Learning how to make candles is a fun journey to be on. It can open a new avenue of the art world you didn’t know existed. Being able to create your own candles gives you the freedom to craft a candle that fits you personally. Which can add the right amount of cozy ambiance and scents that will make you feel right at home. Which is something store-bought candles can quite do. An important piece of any candle is the wooden wick in the middle. Though it seems easy to figure out, there are many different types of candle-making wooden wicks to choose from. Which can be overwhelming, but the variety is meant to let you find the wick that works best for your candle.Continue reading “How Do I Know Which Candle Wicks Work for My Homemade Candle?”
You may remember that I posted some years ago now about the doll house that my Nan and Grandad built for me when I was a child, and how I planned to renovate it. Well, life well and truly got in the way and it has, unfortunately, lived in my mother-in-law’s loft since then. However, with the summer holidays getting close, I’ll have a lot more time on my hands and I’ve decided to make it a priority. Here are some of the things I plan to do:
When I first started planning the renovation, I had thought about going to my local DIY superstore and getting sme wallpaper samples to use. However, it turns out that dolls house wallpaper is actually a thing! It can be bought by the sheet and is self-adhesive, with much smaller print which looks better on the little walls.
Most of the rooms are carpeted and in great condition, but on the surfaces which aren’t carpeted, I plan to use some really funky checkerboard floor tiles that I’ve seen. They’re perfect for a small floor and will give the whole house a nice updated look and I can’t wait to see what the finished effect will look like.
As I said in my old post, the roof tiles are individually cut out of a teracotta colours lino to look like the real thing. I don’t want to retile the while roof as that would be an enormous job, so I plan to find something which is as close to the original material as possible and patch the roof up where it needs it. I’m hoping to get it looking back to its original glory, but I’m nowhere near as skilled as my lovely Grandad, so I just hope I can do him justice.
The curtains that my Nan made for the doll house are still pretty good, but the fabric is a little dated and could do with some modernisation. Thankfully, I’m fairly decent with a sewing machine and I can do a good job of updating all of the curtains and soft fabrics in the house. I’ll probably choose a fabric which co-oridinates with the new wallpaper so that it all goes well together.
This is the one area where I may choose to outsource and buy replacements for the furniture, instead of attempting to make my own. Aside from having nowhere near the skill of my grandparents in this area, I don’t have the tools OR the space to do this type of work, so I’ll hit eBay, Facebook and maybe Freecycle to see if I can source a whole house worth of new furniture that way.
Arts and crafts are important for your child’s development. Not only can they get their creative juices flowing, and let their imagination run wild, but the holding of pens and paintbrushes can help improve their fine motor skills.
Plus, there is no better time to do some crafting, and as the weather begins to get warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, there is plenty to spark your child’s imagination.
From potting plants to sunflower competitions, if you’ve been spending more time outdoors as a family, why not use nature as your inspiration for your next crafting session with your kids.
Here are our top flower-themed activities for you and your little ones to get your hands on, and most importantly, have fun!
Flower hand painting
With bright shades and interesting petal shapes, flowers make the perfect, colourful spring time picture. Plus, when paint is involved, things can get messy and fun!
Tulips have a unique shape and come in a variety of colours, so why not make them the subject of your kids’ crafting session. Even better, you get to create the painting using your little one’s hands.
To make a tulip painting you will need:
- Plate or paper plate
- Colourful paint, including green
- Apron (if you think things will get messy)
First, encourage your child or guide them to paint a green stem on the paper, and then add some large green leaves. If you have a bunch of tulips to hand, it can help to mirror the shape. Next is the best bit – and made need some adult supervision if your child is younger.
Your child then places their hand on a plate of coloured paint, making sure that its completely covered. Then, press their hand firmly on the paper at the top of the stem. Keep the fingers together, and then slowly spread them out to create the tulip shape.
The picture is then complete! You can do this on a folded piece to make a greetings card, or cut out the hand-print flower and stick on the top of a lolly stick to make a pretty bookmark. You can also experiment with shapes and colour.
Try yellow as the main colour, and spread the hand out completely when pressing on the paper – you can then fill the middle with some black paint to create a beautiful sunflower picture. Again, if you’ve been growing sunflowers in your garden, you can take the activity outside and use them as inspiration.
Egg box flowers
The best crafts are made from the materials you can find around your house, reusing something that possibly could have been thrown away. For example, an old egg box is a great starting point to make a colourful and interesting, homemade bunch of flowers.
To make egg box flowers you will need:
- Egg box
- Colourful paint
- Green pipe cleaners or lolly sticks
- Buttons (optional)
- Ribbon (optional)
Firstly, if you’re child is old enough, let them cut each section of the egg box individually, or you can step in to help. Then, you cover the whole section in colourful paint – whichever colour your little one chooses. If using them, stick a button in the middle of the box to create the centre of the flower. Or you can simply paint the centre with a contrasting colour.
Finally, stick the egg box flower to the top of a green painted lolly stick or pipe cleaner. If you wish, you can bunch up a few of them and tie together with a coloured ribbon, taking inspiration from the flowers you find outdoors. You can use them to decorate the kid’s own section of your garden.
Tissue paper blossoms
If paint isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other materials that can represent the colours and flowers that we see in nature. The texture of tissue paper can be used to create blossoms – the perfect activity for spring as we begin to see these bloom all around us!
To make a blossom picture, you will need:
- Pink tissue paper
- A piece of paper
- Brown pen, crayon or pencil
The first step is the most fun for little ones, as you need to screw up all the tissue paper into little balls. Set aside whilst you encourage or help your child to draw a tree trunk and some branches on the piece of paper, with either a crayon, pen or pencil. Then, they can stick the tissue paper flower buds onto the branches they’ve drawn, until the paper is full and a beautiful blossom tree has been created.
You can use any shade of tissue paper you like to create the blossom picture, and with nature as your inspiration, the possibilities are endless!
Given the fact that it’s been a REALLY sucky year for most of us, Christmas will be a nice distraction from everything else. This year, us and our extended family have decided to keep the gift giving to just the kids of the family, so that we can make it all the more special for them. However, that doesn’t stop me from creating extra special Christmas cards for everyone, and this year I’ve even learned a new skill to help me – quilling!
When I was researching the type of card I wanted to make, I stumbled across some festive greetings using quilling. For those who don’t know, quilling is a paper craft with uses coiled strips of paper to create shapes and patterns. I had a quilling kit when I was a tween and I loved it then, but I’d basically forgotten everything I’d learned by the time I tried it again. I also planned to use a graffiti font on the card, but my printer went kaput, right at the most inconvenient moment. *eyeroll*
As well as quilling strips and some papercraft tools, I used an 8x8in blank greetings card, some tacky glue (it’s stickier and dries fast for crafting), a gold marker, some gold edging stickers, mini Christmas bells and some Christmas pompoms. I also used a compass, ruler and pencil for sketching out the rough shapes before I stuck anything on.
I started by making the quills for the tree by coiling a whole strip tightly, then allowing it to unfurl a little. I then glued the loose end in place with a tiny dot of glue, held it until dry and then pinched one end of the coil of paper to create the shape. To create the star and tree pot, I shaped them after coiling in a similar way, and then I used the gold marker to write the message on the front. Finally, I just stuck all of the other bits on in the right place!
Adding the Text
It took me a little under half an hour, from sketching out the final design to everything being done, and I think the overall effect is well worth the effort! What’s more, I really enjoyed making the card and I can’t wait to make a whole load more to send to the special people in our lives. I’m thinking of making a different design on every card, but that might just be a stunning case of me biting off more than I can chew, as usual!
I absolutely love making handmade gifts and cards for people. Now that I have a new skill, I’ll definitely be doing more of it. Have you ever tried quilling? Are you making handmade cards or gifts this year? Leave me a comment below telling me all about it, especially if you have inspiration for my next design!
So, a little while ago I was asked if I’d like to be a Bostik Blogger, which basically involves being sent a box of craft materials each month and coming up with something relevant. Seeing as we’re on the run-up to Halloween, and Halloween is basically Sausage’s favourite holiday, I thought we’d do something Day of the Dead related, which is the Mexican day to celebrate those who aren’t with us anymore and celebrated on the same day as Halloween.
Having “age-gap kids” as I do (there’s five and a half years between Sausage and BB) means that we need crafts which are engaging enough to keep Sausage interested whilst being simple enough for BB to get involved with, which is why this simple Day of the Dead mask is perfect for both of them – plenty of BLING for Sausage but lots of simple shapes and sticking-on for BB!
Here’s What You Need:
1 paper plate, Bostik White Glue, Bostik Glitter pens, scissors, A black felt tip or permanent marker, Various sequins and pom-poms for decoration, a lolly stick
Cut the plate into the desired skull shape
Mark between and around the ‘teeth’ with your black marker and draw your eye and nose shapes with a pencil (I drew around something for the eyes because my freehand is rubbish!)
Go around the eyes and nose with your black pen and fill then completely
Stick sequins around the eyes and in the nose using your Bostik white glue
Once the glue has semi-dried, outline the eyes with whatever colour of glitter glue you like
Stick the pom-poms along the top edge of the skull. Add decorations on the cheeks using more sequins and glitter glue to create patterns. Stick a stick to the back of the mask.
And you’re done! It really is that simple. Given the small amount of effort it takes, I really think this is such a lovely craft and we’ll definitely be making a whole load of them to decorate the house with! You could even cut the eyes out and use them as masks with a little elastic stapled to the sides.
Do you love Halloween and Day of the Dead? I’d love to see your crafts so please do leave me a link below!