Thread ‘n’ paperBy Tatin Yang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Twenty-nine-year-old Mikko Sumulong of I Try DIY grew up in a crafty home. Her mom loved making crafts, and it was only natural for Mikko to follow in her mom’s footsteps.
Now, her craft obsession lies in creating friendship bracelets (she even co-wrote a friendship bracelet book!) and functional paper folding—gift boxes, paper wallets, envelopes.
Her love for thread has expanded into creating watch straps, camera straps, key rings, jewelry and more. Though her day job in human resources keeps her busy, it hasn’t stopped her from cultivating her passion for DIY.
What kind of crafts do you do?
I work mostly with thread and paper. There’s so much you can do already with just those two things! Apart from basic crafts, I absolutely love gift-wrapping and making party decorations.
Crafting was a huge part of my childhood. I had a mom who rivaled Martha Stewart in many ways, and she used crafting to keep me busy. My barkada still knows my mom as the crafty one, and I seem to have gotten her crafty genes, too!
What was your first project?
When I moved back here two years ago, I spent quite a bit of time getting crafty again. I got the opportunity to work on a book—“The Friendship Bracelet Book.” To date, it’s still one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on.
Tell us about the book.
The book is a guide on how to make friendship bracelets. Alessandra Lanot (“Life Before Breakfast”), Macy Alcaraz (managing editor of Candymag.com) and I spent a good two months living and breathing friendship bracelets!
The most exciting part for me was that it helped wake up the creative in me. It was also exciting to know that the book would be part of the craft renaissance for kids.
What other crafts would you like to get into?
A lot of my crafter friends have been getting into rubber stamp making and paper cutting. I’ve never really tried it, but I look forward to learning more about it. I’m really glad more and more craft events are popping up.
How long does it take for you to finish a project?
I have a pretty short attention span when it comes to projects. Each takes about an hour or less. For longer projects, I like watching TV while doing them, so I have “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Vampire Diaries” or “The Amazing Race” in the background.
There’s always that thrill knowing that you created something from scratch. When someone compliments me on something I worked on, there’s that kilig feeling that comes with me saying, “Thanks, I made it!”
Where do you get your materials?
My mom luckily supports my craft addiction, so she sends me a bunch of supplies from the States. I also love hitting the aisles of National Book Store, Fully Booked and Divisoria to get my hands on craft supplies.
What tips do you have for first-time bracelet/origami makers?
Making mistakes is not a big deal, just breathe deeply and move on. Consider little errors your personal touch.
Who are your crafting idols?
Martha Stewart (and her team). My craft motto has always been, “Why buy when you can DIY?” and she is the ultimate source of everything DIY.
What useful websites should every aspiring crafter bookmark?
Craftgawker.com and Pinterest for anything crafty.
Mikko crafts and blogs at www.itrydiy.me and Instagram at mikkomix.