All posts filed under: Arts and Crafts

3 colourful journals with markers and pens on a table

Art Journal Review: Paperclip

Paperclip notebooks were one of the first notebooks I bought when I started art journaling. (Art Journal Ideas for Beginners) They’re sturdy, cheap, and look great – a perfect combination of things to help you get started on your art journey. The papers are thin for dry media, ranging from 60 to 100 gsm. They’re perfect for line sketches and for planning your final pieces. I’ve used these as practice journals to get into the habit of creating something every day without feeling the pressure to make it into something perfect. I’ve used one of the journals to collect reference drawings and elements for inspiration in all my artwork.  I’ve used the colourful Play Series to practice lettering and formatting.  These notebooks are also great for their original purpose – taking notes. My husband uses it for his office notes, and my son uses it for his class assignments. The colourful covers not only look pretty but can help you identify the notebook you’re looking for easily. Do you have recommendations for good journals? Let …

collage of hand painted cotton bags and a child using them

DIY Hand-painted Cotton Bags

Have you gotten used to carrying your own bags for shopping? Be it groceries or clothes, most cashiers will check with you if you’re carrying your own bag. It’s a refreshing change from just handing you a plastic bag. Even paper bags need resources to make and a whole pile of unused ones generate a lot of waste. I have various cloth bags distributed all over the place – a few in my car, a foldable one in my purse, a few next to my main door, and a few ‘fancy totes’ to be used for the upscale flea markets. I had a few plain cotton cloth bags lying around and thought about giving them a makeover. I had never painted on fabric before and was sceptical if they’d last. After having used and washed them over the past year, I was pleasantly surprised. I even tried embellishing some of them with beads and parts of junk jewellery that weren’t getting used, and I was thrilled with the results. All you need are some fabric …

A blue theme mandala on a sketchbook with sharpie markers

Easy Mandala Tutorials

If you do a hashtag search for mandalas on Instagram, you’ll be overwhelmed with the results. In the millions of posts, you’ll see a variety of mandalas, from a beginner to an experienced artist and also some phenomenal work. Looking at some of them, you might feel intimidated. I know I was. I took it one step at a time and started with some basics. With some practice, I got a little better. I still have a long way to go before I come close to some of the work and artists I admire. But, the key is to practice regularly. For me, drawing a mandala helps me focus away from daily realities and routines. I find it very calming. The repetitive patterns soothe my mind. I had done a post on mandalas previously where I explained in brief what its significance was.  Let’s now learn how to make your own mandala First, we start with the basic grid. All you need is a basic geometry set with a compass, pencil, protractor, and ruler. Find …

diy bookbinding sketchbook with house plants and fine liner pens

Easy DIY Bookbinding at Home

I have scrolled through hours of arts and crafts tutorials over the last year and have been tempted to try each one of them. Some seemed easy enough; others were a distant dream.  Bookbinding was one such tutorial. The videos look so beautiful—the old-world charm of making something with your hands how people did it hundreds of years ago. I always felt you’d need special tools and skills even to try a basic version.  There are many different book binding types. Some of them need special book binding materials that you wouldn’t necessarily want to invest in. Thankfully, I came across some tutorials that a beginner like me could try with stuff you’d generally have at home. I had a bunch of loose papers from a tear-away sketchpad that was just getting tossed around in my drawer. It was the perfect time to make use of them and try bookbinding at home. Book binding supplies Loose sheets double the size of the book you want. We’ll be folding these sheets in half Sharp pin or …

Art journals from Menorah Stationery displayed with cover and inside pages with paintings

Art Journal Review: Menorah

I’ve been journaling for about two years now and am loving the experience. It inspires me to create everyday, even if it is a small doodle. On days I am unable to, I can feel the restlessness in my fingers. In the past, I’ve loved the control dry mediums gave me. Colour pencils and markers have been my go to materials for drawing and colouring. But, inspired by my sister’s watercolour journey, I was tempted to try out some wet mediums as well. Watercolours turned out to be too free-flowing for a control-freak like me. Then I tried gouache and I was in love instantly.  Not all art journals can hold the weight of the water-based paint so it took a bit of trial and error to find some good ones. I’ve written about the Kaagazi journals earlier. Today, I talk about another home-grown favourite – Menorah. I’ve used two of their journals and a bookmark pad. Let’s review. Menorah 180gsm 15cmx15cm This was my first journal from them, and I loved it instantly. I wanted …

Art Journal Review: Kaagazi

As someone who loves to draw and paint but hates criticism, I used to think every one of my artworks should be the final piece. I didn’t believe in practice or sketchbooks.  Over time, I learnt that it was too much pressure on each artwork to be perfect. I had stopped enjoying the creative process because I was seeking the end goal of perfection and subsequent monetisation.  I decided to start journaling for myself alone. It has freed me from many of my inhibitions. I’m not afraid to try out new things even at the risk of failure. I also experiment more with my techniques and practice a lot more as well. I had plenty of art journal ideas…from a doodling book to practising elements and patterns. So I decided to buy a whole bunch of journals and sort them into different art journal themes. Their pile on my desk inspires me to use them everyday.  Art journal inspirations can come from many different sources. You just need to experiment and see which ones interest …

Handmade Paper Tutorial

Making handmade paper from paper scraps is a very satisfying process. It makes use of some of the scrap paper you have lying around and gives you beautiful usable paper. Handmade paper craft is a good rainy day activity for kids as well.
This tutorial shows how to make paper without a blender or any other fancy paper-making tools.

Art Journal Ideas for Beginners

Do you love stationery? Stationery and art shops are my happy place.  Some time ago, I started drawing on a regular basis and decided to do that in a journal instead of loose sheets.  I got a few journals from Paperclip to get me started. These are not art journals specifically (they’re thinner papers for writing and dry media) but I loved the colours and variety of the covers. Also, as I was just starting on my journaling journey, I wanted something relatively cheaper. There are many types of art journals available but which one is best for you depends on your art journal themes. If you mostly work with pencils and collage, no point getting an art journal diary with 180 gsm pages. You need thicker pages in case you work with wet media, or even markers. The best art journals are those that work for you and enhance your work, instead of hinder it. There are countless stores online and offline that have a plethora of art journal supplies. From the journals themselves …

Paper Marbling Tutorial – Fun and Easy

Paper marbling is a great activity for children to get involved with. It is also fantastic for encouraging them to learn about colours and how to blend them together beautifully. Arts and crafts is always a fun thing to get involved with as it requires manual skill. What’s better than having a bit of arts and crafts fun at home? If you’re looking for an easy paper marbling tutorial, then you’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of paper marbling tutorial online with many different paper marbling techniques. Some of them seem quite daunting. We found one that’s so simple that my (then) 4-year-old could do it. Paper marbling with shaving cream is the simplest of all, albeit a little messy – but the kids love a bit of mess too. Shaving cream paper marbling needs just a few basic supplies, some you might already have at home. No need to look for specialised paper marbling supplies. You’ll need Shaving foam Liquid food colouring (mixed in some water) Bowl for the colours (cupcake …

packaging box covered with wrapping paper repurposed to a cat food holder with a cat doodle on it saying feed me

Creative Ways to Reuse Cardboard Boxes

Up-cycled cardboard boxes is a great project to do, as well as a nice way to use up leftover packaging materials. These boxes have become an affordable way to get creative with your decor and can be transformed in a multitude of ways. What are some of your ideas? Go crazy and make a variety of boxes out of different types of plastic, like bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard or even tea bags. Our imaginations are the limitation here If you’re like me, you mostly shop online. Some are local stores that deliver in baskets they can take back. Mostly, you’re left with a bunch of packaging material of different kinds. I have tried to be cautious while shopping online. I try to group my orders together by the same vendor, but even after all that I usually get items shipped to me individually. Thankfully, I live in a community that’s serious about waste segregation and recycling. We have multiple vendors who come in to collect the dry waste for recycling. I try to reuse as …