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...