Stars Play Santa: Paige Chua

To celebrate the spirit of giving this Christmas season, we’re teaming up with the actress to offer our readers a handmade gift that money can’t buy

Video: Vina Chia, Teng Siew Eng, Vanessa Lim
Video: Vina Chia, Teng Siew Eng, Vanessa Lim
18 Dec 2015

Video: Vina Chia, Teng Siew Eng, Vanessa Lim

The bad news: after giving away lovely handmade gifts from Desmond Tan, Felicia Chin and Ian Fang, Stars Play Santa, Toggle’s DIY Christmas giveaway series, is coming to an end.

The good news: Our final gift that’s up for grabs is so lovely, even the creator herself jokingly asked us if she can keep it while we award this week’s winner with another ready-made one from the store. (Don’t worry, of course we said no.)

Taking a break from her more sporty and action-packed activities to get in touch with her “gentler” side, Paige Chua visited quaint little DIY workshop Make Your Own to try her hand at creating a terrarium for the very first time.

Under the watchful guidance of creative manager and trainer Ong Yi Ting, the 34-year-old actress delved into the painstaking process of assembling a tiny world within a glass globe, complete with miniature houses, a bits of mossy terrain and other adorable little touches.

“This reminds me of Polly Pocket,” Paige remarked, referring to a line of miniature dolls, accessories and houses. “Hence it brings back a lot of memories from my childhood.”

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Paige with Make Your Own’s creative manager and trainer Ong Yi Ting.
Paige with Make Your Own’s creative manager and trainer Ong Yi Ting.
18 Dec 2015

Paige with Make Your Own’s creative manager and trainer Ong Yi Ting.

Despite it being her maiden attempt, Paige displayed an air of calm confidence, only pausing occasionally to seek Yi Ting’s help when she wasn’t sure about a step.

When we asked if she’s someone who is into DIY, particularly when it comes to presents, she revealed that although she does like arts and crafts, she did more of it when she was a student. “I had no time to make my own gifts after I started working, although it is a good idea!”

“I might start doing things like this when I’m less active with my sports and yoga,” she added. “I’m not exactly the most artistic person but this is quite therapeutic!”

With a bit of inspiration from a hiking trip to New Zealand a few years ago, Paige’s little “ideal world” began to take shape. A couple of hours later, a tiny “gated community” that “looks like it’s very high up” in the mountains was born. “There are a lot of mushrooms because they could be vegetarians, and it looks like a very spiritual area for meditation,” she grinned.

Read on to find out Paige’s thoughts about her creative accomplishment today, Christmas memories and where she’d love to spend the holidays:

Paige looks very in love with her own creation – and we don’t blame her!
Paige looks very in love with her own creation – and we don’t blame her!
18 Dec 2015

Paige looks very in love with her own creation – and we don’t blame her!

Toggle: On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think you did today?
Paige: In terms of enjoyment I would say a 10, but as for how well I did, you’ll have to ask my instructor! But I’m very pleased with my product and I hope that whoever wins it will be happy with it as well.

How challenging was it to create your own terrarium?
At first it kept getting messed up because I wasn’t that familiar with the techniques, but after I slowed down and tried to be more patient, I got the hang of it. I guess I would rate the difficulty level a four out of 10? It’s not so bad.

What’s the most memorable Christmas you’ve ever had?
I don’t have one in particular because every Christmas is pretty much the same; in fact, I want it to be that way so we have a tradition. Every year, my family and I have a feast with spring chicken, baked potatoes, ham and some Chinese dishes. My mum does the cooking sometimes, and also someone else, but I won’t say who! (laughs)

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given someone?
I only started giving my parents Christmas presents in my late twenties. My family isn’t very expressive, and I remember very clearly how my father reacted the first time I bought him a sports T-shirt: he was like, “Oh, okay” and didn’t even say thank you! But yeah, that was the first time my sister and I got our parents presents and they were a little taken aback and didn’t know how to react. Now, they’re more used to getting presents, but they still don’t say thank you. I think I’ve spoiled them! (laughs)

Describe your ideal Christmas.
I’ve never seen real snow before so it’ll be nice to have a white Christmas. I’d like to experience it in Tokyo Disneyland because I heard it’s very beautiful and well-maintained, plus they have winter there so it sounds ideal.

Continued: Step-by-step instructions on how to create your own terrarium, just like what Paige did!

Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
18 Dec 2015

Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how

1. Pour small pebbles into a glass container to form the base. The pebbles are used to trap excess water.

2. Cover the pebbles completely with a layer of dried sphagnum moss and use a tool to press it down. The moss prevents the soil from leaking onto the pebbles underneath.

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Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
18 Dec 2015

Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how

3. Sprinkle a few spoons of charcoal on top of the moss. The charcoal (the same kind that’s used in aquariums) is used as a deodoriser to absorb bad smells, as well as to filter the water.

4. Add soil and use a tool or your hand to press it down to make it compact and sturdy. Now, it is ready for decorating!

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Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
18 Dec 2015

Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how

5. Make your imaginary world come to life by adding moss patches as grassy landscapes, small rocks as cliffs and tiny pebbles as stony pathways (use a funnel for more accurate placement).

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Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
18 Dec 2015

Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how

6. Add the little elements (houses, plants, inhabitants etc.) into your little world. For more careful and accurate placement, use a pair of tweezers.

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Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how
18 Dec 2015

Make your own terrarium – Paige shows you how

7. Clean up excess soil and condensation using a small brush and piece of cloth.

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Done!
Done!
18 Dec 2015

Done!

For maintenance, remove the lid of the glass container for a few minutes once a week to let in fresh air, as well as to prevent mould from growing. Keep the terrarium away from sunlight and spray a light mist of water inside once every three to four weeks, or whenever it starts to look a bit dry.

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Want to get your hands on this lush and beautiful terrarium handmade by Paige?
Want to get your hands on this lush and beautiful terrarium handmade by Paige?
18 Dec 2015

Want to get your hands on this lush and beautiful terrarium handmade by Paige?

Visit our Stars Play Santa microsite and tell us how you would celebrate Christmas with Paige and upload a Christmas-themed photograph.

Contest closes December 27 and the winner will be announced on our site.

Continued on next page: Terms and conditions

Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions
18 Dec 2015

Terms and Conditions

- The contest is open to Singapore residents age 15 and above only.
- Readers may make a submission for all four gifts, but can only submit one entry for each gift.
- Each family is entitled to win only once. Same contact address will be considered as the same family.
- Entries submitted after the deadline will not be entertained.
- Toggle reserves the right to pick final winners. No correspondence will be entertained.
- Entry submission forms that are incomplete will be disqualified.
- Previous week's winners will not be qualified to win.
- Any proof-of-entry printouts cannot be used as proof that Toggle has received your submission.
- Toggle reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the contest without prior notice.
- Winners will be informed via email/phone call from which details of prize collection will be stated.
- Prizes not collected by January 31, 2016 will be considered null and void.
- Prizes are non-transferable and non-exchangeable for cash.
- By entering the contest, you agree to be informed of any future promotion related to Toggle.

Click here to enter this week’s contest!


WATCH:
Desmond Tan transforms pieces of leather into pretty and practical goods 
Felicia Chin proves she's no klutz by making a delicate pendant and bag charm 
Ian Fang turns a plain white tote bag into a Jackson Pollock-inspired work of art

Related:
Find out more about Stars Play Santa, Toggle's DIY Christmas giveaway 
That one time… Paige Chua was obsessed with The Twilight Saga
Paige Chua: Thanks but no thanks to a marriage proposal now

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