Savvy Teacher Treats

So, as the end of term was fast approaching, I needed to pull together some teacher gifts on a budget.

Little man is in a independent special school that currently only caters for around 20 or so children. The teacher to pupil ratio is much greater meaning little man is receiving a high level of support when needed. He has great respect and fondness for all the teaching staff and I’ve gotta admit… I can see why! His progress has been amazing, especially considering that educational Psychologist, teachers and other various professionals openly predicted that little man was a child who’ll never be able to fully reintegrate back into a classroom setting. They stated he stood little chance off making friendships or maintaining those he did make.

Well… They were wrong… Totally wrong.

So… With so many teachers in his school the idea of creating teacher gifts on a budget was challenging.

But… Come on we love a challenge and I’m pleased to announce that we passed by coming up with the cutest little gift to thank the staff for all their wonderful work.

Ours was intended for Christmas but this idea can be used at the end of the school year when children move on or just to say thanks every once in a while.

So here’s what we made…

Pretty Cellophane chocolate bags, tired with pretty red ribbon.

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Our bags were perfect for Christmas with a red and white theme, but you could make these for Easter and other occasions just by changing the colours to suit the season or occasion.

What we used to make 10 chocolate bags…

10 cellophane clear presentation bags
10 red ribbon ties

Contents….
Large bag of chocolate Christmas mix (or whatever you prefer)
20 homemade chocolate acorns (that we made from acorn moulds)
Large bag of chocolate peanuts

Optional extras…
Vintage gift tags ( one for each bag)

These are really very simple to make. Just line up and open all ten bags.

Share the contents of sweets between the bags (you should have some left as you don’t want to over fill, just fill 1/4 of the way).

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To finish tie off each bag with the pretty red ribbon. If using gift tags then add message and attach to ribbon before tying.

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The cellophane presentation bags came together with the ribbon in a pack of 20 for just £1 from the wonderful PoundLand… Total bargain.

The acorns were made with one large bar of cadburys diary milk costing £1.

Chocolate peanuts cost £1 per large bag.

Christmas chocolate mix cost £2.49

We didn’t use gift tags but these are easily brought for no more than a £1.

To make 10 bags it cost me £5.49 making each Individual bag cost less than 55p each.

Other ideas…

For Easter fill with mini eggs or chocolate eggs.

Christmas time, use gold coins or chocolate tree decorations.

For the summer use fruit jelly sweets.

For kids parties fill with Haribo or penny mix up.

For weddings fill with sugar almonds.

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Christmas Ornament Exchange

Merry Christmas everyone

Just a quick one…

A while back we shared some of our Christmas decorations as part of the Christmas ornament exchange project that was shared on the lovely Redredarts blog along with some other fabulous bloggers who hosted a Linky showcasing some beautiful homemade ornaments.

The whole idea was to make a homemade tree decoration, snap a pic and along with a quick “How Too” post it to your blog before finally sharing the link on exchange Linky.

Once everyone was done sharing us bloggers were randomly drawn and paired up together for the exchange.

The rest was simple. Just contact the blogger you were paired with, grab their address and send them your homemade creation in the post. Once you have received yours, snap yet another picture and share your received decoration on your blog.

I was paired with the lovely Katie from…Randomness.
Sadly my decorations only got to her on Christmas eve as the first time I’d sent them I’d actually written my own address on the package and sent them back to myself…. Stupid, I know. I can only blame this on my overloaded Christmas brain.

So first here’s what Katie sent me…

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I love how Katie upcycled children’s toys to create fab little decorations! One of the decorations she sent me was that of a child’s miniature toy donkey which she glittered and then fitted with a hanging loop. Another was a marble that really sparkled when it was hanging by a fairy light.

Katie also used broken crockery, filing down rough sharp edges before finally gluing hooks on to the back of them.

These are all excellent ways to create inexpensive decorations while recycling things you already have within the home.

So here’s what I sent Katie…

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My little bag of decorations contained 2 paper mâché stars, wooden glittered heart, and one shabby chic lace and acrylic heart.

A big thanks to those blogs who organised the exchange especially Redtedart who was one of the projects organisers.

It was great fun and a fantastic way of gaining creative ideas.

Lastly thanks to Katie for the decorations.

Why not get involved next year and who knows maybe we’ll be paired to exchange. 🙂

Merry Christmas

Mummy of Many Talents

Our homemade Christmas

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A bit late I know but I finally finished the families Christmas wreath that I decorated with natural woodland finds, glittery baubles, miniature bells and snow. This year my bauble choice was that of silver & white with the added addition of bright pink.

I was meant to have this completed a few weeks back but what with the children and all the Christmas shopping this kind of ended up on the back burner.

Despite having only completed my wreath it was actually really simple to make.

I used…

Large Polystyrene Wreath
PVA Glue
Fine Silver Glitter
Silver Paint
String
Silver Glitter Twigs
Pine Cones
Large Dried Flower
Small White Baubles
Large Silver Glitter Baubles
Medium Pink Baubles (glitter & plain)
Silver Spray Paint
White Spray Paint
Pins
Craft Wire
Artificial Holly & Berries
Snow Spray

Tools needed…

Scissors
Thick Brush (for glue)
Thick Paint Brush
Thin Paint Brush

Heres some pictures showing how this came together…

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Painting…

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Cover entire wreath, allow to dry and add second coat if desired. You should now have something like this

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Spray painting…

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Decorating

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I filled gaps with more silver twigs that I’d cut to size.

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Cover your wreath in snow spray adding more to some areas than others

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This creates a fantastic finish

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Easy Handmade Christmas Cards

Its lovely to make your own cards as it shows those you intend on giving them to, that you put effort and thought into it. In my opinion homemade cards are so much nicer than shop brought and I know which one’s I’d rather receive.

For my tartan Christmas card you will need…

Silver shimmery card
Tartan paper
Holographic dots for boarder
Green ribbon
Tiny plain white gift tag
Glue dots
Green glitter pen
Luxury White paper (for the inside of your card)

Firstly you need to fold your silver card in half then cut a square from your tartan paper measuring 10 by 10cms.

Now use a glue dot in each corner to stick your paper to the middle of you’re silver card.

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Use your silver holographic dazzle dots to boarder your tartan square

Now take your green holographic dazzle dots and without separating them into individual dots, cut 2 strips (one measuring the length of you’re tartan square and the other measuring the width). Now stick one piece of the boarder down the middle of the tartan square and the other across the middle of your square (they should meet and cross in the centre as to create the effect of a ribbon tied around a gift).

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Now, you will need to cut some green ribbon and tie this into a bow. Then cut a smaller piece of the same ribbon, enough to wrap around the centre of your bow. Secure this piece of ribbon with a glue dot. This will make your bow look more neat and tidy.

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Now with a glue dot secure the bow to the centre of the tartan square where the holographic boarder meets and crosses.

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Once done, place your card to one side and bring forward your very small gift tag. Write a message in the centre of the tag with a black marker (I wrote the words “Just for You”). Now, decorate the tag a little around the edges using your green glitter glue before finally leaving it to dry.

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Right, So thats your cards design almost complete. Now, you will need to take your white paper (you know the type you get on the inner section of an expensive Christmas card)? Make sure your paper is that bit smaller than your card as you will need this to sit nicely within your card, it shouldn’t be visible before the card is opened.

Fold the paper and add four glue dots to the four corners of the back of your folded paper and stick it to your card where you would usually write your festive message. Be sure to fit the paper so it opens up in the same direction as your card.

Now lovingly hand write your message to that special someone.

So, Now all that’s left to do is fit the tiny decorated tag to your tartan gift design. For this you will need to take a piece of thin ribbon that is the same colour as your bow (I had to cut my ribbon down to achieve this)! The piece of ribbon should only be a few centimetres in length. Now… thread the ribbon through the tag and join the two ends together to form a loop. Secure the loop with a small blob of tacky glue just under one side of your bow. You can either leave your tag to dangle from the card or secure it with a little embellishment sticky tab like I did.

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And that’s it… Your card is now fully complete and ready to be packaged and sealed for that special receiver.

Don’t forget that given you have created the card yourself there is the possibility that a standard envelop won’t be compatible with the size of your card or that of its design.

A great tip is to create your very own handmade envelops with the use of vintage paper or wallpaper. I actually really like using vintage material for mine.

Here’s some other cards I have made… The Christmas tree card is made from sequins and different glittery card pieces. I’ve used other pieces of glittery card scraps for the other two cards too.

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A Postcard From Santa

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My Daughter Alice-Sara Is one creative little lady. At age 9 she loves to engage herself in arts and crafts, So, is always on the lookout for any creative competitions.

When we discovered the latest competition from TravelSupermarket.com Alice just couldn’t contain her excitement as she sat down to jog down a couple of ideas for her creation.

Once she had decided what she wanted to do she raided the craft cupboard for her desired materials and got to work.

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However, This was no easy task! Her masterpiece needed to be created over the space of a couple of days due to all the different materials she chose to use. These both requiring a mixture of acrylic paints and gloopy glue as well as added addition of Decopatch meant there was many drying periods to the timetable.

This was a collage of various materials that together formed a great picture of Santa enjoying his well earned Holidays in sunny Hawaii.

When asked about her design she gave some unsuspecting information such as Santas enjoying his holiday with his new girlfriend who just happens to be a mermaid lol.

I’m really proud of her creation as I always am. My creative daughter never fails to make a statement, has a wonderful imagination and is a dab hand with a paint brush.

I’ve uploaded a video of Alice working on her creation. The video explains her idea and she talks us through some of the stages of her creation.

She used many different materials to create a 3D effect made up of numerous textures. some being tissue paper, Self adhesive foam, embellishments, cotton pads, card and glitter. She also layered tissue paper with both Decopatch glossy glue and Metallic Turquoise acrylic paint that she mixed with ultra fine blue glitter.This was appiled using a sponging technique to give added texture to her dark blue tissue paper sea.

I love how she made Santa almost completely from Self adhesive foam. She very cleverly created his famous white beard with a cotton pad, gave him wiggly eyes and added flower embellishments to create a traditional Hawaiian necklace.

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Her imagination was on top form as she also created a funky surf board with glittered patterned card to replace his traditional sleigh. Hand drawn Dolphins were cut from foam to create his Reindeer replacements. She then added some brightly coloured string to help the dolphins pull santa along the coastline.

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Other great ideas included the addition of real yellow sand to great her Hawaiian Beachfront and cotton pad clouds that she slightly pulled apart and glued upon her Metallic blue painted sky that again she added a few dashes of glitter too.

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Her Mermaid who is Santa’s special friend (seriously the video explains) was again hand drew onto card, cut out and stuck to some Self adhesive foam rocks… Of course she glittered her tale to give it that girly touch.

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So there you have it… Our entry into the Postcard from Santa competition hosted by TravelSupermarket.com

As the rules state I must nominate 5 others to take part even though they only have a day to create… Sorry (busy week)

I nominate Mummybird
Tiredmummyoftwo
Mummyvswork
This mummy loves
Kneesupmotherbrown

Check out TravelSupermarket for some fabulous holiday days if you fancy a break like Santas.

Homemade Vintage Gifts For Christmas

Here’s a post that I posted on my signature blog “A boy with Aspergers” a few days back. Its a great little tutorial to make a vintage Jewellery stand out of Pieces from a Queen Ann tea set. Its similar to a tutorial I shared here last month, only this time I’ve created a much taller stand and added a pretty little tea cup to the top. It was also my entry into the Tots100 crafts competition…. What do you think?

Christmas is a really expensive time. There are so many gifts to buy which adds up to a considerable amount of money.

However, Not everything has to cost the earth. We Can actually give really special gifts In a cost-effective way.

It’s all about being creative and using your resources. Plus homemade gifts can be much more special. Its shows that you put thought into your gift and that means more than the price tag.

Here we have a simple upcycle gift that’s perfect for the lady who loves everything vintage and shabby chic.

Vintage inspired Jewellery stand made with vintage Queen Ann Tea set

Tea set brought from Auction as part of a huge box full of china for £3

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First choose a selection of vintage style saucers and side plates these must descend in size (around 3 is good) you will also need a tea cup and 2 Miniature Glasses for example… Sherry glasses.

Other items you will need is a glue brush and some good strong Adhesive (I’m using Mosaic adhesive).

Make sure all your saucers, glasses and tea cup are clean. Also be sure to check your chosen china isn’t some vintage Antique find that’s worth a small fortune.

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Right now to assemble your jewellery stand.

Step one… Start with the largest of your 3 plates and chose a glass. Stand your glass upside down and glue around the the bottom of your glass. Now carefully place your saucer/plate decorated side down, on top of the base of the glass being sure to place the base in the centre.

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Be patient and hold firmly for a few minutes.

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Wipe of any excess glue that may have come out from the sides of your glass onto your saucer.

Step two… Once you feel the plate is now strong enough stand up the right way so it looks as though the glass is just stood in the centre of your side plate. Now very carefully glue around the glasses rim and place your second plate that is smaller than your first on top of the glass. This time you are gluing the glass to the centre base of the plate. Again hold firmly and wipe of any excess glue.

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Step 3… Once your plate is strong enough take your second glass and add the glue to the rim of the glass. Now place onto the centre of your plate. This can only be stuck to the decorated side of your plate. Hold and wipe of excess glue.

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Step 4… Now glue the rim of the same glass and place the base of your smallest saucer on top.

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Step 5… Lastly glue the base of your chosen tea cup and place it on top of your plates decorated side.

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To finish add a pretty vintage gift tag tired with twine and dangle from the teacups handle.

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Finished!

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Over on my original post you will find the link to the tots100 competition Linky where you can then check out some other fabulous entries and gain some Christmas inspiration.

Homemade Cath Kidston Inspired Christmas Baubles

My tree is extremely fun this year, I’ve let go and just gone with the flow! I’ve not tired myself down to a colour scheme or particular style as I usually would. seriously, this year its an explosion of colour and creativity with shop brought bright baubles, handmade wooden gingerbread hearts, shabby chic ornaments and dazzling home made snowflakes.

I must admit I’m feeling pretty proud to be out of my comfort zone. I love brights and this year I even brought neon baubles in funky pinks, blues greens and yellows. These mixed in with all our homemade crafts give the tree a very unique edge and I’ve got to admit I’m kinda loving it.

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Yes, my love of all things vintage and shabby chic would seem something of an odd mix with that of bright bold colours, but again the home made girly decorations of pastel yarn tied hearts and gingerbread men slot in rather nicely.

Some of my favourite decorations I’ve made this year are that of the Cath Kidston inspired shabby chic fabric covered glitter baubles in pretty pinks and creams. These fabric covered baubles have been glittered with shimmering golden Mod Podge with an added touch of ultra fine pink glitter dust making them beautifully unique.

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These are really extremely easy to create and a great way to upcycle them old baubles that have seen better holiday’s.

So here’s what you’ll need and some very quick simple instructions to get going and create your own baubles.

You will needs

Some old baubles (as many as desired)

Fabric scraps (Cath Kidston never fails to impress)

Selection of thick ribbon (long enough to tie around the middle conference of each bauble)

Selection of thin ribbon to hang baubles from your Christmas tree

Ultra fine glitter dust in pink (or whichever colour suits your fabric)

Mod Podge Shimmer (gold)

Decopatch Glossy Glue (optional as can just use the mod podge)

Tools

Glue brushes
Scissors
Embellishment sticky tabs

Your Baubles don’t have to be recycled as you can always pick up a bargain pack from your local PoundLand or equivalent. I also brought some great baubles for another craft project for 10p each in our local charity shop. Basically… If you have no baubles to Upcycle these can be picked up both easily and cheaply.

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Step 1 – once you have decided on your fabric, cut it into small pieces (size can vary depending on bauble size and desired style)

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Step 2 – Right, firstly add some mod podge to a mixing cup followed by a good few sprinkles of ultra fine glitter. mix well and cover till needed.

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Step 3 – Now, given the mod podge is a gold shimmer with added glitter, you may feel its a waste to use it as the undercoat for glueing fabric. However if your using a bauble that has a very dark or prominent colour, then using the mod podge will help to prevent the colour gleaming through. I used just the shimmer mod podge for my pink bauble and both glossy Decopatch glue and shimmer mod podge for my cream bauble.

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Now start coating the bauble with your chosen glue. If working with both glues, use the Decopatch glossy glue for the undercoat and the mod podge for the outer coat (this requires patience as you will be required to continuously swap between brushes every few seconds). If using just mod podge then just paint it directly onto the bauble layering fabric and mod podge as you go.

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Note… The outer section should only have a thin layer of mod podge as this will be the baubles finish. If second coats are desired these can be applied only once your first coat is dry. This avoids bumps and drips forming. Also try to brush in pretty much the same directions to avoid noticeable odd looking brush marks.

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Step 4 – now attach a decoration hook or if you don’t have any some thread or ribbon (don’t worry you can change for prettier hanging ribbon later). You need to attach either one of the above now so that you are able to hang your baubles as to allow them to dry quickly and evenly. My mod podge only pink decoration was actually dry in an impressive 30 minutes where my cream bauble took considerably longer. I just left them both over night as they were decopatched in fabric just before I headed of to bed.

Step 5 – Once dry inspect baubles and if second coat of mod podge is required then again cover in a very thin layer and then allow to dry (do not add any more fabric just mod podge)!

Step 6 – Once all coats are applied and baubles are nice and dry, its time to add the finishing touches.

For each bauble take your chosen thick ribbon, cut down to size and wrap around the middle of your bauble (securing with a few glue dots or embellishment sticky tabs if needed). Now, tie into a centre bow. If desired, use a small piece of ribbon in the same colour to wrap around the centre of your bow. Secure in place with a glue dot or very small embellishment sticky tab. This will give the bow a really neat and tidy finish.

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Step 7 – now choose your thin hanging ribbon. for my pink bauble, I have gone for a striking thin pink ribbon to match my bow and a white glittery organza ribbon to hang my cream bauble. If you don’t fancy adding any more ribbon at all, yarn looks really effective! You could just use a decoration hook for a really easy and simple look.

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So, there you have it! Cath Kidston inspired fabric glitter baubles that are simple to create.

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Shabby Chic decorations for my tree of randomness!

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