Crafts | What Else Michelle

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Quick Crafts For My Home Office

IMG_4768My home office is still a work in progress and I’m still not ready for a final reveal. There are still a lot of unfinished details which I will post as soon as I get them done. So far, here is a couple of quick projects that I did weeks ago.

Washi tapes are great for adding pops of color in your personal space so I decided to use some of my old stuff for this makeshift holder. I have this shallow vase that I bought from Uniwide for P30. It would have been a perfect planter for succulents but I’m not yet ready for a live one so I used it to “grow” wash tapes instead.

I simply used a small piece of styrofoam to hold my driftwoods, cover it with decorative stones and added a bit of plastic grass. And because I don’t have any more tapes to display and two sticks simply look weird, I stuck an old paint brush upside down as a signage! Haha!IMG_4747And here is my burlap-wrapped cork boards. I painted the middle cork board with the same yellow I used on my office walls and glued a sisal rope around the edges. To attach the round boards on the wall, I simply used some heavy duty double-sided tapes. IMG_4756Still got lots to do here and I hope I can finish everything including the kids bedroom before the year ends.

Let Your Kid Make His Own Toy

coverBryce is now four and half years old and we know that children that age are easily influenced by what they see around them. For the past week, he had been asking me if I could buy him clay (which he saw from his cousins and now he wants his own). I don’t like buying stuff that I know I can easily make. I bought him a couple of jars of Play Doh before but a week later, it was nowhere to be found, probably ended up in trash. What a waste of money!

So, I told him we will just make one and he can make it himself too. My reasons for doing this aside from me being cheap:

  1. I want him to be aware that not everything can be bought (I know it’s being cheap… No, being practical!).
  2. I want him to learn how simple toys, such as play dough, are made.
  3. It is one way to keep him off the computer.
  4. Fun play involves experimenting and discovery, thus promoting creativity. Computer games don’t have these benefits.
  5. Since Kenya’s exclusively breastfed, I get to spend less time with Bryce. So this is our chance to bond.


There are many methods for DIY play dough, but this one a no-cook version so Bryce can actually do it with minimal help from me. The dough will only last for 3-4 days though which is alright since I know Bryce will get tired of it after a day. processIt’s that easy! Mix the flour and salt first then add 1/2 cup of water, adding a bit more if necessary. Keep kneading until there are no more powdery lumps. I added half a teaspoon of vegetable oil, by the way, to make kneading a bit easier. Divide they clay into 4 or 5 equal pieces and put a drop or two of food coloring, adding more to make the colors brighter.


I used McCormick but our clay didn’t turn out as bright as I wanted it to be. We’ll try the other method next time. So far, Bryce is happy with his home-made clay. I think Kenya knew that we were doing some fun stuff because she kept screaming as if calling me to get her so she can join. Wish granted, although she didn’t look too happy in this picture. I guess she wanted to knead the clay herself. Few more months, Kenya. Few more months…. 🙂bryce-diy clay

Yey, Bryce! The messier, the better. Just keep those clay bits off the rug and sofa. 🙂


The Start of My Sewing Journey: DIY Sewing Kit

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I’m now on my 36th week. I’ll be full-term by next week and I am so relieved that I finished all my projects (work-related ones) before September officially ends. So now I can devote 100% of my time to my last minute DIY projects. It’s quite frustrating, though, because simple tasks that should only take minutes to finish, are now too hard for me. I’m heavy, I’m huge, every movement is a struggle. Not to mention a few minutes of work yields several hours of intense lower back pain. I just cann0t wait for the baby to come out!

sewing machine

Anyway,  a couple of months ago, I finally decided to buy my own sewing machine. I contemplated on buying second-hand one from the port or a brand new one from the mall. I initially borrowed my mother-in-law’s pier-bought portable sewing machine to sew pillows, pillow cases and curtains for the living room and I did not enjoy sewing at all! I wanted to give up because the machine was giving me such a hard time. I have zero background in sewing and I swore, sewing by hand would make my life a whole lot easier.

After 3 days of frustrated sewing, I went to Automatic Center in Trinoma to purchase my very own sewing machine, Brother BM- 2600. The first time I used it, I knew I would be hooked to sewing. So far, I have finished sewing 4 curtain panels, 15 pillow cases and made 10 throw pillows. Too basic, I know. I have yet to learn how to install a zipper and explore all those other 23 stitches (So far, I’ve only used running and zigzag stitch.) So now, I can cross out number 1 and 2 on my  checklist: buy a sewing machine so I can sew cute (still working on that) pillow cases and curtains.

And now that I have my sewing machine, I need to have proper storage for my threads and other sewing notions. I love the idea of putting those stuff in a jar so I can easily find what I’m looking for. Plus those colorful threads are good enough to display. However, I need a pin cushion. I used to place them on top of my table and a lot end up on the floor and I worry that Bryce might accidentally step on them. I wanted a mason jar sewing kit just like the one from Anthropologie.


I’ve also seen a lot of tutorials on how to make your own out of mason a jar. But mason jars are rare here in Philippines (True Value sells mason jars in packs of 12) and that means, expensive. The tutorials I often find in the net involve removable lid center (typical feature of mason jars) but what if you only have a cute, vintage looking jar or even a plain-looking canning jar in hand? Well, here’s how I did mine.procedure

First, trace the out the lid on a piece of cardboard then cut a square (or if you want, circle. I’m just too lazy) piece of fabric big enough to cover the cardboard circle. Remember, you will still put fiber fill/stuffing inside so mind your allowance. TIP: You can get your fiber fill from old pillows. If you have none, I guess cotton would do. Then simply secure the fabric on the cardboard using masking tape. See, I’m not lazy. After this, I know you can figure out how to make it taut using your hot glue.procedure2Once you’re happy with it and it now looks like a mushroom head, glue it on top of the lid. The edge doesn’t look nice and clean I wrapped mine with raffia to hide the glue that oozed out of the edges. So here is the before and after.

diy-sewing kit

So easy and cute!

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