How-to Project – Very Simple Handbag From Slacks

I had a pair of lovely slacks that sadly got some bleach stains at the top, so I decided to create things with them.

The first thing is a small messenger-style bag that I can use for casual and more dressy occasions.  The crease down the middle gives it a more structured look while the lace ribbon gives it a more feminine touch.

1 – Decided how long/deep you would like the bag and cut across one of the pant legs.  If the bottom has a cuff, cut that off as well and set it aside.

2 – Turn it inside out so the seams are showing and set it aside.

3 – Now you can prepare the handles.  For short handles, use the cuff by snipping through the loop once.  For longer handles, you can either use a long strip of fabric from the pants or any other fabric that you think will match.  fold it over lengthwise and sew along one side, making a tube.  Turn it inside out and set aside.

4 – With the main fabric, sew along the bottom as well as a diagonal on both sides. Turn it inside out.  Fold the top edge in and sew all around to give it a more finished look.  If the stitching is a little crooked, don’t worry!  That’s what the ribbon can hide.  * If you would like to add decorative lining, sew a tube from that fabric and attach it to the bag in this step, before sewing along the bottom.  Rememeber to keep the fabric pattern facing outward when sewing it to the bag, so when you turn it inside out, you can still see the pretty pattern.

5 – Now take the fabric for the handles and put one end inside the bag (at least 3cm) and sew it to the side. Repeat the step for the other side.

* Sew the ribbon to the top along the seam……. and you’re done.

Origami How To: Traditional Japanese Crane

I love origami and have been making different models since I was a kid. Even for a family member’s wedding, I managed to make the 1001 “good luck” cranes (with help of course).

Here’s a fairly quick step-by-step guide to make your own crane:

First, begin with a perfect square of any paper. *For beginners, try not to use tissue or cardboard paper, as it will make it difficult to fold properly if you are not used to it.

How to make an Origami Crane

Fold in half diagonally to make a triangle (flatten the crease).

Take the right corner and fold it over to the opposite corner (flatten the crease).

Taking that same corner, fold it back to the right corner (flatten the crease).

Fold it back (flatten the crease).

Open the newly creased section.

Fold down the corner (flatten the crease).

Flip to the other side.

Fold down the right corner to the bottom corner (flatten the crease).

Open and fold down like the first side (flatten the crease).

With the opening facing down, take the bottom right side and fold along the middle crease.

Repeat on the other side.

Flip over and repeat on the other side (flatten the crease).

Unfold the two sides.

Open by pulling up the bottom (middle) corner.

Along the side creases, fold the sides in.

Repeat on all sides.

Fold back and flatten the top corner, making sure the corners are sharp.

At this point, you should have two “legs”.

Fold the sides to the middle to make the “legs” thinner.

Repeat on the other side, making sure the creases are crisp.

Try to keep the points as clean and crisp as possible.

Now, take one flap and fold it to the left (there should be three flaps there now). Flip over and take a flap and fold it to the left to even it out (two flaps on each side).

This is meant to “hide” or secure the newly folded edges.

Take the bottom tip and fold it up as far as it can go. Crease and flip it over to repeat.

Just as before, take one flap and fold it to the left, flip over and fold the other flap to the left (to have two flaps on each side).

From here, take the two points between the flaps and pull them out a little, so they stick out. They will be the head and tail of the crane.

Now, between the two flaps on either side, fold one of the points down to make the head of the crane.

To open it up nicely, hold the wings and slowly pull them out and gently push the bottom portion in. If you would like to make the body a little rounder, blow into the hole in the bottom. This will puff up the body (top middle portion) of the crane.

Completed crane:

Sticker Puzzles

I was looking to make something fun for my children (for my class!) and wanted something different from the usual things available, so I decided to make a puzzle…….but not just any puzzle -a fun sticker puzzle.

Here’s one made out of a lovely mosaic picture from my students last year (I love how they put the glasses in too):

Here’s another example of a photo from when I was playing around at Tokyo Disney Sea:

and another example where you can find your favorite art work online and convert it to a puzzle:

This can be a great gift as well. All you have to do is print it on some sticker paper, cut out the puzzle shapes and give them to someone as a fun gift.
Not only will they be surprised from getting a custom made puzzle from you, but they’ll love the fact that they’re stickers as well!

Use them for scrapbooks, cards, gift decorations, embellishments and more!

Simple Chiyogami Butterflies

Here is a simple tutorial to make butterflies.

I’ve used chiyogami and washi tissue, but any paper will do, as long as you have complimentary colours or a very nice contrast.

Here is the basic outline of the butterfly wings:

First, draw this shape on stiff cardboard to make your own template.

Then, outline the template on the back of any decorative paper you chose and cut it out.
***Make sure not to cut out two of the same side! Flip the template so they are opposing shapes.***

Finally, take the cut out wings and stick them on a fine tissue or any lighter material then cut around the wing shape, but larger than the originals to create an outline.


When you’re done, hang them in the window, stick them to cards or book covers, create puppets by sticking them to popcicle sticks, or even try to do the same thing with fabric!