Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I'll have a blue christmas without you

I have a craft related injury thanks to a bit of a slip when machine quilting at the weekend (yes, that does hurt as much as you imagine) so one trip to a&e later and my finger is in a ridiculously over sized bandage which hinders my ability to do anything let alone craft.   So this week I am without hand meaing we went for a tried and tested craft that I know the small one can do almost entirely alone.  She just needs me to boil the kettle and the rest is down to her.

Rockin' robin

to save you searching back through the blog you will need
bag of bird seed
cookie cutters
one sachet of gelatine
greaseproof paper

plus, to Christmas it up a bit

Christmas ribbon

This amount has made 6 large bird seed feeders and 4 small ones (so would probably make 7 large ones if you want them for gifts).   I wouldn't recommend making more than one sachet at a time because you want to make sure all of the seed is covered in gelatine.

Lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper on a flat surface.

Make up the gelatine according to the instructions on the packet and add the seed in.  Throw in a bit of glitter.

Chop up your straws to make holes for the ribbon.

Place your cookie cutter on the paper and sprinkle a little glitter inside.  The right way to do this is to put silver all over, pink at the top and blue at the bottom.  Anything else is wrong. FACT.  

You may need to wear a woolly hat at this stage to prevent glitter getting in your hair.

Fill your cutter with the sticky seed and press down with the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle some more glitter on top.  

Shove the straw in place and leave to dry overnight.  


We're at that stage now, so I'll do an update when they're dry.  We've also tried a little mini seed chain so if they work, I'll put a picture up.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Santa Baby

I have been an awful good girl Santa baby so if you could see your way to that light blue convertible that I ask for in song every year it would be great.  You can still keep the sable though.  I'd rather than wasn't slipped anywhere, let alone under my tree.


This craft was inspired by something I saw on pinterest last year which we had great fun reproducing it on the back of a cornflake box covered in wrapping paper.  This year we've taken it a bit further and added a few bits meaning we got to sing the same song over and over and over and over...

When Santa got stuck up the chimney

*sing it again*

You will need:
A teabag box 
4 or 5 pieces of kitchen roll
PVA glue
Assorted card (or white card that you are happy to paint)
Cotton wool
Sticky tape
A glue stick

First, prepare your chimney.

Open up your teabag box .  The lid is where we are going to stick our father Christmas later on so don't do anything to it.

Cut brick sized bits of card from whatever scraps you have.  We decided to just do the front of the box.  I know Milly has limited patience for repetition so making 5 bricks is fine.  Making 20 bricks would result in me doing all the work.  Once cut make sure that they can be positioned as you want on the box.

Next cut strips the width of your brick from one of the pieces of kitchen roll, roll and stick on top of each card brick using the tape.  Once completed tape the lot in to place.

Rip up the rest of the kitchen roll.  Mix together equal parts of pva glue and water and use this to stick the kitchen roll all over the box and bricks.  We're going for texture here so don't worry if they make a mess of it - glue is fun!  Leave to dry.

Now we're going to make Santa

Spend 5 minutes explaining how Santa is the same person as Father Christmas and not his brother.

Draw yourself a FATHER CHRISTMAS on paper to get an idea of the proportions if you want.  Go for simple shapes which will be easy to cut out from card and stick together rather than complex arty stuff.  You can make any sort of face, body, position etc that you want to but make sure he has a great bushy beard.  Transfer your drawing to card, cut out and hand over to the small person to stick together.  Leave to one side.

Now paint your chimney any colour you want.  We went for real feel red brown with grey cement because Milly is a fan of things looking correct, even if they are made of bits of ripped up kitchen roll.   Leave to dry.  Ours dried a lot darker than expected so if this causes a problem, tell them the big man comes at night.

To assemble, simply stick father Christmas to the chimney and fill the back with 24 balls of cotton wool.

Santa wishes he was holding hands with peppa pig.

Father Christmas Advent Calendar

Each morning during December until Christmas Eve your small person can take a ball of cotton wool and stick it on his beard using  glue stick.  When the beard is complete that means ITS CHRISTMAS!!!!

We've also been making Christmas cake and chutney ready for Christmas hampers.  Mill was less than impressed with the colour and texture of fruit cake.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

Remember the salt dough decorations from a couple of weeks ago?  Well we've now threaded them and beaded them.  Instead of lots of knots, I helped out with crimping beads and a pair of pliers and this is what we have

Salt dough Christmas decorations

Not bad for a bit of flour, salt and water.

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Fortunately there are approximately 48 million Christmas related phrases out there, so I have lots of potential post titles.

About a month ago we started on our Christmas craft journey of spending far more making home made versions of things you can buy for 50p in the shops.  Still, it makes the small one happy and she gets to explore a bit of magic along the way.  In this case, embossing and the watch what happens when we apply heat factor.  Sometimes you forget to be impressed by the simple things so having a 4 year old makes you stop and wow right along with them.

Tagging, Xmas Stylee

(I'm hip with the kids)

You will need :
Assorted luggage labels 
Hole / ring reinforcers
A stamp 
An ink or embossing pad with powder
A heat gun if you are going to use powder
Stick on gems
A coloured sharpie

If you going for an ink pad and stamp, this is one you can leave entirely to the kids.  If you're using a heat gun its absolutely not suitable for them to do solo.  If you haven't used one before these things get extremely hot extremely quickly so keep the kids away.  And no, it doesnt work with a hairdryer.  Yes, I've tried.

This is a really simple one.  Take a label and stamp away.  If you're using embossing powder then its great fun watching your child applying invisible ink and then pouring magic glitter over the top of it.  Do not expect perfection, straight lines or even a neat label.  Do expect them to have great fun and want to stamp everything in sight.

When each one is finished, use the heat gun to activate the embossing powder if they're using that whilst they get on with the next label.

Next take two of your hole reinforcers for each label and, whilst still on the backing sheet, colour them in with the sharpie.  These things are great (and we'll be using them shortly on the next Christmas craft) because they don't run or bleed or make a mess when you accidentally rub your arm on them.  However, they are also very very permanent so watch your surfaces.  Leave these to one side to dry completely.

By now your ink should be dry or the powder should be cool, so take your gems and decorate the label.  We went for a very simple Rudolf theme so we stuck on a single red nose gem.

Home made christmas labels
Rudolf denied accusations of nepotism in the sleigh pulling interviews

Remove the strings and place a coloured hole reinforcer on each side of the label.  If you're lucky the ones that are stuck on already can be removed.  Ours couldn't, so we just stuck them on top.  Simple.

These are large labels because they will have information on the back.  More of that to come in the next few weeks...