasing trash of mine and decided to get rid of the water & cold drink plastic bottles. While stuffing the bottles to dispose them, an idea struck! Why not make some colourful flowers & a vase out of these??  

First, I studied all the bottles and what followed this is as below:

Soak all bottles in soap water overnight. Removing the stickers and the glue will be much easier by doing this. Next morning remove the stickers and wash them thoroughly. Let the bottles dry.  

Starting with the vase now…!! I prefer the sprite bottle for its green colour but you can take a big bottle of any colour. Now cut 1/4th of the bottle from top. To be more precise you can cut the bottle from top from where the sticker starts.

Wrap a measuring tape around the bottle. Now mark and cut evenly spaced (will be approximately 1 inch) strips down from the top of the bottle about 3 inches long. We need thin strips so divide each strip into 3 equal parts and again cut it down from the top of the bottle about 3 inches long. Repeat this with all the other strips as well so as to get thin even strips all the way round the bottle.

Now carefully bend the strips outward making a level edge on the top of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down and press it against a flat surface to make sure the rim is even.

Now weave (bend outward and crease) one strip over the one next to it and then under the following two so that its tip is at the base of the third strip.

Continue weaving the strips in the same pattern. Once you are done with the weaving, place some pebbles or stones inside the bottle to weigh it so that it doesn't fall over. Your vase is ready..!!

Now the flowers…Cut the bottom most part of the bottles. Colour them with oil or acrylic paints. After the paint dries cut each into five or 6 equal parts. Plastic turns into irregular shapes when it is burnt.

So burn the edges of each part such that you get the shape of a petal. A small tip here- To get the petal shape burn the extreme left and right sides of each part a little more.
Warning- Cover your mouth and nose while burning the plastic bottles. The gases eliminating while burning are harmful for health. 

Now use your creative ideas to beautify the flowers. You can use small mirrors, sequences or kundan.  Here I have used sparkle glue. Do not do anything in the center because the stem has to be inserted here.

Take an iron rod, heat it and insert it at the center to make a very small hole. Insert the broom stick immediately through the hole. You should be very quick while doing this. The stick should be inserted when the plastic surrounding the hole is still hot so that it sticks with the broom stick.

The broom stick should be a thick and strong one because it has to take the weight of the flower. You can colour the stick or keep it raw and simple. Now you can put sparkle glue or sequences in the center of the flower so that the stick which is peeping from the hole gets hidden.
Once the glue dries up, arrange the flowers in the vase...

This was my first attempt with the plastic bottles. Will be back with some more creations soon…!!


Friday, 7 October 2011

"Home is it ever so humble..."

    I was born and brought up in Allahabad which is in Uttar Pradesh. But my parents are from Karnataka. After my schooling, I came down south for my graduation & higher studies.  Uttar Pradesh is a colourful state famous for its rich heritage of art & craft. Whereas Karnataka is a land with abounding scenic beauty & charm and also well known for its lovely garden cities, ornate temples & historical monuments. So I think I’ve got a bit of both the states in me…!!
There were some conditions put down by the owner before I moved into this beautiful & spacious rented apartment in Bangalore. One of the conditions was that I was not supposed to mess up with the walls. At first, it made me a bit disappointed. But then when I looked from the owner’s perspective, I felt that he was absolutely justified. It’s natural…Every owner has a kind of possessiveness over his/her house and issue conditions to see that their property is well guarded. I respected the owner’s possessiveness and assured him that I would take proper care of his apartment. I decided to decorate this apartment with the available space.
Since the apartment was on rent, my mother and a few friends discouraged me from designing and decorating this place on practical basis. But how could I just live in this beautiful apartment without doing anything, that too being an interior designer!! I wanted to make this apartment “a beautiful, colourful, warm & a humble home” to live in…
I, personally never wanted my home to have a very contemporary look or a “Do Not Touch” feeling. It’s not that I do not like modern or contemporary designs, but I must admit that I have a soft spot for earthy, rustic look with a little bit of traditional touch to it.

Entrance- I bought these mud pots from pottery town. The irregular shape of these pots caught my eyes. The corns (actually I do not know the name of these) which are hanging from the neck of the pots were given to me by my sister. She got these from a park and asked me to do something with the same. I gave it a thought and decided to tie the corns to the neck of the pots. Hope the idea worked…!!

Living room- I like red colour and the same dominates in my living room. Red brightens and energizes a room. 

Since the apartment had an open living & dining space, I wanted to give the dining space its own privacy. So, I bought this wooden partition screen from an old antique shop in Commercial Street. I liked its unique, unusual cuts & carvings. I also bought the old beautiful Victorian wall clock hung right above the door from the same shop. 

While buying wood from the bamboo bazaar for the sofa and dining benches, I came across some beautiful yellowish green long bamboos in a shop. Not knowing what to do with them, I bought these also and asked them to cut into different lengths. Once home, I thought of the different options which could display the beauty of these raw bamboos beautifully. Finally it struck…!! I remembered the big black pot which I had bought along with the irregular shaped pots. First I cleaned the bamboos and the pot thoroughly and then varnished them. Varnish acts as a protective layer and increases the beauty of the wood also. After the varnish dried up, I placed the bamboos systematically inside the pot to avoid the pot from toppling over. 

This is one of my favorite and coziest spaces. I usually prefer a living room which has a formal as well as an informal seating arrangement. Most of my friends love to sit on this and chat hours together.

The bed spread was bought from a charity exhibition. It’s a beautiful piece made by physically challenged people…!! 

Pottery town has some amazing pottery works. I just loved the funny & cute faces on these…


View of dining from living room…

There is a shop in Infantry road which has some stunning collection of antique furniture. It also deals with Kashmiri home d├ęcor products. I bought this table from here. The shopkeeper told me that it was not a dining table and just a wooden creation for display. But, I was very much impressed with the brass work on it & off-course the design too and did not want to lose it at any cost. I placed a beveled edged clear glass top and converted it into a dining table. I asked my carpenter to make 2 benches matching with the table design which turned out to be cost effective and beautiful too.


This table has a unique foot rest too which is so very comfortable…

 Nothing can beat the beauty & simplicity of natural flowers…!!

 There's still lots to do...