Archive for the ‘Interesting Information’ Category
We are waking up to the damage that the vast quantity of plastic we use is doing to our planet.
It is much easier to recycle these days, although the individual rules of some councils can make it a little confusing at times, but if you would like to try your hand at some home based reprocessing here are a few ideas to get you started.
Bag Dispenser from Craft Your Happiness
We can all be guilty of shoving our plastic bags in to various nooks and crannies around the house, going out with out a shopping bag and buying yet another bag for life.
Why not make a central storage area for your plastic bags so the whole family can easily find one when they need one?
Craft Your Happiness has two versions for you to choose from and don’t forget if you aren’t a fan of turquoise you can paint it another colour.
For information on how to make the turquoise version click here.
If you would like to know how to make the metallic version click here.
Fairy House from Filth Wizardry
This is a really cool idea to help you introduce the idea of reusing and repurposing to your kids.
As a child my Sindy was kitted out with furniture made from food packaging boxes and washed out yoghurt pots that I decorated myself and it was a lot of fun.
For more information visit Filth Wizardry.
If you enjoy doing activities and crafts with your little ones then it’s well worth having a dig around this site after you have checked out the fairy houses.
*BONUS* You can find out how to make wings for your mini dolls there too.
Self Watering Herb Garden from I Think We Could Be Friends.
Although bottles were actually bought to put this tutorial together I still love it for several reasons …
Firstly it fits our brief of reusing plastic bottles because we are going to use the ones we had already bought anyway but better than that you can even use the planter over and over again to grow further batches of herbs.
The other big plus for this idea is that it means that even if you don’t have a garden, or a usable yard, you can grow something with the kids because all you need is a small window cill or a patch on your worktop.
The children can get involved in picking the seeds and tasting the herbs when they have grown. Start with a few that taste very different from each other like mint, which you can chop and mix with marg on their potatoes, chives, very tasty chopped and added to cheese scones, and basil, which will go nicely in tomato pasta.
For more information on how to make a self watering planter visit I Think We Could Be Friends.
Plastic Bottle Broom from Secret Yumiverse
Here’s a clever idea.
I wonder if the brush would gather static and attract more dust?
I will have to try it and find out.
For a step by step picture tutorial on what to do to make this brush visit Secret Yumiverse.
Phone Charger Station from Make It Love it
This is a handy idea but use common sense here DO NOT leave your phone in this over night or when you leave the house as a charging phone can get quite hot.
If you would like to know more about how to make this visit Make It Love It.
Hanging Storage from Make It Love It
The same lady has expanded on the phone charger station idea and come up with this useful hanging storage area.
As an avid crafter I really fancy making one of these … although it might not be the best idea for hubby to see too much of my crafty stash on display.
For more information visit Make It Love It
Jewellery Stand from Epbot
This project has been completed with tools that we may not all have but you could still have a go with out filing the bottle bottoms in to flower shapes.
Take care to smooth off any sharp edges with some fine sand paper.
To have a look at how to make this unusual piece in more details visit Epbot.
Owl Vases/Tea Light Holders from Amazing Interior Design
Putting practical to one side for a moment here is an idea for a decorative piece which is very effective.
If you find a jam or pickle jar that fits inside you can use it as a vase.
It will also make a nice candle votive but a standard candle would not be safe in this plastic surround so remember to use battery operated tea lights. If you are in the UK you can get them from places like eBay, Wilkos, B&Q, Hobbycraft and highstreet discount shops and they have a good life span.
Click here to see more of this clever project.
Bottle Bottom Snowflakes from Artesan
Although it is not Christmas and the website that features this project is not in English it is such an effective idea that I have included it any way. The photos included with the tutorial make it easy enough to see what to do.
You can buy the small metal jump rings from craft shops and also hardware stores like B&Q.
Use metallic acrylic paint to do your snowflake detail on the plastic bottle or simple white acrylic for an equally stunning result.
Take care if you have children as the edge where you have cut the bottom away from the bottle may have sharp bits.
Garden centres sell metal trees at Christmas time that would look fabulous with these snowflakes hanging from them but I particularly love the idea of hanging them from a wooden tree like the one in the picture.
Please note the original site is not in English but you can visit it here to see more photographs.
Wedding Dress by Michelle Brand from Ecouterre
Finally I will leave you with the results of an extra special recycling project.
Some of you might have made your own wedding dress, or had it made for you by a family member, but how many of you considered reusing your plastic bottles to get the job done?
Michelle Brand used a staggering number of bottle bases, lids and tags to construct the dress which has a sixteen foot train.
She specifically intended to show that art made from recycled items does not lack imagination or appeal.
You can see more photos of this breath taking creation at Ecouterre here.
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
Kids love to bake and cook so what better way to sneak a little hidden learning under the radar than disguised as something that also happens to be a lot of fun.
Here are a few recipes that you can make with your children which offer educational talking points.
Of course you can just follow the recipes and leave it at that, there are no rules, but if you do want to take it further then hopefully this will give you a good place to start from.
Domino Cookies from Learning 4 Kids
The recipe for these domino cookies inspired this article They are quite a smart idea and you don’t need anything fancy to make them.
If you don’t want to use sugar coated sweets then don’t … try raisins or chocolate chips.
You might not get enough dominoes to have a proper game but it will introduce the idea. A set of the real thing is quite cheap to buy or you could move on to making your own with cardboard and stickers.
For more details on this recipe visit Learning 4 Kids .
What can you talk about?
Learning 4 Kids backs up their biscuit recipe with a fantastic article which combines playing and learning using a simple set of dominoes. You can read it here.
Traffic Light Sandwiches from Planning With Kids
This is pretty quick to do, although you might not thank me if it becomes a firm lunch box favourite, but it could be a way to encourage picky eaters to be a little more adventurous.
Get the kids to think about what other sandwich fillings could be used instead to create the traffic light effect.
For more information visit Planning With Kids.
What can you talk about?
You can go straight in here with a discussion about how many fruits and vegetables each person should eat in a day and why this is important. For more information visit the Change 4 Life site.
You can also talk about the Green Cross Code and crossing the road safely. You can read more about this at Road Wise.
Salt Dough Fossils from The Imagination Tree
You can’t eat salt dough so if you want to eat your fossils you will need to use a shortbread recipe for this activity instead remembering to scrub the shells before you start
However making them the way the tutorial suggests and then preserving them either with either a coat of acrylic paint or a glaze made with equal parts PVA glue and water is quite a cool idea.
For more information visit The Imagination Tree .
What can you talk about?
Do you have a beach near by that you could visit to look for real fossils?
Or perhaps there is a local museum with interesting fossils on display.
What else could you press in to the dough to make your own fossil? A plastic dinosaur figure perhaps.
You can visit Fossils Facts And Finds for some handy information to help you with your learning.
Chocolate Covered Kiwi Pops from Clean And Delicious
Kiwi fruit is cram packed with goodies … vitamins C, E and K, folate, potassium, fibre and antioxidants.
Apparently you can eat the skin and this gives you more fibre along with helping to preserve the vitamin C content. I’m going to be honest though I might need a little convincing before I sample kiwi fruit skin … perhaps hiding it under chocolate will fool me!
It couldn’t be much easier to make a lolly than this.
For more information visit Clean And Delicious. Why not have a dig around and see if you fancy trying any more of their recipes while you are there.
What can you talk about?
I actually have lots of questions so we must try this in our house …
Will the kiwi fruit go rock hard or will it be crunchy?
What will happen to the chocolate when you dip the frozen fruit in to it? Will it still be soft or will it crack when you bite it?
Will this work with other fruits containing a high percentage of water like water melon?
Homemade Burgers from BBC Good Food
What is educational about a burger?
Well kids love burgers but fast food has a bad reputation and costs a fortune so why not have go at making your own?
Buy the best mince that your budget will allow for and after that the choice is yours … cheese or no cheese … pickle or no pickle … salad or no salad.
Why not let the kids get stuck in when it comes to shaping the burgers.
In order to keep the calorie content down don’t fry your burgers instead pop them under the grill or in to the oven.
A big bonus for the cook of the house is that once you have prepared your burgers they can be frozen so make a big batch and you’ve actually got your own fast food to hand when you need to it.
You can get the recipe for this burger by visiting BBC Good Food .
I can recommend baked chips, like the ones here at Cookie And Kate. Kate suggests using Russet potatoes but I just use what ever the supermarket has at the time. I haven’t tried soaking mine first though so I’m intrigued by what difference it will make. Don’t get hung up on creating perfect chips just chop your potatoes in to wedges, with the skin still on, and you don’t have to flavour them … mine are usually just simple potatoes and olive oil.
What can you talk about?
What do the children think? Do they prefer the homemade version?
What toppings could you add to make your burger more fun or to help top up your five a day quota?
Perhaps the kids would like to try looking for a recipe to make a veggie version.
Baked Apple Crisps from Kid Cultivation
For more information on how to make the baked apple crisps visit Kid Cultivation.
*Also along the same lines*
Microwaved Sweet Potato Chips from By Stephanie Lynn
For more information on how to make the sweet potato chips visit By Stephanie Lynn.
Obviously you don’t want to let your children loose with a kitchen mandolin or a sharp knife and so adult participation in this activity is key but children do love crisps and they are usually loaded with salt and fat so both of these recipes offer an interesting alternative.
If you don’t want to add sugar to the apple crisps or salt to the sweet potato crisps then don’t.
I’m not comfortable using a mandoline so we don’t have one but I’m going to have a go with a potato peeler … the crisps won’t be round but it’s not the end of the world.
What can you talk about?
In essence this is about looking for a healthier alternative to junk food, showing children that homemade can taste as yummy as the bought version and broadening horizons.
Crisps don’t have to be potato and they don’t have to be fried.
Rainbow Cupcakes from Good To Know
The instructions from Good To Know use a cake mix, which is handy if you are pushed for time, but you can make your own cake batter from scratch using the BBC Good Food Victoria sandwich recipe.
This recipe is not for everyone as some children may need to avoid food colouring but it is fun to see how the cup cakes turn out.
For more information visit Good To Know.
What can you talk about?
You can also look at how the colours change when the cakes are cooked along with making pastel rainbow cakes using less food colouring.
Try experimenting with how you put the coloured mix in the cake cases to make a swirl pattern or a marble effect.
Does the colour of the cake affect how you think it will taste?
Easy Bread from Kids Activity Blog
Shop bought bread is loaded with chemicals and additives which extend it’s shelf life and keep it looking and tasting the way you expect your favourite brand to do.
With today’s busy life it’s unlikely that you will have the time to make bread on a regular basis but I can say from experience that children love baking bread so if you can find time during school holidays or at the weekend it’s worth giving it a go.
The kids might get fed up if the bread recipe requires a lot of kneading so a recipe tailored to little ones is essential which is the bonus of this featured easy bread.
Remember home made bread won’t last as long as shop bought but in our house that’s never a problem.
To find out how to make this bread visit Kids Activity Blog.
What can you talk about?
Plenty to learn and talk about here …
Why do you add yeast?
Why do you use warm water?
What happens to the yeast if the water is too hot?
Why do you have to leave the dough to rest?
You can visit Teacher Resources to find out how yeast works.
Why not use the dough to make your own pizza base, spread it with sauce and let the children choose their own toppings.
If you are inspired to try yourself I’m a big fan of River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who believes homemade bread should be accessible to everyone and you can find his basic bread recipe here.
Making bread is a time consuming activity however if you do have chance to try making your own bread the results are worth the effort … I highly recommend it.
These days as our lives get busier more and more of us are opting for less grass and planting in our gardens choosing low maintenance alternatives instead.
Sadly this means that wildlife is struggling to find a place to call home.
Here are some tips to help you encourage the wildlife back in to your garden.
If you are lucky enough to have room to plant flowers then you can encourage butterflies to your garden with Buddleia (also known as the butterfly bush because it is usually alive with fluttering butterflies), lavender, marjoram, perennial wallflower (also known as Bowles Mauve) and Verbena Bonariensis. These plants provide nectar in the summer which attract butterflies however your choice does not end there.
The Butterfly Conservation site has a wealth of information including a straight forward do and don’t list so it’s worth visiting their site HERE to check out their advise.
To get the best results you need to avoid using pesticides, insecticides and peat compost in your garden and make sure you remove the dead heads off flowers regularly.
Another way to attract butterflies to your garden is using a butterfly feeder which is extremely simple to put together using things you already have around the house.
PLEASE NOTE : This will also be attractive to bees and wasps so if you have children be careful where you put it.
To make your butterfly feeder start with a shallow dish. A heavy weather proof ceramic dish would be best but in the end use what ever you have to hand as long as it’s not your best baking bowl. Just be aware that a light container might blow away so try to anchor it down.
Make a substitute nectar solution using 1 part granulated sugar to 4 parts water and boil this until the granules of sugar dissolve in the water then make sure it is completely cool before pouring a small amount in to the base of your dish.
Opinion is divided about storing unused homemade nectar. Some say you can freeze it as ice cubes, others say that you can keep it in the fridge for up to a fortnight but some say you should always make it fresh and as it is so simple to do this it is not really a chore.
Finally you just need to add a few pieces of over ripe fruit. Soft fruit like bananas, peaches, strawberries and oranges work well but don’t over do it as other wildlife will love this too and you don’t want to attract the wrong sort.
You can also drizzle a small amount of runny honey over the fruit or some left over beer.
Now sit back and wait for your visitors.
ATTRACT FROGS WITH A MINI POND from Rollercoaster Mum
Garden ponds need work to maintain them and when you have children they are a safety issue so why not make a mini pond like the one we spotted on Rollercoaster Mum’s website?
This clever lady used a metal tub but you could use one of those shallow plastic orange planters from your garden centre.
For full instructions on how to make the mini pond you can visit Rollercoaster Mum by CLICKING HERE.
Clean water is a must but rain water is preferable as tap water can have high nutrients levels. Don’t worry about the muggy appearance of the water when you first set up your pond as it will settle.
A shady spot can stop the mini pond getting too hot and drying out but make sure too many fallen leaves are not left sitting in it. You don’t need to be over the top about clearing twigs and leaves as they provide habitat and shelter for garden birds and creatures but at the same time you don’t want too many dead leaves turning to sludge in a small pond.
Be patient and let things develop naturally.
Frogs will find their own way to the new home you have made them … but in their own time.
ATTRACT BIRDS – MAKE A NEST BOX
To encourage birds in to your garden you can make a simple nest box. Nothing elaborate is needed. In actual fact the box can be constructed from just one piece of wood cut in to sections. It should have a slightly sloping roof to make sure rain drains away and although you might be tempted to make everything lovely and smooth a rough surface helps fledglings to grip.
You can find clear instructions to make a nest box at the Gardeners World website by CLICKING HERE.
Don’t be tempted to paint or stain the box to make it look pretty because the birds might peck the chemical and it could make them ill.
You need to think carefully about where you put the nest box to keep it out of reach of predators like domestic cats or wild foxes. It should be out of direct sun and excessively windy spots.
For more advice making, siting and cleaning nest boxes CLICK HERE to visit the RSPB webiste.
ATTRACT INSECTS WITH A BUG HOTEL
Insects will provide food for the other members of your wild life family and they will pollinate your plants. They love wiggling in to nooks and crannies.
There are plenty of insect houses on the market but why not pop to your local DIY store and see if they have any waste timber off cuts which you can drill in to and combine with bamboo style poles to create your own creepy crawly des res?
Drilled wood and bamboo canes attract bees and wasps who lay eggs. Drill a variety of different sized holes.
Put rotting wood at the bottom of the insect hotel so it stays damp and this will attract millipedes and woodlice which birds will happily munch on. It also encourages centipedes which like to feed on slugs so if you grow your own veg this will be handy.
Make bundles of different sized twigs and sticks which will attract beetles who eat aphids and other pests that damage crops.
Arrange the whole lot in to a wooden packing crate if you can get your hands on one.
An optional extra is to place a wire mesh across the front of your bug hotel to reduce the number of insects that are picked off by hungry birds before they get chance to do their good work.
Thompson And Morgan have a comprehensive list on their website of which plants are most suitable to attract wildlife.
To visit Thompson And Morgan and have a look at their list CLICK HERE.
You can see at a glance whether the plant attracts bees, butterflies or birds (or any combination of those three) plus there are handy symbols highlighting each plant’s interesting points for example if it offers good shelter for birds or has autumn leaf colour.
MAKE A COMPOST HEAP
A compost heap is not the most glamorous of garden features but if you are serious about encouraging wildlife to your garden then this is quite an inexpensive way to do so. Not only will it be a haven for all kinds of creatures but the end result is a great soil improver which will give your plants a better chance to grow.
In it’s most basic form it is a collection of organic kitchen scraps which are taken through the composting process by animals, bacteria and fungi so small the human eye almost can not detect them. The rotting scraps are eaten by passing bugs which in turn attract birds, hedgehogs, toads and frogs who eat them. As the scraps decompose heat is given off and this attracts reptiles. So you can see how having a compost heap in your garden will encourage wildlife visitors to come calling.
If you can bring yourself to have an uncontained heap this will produce the best results, from a wildlife point of view, as there are no access restrictions. Do not use a chemical activator to get your compost heap moving, just let things run their course.
Planet Natural have a great in depth list of things to include and what you should avoid HERE .
If you enter your post code in to the search field on the Get Composting website you will be able to see if your council has joined the scheme to make discounted compost bins available to you … CLICK HERE to enter your post code.
Hedgehogs are very cute but they are not suitable to be kept as domestic pets and it would be cruel to take one from the wild for this purpose. However if you make your garden an attractive proposition you might hear the patter of tiny feet and you can sit quietly and watch as they go about their business.
We mentioned above that hedgehogs will feed off the creatures that live in your compost heap so that is a good place to start. The also like to shelter under wood piles and they will use hedges as cover.
Do not use slug pellets or pesticides on your garden, this is a good rule of thumb in a wildlife garden in general.
Hedgehogs will drink from a garden pond so make sure it has shallow points and easily exited areas.
Keep your dog or cat well away.
To visit The British Hedgehog Preservation Society CLICK HERE… you can find out more and also donate online if you choose to.
** If your kids love animals check out our range of animal themed bedding HERE **
** We also have a section dedicated to butterflies HERE **
I have to hold my hands up we love a bit of gluing and sticking in our house … and getting the paints out … and the needle and thread. To be fair we don’t need an excuse to get crafty. It’s something all ages can get involved with and you can craft along with your kids to make the most of the time you have together. I realise it’s not for everyone but you’ve read this far so I’m guessing you are interested.
Obviously many of you reading this will be the mum of the family however it would be fun to get the kids involved making something for their grandmas, nanas or grans. There are plenty of dads and grandparents who enjoy getting creative too so you still have time to whip up that surprise for mum.
Some of you may already have a stash of crafty goodies built up but if you are just starting out you don’t need to rush out and buy lots of supplies that you may never use again. The trick here is to think about how much you would have spent on a present and to consider whether you can use the materials again for something else. It’s also worth thinking about the things you already have that you might be able to use instead of the listed ingredients in the how tos.
Hand Print Coasters from Dwelling In Happiness.
This is a great idea if your kids are very young and have a short attention span. The added bonus is that mistakes can be easily wiped away and you can have another go but don’t get too hung up on getting the perfect hand print as it needs to have that childish charm.
For instructions on how to make these coasters please visit Dwelling In Happiness
Painted Pebble Cactus from Best Ideas For Kids and Abbi Kirsten Collections.
The best thing about this idea is that it suits children from a young age right up to those of us who would rather not mention how old we actually are (uncomfortable cough). Your cactus design can be extermely simple or elaborate and fancy with added embellishments. Pop one cactus pebble in a small pot or make an arrangement with a collection. And don’t tell the mums I said this but you can always keep this idea up your sleeve for Father’s Day if you pick something else to do.
Embroidery Hoop Photo Display from Natalie Wright.
I particularly love this idea. Some things crop up time and time again on the internet but I’ve never seen this before and I’m going to make it myself for my work room.
Take care to look for embroidery hoops that are not expensive branded ones but then watch out for the ones that are so cheap they have splintery bits of wood coming away.
I love the natural look in the example but you can also really go to town here and paint the hoops to match your recipient’s décor or even rip strips of pretty fabric and wrap it round the hoops which is explained in wonderful detail at Love The Bluebird.
The great thing about this is that you can give it as a gift with a set of photos but the recipient can change the photos when they feel like it and it’s as easy as hanging out the washing. Mini pegs are inexpensive and readily available on eBay or in high street shops like Hobby Craft or The Works.
For instructions on how to make this photo display please visit Natalie Wright’s website.
Body Scrub from LemonLimeAdventures.
Even if making this zingy sugar scrub isn’t really up your street it’s still well worth clicking through to this lady’s site and having a mooch around. It is packed with stacks of fun and educational stuff to do with your kids. Make yourself a cuppa because it’s easy to lose yourself in time.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Loving It Vegan
We found this recipe when we were looking for something different to make. I’m lactose intolerant so a vegan recipe is ideal for me but that doesn’t mean you can’t substitute your usual ingredients the way I do when I flip a standard recipe using non dairy milk or margarine. You also need to keep in mind that All Purpose Flour is plain flour in the UK and we substituted black treacle for the dark molasses stated in the recipe.
My little one and hubby don’t like walnuts so we have played around and substituted them for various things including more dried fruit, flaked almonds or pecans which aren’t as strong as the offending walnuts.
These need to be made as close to delivery as you can as they are soft set cookies … if you don’t make them to give as a gift then make them anyway because they are delicious.
For the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe please visit Loving It Vegan.
Button Picture from Teacups And Glitter.
This is another one of those that can be as basic or ornate as you want depending on the age of the crafter and the materials you have at your disposal. The example here from Teacups And Glitter is lovely and uses a pretty piece of paper to make the button design pop. However if you have a very young child or a limited budget you could just as easily draw a shape on to a small canvas and stick the buttons on to that. How about yellow buttons in the shape of the sun with “You are my sunshine” written on by your child.
Chalkboard Plant Pots from Who Arted?
This is another one that really appeals to me. This has so many things going for it. For a start the painting is easy for a younger child, then your child can use their own writing to embellish the pot and you can give the pot with a plant in it.
However if you don’t want to buy blackboard paint you don’t have to … simply let your child loose with their paints, acrylics will stick to the terracotta nicely, and let their imaginations run wild.
For more details on how to paint these pots visit Who Arted?
Luminaries from A Parenting Production
This idea is perfect for little ones. You can re-use pretty glass jars that have had jam or pickle in, just give them a good wash out, and use coloured tissue paper to suit your budget. This tutorial uses Mod Podge which is a fab product to have in your stash if you are a prolific crafter but if you just dabble then water down some PVA glue. The strength of the PVA/water mix will depend on the quality of your tissue paper so you will need to experiment but 50/50 is a good place to start. For older children or adults try cutting out shapes from black card, like a flower or a fairy, and sticking it to the side of the jar to create a cool effect.
Battery operated tea lights are a must here. They are now inexpensive and 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 A Parenting Production for more details on how to make this candle holder.
Tea Cup Candles from Bridal Musings featuring Jenna of Lucky Sixpence Events
This isn’t a new idea but it is a classic. You don’t need to use a tea cup, although they do look stunning, check through your local charity shops for interesting alternative pots. Make sure they don’t have cracks in them as they are going to get quite hot.
This tutorial uses soy candle flakes which produces no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants making them less likely to aggravate allergies. They also produce less soot.
For detailed instructions please visit Bridal Musings.
* Unfortunately none of the links Bridal Musings have included for Jenna, at Lucky Sixpence, in their tutorial are currently active so Jenna if you see our post please get in touch and we will be happy to add a link to your new site here.
Photo Cube from All Parenting
This tutorial uses a really cool photo transfer technique and the Mod Podge brand crops up again. It’s worth pointing out that Mod Podge is well thought of if you are going to do plenty of crafting and spending money on it is a good investment because it does an excellent job however if this is a one off make simply have six gloss photos printed and trim them to fit then stick them on to the cube with a decent glue. Once everything is thoroughly dried you can still use fine sandpaper to carefully distress your edges.
For more details visit All Parenting.
Shabby Chic Union Flag Cushion from Craft Cotton Blog
You will need a sewing machine for this but a teenager can tackle it on their own and basically it is just sewing straight lines so if your younger child is sensible they could have a go with adult supervision.
For more information visit The Craft Cotton Blog.
Mini Canvas from Eliston Button.
This is literally one of those ideas you can just have fun with. It is perfect for all ages and all levels of crafty stash. The basic mini canvas and stand are available in the UK on eBay or in high street shops like The Works for as little as two pounds.
This beautiful example from Eliston Button shows you what can be done. You can see how it was done here.
So there you go. Whether you make these things for Mother’s Day or save them for a birthday that’s coming up I hope you have a lot of fun making them.
Getting children to go to bed can be a struggle. It can be even harder if their nursery is not set up properly to help them fall asleep. Here are some tips and tricks to help make your nursery a room that is more restful than it is now, to help both your toddler and yourself get more sleep. Remember, the better they nap, the better you nap.
Add Light Blocking Curtains
Many of the fabrics that make up our nursery are light and floaty, including those used to make baby curtains. Often, these curtains are beautiful, but they don’t do anything to keep light out of a room. The human body is designed to sleep when it is dark and be awake when it is light, so the light could be causing problems for their sleep schedule. In order to help your child nap when the sun is up, we recommend adding light-blocking curtains to their room.
If you love the curtains you already have, there are detachable linings that are easy to add to the back of your curtains that will block light and make the space more restful for your toddler.
At the end of the day, you wouldn’t want to sleep in an uncomfortable bed, and neither does your child. If they are struggling to sleep in their own bed, it might be because they are uncomfortable with their mattress or their blanket.
Figure out what textures they like to sleep under and check out the Children’s Room offerings to find the perfect blanket for them and their nursery design theme!
Toys: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you store your children’s toys in their rooms, they are going to be more tempted to play with them while they are supposed to be sleeping. To avoid this issue, put your child’s toys somewhere where they cannot see them from their bed or crib.
If you don’t have to a lot of storage space that’s out of sight, try putting them in bins or behind a screen where your child can’t see them.
Keep all electronics away from your child and their nursery for as long as possible. They should not be using your phone or tablet to play within three hours of their naptime or bedtime in order to help them sleep as much as possible.
Electronics like this emit blue spectrum light that tells their (and our) brains that they need to wake up and pay attention to what’s on the screen. This is terrible for their circadian rhythm because it keeps them awake for longer. In fact, it forces their brains to stop producing melatonin for a while, which makes them stay awake, no matter how tired they are.
With that in mind, keep electronics out of their bedrooms so that they are tempted to use them when they are supposed to be sleeping or when they are struggling to sleep. The same policy would do you some good as well.
Guest blog written by Katie Phillips from MattressReviews.net
As with any DIY project, renovating and decorating a children’s bedroom can very quickly turn very expensive, especially if (like us) you aren’t blessed with arts and crafts skills to do a lot of the work yourself. Fortunately, at Children’s Rooms – we make it incredibly easy, and relatively cheap to design and update your child’s bedroom in a range of styles.
It makes sense to not spend a fortune on your child’s bedroom either. Children very quickly become ‘bored’ of certain themes and characters as they very quickly develop, and in changing just a few elements of a kid’s bedroom, you can change the entire theme and design of the room, easily and cheaply using just a few products.
Whether its characters from the latest films or TV shows, we have it covered.
Kids Wall Stickers
Children’s Wall Stickers are a brilliant way to inexpensively decorate a kid’s bedroom. Purchasing them for as little as a few pounds, they can be quickly put up and taken down. We have carefully selected a wide range of wall stickers, which keep up with how quickly your children develop, gaining new interests and hobbies – which wall stickers can perfectly reflect.
Some of our bestselling wall stickers include Dinosaur Wall Stickers, Construction Wall Stickers, Butterfly Wall Stickers, Disney Frozen Wall Stickers, Animal Wall Stickers, Under the Sea Wall Stickers, as well as Marvel Wall Stickers and Graffiti Wall Stickers.
You can view the full range here.
Toy Storage is another excellent, inexpensive way of adding style and design into a children’s bedroom. As well as adding style, these products also provide a vital function in protecting parents feet from toy’s on the floor, and play an important role in transforming a bedroom from chaos into order.
Toy Storage options are available in a massive range of styles, themes and colour options, with an excellent range of both boys and girls options available. Boxes, Seats, Baskets, Chests and Laundry Hampers are all available within the collection. Some of the most popular themes include Animals, Birds, Dogs, Space and the Alphabet.
You can view the full range here.
The Bed is one of the biggest single pieces of furniture in a child’s bedroom, so it makes perfect sense to use that space to style and theme a bedroom. Again, this is an incredibly cost effective way of adding colour and style into a room, with bright vibrant bedding sets – in a massive range of themes, patterns and colours are available from us at brilliant prices.
Kids bedding is available in all sizes from toddler/junior bedding to single bedding, double bedding and even king size bedding. Popular styles include: Animals, Ballerinas, Diggers, Farms, Dogs, Films, Cartoons, Marvel and Disney.
You can view the full range of bedding here.
As well as bedding, Kids Curtains take up a huge amount of space in a bedroom – and offer an ideal opportunity for room styling and theming at a low cost, with easy install. At Children’s Rooms, we offer a wide range of kid’s curtains for boys and girls bedrooms from toddler to teens.
Available in a range of sizes, the collection includes themes such as: Farms, Boats, Disney, Disney Frozen, Marvel, Ballerinas, Fairies, Animals, Owls and Diggers.
The full range of curtains can be found below :
So there you have it, just four products which can be used to make a massive impact in your child’s bedroom. Simply browse the site to select the best possible products for your child’s bedroom. New stock is being added to the site all the time, so check back regularly. Alternatively, if you can’t see the exact product you want, just get in touch and we will see what we can do.
Bean Bags are some of personal favourite products here at the Children’s Room offices. They are some of the most versatile pieces we sell, and as well as being excellent additions to children’s bedrooms and playrooms, they also serve as important source of extra seating during busy times! When they aren’t being sat on by your child, they also make excellent footrests for us adults.
We have worked hard with the world’s leading suppliers to bring to market a wide range of character bean bags, which are perfect for both boys and girls. Below, we will run through some of our most popular, all of these bean bags boast clear, bright and vivid images and are of an excellent quality, providing years of faithful service.
Care Bear Bean Bag
Care Bears have been around forever, and today still prove very popular with children of all ages. This bean bag features Funshine Bear, Cheer Bear and Share Bear all over this pastel coloured bean bag. On the pink background, there’s rainbows, stars and hearts. This bean bag, is also currently in our sale.
Batman VS Superman Bean Bag
The epic tale of Batman VS Superman is told on this bright and vivid bean bag. It features iconic designs and stills from the film, allowing you…and your child to relive this box office hit.
Disney Cars Bean Bag
This incredibly cool bean bag features red images of Lightning McQueen and pale grey images of Jackson Storm racing against a blue background. Speedometers are printed in blue and yellow, and are also spread across the bean bag.
Disney Frozen Bean Bag
p style=”text-align: justify;”>For those who have children which are big fans of Disney’s Frozen – we are pretty sure that as you read this, the song ‘Let It Go’ is bouncing around your head. This bean bag is the perfect accessory for a Disney Frozen Bedroom and features a repeated pattern of Anna, Elsa and Olaf on a blue background.
Disney Princess Bean Bag
At some point or another, most girls become massive fans of Disney Princess. This Disney Princess Bean Bag as such is a pretty safe bet for any girl’s bedroom! It features Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, and Rapunzel in pastel coloured colours. The virtues of the princesses, Loyalty, Kindness, Truth and Bravery are written across the bean bag.
Minecraft Bean Cube
Minecraft has taken the world by storm in recent years, that’s why we are proud to offer this excellent Minecraft Bean Cube. Any players of Minecraft will instantly recognise it as a green and brown pixelated building block. It’s the perfect, useful gift for any Minecraft Fan.
Character Bean Bags
Bean Bags are some of our most popular products here at Children’s Rooms, and we are lucky to have access to such a large, high quality range. You can view our full collection here.
Animals are a really important part of Christmas. From the very earliest reference of Camels and Donkeys carrying Jesus, to the more modern symbolism of Reindeer pulling Santa’s Sleigh, Christmas has always had an association with animals.
Other Christmas references include Doves which represent peace and love, as well as and Robins making their way into Christmas symbolism. Less symbolic, but no less important animals include Penguins, Polar Bears and others which live in wintry, snowy conditions.
Below, we run through some of our personal favourite Animal Themed Christmas Bedding:
Christmas Party Animals Single Bedding
This cotton rich Christmas Bedding has been our best sellers, and has been popular with adults and children alike. This single bedding option is cotton rich, and features a number of cats and dogs all sat in front of presents, many of which have Christmas hats on. There’s a brilliant look of cuteness, and ‘what the hell is going on’ to these pets.
Mr & Mrs Stag Double Duvet
This incredibly festive bedding set, features a male and female deer within a holly wreath. The image immediately behind the deer features falling snowflakes. The wreath is also set on an aqua blue background – which features snowflakes.
Penguin King Size Bedding – 100% Cotton
This bedding set has quickly become one of our most popular Christmas Bedding pieces this year. It features a stunning photograph of a penguin, sorrounded by her babies. The high cotton content makes this bed feel very warm and fuzzy, whilst the image on the front also gives a warm and fuzzy feeling!
Blitzen Themed Christmas Bedding – Single
Ho, Ho, Ho is the happy message spread on this Christmas Bedding. Written across the pillowcases, are the worlds Ho, Ho, Ho whilst the front of the bedding features a large image of Blitzen – ready with his Santa’s hat on to deliver presents.
Christmas Cuddles Single Bedding
This fun festive duvet features some Christmas Animal Favourites. Polar Bears and Penguins are playing together in this wintry scene.
Emma Bridgewater Winter Animals Duvet
The incredibly talented Emma Bridgewater has created this luxury bedding set, themed with Christmas Animals – which is perfect for both adult and children’s bedrooms. Its brilliant winter theme features a number of animals taking a stroll across the front of the bedding, with a navy blue background – with sparkling stars in the sky.
Winter Animal Bedding at Children’s Rooms
We hope you have enjoyed looking through some of the above Christmas Bedding. At Children’s Rooms we have worked very hard to source such a large range of excellent quality Christmas bedding, the full range of which can be found here.