Getting Crafty in Chinatown!

Contributer post by Janis Nicolay of Pinecone Camp
I recently had a little Chinatown adventure with the lovely Jan of Poppytalk. I was on a mission to find little bits of happiness to create a few crafty projects, and my budget was $25. Chinatown, as I've mentioned on my blog, is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Vancouver, and my go-to place for a quick pick-me-up like a coconut bun (huh, yum) or a pair of sparkly slippers.

Not sure what these were meant to be used for, but I wanted to make trays out of them.  I had a few sample pots of paint at home, so I picked up some wrapping paper that would work with the paint I had. The total for this project was about $12, and I have heaps of extra wrapping paper left.

Trio of trays "before".

Trio of trays "after".


All of the materials for the small tray. I had a scrap of another paper that I thought looked cute with the bird paper.

After a light sanding, I applied 2 coats of paint. Once dried, I glued down the paper, let dry and applied several coats of Mod Podge (though you could use a watered down white glue). Voila! This tray is about 10"x10".

I love a mix of plants as a table centre piece. I bought 3 soup bowls and 3 small plants. The total was $6 for everything.





Place a few pebbles in the bottom of a soup bowl (for drainage), add a plant and you have a pretty centre piece. So easy and inexpensive.

Next up are place card vases. Chinatown has so many cute writing pads with fun graphic covers. After tearing off the cover for the tray, I cut the lower part of the paper to fit a small jar. Using double sided  tape on either end of cut out, I attached it to the jar. Cost for this project was about 75 cents.




Last project is a side table for my nephew, Jake. I had a lonely little table/stool, that I think was from Ikea. With some leftover paint (Benjamin Moore's "cloud 9"), I applied two coats to the table then let it dry completely, over night.  It felt great to use up that paint.




As Jake likes maps and planes, I cut up an old road map and used a cover of a writing pad for the top of the table. Cost for this project was about $2 plus the table (which I paid 0 for).

I actually spent less than $25 and still have heaps of paper left.  Thanks Jan, for hanging out with me in Chinatown. It was so much fun!

All crafts and images by Janis Nicolay of Pinecone Camp

Jan Halvarson

35 comments:

Blueberry said...

Everything is simply lovely!!!

clare said...

Oooh Aaaah I Love everything you have done here!! I am def going to visit china town next time i am in Melb. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Stephanie said...

I love every single thing in this post. Terrific and inspiring ideas!

Purple Deer said...

I'm in LOVE with that tray idea. Perfect for parties, or plant holding.

Googlover said...

super cute ideas. I might have to try the bottle idea. I am always looking for a way to reuse glass bottles.

Tamar said...

Oh awesome ideas for chinese new year!!! Thank you!

Noodles and Waffles said...

These projects look so easy. Right up my alley. Thanks for the inspiration.

t a n y a said...

wonderful ideas accompanied by great photos! thank you!

Jennifer Ladd said...

What great ideas! I'm bookmarking this post as inspiration for the next time I get to visit Chinatown! Wonderful!

GA+E said...

absolutely gorgeous! and they coordinate so well together! i love the colors and patterns, and it was all so affordable? I can't wait to visit chinatown. xx GA

Missing Goat said...

So pretty!! I love the tray and jar ideas - simple, easy and super super cute. Clever girl.

tash said...

Wow! What an inspiration! Thank you and please keep them coming! Even if I don't get around to it myself, watching other people indulge their crafty side to produce something wonderful is treat in itself!

Thank you!

http://www.thechirpyladybird.blogspot.com

Georgi said...

Wow - loved this post! The trays are incredible but so too is that bedside table. Thanks so much!
Cheers,
Georgi

Victoria Bennett Beyer said...

Oh my, I think your great ideas have just made me want to get crafty today! I never thought of using a soup bowl as a planter, but now you've got me thinking about all the pottery I have collected that I rarely use... maybe they have new purpose in their future :)

Pinecone Camp said...

Jan, I had so much fun hanging out in Chinatown with you. thanks for coming along!
These ideas are all really easy to do - if I can do it, anyone can do it! I encourage everyone to give it a shot!
Have a great day.

tamara said...

Janis, you are so talented - all of these "crafts" are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Jara said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your creativity!!! Where did you get the trays? Can I find them at Hobby Lobby perhaps? I love everything!!!! Inspired!

Ancarol said...

i thinks life must like that so fun and interest with the quite useful the last it point : )

stephanie levy said...

wow, these are great ideas! why isn't there a chinatown in Munich!?

Karla said...

Janis, you clever girl! Love all these ideas, particularly the tray one, what a nice way to customize plain ones...I'm picturing one with a monogram on it...must hit Chinatown for those wood trays!

Karla
www.kerrisdaledesign.com/blog

jan said...

Janis - truly it was so much fun for me too! I loved following you around - you do know our Chinatown! Thank you SO MUCH for these fun DIY's'!

. s h e r r y * said...

Whoa. Amazing ideas!! :D:D I love the bowl centre pieces. Who knew! :) And the trays are super cute too. I need to get some modge podge, pronto!

Kittybeansjewelry said...

I love the trays. I actually just spray painted a cheap balsa type wood tray from the dollar store to keep my soon to be born baby girls bath stuff on. Now I think I am going to paper the bottom of it.... Lord knows I have lots of pretty papers around.... very pretty stuff!

Lupen Grainne said...

Great ideas !! These are so fun :) Thank you !

soulflower said...

cute cute cute...i love china town...

PinkPanthress said...

Amazing work, I love it! :)

Pooch Morning Glory said...

sweet ideas, and they look so fun!
i dont have a chinatown where i live but i can always visit one
thanks
~laura

Ann On and On... said...

LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing!!

Polexia said...

WOW! i just recently bought a jar of mod podge and i love it! and guess what - i also used it with maps! I had an old map of the area i've grown up in, and i tore it up into big hand sized pieces and mod podge'd them down collage style onto the top of an ugly stool i sanded down. the map is partly white, and the bottom of the stool is white, and it looks so much cuter now!

the southern hostess said...

Everything looks so lovely! I'm jealous of your new objects.

Bungalow 36 said...

So simple yet so inspiring I just love the jar idea for a dinner gathering placing people names. A nice touch to make your guest feel loved and welcomed. And a little something they can take home.

Jennifer said...

Hi Janis. I haven't been to Chinatown in years! Now I'm definitely checking it out with my kids. I absolutely love the trays you created.

drollgirl said...

sometimes i wish i was (were?) chinese. they really have some of the most fabulous stuff. thankfully they share it with the whities.

and your diys are fab!

koralee said...

You so inspired me...just popped over from Pinecone Camp...love your blog and ideas...I think I need to make a trip soon to Chinatown. xoxo

Purnima@a creative project said...

what a fun project!! I am gonna try them..!!

Instagram