Tag Archives: Crafts


On Tuesday night a group of students got together to talk study abroad. One of the students had recently returned from India and asked me if I would be willing to help do henna at the gathering.

DISCLOSURE: I have NEVER been hennaed, let alone used henna.

But I was willing to give it a shot. In the end, it was much like piping a cake. We looked up designs online and in an hour I tattooed five of the students. Overall, I was pretty excited about how they turned out. We all decided this would be a great activity for a birthday party or ladies night. I just need a bit more practice!


Say Queso!

While in Minnesota with family and friends, I was in charge of bringing a craft for the kids. Ranging between the ages of 2 and 9, I wanted to come up with a fun idea that incorporated culture but that everyone could participate. So after a trip to Michael’s, I decided to do a photo booth but the kids would make their own props. I came prepared with Venetian masks, Mexican sombreros, and word bubbles with international greetings for the kids to decorate. In the end, both the adults and the kids enjoyed our international craft time.

If you want to host your own internationally themed photo both, here’s what you need:

  • Black plastic masks
  • Feathers
  • Pom-poms
  • Glitter glue
  • Decorative duct tape
  • Construction paper
  • Wooden dowels
  • Headbands
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • White sheet for back drop
  • Camera

DIY Adinkra Coasters

Living in corporate housing definitely lacks character. Everything is brown and bland so I decided I needed to spice things up a bit and turn the corporate coasters into cultural art.

Adinkra symbols come from West Africa and as far as we know, date back to the early 1800s to the Akan of Ghana. The symbols convey traditional wisdom and life and are frequently used to decorate fabrics, pottery, and architecture. They are beautiful yet easy to replicate.

Here are few symbols and more can be found at the Adinkra Symbol Index

Coaster Directions

1. Chose your symbol

I chose the commitment & perseverance symbol. Which is also called “I shall marry you.”

2. Gather your materials: a paper bag, a sheet of foam, scissors, packing tape, stamping ink, a small piece of cardboard, and your cardboard coasters.

Here is all you need!

3. Draw out your pattern on the foam sheet.

I used a variety of household items to draw my shape.

4. Cut out your shape and stick it to a piece of card board about the same size.

I had the self-adhesive foam which made it super easy.

5. Dip your homemade stamp in ink and place it on the piece of the cut-up paper bag.

I cut the paper bag to be about the size of the coaster.

6. Trace the coaster to the paper bag and cover enter front with packing tape to make a waterproof surface. And shazam! I’ve got coasters that I don’t loath.

These are so much better!

Easy and Budget Friendly Origami

My first experience with origami was actually in Japan 4 years ago while leading a study abroad program. We took our group to a university in Osaka and the local students taught us how to make cranes. So when I went to the local craft store yesterday and saw 6″x6″ paper in the  $1 bins, I decided origami would be a great Global from Home project. These three animals are easy and would be a great project for older kids too.

12 pieces of 6″x6″ for $1

These are the real origami packs that were just a few aisles away…and $6 a pack.

Owl Origami

All that is needed for this cute owl is 1 piece of 6″x6″ paper and a pair of scissors

Wombat Origami

Wombie the Wombat only requires one piece of paper and a black pen

Puppy Origami

The puppy needs two pieces of 6″x6″ paper, a black pen, and tape.

Origami Menagerie


Mexican Crafts to Make at Home

Although I am actually in Mexico right now, it is super easy to explore Mexico from home too. For all you crafters, I’ve found some fun projects to recreate Mexican crafts. Check out these bloggers’ how-tos:

Sugar Skull Heat n Bond Applique by Diary of a Mad Crafter

DIY Festive Mexican Paper Flowers by 100 Layer Cake

Luchador Mask Necklace by Den of a Thoughtful Rabbit

Mexican Blanket Jacket from Sprinkles in Springs

Mexican Hot Chocolate from Prairiesummers

DIY Mexican Talavera Pottery from Juan of Words

Mini Piñatas by Oh Happy Day

Have fun crafting Mexican style!

Love Locked

Today is my two-year wedding anniversary to the most wonderful man who just so happens to be my best friend. To commemorate our day, I decided to be creative with Hubby’s gift and got an idea from pictures I’ve been seeing on a variety of blogs: the love padlock. The cultural phenomenon  of hanging a padlock with lovers’ initials has covered historical sites around the world. Have you hung a lock on any of these?

Mount Huanshan, China courtesy of Wikipedia

Locks in Moscow, Russia courtesy of Hotel Club.

Padlocks on the Pont des Arts in Paris courtesy of David Lebovitz.

I wanted us to have our own love padlock but rather than permanently place it, I wanted to be able to take it with us.  So here’s what I did:

1. First I purchased a 5×7″ matted frame, a padlock, and one of these 3M metal command hooks.

2. I created a 5×7″ Publisher document with important words and events from our marriage, leaving a space for where the hook would go.

3. Then I framed the Publisher document and placed the command hook on top of the glass over the reserved space.

4. Since the lock I bought has a four digit code, I put our anniversary 06.19 as the combination.

And voila! A one-of-a-kind anniversary gift for Hubby.

Give Dad the World

Today is my dad’s birthday, but unfortunately I am in San Diego and he is across the country in Atlanta.  But in honor of him and in preparation of Father’s Day (June 17th in the U.S.) in a few weeks, I’ve been searching for some internationally themed gifts to give to one of my favorite men in the world.  Here are a couple different ideas:

For the Stamp Collecting Dad:  The World Encyclopedia of Stamps & Stamp Collecting and some Postcrossing supplies (postcards of his hometown and stamps that add to $1.05)

For the Coffee Connoissuer Dad: The Around the World Coffee Sampler with blends from Sumatra (Indonesia), Ethiopia, and Guatemala from Great Coffee (you could always throw in one of the classic World’s Best Dad mugs too!)

For the Global Fanatic Dad: Gear from the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews

For the Globe Trotting Dad: Do a little DIY and make this hand-sewn leather passport cover from Design Sponge

For the Lifelong Learning Dad: Rosetta Stone

For the Fashion Forward Dad: Personalized map cuff links from Juanitas

For the Softie Side of Dad: Thank him from abroad with a photo of you. 

Let me know if you find any other great global gifts for Father’s Day!



Navigator’s Delight: 7 Fun Ideas for Map Decor

I have noticed a trend among my traveling companions that we all love maps. Whether vintage, scratch-off, or artistic, there is something that draws us to them.  Perhaps it brings back the good ol days when we were lost in Venice, Cusco, or Kyoto.  Navigator, I am not!  Here are some fun ways I’ve found recently to incorporate maps into home decor:

Kate Sproston Designs pillows could mark the location of your soul mate or soul city. 

Shed some light on the world (or through it) with the All Around the World Hanging Pendant from Naturally Heartfelt.

I saw these scratch-off maps at Paper Source yesterday and want one for me! 

16 maps + 1 frame = all the places I love on Sassafassed

Chalk the world up with HANNAHJM’s Chalkboard World Map

Add some extra seating with this pouf from Impressionen.

Give the kitchen a mini make-over with mapped drawer pulls from Sherri Truitt.

For more map ideas, check out these Pinterest boards:


9 Ways to Creatively Display Your Photos from Abroad

If you are anything like me, you have thousands of pictures from abroad but most of them are sitting on your computer…Facebook if you’re lucky.  Check out these 9 unique photo displays and give yourself a reason to browse through those old photos again.

1. Bring your photos into your entertaining with this DIY Photo Runner by HGTV Design Happens.

2. Don’t have any more wall space? Cover your fridge with these cute DIY Mini Polaroid Magnets by Ambrosia Creative.

3. If you have lots of 4×6 photos but not enough frames, this mod podge craft from Hope Anchors the Soul may be the perfect solution.

4. Decorate your sofa with these one-of-a-kind pillows.  Find the How-To at MarthaStewart.com.

5. Combine your photos, ticket stubs, and memorabilia into one frame using Alphabet Frame from Design Aglow.

6.  For those of you that like to switch out photos regularly, these clipboards featured on Ashley Ann Photography make that an easy task.

7. Incorporate your abroad experiences into the holidays as a reminder of the great gift you’ve been given.  Find the instructions for these at Clover Lane.

8. Wear your travels on your wrist with this personalized bangle.  Order at ByMyCrap on Etsy.

9. Put your memories in order with this creative calendar journal from Design Sponge.