Crossbody Origami Bento Bag

As you may have noticed, my Shelter-in-Place theme is sewing bags. Up next is my first version of an origami bento tote. I found these fabrics in my mother’s stash, and I thought the origami cranes were perfect for an origami bag!

I’ve researched a ton of variations on these origami bento bags and look forward to experimenting with my own versions. There are two main techniques for these origami bento bags. One uses two overlapping triangles and the other uses a long folded rectangle. They look very similar when finished. This bag pattern was made with triangles, which results in a heavier bag, because the pieces are overlapping. I’ll try to put up a general post about the construction of these bags. I found it really helpful to make models of the pattern pieces with scrap paper, to see how they fit together and what direction the pattern would run.

The finished size of this bag is 11″ wide and 10″ high (but only about 5-6″ of the height is usable for storage. It’s a cute and compact bag, with just enough space for your phone, wallet, keys and chapstick.

Here what you will need:

  • For the body of the bag, two squares of fabric 17″x17″
    • *The pattern of your fabric will run in opposite directions on the front and back of the bag, so pick a pattern than works in both directions*
    • single fabric for a simple, clean look
    • two different squares of fabric to create a two-color exterior and lining
    • create each of the squares from two fabrics – one for the outside, and the other for the lining (this is the version you see below)
  • For the straps – 5″x50″ strap of fabric
  • magnetic snap
  • 1.25″ strap slider and ring
  • Fusible interfacing, basic sewing supplies

Prepare the pattern pieces:

  • Cut the fabric for the body of the bag and the strap. You will likely need to join two strips to create the 50″ strap. I joined the strips on an angle, to reduce bulk
  • If you want to have a different fabric for the lining, join fabric to make your squares, as shown below

fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the large squares. There are many layers in the finished bag, so one option is to leave interfacing off two of the corners of each square, to reduce bulk. In this case, it would be the two solid (not pieced) corners

  • Fuse interfacing to all except the last 3.5″ of the strap, on the wrong side of the fabric

Make the strap:

  • On the end with interfacing, fold a 1/2″ hem, wrong sides together
  • Iron the strap in half lengthwise, wrong sides together
  • Fold each side toward the center, wrong sides together and iron again
  • Fold the strap along the center lengthwise, creating four layers of thickness
  • Top stitch around the strap, including the hemmed end
  • Cut off the 3.5″ section without interfacing
  • Loop the 3.5″ section around the ring and pin (see picture)

img_8576

Make the body of the bag:

  • Fold each square in half to form a triangle. If you are using a different fabric for the lining, like I did, fold it so that the lining fabric is on one side and the exterior fabric is on the other. If you left interfacing off two corners of your squares, the bare corners should be at the top of the triangle, not along the fold
  • Pin the short strap to the right side of one corner of one piece, next to the fold, as shown (see picture)

  • Pin the unfinished end of the long strap to a corner of the other piece, with the strap facing into the fabric
  • Pin and sew around the edge of the triangles, leaving a 4″ opening along one side, for turning. The two corners along the fold should be squared off, as shown below. On one end, you are using the seam to attach the strap. The opposite corner is finished to match

  • clip the corners and turn the triangles right side out
  • Fold each triangle in half again, matching the squared off corners
  • Place one triangle inside the other, as shown

  • On the triangle that is on the inside, topstitch to close the 4″ opening you left for turning the piece. The opening on the other piece will get closed in a later step
  • On the inside triangle, mark spots just under the the spot where the triangles overlap, and install the magnetic snap, as shown

  • Place the two triangles together again, and pin in place (see picture)
  • Topstitch along the edge of the outer triangle, to join the two pieces and also close the 4″ opening you had used to turn the outer triangle

  • Now fold, pin, and topstitch along the the two sides of the bag and the base of the straps. You could choose to leave your bag flat like this (see picture), or add box corners

  • To add box corners, turn the bag inside out, fold the corner, so that the side seam is aligned with the bottom seam, and sew across the white line. The fabric is very bulky at this point, which is when I realized that it would help to leave interfacing off of these corners

  • Finish the strap by looping the long end of the strap through the slider, around the ring, and back up around the inner piece of the slider. Fold the finished end of the strap back on itself and stitch in place

And here’s the finished bag! So I can wear it around the house!

Stay safe, and happy sewing!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Personalized Felt Pennants

I recently made these vintage-style pennants to celebrate special places in our family. It was so fun that I went on to make personalized name pennants for my nephew and niece.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Felt for pennant, lettering, and trim
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Paper for templates
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Here’s how to do it:

  • Create a template for your pennant – mine is on two sheets of scrap printer paper. It is 7.5″ high x 21″ long.
  • Cut out the pennant from a large piece of felt
  • Choose your felt colors for the letters and images and fuse Heat ‘n Bond to one side
  • Cut out your letters and images
  • Arrange on the pennant and iron in place
  • Cut strips of felt for the binding (optional) and ties and sew in place

Here’s how the pennants turned out. I love all the color variations!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Felt Pennants – Travel Themes

About once a year, my friend Ariana (of Act 2 Decor) and I get up early go to the Alameda Point Antiques Fair to browse and look for treasures.

I’ve been working hard to clean out the house this year, so I kept my shopping restrained, but I was looking for a vintage felt pennant to finish up a new gallery wall in JJ’s room. I found the perfect piece, and it was definitely meant to be, because it was sold by the family of a former coworker!

When I got home, I was inspired to make some more pennants of my own. I made one for my home town, Toronto, and one for my sister-in-law’s family in New Jersey.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Felt for pennant, lettering, and trim
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Paper for templates
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Here’s how to do it:

Create a template for your pennant – mine is on two sheets of scrap printer paper. It is 7.5″ high x 21″ long.

Cut out the pennant from a large piece of felt

I sketched the images freehand in reverse on the paper side of the Heat ‘n Bond

For the script lettering, create a word processing document, print out the words, and trace them in reverse onto the paper side of the Heat ‘n Bond

Choose your felt colors for the letters and design and fuse Heat ‘n Bond to one side

Cut out your letters and designs

Arrange on the pennant and iron in place

Cut strips of felt for the binding (optional) and ties and sew in place

Here are my finished pennants. I should make one for San Francisco next!

Here’s a picture together with my vintage find:

And here’s how JJ’s new gallery wall came together!

I had so much fun! What city do you want to celebrate and what image would you use?

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Marbled Clay Ring Dishes

Here is version two of these DIY clay ring dishes! First, I made some in white with stamped designs. I love how those look, but keeping the white clay as clean as possible is a bit stressful. The marbled dishes, on the other hand, are so addictive and relaxing!

ezy watermark_24-05-2019_05-33-05pm

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premo Sculpey in a coordinating colors (approximately 2oz per bowl)
  • Rolling pin or smooth glass jar
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Circle to trace (approximately 4″)
  • Bowl or other oven-safe mold
  • Optional: sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Gold paint
  • Clear glossy varnish

Here’s how to do it:

  • Make strips of clay in each color you want to include. Twist and roll them together until you get the amount of mixing you want.
  • Using a parchment or wax paper work surface, roll the marbled clay flat – about 1/4″ thick
  • Cut out the circle – you can take the cut-off edges and add them to your next marbled bowl, so each one is unique!
  • Place your circle on your mold – I tried it on the outside of a bowl, but I think inside would be better, if you have the right size, because the mold indented the surface slightly
  • Bake according to the instructions for the clay
  • Let it cool, and sand rough edges
  • Paint rim with gold paint
  • Coat with clear varnish

Here are some progress shots and the final products!

Here is how to start the marbling process:ezy watermark_13-05-2019_06-01-26pm

This is what the bowls looked like out of the oven.

ezy watermark_13-05-2019_08-55-52pm

Next step: gold paint on the rim!

Last step: clear gloss varnish!

 

I’m seriously addicted to making these bowls… can you guess what’s up next?!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Stamped Ring Dishes in White and Gold

These little pretty and versatile trinket dishes have been catching my eye for some time now, and I just needed an occasion to try them!

I’ve been so lucky to have a lot of fun dinners/ brunches/ weekends with my girlfriends recently. (See the moms’ brunch I hosted here.) I thought these dishes would be fun to make as party favors/ souvenirs.

I tried making a few different styles of dishes, and I’ll post the variations here soon. While I love the results of all of them, the white bowls are a bit stressful to make (hard to keep clean!), and the marble is really relaxing, so choose your project accordingly!!

There are so many different kids of polymer clay, and when I found myself overwhelmed standing in Michael’s, I appreciated this overview of the different clays and their uses. After reading this summary, I ended up choosing Premo Sculpey.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premo Sculpey in white (approximately 2oz per bowl)
  • Rolling pin or smooth glass jar
  • Stencils and stamps
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Circle to trace (approximately 4″)
  • Bowl or other oven-safe mold
  • Optional: sandpaper
  • Paint brush

Here’s how to do it:

  • This white clay collects and shows dust and lint very easily, so try to keep your hands, tools, and work surface as clean as possible
  • Using a parchment or wax paper work surface, knead your clay and roll it flat – about 1/4″ thick
  • Cut out the circle
  • Stamp your designs in the center
  • Place your circle on your mold – I tried it on the outside of a bowl, but I think inside would be better, if you have the right size, because the mold indented the surface slightly
  • Bake according to the instructions for the clay
  • Let it cool, and sand rough edges
  • Paint rim with gold paint
  • Coat with clear varnish

Here are some progress shots and the final products!

Clay rolled out, stamped, and ready to mold

This is what the bowls looked like out of the oven, before paint and varnish. I like the matte look, but I suspect they’d get dirty over time.

Next step: gold paint on the rim!

Last step: clear gloss varnish!

Here’s a sneak peak at the marble bowls. I’ll get the post up some time (soon?)!

I’m seriously addicted to making these bowls…

Julie aka “Jewels”

Recipe Tea Towels

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Shibori-Dyed Zipper Pouches

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DIY Hand-Painted Chinoiserie Christmas Ornaments

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DIY Decoupaged Tile Coasters

I have a lot of craft projects “incubating” – I get excited, I buy supplies, and then… I wait for the perfect moment to create them! We could also call this hoarding of craft supplies, but that’s not in the spirit of the season!

We’ve got an enthusiastic new social committee at work, and they organized a “Secret Snowflake” exchange for the holidays. “Handmade is encouraged,” they instructed. Now that’s my kind of challenge. My gift recipient loves to host dinner parties, so I found her a cute serving bowl, some holiday dish towels, and I am finishing off the package with these DIY coasters!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White 4″ square tiles – very inexpensive at the hardware store, or you can order online
  • Decorative paper – choose thinner paper that absorbs the adhesive and molds to the tile
  • Mod Podge
  • Water-based varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Silicon bumpers

Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut paper to fit tiles
  • Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge on tile
  • Lay down paper and smooth out
  • Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge over paper
  • Letting dry between layers, add one or two more coats of Mod Podge
  • Add three or more coats of varnish, for a more durable finish
  • Add silicon bumpers to bottom

Here they are in my home and getting ready to go spread cheer in my friend’s home!

Next time, I’d like to try making these coasters, with the paper sandwiched between glass, because I think they’ll hold up even better. Next year’s teacher and coworker gift? Maybe!

Hope you are having fun sharing treats and gifts this season!

Julie aka “Jewels”