2018 winter holiday handmade greeting cards

after a whirlwind of a year, christmas night is almost through, and the new year just ahead. this year’s holiday season greeting cards were a simple dedication to my tokyo life.


m a r u n o u c h i ,  t o k y  o  |  j a n u a r y  2 0 1 8

the inspiration came from this photo i took in marunouchi, this past january. which reminds me of when i lived in wall street, nyc.

. . . . .

handcut tree window

gold and white spray paint

…from tokyo…

H A P P Y  H O L I D A Y S ! !

handmade greeting cards for 2017 holiday season!

december is already halfway through! the past couple months has flown by faster than light years! exaggerating? yes, but really… i still had to squeeze in this batch of handmade holiday cards for friends and fam. once an idea comes to mind, i just must. do. it. here, i share the process!


. . . . .

i started off by creating the layout on adobe illustrator

handcut letters

these transparent origami sheets are from daiso.  i’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use them! instead of using traditional christmas colors, i wanted to go with a “holiday neutral” color scheme. a bit of 90’s and a bit of neon and every bit pop!

after covering the backside of the transparent sheets, i wrote in the “holidays”. i’ve been practicing my lettering, and these are the perfect opportunities to put them to use!
friends and family won’t judge 😉
おりがみの裏面をカバーし、手書きで 『holidays』 を入れました。最近レタリングに力を入れていて、家族や友人に贈るカードであれば、プレッシャーなく実践できます ^_^;

i switched the string to this glitter thread i found at another 100yen shop!

v o i l a !

H A P P Y  H O L I D A Y S ! !

handmade denim sleeve

i’ve been spending the past couple of months going through my stock of fabrics and materials, and boy do i have lots of them that have accumulated over the years since fashion school. i had been putting off tons of projects that i bought fabric for and never got through to realizing. some projects i have finished, some have become things of my mind’s past, and in their place new ideas have formed–one of them being this denim sleeve.

この数ヶ月間、服飾学校時代から溜めてきたたくさんの生地や材料を整理していました。その量も半端ではありません。。。^_^;; やっと完成したアイデアもあれば、もう作らないであろう物もあったり、代わりになる新しいアイデアもたくさん考えています!完成した物の中で、今日はこのデニムのスリーヴを紹介しま〜す。

having been raised in seattle, i have a soft spot for starbucks and tully’s coffee, which are both found in tokyo. unlike in the states, most people use public transportation in this country. thus, our love for bags that are just big enough to cram all of our essentials in (representing people like moi). granted, there are many a cool, stylish girl that can seem to leave the house with a compact clutch holding just a smartphone (in a smart case that carries their train passes and credit cards all-in-one, or even better–apple pay), a tiny wallet, and lip tint. i mean, what about 3 packs of tissue, water bottle, makeup bag, notepad, pen, handkerchief, ipod, extra smartphone charger, etc….?? my point being: having to carry a personal tumbler or mug to my local caffeine joint, is way too much luggage than i already have to carry–especially for that unplanned stop-in to kill time.


although it’s not as green as having a personal tumbler at hand, i decided to make this fabric sleeve to replace the brown cardboard sleeves made of recycled material. yes, they are eco-friendly, however, not so much if they’re going straight back to waste after a couple hours of usage. there was a time where i would hold onto the sleeves for next time, but starbucks and tully’s have differently shaped cups, and i order anywhere between a short and grande, which would result in carrying around 4 sleeves at a time (at least starbucks uses the same size for tall & grande #marketresearch). they all started cluttering my bag again and became inspiration to make an all-inclusive sleeve for 3 different sizes at two different cafe chains.


the result, i patched together some of my favorite leftover denim scraps (these are
another story on their own!) to sew up a denim sleeve that works for all three sizes at both stores (yay velcro!)! even more, i used quilting to function as insulation, working better than the cardboard.


it’s pretty cool to say, “no sleeve please!” and the barista goes, “umm… please be careful, it’s very hot” and BAM! i flash my swanky chic denim sleeve (brush that dirt off my shoulder, uh huh). before it all goes to my head, i understand that my next step is to create a portable, collapsable cup that i can carry around (or someone else can do the work for me? kickstarter?)… in the meantime, i’ll happily flash my washable sleeve that will be reusable for years. =)

レジで、「スリーヴはいらないです」と伝えると、「ええ、とても熱いので気をつけてくださいね。。」とキョトンとされたり戸惑われたりされます。そういう時に、ランプの下でドリンクの受け取りを待って、自信たっぷりにスリーヴを広げるのが気持ち良いんです!笑 こんな小さな事で快感を得るような私ですが、確かに手持ちタンブラーを超すエコフレンドリーな事はないですよね。いつか、もっとコンパクトに手持ちできる入れ物ができるまでは、このスリーヴを自信満々持ち歩きます!

have a great cup of caffeine!

p.s. please do let me know your thoughts about this sleeve and if i should sell it on either or both of my shops!

handwritten spice jar labels

this past month has been quite a hassle! i had some sort of stomach flu combined with a cold, that led to sinusitis… after 3 weeks in bed, i’ve slowly tried to come back to my daily routine. rolling around in bed so long had me restless and got me into an organization frenzy! which brings me to today’s topic: handwritten spice jar labels.

この1ヶ月間、大変でしたー  風邪と感染性腸炎のダブルパンチで3週間も寝込んでしまい、やっといつもの生活習慣を取り戻しつつありそうです。そんな何もできずにゴロゴロしてる日々が続き、治ってきたら家のいたるところを整理整頓したくなってしまいました。そこで、今日の本題に入りまーす:手書きラベルのスパイス入れ。


during my visit to santorini, i had bought some wonderful herb and spice mixes, which i had been wanting to find the perfect spice jars for. after much brainstorming and contemplation (of whether to buy a label printer or which jars to buy), i decided to go analog and handwrite labels to put on these jars from the 100 yen shop (seria probably has the bestest trendiest selection!).


i had A4 size printable adhesive label sheets (the kind that isn’t pre-cut) leftover from a past wedding project. these are great for handwriting or printing any size stickers up to A4, and you have the freedom to create any shape (as long as you’re willing to cut them yourself!). not to mention, the grid lines show through a little bit, helping out with measuring out multiple labels.



handletter. cut. stick. / 作って、切って、貼って。


i felt SO accomplished afterward!! WOOHOOO!


[d.i.y.] super easy name placements

you’ve hit wedding crunch time and your guest list is finally finalizing. of course, this has to be at the last minute. if you can find a calligrapher at the last minute, that’s great, but you just don’t want to think about it and want to use the ol’ computer and printer for name placements. however, you still want your name placements to look great! here’s a d.i.y. for you!! (if your guest list is mostly finalized and you want to check this off your list earlier on, it doesn’t hurt to make some name placements for the “maybe”‘s and a few blank ones for last minute “i can make it!”‘s.)

LET’S START! / 始めよう!

the goods

what you need / 材料:
card stock (optional: 2 types for front and back) / 厚紙または画用紙 (オプションとして表と裏で別々の紙を2種類)
printed names / 印刷されたネーム
cutting board / カッティングボード
cutter / カッター
(if available, a paper cutter will speed things up! pre-cut the names and card stock to size before hand (see below steps for sizes. front and back are the same size). / ペーパーカッターがあれば早いです!前もってネームと厚紙を人数分切り出しておくと、なお効率いいです。下記ステップに各サイズを表記しています。厚紙は、表裏共に同じサイズです。)
ruler / 定規
(i used a transparent sewing/patterning ruler (see step 1) to measure and cut simultaneously. / 透明のパターン用定規(ステップ1をご参照ください)を使うと測りながら切ることが出来て、スピードアップ出来ます。)
double stick tape / 両面テープ

cut out  names
1. cut out the names to 8.7cm x 4.7cm/3 1/2in x 1 3/4in (i cut 5mm/1/8in around the rectangle using my patterning ruler). / 印刷されたネームを8.7cm×4.7cmに切る。(透明の定規を使って長方形の周り5mmでカットしました。)

double stick names
2. apply double stick tape to the backs of the names and apply to the center of the front card. / 両面テープをネームの裏に貼り、表になる厚紙の中心に貼る。

cut out card
3. cut out the front card to 10cm x 6cm/4in x 2 3/8in (here i cut 7mm/1/4in around the name paper using the patterning ruler). / 表カードを10cm×6cmに切る。(透明定規を使用してネームの周囲7mmでカットしました。)

cut out backing
4. match the front card to a corner of the back card, and cut to the same size. / 裏紙の角に表カードを合わせ、表カードのサイズに合わせて切る。

score backing
5. with a cutter, lightly score the back card 2cm/3/4in inside one of the longer sides. / カッターを使用して、裏カードを長い辺から2cm内側に軽〜く切り込みを入れる。

close up of score
here’s a close up of the score. / 切り込みのアップ。これくらい軽くでいいのです!

fold score
6. LIGHTLY fold score, with the cut side on the inside. / 優しく折り目を作る。切った面が内側の谷面になります。

double stick backing
7. apply double stick tape to the thinner side of the score, again with the cut side facing down. / 山面になる側の細い部分に両面テープを貼る。

attach backing to card
8. attach the backing to the front card, making sure that the name card is facing right-side up, and aligning the taped end to the top back side of the name card. / 裏カードを表カードと合体する。その際に、表カードのネーム面を手前に向け、裏カードのテープ面が表カードの裏の上端に合わさるように貼ります。

FINISHED! / 出来上がり!

it's flat!
this name card is great because it is easily flattened to lessen the load to take to your wedding reception! / この席札は、平にしやすい上、最低限の場所をとるので披露宴の荷物を詰めやすくします!

[side note / ちなみに]
regarding my printer & paper for d.i.y. wedding paper items

printer & paper
| my printerプリンター |

an amazing purchase!! it prints both fine or fast, adjusts to many paper types, can print via wifi and from smart phones, and the quality is just great! for weddings, it’s best to print with a “fine printing” setting. it will look absolutely professional! / 重宝しています!ファインとスピーディで印刷設定を変えられ、様々な紙面に印刷できる上、wifiでスマホからも印刷できます。そして、何よりもクオリティが最高です!結婚式のためでしたら、ファイン設定がオススメです。

| aravealアラベール |
MY FAVORITE. i recommend it to all my customers for it’s supple texture and matte look. since i take orders for making name placements, i have my own batch that i order from this online shop and my computer prints perfectly on it. / お客様にいつもオススメしている紙です。表面の凹凸がさりげなく、なめらかでマットに仕上がります。席札のご注文をいただいているので、takeopaperさんから発注して常備しています。自宅のプリンターでも綺麗に印刷されます。

thank you

tie ribbon

[d.i.y.] baby shower favors

last month, i hosted a dual baby shower for two of my expecting friends. both of them are due around the same time, and both are boys! i was limited with set up time and decorations, so i made a volumy tassel garland that’s easy to put up and instantly brightens up any party space. i didn’t have time to take many photos but here’s what the garlands looked like.



now onto the MAIN subject of this post. a simple and easy baby shower favor d.i.y.! i know i do a lot of “simple and easy”, but seriously not many of us have all the time in the world, and efficiency is key. as long as your heart goes into making these favors, your guests will truly appreciate the gesture!


LET’S START! / 始めよう!

what you need / 材料:
small paper gift bags / ギフト用紙袋
chocolates, candies, or other small wrapped snacks / 個別包装されたチョコレート、キャンディー、お菓子
washi tape / 和紙テープ
printed (or written) thank you message / 手描き、もしくは印刷されたサンキューメッセージ
scissors / ハサミ
ribbon / リボン

1. print and/or handwrite/draw a thank you message to match the width of gift bag. / 印刷もしくは手書き/描きのサンキューメッセージタグを作る。幅はギフトバッグに合わせて。

cut out
2. cut out thank you message tag. i left some white space at the bottom where the tape will go, but this is optional. for some extra fun details, cut top edges in a curved, scalloped, or zig-zag pattern! /

tape bag closed
3. fill gift bag with candies and snacks and tape closed. / ギフトバッグにお菓子を詰めて、テープで閉じる。

add tape to tag
4. tape washi-tape to the bottom edge of tag. make sure to leave about 1/3 inch of the tape from the bottom edge of the tag to attach to the gift bag. / メッセージタグの下端に和紙テープを貼る。ギフトバッグに貼り付ける分量を半分残す。

tape tag to bag
5. tape tag to gift bag. let the detailed top edge stick above the gift bag. / メッセージタグをギフトバッグに貼り付ける。先ほど不規則に切った上端は、紙袋の上から出るように配置してね♥

tie ribbon
6. finish with a ribbon! / 最後にリボンを結ぶ!

FINISHED! / 出来上がり!

completed closeup

[d.i.y.] starry night card stock garland

right smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, bustling around for presents, preparing the house for the freezing winter months and the streams of expected guests, i of course had to think up another diy decoration project (well it was more because i had come across these dreamy fairy lights that i’ve been looking for all year) and thanks to my overly ambitious creative mind, i always lose a lot of sleep … but the results are worth it.

クリスマスシーズン真っ只中の今、家族のプレゼント探しから、大掃除、クリスマスパーティの準備などなど、やる事が途絶えない師走のこの時期に、新しいDIYを思いついてしまいました。実を言うと、インスピレーション源は一年中探していたフェアリーライトを niko and… で見つけた事です。睡眠時間削ってでもどうしても作りたかったスターガーランドが完成しました。

LET’S START! / 始めよう!
*sample uses 5 sheets for 30 stars / サンプルは5枚=星30個使っています

what you need / 材料:
1 A4 size card stock (for 6 stars) / A4サイズ厚紙や画用紙1枚(星6枚)
white acrylic paint / 白いアクリル絵の具
sponge for painting / スポンジ
gold spray paint / ゴールドスプレーカラー
printed template (1 sheet=6 stars) / 型紙のプリント(1枚=星6個)
all purpose glue / 糊
scissors / ハサミ
needle or pointed tool / 目打ち
ruler / 定規
cutter / カッター
cord / 紙紐
tape / テープ

paint card stock
1. use a sponge to paint card stock. this adds a marble-type of effect for the first layer! then spray a thin layer of gold paint. (i used strips of leftover cardstock.) / スポンジでアクリルペイントを厚紙に叩くように塗る。マーブル調になります。次にゴールドのスプレーカラーを薄く塗る。(私は余り物の厚紙を使用しているので紙サイズが異なります。)

finished card stock
2. after at least 24 hours of drying the paints, the sheets are ready! i purposely left a couple of sheets uncolored. / 24時間ほどペイントを乾かしたら、紙の準備が終わります!あえて数枚ペイントをしないでいます。

paste individual star templates
3. glue the template to the back of the prepared card stock. make sure to glue the entire surface of each star. since i had irregular sized strips i roughly cut the individual stars out. / 型紙のプリントを厚紙の裏に糊で貼る。しっかり星の中全体を糊付けする事がポイントです。私は余り物の紙を使っていたので、先に型紙を荒く切り分けてから貼りました。

cut individual stars
individual stars
individual stars back
4. cut the individual stars along the outside lines. / 外側の線に沿って星を一つずつ切り抜く。

// set aside the B stars (the plain stars) and we will work on the A stars (the ones with glue tabs and dotted lines) for STEPS 5-7 //
// 一度 Bの星(無地のシンプルな星)をよけて、ステップ5〜7では、Aの星を加工します。//

hole in center
hole in center close up
5. for the A stars (or the stars with tabs) poke a very small hole where the lines meet in the center of the star. / Aの星の線が重なり合う中心点に目打ちで小さく穴を刺す。

star score and fold directions
6. use a cutter to gently score along the lines as shown in above picture. for the lines that need to be scored from the outside, 1. score from the center hole to each of the five points of the star and 2. connect the two points of the glue tab folds. / 上記図の通りにカッターで優しく、浅く溝を切り込む。表面の線は、1. 中心の穴から星の5つの頂点まで一つずつ線を引く。2. のり代の折り線は、端点の間を線を引く。

fold scored lines
7. fold the scored lines. see the picture in step 6.: for the blue lines, the fold (or mountain fold) should be on the outside. for the red lines, the fold (or mountain fold) would be on the inside. / 溝に沿って折る。ステップ6.の図の青い破線は表面が山折りになります。赤い破線は内側が山折りになります。

tape cord
8. returning to the B stars (the plain ones), lay out your cord and plan where to attach the B stars. tape the garland cord onto the insides of these stars. / ここからBの星(無地タイプ)に戻ります。ガーランドの紐とBの星の位置を決めます。Bの星の内側に紐をテープで固定します。

star completed
completed star side
9. find the corresponding sized A star for each B star from step 8 (star sizes 1-3). place a small amount of glue on the glue tabs on both sides of a single star point and attach to B star. this step takes a lot of patience: hold the point in place for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. then move on to the next two glue tabs, and repeat until you complete the star. remember, PATIENCE IS KEY! / テープで固定したB星のサイズ(1〜3)に合うA星を探す。一つの頂点の両のり代に少量の糊をつける。丁寧にB星にのせ、30秒〜1分間手で押し付ける。このステップでは、一回に一つの頂点を終わらせてから次の頂点へ進めます。気長〜に丁寧に進めるのがキーポイントです!!

FINISHED! / 出来上がり!
they really are dreamy when combined with these fairy lights! / フェアリーライトと組み合わせて暗い部屋でも暖かくて夢のような空間に仕上がりました。

completed with christmas tree
this is what it looks like with the christmas tree. i plan on keeping them up through the winter (or maybe through the year…) though. / クリスマスツリーと組み合わせています。クリスマスだけでなく、少なくても冬の間はずっと飾り続ける予定です!

h a p p y  h o l i d a y s ! !