Friday, August 8, 2014

Handmade Rakhis & Rakhi Cards

Hello Everyone!!!
Today's post is really special & interesting. Its about 'Raksha Bandhan'. Raksha Bandhan celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters in India. Here's a little history for those of you who don't know anything about this festival. Back in the olden days, Rajput Queens sent Rakhi threads to rulers of neighboring states as a token of brotherhood. The rulers in turn vowed to protect them for life.  Today the festival symbolizes the same love and affection between brothers and sisters. While the sisters pray for the lifelong well being of their brothers, the brothers promise to care for them for as long as they live. People in India celebrate Rakhi with a lot of fun and enthusiasm.

I tie Rakhi to 5 of my brothers since childhood . When I was a kid, they would come to my place & we perfomed the ritual & when I was able to travel independently, I would try to go to their homes to tie them Rakhis. As I'm in USA since past 5 years I would either sent Rakhis through an online service or ask my mom to get Rakhis for them & hand it over to them. This year I decided to do something different & special for them. I decided to make Rakhis on my own. It was a very spontaneous thought that came to my mind 2 weeks back, but I decided to go with my gut. 

As the shipping was going to cost me I did not want to spend much on the material a lot so I decided to 'shop my stash' to see what material I can use before going shopping for anything. The thread for a Rakhi had to be colorful yet strong. I had some cross-stitch thread I had bought in the past. I decided to select bright colors, so I went with Yellow, Red & Green. Next I needed some kind of topper to decorate it,  I had a strand of pearls I had bought from A C Moore for 50cents, I decided to use few pearls from those. The best thing that would go with pearls would be Seed Beads. I did not have any,so I went to Micheals and picked up seed beads (Size: 6/0) in Gold & Purple.

After that came the difficult  part, that was to decide how to tie them. I had seen a couple of Friendship bracelet making tutorials on Youtube few years back, but they could be done in various patterns & none of the ones I saw had beads in them, so I had to do a bit of trial & error  there. After trying a couple of ways & discarding a lot of thread in it, I was satisfied with 1 method . I used 3threads, 2 of 1 color & 1 of a different color.Started off braiding the threads, then inserted beads, holding 1 bead at a time I followed the Friendship Bracelet Knotting technique & after achieving the required length to cover outside wrist I braided back the rest of the threads to match the other side. The outcome was beautiful & colorful.

I had to post these Rakhis, so to go with each of them I created a card. I kept the cards simple. Each card sized 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches. I sprayed 2 colors of Rangers Dylusions Inks Sprays on a cardstock, Cut it to sizes to mat the front of the card base. Using Spellbinders label dies, die-cut labels for each of them. Wrote the sentiment by hand & embellished with rhinestones. to give the card some dimension , I popped up the sentiment label.

I packed each card & rakhi in a coordinating envelope & I was done. Here are a few snaps of the Rakhis & the coordinating cards 

I hope all of them like it. As Rakhi is on 8/10/2014, I wish each one of them a very Happy Raksha Bandhan.!!!! Love you all a lot!!! Also I hope everyone enjoys their Raksha Bandhan with their siblings

I know this was a really long post but I hope you all liked my cards & Rakhis. Do let me know if you wish to see how I made these Rakhis or even made the card backgrounds. 

Thank you very much for taking your time to notice my work. Hope to hear again from all of you soon. Till then take care. :)

PS: If my posts inspire you to create something on similar lines, I feel highly flattered. But please, do respect the effort I take in conceptualizing and executing, please give a direct link to my work when you are inspired by mine. Thanks for understanding :-) 

Supplies used: 
Cross stitch thread (Read, Green , Yellow), Pearls, Seed Beads -Size:6/0( Gold, Purple)

Recollections cardstock paper  8.5" x 11",  Ranger Dylusions Ink Sprays (Cut grass, Lemon Zest, Crushed Grape, Squeezed Orange, London Blue, Postbox Red), Rhinestones (Pink, Yellow, Blue, Red), Spellbinders label die, Foam dots

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