Take Out Chopstick Crafts

Take Out Chopstick Crafts

If you are anything like me then your house is probably full of bits and pieces collected with the thought of 'I could do something with that.'  All kinds of shiny, glittery, funny shaped objects are piled up in drawers and boxes in my studio, and many of them have sat unused for years - patiently waiting for inspiration to strike. One thing that I collect is chopsticks, although admittedly I use them traditionally as eating utensils for when I have made Chinese pot stickers or a sweet and sour chicken.  I have never thought to turn them into craft projects.  Until now. Inspired by a friend's use of chopsticks as a funky way to fasten her old woolen sweater shut against the cold,  I looked online for other crafty uses for chopsticks and was surprised to find some very creative people turning these bamboo sticks into all sorts of clever, handmade items.  Here are a few of my favorites: Chopstick Cardigan Clasp Use the chopsticks from the Chinese restaurant to make fancy pins for cardigans and shawls. Cut the chopsticks to the desired size and then decorate the wider end with beads, silk  flowers, ribbons or charms.  Remove the buttons from your sweater and push the chopstick clasp through the button holes and between the yarn on the other side like a dressmaking pin to hold the cardigan together. Not only does this recycle your chopsticks, but you get extra life out of your new-look, old sweater too! Hair Pins Chopsticks make an easy, fuss-free way to hold up long hair.  Decorate your chopsticks as above.  Wind your hair into a bun and push the chopstick hair pins through your hair to hold it in place.  Add dangling embellishments for extra movement, sparkle and interest.  Make sure you sand the edges smooth to stop the chopstick from snagging in your hair or scratching your scalp. Purse Handles (there's one of those knitted purses again!) I love this idea of using chopsticks as purse handles.  They will work with any tab top style purse and can be used in place of hoop handles such as the Sushi themed design above by Etsy artist Blogdirtsa.  With loosely knit bags you can just weave the chopsticks through the knitting.  Use one for each side, or thread one chopstick through both sides to create a secure closure like this one from MsThrifty. If you like the look but don't want to make it yourself,  pop over to Etsy to pick up one of these bags from Shopdirtsa or MsThrifty. Earrings This was one of the most impressive uses of chopsticks that I found, and one of my favorites.  You could use high quality, painted chopsticks, or try hand painting your own design on plain bamboo or wooden ones.  Or you can just cheat and snag these ones from the artist's Etsy store.  :) Materials: Chopsticks Sandpaper Scissor or a craft knife Decorations for your craft project such as ribbon, wire and beads. Useful Links: http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=1472 - Chopstick hair pins http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/cutpaste/feature/famf89hair/famf... -  Chopstick hair pin project for kids