11 articles Tag craft

Gardening and DIY with Kids This Spring

When it gets to this time of year, where the weather is a bit more clement, my mind is always full of all of the DIY and garden stuff that I’d like to do and now that the kids are older and a little more able to get involved (don’t worry, I won’t let Burrito Baby hold any power tools!) I’ve been thinking about things we can do together. Luckily, my friends from the blogging world are the BEST source of inspiration, so I thought I’d share some brilliant posts with you of my favourite projects that they’ve done.

How to Make a Tardis Wardrobe

I’ve you’ve got a gaggle of mini Whovians living in your house then this guide to making a tardis wardrobe is perfect for you. Husband and I really encourage the girls to have their interests and try to indulge them as far as possible so I absolutely love the fact that Penny at Parentshaped has nurtured her daughter’s love for all things Doctor Who with her bedroom furniture.

CD Fish Bird Scarers

CD fish bird scarers

I absolutely LOVE this idea for DIY bird-scarers that Liz over at Me and My Shadow made with her daughter to protect their home garden patch. As well as upcycling and making use of old CDs, thus keeping them out of landfill, they look really pretty too. Such a great project to do with kid as you can be as creative as you like with how you decorate them.

DIY Matchbox Drawer Chest

Red Ted Art DIY matchbox drawers

Something that we ALWAYS need more of in our house is storage, so I love the idea of making ourselves some storage solutions out of other things. These cute little drawers from Red Ted Art are the perfect place to keep art supplies and school stuff, and I’ll definitely be making some of these with the girls.

Top Tips for Gardening With Children

At the risk of going a bit meta, Carolin at Mummy Alarm has put together another rundown post, sharing a whole load of other posts about gardening with kids. It’s a real wealth of information which will be useful in the months to come and I’m going to go through and read all of it with interest.

Bedroom in a Box

Dulux Bedroom in a BoxMaking design decisions can be really tricky, especially when you’re trying to stick to a theme, which is why Dulux decided to make the “Bedroom in a Box”, which Sian at Helpful Mum reviewed. She chose a jungle theme for her kids and takes us through exactly how she dealt with the makeover, as well as giving her opinion on the results.

Five Easy Foods to Grow with Kids

If you’re planning on growing veg this spring and summer with your kids, Emma at The Syders has got some excellent suggestions of what you can grow. When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than helping my grandad to pick the peas and runner beans he’d grown in the garden and I think it’s really important for kids to see where food comes from…plus, NOTHING tastes better than strawberries grown in your own garden!

Planting and Sowing

Emmy’s Mummy has got another great gardening post about how to get the kids involved with the planting and sowing stage of gardening, perfect for this time of year. They’re growing a whole variety of different fruit and veg which will be a fabulous crop once they’re all grown and ready for harvest.

Easy DIY Crepe Paper Tulips Craft Tutorial

Tulips are one of my favourite flowers (have you ever seen the black ones?!) and this tulip craft is absolutely perfect for this time of year when the flowers are starting to bloom. As Katie says, they’d be the perfect centrepiece for an Easter dinner, but I also think they’d be ideal for Mother’s Day too, especially if your Mum has allergies and can’t have real flowers.

Gifts for Craft Lovers

With the pre-Christmas shopping season well and truly upon us, I’ve been gathering together ideas for all sorts of gifts, for the various different people in our lives and today I’ve been thinking about great gifts for craft lovers. Be they a knitter, sewing enthusiast, crochet queen or cross stitch maven, Deramores has the perfect gift for them and I’ve got my five favourites to show you:

Barima Scarf by We Are Knitters – £59.99

Merino wool is hot stuff right now (if you’ll pardon the pun!) and this kit will give your loved one everything they need to make a super on-trend scarf. An easy to intermediate crochet project, the Barima Scarf is a beautiful openwork shawl-like scarf with rock-star tassels. A gift that keeps on giving.

Hobby and Gift Filled Crochet Hook Set – 15cm (Set of 14) – £14.99

Every crochet enthusiast needs somewhere to keep their hooks, and with this kit you get not only a cute, sturdy case but also a set of 14 new hooks, too! The hooks come in a variety of sizes from 2mm right up to 10mm and will give your crochet fanatic a brilliant bit of kit to keep their hobby going.

Deramores Studio DK Corgi Olski – £9.99

You can never have too many four legged friends, and this cute and cuddly corgi would be perfect gift for family and friends.  This kit contains all of the wool needed to make this gorgeous little pooch and best of all, the pattern is sent via email upon purchase to cut down on paper waste. Cute AND conscientious!

Hobby and Gift Craft Bag – £29.99

The absolute beauty of crafts like knitting, crochet and sewing is that they can be done basically anywhere, which means that having a dedicated bag for all of your materials can be a great help. This craft bag is strong, sturdy and looks great and will allow you to take everything with you whilst remaining practical and stylish.

Crochet Roxy Rockhopper Kit by Twilleys – £14.90

This adorable little penguin is absolutely perfect for your quirky friend or relative who doesn’t only crochet blankets, or someone who loves to craft but has a baby or grandchild on the way. The end product is absolutely gorgeous and the kit contains everything they need to make it. It’s also a really good gift for beginners as everything is made from squares!

Do you have a crafty friend or relative? Do you like my list of suggestions? Do let me know if I’ve managed to inspire you!

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!

Interplay BFF Tag Jewellery Review

BFF Tag JewelleryA little while ago, Sausage and I were sent the Interplay BFF Tag Jewellery kit to review, something which I thought would be perfect for my little crafter! The kit uses a special clay and various metallic powders to allow you to make unique and personalised jewellery for you and your BFF and we actually made two matching necklaces before Edith had a play-date with one of her BBF’s…although being useless and disorganised as I am, I completely forgot to take photos of the finished product, so here’s what they kind of looked like!

bbf_tag_necklace_03

The kit itself was definitely one where I’d suggest a bit of parental input – I can imagine that Sausage would have struggled slightly without my help despite the fact that she’s more than capable when it comes to these kinds of projects usually. The dough itself was a little tricky to knead at first and although she managed to shape it and stamp the letters on it herself, the metallic powder also required a bit of supervision. I also needed to be on hand for the tying-on of the fasteners.

Having said that, the result was really lovely. Sausage made 2 identical necklaces for her and her friend and they were really pleased with the results. Although it was one of the trickier craft kits we’ve used, it was well worth the effort. I’m always a bit scared of things which need to be baked because of various FIMO-related disasters in the past but I was pleasantly surprised with how good the necklaces looked once they came out of the oven. We’ve not been brave enough to try the stripey effect pictured above, opting to try all one colour for our first attempt, but I think we’d give this a go in the future as I think it’ll be easier than it looks but very effective and pretty once done.

This would make a great gift for kits who love crafting and making things and could even be bought as an activity to try with your BFF during a play date or sleepover. They can be bought direct from the Interplay site or through Amazon (affiliate link).

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!

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.

Interplay Fairy Princess Craft Party Review

A few months ago, Sausage went to the birthday party of her best friend (I swear, that kid has a better social life than I do, I’ve literally lost count of all the parties she’s been to this year!), which was hosted by a company which provides dress up clothes and accessories (princesses and pirates in this case) and then provides crafts for the kids to get involved with, like painting plaster-of-Paris ornaments and colouring in. All of the kids had a marvellous time, so when Interplay got in touch a while ago and asked if we’d like to review one of their party in a box kits, I had a feeling it would go down well.

The kit we were sent is the Interplay Fairy Princess Craft Party kit, which gives you everything you need for six little ones to be able to make and decorate a crown, a fairy wand, and a pair of wings. The activities are expected to keep the kids entertained for up to an hour and a half and are an absolutely brilliant way to plan a party on a budget.

Fairy Princess Craft Party

We’ve not got around to hosting our party yet, between the masses of birthday parties, all of our recent hospital appointments and half term now being upon us, but we’re really excited about putting it all together. The kit itself costs between £20 and £24, so even if you wanted a party for 12 kids, you could effectively host a party at home for under £50, if you were to buy snacks cheaply (and let’s face it, what kids want at a party is nuggets, cake and juice!). As Husband and I are ALL too aware, birthday parties for little ones can be prohibitively expensive and coming up with a new thing to do every year can be a nightmare, so Interplay have provided a really cost effective way to host, whilst providing kids with a decent amount of entertainment.

The other good thing is that the kids can take the crown, wings and wand away with them at the end of the party, which takes care of the party bag gifts, too. The set is aimed at 5-8 year olds, and Interplay also make sets for kids who are Mad About Ponies, as well as Treasure Box making and Pirate parties, which means you could have mixed parties for boys and girls if the dudes didn’t want to make wands and wings.

I can’t express enough how much I love these kits – Sausage is so excited about planning her little soiree (which will no doubt involve some pink cupcakes) and I really think the kids she invites will get a lot of enjoyment out of the contents. Providing a budget option in the current financial climate means that kids who may have been unable to have an expensive party could now have a great little birthday treat for them and their friends, which doesn’t seem like a glaringly cheap option, and will allow their parents to do something nice for their kids without breaking the bank.

Interplay get serious props from the whole family for making these kits, for the ‘fun for kids’ aspect, as well as giving adults a break when it comes to cost, which really does make them an all-round winner in my book.

(post contains affiliate links)

Mum’s the Word Loves Scrappy Owls

My friend Becky is a very talented lady, she’s a real whizz with a sewing machine and I’m often admiring the clothes she makes for her daughter, who’s in Sausage’s class at school. Just recently, she’s started putting her talents to other use and has set up her own shop selling some of the gorgeous things she makes. I’m a huge fan of small businesses and cottage industry as I think it’s brilliant when people are able to use their ingenuity to allow them to do something positive for themselves, so I wanted to show you some of her wares:

Dribble Bibs

I love these dribble bibs, they almost make me wish I had my own small, dribbly person to wear one!

Owl Bags

These owl bags are so adorable and very fashionable right now, I’m thinking about commissioning a matching mama and baby owl pair for me and Sausage!

Scooter Bags

I think these scooter bags are just so clever, they look seriously cute on the front of a proscootersmart scooter and are very practical for carrying sunglasses, sweets and all the other little treasures that our younglings like to stow away.

Scrappy Owls

My absolute favourite thing that Becky makes are these Scrappy Owls, which is good as they’re her signature item! I love the bright colours, the design, even the expression on the owls’ faces! So kitsch and cool.

Head over to the Scrappy Owls Facebook page to see all of Becky’s wonderful creations and place an order for yourself!

Disclosure – No payment or payment in kind has been received in exchange for this post, this is not a paid advert and all opinions are my own. 

Upcycling Roses Part 2 – Homemade Bath Bombs

Last week I showed you how to make a pretty and more-or-less free centrepiece for a table using recycled rose petals and today I’m going to show you how to make homemade bath bombs using some more of your dried petals. You will need:

150g Bicarbonate of Soda (food grade)

50g Citric Acid

5ml of Rose Essential Oil

Edible Glitter

Pink Food Colouring

Dried rose petals (method for drying in previous post, see link above)

Tools:

Sieve

Kitchen scales

Large mixing bowl

Rubber gloves

Teaspoon

bath bomb mould (we used a rose shaped one)
Hand sprayer full of cold water

1. Begin by chopping your rose petals into smaller pieces with a sharp knife – remember, they’ll need to be able to fit down your drain when you enpty the bath!

2. Measure out the dry ingredients (bicarb, citric acid, glitter) and sieve them into the mixing bowl

3. Add the food colouring a couple of drops at a time. The mixture will start to fix and you need to mix quickly to get the colour through evenly. You could also use powdered colour, which would avoid this altogether

4. Add the rose petals, then the essential oil and mix thoroughly. Some oils have a yellow tinge, depending on the carrier oil, which may alter the colour of the mixture. Try to find a clear oil, or adjust the colour after adding with the food colouring, adding a drop at a time

5. Using a gloved hand, grab a handful of the mixture and spray LIGHTLY with the water in the hand sprayer then push the mixture firmly into the moulds (do not allow too much water as the mixture will start to fizz). The back of a teaspoon is handy for smoothing out the flat side of the bomb once it’s in the mould

6. Once you’ve filled all of your moulds (the amounts above made two of our rose shaped bombs but you can multiply the amounts to make more bombs) leave to set for 30 minutes.

7. Ease the bombs out of the moulds

Voila! You have yourself some homemade bath bombs! I used one of them a couple of nights ago to test it out and I must say, they felt wonderfully luxurious. The rose scent was delightful and I felt a bit special having such a lovely bath, full of rose petals and glitter.

Obviously, you’ll need to be careful with these if you have sensitive skin or are pregnant.

This post contains affiliate links.

 

Upcycling Rose Petals Part One – Simple Table Centrepiece

I love receiving flowers, same as most people, but I always feel a bit sad when they start to die. Roses are my faves (in fact, Sausage’s middle name is even Rose) and they start off so beautiful and full of potential, but whither away to nothing in such a short time. Recently, Sausage insisted on making me buy buying a bunch of flowers for her Dad and she chose pink roses for him. They lasted quite a while, but when the time came to add them to the compost heap, I decided to keep the petals and dry them for later use.

Drying the petals

The drying itself was a simple process, I simply pull the petals off of the stalks, spread the petals out on a microwaveable plate and buzzed then for a minute at a time until they started to feel a bit crispy. I think it took three one-minute sessions in my 800w microwave and then I spread them on an old tea towel laid flat to soak up any excess moisture. I then stuck them in a lock-tight tupperware box until I needed them.

Simple but pretty table centrepiece

The first thing I decided to use my dried petals for was a pretty table centrepiece, based on an idea I saw at Christmastime on Pinterest but never got around to making. You’ll need:

Dried rose petals

Small bundt cake tin

Boiled water

Tealights

Pretty saucer or bowl

1. Fill the bundt cake tin with the dried rose petals. At this point, you can also add a few drops of rose essential oil if you want to, but mine hadn’t arrived yet, so I didn’t.

2. Pour boiling water on top of the petals

3. Use a spoon or other pokey thing to press the petals down so that they are all submerged below the water and laying flat

4. Place directly into the freezer (it’s a good idea to put a piece of cardboard between the shelf and the tin as it may freeze together and be a total pain to try and extract

5. Once it’s frozen and you’re ready to use the centrepiece, remove it from the freezer and run the outside of the tin under a lukewarm tap to release the ice

6. Place it upside down on your saucer or bowl (it’s a good idea to measure how much water the saucer will take as it may overflow as the centrepiece starts to defrost if you don’t use something big enough). Something vintage and floral would probably look lovely

7. Place your tealight into the dimple in the bottom of the ice and light

8. The ice will probably outlast your tealights, so you may need to replace the candle a couple of times, but as the ice melts, providing you use a plate or bowl that is deep enough, you end up with a candle floating on beautiful rose petals and rose tinted water.

This photo doesn’t really do it justice as it was quite late and taken under the light above my hob, but the water and petals looked a lot prettier in reality!

I think this would make a lovely (and pretty much free) table decoration for a romantic meal for two. You can replace the flower petals with seasonal things like berries or seashells for different occasions too and experiment with scents and colours.

Just a tip – boiling the water first is quite important as it makes the ice clearer when it freezes, allowing you to see what’s inside. As an additional bonus that I wasn’t expecting, the boiling water took some of the pink colour from the petals and make the ice a beautiful pale rose pink colour. The photo below is my first attempt, made without boiling water and it did not work at all!

Part two to follow – come back to see how I get along with making my own rose-scented bath bombs!