Pongal Pot Costume

Hello there!

This is yet another DIY costume post – this time it was Pongal pot.

The after school activity centre was conducting a fancy dress (costume) competition and initially I thought, “arrgh, ditch it! I have no ideas and no time, more importantly, no motivation”.  I had to Santoshi to the dentist for her half-yearly check-up and conveniently blamed the appointment for my laziness.

But, the dental clinic called that morning and cancelled the appointment. I did not know how to react. A part of me wanted to make costumes or props and the rest of me was like, “you already made your mind up; so, no costumes”.

Somehow, I persuaded myself to go to the nearest stationery shop for ideas. A bulb went ding, glowed with all brightness – a Pongal pot for Anjana. There was not even the faintest spark for the second idea or prop. It would be absurd to send both kids as Pongal pots.

The stationery was located at a corner and when I turned, I noticed the shop which sells decorations for birthday parties, etc. That’s the shop from where I had bought Christmas decorations for Anjana’s classroom. So, Santoshi had to be the Christmas tree for the show. I bought cardboards for both, Christmas decorations for the tree and cotton for the Pongal pot (to be the pongal which boils over from the pot).

This post is only on the Pongal pot. The Christmas tree post is here.

Things used:

  1. A sheet of cardboard
  2. Golden colour paper
  3. Stickers, satin ribbon and colour paper for decorating the pot
  4. Cotton roll (sorry it looks like toilet roll in the pic below)
  5. Glue
  6. Brown tape (my trusted companion in making props)
  7. Scissors and box cutter
  8. Marker
  9. A circular lid and a small plate
  10. Hat (fitting your child’s head) and binder clips


Step 1: Using the lid, draw the pot and the pongal on top


Step 2: Cut to shape


Step 3: Cut a circular hole (using the small plate) close to the top for the face.



Step 4: Apply glue


Step 5: Paste the colour paper and press to remove air bubbles


Step 6: Start decorating. I added a strips of paper / satin ribbon and stickers. Then, I made wavy lines and dots using glue and sprinkled white flour over it and let it dry.


Step 7: While it dried, I pasted cotton at the top as pongal. Take a small piece of cotton, fluff it and paste it on to the cardboard, making sure that the cardboard is not seen. Let try


Step 8: (sorry no pic): Using binder clips, hold the front side of the hat to the top of the circle from behind. The hat will hold the prop in place.

The finished pot:



Here is Anjana as a Pongal pot. After she put it on, I realised that her face was much smalelr than the plate. Never mind, there is always next time.

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment.


Labelling a basket for kindergarten


My younger daughter Anjana is about to start kindergarten and I am very excited (she? not so much! I see a lot of crying in her near future and a lot of anxiety in mine). The school is particular that we send these things in a basket (not in a bag or backpack – for ease of access; most children in this class would be 2.5 to 3 years old):

  1. Water bottle
  2. Snack box with plastic fork or spoon (no metal ones) IMG_20170602_080253
  3. A small cloth towel IMG_20170602_080221
  4. School diary in a ziploc bagDiary
  5. A spare set of clothes (including bloomers) in a ziploc bag IMG_20170602_080431

The basket also needs to be neatly labelled with the child’s name. I have a light-weight basket for her and I wanted to add such a label that it would withstand wear and tear for the next ten months. I had to keep labelling my elder daughter’s basket multiple times in the first  ten months of her kindergarten.

The label should also help the child in identifying his/her own basket. A picture that they can recognise will help since they can’t read yet. That’s the reason I chose Hello Kitty. So, here is how the labelling was done:

Things used:

  • Hello Kitty label – printed on vinyl (roughly 7 inches by 4 inches) – 2 copies
  • Old place mat for firm backing
  • Glue
  • Sewing machine
  • A pair of scissors
  • Punching machine
  • Polyester yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Permanent marker

How I did it:

Step 1: Using the permanent marker, I wrote her name, class and section on the top right corner of the label.


Step 2: Paste the labels on the place mat and allow it to dry.

Step 3: Sew on all four sides. Cut the label with a margin of about 1/2 inch on all four sides.



Step 4: Using the permanent marker, add borders to hide the stitches.

Step 5: Punch holes on all four sides.


Step 6: Using the polyester yarn and tapestry needle, attach the labels to the basket.


It’s done! You now have a waterproof, hard to tear apart label on both sides of the basket. The image will help your child identify his/her basket during snack break and pick-up times.

Here is the fully-loaded basket – Basket

Please feel free to you provide your comments/ feedback. For Hello Kitty Digital Paper and other exciting digital downloads, please visit my Etsy shop CrazyCookup! Thank you!!


Spruce up a lunch bag!


My elder daughter Santoshi will be starting with Grade 1 in a few days from now and she is very excited.   She has been waiting for almost a year to make use of her Tinkerbell backpack similar to this one.

She also got a water bottle with a fairy and a castle printed on it, so I thought why not get her a matching lunch bag too?

This would have been perfect but we do not live in the USA and we already had a simple (but boring) lunch bag at home. IMG_20170530_204356

So, as usual, another DIY project was born! I admit, until it turned out finished, I was not sure if it would really work or just ruin an otherwise good lunch bag. But I am quite happy with what I ended up with (I am not a perfectionist – you will see).

I got two images printed – one for the top portion (9 inches by 6 inches) and the other for the front (7 inches by 8 inches approx)

Things that I used:

  • A plain lunch bag
  • Disney Fairies/Tinkerbell poster (printed on vinyl) – one for the top portion of the lunch bag and the other for the front
  • Nylon webbing tape (salvaged from a small bag thrown away earlier)
  • Sewing machine
  • Seam ripper

How I did it?

Step 1: Rip the seams of the nylon webbing tape on the top portion of the lunch bag.

Step 2: Align the image (9 inches by 6 inches) to ensure that the ends will be inside the nylon webbing tape once we sew it back.

Step 3: Sew the nylon webbing tape back in place keeping all the ends of the image are tucked within the webbing.


Step 4: Rip the seams on the webbing tape from the front portion of the bag. Align and place the second image (7 inches by 8 inches) on the front portion.


Step 5: Sew the webbing tape back in place ensuring the the bottom end of the image is tucked in.

Step 6: Add the webbing tape on the other three sides of the image and sew.


That’s it! Now you have turned IMG_20170530_204356

into IMG_20170531_104340

Thanks for reading my post!!

Here are other back-to-school ensemble options, check them out!

Hello Kitty Rainbow


Purple Hello Kitty

My Little Pony
, and

Paw Patrol Blue

Paw Patrol Pink

Wonder Woman

Batman versus Superman


DIY Iron Board


When I was mindlessly going through Pinterest, this pin popped up. I thought to myself that my iron board could use a new cover. But then, I had stacked it somewhere high up which was not readily accessible and I found the iron board with its collapsible stand too bulky to use (the real reason is my laziness).

But, this pin by Ashley was totally awesome!! A table-top iron board removes the bulk, makes it easier to store in the wardrobe and can be brought to the table as and when I needed. Wow!

I had salvaged a piece of plywood a few months back which could serve as the base. A lot of scrap fabrics in the box could easily be the batting. The missing ingredients were hot glue gun and a big stapler. That will not stop me, after all there are always workarounds and alternatives. I took the basic idea from Ashley’s tutorial and improvised to suit what I had.

Things used:

  • Thin plywood board
  • Quick-dry sheet (size: small) [to provide a little cushion]
  • Scrap fabrics
  • Cotton twine
  • Needle
  • Glue


How I did it:

Step 1: Lay the fabrics flat one on top of the other, leaving out the outermost layer. My faded kameez was my outermost layer, so I kept it aside. The cotton dupatta was at the bottom, followed by the black fabric, then the pink fabric and the quick-dry sheet on top.

Step 2: Place the board on top of the sandwich and cut the fabrics with a seam allowance of about 1 inch on each side.

Step 3: Place the board on the outermost layer and cut it with a larger seam allowance. As it was a kameez, I did not get an even seam allowance on all sides.

Step 4: Stack the layers up with the outermost layer at the bottom.


Step 5: Cut the corners (triangles) so that they are not very bulky while folding.


Step 6: Apply glue to the layer which will be facing the board. I applied glue on the quick-dry sheet which will be sitting on the board.


Step 7: Place the board on top of the sheet aligning with the corners and let it dry. I used my laptop and a few books (they belong to my husband; old books bought long back before eReaders were available in India) and waited for about 20 minutes.


Step 8: Fold the fabric over and sew the corners together. Once all four corners are done, sew the ends together.


Looks gross, isn’t it? Thought so.

Step 9: Using a piece of fabric, cover these stitches on the board and hem it with the outermost layer.



Not so much of an eyesore, right?

Turn it over and you have a new, portable iron board – handmade by you!! Need we say more?


I used the iron board to fold the seams of the red fabric at the back for hemming. Cool, right?

Thanks for reading my post! I would be very happy to know your comments!


Refashion adults’ top [kameez] into a little girl’s dress


Of course, this is yet another post on how to refashion or upcycle old clothes. Since I made two skirts for my younger daughter Anjana, the elder one, Santoshi, was getting a teeny weeny bit jealous and felt left out. So, I had to do something for her too.

A couple of weeks back, I drove on a puddle of wet paint and skidded off from my two-wheeler, injuring nothing but my pride. There were mild and not-so-mild scratches on the vehicle, but happy to report that the road was unharmed!!

Luckily, we (Santoshi and I) came out of it with only bruises and to my surprise, the salwar kameez that I was wearing remained intact, but the white paint never came off. It was one of favourite set of clothes but the white smear made it unwearable.


My initial thought was to make it into a nice tote bag, but I knew I will never use it (because I hate oversized, structure-less, open totes). Since Santoshi brought the topic of the skirts made for her younger sister up at every possible juncture, I checked if the kameez could become a knee-length frock for her.


Looked like it may be possible!!

Things used:

  • The kameez
  • Small pieces of fabric for motifs from the salwar
  • A small piece of fabric for lining the bodice and waist band
  • Zip
  • Scissors
  • Co-ordinating threads
  • Sewing machine

Step 1: Considering seam allowance, mark and cut off the skirt portion.


Step 2: I used lining for the bodice (since I don’t know how to do bias binding on neck and armhole). Align two pieces of the kameez (front and back) and two pieces of the lining fabric. Fold into half – now there will be eight layers. Fold the frock into half and trace the outline of the bodice on the fabric.

The paint smeared part was right where the top of the bodice was.  So, I used the wrong side of the kameez for the back portion of the bodice. I could not find any difference in colour between the right and wrong sides.


Step 3: Make another outline for seam allowance and cut. You will end up like 2 sets like this.


Step 4: Align the fabric and the lining and sew on the marking (not visible on this one, sorry).

Step 5: Cut small triangles out in the seam so that it lies flat when you turn it right side out.


See the paint smear? So obvious and in the face, right? Gross!

Step 6: Turn the sets right side out.


Paint smear is not so noticeable, yay!!

Step 7: Repeat for the other side and join the zip on the back portion.

Step 8: Pleat the top of the skirt portion and attach to the bodice.

Step 9: Attach a tube of the fabric as waist band.

Step 10: Align front and back sides and join them.

Step 11: I cut motifs from the salwar and added them to the frock because it was looking weird without them.


Yup, that’s my baby, not so happy to pose, but I think she likes the frock!!

Thanks for reading my post!


DIY cloth towels from fabric scraps


Another pair of jeans successfully went through an amputation (that is, became a pair of shorts) and I was the proud surgeon, again. (Read this post to see how I did it.)

The left over part of the legs became something else altogether, unlike last time when they were transformed into a document holder.
As I was celebrating Anjana’s clearing the school admission interview process (she will start with kindergarten in June 2017), I started to make a list of items that she and my elder daughter Santoshi (moving to Grade I come June). One important item that needs to be packed for school everyday is a cloth towel (or lunch napkin as Santoshi calls it). While Santoshi needs two everyday (one each for snack and lunch) and Anjana will need only one (no lunch).

The school is quite particular about the size of these towels in order to avoid territorial wars on the snack table (“Hey, don’t you keep your water bottle on my towel!” or “Ma’am, I don’t have a place to keep my snack box, his towel is sooooo big…”). Bottomline, the towels have to be square in shape and measure around 10 to 12 inches each side. 

Luckily, the leftover denim legs were roughly about the same size. And, if (that’s a big IF) I cut them properly, there will be eight towels.
I looked into many pins on Pinterest about DIY cloth towels, applique, perfect corners, etc. I was thinking – there are people out there who sew things perfectly and put tutorial pins up. And, here I am, far far away from perfection, but that’s ok. After trying to do corners with a strip of fabric, I gave up and used serging for the corners. I checked with my daughter and she approved the serged ends, yay!

Now, let’s move to how I did it:

Things needed:

  • Leftover denim fabric from the pair of jeans
  • Fabric scraps for applique
  • Colour-coordinated threads (I didn’t use this)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing Machine
  • Stencil/ template (I used freehand drawing for my shapes)

Step 1: Draw the design / shape on the fabric. If it is a symmetrical design (such as a heart or a butterfly), fold the fabric into half, draw one half of the design on the fabric and cut both sheets of fabric together. I can never draw both sides to be of the same shape or size.

This is the outline of a bird:


This is one of the wings:


Step 2: Cut to shape.

Step 3: Arrange on the base (cloth towel in my case).


Step 4: Sew the fabric pieces one by one to the base. The body first, then the wing on the body, then the tail wing, followed by a small brown triangle for the beak. I used zig-zag stitch in my machine.


Step 5: Sew the other parts, if required – I did the eye and the legs using the regular stitch.


Step 6: Serge the ends or use fabric tapes to go all around the edges. I just used zig-zag stitch the one side which might fray.


And, that’s it, you are done!! Simple, isn’t it?

I did make towels with the other pieces too. I am posting pics of all but one (which is bad, trust me, you don’t want to see it).


Thanks for reading the post and hope my sewing did not scare you. Please leave a comment.









Upcycle clothes in to toddler skirts


This is a post on how I made suspender skirts for my younger daughter Anjana (2.5 years). One of the skirts came from my top and the other from my husband’s shirt.

Let’s look at the one from my top first. I had ripped the side slit of my top while getting off my scooter and there was no way I could make it alright. Initially, I thought of making it into a trivet, but then I realised that it would make a pretty skirt for the little one.

Before image – my top:


After image – suspender skirt:


This was an experimental box pleat skirt, so I do not have any pics of how it became this way from my top, sorry.

But, for the next one, I started taking pics for most of the steps. Also, I decided that box pleat was not my cup of tea and that ruffled (using the pleat-as-you-go method) skirt may be better. Another reason for not choosing the box pleat was that the shirt’s bottom ends were curvy and not flat.

So, this is how it went:

Before image – Men’s shirt:


Step 1: I wanted the skirt to measure 12 inches from waist down. So, I took the shortest point in the bottom seam and measure 13 inches (12 inches plus 1 inch seam – I am a novice, so I always work with wider seams) and snipped the top part.

Step 2: I cut three more strips – one measuring 22 inches (20 inches waist plus 2 inches for seams) long and about 4 inches wide; two more – each measuring 20 inches in length (17 inches for the suspender straps plus 3 inches for seams) and 3 inches in width.


Step 3: Start pleating the top end of the skirt to ensure that you are left with the same length as the waist band.


Step 4: Add the waist band to the top end – align right sides facing each other and sew on the wrong side.


Step 5: Fold the waist band over to the wrong side and sew together to create a loop for the elastic.

PS: The ends of the waistband connect at the centre – where the buttons are.


Step 6: With the help of a safety pin, slide the elastic through the waistband and sew the ends together. Then, push the left end of the waistband in to the right and sew.


Step 7: Sew the front ends together (the one with the buttons and the other with the buttonholes so that my daughter will not be to open the skirt out in the front – accidentally).

Step 8: Make 2 tubes out of the other two strips and turn them out. Attach one end of each tube to the back and attach the other end of each tube to the front while crossing them over at the back (making an X shape).


That’s it!! (I admit, it is a little high-waisted than I expected it to be).

This is my little darling in the skirt paired up with a light blue Old Navy t-shirt.


Clearly, she did not like it! But, that’s a different problem 🙂

Hope you liked this post! Please give your comments about what you think of this. Thank you!