Saturday, January 7, 2017

Craft(y) Project: Christmas for 100円 or Less

Alright, so if all you got for Christmas was poorer, this is for you, so you can be a holly jolly cheapskate next year but still look like you're trying.

I was going to post this while we were in Germany, in a more timely fashion, but our lovely Airbnb landlady lied about the building having Internet, so we went mostly without for two weeks. In my case I only have it at home anyway, so that was fine, but still, the dishonesty.

So anyway, everything you see here was 100円! The pinecones came in a packet like the jingle bells, but also tend to be lying around for free outside, especially in northerly climes. Bring them in, shake them out and make sure there are no bugs (I used to do it in a Ziploc freezer bag), and paint. Spray paint is easiest, if you have it. That is also free, if you steal it.

Oh, and those rolls of ribbon came from Korea. They were the equivalent of less than a dollar and therefore less than 100円 each. I've been using them for 3 years now and imagine that they both contain enough festive joy to circle the globe at least five times.


Boom! Wrapped!

I had bought the green yarn and bells last year, intending to make a wreath, and never got around to it. This year one of the 100円 shops I occasionally peruse also had little premade wreaths that beckoned and called to me, and it's super easy to make them cute.
The yarn is wrapped around tightly in just one layer, with the ends glued into place. The craft glue was 100円, too, if you're going to be a stickler about it, but you really don't even need glue for this; just tie the ends, and just tie the little bow bundles with the pinecones and bells to secure them.

Our upstairs neighbour told us he thought this was a good idea and copied it.
#westernization #culturalappropriation #feminism

Did I mention that I also got some cute wintery little flowers and a couple of decorative pot sticks all for - holy shit, here it comes - 100円 each?! Whooooa!

So you probably noticed those two adorable little craft kits up in that first picture, right? They're from the Daiso, and I also bought them last year and predictably ran out of time to make them because I was frantically making presents and doing cards right up until the last minute. Just like with the wreath. Just like every year.

At first I was happy to see that the incredibly detailed roadmap-sized set of instructions for the beaded Christmas tree were in English, until I realised that a background both in physics and aeronautical engineering is required to construct it, because it is literally the alien machine from Contact.


Spent a week on Step 1 before throwing in the towel.
The wreath I made and hung in less than 2 hours.

But hey, the felted project is surprisingly easy! Ow. I've always loved felting but had never actually tried it. Ow. Something that might not surprise you if you know me, though, is that ow I decided that the stabbing should be done extremely fast ow and that the needle is very sharp, so I ended up stabbing the shit out of my fingers while bringing my teddy bear-esque little Rudolph here into existence. 
Ow.


This vegan chocolate bar was in our advent stocking that day ow so it ended up in the progress photo.

By the time I had his little face on Hannes was like, "Aww, it's cute!" and I was like, "Yeah, but when I stabbed the nose on his snoot went flat, and he smells like blood".

I couldn't stop myself from also picking up the penguin and alpaca when I saw them, so wish me luck. One of them will be the lucky recipient of the scarf I decided Rudolph didn't need. The Christmas tree can just head to the back of the line and wait. Not today, Satan!
(The penguin checklist Post-Its were... how much? I'm not sure.)

Oh, that's right, the same price as these weird depressed stickers I made a festive scene out of in Erin's card: 100円.

These ended up in an artmail post or something before, right? 
I gave one to my mom and one to Hannes' mom for Christmas after adding a touch of paint in something like the original colours, since the flowers lost theirs after I pressed them and Mod Podged them to the boxes. Sadface. But the boxes are vintage, second-hand, 100円 boxes. And plants are free, as long as you're discreet and don't venture too far onto your neighbours' property to obtain them.


Then there was this project, which involved 100円 cotton thread on a 100円 miniature canvas, which I absolutely do not recommend for a first attempt at embroidery, especially if that attempt involves French knots.


When my mom opened this on Christmas Hannes was like, "Ahh yeah, this! There was a lot of swearing involved in the making of this".


Here's the set, in case I didn't post the cherry blossoms (actual first attempt) that I did earlier.

As our departure date approached, I pulled out the newspaper and other poster-sized papers I had saved for the occasion and started trying things to make cute recycled wrapping paper, which is...
Free!
No, it's not 100円. Not if you don't buy it. God, fuck. 


These little ninja stamps were 100円, though. The others came from Korea. I never use the name seal because I got it before I knew hangul and my name is misspelled.
WELLLL.


That little reindeer tag (from a pack that was you know exactly how much) reads something like, "Ok so what happened here is that I tried to make it a stocking".

Then I tried a Buzzfeed Nifty project to decorate the newspaper while simultaneously expressing my distaste for Japan's farcical attempt at democracy (those are politicians): mix paint, soap, and a little bit of water and blow bubbles in it with a straw.




Okay, but, ugh, don't use a container with stupid weird cupcake cup edges like this. and use the biggest, flattest one you can find so you can place the paper on the bubbles instead of blowing the bubbles onto the paper and dripping soapy paint water everywhere like some kind of sloppy hot mess of a Disney princess.


Haha, suck it, Abe! -splat-


Also probably don't use newspaper, because it's thin and cottony and too absorbent, so the bubble patterns don't really hold their shape.
Man, I'm losing a lot of crafting points here.. ;>_>

Aha! Okay! The finished products actually look good, though!


AND the traditional decorations you see on top plus a package of 50 of those old-fashioned white tags weeeeeeeeere100円んんんんん


I also recycled a box and some of that paper you saw a while back to create a lovely container for Nico and Andrea's chirimen wall hanging, which cost way more than 100円, but I topped it with another cute little New Years' decoration, which cost exactly 100円. 

And finally, now that we're back in Tokyo, I've had both these bottles of Chanmery, whatever the fuck that is (pretty fun kids' champagne with tops that pop off loudly, actually), and made two gift bags for people with some of the little stuff I accumulated in the land of festing like lords.

And everything you see in this picture waaaas... Drumroll please... 100円 or less! Including the gift baggies themselves, which I bought in Korea at the same time as the ribbon (sweet 8lb. 6oz. baby Jesus, the red one finally ran out this year!) and which I believe are numerous enough to construct and extremely flimsy bridge to Guam.