...Create: DIY Projects

Loving Memories

Nostalgic for childhood simplicity, I decided to make my friends valentines. I chose to do the practical–albeit a little unoriginal–Burt’s Bees lip balm pun, ‘Please bee my valentine!’ But I felt the need to delve a little deeper into my creative energy, so I made a case for the lip balm as well. For the case, I used this African fabric that my sister brought me from Rwanda. [Rwandan fabric story to be continued…]  Here are some photo steps of how I made the case and the end result of my childhood valentine project at age 24.

I cut 2″ by 14″ strips for the average size of Burt’s Bees lip balm.

I used velcro as the fastener. Place rough velcro side on top, and soft velcro side about half way down strip. make sure both are on the exterior side of the fabric.IMG_0796

Sew velcro onto fabric. IMG_0797


I suggest using a layer of interfacing,  depending on the type of fabric you decide to use.

Fold strip in half, with velcro on inside, and sew edges leaving one 2″-end open.

Turn case right-side-out with finger and/or chopsticks. IMG_0804

Fold in almost thirds, then sew sides and top closed. IMG_0805


[…Rwandan fabric story continued.]  My sister brought me back a ton of this hand-dyed fabric made by women in Rwanda. She was living there, teaching at The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village for a year. “The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) is a residential community in rural Rwanda. Its 144 acres are home to youth who were orphaned during and after the genocide in 1994. The Village is designed to care for, protect and nurture these young people. It is a place of hope, where “tears are dried” (signified by the Kinyarwanda word agahozo) and where the aim is to live in peace (from Hebrew, shalom).”

The reason I am sharing the mission and mentality of the village is to honor the memory of Agahozo-Shalom’s founder, Anne Heyman. Her recent and unexpected passing leave many in mourning. Anne’s resolute altruistic vision aided and inspired countless lives. May her memory and her mission live on.


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