13 articles Articles posted in Crafts

Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Craft #BostikBlogger

day-of-the-dead-sugar-skull-craftSo, 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: img_20161122_114327_hdr

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

img_20161122_114430_hdrMark 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!)

img_20161122_114724_hdrGo around the eyes and nose with your black pen and fill then completely

img_20161122_114948_hdrStick sequins around the eyes and in the nose using your Bostik white glue

img_20161122_120326_hdrOnce the glue has semi-dried, outline the eyes with whatever colour of glitter glue you like

img_20161122_120508_hdrStick 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.

img_20161122_121046_hdr

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!

Unique Teacher Gift Idea

It’s that time of year when everyone’s thoughts are turning to gifts for teachers, the angels who’ve dealt with our kids for the past ten months! Sausage always likes to do something totally different, which means that the standard ‘box of choc or bottle of wine’ are totally out of the question. Pinterest is our FRIEND! Something Sausage like the look of this year was a personalised name plate for her teacher’s desk, something like this:

Acrylic Teacher Gift

Always ones to share the wealth, we thought we’d give you a little guide to how something like this can be made cheaply and effectively.

  1. Find somewhere online which sells cut-to-size acrylic and order a piece which is roughly 12″ x 4″ x 2″, plus a piece for the base which is slightly larger and flatter.
  2. Use a hot glue gun to glue the two pieces together so that the flat piece acts as a base and allow to dry thoroughly.
  3. Use chalk pens to write your teacher’s name on the front, and use contrasting colours to create a swirl pattern around it.

And that’s it, it really is THAT simple! I have a lot of friends who are teachers and they all say that the gifts they love the most at the end of the year are the ones which are home made or personalised in some way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they also love the odd bottle of wine and box of chocs, but there’s only SO much boozing and eating you can do in one summer!

Are you handmaking your child’s teacher gift this year? If so, I’d love to see what you’ve made or what you’re planning to make so either leave me a comment below of find me on Facebook and leave me a photo on the Mum’s the Word Facebook page. Thanks for reading!

How to Make a Paper Fortune Teller (video)

Paper Fortune Teller
Sausage and Burrito Baby are lucky to have an amazing relationship with my mother-in-law, who really is a truly awesome Nan to them both. They love spending time at Nanny’s house, not least of all because she has loads of toys and craft stuff set up for them to use. Sausage often sits there for hours with Nanny’s selections of paper, pens, glue, tape and other bits, happily making wonderful creations which she gives to us as gifts. One thing she LOVES to make is a paper fortune teller, something that I also loved when I was a kid too, although she can’t seem to remember how to fold them herself, so that responsibility always falls to me.

On Saturday, we went to MIL’s for the afternoon as we so often do, and Sausage wanted to make a fortune teller and I decided to get her to record me making one so that she could watch the video next time and make it for yourself, but it gave me the idea to share it here! I hope you find it useful…

How to make a paper fortune teller

Sausage uses a whole load of different “fortunes” on hers; for instance, one of these ones she used as a “which Pokemon trainer would you be”! It gives kids more hours of fun that you’d ever think a single sheet of paper could, allows them to be creative and is just a really sweet, simple little activity which can be done anywhere AND reduces screen time.

They’re also really good for helping with spelling; sometimes, instead of writing a colour on the outside, Sausage will do a blob of the corresponding colour which means that she has to remember the spelling of the word every time she does a fortune. Simple enough, you might think, but making them use colours like “turquoise” can really take it up a notch!

Do your little people know how to make fortune tellers? Is it something you’ve passed down to them from your own childhood? What do yours write inside their fortune tellers? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

BKD London Baking Kits Review and Discount Code #bkdbakes

If there’s one thing that Sausage and I love to do together, it’s baking. We’re never happier than when we’re in the kitchen, working together to make something tasty for the family, so when the lovely folk at BKD London got in touch and asked if we’d like to try one of their baking kits for kids, we agreed straight away. Even the boxes they come in are gorgeous!

BKD London Gingerbread Kit

The kits contain everything you need to make gingerbread men, apart from butter and golden syrup, including the cutter and everything to decorate them. The instructions were really clear – so much so that I basically stood back and let Sausage do everything herself (minus a little help with measuring and weighing).

BKD London Gingerbread Kit

The whole process from beginning to end was super simple – the only part that Sausage didn’t like was having to wait for her gingerbread dough to chill before she could roll it out! Here’s the finished product:

BKD London cookies

They tasted absolutely delicious!

These kits come in a number of varieties (I’ve got my eye on the unicorns!) and would make an amazing sticking filler for any kid who loves baking. The best news is that we’ve got a 10% off code for all Mum’s the Word readers. Just enter the code MUMSTHEWORD10 at the checkout. Happy baking!

Our Favourite Halloween Crafts

Sausage is a huge fan of Halloween. In fact, just the other day, she told me that Halloween was actually her favourite, ahead of Christmas; if a kid chooses something ahead of a holiday which involves copious amounts of presents, you know it’s serious! I do my best to indulge her love of Halloween with costumes and pumpkins and a yearly viewing of Ghostbusters, but this year the goalposts have changed. This year, we’re living in a village which actually DOES STUFF for Halloween!

On Saturday evening, we’ll pop over to the other half of the village to meet in the Mission Hall. From there we’ll indulge in a supper of hot dogs before all the families go trick or treating together! Sausage is beside herself with excitement as we’ve never done trick or treating before. Houses who wish to be involved are to place a pumpkin outside, so we thought we’d go one step further and make some awesome Halloween crafts for our display, and we’ve been searching blogs for inspiration. Here are our favourites:

These glowing ghosts over at Adventures of Adam are so simple, yet wonderfully effective and would make a lovely window display for Halloween night.

Toddler-made-ghosts

These tissue paper pumpkins from Parenthood Highs and Lows are wonderfully easy to make and look fab, and I reckon even Burrito Baby could get involved with making them.

Tissue paper Pumpkins

As someone with a Pokemon FANATIC as a daughter, I know for a fact that we’ll be making this at some point this week! Go to In The Playroom for full instructions.

Pumpkin-pikachu-pin

Another craft which would look fantastic as part of a window display and is super simple to do are these clothes peg mummies from Thinly Spread. Their googly eyes and wavy arms don’t make them look too scary, making them perfect for toddlers and little ones.

clothes peg mummies

If you’re looking for some fun, spooky treats to give out to Trick or Treaters, these brilliant spider cakes from Pink Oddy are just the thing and they’re great fun for the kids to make, too.

spier_eight_eyes

We love a bit of bunting in our house and this super-simple Halloween version from Daisies and Pie is a great addition to any Halloween house, especially if you’re throwing a party.

happy-halloween-bunting-1024x1024

I’ve been wanting to make these Jelly Worms for ages as they make the perfect gruesome Halloween sweets, but I’ve never got around to it. Luckily, The Gingerbread House has a great tutorial to help you make your own.

Jelly Worms

These lanterns would be the perfect accompaniment to Trick or Treating, especially if you used battery powered tealights or glowsticks, as the tutorial from Mum in the Madhouse suggests.

Halloween-Crafts-Mason-Jar-Lanterns

These sugar skull dolls from Zing Zing Tree could not be more appropriate for us this year as Sausage is going to be dressed as a real-life Day of the Dead Senorita this year, so these will definitely be being made by us!

Sugar-Skull-Doll-Tutorial

Sausage and I were a bit late to the Hama beading party but now we’ve discovered them, we’re massive fans. This spooky glow-in-the-dark Hama craft from Hannah Spannah would be brilliant to hang in windows or on gate posts on the night itself.

Halloween Hama

If you have a little one (or even yourself) who isn’t keen on the full dress-up experience, then these autumnal Halloween masks from Dilly Drops could be the perfect solution.

Halloween Masks

Finally, these pop-up ghosts from Diary of a First Child make a really gentle ‘trick’ if people aren’t in the giving mood but you don’t want to go full-on and egg people’s houses! People will find it so adorable that they’re bound to muster up a treat after seeing them!

Pop Up Ghost

What will you be making this week?

Be Prepared: 5 Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained this summer

Kids are off school during the summer, which means there is no more homework to keep them busy (and quiet) in the afternoons – so they can become restless and noisy which ends up giving the parents a huge headache. Two options spring to mind – you could switch on the television and put a DVD on for them or you could go a step further and get the kids involved in some arts and crafts to release their creative streaks and keep them entertained for longer. Let’s go with the second and examine some ideas.

Keep a scrapbook

Kids are only young once so why not keep a scrapbook of their summer holidays? This is a great craft idea because kids can make memories of their favourite days by sticking pictures, tickets, brochures and maps of their adventures on the pages of their scrapbook. Craft Superstore have everything you need to make your kids’ scrapbook wonderful, including fun and colourful stickers to really enhance the creative appeal of the book. When they grow up, your kids can look back at the summer of a lifetime.

Egg Carton Boats

Take some old egg cartons from the fridge and paint them with your kids. Add a stick with a mini sail and test the boat’s endurance on the water. This will be perfect for the extra hot days of summer when kids are splashing about the paddling pool and need something to play with. They can take their favourite toys on board (if they fit) and pretend they have just set sail for an epic sea adventure. The plus side is that this craft will also encourage you and the kids to recycle more instead of just throwing used cartons away.

Button Bracelets

A handy summer craft for kids that they can do indoors or on rainy days is making their own button bracelets. This is also a great excuse for you to use up all those old buttons in your sowing kit. According to Martha Stewart, the steps to making a button bracelet are to thread elastic through shanks and turning every second button upside down to allow it to overlap. Once the bracelet fits around your kid’s wrist, it’s time to trim the elastic and tie it in place.

Birdhouse Decoration

Invite wildlife into your garden this summer with a decorative bird shelter, stocked with food and treats to attract all sorts of birds. Before hanging up the house, give your kids the chance to paint it how they please. They can add polka dots or draw little chickens on the wood to make it seem more homely for the birds – www.parentmap.com advises that you use peanut butter, birdseed and pine cones mixed together as the perfect bird treat.

Shell Creations

If you’re taking a trip to the beach this summer, bring an empty plastic bag and have your kids gather together their favourite sea shells. Once you get home you can glue them together to make little creatures, which can be painted and decorated. To take it a step further, create an enchanting wind chime with shells, string and a long stick. This is perfect to hang outside the door or up in the childrens’ room.

Best Home Made Christmas Decorations

Since Sausage came along, I’ve made it a bit of a Christmas tradition to make home made Christmas decorations to go on the tree and around the house. We always make our own paper chains, usually from Christmas printed paper or old rolls of wrapping paper from the year before but the main event is the decorations for the tree. I have a dream that, one day, when I’m old, none of the decorations on my tree will be shop bought, but all handmade by the girls and I over the years, so that when our grandchildren, should we be lucky enough to have them, come over for Christmas I can show them all the treasures their Mum and Aunty made when they were little.

This year, as it’s BB’s first Christmas, I thought we’d make salt-dough stars from their hand prints – we’ll cut out the shape of their hands (providing BB plays ball!) and then decorate them with white paint and glitter.

Some of my blogging chums have got some absolutely stunning ideas for home made decorations so I thought I’d pull together some of my favourites, to give you some inspiration for the run-up to the festive season:

Cas from Mummy Never Sleeps wrote a guest post for Carolin at Mummy Alarm showing us how to make a gorgeous, kid-friendly, cheap window display from things you’ve probably already got around the house. home made paper christmas decorations

Joy over at Pink Oddy has made some simple but effective salt dough stars which are perfect for making with little ones. I also love how versatile these are in terms of the millions of different ways you could decorate them, even to match a specific colour scheme or as gifts for family or class teachers.

Christmas Salt Dough Stars

As a single Mum, my friend Aly from Bug, Bird, Bee is one of those amazing people who makes her budget stretch as far as possible by foraging, making home made gifts and some seriously savvy charity shop shopping and I’m always impressed by her skills. I love these Hama bead (which you can buy from Craft Merrily) creations for Christmas and I can totally see a Hama bead Angel sitting at the top of our tree!

Christmas Hama Bead Angels

My friend Vanessa from HPMcQ is one of those people who is ridiculously stylish and talented so I just knew her handmade decorations would be something aspirational – and I wasn’t wrong. These paper tealight houses (for battery operated tealights, of course) are utterly adorable and would look at home on even the most minimalist of mantlepieces. I really want to try making these but I suspect they might be a ‘mummy-only’ project!

Christmas Battery Operated Tealight Houses

I absolutely LOVE this home made wreath, for which Ali at Kids Chaos used upcycled books. I’ve never been one for outdoor decorations before but I love this idea so much that I’m definitely going to put something on my front door this year. We’ve actually got a pine-cone giving tree in our garden AND a holly bush, so I’m thinking I might be able to make this without any expenditure whatsoever!

upcycled books christmas wreath

For me, Christmas should be a time to treat all of your senses, and these cinnamon stick tree decorations from Cass at Frugal Family are the perfect way to tantalise your sense of smell! Nothing says Christmas like the smell of cinnamon, and true to form, these gorgeous decorations are super cheap to make. home made cinnamon stick tree decoration

No craft round up would be complete without something from the Queen of Craft, Maggy at Red Ted Art! Her site is awash with amazing Christmas-themed crafts, but these cork snowmen and Rudolph would make such a lovely, colourful addition to any tree – and it’s always good to have an excuse to accumulate a lot of corks!

Cork Snowmen

Otilia, over at Romanian Mum, made this gorgeous paper tree garland, which I reckon Sausage would love to make too, especially as it involves glitter glue! I guess we could use other shapes too, such as snowmen and stars.paper Christmas tree garland

My own offering may not be quite as slick at the others, but I was so super impressed that my woollen baubles worked last year! They’re super messy to make but very cheap as you only need water balloons, wool and PVA glue.

home made woollen christmas baubles

All of these will be added to a Pinterest board of the best home made Christmas decorations from around the web, so if you’ve got a post you’d like me to add, please leave a comment below with a link to the post. We’d love for you to follow the board too, so you can see all of the new Pins as they’re added.

Follow Mum’s The Word’s board Home Made Christmas Decorations on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading and happy Christmas crafting!

The Sticker Club – Review

I’m pretty sure that if you were to perform an MRI on Sausage, you’d see that half of her internal organs were actually plastered with stickers. The kid LOVES stickers. A quick stroll around our house reveals stickers stuck to various surfaces and Sausage loves nothing more than choosing a special sticker for her Dad or I with which to adorn our possessions. Up until recently, my Cath Kidston purse had a rainbow unicorn on it and my laptop is sporting a stripy Furby! When The Sticker Club got in touch and asked if we’d like to review their weekly subscription service, I knew I couldn’t say no. The Sticker Club

Each week, 9 sheets of original stickers turn up in a striking yellow envelope, and I have to admit, even get excited about seeing what’s going to be in there each week! All of the stickers are original Sticker Club designs and the package is addressed directly to the child, so that get that lovely little thrill of getting something for themselves in the mail.

Sausage’s imagination has been stimulated wonderfully by the stickers; she’s constantly making pictures around the images, sticking them onto paper and using pens, pencils, crayons and paint to turn them into a full-on piece of art and the designs are so wonderfully quirky. I also love the fact that there’s no ‘girls stickers’ or ‘boys stickers’ – every pack includes gender neutral stickers which appeal to all kids. Sometimes there’s football and aliens, back to back with flowers and adorable fruit people, but all of the stickers are well designed and attractive to everyone.

There are various subscription options, starting at £1.99 a week and also gift options if you wanted to give The Sticker Club for a birthday or Christmas. I actually think an annual subscription would make a brilliant gift as it’s something which would last for a whole year and would keep on giving, rather than being something which ends up forgotten, at the bottom of the toy box.

I’m genuinely impressed with The Sticker Club; every package has arrived on a Monday without fail, all of the stickers are well designed and unique, and they’re perfect for stimulating little imaginations. Once our complimentary subscription period is over, Husband and I will definitely be subscribing to this for Sausage – and there’s even a sibling subscription option, too so perhaps in a few years BB will get her very own subscription too!

As for the lady herself, here’s what Sausage had to say about it all: “I think it’s exciting and they do brilliant sticker pictures. There’s nothing I’d change about it at all! The stickers are cool and I love getting things in the post. “

High praise indeed!

Easy and Inexpensive Christmas Papercrafts

I must admit, although I like the look of the pristinely decorated, highly co-ordinated Christmas trees and decorations that you see on telly and in department stores, my style at home is a little more…well, homely.

As I mentioned in this post, each year Sausage and I make a new set of decorations to add to our collection and my hope is that by the time I’m old and grey, I’ll have a full set of home-made decorations and won’t need to use any shop-bought ones at all. I also think that, unless you’re the sort of person who’s organised enough to buy their decorations in the January sales, Christmas decorations can be ridiculously expensive by the time you get to December, but by that time you’re a captive audience and have no choice to stump up for over-priced pieces of plastic, for fear of having a naked tree!

Sausage and I love to think of new Christmas papercrafts and this year we’ve made a few things which are totally inexpensive to make as well as looking really sweet, and also incorporate a bit of upcycling, which everyone loves, so we thought we’d share our ideas with you. These are great to get the kids involved with and will mean that you won’t have to spend a fortune on top of the ridiculous amounts that most of us spend on presents.

Snowman Chains

Snowman Chains

We drew ours by hand and then drew the eyes, nose, mouths and buttons on to look like coal and a carrot, but there are also some excellent templates online if you have a look around (like these ones on Pinterest) All you need is some plain paper, some sellotape and coloured pens or pencils, all of which most people have lying around. We used plain A4 which we folded in half, then in half again and in half again, and Sausage was fascinated by the fact that they were all attached once cut out! (by the way, I’m aware that one of my snowmen is missing a nose and an eye – I couldn’t use felt pen on sellotape and besides, we’re an equal opportunities household!)

Upcycled Wrapping Paper Chains

Upcycled  wrapping paper chains

Every year, I go out and buy those paper chain kits with the specially cut metallic paper with the sticky bits on the ends for Sausage and I to make and every year, without fail, the sticky bits fail and we end up taping it all together. This year, my mother in law had some spare Christmas wrapping paper from last year, which I cut into strips and then taped together in a chain. It looks wonderfully festive, it didn’t cost a penny and it made use of some paper which was a little tatty around the edges and would otherwise have been thrown away. Christmas 1 – 0 Landfill!

Stocking Bunting

Stocking Bunting

This one is devilishly simple and even really tiny kids could get involved, providing they can hold a crayon! All we did was take some A5 pieces of paper, draw a simple stocking shape and then cut a pile of them out at once to get them all the same shape and size. Sausage obliged by colouring them in and then we strung them together by taping cotton between them.

Paper Snowflakes

Paper Snowflake

These paper snowflakes just use white paper and sellotape or staples, and are easy to make one you get the hang of it, but look really pretty. I did a tutorial for how to make these last year, so I won’t repeat myself, but one thing I did do differently this year was to use pinking shears to make the cuts, which added a really nice effect to them and make them look even prettier. I was also thinking about investing in some glitter spray to make them *pop* even more.

Christmas Craft – Woollen Baubles

Every year, Sausage and I make a new set of decorations for the tree, just about a dozen or so to add to the current collection and each year I try to do something different with her. Last year we made some plaster of Paris models which she painted and the year before was salt dough, but this year I wanted something completely different. My good friend Jamillah posted one of her Pinterest finds on Facebook and I thought we’d try to recreate the effect for our tree, and I’m really chuffed with the results so I thought I’d share them with you!

What you’ll need:

What You'll Need

  • Wool – we bought some small offcuts from Ebay, which were about £3 for a bag.
  • PVA glue
  • Saucer or tray for glue
  • Small balloons or water balloons

Method:

  • Place a splodge of glue onto your saucer or tray
  • Take a balloon (we used water balloons as they’re the perfect size) and blow it up to the rough size of a bauble.
  • Tie a small piece of wool around the knot of the balloon for hanging to dry
  • Snip off a piece of wool about 12 inches long
  • Drag the wool through the PVA glue
  • Wrap the sticky wool around the balloon
  • Repeat the process again with another piece of wool
  • Hang the baubles to dry (we snipped slots into a long piece of cardboard and slid the balloons into it, before hanging them off of the edge of a desk)
  • Once the baubles are completely dry (we gave ours about three hours), snip the knot carefully off of the balloon with a pair of scissors. The balloon should deflate but the wool bauble should spring back to shape once the balloon is removed
  • Tie a piece of coordinating wool at the top of the bauble in a loop, for hanging on the tree

woollen baubles

And there you have it! Super easy, rather messy but the results are really worth it in the end. I think these baubles look really unique and effective and I’m really pleased with how they look on the tree. We used wool with a glittery strand running through it (although I can’t take a picture which does the glittery strand justice!) but you could also roll them in glitter before they dry, or even use a little bit of snow spray on the bottoms once they’re dry.