Tag Archives: crafts

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

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Crafts: Autumnal Alphabet Wreaths

This week it has been dry, crisp and decidedly autumnal. During a walk around my local park I filled a bag with fallen leaves to do autumn leaf crafts with the boy, but as I’d gathered so many I wanted to make something by myself, for myself. So whilst the boys were out feeding the ducks, I spent a happy hour at the kitchen table making autumnal alphabet wreaths.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

These autumnal alphabet wreaths are really easy to make. I’m really pleased with how mine turned out. You can make whichever letter, or letters you want. I chose an A because our surname begins with an A. You could also do any shape you wanted. I’ve got plans to do a few more, maybe a heart and a circle.

You will need:

  • A piece of thick cardboard
  • A pencil
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • A paintbrush
  • Lots of leaves, a variety of shapes and sizes is best
  • A piece of ribbon

To make your autumnal alphabet wreaths:

With your pencil, sketch the letter or shape you will base your wreath on. You can make this as big or small as you would like, mine was around 30cm tall. Carefully cut out your shape, taking care not to lose any fingers. If a child is making this, ideally an adult should do this part.

Before you begin sticking your leaves to your wreath shape, it’s easier to fix on your ribbon. As I knew my shape would be covered in leaves I chose to staple my ribbon to the wreath, but you could tie the ribbon to the top, or make a small hole and thread it through if you prefer.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

Once you are happy with the cardboard base of your wreath, pour some PVA glue into a bowl and in sections paste glue onto the cardboard. As you start to stick the leaves on, dab a little extra glue on each leaf and stick the leaf to the shape. Try and choose an interesting mixture of leaves and cover any gaps. 

I found it useful to stop every so often and leave the glue to set a little before starting the next section. You may also find it helpful to lay a plastic tray or board on top of the leaves for half an hour or so, this will apply even pressure whilst the glue dries a bit and it shouldn’t crush the leaves too much.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

Once you’ve covered your alphabet wreaths, leave them somewhere to dry, preferably overnight. Once dry you can hang them up indoors. I’m really pleased with how mine turned out. It was really effective and would lend itself to lots of different and rather interesting shapes.

Autumn leaf crafts are some of my favorite things to so, I think the colours and textures are so lovely, it’s a shame not to make the most of them whilst they’re so vibrant.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

 

Easy Ideas for Halloween Crafts

One of my favourite things about Halloween, apart from being given an excuse to dress up, is Halloween crafts. It’s one of those occasions when you and the kids can go all out on the spooky stuff.

Last year me made a few different Halloween crafts, but our favourites were the Spooky Lanterns from Baker Ross which you can find out how to make here. They are still available this year on the Baker Ross website and they do look really effective.

halloween crafts

This month we’ve been starting to look at some more easy Halloween Crafts. We were sent a selection of Halloween and autumnal themed crafts to try (we will do the autumnal crafts in a separate blog post).

The Halloween crafts we were sent were –
  • Day of the Dead colour in mini gift bags
  • Halloween Dotty Art
  • Halloween Pom Pom Decoration Kits

halloween crafts

Day of the Dead has been very much in fashion for the last few years and is gaining in popularity. Indeed, last year I dressed as a Day of the Dead style zombie bride for Halloween. The little colour in gift bags (there are 6 in a pack) would be a great craft activity for a kid’s Halloween party, then they could fill their bags with sweets and take them home afterwards. 

halloween crafts

The Halloween Dotty Art kits would also be great for a Halloween Party (we are going to take ours on holiday with us over half term). The pack contains eight different Halloween designs (Monster, Spider, Cat, Ghost, Pumpkin, Owl, Bat & Skull) and packs of coloured stickers. You then stick the stickers on the spooky design and bring your Halloween picture to life. This kind of thing is great for strengthening little fingers and increasing dexterity, as well as being a fun activity you can do together without creating any mess.

halloween crafts

I love pom pom crafts, so I was pleased to find these Halloween Pom Pom Decoration Kits in my box of seasonal crafts from Baker Ross. The pom pom kit contains everything you need to make a spider, a bat and a pumpkin. 

Like most pom pom crafts they are a little fiddly to make and probably need a grown up to get it started and help tie it off at the end. Making pom poms is lots of fun and once you’ve snipped your threads you can start to see your spooky pom pom creature come to life.

The Baker Ross website has hundreds of easy to do craft kids for children and adults alike. Their kits are almost universally well designed and thought out, and there’s something for all ages, abilities and craft interests, often with minimal mess and fuss. For easy Halloween crafts, have a look at Baker Ross for inspiration.

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Our first Craft Class at Little Miss Bee Designs

This year I made a promise to be a bit kinder to myself. One of the things I’ve chosen to so is join a local craft group. I’m no great artist, but I really enjoy doing crafts. When you are crafting or doing something creative you can’t, no matter how hard you try, think about anything else. I come back from my monthly craft group feeling refreshed and like I’ve switched my brain off for a few hours. I know it’s unlikely that I’d ever sit at home by myself and do some crafts, so craft groups and classes are for me the way forward.

Last week a couple of my crafty friends and I booked a craft class at Little Miss Bee Designs in Failsworth in Manchester. The craft classes are run by Bernadette, a teacher and major craft enthusiast. The sessions are held in a lovely summer house in her garden which is known as “Bee Cottage”.

Little Miss Bee Designs

We booked to make paper flower wreaths. This class cost £10 per person with everything included. Generally the Little Miss Bee Designs craft classes cost between £10-£15 per head. The classes include everything you’ll need for the session, plus refreshments. Little Miss Bee Designs offer craft classes for all levels of expertise and experience. 

Bernadette talked us through every stage of the wreath making process, from covering the hoops with decorative papers, to constructing the flowers and curling the petals. She let us make all of our own design decisions, and gave helpful tips and advice every step of the way.

Little Miss Bee Designs

We all had a really good natter and agreed it was the perfect way for our group of busy working mums to wind down a little in preparation for the weekend. I totally switched off from all of my worries and concerns and just focused on making my wreath and chatting to my friends.

Bernadette at Little Miss Bee Designs is really knowledgeable and lovely, she gave us a little tour of the studio and talked us through all the crafts she does and the classes that she runs. I ended up buying some of her jewellery because it was so pretty and unique.

We thoroughly enjoyed the class and we think the Little Miss Bee Designs craft classes would be great for groups of friends looking for something crafty to do. There are lots of different craft classes to choose from and Little Bee Designs are releasing new class dates all the time. 

For more information and to find out more about Little Miss Bee Designs visit their website.

Easy Father’s Day Crafts

The small boy is at that lovely stage in life where he’s always making us little cards and writing us little notes for no other reason than he loves us. Which is nice. With Father’s Day on the horizon the boy was keen to get crafting for his daddy. So when our Baker Ross box arrived, we delved deep and found some really lovely, simple Father’s Day Crafts to do together.

The first thing we tackled was the very easy Father’s Day Tie Bookmarks. These are made from soft foam and are cut out ready for use. I did the tricky bit, which was threading the ribbon through the tiny hole and he did the rest. 

Father's Day Crafts

The pack comes with a selection of stickers. His chosen one contained the letters which spelt “Top Dad”. I told him what the words were and he picked the right letters and stuck them on himself. He then had some design decisions to make, namely where to stick his selection of stickers. He was really pleased with his design and chose to “wear” the tie around the house himself for a while. We’ve now tucked his little gift away for Father’s Day.

The second of our Father’s Day Crafts were these lovely Father’s Day Wooden Keyrings. The pack comes with four different designs to choose from. Ben chose to make the trophy and I went for the guitar. The pack contains everything you’ll need for your keyrings.

Father's Day Crafts

This was actually quite a tricky little craft activity, threading the beads onto the cord made us both concentrate hard. I had to do the fiddly tying of the cord, but it was a real workout for his hand/eye co-ordination and his fine motor skills. 

Making Father’s Day Crafts to give as little gifts is a lovely gesture and we enjoyed making these really simple and easy crafts. I’m sure daddy will like receiving them too!

Father's Day Crafts

Father’s Day is on 19th June 2016.

Easter Crafts for Kids (and grown-ups too!)

Easter has “crafts” written all over it. There are so many Easter crafts to make, from Easter cards to Easter bonnets and beyond. Easter has the benefit of having a long Bank Holiday weekend as well as a couple of weeks off school for the holidays. That means there are an awful lot of hours to keep the kids occupied, crafting is a great way to fill an hour or two, especially if they just need a bit of quiet time, concentrating on a task and creating something lovely.

We got cracking with some Easter Crafts over the weekend. We all sat down and decorated these Egg Mosaic Baubles from Baker Ross. The pack contains everything you need to decorate four of the polystyrene eggs, including the eggs, a selection of sticky squares, ribbon and plastic pins. 

Easter crafts

It’s quite fiddly to peel the backing off each individual square, so I peeled them off in rows or blocks, stuck them on the back of my hand and peeled them off as I needed them. The small boy didn’t like the idea of doing neat rows, so he stuck his on randomly, which I really like, and for some reason it made me think of Tetris the computer game.

Once the eggs were covered in the mosaic stickers I pinned the ribbons in place and hung them on a plant. I think they’re quite lovely and the certainly brighten the place up. The small boy is always so proud of his crafts and can’t wait to show them off to anyone who will look.

Later that day I was flicking through a craft magazine when I saw something I recognised. The Spring Blossom Tree kit from Baker Ross. Inspired, I got the kit out of our crafts box and made my first (and rather lovely) blossom tree.

easter crafts

The instructions are really clear and easy to understand. The tree, blossom and stand are all made from foam pieces, you stick the glittery blossom onto the plain coloured blossom and stick that onto the tree, and the stand just slots together. It’s very simple and very effective. I’m a sucker of cherry blossom, whether it’s made of foam or not.

We’ve got lots more Easter crafts and things to do over the next few weeks, so do keep an eye on our Instagram feed for new ideas and inspiration!

Easy Mother’s Day Crafts

I’ll hold my hands up, when I originally planned this blog post it was all about doing Mother’s Day crafts with my five year old son. We enjoy crafting together, making things that are beautifully wonky and imperfect, but I very rarely spend any time by myself doing some crafting, partly because of lack of time I guess. This month I looked at our box of seasonal goodies from Baker Ross and decided it was time to do some crafting by myself, and the results were very pleasing, at least I think so.

Mother's Day crafts

We were sent a box of ceramic bird flowerpots to paint, these were pretty adorable and we set about painting them in our own style. He wanted to paint his black, but thankfully I was able to steer him towards some brighter colours. I just did whatever I fancied and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I’m no artist but they were really lovely to do, especially together. I have bought some tiny crocus bulbs which I’ll plant in them nearer to Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day crafts

The next thing I tackled were these lovely tissue paper flowers. I sat down for a quiet half hour and made myself these lovely blooms. They were incredibly easy to do, everything you needed was in the pack. I just wrapped a pipe-cleaner around the middle of the tissue paper and then slowly and gently teased the paper out to form the flower. 

They were so simple to do and really relaxing, I was a bit sad when I’d made them all and the pack was empty. I put them all in a vase which now sits on my office desk, brightening the place up, they never need watering and they’ll never die. I really love them!

Mother's Day crafts

As you can see from our Mother’s Day crafts, there are lots of really cheery, colourful crafts you can do to usher spring into your home. The flowers would make a lovely gift for mum, but if you really love her you’ll make her a cup of tea and let her get on with making them herself!

Valentine’s Day Crafts & Activity Sheets

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the small boy and I sat down for an afternoon of Valentine’s Day crafts and activity sheets to get us into the spirit of things. Generally Hubs and I don’t much go in for too many hearts and flowers, we’ve been together since 1995 so we’ve seen more Valentine’s Days together than most, but a heartfelt card and a small token gift is always the order of the day. 

We’d already started to make some cute heart shaped decorations using a heart decoration bead kit from Baker Ross. The kits include some nice long pipe-cleaners and lots of colourful beads. You thread the beads onto the pipe-cleaners and then bend into a heart shape. The kit comes with a little bell you can attach to the heart and some ribbon so you can hang it up. It was a lovely, fun activity which we did together. It was also great for helping to develop his fine motor skills which are essential with helping him to learn to write.

Valentine's Day Crafts

A reasonably quick but fun craft we did was to make these heart pets photo frame fridge magnets. Again these are from Baker Ross and they’re really easy to put together. The foam pieces and googly eyes all have peel off backs, so you just peel everything off and stick it together. The small boy enjoyed putting the frame together and making his doggy. He said he’s going to give his frame to Grandad on Valentine’s Day, because he loves him *heart melts*.

Valentine's Day Crafts

Again, the peeling and sticking actions are all great for those fine motor skills, and for exercising his pincer grip, we can’t get enough of that kind of thing at the moment.

Once we’d put our craft box away, we decided to have a go at some of the Valentine’s Day activity sheets we’d printed off from Twinkl, including the Valentine’s Day worksheet and the Valentine’s Day word and picture matching worksheets. These went down very well with the boy, we started with the word and picture matching, he spelt out every word and we looked at the pictures to see which we thought might match the word, he loves this kind of activity at the moment so I was glad we had a couple of sheets of these to do.

Valentine's Day Crafts

The worksheet was a little more challenging for him, he’s not a confident writer, so together we thought about some of the questions and how we might answer them. He verbally listed everyone he loved (dogs first, naturally) and then said his best friend was Daddy. He was getting tired by now, so we called it a day. I didn’t want to push things as that can be counterproductive. It was time for a cuddle and a walk in the park!

Valentine's Day Crafts

We both love our craft afternoons together. It’s lovely to see him focus on a task and enjoy sitting with me. These quiet moments with him are probably the highlight of my week. I think I know who my Valentine is this (and every) year.

Christmas Crafts: Make Your Own Reindeer Crown

Now the weather has taken a decidedly wintery turn I’m starting to get into the Christmas spirit. This weekend was an especially cold one, the small boy had a nasty cold and we decided to stay in, cosy in front of the fire and have a lazy weekend. Keen to get cracking with some Christmas crafts we busied ourselves by making a reindeer crown using hand prints and we were pleased with the results.

reindeer crown

The reindeer crown kits are available from Baker Ross and come in packs of 4 or 16. The packs contain everything you need to make the crown, except for glue, though we used double sided sticky tape because it’s quicker and there’s less mess than with glue.

The instructions are really easy to follow. Draw around your hands and cut out your hand print shape – I did the cutting because the small boy is terrifying with scissors or anything with a blade. The instructions suggest you use glue to stick the cut our hand shapes onto the headband, but I used double sided sticky tape for this. The other pieces, the ears, the reindeer hair and the holly and berries are self-adhesive, so the small boy peeled the backing paper off these and stuck them onto the headband.

Once he had finished he very proudly wore it around the house for a few hours, I think these make a nice alternative to the paper cracker crowns we are forced to wear for Christmas dinner, so I might make myself one to wear on Christmas Day.

reindeer crown

There was some parental supervision required with the cutting out of the hand shapes, but other than that he did the rest himself. It was something he enjoyed doing, he likes peeling and sticking things. It was pretty simple, but it kept him interested and entertained for a while. Another good and fun Christmas activity from Baker Ross!

 

Christmas Crafts – Making Snowman Mosaics

It may still only be November but I’m already starting to feel a bit Christmassy, I think it’s probably down to all the planning ahead of time so I’m less stressed later. They must be talking about it at school too as the small boy is all excited and ready to get stuck into the festivities. We’ve been busy baking Christmas cakes and starting to think about presents and decorations. One wet afternoon we sat and made some snowman mosaic coasters which I’ve decided would also look great as Christmas decorations.

The snowman mosaic coaster kit from Baker Ross contains everything you’ll need – a pre-cut snowman with a selection of foam stickers to stick on and decorate your snowman. If like me you want to turn the finished snowman into a Christmas tree decoration you’ll need a bit of ribbon and some sticky tape too.

Snowman Mosaics

Popping the foam stickers out of their sheet and peeling the backing off them is quite fiddly for little fingers, so it’s good practice for the small boy who has recently turned five. He did very well and managed to do most of them himself, only asking me to help him with the white circles, probably because there were lots and lots of them. This is a great task to help with hand-eye co-ordination and to improve dexterity and finger strength, which can really help with learning to write.

It’s a really simple kit and the snowman mosaics look really effective, too good to just be used as coasters, which is why I’m going to attach some ribbon so we can hang them on the tree once that’s up.

The snowman mosaics kits are from Baker Ross and come in packs of 6 or 18. It’s a nice tidy activity to do, it doesn’t require any setting up or any mess, just have a bowl ready to put the bits of backing paper in and you’re sorted. In fact I’ve put one in my bag for when we go out, it’s something we can do together while we’re having lunch that doesn’t involve an ipad. 

The thing I liked most about making the snowman mosaics was the chance to chat. We were both industriously beavering away on our snowmen, chatting away about school, Christmas and his recent birthday, and occasionally bursting into happy song. It was a fun half hour on an otherwise grim November day.