Wednesday, 27 June 2018

How to Sew a zippered Pillowcase

There are a few ways to sew a zippered pillowcase. You can sew a pillowcase just with a single piece of fabric or more pieces of different kinds of fabrics, and you can also sew a hidden zipper or an exposed zipper for it depending on your desired design. Today, I am going to use a single piece of fabric and a nylon coil zipper to sew an exposed zipper pillowcase. The pillowcase is sewn to fit the pillow size 16" x 16".

1. A piece of 33" x 17.5" fabric (included seam allowances)
2. A piece of 18" nylon coil zipper


The fabric included 3/4" seam allowance for the long edges and 1/2" for the short edges. To prevent the raw edges from unraveling, we should double fold the raw edges. First of all, place the fabric wrong side up and double fold the short edge (fold the raw edge to the blue seam line and then make the second fold from the seam line). Then sew a straight line along the inner folded edge as shown in the picture. Repeat the same to the other short edge.

Next, double fold the long edge. This step is slightly different with the above step. Fold the raw edge to the halfway of the seam allowance and then make the second fold to the seam line. Sew the hem. Stitch close to the inner folded edge. Repeat the same for the other long edge.

Once you have finished sewing the double folded hem, sew the short edges on either side of the zipper teeth (working from the right side of the fabric and zippper). Then, trim away the excess zipper.

Unzip the zipper about 2" away and turn the fabric right side together. Make sure the zipper is placed at one side and the zipper will be folded in half as shown in the picture. Sew a straight line along the inner folded edge. After that, sew the opposite edge with the same method.

Turn the pillowcase right side out and push the corners out. You are done!! You can try to sew your desired pillowcase in other size but this method is not recommanded to sew a pillowcase that the size is smaller than 13" x 13" as it is not easy to install the zipper on a single piece of fabric for a beginner.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

How to Make a Necklace with Extender Chain

Bronze plated beads and charms are great to use as ancient goodies in jewellery making. I am going to use bronze plated alloy beads, charms and findings for my necklace making project this time. Apart from the unique appearance, this necklace features a built-in extender chain that will allow you to adjust the necklace length easily. So, no need worry about the size.

1. 2mm black Korea Waxed Cords (36cm)
2. Bronze plated pendant (1pc)
3. Bronze plated mini charm (1pc)
4. Bronze plated leather crimps (2pcs)
5. Large hole bronze plated tube beads (2pcs)
6. Lobster clasp (1pc)
7. Jump rings (2pcs)
8. Raw bronze plated chain (8cm)
9. Bronze plated bail 

The materials that showed in the photo are the beads, charms, findings and cords that we have to prepare for this project.


First of all, get ready a pendant with tube bail and an extender chain. So, join the pendant and the mini charm to the tube bail and the 8cm raw chain respectively. You can use a jump ring to join each set of components together. Anyway, I prefer to hang the mini charm to the twisted link than using a round jump ring. It might be a bit tricky to open and close the closure of a twisted link especially when you want to close the link back to its original shape. Don't worry, you can use two pairs of chain nose pliers to fix it. I believe you can get the extender chain done.

Then, string the tube beads and charm onto the 36cm Korea waxed cord as shown in the photo.

Now, align the cord ends nicely and place the ends into the leather crimp as shown in the first photo. Use pliers to fold down one side of the crimp over the ends, then the other side. Repeat the same step at the other end of the cords.

Then, join the lobster clip to one end of the finished cord with a jump ring.

After that, join the extender chain to the other end of the finished cord. I don't use any jump ring to join the components together. As what I have done at the first step, separate the link at the other end of the extender chain and hang it onto the little loop of the leather crimp. Close the closure and done.

My new ancient bronze necklace is done.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

How to Make a Bead Charm

I like bead charms with flower bead caps because they give my designs a professional touch. Today, I am going to share with you how I make a bead charm with flower bead caps. In this project, I am going to use two pieces of flower bead caps in different sizes. The small one will be layered onto the bottom and the big one will be layered onto the top of the bead.

Tools and Materials
1. Chain nose pliers
2. Round nose pliers
3. Wire cutter
4. Bronze flower bead caps in different sizes
5. Bronze headpin
6. Round bead (10mm)

The above photo shows the materials and tools for making a bead charm. We use round nose pliers for wire wrapping and forming loops. One side of the nose is tapered round and the other side is a slight concave shape that bends your wire in a curve shape. The wire cutter is to be used to cut the excess wire, whereas we use the chain nose pliers for holding small items and shaping wire. The small bead cap will be put at the bottom of the bead and the big bead cap will be put at the top of the bead. The headpin features a flat head on one end that acts as a stopper, ensuring the bead is secured onto the wire.

Now, let's turn your favourite bead into a beautiful bead charm just in a few steps.


Thread the headpin through the small bead cap, bead and then big bead cap one after another as shown in the photo. Ensure the correct order is followed.

Using chain nose pliers, bend the wire to the side of the bead to form a right angle (90 degrees).

Using wire cutter, cut the wire about 10mm away from the bead.

Then, use the round nose pliers to grip the end of the wire and press the end tighly as shown in the photo.

Now, roll the pliers towards the bead. Usually, I have to roll the pliers twice to make a full loop. If  the loop is not at the center of the bead, you can use the chain nose pliers to center it

A bead charm is done and ready to attach to your bracelet, necklace or more.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Quartz Gems Bracelets

I bought some quartz gems from a local supplier a few months ago. I wished to make some beaded bracelets. Ridiculously, I didn't think about the designs for the bracelets when I was choosing the beads. I just kept an eye on the colors and distinctive patterns of those beautiful quartz gems. After that day, I just kept all my beads in a box and took them out to admire their distinctive patterns at times. I didn't take any action to make any bracelet because I got no idea at all. One day, when I was shopping online, I found that there were some fascinating alloy with bronze-plated beads. They have a sense of ancient style. At that moment, an idea flowed through my mind! I knew what I wanted!! Without thinking too much, I ordered some bronze-plated beads and other materials for making bead charms as well as some necessary tools like flat nose pliers and round nose pliers from an online shop. Finally, my bracelets were born.

Today, I am not going to write any tutorial on how to create a bead charm bracelet. I just prefer to display my finished pieces here. If you are looking for a tutorial how to make a bead charm, please click here.

 This red agate bracelet is my favourite, I like its antique look.

  This black agate bracelet is given a polish by adding several red agate beads.

 Rose quartz and white crackle quartz are a soft and gentle combination. It gives us a feminine look.

Amethyst and white crackle quartz blended with bronze-plated charms exhale the air of youth.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

How to Make a Simple Bolster Cover with Drawstring

Before we start making the bolster cover, we have to know the circumference and the length of the bolster. If you want a spacious bolster ,add 3 inches more for the circumference and 2 inches more for the length. The correct way to get the length of the cover is making measurement from the middle point at the top of one end to the middle point at the top of the opposite end of the bolster. The width of the rectangle is equal to the circumference. Base on the measurement, draw a rectangle on a piece of paper.Then cut and put the pattern on the wrong side of the fabric. Draw along the pattern with fabric pen, leave three-quarters (3/4) inch seam allowance for the long sides and two and a half (2-1/2) inches for the short sides. Then cut out the fabric piece.

1.  We will start sewing at the long side. Place the fabric piece wrong side up. Double fold the long side to make a quarter inch hem (this is to prevent fabric fraying). Repeat the same for the other side.

2.  Fold the fabric hem to hem (lengthwise) and right side facing in. Then sew a seam along the folded edge as shows in the picture. Once finish, press the hems open either with your thumb-nail or a hot iron. you will get a tube shaped case.

4.  It is time to make tunnels(casings) for drawstring. Double fold the short edge to make a bigger hem. The first fold should be half inch wide and the second fold should be around one inch wide. Pin the hem. Mark the opening as shown in the picture. The size of the opening should be around one inch wide. Then, sew the hem about 1/8 inch from the folded edge. You should start sewing from the second mark and stop sewing at the first mark so the opening will be formed automatically. Repeat the step for the other short edge.

5.   Thread a length of drawstring or ribbon through each tunnel. You can use a safety pin to lead the drawstring through.

6.  Now, put on the cover for your bolster, pull the drawstring and tie in a bow. Then keep the bow inside the bolster cover so it always looks neat.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Sliding Square Knot Closure for DIY Cord Jewellery

Sliding square knot closure is a great adjustable closure for your DIY cord bracelets, necklaces and anklets. I like this adjustable closure because it looks neat and tidy. To make a sliding square knot closure, first of all we must know how to make a square knot. In short, it name says it all. This closure is created by making a row of square knots. For those who already know the technique to make the knot will be very easy for you to create a sliding square knot closure for any of your cord jewellery projects. The size of the sliding closure will be determined by the type of cord or string that you are using and the number of square knots that you are going to make. You can also try to make the sliding knot with a single twine or double-twine, both of them will give you different looks and feels.


Put both ends of the twine jewellery in parallel. Then, cut a strand of tying cord about 12" long and put the cord underneath the two ends as shown in the photo. Both parallel ends will be the center cords. If you want the ends to be more decorative, you can string a bead for each end before you make the sliding closure.I didn't string any bead for the ends, but I made a simple knot for each end once I finished the sliding knot.

Now, begin the knot with the left strand. Pass the left strand over the center cords and lay it underneath the right strand, making a loose loop.

Then, pick up the right strand and pass it up through the loop that you made on the left from underneath the left strand and the center cords.

Pull the left and right strand. The center cords will be captured inside. This is just a half square knot. A square knot is not complete yet. There is a few steps to go.

Let's continue to the second part. Pick up the right strand. Pass the right strand over the center cords and lay it underneath the left strand, making a loose loop.

Then, pick up the left strand and pass it up through the loop that you made on the right from underneath the right strand and the center cords.

Pull the left and right strand. The center cords will be captured inside again. Now, a square knot is completed.

Keep on making square knots until you get a desired length. Cut the left and right strand, melt  the tips with lighter and press the melted tips against the knots to stop it from unraveling.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Twine-wrapped Plant Pot & Bottle

Do you have any unwanted items like empty bottles, instant noodles cups or cans? What would you do with these unwanted items? Throw them away or keep them for other purposes?  We usually throw away what we no longer make use of. Do you know these "useless" items can be used to make a lot of great DIY projects?

I have some empty instant noodles cups stuffed into a drawer that I purposely keep for my DIY projects. I used these empty cups to make two rustic-looking plant pots in different designs. This is an inexpensive and easy craft, you can finish it in less than half an hour's time.

You can grow flowers or herbs in the twine-wrapped plant pot. Anyway, I prefer a low-maintenance greenery like a cactus.

Let's start with the simple materials that stated below...

1. Empty cups/ bottles
2. Twine
3. Super glue/ hot glue
4 Self-adhesive tape (ribbon)
5. Buttons 

This craft does not require any special skill. What you need to do is wrap the cup in twine and put on your decorative accessories.

By referring to the above photo, you can see two different designs of twine-wrapped plant pots. The first one is decorated with a piece of self-adhesive tape and a twine-braided bow. You can braid the twine and knot the both ends before you tie it on the pot. The second pot is decorated with a piece of self-adhesive tape and a button flower. It is very easy to make a button flower. You just need to get ready four pieces of twine and a four-hole button. Do cross stitch on top of the button and make two bows with the twine's' ends at the bottom of the button. Arrange the loops evenly and attach to your desired point of the pot.

The above twine-wrapped bottles are my daughter's masterpieces. These are her own ideas. She finished this project during her school holiday a few months ago. Making this kind of craft is simple, easy and inexpensive. Furthermore, it is suitable for younger children and adults. Do you agree on training a child to reuse some unwanted items is a great way to reduce the environmental issues? Let's make some unique home decors for ourselves and at the same time make some effort to protect our earth.

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