Category Archives: Crafts

Bonfire Night Craft: Easy Firework Paintings

In the run up to Bonfire Night, we like to do some themed crafts. I had some black card left over from another craft and I thought we’d do some firework paintings. They’re really simple to do and great for pre-schoolers, right up to adults. I joined in the fun too and although my painting wasn’t a patch on his, I still enjoyed it.

I sometimes feel a bit sorry for Bonfire Night. When I was growing up it was a much bigger celebration, these days Halloween gets all the attention. Not so in our house, I do enjoy putting together a Bonfire Night feast, wrapping up to go and watch a local firework display and having sparklers in the garden. It’s cold at this time of year, so having some crafts up your sleeve is never a bad thing.

Bonfire Night Craft: Easy Firework Paintings

Easy Firework Paintings

You will need:

Black paper or card
Cardboard toilet roll or kitchen roll tubes
Scissors
Paper plates or plates you can wash the paint off later
Coloured poster paint, I used three fireworky colours

Bonfire Night Craft: Easy Firework Paintings

How to make your Easy Firework Paintings:

Take your poster paint and put a generous amount of paint on each plate.

Using a pair of scissors (maybe get an adult to do this bit) cut a line about 6cm long and half cm intervals up the tube (see picture below). Once you’ve done this all around the tube, splay the cut pieces out.

Bonfire Night Craft: Easy Firework Paintings

Dip your cut tube into the paint and dab firework shapes onto your card. The painting looks best if you use two or three different colours to give the impression of a sky lit up with fireworks.

Try not to mix the paint colours up too much, though interesting colour mixes can make for quite a pretty firework.

Bonfire Night Craft: Easy Firework Paintings

Leave your paintings to dry and then stick them on the fridge or wherever you display your artworks! We think our paintings look pretty good. What do you think?

Bonfire Night Craft: Easy Firework Paintings

If you enjoyed this, you might like to try my recipe for Bonfire Night Treacle Toffee Pan Pops.

Bonfire Night Craft: Easy Firework Paintings

How to paint a Halloween t-shirt with Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

This week is half term and we are filling the week with trips to the park and some crafts and activities at home. One thing we’ve been doing is decorating some t-shirts for a party we are going to next week. We got our hands on a packet of Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks and we’ve been letting our creativity run wild ever since.

On Halloween this year we are going to a not Halloween party. There will be party games and some spooky stuff, but it’s NOT a Halloween party. Dressing up is encouraged, but the usual zombie/witch/Dracula type costumes are quietly discouraged. It’ll be more fun than it sounds, with apple bobbing, party games and treasure hunts. We will be wearing our decorated t-shirts, and we think they’re pretty cool.

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

Painting Your Own T-shirts

You will need:

A plain white t-shirt
Large chopping board
Plastic bag
A stencil (an image printed on card and cut out with a craft knife)
Masking tape
Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

How to paint your own t-shirts:

First make your stencil. I looked on Google for a simple spooky image and chose a cartoon of a ghost against a black background. I found this one on Free Stencil Gallery. Print it out on a piece of card and using a craft knife, cut out all the black bits around the ghost.

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

I then took my large chopping board and covered it in a plastic bag (so any paint wouldn’t go through). Then I pulled the t-shirt over the chopping board and tucked the excess fabric around the back and laid it on the table. Make sure the fabric is flat and not rippled or baggy.

Using a few pieces of masking tape, tape the stencil onto the front of the t-shirt. This is to keep it in place while you paint.

Take the Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks and read the instructions. The Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks are a bit like crayons, so there’s no dripping, spilling or mess. Take each paint stick and colour in the area you want to paint. We decided to have a rainbow background for our ghost, so we coloured in little patches in the stencil.

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

Once you’re happy with how it looks, iron or blow-dry the paint on, following the instructions in the packet, it will withstand washing up to 40’C. Your t-shirt is now ready to wear and be admired.

The Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks are really easy to use, there’s no mess and they are great for kids to use too. Each Fabric Stick has vibrant, colourful paint that you literally twist up and down, exactly like a glue stick to paint with!

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

Little Brian Paint Sticks are available from Hobbycraft, Tesco and directly from their website

Disclaimer: We were sent a pack of Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Autumn Leaf Crafts: Simple Autumn Leaf Faces

As much as I absolutely loved the summer this year, I’m pleased as punch that it’s autumn and we’re in that lovely crisp, crunchy leaves part of autumn, before everything goes soggy, slippy and a bit miserable. One thing we love doing is collecting the colourful fallen leaves and making things with them. For a bit of fun we made some autumn leaf faces with our leaves and gave them a bit of character. These simple leaf faces are really easy to make and with a bit of imagination you can really bring your leaf characters to life!

Autumn Leaf Crafts: Simple Autumn Leaf Faces

They’re so simple to do, just go on a little nature walk and collect some lovely leaves. If they’re freshly dropped and not dry and crisp I think they work better, but try to collect a variety of different leaves and colours.

Simple Autumn Leaf Faces

You will need:
A collection of leaves
Some googly eyes
PVA glue, I used Bostik White Glu
A black sharpie

Autumn Leaf Crafts: Simple Autumn Leaf Faces

How to make your Autumn Leaf Faces:
Take your leaf and dust it down so you rub any dirt off. Take your googly eyes and glue them on wherever you think they should go on the leaf. Just use a dab of glue on the back of each eye.

Think about what kind of character your leaf may be and think about how close together their eyes should be, should they be the same size eyes? Is your leaf a cyclops (one eye) or an alien (three or more eyes)?

Autumn Leaf Crafts: Simple Autumn Leaf Faces

Using the black felt tip or sharpie, draw on a mouth and maybe some eyebrows. Again think about the character and what kind of features it might have.

Leave your leaf faces to one side for a little while to allow the glue to dry. If you really like your leaves, you could stick them to lolly sticks and make them into little leafy puppets.

Our leaf faces are full of character, they make me smile a lot. I think I will sew them onto some embroidery thread and make some leafy bunting out of them.

If you enjoyed this autumn leaf craft, you might also like to try these:

Autumn Leaf Crafts: Simple Autumn Leaf Faces

Guillaume Cornet shows us how to draw Elephants on Tour

This week I’m taking part in a a Blog Tour Week. If you’ve never heard of a blog tour, it’s where a group of book bloggers are sent a book to read and review and each day one of them shares their review. Yesterday I posted my review which you can find here, today I have a real treat to share with you.

The author of the brilliant book, Elephants on Tour: A Search and Find Journey Around the World; Guillaume Cornet has kindly offered to show me, and you how to draw three of the elephants characters from Elephants on Tour, so I’ll hand you over to Guillaume…

Hi, I’m Guillaume – author and illustrator of Elephants on Tour. For my new book I spent hours meticulously drawing 16 incredible cities around the world – adding in my favourite elephant friends for you to search and find in each scene! Today, I’ll be showing you how you can draw three wacky elephant characters of your own. Let’s get doodling!

How to draw Elephants on Tour Guillaume Cornet

Here’s how to draw the elephant with the dog…How to draw Elephants on Tour Guillaume CornetAnd the elephant with the snake…

How to draw Elephants on Tour Guillaume Cornet

And finally, the elephant driving the car…

How to draw Elephants on Tour Guillaume Cornet

Elephants on Tour: A Search and Find Journey Around the World is absolutely beautifully drawn. It’s not word heavy, but it’s exactly the kind of book which will keep the kids engrossed for ages; searching out all the little details and learning a little about what other countries are like.

Elephants on Tour: A Search and Find Journey Around the World

My son loves maps and atlases, so Elephants on Tour is a really fun way to add some extra interest to his reading. Following the five elephants around the world on their adventures is great fun and it’s just a brilliant book, especially if you like searching out little details, and elephants of course!

Elephants on Tour: A Search and Find Journey Around the World

Elephants on Tour: A Search and Find Journey Around the World by Guillaume Cornet costs £14.99. It’s published by Laurence King and it is available from a wide range of bookshops.

For more information about the Blog Tour or to download some colouring sheets and other resources, click here.

Recycled Crafts: Robot Junk Modelling

My son is always coming home from school or from Beavers with things he’s created out of junk. They have a big box of little boxes, cardboard tubes, bottles, egg boxes and other junk which they can use to create all kinds of things. I fancied getting in on the action. So I gathered a some junk and a selection of crafty bits and bobs and we had an afternoon of robot junk modelling.

I had the idea of taking one of those small cereal boxes and covering it in tin foil, then letting our imaginations go wild. It was pretty simple to cover them in tin foil. I just cut a piece to size, covered it in glue and wrapped it up like a present.

Recycled Crafts: Robot Junk Modelling

Robot Junk Modelling

You will need:
A small cereal box
Tin foil
Bostik White Glu
Empty toilet roll
Sticky tape
Various crafty bits like pipe-cleaners, sticky foam pieces, googly eyes

Recycled Crafts: Robot Junk Modelling

How to get started with Robot Junk Modelling:
Take your cereal box and with some sticky tape, seal up the box. Take a piece of tin foil and cover it in a thin layer of the Bostik White Glu. Carefully wrap the foil around the box, folding the ends in like you would when you wrapped a present.

Grab whatever crafty bits you have. I found some pipe-cleaners, some self adhesive foam shapes, some googly eyes, little pom poms and some beads. Have a think about how you might use your craft pieces to create a robot face, just use your imagination. Use the glue to stick anything which isn’t self adhesive on.

Recycled Crafts: Robot Junk Modelling

I cut down some toilet rolls, covered them in foil and attached them to the sides of the robot head. I also twirled some pipe-cleaners for antennae and embellished them with some beads.

As you can see, both me and the boy had the same pile of crafty bits in front of us, but our robots are completely different. I think his is pretty cool, mine is pretty conventional. What will your robot look like?

Recycled Crafts: Robot Junk Modelling

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

I am a Bostik Craft Blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. I have not been compensated for this post. 

Recycled Crafts: Robot Junk Modelling

Crafts: Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies

It’s autumn and in the UK that means that Strictly Come Dancing twirls back onto our TV screens. Strictly is a firm family favourite – what’s not to love? Sparkles, dancing, great music and the chance to become an armchair dancing judge. We’ve made some Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies so we can play along at home.

Crafts: Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies

Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies

You will need:
Popsicle sticks
Bostik Glu Dots
Pipecleaners
Cupcake cases
Tin foil
Sequins, sparkles, glitter, whatever you have
Black ball point pen
Felt tips

Crafts: Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies

How to make your Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies:
These Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies are really easy to make. Take your wooden popsicle stick and using a ball point pen draw a face, hair and feet on it. Colour in whatever bits you want to with your felt tip. You can add colour for the eyes and mouth if you want.

If you’re using it, wrap a piece of tin foil or coloured paper around the stick, under the face, this can represent the top of the dress. Stick it in place with your glu dots.

Crafts: Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies

Take your cupcake case (or small doily or whatever you’ve got) and fold it in two. Stick this onto the stick with the glu dots. I folded the dress of my doily dancer a few times so that it would flair out.

Cut your pipecleaner into equal sized thirds and wrap one around the body, bend it into place to look like the arms of your dancer. Add any embellishments you want to make your dancer sparkle and shine.

If you felt like it, you could also make a popsicle stick panel of judges, complete with number score paddles. Bring the magic of Strictly Come Dancing alive in the comfort of your own home!

If you enjoyed this, you might like some of my other craft ideas too!

Crafts: Strictly Come Dancing Popsicle Stick Ladies

8 Brilliant Ladybug Craft Ideas for Kids

If you’ve ever been on a nature hunt with children, there’s one thing guaranteed to bring them joy; it’s finding a ladybird going about its business. Ladybirds a adorable little insects who dedicate their lives to eating up all the greenfly and aphids we try so hard to keep off our rose bushes. They’re also pretty fun to make when crafting. Here are 8 brilliant ladybug craft ideas you can do with kids.

This origami Ladybug Corner Bookmark from Red Ted Art is an adorable little craft to make with kids. Littler ones might need some help with the folding but will enjoy decorating it and using it when reading their bedtime stories. The corner bookmark is a great idea and one which could be easily adapted to create any number of bookish creatures and critters.

8 Brilliant Ladybug Craft Ideas for Kids

There’s more Ladybird origami from ET Speaks From Home, who has some very simple step by step instructions to follow and the ladybird looks great tucked into a vase of flowers.

For ladybird crafts around Easter, what about these ladybird painted eggs? I think they look very sweet and they’re really fun for kids to paint too.

The Gingerbread House came up with a great idea to paint rocks as ladybirds and bees and use them for insect naughts and crosses. Painting the rocks is really simple and using them in a game is just so clever.

8 Brilliant Ladybug Craft Ideas for Kids

Another ladybug craft from Red Ted Art is this very cute ladybug paper weaving craft. Paper weaving was always one of my favourite crafts at primary school and I love this cute little bug. She’d be a lovely cheery little critter to make on a rainy day!

Over on Little Hearts Big Love, there are some super-cute paper plate ladybirds. This simple and sweet little craft is prefect for pre-schoolers who are just dotty about these spotty insects.

If you prefer your ladybugs to have a bit of shake, rattle and roll, Play & Learn Everyday have these up-cycled ladybug shakers which just look like so much fun.

Crafts: Make Your Own Ladybird Flower Pot

Over the summer we painted an old terracotta pot to look like a ladybird. It was a really fun way to brighten up and old pot and it looked great too. Here’s how you can make your own ladybird flower pot.

Everyone loves labybugs don’t they? What’s your favourite ladybug craft?

8 Brilliant Ladybug Craft Ideas for Kids

Check out my other craft tutorials and round ups here!

Crafts: Make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box

Over the summer holidays my son turned into the snack king. He seemed to be constantly hungry and as a result, we went through an awful lot of fruit, bread sticks and little pieces of cheese (he grew an inch over the summer, so we know where all those snacks went). I was throwing another empty box of cheese triangles into the recycling bin when I wondered if there might be a better use for this handy little box, so I put it to one side and got thinking. A few days later I’d hatched a plan to make a Space themed felt busy box.

A busy box is a box with a lid which you put together for children to play with when they’re out and about. Big fun in a little box if you will. Busy boxes usually have felt inside, with felt figures, shapes or characters to play with. I knew my son with his space themed bedroom, love of the night sky and slight obsession with Tim Peake would enjoy a space themed busy box. If I’m honest, I enjoyed making it for him too.

Crafts: Make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box

Make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box

You will need:
An empty cheese triangle box
Black paint
Bostik White Glu
Black felt
Coloured felt
Bostik Glu Dots
Scissors
Blu Tack Glitter Pens

How to make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box:
Take your empty cheese triangle box. I used a large one which had a double layer of triangles in. Paint the box inside and out with black paint, leave to dry. You might want to give it a second coat if you think it needs it.

Crafts: Make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box

Once dry, use a pencil to draw around the box base and lid on the black felt and cut out your black circles. Check they fit in the box, you might need to trim them a little. Using the Bostik White Glu, glue one circle in the lid and another in the base, press in place and leave them until the glue is dry.

Crafts: Make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box

Meanwhile, with the coloured felt, cut out some space themed shapes. I made an astronaut with a visor which I stuck in with a Bostik Glu Dot. Then I cut out some planets and stars. I did all of this freehand which you can probably tell from the shape of my stars. I used some Blu Tack Glitter Pens to decorate some of the felt shapes. Put these aside and leave them to dry.

Crafts: Make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box

I decorated the lid with a piece of shimmery card and a silver glitter pen. You could leave your lid plain black or you could stick on some paper stars, or whatever you want to do. The only limit is your imagination.

A busy box is a great way to entertain children on journeys or waiting for appointments, or if they just want or need a little focused quiet time. It can be good for developing their fine motor skills, it’s a great little sensory learning tool and can help develop their language and storytelling skills. It’s also great for sparking their imaginations. We really enjoy this kind of play and busy boxes can be made in all kinds of different themes.

Crafts: Make your own Space Themed Felt Busy Box

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

I am a Bostik Craft Blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. I have not been compensated for this post. 

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

Last year I went to a string art craft class and properly fell in love with this kind of craft. We took blocks of wood, nailed a pattern into it and wove coloured thread around the nails. I loved it and promised myself I’d try it at home. More than a year later I still haven’t done it. Instead I’ve been dabbling in a smaller kind of string art. I’ve been making little greetings cards with them.

They’re quite simple to do and I’m usually really pleased with how they turn out. This week I needed a get well soon card for a family friend, so I got my kit out and set to work. An hour of pretty restful sewing later, I had a nice card to send to a nice person.

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

You will need:
One blank card and envelope
A pin
Coloured embroidery thread
A template shape
One pencil
A needle
Sellotape
Coloured paper
A glue stick

How to make your own String Art Greeting Cards:
Take your blank card and think about what shape you want to make with your string art. I chose a star shape and used a star shape cookie cutter I had. Using my pencil I drew around the cookie cutter on the inside of the card so the pencil wouldn’t show on the outside.

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

Once I was happy with my shape, I took my pin and pierced the card around the edge of my pencil shape at regular intervals. I went with about half a centimetre intervals.

The next step is the thread your needle with your chosen embroidery thread. Although I originally chose yellow, I eventually chose purple thread. Embroidery thread is usually made up of six strands, I separated a length so I threaded two strands onto my needle.

With a small piece of sellotape, I stuck the end of my thread to the inside of the card and started sewing the star.

It’s better if you choose a regular pattern of holes to sew, rather than just doing it randomly. For this card I went almost diagonally across and moved two holes clockwise each time I moved across the star (if that makes sense). After a while my star started to take shape and I was happy with the pattern it was making.

Once you come to the end of each thread, sellotape the end to the inside of the card and start a new thread. Use as much or as little embroidery thread as you need and think is best. It just depends how it looks and if you think it needs more.

Once you are happy with how the string art looks, turn your card over and make sure any loose ends are taped down. The back might look a bit messy, which is why we cover it with some coloured or patterned paper.

Cut the coloured paper to size and stick it over the back of the string art star (or other shape) you’ve made with the glue stick. Leave it to dry and it’s ready to be written and sent to the lucky recipient.

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

String art greeting cards are really easy to do and great for doing when you just need to sit and do something without having to think too hard about it. Sting art was so big in the 1970’s and it’s really due a revival. It’s a brilliant craft and I urge you to give this mini version a try.

If you liked this, you might also like to try these crafts –

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

Outdoor Crafts: Making Clay Faces

Every year at the Just So Festival, we venture into the woods to make clay faces. Barefoot Ceramics run the clay face making sessions and you are basically given a lump of clay and the instruction to go find a tree and let your imagination run wild. The clay faces in the woods are always worth visiting, there are some really creative creations stuck to the trees by the end of the weekend.

A few months ago I bought some clay and I’ve been trying to make a few different things with it. With two boys to entertain for a day last week, I thought they might like to try making some clay faces too.

Outdoor Crafts: Making Clay Faces

It’s important that you have permission from whoever owns the trees you want to stick your clay faces onto if you can. They might not like having a clay face stuck to their trees.

We found some nice barky trees which I knew would be fine to make our faces on. A tree with good crinkly bark is usually best, it gives the clay something to grip onto. We used air drying clay which when used indoors dried within about 24 hours. I’ve no idea about how it would work outside, but clay faces are never meant to be a permanent feature. I would fully expect the faces to melt off the tree over time, especially in the rain.

Outdoor Crafts: Making Clay Faces

How to make clay faces in the woods

You will need:
A nice barky tree
A handful of clay
Maybe some leaves, twigs, stones, seeds etc

How to make your clay faces:
Take your handful of clay and squish it around a bit until it is soft. Find a spot on your tree where you think a face might look good and dust it off a bit with your hand so any loose bits of dust or dirt come off.

Decide what kind of face you might want to make. It could be an animal, an alien, a gargoyle or whatever you fancy.

I like to make a base for my face, by working about a quarter of my clay into the bark to give something for my face to stick to. Once you’ve done this you can start to build and sculpt your clay face.

I decided to make a bee. I made the shape of the body and wings, then added clay stripes and twig stripes. The wings I made by pressing a veiny leaf into the clay to make the pattern.

The boys made a dog and a centipede.

Outdoor Crafts: Making Clay Faces

Outdoor Crafts: Making Clay Faces

You can do whatever you want. I’ve made lots of clay faces over the years and sometimes I have a fixed idea about what I want to make, sometimes I start and a face just evolves. Really the most important thing is to have fun and just explore what you can do with the clay, your hands and the bits of nature you might find on the floor nearby.

Outdoor Crafts: Making Clay Faces