Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category
Kids love to craft and create their own mini master pieces however we can’t all afford to splash out on a huge selection of crafting goodies especially when you might only need something once leaving it sitting unused and unloved.
If cash is tight you can still have a lot of fun with a collection of staple items that will be used time and again. You can always add to this later.
The internet and You Tube are both stuffed full of tempting tutorials that you might wish you could try out so ask yourself if it makes a suitable gift for somebody you usually buy for. If it does then you can offset the cost of the materials against the number of gifts you would have bought … which explains why almost my entire Christmas gift list got bath bombs one year.
But back to those core crafting supplies …
Get yourself a set of ready mixed paint. Remember that even if you only have red, blue and yellow you can mix your colours to make more.
Adding black and white to your set means you can make pink with your red and white or grey with your black and white. Look out for washable paints which will make clean up a lot easier and if your kids do handprints or finger prints their skin won’t be stained.
If you can stretch to a set of children’s ready mixed acrylic paints then this will open up an extra world of possibilities as they stick to trickier surfaces.
PVA glue is inexpensive and can be bought in volume. This is not only a glue … mixed with equal parts of water it makes a clear glaze. Equal parts of ready mixed paint, PVA glue and water make a paint that should stick to things with a shiny surface like empty washing up liquid bottles.
Age appropriate scissors are a must. If you have little ones then buy a pair of round ended scissors suitable for their small hands but remember you need a grown up pair for yourself to tackle any tougher jobs.
High street bargain buy shops will have packs of coloured card and tissue paper which are always great to have in. Look for packs that include white to keep the cost down.
Right then you’ve got yourself stocked up now lets look at some ideas …
Egg Carton Goldfish from The Craft Train
This is such a fun idea.
Why not make additional elements to go with it, like a plant, and make a fish tank display in a shoe box.
Rest the box on to one of it’s long sides to make it easy to see what is inside. You can decorate inside the box with blue paint to make it look like water.
Visit The Craft Train for more information.
DIY Journal from Creme De La Craft
I’m adding this one to our list to do over the summer.
This can be as simple or as decorated as your child wants it to be and they can use it however they like … a record of what they did over the summer, thoughts and wishes, birds and insects they spotted in the garden, trips they’ve been on … the ideas are endless.
Visit Creme De La Craft for more information.
Bookmarks from Red Ted Art
I’m going to admit to being a little excited to find a Darth Vader book mark tutorial but if these three don’t take your fancy Red Ted Art has stacks more so click on over and take a look.
For the teddy instructions click here.
For the rainbow instructions click here.
For the Darth Vader instructions click here.
Glue Batik Art from Artful Parent
Don’t be put off by Elmers Glue as PVA is the same thing.
There’s plenty of potential here to make gift cards or pictures for the wall.
This is a pretty cool technique … I fancy trying it on a canvas.
Visit Artful Parent for more information.
Clothes Peg Trivets from Dream A Little Bigger
If you are a regular you will probably be used to me waffling on about the crafts we used to do as kids and yes this is another of those.
You will need to invest in a pack of wooden pegs but the finished trivet will make a great gift so it’s a two for one situation.
Visit Dream A Little Bigger for more information.
Marbling DIY from Fresh Crush
I’ve picked this one particularly for the marbled tile coaster idea but the tutorial gives details on how to marble other items too.
If you make ceramic tile coasters remember to buy felt pads to stick on the rough side, or glue a piece of felt on there, to stop it scratching the table.
Visit Marbling DIY from Fresh Crush for more information.
Dandelion Wish from Glued To My Crafts
This is a printable which will be an issue if you don’t have a printer however take this as inspiration and create your own base with a Sharpie marker then add colourful thumb prints.
You could try a tree silhouette, something that could be lifted by balloons or even a fish tank.
Visit Glued To My Crafts for more information.
Pendants from The Craft Train
I haven’t stumbled on The Craft Train before but it has managed two features on it’s first appearance.
Your PVA glue might not dry clear but you should still get a good result.
Visit The Craft Train for more information.
Knitting and crochet are hugely popular at the moment and if you have had a go at one or both then you will have some lovely left over yarn to play with so why not inspire the kids to make things with wool?
If you haven’t been bitten by the woolly bug yet then pop in to your local pound shop or discount store to see what treats they have available in their bargain section.
This collection is billed as Wool Crafts For Kids but there are quite a few I fancy having a go at myself … we will just gloss over how old I actually am.
Friendship Bracelet from Crafts Unleashed
Friendship bracelets never go out of fashion and this one would work just as well using a yarn of a decent weight, like double knitting, as it does with macramé twine.
We will be having a go at this one during the summer holidays with out a doubt.
The finished bracelet will make a lovely gift for a family member. Once you’ve caught the bug you can find a variety of intricate designs and tutorials on line.
For more information visit Crafts Unleashed.
You might also like the simple braided bracelet from Red Kitchen.
Wool Web Ball from We Lived Happily Ever After
This is one of my favourites and great for kids as they love getting messy. You can also make them egg shaped at Easter.
They are used to make a garland in this tutorial but you could put them in a basket on the table as a decoration.
Make them as big or as small as you like … big ones would look great hanging outside at a BBQ.
In the UK school glue is also called PVA glue.
For more information visit We Lived Happily Ever After .
Paper Plate Weaving from Red Ted Art
It wouldn’t be a crafty blog with out featuring an idea from the fabulous Red Ted Art and so here it is.
We are a little weaving obsessed in our house and so I can personally recommend this one as a big hit.
If you don’t have paper plates don’t go out and buy the specially … draw round a plate on to the cardboard from a cereal packet.
For more information visit Red Ted Art .
Wool Dolly from My Kid Craft
I have to admit I got a bit nostalgic when I found these woollen dollies as we made so many when we were kids.
Little fingers might find tying the knots a touch fiddly but it would be a fun thing to do together or with an older sibling.
For more information visit My Kid Craft .
Easy Pom Pom from The Organised Housewife
This is super simple no cardboard templates or fancy gadgets you just use your fingers.
Younger children might find it easier to work in pairs with one winding the wool on to their partner’s hand.
For more information visit The Organised Housewife .
Lolly Stick Butterflies from Craft Train
This fun activity is a cross between weaving and pom pom making which is ideal for younger crafters and it’s a great scrap buster too.
For more information visit Craft Train.
Finger Knitting from Little Bird SOS
These days it seems like kids can’t sit still unless they have a mobile phone to tap on but how about finger knitting instead? It might seem a little pointless but actually you can join your knitted pieces together to make all kinds of things.
Look in bargain bins for practise yarn.
For more information visit Little Bird SOS.
Yarn Wrapped Letters from Catch My Party
This is the ultimate scrap buster as you need very little yarn.
You don’t have to use MDF for your base you can cut your initial out of an empty cereal packet.
Embellish your initial with goodies from your crafty stash.
You could make a collection of letters that spell out a word and give them as a gift.
For more information visit Catch My Party.
Olivia Octopus from Red Heart
If you knit or crochet then you will find a bunch of fab free patterns on Red Heart.
The instructions for Olivia Octopus are free and older children will love creating this sweet sea creature in a colour of their choice.
Red Heart yarn is not always readily available in the UK but you could use any double knit wool (DK) or aran weight for a more substantial octopus.
For more information visit Red Heart.
DIY Sewing Cards from Today’s Creative Blog
This is a great way to start little ones off on an easy sewing project.
Pop in to your local pound shop to find a yarn needle or a darning needle and look for the longest and thickest one you can find with a nice blunt end to avoid any accidents.
I love to craft however drawing strikes fear in to my heart so instead of going free hand have a look on the internet for simple line drawings or silhouettes and copy those.
For more information visit Today’s Creative Blog.
We still have a week left before the holidays but it doesn’t hurt to get sorted in advance so you are ready to go when the kids break up.
Summer is often a bit temperamental here in the North of England but we are ever hopeful so here are some activities to try out with the kids in the summer holidays and on the off chance that the weather decides it is not prepared to play ball I have included a few indoor goodies too.
Sponge Water Bombs from Our family of Seven
Lets start off with an optimistic outdoor good weather activity.
To be fair this counts as indoor and outdoor because you could make the sponge water bombs inside on a rainy day and be ready to go at the first glimpse of sun … it’s definitely up there somewhere.
Depending on the amount of use these sponges get you might manage to squeeze in a few repeat battles.
Remember to tell the kids not to aim at anyone’s face and then enjoy the fun.
Visit Our family of Seven for instructions.
Dino Garden from Bub Hub
We’ve all seen fairy gardens but this dinosaur version is a cool twist using plants which look like a prehistoric forest for your mini toy dinos to roam through.
You can go for cactus and succulents to produce a more rugged look but if it’s not a particularly hot summer you can just use anything that takes your fancy.
You could also use herbs to plant up your garden and this will make it extra fun as you can put the herbs in your cooking then too.
Check out Bub Hub for more inspiration.
Garden Mosaic Stone from Intimate Weddings
I broke a special mug recently so this caught my eye as it is a great way to preserve the pieces and have fun making something new.
I think this would make a lovely gift for the kids to make and give to their grandparents for a birthday or Christmas present so you could even get a head start on your Christmas list while you are entertaining the kids in the summer holidays.
Visit Intimate Weddings to see how to make the featured garden stone.
Make A Terrarium from Climate Kids NASA
If the weather is unrelenting and the kids are bouncing off the walls why not try a spot of indoor gardening?
Making this terrarium will provide plenty of entertainment value while you plan it, shop for the parts, put it together, look after it and watch it grow.
Fly over to Climate Kids NASA for more info.
Pet Rocks from Living Well Mom
This is a great activity for all ages … if your little one is old enough to hold a paint brush they can make their own pebble pet meanwhile if the grandparents are doing the child care this summer they will love this too.
There’s plenty of inspiration over at Living Well Mom but you can just let your imagination run free.
If you want durable rocks then use acrylic paint however if you are keeping the finished stones in your house and all you have is basic paints then give those a whirl instead.
Googly eyes are a lot of fun and high street stores, like The Works or the pound shops, will have a supply for you to buy however if you are crafting on a budget use a Sharpie marker which will still look effective.
DIY Wind Chimes from Crafts By Courtney
If it is a lovely day the kids can sit outside to make this pretty wind chime otherwise they can make it indoors and decide where they might put it so that they are ready to pop out and hang it up when the weather improves.
You might not want to buy beads but you can use bits and bobs you have around or in your craft stash. I think this would be sweet made from empty cotton reels which will give a satisfying noise when they bang together. You could paint the cotton reels with acrylics to brighten them up.
Read more about the pretty beaded wind chimes at Crafts By Courtney.
For further inspiration, and chimes suitable for younger children, visit Sugar Spice And Glitter.
Mason Jar Fairy Lantern from Pixie Hill
I have included this fairy lantern because the finished jar will be the perfect addition to a summer barbecue or those times when the kids are in the garden making the most of sunny evenings.
You have choices here. If you are a crafter you might be able to make your own fairy die cuts. You could print out a fairy silhouette that you find on the internet or you could buy pre cut fairies from eBay.
Take note of the tutorial and resist the temptation to cover the whole jar in glitter as this will dull the glow.
Mason jars are very popular in some countries and there are lots of craft tutorials with ideas using them but I’ve got my eye on a pickled onion jar in the fridge which will be just the job after a good wash out.
Remember to use a battery operated tea light in your lantern … we don’t want any scorched fairies do we.
If you head over to Pixie Hill you can see the instructions to make this enchanting lantern which include a You Tube tutorial.
Why not check out our Floral And Patchwork themed section for summery style bedding inspiration.
With the start of Wimbledon fortnight we are all enjoying our strawberries.
There is nothing wrong with a deliciously simple bowl of strawberries and cream but I thought I would have a look and see what else you could do with a strawberry – other than Eton Mess of course.
How do you feel about savoury strawberry recipes? Well two chicken dishes are included in the collection below so you can challenge the boundaries and see what you think.
Strawberry Overnight Oats … And Lots Of Other Flavours Too … from Chocolate Covered Katie
Overnight oats are a big hit in our house. Even the most organised school morning is busy so who doesn’t love the idea of lifting a tasty breakfast out of the fridge and tucking straight in.
This is one of those things that can be as quick to prepare as you want it to be but you can pimp your oats to be as elaborate as you want too. They can be super healthy and calorie controlled or less structured.
This recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie is the perfect way to get started but once you’ve had a few goes at it you can really suit yourself depending on your requirements and what you have to hand.
We started off with a recipe that exclusively used yoghurt but with two thirds of the household needing dairy free it was quite an expensive way to go. We’ve moved on to using dairy free milk to soak the oats in overnight, almond milk is my favourite, but if there’s yoghurt in the fridge we put a spoonful on top before we eat.
I’m lucky that hubby provides me with a bountiful supply of fruit from his allotment in the warmer months and we find that the fruit is sweet enough with out having to add sugar to the soaking mixture.
Oats keep you feeling fuller for longer which can help to stop you snacking mid morning but even ignoring that huge plus point overnight oats are yummy … give them a go.
You can find the overnight oats recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.
DAIRY FREE Strawberry Lolly from Preppy Kitchen
Some times the number of strawberries we grow can be a challenge to use and I’m so excited about trying this recipe I’ve already ordered some lolly moulds.
This creamy and delicious looking recipe has the unexpected bonus of being dairy free.
If you don’t want to add honey then don’t as strawberries in the height of summer will be sweet and tasty enough with out it.
You can find the lolly recipe at Preppy Kitchen.
Balsamic Strawberry And Chicken Pizza from Closet Cooking
Here’s the first of the savoury recipes.
Chicken and strawberries are not the obvious choice! But I do have to admit this looks absolutely gorgeous and I am going to give this recipe a go.
My little one will definitely love it.
If you fancy trying this recipe out to see what you think you can find it at Closet Cooking.
Non Alcoholic Strawberry Daiquiri from The Leaf – Nutrisystem
Simply put this is perfect for your friends that do not want alcohol or for children so they have a special drink at a barbecue or party too.
Save it for special occasions or whip it up on a warm day to sneak an extra portion of fruit in to the kids.
You can find the recipe for this non alcoholic summer cocktail at The Leaf – Nutrisystem.
GLUTEN FREE Gluten Free Strawberry Chocolate Chip Scones from Grain Changer
Gluten free flour doesn’t behave the same way that wheat flour does and so recipes made with it can end up dry if those differences haven’t been taken in to account.
By contrast baking which includes fresh fruit can be soggy if a similar amount of thought hasn’t been put in to writing that recipe.
A gluten free recipe using fresh fruit sounds like a great way to solve both problems … it should be yummy too … who doesn’t like a scone?
If you can’t get your hands on buttermilk you can make your own using one cup of cow’s milk with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar added to it. You can use lemon juice instead of the vinegar. This also works if you substitute the cow’s milk for dairy free milks like soya milk or almond milk. I use the apple cider vinegar version when I make soda bread. Don’t worry when the milk looks curdled as that is the point. I find when I’m using dairy free milk in a recipe that wasn’t written to include it that I don’t need as much of the substitute milk as I would cow’s milk so add your milk gradually until you are happy with the consistency.
You can find the scone recipe at Grain Changer.
Strawberry And Coconut Pastries from Delicious Magazine
This crowd pleasing recipe uses fresh strawberries but if you want to use jam then feel free to use it.
You can find the recipe for these pastries at Delicious Magazine .
Almond Chicken With Strawberry Balsamic Sauce from Cheese Please By Jess
There must be something about the idea of chicken and strawberries because here is another recipe that uses the same combination and the sauce looks very tasty.
Sweet and savoury in the same dish is definitely a subjective thing but there’s no harm in trying something new. Who knows this might be the next family favourite.
You can find this chicken recipe at Cheese Please By Jess.
Strawberry And Almond Traybake from Net Mums
This is one of those recipes that you can whiz up with an electric mixer in minutes for a family treat or if you’ve got company coming round.
Just remember that cakes with fresh fruit in only keep for a couple of days not that this one will be hanging around for that long!
You can find the traybake recipe at Net Mums.
PALEO AND PLANT BASED No Bake Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes from The Natural Nurturer
Don’t rule this recipe out because it contains almond meal as the same ingredient is available over here in the UK it is just called ground almonds instead.
I’m actually really excited to try these little treasures and they look very easy to make.
If you don’t have food intolerances you might prefer to make your base the way a regular cheesecake is done with crushed biscuits and melted butter however the base included in this particular recipe does sound like it will be tasty.
You can find the cheesecake recipe at The Natural Nurturer .
Simple Strawberry Cobbler from Genius Kitchen
A hot stodgy dessert is not the obvious choice for summer but I have to admit to a love of fruit crumble so this recipe stood out.
There is a potential for the strawberries to be mushy and wet but you could add a little slaked cornflour (which is simply cornflour mixed to a runny paste with touch of cold water) to help avoid too much liquid.
If you like the cobbler topping there’s nothing to stop you using a different fruit such as the traditional apple and blackberry or something with a summer twist like nectarines.
You can find the cobbler recipe at Genius Kitchen .
As we become more aware of the damage plastics are doing to our wildlife and the environment as a whole we need to be much more careful with the plastic that already exists.
I have to be honest I started researching this post after spotting a photo on Pinterest of the igloo and thinking how cool it would be to make one but I had no idea just how many clever things you can do with your empty plastic milk cartons.
Plastic Milk Jug Igloo from Earth Wise Harmony
I really want to have a go at this but I have a milk intolerance and we only buy a pint at a time for the rest of the family so it might be a while before we would have enough cartons to make an igloo big enough to get inside.
This is perfect for groups of children to get together and try … like a Scout or Guide group or an after school club.
Hanging Storage from Sew Many Ways
I love this hanging storage idea and the labelling system is a great addition.
Our house is stuffed with craft goodies and this would be perfect for those but it would be really useful in hubby’s allotment shed too, in a home office or in a child’s bedroom.
Visit Sew Many Waysfor more information on how to make this storage system.
Lunch Box from Creme De La Craft (additional ideas included)
This is a genius idea for anyone who is passionate about recycling and doesn’t mind putting a bit of effort in … a great alternative to plastic food bags as you can wash them and use them again.
If you don’t take sandwiches to work this is still worth a look. Pop it in your handbag with some essential fix it sewing supplies or stick it in your ruck sack when you go out with first aid bits and bobs in it.
Visit Creme De La Craft for step by step instructions.
Bird Feeder from She Knows
You get two for one here – you can recycle plastic while you look out for your garden birds.
Why not encourage the kids to keep a record of the different birds they see on the feeder? Take a look at our blog about National Gardening Week here where you will find information about making a garden journal.
Check out She Knows for more information on how to make the bird feeder.
Toy Scoop from Crafty Journal
If your house is like ours then you will find this useful. It might even make tidying up fun for the kids and cut down on the grumbling if you are lucky.
If you have more than one child you could put their initial on their scoop and challenge them to see who can tidy the most up … even if it only works for a short time before they get wise you are still on to a winner.
For more information visit Crafty Journal.
Plant Labels from Mr Brown Thumb
If you are a gardener this is a great way to save some pennies and help to save the planet at the same time.
Use a Sharpie marker to write on your labels to make sure your information is clear, easy to read and doesn’t accidentally rub off.
More details can be found over on the Mr Brown Thumb website.
Garden Trowel and Seed Tray from A Farm Of Your Home
If you like the plant labels then this is another good one for you.
Although the original article doesn’t have step by step instructions the photos should give you the information you need to recreate this fabulous idea.
Visit A Farm Of Your Home.
Watering Can from Karimas Crafts
This watering can is probably the most simple idea of the lot but no less deserving of its place on the list … not least because there’s really no reason we can’t all make one of these.
You don’t have to use a large milk jug carton because the one pint variety will work just as well.
Take a look at the Karimas Crafts website.
Butterfly Window Decorations from Alpha Mom
You will need to scroll down the page on Alpha Mom to find the information about the butterflies but it’s worth having a look at the window art feature before you scroll passed it.
You don’t have to do butterflies try dragonflies, beetles or random sun catcher patterns too.
This is a great way of gathering craft supplies for the kids to use without having to buy additional things.
Visit Alpha Mom and scroll down the page to find more information.
Milk Carton Monsters from Danielles Place
And to end – a bit of fun for the kids.
Although this is billed as a Halloween craft you could easily adapt it to be a bunny for Easter with eggs in it or a dinosaur to gobble up Lego bricks.
You don’t have to put sweets in there … why not use it for small toys or make a mini version using the one pint jug which would be great for hair bobbles.
Visit Danielles Place and scroll all the way down the page to find more information but check out the other ideas too on your way by.
If you try one of the ideas we have featured why not post a pic on our Facebook page
or tag us in on Instagram.
Celebrate Twenty Five Years With Friends … and the launch of the new officially licensed bedding range.
This year, 2019, Friends celebrates it’s twenty fifth anniversary.
The pilot was aired on the 22nd of September 1994 in the Uk and after ten series of this iconic show millions of people tuned in to see the final episode which was shown here on the 28th of May 2004.
We all had a Friends character that we wanted to be and one that we thought we would most suit being with. For those of us who waited with baited breath to see the conclusion of each cliff hanger the last series was bitter sweet. Many of the loose ends were tied up but ultimately it meant there would be no more Friends.
Since then, however, it has become one of the most popular repeated shows on television and new generations are watching the six Friends with equal enthusiasm.
Obviously there are a whole host of fun facts attached to the show and it’s actors but here are a few of my favourites …
Eagle eyed viewers will have noticed that Monica’s apartment was originally number 5 and then became number 20 which had a knock on effect with the number of Joey and Chandler’s apartment number.
The young actor who played Ross’s son Ben in a handful of episodes, Cole Sprouse, later starred in The Suite Life With Zack And Cody with his twin brother and also by himself in Riverdale as Jughead Jones.
Courteney Cox was expecting her baby, Coco, during the filming of the final series but where as Lisa Kudrow’s pregnancy had been written in to the story line Courteney’s was not as the the show had already established that Chandler and Monica could not have their own child.
The show had such pulling power that it attracted many famous people to star in cameo roles some of who are listed here … Christina Applegate, Hank Azaria, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Jennifer Coolidge, Billy Crystal, Danny Devito, Morgan Fairchild, Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Grey, Chissie Hynde, Hugh Laurie, Jon Lovitz, Elle Macpherson, Gary Oldman, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Freddie Prince Jr, Julia Roberts, Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Saunders, Tom Selleck, Charlie Sheen, Brooke Shields, Ben Stiller, Kathleen Turner, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robin Williams, Bruce Willis, Reese Witherspoon and Noah Wyle.
Not forgetting Elliott Gould who had a permanent role as Ross and Monica’s father.
In addition the actor who played the father of Rachel’s boyfriend Joshua, in the episode when she accidentally ends up going to dinner in her underwear, is actually Matthew Perry’s dad John Bennett Perry.
So this is “The One With The 25th Anniversary Bedding Launch”.
We are joining in the anniversary fun with new officially licensed Friends bedding available now from our online shop in two styles and two sizes (single and double).
You can click through to the shop with the following links to check on stock availability …
Friends Love Laughter (red) … single … click here.
Friends Love Laughter (red) … double … click here.
Friends Slogan (neutral tones) … single … click here.
Friends Slogan (neutral tones) … double … click here.
Following our handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day we couldn’t leave the dads out.
A hand made gift for Father’s Day makes it that little bit more special so here are a dozen ideas that you and the kids can create to make dad’s day.
Of course some of the things we featured in the Mother’s Day article are perfect for men too so you can check them out by clicking here.
Child’s Footprint Inside Dads Shoe Print from Crafty Morning
I wish I’d seen this when our child was small enough to do it as it is adorable.
This is a versatile idea as you can make a card out of it, frame it or scan it in to your computer and have it printed on to a canvas. If you are a confident crafter you could actually print directly on to a blank canvas.
For more information on how to create this picture visit Crafty Morning.
Tie Shaped Biscuits from Some What Simple
There’s no need to dash out and buy a tie biscuit cutter to make these cookies as it’s a simple shape to do yourself. You could make a cardboard template to help you out so all the cookies end up approximately the same size or cut freehand. Older children will be able to do the cutting themselves but little ones will need help. A table knife, that you use to cut your dinner with, will be up to the job so the kids won’t need to use a sharp knife.
The fun part is definitely the decorating and you can have a great time choosing colours and patterns.
If you don’t fancy doing a lot of icing you could use chocolate drops or little sweets too.
The instructions include a link to find a cookie recipe with in the Some What Simple website however if you have a favourite biscuit recipe you can use that or if you don’t want to bake from scratch and just want to get to the icing part as quickly as possible you can pick up a biscuit packet mix at the supermarket.
Visit Some What Simple for instructions.
Simple Margherita Pizza from BBC Good Food
Home made pizza is easier than you think … and tastes delicious.
How cool would it be to make dad a pizza for his Father’s Day tea?
This recipe is the perfect starting point and then you can add dad’s favourite toppings sliced thinly so they cook through.
Visit BBC Good Food for this speedy recipe.
Fast Food Cupcakes from Bakerella
May be a burger is more dad’s cup of tea … well that’s no problem with this fun idea from Bakerella.
You have the choice of making your favourite recipes from scratch or using packet mixes depending on your available time, budget and love for baking.
You can find full instructions on the Bakerella website.
I Love You This Much from All Parenting
The best thing about this idea is that it’s great for all ages of children.
Your child could do handprints that you cut round, you could draw round your child’s hand or you can find a hand shape on line to print out.
Customise the message to suit your dad with something like “Here’s a Father’s Day Hug” or “Daddy I love you this much” … you might have a personal message that is special to you.
Visit All Parenting for instructions and some additional bonus Father’s Day craft ideas.
Footprint Keyring from No Time For Flash Cards
From hands to feet with this sweet keyring idea.
If you don’t have a craft heat gun to use on the shrink plastic don’t dash out and buy one … just look for a brand that can be shrunk in the oven which is how we did it in the “old days”.
Visit No Time For Flash Cards to see how it’s done.
Memory Jar from Make And Do Crew
This is one of my favourite gift ideas. It’s brilliant to give at Christmas too and has been well received by everyone I’ve given it to.
Include a jotter pad and pen with the memory jar to get dad started.
He can write down the things he does with the kids or all his favourite memories from the year.
Next Father’s Day you can all sit down together and read them.
I can’t remember exactly where I saw the idea originally but you can visit Make And Do Crew to read more about it. Unfortunately the printable label available on the website is out of date but you can have fun making your own label for the jar.
Father’s Day Questionnaire from Daffodil Designs
Sadly, as often happens with online articles that endure the test of time, the link to the printable version of the Daffodil Designs questionnaire is broken but don’t let that put you off because this is a lovely idea.
If you can scroll in and read the questions they have used you can replicate them yourself on your PC … and if you don’t have a printer dad will really appreciate your child’s handwriting which will make it extra special.
If you can’t read the original questions make up your own or think of “Ten things I love about my dad”.
Popping this in an inexpensive frame will give it that extra giftable quality so if you intend to do that buy the frame first so that it will fit perfectly inside.
Visit Daffodil Designs for more inspiration.
Decorate A Mug from The Best Ideas For Kids
Don’t be put off by the butterflies because there are some fab ideas online for finger print designs for everything from thumb print people to monsters and animals.
Remember not to let dad put the finished article in the dishwasher or it will end in tears.
If dad is concerned about washing his mug he could use it as a pen holder on his desk.
Visit The Best Ideas For Kids for more information.
Make A Money Box from My Kid Craft
How many dads come home and empty the change out of their pockets on to the worktop?
If they pop some in to this easy to make money box they will have enough to treat themselves before they know it.
You can use gravy granule tubs or the tubs Pringle style crisps come in and use paint, glitter and stickers to jazz it up.
Visit My Kid Craft to find out how to make this money box.
Origami Shirt And Tie from She Knows
Older children will enjoy making this.
You can glue the shirt on to the front of a card blank or pop it in to a frame with a hand written message.
Visit She Knows for step by step instructions.
Handmade Tie from Made Everyday
It’s important to point out from the start that this is not a free pattern. If you choose to buy the pattern you pay for a PDF which you print out and stick together. Don’t be put off by this as it is straight forward.
Secondly I must stress that I am not getting paid to promote this pattern I have simply made it several times myself to give as a gift and can recommend it.
Finally … you do need a printer to be able to print out your pattern and a sewing machine to make the tie.
Made Everyday has a You Tube tutorial available which you can view by clicking here and this is a great way to see if this is something you would like to try.
I can say that this is a lot of fun to make and has been well received.
The hardest part is picking which fabric to use. You can find some awesome themed fabric at Frumble’s online shop.
Visit Made Everyday if you would like to buy the PDF pattern.
Here is one of the ties I have made …
As a company we reuse as many cardboard boxes and packaging items as we can to keep our waste down.
Meanwhile if you have a box to hand you can re use it in lots of imaginative ways. Here are just a few for inspiration …
Icecream Shop from Childhood 101
I loved playing shops when I was small. Mum used to save empty food packaging and I spent hours pretending to be a shop keeper.
Remember it doesn’t have to be an icecream shop. You could make yours in to a coffee kiosk, a food stall or any kind of mini shop you fancy.
The idea of making your own things to sell in the shop appeals to me but if it’s not your thing you can keep empty food boxes and cartons or buy inexpensive play food.
Visit Childhood 101 for details on how to make this.
Princess Bed from The Pursuit Of Craft
Well it’s probably no surprise to learn that I made beds for my Sindy dolls out of shoe boxes. We didn’t have the huge range of doll furniture available to us that kids today do and so if I wanted it for Sindy I had to make it myself.
The great thing about this project is that you don’t need a big box … just something big enough to fit the doll it’s intended for. If your tools are not up to the lovely shaping of the featured bed then keep it simple, perhaps with a rounded bed head.
You might have dolls bedding or small cloths suitable to use with your princess bed or you could add an extra layer of creativity and knit a blanket or sew a mini quilt.
Visit The Pursuit Of Craft for more information.
Knights Shield And Sword from Red Ted Art
The simplicity of this makes it one of my favourite featured projects … your child can easily produce a shield to be proud of.
Whether your household contains a valiant Mike The Knight or a heroic Ella The Princess Knight there’s scope to decorate the shield in the colours and design of their choice.
Even if you don’t fancy making the sword and shield it’s still worth visiting Red Ted Art as it is a fantastic resource for anyone who loves their crafting.
Cereal Box Magazine Holder from Tennessee Home And Farm
I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this!
The majority of us have access to empty cereal boxes on a regular basis and it’s so wonderfully simple to convert them in to useful storage.
Visit Tennessee Home And Farm for tips on how to create this brilliant idea.
Pirate Ship from ikatbag
Ahoy there me hearties … who would like to sail the imaginary seas in their very own pirate galleon?
Well as it happens it’s easy to make yourself a pirate ship complete with flowing sails.
If we get some sunshine it will be fun to play with this outside otherwise you could just make a smaller version to use in the house.
Visit ikatbag for inspiration.
Play Kitchen from Willary Blogspot
My childhood self is drooling over this idea and the really cool thing is that you can take the wonderful featured version as your inspiration and then make yours as detailed or are simple as you want to.
As with the icecream shop earlier you can make your own food or buy some inexpensive play food.
Stuffed full of lets pretend play potential with hours of fun thrown in.
Visit Willary Blogspot to see more.
Desk Tidy from Design For Mankind
I love the natural look of this desk tidy but you could decorate yours if you wanted to. Either way it’s a fantastic idea and layering the pieces will make it robust too.
Visit Design For Mankind and take a look at the detailed instructions on how to make this fab desk tidy.
Car from Craftulate
We don’t all have a budget that stretches to buying a mini car for our kids so why not have a go at making your own?
Get the children involved choosing their own decoration … this car can be customised with their favourite colour.
You could make a few of these and invite some little friends round for a drive in movie style DVD showing.
For more information on making your own cardboard car visit Craftulate .
Collapsible Play House from She Knows
If your kids are desperate for their own play house but space is on the tight side here’s a great idea for one that folds flat when it’s not being used so it will slide easily under your bed and out of the way.
The grown ups can do the technical construction part then let the kids loose decorating inside and outside.
Visit She Knows to check out the instructions.
Lanterns from Handmade Charlotte via Etsy Journal
Something a little different for those of you who really enjoy getting stuck in to your crafting. It’s not a difficult project but it will take a bit more time.
This is definitely where battery operated tea lights come in to their own … you must not use a standard candle with a naked flame in your lantern. The battery operated ones are inexpensive, easy to get hold of and have a good life span. If you are in the UK you can get them from places like eBay, Wilkos, B&Q, Hobbycraft and highstreet discount shops.
Visit the Etsy Journal for Rachel Faucett’s detailed lantern tutorial.
You can also visit Handmade Charlotte to see more of Rachel’s ideas.
Marble Run from Powerful Mothering
I know what you’re thinking … this isn’t made from a cardboard box and you’re right but I couldn’t leave this out. I spent an entire afternoon of the school holidays with my little one rolling marbles down an empty wrapping paper tube. We ended up making tunnels and obstacles for the marbles. This is definitely a deluxe version of that and I think it will be popular in our house.
You don’t even need marbles … Powerful Mothering made their own salt dough balls which is a fantastic idea to add an extra crafting activity in to the mix.
This looks like a massive amount of fun not only to play with but to make too.
Visit Powerful Mothering for more information.
If you are inspired to try one of our featured projects …
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Ok so just what is National Gardening Week?
Well the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) started it eight years ago to celebrate gardening and to encourage people to take part in activities which they hoped would spark a passion for gardening and the great outdoors.
Since then things have really taken off with all kinds of people getting on board including individual members of the public, retailers, groups of children and adults, charities and heritage organisations.
This year (2019) National Gardening Week falls between the 29th of April and the 5th of May.
You can find out more about National Gardening Week, and the events that are on in your area, by visiting the RHS site.
REMEMBER The whole point of the event is to inspire people to get involved in gardening so even if National Gardening Week has been and gone you can still pick one or more of these ideas and have a go.
If you fancy getting involved here are a few things you might like to try …
Garden Journal featuring Freshly Planted and Willow Day.
A great place for the kids to start is by creating their own garden journal. This might sound a little daunting to younger children so calling it a garden notebook instead might be the way to go.
This can be as simple or as detailed as your family want it to be. You could just buy a couple of cheap exercise books from the highstreet and get the kids to decorate the front cover. If you are handy with your PC you could put together some A4 sheets, with bullet points or prompts to help start things off, and slip them in to plastic pockets in a ring binder or if your children love to craft they could make their own from scratch.
If you don’t have a garden you might be about to scroll on but you can still do this. Window sill planting and back yards still count. You don’t even have to have “Gardening” in the title … call it anything you like.
Have fun talking about what will go in the journal.
It could just contain things they see in the garden, including birds and insects, and the changes that they notice, for example leaves dropping off or flowers opening, which would be particularly interesting it you did it once a month. Or they could record their gardening activities.
If your children love to draw this is a fab time to let them loose with out the boundaries that sometimes come with school work or you could include photos.
There are no rules here so if they only want to update their journal once a week or even once a month it’s not a big deal … the main thing is that they enjoy it and have fun.
For some great tips on how to complete your journal visit Freshly Planted.
If you would like an idea of how to make your own journal visit Willow Day where there’s a fab tutorial for a travel journal that you can easily adapt to make it garden size.
Biodegradable Newspaper Plant Pots from Crouton Crackerjacks.
I have to confess to being a bit of a You Tube fan. I have learned a lot about sewing and crochet from the generous crafting community who post on there. The younger generation are big fans too so although there are several pictorial tutorials available for similar pots I’ve plumped for this one with a complete demo of how to fold your newspaper.
DID YOU KNOW? … You can slow down a You Tube video by clicking the cog on the play back screen and changing the speed which is great when you are trying to follow something like this. It might be an idea to mute the sound though as that slows down too. There’s also the option to pause and rewind so you can play a step and freeze the action while you catch up.
These homemade plant pots are a brilliant way to recycle the free newspapers that regularly drop on to your door mat and you can plant them directly in to the ground when the seedlings are ready to go.
In the demo video the sheet of newspaper is a full spread torn in half which measures approximately 11 inches by 22 inches. It made a pot with a base 2.75 inches square and 3 inches tall.
To watch the You Tube demonstration by Crouton Crackerjacks click here
Grow Tomatoes In A Container from Eating Well.
There’s nothing quite like grabbing a couple of tomatoes off the plant and eating them fresh in a salad or popping them straight in to your cooking. Even if you only have a small balcony or a back yard they really are worth growing yourself … just find a sunny spot and you are away.
The smell of tomato plants growing takes me right back to childhood when my grandad had a greenhouse full and my grandma used to whip up all kinds of glorious recipes and chutneys.
You don’t have to go all out with a greenhouse, lets face it we aren’t all lucky enough to have the space, so just start with one plant and see how you do.
For instructions on how to grow your very own tomatoes visit Eating Well
Growing Potatoes In A Bag from Quick Crop.
Hot on the heels of the tomatoes are potatoes.
You might think you need an allotment to grow your own potatoes but can actually grow them in limited space using a bag or a container as you did for your tomato plants.
Obviously you are not going to get a huge crop from a small container however it is still worth trying this so you can see the difference between shop bought vegetables and your own home grown ones which are pesticide free.
For details on how to grow your own potatoes visit Quick Crop
Cut And Come Again Crops from Kids In The Garden.
Finally, as far as growing food is concerned, you could try growing salad leaves which is a great way to encourage your children to take an interest in where their food comes from.
The theory is that you grow salad leaves, or pea shoots, and then cut some off the plant to eat which promotes new growth.
If your child won’t touch salad give this a go … they might enjoy eating something that they have worked with and if not you have still had the fun of growing it.
Here’s the best bit … you don’t need a huge amount of space. You can do this indoors, in the ground or in a bag or container as you did with the tomatoes and potatoes.
Pop over to the Kids In The Garden website for more information and while you are there why not dig a little deeper and see what other gardening activities they suggest.
Garden Markers from Playground Parkbench.
Well if you are planting lots of seedlings or vegetables you need to keep track of which is which.
Here’s a clever and quick idea from Playground Parkbench to make your own markers.
The spoons are a great idea as they give children plenty of room to write on but if you don’t want to spend money buying new things or your kids are older you could use wooden lolly sticks or pieces of drift wood you have collected from the beach. Remember if you collect driftwood it must be a small pieces that you can carry by hand and you mustn’t break it off embedded wood or cause environmental damage.
Fairy Garden with The Magic Onions.
Ok important point number one … you might not have a fairy fan in your house but you can still create a mini garden. Playmobil and Lego figures would enjoy their own garden or you could make it more jungle like and pop dinosaurs or wild animals in the “bushes”.
Don’t get hung up on buying lots of expensive miniature accessories if you don’t have them to hand instead use what you have like small stones to make a path.
The size of your fairy garden really depends on where you are going to put it. Choose a shallow terracotta, plastic or metal bowl with a wide opening.
If your tub doesn’t have holes in the bottom, or you are displaying it inside, a handful of gravel dropped in first will help to stop the whole thing getting water logged then add your potting mix. Don’t fill your tub to the top, leave a gap between the soil and the lip of the tub.
Now for the fun part … there are no design rules … just have fun.
It might help for younger children to put the path in first as this will break the space down in to smaller planting areas which might feel less intimidating but in the end if they are enjoying the activity just go with it.
All that’s left is to remember to water your garden but don’t over do it, especially if Mother Nature is helping you with regular rain showers.
Visit The Magic Onions for more information.
Grass Head from Tree Girly.
I’m going to finish with a planting activity that is pure fun and suitable for all ages … growing grass hair.
Spring is just the right time to get going with this indoor gardening activity so gather together those tights that have seen better days and get stuck in.
If you use a yoghurt pot to sit your “head” on you can decorate it to look like a face and then trim the grass hair in to different styles as it grows. Tree Girly has the info you need to have a go at this fun idea.
Are you doing anything fun for National Gardening Week?
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There are endless egg decorating ideas for children on line but while I was looking for inspiration for my own child I discovered that there are some really quite grown up designs too.
Here are twelve which you might like to try and recreate yourself … some will have instructions to follow while some are purely to fuel your imagination.
*Look out for the HOMEMADE MOD PODGE recipe at the bottom of this article*
Watercolour Eggs from The Given Life
The beauty of this idea is that it spans all ages and abilities.
The stunning examples on the featured site use blown eggs but you could use hardboiled if you prefer.
Decorate your eggs using water colour paints diluted with plenty of water for a delicate look or try using water colour pens directly on to your egg then manipulate your image with a water brush for a different effect.
Remember the surface of an egg isn’t perfectly smooth and this will have an impact on your art.
For inspiration visit The Given Life
Shabby Chic Eggs from Sylwia Serwin
This website is not in English but it does include detailed pictures which give you the information that you need to recreate this elegant look.
If you have some metallic guilding wax in your crafty stash that would give an extra special finishing touch to this project.
For picture instructions on how to make this egg visit Sylwia Serwin
Sharpie Zentangle Doodle Eggs from Alisa Burke
Zentangle is still extremely popular.
Simple black on white, using a Sharpie marker, gives an eye catching result but if you have brown eggs consider using a white pen for your design to get a kraft paper finish.
There’s no right or wrong here which is part of the appeal. Just set your doodling free.
The hugely talented Alisa Burke has some fabulous examples for you to take your inspiration from.
For instructions on how to create this look visit Alisa Burke ’s blog.
Silk Tie Dyed Eggs from Our Best Bites
Did you know that if you boil an egg wrapped in a silk tie the fabric pattern will transfer on to the shell?
Sara Wells will show you how in her step by step tutorial.
For further instructions visit Our Best Bites
Chalkboard Eggs from Oleander And Palm
I really must get myself some chalkboard paint because every idea that I write about which uses it really appeals to me.
You could use these as place settings and write names on them for your Easter dinner table or everyone at the table could decorate their own with chalk.
If you don’t fancy the mess of chalk you could achieve a similar effect using black acrylic paint for your base and either white acrylic paint or a pen for the design.
Visit Oleander And Palm for inspiration.
Decoupage Eggs from Honestly Yum
The tutorial I’ve included uses ostrich eggs but as these are a little tricky to get hold of while you are at the supermarket doing your weekly shop you can just buy a pack of chicken eggs. Erica does state though that the big eggs create a fabulous look so may be practise on your regular eggs first and then see if you can track down a more dramatic one.
These eggs look difficult to make but it’s easy to achieve this look.
You can also cut your image out of paper napkins or use craft stickers, making sure the sticker is small enough to mould around your egg.
For instructions on how to make these eggs visit Honestly Yum
Confetti Eggs from Alice And Lois
Quick … easy … fun … and suitable for all ages.
For instructions, including a video, on how to achieve this look visit Alice And Lois
Unicorn Eggs from The Best Ideas For Kids
This tutorial is actually to make unicorn ornaments using baubles but it is so detailed that it would be a shame to skip it just because it doesn’t feature eggs … the same instructions would be perfect to make a unicorn egg sitting in an egg cup instead of hanging.
To check out the instructions visit The Best Ideas For Kids
*BONUS* Unicorn Poop Meringues from Forkly
Ok so this is completely off topic but while I was looking for unicorn eggs I found this fun meringue idea.
Top of the list to try in our house!
If you’d like to make your own visit Forkly
Glitter Eggs from Nifty Thrifty Bits
Who doesn’t love a little bit of glitz?
These eggs are simple to make with stunning results.
For further instructions visit Nifty Thrifty Bits
Mosaic Eggs from Sugar And Charm
These mosaic eggs would look stunning presented in fancy egg cups on your window ledge.
There’s a bit more work involved in making them but the effect is well worth it.
For instructions on how to make these pretty eggs visit Sugar And Charm
Cactus Eggs from Delia Creates
Cactus craft exploded on to the scene and shows no sign of losing poularity.
It would be a lot of fun to decorate your egg to look like a cactus … this idea is perfect for little ones but us big kids can add an extra bit of pizazz with our crafty imagination.
For inspiration on how to make yourself a prickle free cactus egg visit Delia Creates
String Easter Eggs from Craft Whack
To finish, and round off the dozen, I’m breaking the rules slightly … this isn’t an egg decorating idea but I think these string eggs would look fabulous as an Easter decoration either hanging up, sitting as a collection in a bowl or even on an egg cup.
Why not use glittery thread to make yours?
You could try using PVA glue if you already have some to hand rather than buying branded Elmers. You might have to experiment with your mix but it will be worth it.
For instructions on how to make string eggs visit Craft Whack
Home Made Mod Podge from Lulastic
Mod Podge pops up in many online tutorials but it is expensive and not always readily available … you can make your own though and the fabulous Lucy AitkenRead will show you how.
For instructions on how to make your own basic Mod Podge, along with how to pimp it to make the gloss version, visit Lulastic