7 articles Tag Crafts

Have Fun With BetFair this Christmas!

Keeping the kids entertained during the Christmas period can be harder than it seems – everyone is hopped up on sugar and expecting constant stimulation and as well as being taxing on your brain it can also take it’s toll on your bank account, too! We try to do a lot of paper crafts and simple games which don’t require loads of cash and resources, as well as baking and other fun stuff around the festive period.

Roll a snowman provided by Betfair Slot Machine Games has you covered with this printable dice game:

We’ve got some other ideas for Christmas paper crafts if you’ve got ids who are raring to start decorating the house, just follow the link to see what we’ve been making.

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!

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?

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.

Handmade Christmas – Stamped Gift Tags

Last year, just before Christmas, I spent an inordinate amount of time on Etsy, looking at all of the lovely rubber stamps and wishing I was crafty enough to make some handmade Christmas cards. Well, this year, I thought “That’s it, I’M DOING IT!”, so I’ve thrown caution to the wind and indulged my fantasies. Luckily for me, the lovely Blossom Stamps and The English Stamp Company were kind enough to send me some samples of their wares. Here’s what we did with them (click on one of the photos to open a gallery where you can see the photos up close. Loving the new features, by the way, WordPress!):

All we used were some blank cardboard tags, some metallic felt pens, our rubber stamps and ink pads and some glitter glue, all of which, other than the stamps, we had lying around the house (mainly raided from Sausage’s art supplies!). I had had lofty plans of using the stamps to make both my Christmas cards and wrapping paper, but I’m not sure if time will permit this year as I’ve had Sausage home from school for four days now, having been very poorly. However, I think the tags will make a really nice handmade adornment to our wrapped gifts and I’m sure I’ll find ways to use them on other things in the next couple of weeks.

If I were more organised, I’d have like to have made handmade gifts too, but it’s just not worked out that way. Here’s to next year…!

(If I do make anything else with my lovely stamps, I’ll be sure to post about it and let you know)

Coughs, Colds and Easter Cupcakes

As I had a few days holiday owing to me, I decided to use them while Sausage was on her Easter break from nursery and because of my shift pattern, it’s worked out that I have a total of 17 days off. Which would have been great and we had a ton of plans, but Sausage and I have both had a horrible cough and cold since about 24 hours after our holiday started.

We’re both starting to feel a bit better now so yesterday we decided to get on with the Easter cupcakes that we’ve been planning for weeks (seriously, I bought the daisy fondant cutters weeks ago in anticipation of a fortnight of craft!). Anyway, here’s a few pictures of our creations. You can find the full recipe and method over at Flying Start Parenting. The icing just wouldn’t go green enough, but I was still pleased with the overall effect!