Tag Archives: New Year

Crafts: Chinese New Year Red Envelopes

During Chinese New Year children are traditionally given red envelopes, or red packets containing money as a gift. The red envelopes are a symbol of good luck and the amount of money in your Chinese New Year Red Envelopes should end with an even number; though it’s important that the money should not be given in fours, or the number four should not appear in the amount, such as in 40, 400 and 444.

2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig. Chinese New Year falls on 5th February and in Manchester there are already plans afoot for a parade and celebrations across Chinatown and beyond. Chinese New Year is a glorious, colourful celebration in what I think is the gloomiest month of the year.

Crafts: Chinese New Year Red Envelopes

To celebrate Chinese New Year, I’ve created this simple template to make your own Chinese Red Envelopes. You can decorate your envelope however you like; perhaps with some Chinese writing, or with gold glitter. I’ve kept it simple by creating a sheet with all the animals of the Chinese Zodiac so you can print them out and stick them to the envelopes.

Click here to download the envelope template.

Click here to download the Chinese Zodiac animals.

Crafts: Chinese New Year Red Envelopes

Make your own Chinese Red Envelopes

You will need:

Bostik Fine & Wide Glu Pen
Chinese Red Envelopes template printed on red paper
Chinese Zodiac Animals print out

How to make your Chinese Red Envelopes:

Print your envelope templates out on red paper. Using a pair of scissors cut around the template.

Fold along the lines of the template and using the Bostik Fine & Wide Glu Pen, fold the two side flaps into the centre and glue them together. Fold the bottom flap up and glue that into place. Put your envelope under a book or something which will keep it flat while the glue dries.

Crafts: Chinese New Year Red Envelopes

Once the glue is dry, cut out your Chinese Zodiac animal and glue that into place, slip some money into the envelope, tuck the top flap inside and it’s ready to gift for Chinese New Year.

Remember, you can decorate your Chinese New Year Red Envelopes however you want. My calligraphy isn’t great, but if yours is you could try your hand at writing some Chinese characters on the envelope. Gold glitter would also make this envelope look fabulous.

Here are some more Chinese New Year Crafts you might enjoy –

Crafts: Chinese New Year Red Envelopes

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: 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

My Top Five from 2014

2014. You’ve been an incredible year in terms of blogging. It was my first full year and we’ve done so much, tried new things, been to exciting places; we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve failed and succeeded, thank you 2014, we’ll remember you fondly I think.

As well as my round up of the ten life lessons 2014 has taught me, I’ve picked out my five most popular blogs from 2014, hope you like them too!

1. Anxiety…again – I write a lot about mental health, particularly my anxiety, I write really openly and honestly about how I feel and it seems to strike a chord, this is my most popular mental health post.

2. Making boozy peanut butter milkshakes – this is such a popular blog post. A recipe for incredibly easy, incredibly amazing boozy milkshakes. Don’t just sit there, go make one 🙂

3. Easy Joulutorttu recipe (Finnish jam tarts) – fancy looking homemade festive treats don’t get easier than this. Two ingredients and ten minutes of your time, as a Russian meerkat might say…simples.

4. The truth about pesto pasta – my eight slightly amusing and probably made up facts about pesto pasta struck a chord in November. Winner, winner, pesto for dinner?

5. Body confidence – containing a picture of me in my pants, this was and continues to be a popular post. I have scars and squishy bits but I’m determined to love myself, have a read, your squishy bits aren’t as bad as you think, honest.

Thank you so much for reading my blog, for following me and it and for commenting and sharing and generally being there. Without you I’m basically shouting into an abyss, so thank you, sincerely.

Have a fabulous 2015 x

Ten things 2014 has taught me

If 2013 was a year of drastic change and a bit of drama, 2014 was about appreciating what I’ve got and learning to be me again. Here are some of the lessons 2014 has taught me.

1. The reliable things in your life are reliable until you take them for granted, then your whole life can shift. Don’t take people for granted.

2. Small people grow, they continue to be adorable in different ways, but cherish each moment, because each day they’ll be a little bit older and a little bit different.

3. Work and money can be scarce, but when you really need it, the universe somehow provides it, be thankful and don’t say no, you never know what it will lead to.

4. Good friends are awesome and can be relied upon to buy you a brew and cheer you up with a natter, or an impromptu delivery of Milk Tray in TGI Fridays on your birthday.

5. Don’t bore your good friends to tears with the same old story. Recognise that you’re a stuck record and change it. Only you can change the tune you play.

6. People you love go away, but they will always be part of your story.

7. Say yes to things you would have previously have said no to. It can open new doors for you, or teach you new lessons or be a mistake you can learn from. Mistakes are ok.

8. Drink less, stay in, cuddle the people you love, tuck the small ones in and read them a bedtime story. Watch them sleep, hold that memory to your heart.

9. Look after your back. Keep moving, keep exercising, don’t let pain stop you. Take your pills, power through. You’ll never be as good as you are now, so don’t let pain stop you.

10. Stop. Look at what you’ve got. Hold hands, smell the flowers, listen to the birds in the trees, admire the sky, put your head on his shoulder. Tell him you love him and mean it.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Life lessons


I don’t normally do New Year Resolutions because they’re just empty promises you make to yourself that you usually break by day 3. All this New Year-New Me stuff is a nonsense and a massive waste of time and energy.

I have however been persuaded this New Year to make just one resolution. It deeply rankles to have to formally make an empty promise to myself, but I made a real promise to a good friend that I’d embrace the New Year-New Me claptrap. So here goes.

In 2014 I resolve to become fitter and healthier in body and mind.

There we go. That’s my sincere promise to myself. After my spinal surgeries I did a tonne of rehab and as 2013 drew to a close I was swimming twice a week, going to Pilates once a week and walking whenever and wherever I could. Ideally I’d like to continue with that and maybe do more as I get fitter and more able.

And now because of the curse of the New Year Resolution I can virtually guarantee all of that will have stopped by the weekend. Dammit.


Will you be making an empty promise to yourself this New Year? Do share.