Monday, December 12, 2011

Make Your Own Asian-Inspired Gifts and Ornaments


Would you like to make your own Asian-inspired gifts and Christmas ornaments this year? I have several do-it-yourself ideas for you today that will help you do exactly that. And these Asian-inspired crafts are easy and inexpensive to make. In fact, a couple of them don’t have to cost anything at all. Make them yourself or work on them with your kids. Either way, get out the scissors and the glue. It’s time to get your jolly on.


decoupaged Asian newspaper Christmas ornament

At left: Headlines from Asian-language newspapers were cut into strips and applied to a recycled Christmas ball to make this decoupaged Asian-inspired Christmas tree ornament.

It was created by staffers at Pennsylvania’s Impact Thrift Stores to decorate a tree at this year’s Pearl S. Buck Estate festival of trees, running through December 31.

Not sure where to find Asian-language newspapers? Pick them up at an Asian market or ask for one at a Chinese restaurant. And if you’re not sure how to do decoupage, there are lots of links to instructions here.


diy kokeshi hristmas ornament


At right: Here’s a cute idea – a DIY Japanese kokeshi doll Christmas tree ornament made from a wooden clothespin. The directions are here at the Zakka Life blog.

sock and roll sushi









Above: “Sock and roll sushi” is a clever and easy-to-make baby gift also designed by Zakka Life. Six pairs of baby socks rolled up to look like sushi are packaged in a leftover take-out container. The how-to is here


DIY Asian rice bag tote 

At left: Zakka Life comes through again, this time with a tote bag made from two large rice bags. What a great idea! If you don’t have empty rice bags on hand, they’re free-for-the-asking at Asian restaurants. Directions to make the tote are here.




chiyogami washi dolls circles

Several online Etsy shops offer fabulous digital collage sheets you can download for under $5. Use them to make ornaments, gift tags, cards, stationery, bookmarks, stickers, magnets, pendants, pocket mirrors and more. Once you purchase a sheet and download it, you can print it out as many times as you wish.

At right: A downloadable sheet containing six chiyogami washi dolls is available from ArtCult.

Below: Eight different Japanese images perfect for bookmarks, on a sheet from ArtCult. 

oriental bookmarks sheet








origami squares 


At right: These two images are part of a set of six 3” squares. Each square contains vintage, traditional Chinese characters in a different color. The complete sheet is $3, available for download at the AsiaFile shop.


chinese emperor images for craft projects 



At left: Shown here are just three of the twelve different Chinese emperor and empress images contained in one downloadable set available at AsiaFile. Each of the twelve pictures in the $4 set measures 2.5” X 3.5”.

Below: Again from AsiaFile, a set of 24 Christmas ornament images, each with a different Asian design. Only six of the designs you’ll receive are shown here. Each image is approximately 2.25" high X 1.75" wide. The complete set is $4.


 Chinese christmas ball images for craft projects

Any of these digital images would be great for so many Asian-inspired craft projects. I would love to see a picture of the creative things you come up with to make with them. Happy holiday crafting!



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