Since my childhood I like to turn scraps into decorative pieces. My mother whom I saw always tries to make useful things from scraps before throwing them away. Truly speaking when I was young my father didn’t have much money to live lavishly. Might be for that reason my mother tried to use all scrap. When I was young I couldn’t use any dress for longer period of time due to my fast growth. I had many skirts which I used very little and were in very good condition. My mother made window curtains from those skirts. I still remember one of our then neighbors mocked my mother for this kind of reuse. Actually my mother is very practical and strong so nobody’s taunt made any impact on her. Another time our refrigerator door was replaced. My mother cut out some portion from the abandoned refrigerator door to make very good shelf in bathroom. I really feel very proud of my mother’s talent. I think I got this quality from my mother. Once I made flower vase with some earthen pots which were actually used in puja. My mother always encourages me to do the same. When I was young my father was very strict. He didn’t like all these kind of activities of mine. He used to scold me all the time for spending time in crafts instead of studies. (I was not a bad student.)
|The very first decorating piece I made in the USA. I used a portion of a carton to make the basket.|
|Empty salt container was used to make the pen holder.|
Decorating my own home is one of my dreams since my childhood. My idea of decorating home is with minimum expenditure. After my marriage when I came to the USA I wanted to decorate my home. First I thought I would to do the same with fine pieces from market but I found those were out of my budget. In a single income family I always need to be economical. Moreover I don’t know whether I’ll be able to stay in the USA permanently. If at any point of time we need to go back to my home country then I had to dispose those expensive fine articles. So I decided to decorate my home with my hand-crafted pieces.
|Gift box made of Nivea Creme container|
|Wall decor made of unused fabrics.|
As I didn’t want to spend much money, I bought only essential things like colors, brushes, decorated papers, threads, needles etc. Also I try to buy those articles with coupons and where those are cheap. I always try to use carton boxes, old clothes, and old papers. Before throwing anything first I try to visualize something from that. If I can’t visualize something then only I throw those away. In the beginning when my husband disposed something I used to resist him. So now he asks me before throwing anything.
|I used old news paper to make this art piece.|
|An example of crazy quilting using unused pieces of fabrics.|
|Same method was used to make this paper holder.|
Once I decorated one milk carton and mounted in the wall to keep all plastic bags. Everybody asked me that time what the material I used to make that. To everybody’s astonishment I told the actual material I used making the item. Seeing all my scrap craft, many of my friends ask me many times to teach them. I tell them come to my house and I shall teach them. Nobody taught me to make all those things. I think for making all these things everyone needs to nurture the ideas and have the desire to make them.
|Photo frames using chip boards from cartons.|
My first home in the USA was in Los Angeles. I got a bowl shaped piece from the carton of first utensils which I bought there. I modified and decorated that and kept some decorated eggs on that. That was the first piece I made. Unfortunately I had to throw away that when I moved from LA. I made many wall hangings, photo frames, flowers and flower vases. Recently I’m making tables clothes, pillow covers from my used dresses. I search new craft ideas in google.com. When I find ideas I try to modify in my own way as it is difficult for me to buy all supplies due to price. Like this way once I found the idea of crazy quilting. Actually patterned quilting is difficult as I need many supplies but crazy quilting is much easier. So I choose the idea of crazy quilting to make table clothes. Now my husband encourages me to do all these though he prefers that I should study.
|Table mats using my old dresses.|
|Tote bag using my husband's a pair of old trousers.|
Decorating home with own creation makes my home very special to me. Ideas of decorating home not only make it different from others also it is very economical. I hope when I’ll own a house then also I can decorate that with my own creations.
|The wall decor I made using ice cream sticks which I gifted to my husband on our second wedding anniversary.|