DIY projects

Planning for a birthday party at home

Last week we had our son’s 4th birthday and we had arranged a party at home. Being a crafter, this is the time of the year I look forward for the most. If there is one thing I love most about having a birthday at home, it is decorating the home for the party. Having done the birthday decoration for my son’s birthdays over the last 4 years, I have realized how easy it is to arrange for the party and decoration if one plans well in advance. Being a working mom, I start planning at least 2 months in advance  so that we have enough time for shopping. Also, I do the decoration on my own so that the expenses are well within budget.

Here is a typical list of shopping items that would help you in planning for the party:

  1. Dresses for the birthday kid – Since a lot of people at the party will be holding, playing and lifting the birthday kid, it is good to have at least two pairs of dresses so that you can change once the dress gets dirty.
  2. Return gifts for kids – I take utmost care in choosing the return gifts for the kids. Ceramic/plastic mugs or stationary are definitely not on my list of return gifts. Over the  last 4 years, i have realized that kids love puzzles . Also, puzzles come in a lot of varieties catering to different age groups. So, one can never go wrong with puzzles as return gifts for any age group.
  3. Disposable cake plates, water cups and tissues/napkins – this is a no brainer and needs no explanation.
  4. Party Decoration supplies– The must have items for any birthday party are balloons, birthday banner, non adhesive flagging tape / plastic ribbons. You can make wonders with just these 3  items. Make sure you buy them in complementing colors.  Apart from the above, you will also need facemasks, birthday caps and party blowers for the guests and kids.
  5. Cake- Order the cake one week in advance. Before ordering cake from a baker, make sure you have tasted a few cakes or pastries from the bakes to be sure of the taste and quality. Also, it is good to ask the bakes to show you some pictures of the cakes they have made for orders which will give you an idea of how well the bakers decorate the cake.
  6. Garbage bags– A house party will generate a lot of thrash both recyclable and non recyclable. Make sure you have arranged for waste segregation and disposal of both the kinds of waste.

Apart from the above list, there is one more important list which is the guest list. Make sure you have a proper count of the adults and kids in the guest list. It is also good to invite the guests 3 to 4 days in advance so that they can plan to attend your party. If you wish to have lunch/dinner for the party, have a list of the items in the menu.

Arranging a party at home can be very stressful because you will be taking care of many things at the same time. Having lists for different purposes will be very helpful so that you can plan and keep track of the arrangements without forgetting anything.

To keep the expenses low, it is better to purchase supplies in bulk from a wholesale dealer. I usually buy all the decoration supplies and return gifts from the wholesale dealers in Chikpet and Avenue road in Bangalore. Check if you have any such area in your town/city where you can make bulk purchases at wholesale price.

How do you usually plan birthday parties at home?  Is there anything else you would like to add to my list here? Do let me know 🙂

Converting a waste mobile box to a Keepsake box

Ever since I have started quilling, I have been learning many other crafts. Most of the new forms of crafts I have tried have been with respect to recycling stuff.  With all the issues with garbage we are facing in Bangalore and the ever growing emphasis on recycling waste, I have decided to do my share of the job. It has almost become a habit for me to carefully preserve any kind of boxes and packing material for upcycling. I have almost filled one whole cupboard with paper cuttings, cardboards, small carton boxes, packing material, bubble wraps and whatever I feel could be reused.

After newspaper weaving and cardmaking with invitation cards, I tried my hand at decoupage.I tried converting a empty box of my Nexus phone into a cute keepsake box . I was more than glad with the outcome-  Not very bad for a first trial.

  • I used two patterns of  scrapbook paper which I had bought from Itsy Bitsy and the metallic acrylic paints to get the antique/gold tinted look on the box.
  • The reddish or rusty tint in the edges of the box is achieved by dabbing and smudging some metallic paint in the colour rust.
  • I applied a thin coat of metallic gold acrylic paint on the paper to get that extra elegance.
  • For the lace/border, I used a MS punch which I had received as a prize from Lulupu.
  • I made the tiny white flowers using the small floral punch.IMG_20150927_102545IMG_20150927_102456IMG_20150927_102342IMG_20150927_102321IMG_20150927_102245IMG_20150927_102150IMG_20150927_102126IMG_20150927_102057

It was fun working on this project.  My first trial has yielded beautiful results and has motivated me to make more of such upcycling projects with decoupage. Decoupage is one such craft which does not require great skills. All you need is some pattern paper and modpodge and you are all set to go. So, why wait?  Wear your crafty hats and start transforming boring stuff into interesting masterpieces.

Happy crafting!


DIY fiesta: Making Clay Ganesha

The months of August and September have always been my favorite… That is the time when we see the dry lands turn into green pastures. The weather is pleasant with mild showers and cool breeze. The sun is not too hot and there is greenery everywhere.

These months usually coincide with the Shraavana masa of the Hindu calendar which brings with it festive season. The first major festival we celebrate in our household  is the Varamahalakshmi Vrata which falls on the 2nd Friday of the Shraavana masa. The next big one being the Ganesh Chaturthi which falls in the month of Bhadrapada.

What I love the most about this festival is the way the neighborhood comes together to plan and celebrate it as a social festival. From our childhood, it has been a tradition in our home to get the Ganesha idol and offer Pooja. The same tradition has continued even after I got married and moved in with my husband.

We have always made sure we bought the eco-friendly clay idols with no paints. Same would have been the case this year aswell. But having bitten by the DIY bug of late, I proposed that we make the idol by ourselves this year. Though I had no experience working with the clay earlier, I was totally determined to make the idol. My mom and husband had some experience in making clay toys in their childhood. So, they readily agreed to my proposal.

The preparations began about a week before the festival.  We happened to visit my mom’s home town from where we got a bag of clay from a pond while returning to Bangalore.  We also collected some soil from roadside. The first thing we did was to powder the soil cakes which we got from the roadside and sieve it to separate the dirt. We mixed the filtered soil with water to get the right consistency of the clay. The clay we got from the pond was already wet and we mixed both the clay types.

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We then made multiple balls of clay with varying sizes for the stomach, head, trunk, hands, legs and crown. We started putting together the parts to get a vague form of the idol. As we worked to get each part in shape the idol took better shape. We tried to add all the minute details to the idol.. The eyes, the fingers, laddoos in the lords hand, the mouse and even the pleats and frill on the lords dress… We had defined them all. Mom inserted two pepper corns to mark the eyeballs and gosh, it looked as if the idol had come to life.

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It was time to decorate the idol with jewelry. All the types of rhinestones and ball chains that I had purchased for my handmade jewelry came handy in decorating the idol. I had a spare quilled stud that I had made while attempting to make a pair of earrings for an order. It fit so well in the center of the idols crown. It looked as if the stud was made for the crown. It took about 5 hrs to completely get the idol ready from scratch.. The idol looked so magnificent… I will leave it to you to praise the beauty of the idol..

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Our success in making the idol has made us more determined to make our own idol each year going forward. Do let me know how you like our Ganapathi Bappa And don’t forget to like the post to show your appreciation..

Tutorial: Cardboard frame

Hello friends..

Of late, I have realized the need to protect the delicate quilled structures I make in a shadow box or a picture frame. On enquiring in some local shops, I learnt that they charge around Rs 250 for a medium size frame. Also, the readily available frames in market lack the required depth and are more suitable for only photos. Since I was not willing to spend so much on the frames, I started goggling for some DIY frame ideas. I found many tutorials with different templates and  here is one of the tutorials which I liked. I made some modifications as per my requirements and have come up with my  own way of making the frame. I am glad to share the tutorial for making the frame.

In this tutorial, I will show two types of frames which can be made using card stock.

Materials required:

  • Card stock  paper. At lease 160 gsm
  • Metal ruler
  • Scissor and crafts knife
  • Adhesive

The below measurements are for a frame with outer dimension of 21×14 cm, the inner portion of the frame measures 17x10cm, the border is 2 cm wide  and the frame has a depth of 1 cm.

Step 1: Measurements for sides of the frame

Measure and cut the card stock as per the below template. We need two cuttings  each for the short and long beedings of the frame.

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Once you have marked the card stock, score it using a blunt edged knife before folding it so that you get smooth edges.


Step 2: Gluing the sides together to get the beeding

Apply fevicol / white  as shown below and stick the edges together to get the outer beeding ready.

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Step 3: Frame with no border inside 

This is a simpler and easier version of the frame. It has no border inside the beeding. So, the whole area in the frame can be used for display.


Cut the card stock with measurements same as the external dimension of the frame ( 21 x 14cm in this case) .Place it between the open flaps of the beeding and stick the flaps to hold the card in place. This makes the background of the frame.


Place some weight evenly across the frame so that the flaps are held in place till the glue dries up completely. Below is what you get on turning the frame upside-down.


Step 4:Frame with internal border and contrast background

Follow this step to get a frame with an internal border and a contrast background. This kind of frames are more appealing and can highlight the craft better than the frame shown above.

Use the same colored card stock that is used to make the beeding and cut a border with outer dimension measuring same as the outer dimensions of the beeding. (21x14cm in this case) . The inner dimensions of the border should be 2 cm less than the inner dimension of the beeding so that we get a 1 cm wide border inside the frame. ( In this case, the inner dimension of the border is (15x8cm).

Also, cut a card stock in contrasting color with 21x14cm which will be used as background.


Place the border first and then the background card within the flaps of the beeding and stick the flaps with glue to hold the border and background card in place.


Below is what you get on turning the frame upside-down.


Now you can make your own frames to display your crafts.


Upcycled with Quilling: Wooden Mystery Gift Box..

Hello all..

Here is a up-cycled wooden box  which I made using quilling technique. I had a wooden box lying at home from many days. it had some prints on its sides and It was looking very dull and awkward. I couldn’t use it for display as it had no aesthetic appeal. I converted it into a beautiful mystery box by embellishing it with some mixed media:  quilled designs, glittery paper (brown), sequins and beads . This makes a wonderful birthday present.

As I say birthday, how can I forget to mention that  Lulupu- The Craft Longue has turned 3 this month. I wish you a very happy birthday Lulupu.

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This is my entry for the Indian Quilling Challenge #14   Beyond Grey Challenge #66 and  Lulupu challenge #47.

Techniques: Quilling and upcycling.
Materials: I used a old wooden box, brown glittery paper from an old invitation ( to cover the sides and the top center portion of the box), The acetate stiff which comes along with a new shirts collar ( used it to make the flowers and butterfly pop out as the box is opened)
Embellishments: glittery sequins, quilled swirls, flowers
Shapes: Square/Cube
Twist 3: I have used flowers in triplets to emphasize the number 3.
Colors: I used the pastel colors which are so soothing and mild on eyes.
Mood board: I have scripted the word “life” using quillography to depict that Life is a mystery box which never fails to amuse us as it unfolds.

DIY: Maple Leaves Wall Decal

Hello friends…

Here is something new and different from the regular quilling projects I am posting on my blog. I have been thinking about diversifying the content of this blog for some time and here comes the first post in the new category “DIY Projects”.

I have always fancied having a beautiful wall decal on the plain wall in my room. That was the time when I had just ventured into online shopping for household needs. ( I always like to handpick the items from local shops).  I browsed through numerous online stores like amazon, fabfurnish, jabong and lot more for some wall decals. The more I explored , the more I felt that the shops were charging a bomb for the stuff. Even a simple wall decal costed not less that Rs 500. The ones I fancied to buy costed somewhere form INR 1500 to INR 2500. Staying in a rented house, I did not want to spend so much on the decals. I also learnt that the wall decals are actually stickers which stick to the wall and would peel off the paint when tried to remove. I was no sure if my house owner would be happy with such a thing sticking on the wall. This was one more reason which kept me from buying the wall decal stickers.

I had some handmade paper in assorted colors lying in my wardrobe from quite a few months. I had bought them when I had visited the local market  ( Chickpet ) in Bangalore. The beautiful colors and the cheap cost had made me instantly pick them from the shop though at that time I did not know what I will be doing with that paper.


Determined to do something on the plane wall, I took out the handmade paper  and starting working on it. I cutout multiple maple leaves using the brown, orange and red paper. I used dark green paper for the the branches. I cut the branch in multiple segments which I stuck together to get the final look.  I arranged all the cutouts on the floor to  check how the  final look would be. Since the leaves in red, orange and brown all indicated falling or old leaves the total picture was giving me  a negative feel. So I added a hint of regrowth  with green maple leaves. The few green leaves that I added to the final arrangements brought  a new feel to the picture.


I used a tape with adhesive on both sides to stick the paper to the wall. I had to prepare the wall by cleaning it with a damp cloth to remove any dust or loose paint particles. Once the wall was dry again, I put together the branch first and later added the leaves . In no time, I had a beautiful wall decal in front of me. I totally loved the final outcome.  Since I had used only a small amount of adhesive tape to stick the leaves, the paper leaves curled at various angles to give a 3D effect  on the wall.

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The bright colors on  the wall brought a fresh look to the room. The handmade paper had added a texture of real leaves to the cuttings. A plain paper would never have resulted in this look.

Do let me know how you like the decal. To get regular updates on more DIY projects, follow the potpourri blog by clicking the follow button on the top left corner.