Category Archives: Crafts

Easter Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

This month Craft Merrily have set the Bostik Bloggers the task of creating a craft for Easter. I’ve been looking at suncatchers for a while and I thought they’d be just the thing for those bright late winter days we’ve been having lately. Easter lends itself to glorious splashes of colour, so we made some colouful Easter Egg Suncatchers to cast some jewel coloured sunbeams across our home.

I printed a couple of Easter egg shapes out on acetate and cut them out. You can draw your own, but I’ve made my template available for you to download, which might make things easier for you. Here’s how we made our Easter Egg Suncatchers.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

How to make Easter Egg Suncatchers

You will need:
An Easter egg shape cut out of acetate or clear plastic
Selection of craft jewels or acrylic gems
Bostik White Glu
A piece of ribbon for hanging

Method:
Cut out your Easter Egg shapes and using a hole punch make a hole at the top. Thread a length of ribbon through the hole and tie a knot in it.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

You can have a design in your head, a pattern or colour-scheme that you like, or you can glue the gems on randomly, whichever you prefer. Glue them onto the Easter Egg shape using a dab of glue on the back of each one.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

Once you’re happy with your design, leave your Easter eggs to dry for a couple of hours. Once they’re dry, hang up at a window and prepare to be dazzled when the sun shines through your window.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

Here’s the dazzle on our wall from the sun shining through our suncatcher!

These suncatchers are such a lovely simple craft, they’re perfect for tots and right up to bigger boys and girls. My 7 year old really enjoyed decorating his. We were both thrilled when the sun came out and shone through our suncatchers, casting a wonderful dazzle pattern on the wall.

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Easter Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

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

Valentine’s Day Crafts: 52 Reasons Why I Love You

After 23 years of Valentine’s Days with my husband, I’m not saying romance is dead, but the budget has been somewhat slashed. We have for a number of years had a £5 gift and a card policy; which means that Valentine’s Day often requires a bit of creativity. His favourite of the homemade Valentine’s gifts I’ve made for him was the 52 Reasons Why I Love You pack of cards. It’s a favourite of mine too, because it’s so darn cute!

Valentine's Day Crafts: 52 Reasons Why I Love You

It’s remarkably easy to put together. All you need is a pack of cards, a permanent marker and a list of 52 Reasons Why I Love You. That last one is the tricky one. My advice would be to take a few days to list some of the reasons why you love your partner. I found that I could find 30 or so reasons pretty easily, but then I started to write things like “I love you because you take the bins out”; which is a valid reason but lacks a little romance.

You can use a normal pack of cards. I found a nice heart shaped pack of cards and used them, but you can find a similar pack here on Amazon. Using your list of the 52 Reasons Why I Love You; neatly write a reason on every card in the pack. You may want to write the biggest and best reasons on the heart cards, and make sure you write it on the suit side, not the patterned side of the cards.

Here are a few of my reasons to give you an idea of what I wrote –
  • You cook amazing meals
  • You work so hard for our family
  • You’re ace in every single way
  • You’re generous with everyone
  • I love snuggling with you
  • I’ve known and loved you forever
  • I love the way you tuck me in at night

This 52 Reasons Why I love You gift is such a lovely thing to give someone. I know my husband looks at the cards often. The reasons are full of our shared history, our shared interests, our family and all the special things about him which I love and appreciate.

It’s such a small, inexpensive and simple gift. But it’s something that your partner will probably really appreciate and treasure for many years to come.

See what other Valentine’s Day crafts you could make here.

Valentine's Day Crafts: 52 Reasons Why I Love You

Crafts: Easy Valentine’s Paper Heart Wreath

This month Craft Merrily have set the Bostik Bloggers the task of creating a craft for Valentine’s Day. Last year I made a lovely découpage candle holder for Valentine’s Day, but this year I thought I’d make a Paper Heart Wreath.

I really like making paper wreaths, we have a place in the kitchen where I like to hang the seasonal wreaths I make. This is a little different to my usual style, this Paper Heart Wreath is put together with easy to make 3D hearts. It’s really quite easy to make, it looks very effective and it’s a lovely Valentine’s decoration.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

How to make a Paper Heart Wreath

You will need
Colourful paper, A4 size
Scissors or a craft knife
A ruler
Bostik Glu Dots
A length of ribbon

How to make your Paper Heart Wreath

Using a ruler measure the long side of your piece of paper and divide that length by 7. Measure out 7 equal widths of paper and carefully cut into strips using a pair of scissors or a craft knife. If you’re doing this with children then you may want to be in charge of this bit.

Fold each strip in half, make sure you’ve got a neat, crisp fold here, this will be the pointy bottom of your heart shape.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

Using a glue dot, stick a dot at the end of your strip and bend the edges together to create the heart shape. Press the paper together so the glu dot is holding the shape firmly in place. Do this with all 7 hearts.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

Take two hearts and stick them together using the glu dots. Then take your ribbon and using the glu dots stick the ribbon to either side of the two hearts. Make sure the ribbon is positioned so the ends will be hidden between the hearts. Using the glu dots, carry on sticking the hearts together until all 7 hearts are stuck together.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

Your paper heart wreath is now finished and you just need to find somewhere to hang it!

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!

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

If you want to keep my 7 year old son entertained for an hour; give him a bowl of jelly beans, a packet of cocktails sticks, show him the rudiments and watch him build all kinds of wonderful things. Welcome to the wonderful world of jelly bean architecture.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

I confess, jelly bean architecture is not an invention of mine. When we went to the Just So Festival last year, my son spent a happy hour or so building with jelly beans. It’s something that we’ve revisited at home a few times since and it’s great fun; not to mention wonderfully educational and developmental!

You need two things to start building – lots of jelly beans (we get cheap bags of them from the petrol station, there’s no need to go gourmet with these) and lots of cocktail sticks. You will also need the knack. The first few times you try to spear a jelly bean onto a cocktail stick, chances are you will stab your finger instead. The trick is to hold the jelly bean on a flat surface and carefully press down, piercing the hard sugary coating.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

You should think of each jelly bean as a corner piece. You can probably fit up to four cocktail sticks into a single jelly bean. Whatever kind of structure you’re building, the only limit is your imagination.

We find it best to warm up by building some simple 3D shapes, pyramids and cubes are great. How many cubes can you stack on top of each other? Can you fit a pyramid on the top? Who will eat the last jelly bean? You can then move on to more complex structures. In the picture here Ben has built a fire station.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

Jelly bean architecture is perfect for budding architects and structural engineers. Anyone who is interested in building and construction, 3D shapes, maths, anything like that, plus it’s tremendous fun! It’s probably the most enjoyable STEM craft we’ve done together.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Celebrate your Scottish heritage (or admiration for the highlands) with this lovely Scottish Thistle brooch. It’s pretty simple to make and it took me around an hour to sew together and finish off. The thistle is one of the most enduring emblems of Scotland and this brooch is the perfect thing to wear on Burns Night, Hogmanay or St Andrew’s Day.

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

I confess that the idea for this craft came when I was scrolling through Pinterest and I came across something similar. The version I spotted looked quite basic and something for children to make, you can see that version here. I took the original idea and turned it into a brooch an adult would want to wear on a jacket or coat. I’m really pleased with how my Scottish Thistle brooch has turned out and it is now on my winter coat ready for showing off later.

Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

You will need:
Green felt
Large green button
Green and purple embroidery thread
Brooch back or a safety pin

Instructions:
With a pen or pencil, sketch a thistle shape on your felt (take a look at the sketch below as a guide) making sure there’s enough space for the button with some room around it. Carefully cut out the thistle shape. Pin the thistle to the felt and use it as a stencil to cut out a second thistle shape. Pin them together.Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Using the green embroidery thread, stitch the two felt thistles together. I’ve sewn them so the stitching is a little feature around the edges of the felt. Once you’ve sewn the thistles together, take your purple embroidery thread and in long stitches sew the purple prickles on the top.

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Take your green button and sew it in place with the purple embroidery thread. Finish off the detail on the thistle with some green stitches across the thistle leaves. To complete your brooch, sew on the brooch back or safety pin on the back of your thistle. I stitched my safety pin behind the button.

Your Scottish Thistle brooch is now complete and ready to wear with pride!

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Christmas is a time for crafting and creating with the kids. We love doing Christmas crafts and we were excited when we heard that ex Blue Peter presenter and craft queen Konnie Huq, had partnered with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to create a selection of homemade STEM toys for Christmas.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Konnie Huq has put her Blue Peter powers to practice for a good cause, making Britain’s most popular Christmas toys at home for a fraction of the cost. The Christmas STEM toys she has created include –

  • Dissolving egg
  • Magnetic slime
  • Icosahedron bauble
  • Marble run
  • Balloon boat
  • Bouncy balls
  • Smartphone projector
  • Living gingerbread house
  • Kaleidoscope

Konnie has put together a set of free to download how-to instructions for all of the above crafts.

Konnie, who spent over ten years craft-making on Blue Peter, is supporting a campaign by the Institution of Engineering and Technology to inspire more children to consider careers in engineering. The toys are designed to make learning about science, tech, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more accessible and affordable. These handmade STEM toys – which include a dissolving egg, magnetic slime, a kaleidoscope and even a smartphone projector – are educational, as well as fun.

Making your own slime is so popular right now, but we thought we would try something a little different. We really liked the idea of building our own living gingerbread house.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Make your own living gingerbread house

You will need:
A number of plain sponges
Scissors
Toothpicks
Small plate
Seeds
Spray bottle (clean)

How to make a living gingerbread house
Choose one or two sponges to be your base. Fix them together with a cocktail stick, remember these are sharp so be careful of your fingers.

Choose more sponges to be the walls. Cut one sponge in half across the longest
side (i.e. make two regular rectangles, not two long strips) and fix those onto the shorter sides of your base with cocktail sticks. Fix two sponges onto the longer sides of the base.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Take two sponges and cut them down their long side on an angle so that they fit together to form the apex of a roof. Fix them together with cocktail sticks, put on the top of your structure and fix into place with more cocktail sticks. You should now have a house shape made of sponges. Put your house onto a plate.

If your house is a bit wobbly, you can secure it using a glue gun or some craft glue. If you have used glue, allow time for the glue to dry and set before you move on to the next stage.

Next, you need to cover the house with seeds. You can use mustard or cress but
there are many fast sprouting seeds, so the choice is yours. We chose cress.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Dab some water onto the roof of your house and spread the seeds onto the roof.
Pour a little water onto the plate so the sponge base can soak it up. Check the
sponge is nice and moist. Then sprinkle the seeds onto the base.

Leave your house in a warm, bright spot for the seeds to germinate. Spray the house with water using a spray bottle each day, and pour a little water over the house if it feels dry. In a few days the seeds should start to sprout, in a week they should be thriving.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

It’s so easy and lots of fun to make too!

 Disclosure: We were sent a shopping voucher to buy the materials for this craft.

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

I love a bit of Christmas crafting and I’ve found a really simple, festive and delicious craft which will delight the whole family this Christmas. I’ve been making candy cane hearts to hang on my tree.

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

Candy canes have long been a symbol of Christmas. They were originally white sugar candy sticks made in Germany around 250 years ago. No one really knows how they ended up with a stripe and in the distinctive J shape, but some say they were shaped to look like a shepherd’s crook, to remind us of the shepherds that visited the baby Jesus on the first Christmas. Whatever the real story, all I know if they’re delicious and we always have a candy canes hanging from our Christmas tree.

You can get candy canes in all sizes, but I picked up a box of Swizzels Mini Candy Canes from B&M Stores for £1.99 and I knew exactly what I was going to make with them.

Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

You will need – 
Candy canes
A baking sheet
Baking paper
Ribbon

Method –
Place your baking paper on your baking sheet and arrange the candy canes into heart shapes. The mini candy canes are the right size for this, but if you’re using larger ones you can trim them down if you need to.

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

Making sure the two candy canes in each heart are touching; put them into a warm oven and watch very carefully. It should take about 5 minutes for the candy canes to warm up and start melting a little at the ends. At this point remove them from the oven and carefully push the ends and the joins together on the heart. Remember this is hot sugar and you don’t want to burn yourself.

Once the joins have been pushed together, leave them to cool for 15 minutes. Once they are cool, tie ribbon around them and hang them on your tree.

They’re so simple to make and they do look super-cute on the tree. I think I’m going to make a batch for the table on Christmas Day too.

How would you use your candy cane hearts?

Christmas: Make your own Candy Cane Hearts

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

This month Craft Merrily have set the Bostik Bloggers the task of creating a craft for Chinese New Year. I decided to try my hand at making a ‘Bolang Gu’ which is also known as a Chinese drum or pellet drum.

Chinese drums are small drums with two pellets or beads on the sides. You twist the long stick and the beads swing forward and back, rhythmically tapping the drum. They’re quite easy to play once you’ve got the hang of it and they’re really run instruments for kids to play too.

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

You will need –
Two paper plates (I used small side plate sided ones)
Red paint
Two beads
Some wool or thick thread
One stick, I used two chopsticks taped together
Decorations – I used gold paper, but you could add sequins, stickers, words, whatever you fancy
Sticky tape
Bostik White Glu
Bostik Foam Pads or Glu Dots

Method –
Paint the outside of your paper plates with red paint and leave to dry (overnight if possible).

Take your beads and your wool or thread and knot the beads so they are secure and won’t fly off when you’re playing your drum. Make sure the threads are long enough for the beads to be able to swing freely, but not too long that they could take someone’s eye out. Once you’ve done this, securely tape the threads to the inside of one of the plates at three and nine o’clock positions.

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Tape your stick to the inside of the plate at the six o’clock position.

Using Glu Dots or sticky Foam Pads, stick the plates together and press so they don’t fall apart.

Decorate your drum however you want. I found some lovely gold paper and cut out “2018” and stuck that on the front which I though looked quite nice.

Your Chinese drum is now complete and ready to play!

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Chinese New Year is a real time for celebration. Here in Manchester there is always a big parade and there are lots of wonderful, colourful celebrations. It’s a welcome splash of warmth and colour at a very drab time of the year. The next Chinese New Year will fall on Friday 16th February 2018 and it is the start of the Year of the Dog. Will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?

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!

 
Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

If you’re looking for a simple but quite beautiful Christmas craft, then by Jove I think I’ve got it! These lovely button Christmas decorations are really simple to do and look great hanging on a tree.

I belong to a craft group and we are always on the lookout for interesting things to make and do on our craft evenings. We spotted a picture of some button Christmas decorations and thought we would give them a try. All we needed were a huge box of buttons, some craft wire and a bit of patience to experiment.

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

How to make a button Christmas Tree

You will need – 
A selection of buttons, mostly green in different shapes and sizes
Fine jewellery or craft wire

Method –
Sort a selection of buttons to make your tree. You’ll need something to be the tree trunk at the bottom, I used two wooden buttons. You will also need green buttons in decreasing sizes and in a variety of shades of green.

I found it best to find the right buttons and lay them out in order before threading them onto the fine wire.

Take a length of fine jewellery or craft wire, approximately 8 inches in length. Double up the wire and thread one end through one hole on your base button and the other end through the opposite hole. Do the same with all the buttons in your Christmas tree stack until your Christmas tree is complete.

Top your tree with a brightly coloured button, or a star-shaped button if you have one. If you’re happy with your tree, tie a knot on the last button and another knot in the ends of the jewellery or craft wire to create a hanging loop.

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

How to make a button Bauble

You will need – 
A selection of buttons, in various colours, shapes and sizes
Fine jewellery or craft wire

Method –
Sort a selection of buttons to make your bauble. You’ll need to play about with your buttons a little to find a selection of matching buttons. You’ll need one fairly big central button, then some matching ones in various sizes and colours.

I found it best to find the right buttons and lay them out in order before threading them onto the fine wire.

Take a length of fine jewellery or craft wire, approximately 8 inches in length. Double up the wire and thread one end through one hole on your base button and the other end through the opposite hole. Do the same with all the buttons in your Christmas bauble stack until your bauble is complete.

If you’re happy with your bauble, tie a knot on the last button and another knot in the ends of the jewellery or craft wire to create a hanging loop. Easy.

These are a lovely, easy craft to make. One of my craft group friends also make a button Santa and a button snowman, but I’m all out of buttons ad I need to go and buy some more so I can make some more button Christmas decorations.

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Now it’s mid-November, I’m really starting to get stuck into some Christmas crafts. I made some beautiful button decorations at my craft club last week and over the weekend I had a root through my craft stash to see what we could make. I discovered a large and colourful lolly stick collection which were crying out to be turned into Christmas decorations.

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

You will need:
A selection of coloured lolly sticks
Bostik Glu Dots
Assorted embellishments – glitter, stars, sequins etc
Bostik White Glue
Scissors
Sticky tape
Ribbon

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

How to make your lolly stick Christmas decorations

To make a Christmas tree, select some green lolly sticks and another stick for the trunk of the tree. With a pair of scissors carefully cut your lolly sticks to different lengths (see the photo). Using Glu Dots, stick a star to the top of your trunk and then stick the green branches across the trunk. Using white glue decorate your tree with sequins, stars and other embellishments. Leave to dry.

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Once dry, carefully attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the tree using sticky tape. Your lolly stick Christmas tree is now complete.

To make a Christmas star, select some colourful lolly sticks, I chose pink. Using Glu Dots, stick the lolly sticks across each other to make a start shape (see photo). Using white glue decorate your star with sequins, stars and other embellishments. Leave to dry.

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Once dry, carefully attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the star using sticky tape. Your lolly stick Christmas star is now complete.

My son and I really enjoyed making and decorating our Christmas tree and star. It’s a lovely craft to do with kids and they can really use their imagination when it comes to decorating them. These lolly stick crafts are a simple but effective craft to do in the run up to Christmas.

I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this lolly stick craft from Craft Merrily. 
Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations