Tag Archives: Crafting with kids

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

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

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

Pom poms are a pretty easy thing to make and with a little imagination you can turn them into all kinds of different creatures and characters. This month I was tasked by Craft Merrily to create a Halloween craft. I’d been wanting to master my new pom pom maker, so I decided to make some pom pom spiders. They’re easier than you think and an easy craft to do with children.

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

We’ve all made pom poms before using two rings of cardboard you laboriously wind wool around, then cut, tie and you’re done. I’ve bought a set of pom pom makers on the recommendation of my friend Lucy – an expert pom pom maker. She is right, they really are a pom pom game changer!

Lucy showed me how to use the pom pom maker. You wind your wool around two semi-circles of the maker, then wind it around the other two semi-circles, clip them together, cut them and the tie them around the middle and you’re done. Easy. Not just easy, but quick and easy.

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

You can make your pom pom spiders 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). Use whatever colours you think would work best.

How to make Pom Pom Spiders

You will need –
Pom pom makers (or make your own cardboard rings)
A ball of wool
Scissors
Pipecleaner
Googly eyes
Bostik Glu Dots

How to make your Pom Pom Spiders –
Wind your wool around your pom pom maker, make sure you are generous with the winding. The more wool you use, the fuller your pom pom will be.

Before you cut and tie your pom pom, cut your spider legs out of the pipecleaners. I used four identical lengths of pipecleaner (which make 8 spiders legs). Twist the pipecleaners together in the middle and put them through the centre of your pom pom.

Cut the wool around your ring and tie you pom pom together tightly with a long length of wool. You should have a pom pom now, it may need trimming up slightly so it is even all over.

Using the Bostik Glu Dots and the googly eyes, stick eyes onto your pom pom spider. Bend its legs to make spiders legs. You pom pom spider is now complete. You can leave the long piece of wool on him or cut it off if you prefer.

Your pom pom spiders are ready for Halloween. Hang them around the house, make a pom pom spider garland out of them or decorate your Halloween party table with them. How would you use your pom pom spiders?

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

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 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. 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.

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.

We are Baker Ross Ambassadors.

Win an Instant Flower Press from Interplay

Earlier this week I got my own Instant Flower Press from Interplay. The flower press is really easy to use and great for crafting whatever age you are (suitable for ages 8+). It takes less than a minute to press a flower using this kit and we had a lot of fun gathering the flowers, pressing them and then crafting with them.

Instant Flower Press from Interplay

You can read more of our thoughts about the Instant Flower Press from Interplay and get some ideas for easy dried flower crafts here.

The Instant Flower Press from Interplay costs £9.99 and is incredibly easy to set up and use, it comes with a detailed instruction booklet and everything you need to get flower pressing. It’s great for learning more about nature as well as being a pretty essential addition to my craft cupboard.

For more information about the Instant Flower Press from Interplay, visit their website.

WIN an Instant Flower Press from Interplay

To be in with a chance to win an Instant Flower Press from Interplay worth £9.99, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
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2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive an Instant Flower Press from Interplay RR£9.99.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 19th June 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winner’s name will be available on request
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13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Crafts: Dried Flower Craft Ideas

This week I became the proud and excited owner of an Instant Flower Press from Interplay. Admittedly it’s designed for children, but both my son and I had great fun with it and we’ve created some pretty little dried flower craft items yesterday afternoon with some flowers we picked on the way home from school.

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

The Instant Flower Press is really simple to use and comes with an instruction booklet. You open up the press, put a layer of the felt pads and the pieces of cotton material in the plastic press, place your flowers inside. Put another layer of cotton and more felt pads (all supplied) and close the press. Pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and you’ve got dried pressed flowers. Slightly more moist flowers may take a little longer in the microwave, but once you start pressing your flowers you’ll quickly be able to judge what will take an extra ten seconds and what will dry more quickly.

As a child my Grandma had a flower press and I loved using it with her, carefully picking pansies from her garden and pressing them between thick parchment and screwing the press shut, then leaving it for months before seeing the fruits of our labour.

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

With the microwave flower press the whole process is done and dusted in minutes and perfect if you need some pressed flowers for some quick dried flower craft.

Quick and easy Dried flower craft ideas

Pretty Jam Jar Candle Holders

You will need:
A clean jam jar
A selection of dried flowers and leaves
PVA glue
A paint brush

These are so simple. Take a clean jam jar and some PVA glue and a paint brush, brush the glue onto the jar where you want to stick your dried flowers. Carefully press the flower onto the glued area to stick it on, then gently cover the flower with PVA glue to seal it in place. Leave to dry.

You can be as creative as you want with this, I’ve left mine quite simple, but I love the delicate little blue flowers and the daisies. It took hardly any time at all to glue on, but maybe an hour to dry properly. They look so pretty and I can see me using this idea on so many things around the house.

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

Pebble Paperweight 

You will need:
A clean stone
A selection of dried flowers and leaves
PVA glue
A paint brush

Again, this is very simple. We have a pile of lovely smooth pebbles in the garden, so I picked one the right size and gave it a good scrub and left it to dry. Then I selected a suitable leaf which I’d dried in the flower press and brushed PVA glue onto the pebble and pressed the dry leaf into place. I left it for a few minutes to stick, then I painted PVA over the leaf to seal it in place and then I left it to dry properly for a few hours.

I’ve now got a lovely paperweight, or a pebble to stop my napkins flying off the table when we eat in the garden.

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

Dried Flower Sun Catchers 

You will need:
A laminator and pouches or some sticky backed plastic
A selection of dried flowers and leaves

Borrowing a laminator I arranged some dried flowers in an artistic way in the laminator pouch, I then put it through the laminator a few times until I was happy. I then cut my A4 sheet down into a circle and using a clear sticky dot stuck it to the window.

It’s really quite pretty and I’ve got a nasty window in the downstairs loo which needs replacing, which I’m now going to cover in these lovely dried flowers to pretty the place up a bit!

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

These are just three very quick ideas I had for dried flower crafts that afternoon. I’ve got a few more ideas up my sleeve including some nice thank you cards and other papercrafts.

The Instant Flower Press from Interplay is a cracking piece of kit and if you enjoy crafting and have kids that enjoy crafting, then I can’t recommend it enough. The small boy went to school today with a bag full of dried flower pictures for show and tell and he’s loving showing off his dried flower craft to anyone who will listen. It’s nice to do something a bit different with him and importantly he’s really enjoyed it and got something out of it too!

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

The Instant Flower Press from Interplay costs £9.99, is suitable for ages 8+ (though my 5 year old used it happily with supervision) and is available from a wide range of retailers.

Note: We were sent the Instant Flower Press from Interplay for review purposes. All images an opinions are our own.