How to Create a Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Picnic at Home

As mentioned in my previous post about hanami (complete with origami cherry blossom tutorial), I wanted to recreate a cherry blossom viewing picnic scene that’s very common in Japan right now.

Japanese washi - cherry blossom

I decided to use a variety of cute sakura kirigami/origami to create a peaceful hanami atmosphere, then I added some common hanami staples like a cute plastic ground sheet (used as a tablecloth), cherry blossom chopsticks, onigiri (rice balls), noodles, grilled fish, sweet snacks, and the last but not least, beer and wine.

Japanese bento - cherry blossom picnic

Japanese bento decorations


Japanese bento deocrations - takuan


Japanese hanami picnic spread

To stay on theme, I also used my felt cherry blossom coasters, kirigami cutout sakura placemats, sakura printed placemats, and a couple of mizuhiki sakura that I made a few years ago.

Cherry blossom coasters


Cherry blossom toothpick holder


Japanese mizuhiki cords - cherry blossom


Kirigami cherry blossom

Please let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear suggestions for future picnic setups!


How to Make a Giant Felt Strawberry

I previously posted a felt project that I’m working on. It’s a special gift and I hope it works out.

I had quite a few people ask me how I made the felt strawberry shown in the post. The ones I’m currently making are more or less real strawberry sizes, but for this tutorial, I will show you how to make big strawberries!

Giant Strawberry

You will need:

Giant felt strawberry materials

  • 1 large piece of red felt
  • 1 medium piece of green felt
  • Embroidery needle
  • 2-3 skeins red and green embroidery floss (you may need more for extra large strawberries)
  • 1 skein mint or yellow embroidery floss (you can also use red, black or cream floss)
  • A generous amount of toy/pillow stuffing

How to Make the Felt Strawberries

Start off with a large piece of red felt (the bigger your piece of felt, the bigger your strawberry will be). Next, you need to cut out a shape like this:

felt strawberry 01

Now take your green felt and cut out a shape like this:

felt strawberry top

Cut out the pieces and set the green piece aside. Take your mint/yellow embroidery floss and thread it through the needle.  Sew on the achenes (these are the seed-looking things on the outer part of strawberries)  in a random pattern.

felt strawberry

Fold over the red felt, so the inside is facing out. Sew along the seam, leaving the top open.

felt strawberry

Sew a running stitch along the top edge of the strawberry, making sure to only use one thread (you’ll have to pull it taut in a moment). Do not tie it off, just leave it loose with the needle still attached.

felt strawberry

Stuff the strawberry until you get a desired plumpness and pull the thread taut. You should stuff it until you’re still able to pull the top parts shut.

felt strawberry

Place your green cutout on top and secure it with a blanket stitch.

felt strawberry

There you go!  A simple giant felt strawberry!

If you would like me to show off your felt creations, please send me a message here.



Origami Sakura to Celebrate Spring

If you are living in Canada like me, chances are you feel like Spring will never ever arrive, but I still have hope for Mother Nature!

In Japan, hanami (cheery blossom viewing) season  will soon begin and I still miss it very much. In an attempt to make our home feel a little more like hanami, I decided to make a bunch of mini origami sakura from small origami paper and my stash of Japanese washi/chiyogami.

If you would like to make these adorable origami sakura for a fun Spring craft, check out the diagram below, or check out the Origami Club animated instructions here:


Courtesy of

You can arrange these sakura blossoms on cards, canvases, hang them up, dress up mirrors/windows, create jewelry -anything you can think of!

Check back soon to see what I did with my mini sakura origami.  I hope you love it!

How to Make Envelopes from Heart Shapes

Heart Envelope

I love all kinds of crafts. Normally, I love to try intricate and difficult craft projects, but most days, I just feel like making something quick and easy.

For those of you wanting to recycle magazines or scraps of paper, here’s a sweet and easy envelope that you can make out of a heart shape.

You will need:

  • Scrap paper (magazines, newspapers, gift wrapping…)
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Double-sided tape or glue stick


How to Make It

Start with your piece of paper. Any size will work, but just remember that the bigger your piece, the bigger the envelope.

Heart Envelope 01

Fold the paper in half lengthwise.

Heart Envelope 02

Draw half a heart shape from the folded edge (the folded edge should be the middle of the heart). Cut it out.

Heart Envelope 03

Open it up.

Heart Envelope 04

Flip it upside down and fold in the sides (about one quarter in).

Heart Envelope 05

Fold the bottom end up (about one third). Secure the sides with double-sided tape or glue.

Heart Envelope 06

Fold the top third down.

Heart Envelope 07

There you are, quick and easy envelopes with a cute sweetheart design when the envelope is opened up.

Make them from excess wrapping paper to match gifts, use up interesting pamphlets, flyers and magazines or decorate some plain scrap paper for a more personal touch.

A New Project Using Felt

I’m excited about a project that I started working on. I have a special little girl who will have her first Birthday this summer and I would love to give her something special. I’ll post photos from start to finish, but just to give you a sneak peek, here’s a photo of one finished piece:


Handmade Felt Strawberry

Handmade Felt Strawberry

I know it has a couple of unpolished edges, but it was my first one and I’m pretty happy with it so far. If you have any suggestions to make it better, please let me know!

Holiday Decorations for Under $5 – Hanging Yarn Wreaths

My Christmas budget is quite small this year, so I decided to get creative for home decorations. I looked around the house to see what kind of materials I had on hand and managed to gather a few empty cardboard boxes and old yarn. This is what I ended up making:

Yarn WreathAll I did was secure a thin bamboo stick with some thumb tacks and placed the wreaths on it. This makes them easy to move around until I’m happy with the way it looks.

Yarn Wreath

Each hanging wreath was cut out of an empty cardboard box and then covered with yarn. All I did was secure the end of the yarn with a knot and wrapped the wreath until it was tightly covered.

Yarn wreath

These lovely little bells are from my old Christmas decoration stash, so I decided to use them in this arrangement instead. I only looped them on the top of the wreath so that I have the option to take them off or swap decorations without fuss.

Yarn wreath

Here is a closeup of the lettering. The word ‘Noel’ is also cut out from an empty tissue box, then wrapped up with yarn. They may look a bit imperfect, but it’s my handwriting, so I think it looks more authentic *^_^*

Yarn wreathIf you have any fun holiday decorations that you would like to share, please send me a message or comment below!  You can also get more ideas from my Pinterest page!