Category Archives: Crafts

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee

This month we’ve been busy getting ready for Didsbury in Bloom. We’ve been sprucing up our front garden and helping to build a bug hotel on our road. This year Didsbury in Bloom celebrates our connection to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) which was founded in the village and we’ve been learning about how we can help encourage birds and bugs into our gardens. 

We have plans to build our own bug hotel and we are collecting the materials we will need to put it together. We’ve also been searching in our garden to see what bugs we could find, with all the rain lately we’ve seen a lot of slugs and snails!

Rather fittingly, this month Craft Merrily have challenged the Bostik Bloggers to create a creepy crawlies craft. I wanted to do something simple, and knowing I had some kids to entertain on a play date, I sketched up these templates, one of a Manchester Bee and the other, a butterfly. I then printed them out and set the boys to work.Easy Crafts: Decorating Butterflies & Bees

To make and decorate your butterfly and Manchester Bee  you will need –

Templates printed out – they’re sturdier if printed on card
Colouring pens
Glitter or other embellishments
Bostik fine & wide glu pen
String or ribbon
A hole punch
Scissors

Download these templates for FREE here.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

Method –

This is a ridiculously easy craft. Just set the kids to work decorating the butterflies and bees however they like given the colouring in materials you have, then get the kids to embellish them however they like.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

I encouraged the boys to colour them in first, then to scatter glitter and stick on the paper flowers however they liked best. They came up with some lovely creative ideas, but my favourite was the yellow and black Manchester Bee.

Once they’re decorated how you want them to be, I’d leave them to dry for a few hours before cutting them out, or getting a grown up to cut them out for you.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

To turn them into tree decorations; using the hole punch, make a hole in one of the wings and thread through some string, tying a knot in the string to form a  loop. I think these would make really great bunting too, just punch two holes in and thread the string though each hole to hang it on the bunting.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

As you can see, they look really effective and several of the neighbours have commented how lovely they are. They’re not rain-proof, but they are quite fun to hang out on sunny days, especially when the Didsbury in Bloom judges are walking past.

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

What other crafts can you think of to make with these Manchester Bee and butterfly templates?

Easy Crafts: Make your own Manchester Bee decorations

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

It’s rare a craft tutorial comes with a soundtrack, but I’ve had this earworm the whole time I’ve been making this space craft, so it’s only fair to pass it on. This month Craft Merrily have challenged the Bostik Bloggers to create a space themed craft. I was very happy with this brief as my son has a space themed bedroom and I knew whatever I made would end up hanging from his ceiling being admired by 6 year olds. 

I decided to create a planet and I wanted to make one with rings because they’re prettier right? I didn’t want to do Saturn as that was too obvious, so my husband suggested Uranus as it does have rings. 

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

For more information about Uranus, visit https://www.nasa.gov/uranus

How to make your own Uranus

You will need:
1 polystyrene ball
Half a sheet of tissue paper
A “ring” of cardboard cut to fit the ball
Glue
Blue and silver paint
Bostik White Glu
A length of fishing line

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

How to make Uranus:

Using an egg cup to balance your polystyrene ball on, carefully tear up the tissue paper into pieces a few centimetres square and stick onto the ball using the glue. Once covered, leave it to dry for an hour or so.

Once dry, carefully put the cardboard ring around your planet. The ring should be cut to fit the ball snuggly. 

When the ring is in place, paint over your planet and its ring in blue (or whichever colour you choose, your planet, your rules). You might need to give it a few coats, but remember to leave it to try in between. If you’re in a hurry, a hairdryer can be used to gently speed up the drying process.

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

Once the blue base coat is dry and you are happy it doesn’t need more coats, paint over with silver paint. I wanted the silver paint to seem a bit like gases, so I dabbed it all over the planet and the rings so you could still see the blue underneath. Leave this to dry (again, carefully use a hairdryer if you’re in a rush).

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

When Uranus is dry, take a length of clear fishing line and cut it to the required length. Tie a knot in the middle and thread the pin through the knot and tie it tight. Stick the pin in Uranus, thinking about how you want the planet to hang. I thought it would look pretty at a slightly jaunty angle, so I went with that.

I was going to embellish my planet with sequins and shiny stars, but it was so pretty as it was that I thought I would leave it as it is. If you decide to make your own Uranus, or another planet of your choosing, then you can paint it or embellish it however you’d like. 

I’m really pleased with how my Uranus has turned out. I know my son will enjoy adding it to his bedroom planetarium.

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Craft Tutorial: Kusudama origami flowers

I’ve been part of a local craft club for a little over a year now. We meet once a month for an evening of crafts and each month we try something different. At the first craft club meeting I went to we learned how to make kusudama origami flowers. They are pretty simple to make and once you get into the rhythm, making them becomes addictive. 

Craft Tutorial: Make your own kusudama origami flowers

All you need are some squares of paper and some Bostik glue dots. I added a button and a pipe-cleaner stem, but a lot of kusudama origami flowers don’t have these. It’s easier to make them with thinner paper rather than card. They’d work well with nice wrapping paper cut into squares for example.

Craft Tutorial: Make your own kusudama origami flowers

You can use squares of paper of any size depending on the size of flower you want to make. You will need to make the petal segments in odd numbers. You’ll need to make a minimum of 5 segments, but 7 is a good number to make. I’ve seen them with 15 petal segments and more. Once you’ve got the knack you can really get creative with your kusudama origami flowers.

There are lots of design ideas on Pinterest if you want to take a look. My friend made 20 kusudama origami flowers and attached them to a string of fairy lights with the light shining through the centre of the flower. I have a bouquet of them in a small vase on my dining table. 

It’s much easier to show you how to fold the petal segments and put the flower together than it is to try and explain. I’ve made a video tutorial to walk you through it. 

Making kusudama origami flowers is a lovely little craft to know how to make. It’s a good entry level origami craft and one which you can do with the kids too. A bouquet of colourful kusudama origami flowers would make a lovely gift for flower loving friends, relatives or teachers. Say it with paper flowers?

Craft Tutorial: Make your own kusudama origami flowers

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Craft Tutorial: Pom Pom Bird in a brown paper nest

This month I’ve been tinkering about with Easter crafts. I loved making my Easter Bunny Bunting, but after consulting with my son, he suggested making a birds nest with some birds in it. He loves topping up the bird feeders and watching the birds in the garden, so making a little next for him to enjoy indoors seemed a nice idea.

I explored a few different options for making the nest, but eventually decided on making one out of brown paper. Like all of my crafts, this is really easy and I think it looks pretty cute. My son is pretty happy with the result too.

Craft Tutorial: Pom Pom Bird in a brown paper nest

Making a brown paper nest

You will need:
An empty takeaway soup container or similar
Brown paper
A stapler
Bostik Glu Dots
ScissorsCraft Tutorial: Pom Pom Bird in a brown paper nest

Method:
Take your takeaway soup container and cut it down to a height you like, mine was about 4cm deep.

Take the brown paper (my brown paper was leftover packing from a parcel I’d received) and fold it roughly over the container and staple into place. It doesn’t matter if it’s not neat as you want it to look a bit rough, like a birds nest.

With another piece of brown paper, cut it into a circle which is approx 10cm wider than your container. Using the Bostik Glu Dots, stick the paper inside the container, pressing it into the inside edges and over the side. Cut a fringe into the overlapping paper so it looks like twigs sticking out from the nest.

Shred with some scissors some more brown paper to make a comfy nest base for your birds.

Craft Tutorial: Pom Pom Bird in a brown paper nest

Making a Pom Pom Bird

You will need:
Wool
A pom pom maker, or your own homemade cardboard pom pom maker
Googly eyes
Orange paper for the beak
Scissors
Some felt for the wings
Bostik Glu Dots

Craft Tutorial: Pom Pom Bird in a brown paper nest

Method:
Make your pom pom bird as big or as small as you want (if you’re not sure how to make pom poms, there’s a video you can watch here). 

Using the Bostik Glu Dots, glue a pair of googly eyes on your bird. Cut out a small beak shape of your orange or yellow card and glue the beak on too.

Cut out two wing shapes out of your felt material. I cut two curvy triangular shapes and stuck those to the side of the pom pom bird to give it its wings.

Once you’re happy with your pom pom bird, pop it in the nest and you’ve finished. I added a few mini eggs to keep it company, but I doubt they’ll last for long.

Craft Tutorial: Pom Pom Bird in a brown paper nest

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Review: Sambro Paw Patrol Craft Egg

When you think of Easter, one of your first thoughts is probably about chocolate eggs. In recent years there have been a few changes to the eggs kids might find left by the Easter bunny, and not all of them are now made of chocolate. 

It’s also nice to be able to give something that won’t be gobbled up in five minutes, especially as my son usually gets given a lot of chocolate eggs. We’ve been gifting a combination of chocolate eggs and play eggs for the last few years, much to the delight of my son. This week we received the Paw Patrol Craft Egg from Sambro to put to the test.

Review: Paw Patrol Craft Egg

The Paw Patrol Craft Egg is ideal for little artists who enjoy being creative and who like to have fun creating, painting and drawing. The Craft Egg is a great way to encourage and develop their creativity and imagination. Plus it will also keep your little ones busily entertained for a while.

Review: Paw Patrol Craft Egg

He was incredibly excited when he saw the Paw Patrol Craft Egg sat waiting for him on the table.  I helped him peel the wrapper off (which is tricky and will probably need a grown-up and a pair of sharp scissors) and then he opened up the egg.

The Paw Patrol Craft Egg contains:

  • 4 Marker Pens
  • 4 Crayons
  • 2 Ink Pads
  • 2 Stampers
  • 2 Finger Paint Pots
  • 10 Paw Patrol Colouring Sheets

Review: Paw Patrol Craft Egg

He was absolutely delighted with his Paw Patrol Craft Egg. Once we’d unpacked it and looked at everything inside, he diligently sat colouring the pictures in and stamping them with his new Paw Patrol ink stamps. He happily crafted and coloured away for over an hour. 

I think he will come back to his craft egg several times over the next few days. He has already coloured in the ten pictures which were included, but with the paint, felt tips, crayons and ink pads included, I am sure he will create a number of artworks over the Easter break. 

The Paw Patrol Craft Egg from Sambro costs £5.99 and is a good alternative to the traditional chocolate egg. There are a number of different craft eggs to choose from which include Minions, My Little Pony, Shimmer & Shine and Disney Princesses. The Paw Patrol egg is available in pink or blue. They are available from a range of retailers, but I’ve seen them online in both Amazon and Ocado.

 

Check out our giveaways over on our competitions page.

Review: Paw Patrol Craft Egg PLUS Win a Minions Craft Egg

Easter Craft Tutorial: Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

This month I’ve been thinking about Easter crafts. Now that Lent is in full swing, a few Easter craft items have started to steadily make their way home from school. We’re not adverse to a bit of egg painting ourselves, but when my box of Bostik Bloggers Easter craft goodies arrived from Craft Merrily, I took one look and decided to make some Easter Bunny Bunting.

Easter Craft – Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

To make the bunting you will need:

A length of pretty ribbon
Some patterned craft paper
A piece of cardboard to make the stencil
A Bostik fine & wide glu pen
Some little paper flowers or small buttons
Scissors

Easter Craft Tutorial: Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

Using the downloadable template below (click on it to download as a pdf), draw a rabbit shape onto a piece of cardboard, cut it out and use it as a stencil.On your colourful craft paper, draw around your stencil. I managed three bunnies on this piece of paper.

Easter Craft Tutorial: Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

Cut our your bunny shapes. I was using a piece of ribbon about a metre long for my bunting, so I estimated I’d need around six bunny shapes, evenly spaced along the ribbon.

Easter Craft Tutorial: Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

Using small paper flower shapes, or little buttons if you prefer, glue them onto the bunnies bum to look like a little tail.

Easter Craft Tutorial: Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

Then glue the bunnies onto the ribbon, space them equally and leave them to dry overnight if possible.

Easter Craft Tutorial: Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

Hang your Easter bunny bunting wherever you like. I chose a bright and sunny spot in my kitchen. Where would you hang yours?

Easter Craft Tutorial: Easy Easter Bunny Bunting

I’m really pleased with how my Easter bunny bunting has turned out. Now I’ve got my bunny template, I can make all kinds of bunny themed crafts with it. What Easter craft will you be creating this year?

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Crafting: Making a Découpage Lantern for Valentine’s Day

I am part of a craft group who meet monthly. Each month we try something different and last month we did a spot of découpage. It was really simple, given that it’s essentially sticking pieces of paper onto something. This month I’ve been thinking about crafts for Valentine’s Day and I thought I’d make a découpage lantern, and it turned out pretty well. Here’s what I did.

How to make a Découpage Lantern for Valentine’s Day

You will need:
Two sheets of tissue paper 
One clean jam jar
Some PVA glue (I used Bostik White Glue)
Some ribbon or coloured rafia craft twine

Crafting: Making a Découpage Lantern for Valentine's Day

Tear up one sheet of the tissue paper, choose the paler colour. Paint the jam jar with the PVA glue and cover in the ripped up pieces of tissue paper. If you layer it up so that all of the jar is covered, but some parts have several layers it will create a nice effect when the candle is lit.

Crafting: Making a Découpage Lantern for Valentine's Day

Once the jar is covered with tissue paper, take your darker paper and cut heart shapes in varying sizes.

Crafting: Making a Découpage Lantern for Valentine's Day

Glue the hearts over the jar however you like. I covered some of the sides of my jar with big hearts and others with little hearts. Leave the jar to dry for a few hours or overnight.

Crafting: Making a Découpage Lantern for Valentine's Day

Once the jar is dry you can tie a ribbon around the top which finishes it off nicely and makes a really pretty little centrepiece for your Valentine’s Day dinner table, or just some lovely mood lighting for a romantic night in front of the TV.

Crafting: Making a Découpage Lantern for Valentine's Day

Découpage is really easy and so great for decorating lanterns and votives with. You can découpage almost anything. At my craft club we decorated little boxes which were quite pretty when they dried, but I think it really lends itself to glass and especially glass jars.

 a Découpage Lantern for Valentine's Day

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create a Valentine’s craft with by Craft Merrily. 

Crafts: Making your own Christmas Stocking

Christmas is peak crafting season for me. I love making things, or trying to make things for the house and for my family. Alas my crafts often turn out a little wonky and rustic looking, but for me the thing I enjoy most is the act of crafting, not necessarily the result. This month I joined the Turtle Mat blogger craft challenge and tried my hand at making a Christmas stocking.

Crafts: Making your own Christmas Stocking

Turtle Mat sent me a box of craft materials to use and it was up to me to decide what I wanted to do. There were all kinds of things in the box, tinsel, a sewing kit, pine cones, glitter glue, decorative robins, string, hessian, and bells.

I began by cutting out a Christmas stocking shape out of the hessian, which I then hand sewed together. This took a little while as I’m not very quick when it comes to sewing by hand. Turning the stocking right side out, I sewed a piece of laced ribbon in a loop at the top to hang the stocking. I stitched the ribbon around the top of the stocking and down over the areas I’d hand sewn, in part to hide the stitched edge, in part because I was going for a really simple look.

I then sewed on some wire craft stars I’d made at my craft class the week before. I left them so they would dangle and sway on the stocking. 

Crafts: Making your own Christmas Stocking

To make the wire craft stars I printed out a star shape of the right size. Then I bent some brown paper covered craft wire into a star shape using the template. Using PVA glue, I glued the wire star onto some decorative paper. I used a slightly aged page from a music book. I left the glue to dry overnight and then trimmed around the star. The result was quite effective and could be used in so many different ways. Perhaps as decorations or on Christmas cards. 

Crafts: Making your own Christmas Stocking

My simple Christmas stocking was finished and just needed hanging by the fire ready for Father Christmas.

When you make your own Christmas stocking, once you’ve got your basic shape, it’s up to you how you embellish it. You can go wild, or stay simple like me. I really like my brown and cream stocking. My stitching leaves a little to be desired, but you can’t see that and it doesn’t really matter, as long as it holds when it’s full of Christmas goodies!

You can find out more about the Turtle Mat blogger craft challenge here. I was not paid to participate in this challenge and I look part because I thought it would be fun. I was right. 

How would you decorate your Christmas stocking?

Christmas Crafts: Five Festive Crafts from Baker Ross

This time of year really lends itself to crafting, especially with kids. Our small boy seems to be doing quite a lot of creative crafts at school at the moment, which means when he comes home he wants to do more of the same. I love crafting with him and this year we often make things to decorate the house with, or to give as gifts. I’ve picked out five festive crafts from Baker Ross for this month.

Baker Ross have a really huge selection of Christmas craft kits this year. It seems to be bigger and better than ever. Whether you’re making little gifts for friends, family or teachers, or crafting your own Christmas cards, the Baker Ross website is the place to look for craft kits and inspiration.

Christmas Crafts: Five Festive Crafts from Baker Ross

This year scratch art seems to be big in the craft world and I love the look of the Christmas Scratch Art Scenes kit, it comes with a little tool to scratch off your designs a it’s really rather eye catching. The small boy had a lot of fun discovering the rainbow of colours underneath too.

For slightly older children the Christmas Jumper Cross Stitch Decoration Kit is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The kit comes with a set of plastic “needles” which are easy to handle and safe to use. These would make excellent Christmas cards for special friends.

The Christmas Bauble Colour-in Window Decorations will always be a popular craft activity. Simply colour in these stained glass style decorations which include Santa in his sleigh, an Angel, a Skiing Penguin, a Robin, an Elf and a Skating Snowman. They look really very effective.

One of the crafts my son enjoyed the most this Christmas was the Snowflake Fingerprint Decoration Kits. These kits include six foam snowflake templates, stick-on gems, 3 ink pads and ribbon. My son loved getting a bit messy with these and they’re now waiting to be hung up on the tree. 

Lastly, these Gingerbread House Photo Frame Decoration Kits would make a lovely gift for family members. All your little ones need to do is decorate their gingerbread house with the foam decorations provided and then stick their picture inside the frame. It’s a lovely fun gift.

There are so many more festive crafts on the Baker Ross website, not just for kids either. It’s well worth taking a look for craft kits and materials in general for your Christmas crafts.

What’s your favourite Christmas craft?

Christmas Crafts: Five Festive Crafts from Baker Ross

– I am a Baker Ross Ambassador –

Craft Round Up: Five Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

At this time of year the trees are shedding their beautiful leaves. The pavements and paths are filled with crispy and colourful leaves and they are crying out to be used in crafts. Easy autumn leaf crafts are amongst my favourite kinds of craft, partly because it’s good fun to actually collect the leaves, then sitting down with the boys and having fun crafting something beautiful makes me happy. Here are some of my five favourite ideas for easy autumn leaf crafts.

Autumn Leaf Sand Art

Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

We are firm fans of sand art and we loved doing this fab kit from Baker Ross. My top tip for sand art is to do it on a tray or a piece of paper so you can collect any stray sand to use again later. These sand art kits are fab, just peel the stickers off the leaf and sprinkle sand onto the sticky paper underneath. It requires some concentration and a steady hand, but my five year old loved it and I think he made some very beautiful autumn leaves.

Make your own Autumn Wreath

Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

This is a great rainy day activity. Using some foam stickers from Baker Ross and a paper plate we made our own autumn wreath which I think looks pretty cool, and he enjoyed making it which is the most important thing.

Making Autumnal Alphabet Wreaths

autumnal alphabet wreaths

This is a craft I did myself (a grown up craft if you will), but you could easily do this with children too. I think this looks fab and it was really good fun to do too, it’s probably one of my favourite easy autumn leaf crafts. You can read my tutorial here.

Create an autumnal woodland wonderland

easy autumn leaf crafts

This is one of those easy autumn leaf crafts which is good to have up your sleeve for a rainy day. It was incredibly easy, but he had the best time making his woodland wonderland, who doesn’t love stickers? These woodland foam stickers from Baker Ross are great. We used them with some of the leftover leaf stickers from our autumn wreath and made our lovely woodland scenes. All I had to do was print out a silhouette of a tree and he did the rest.

Paint your own tree

easy autumn leaf crafts

I’m very fond of this one. We had so much fun going to the park and collecting a big bag of leaves. When we got home we had a hot chocolate and warmed up. We painted a big tree and then stuck leaves on it. This wonderful artwork is still hung up in our kitchen and it makes me smile at the memory every time I see it.

These are my ideas for easy autumn leaf crafts – what do you like to make at this time of year?

 
Five Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

I am a Baker Ross Ambassador.