Kids Crafts – A Crown To Get You Noticed

Ok, so Alice’s school will be awarded a very large check of money today! Why? Because her school have taken first place in this years spelling bee table… In our language, it simply means that her school boasts some of the best spellers in the country.

To help to share the schools success the local paper will run a piece accompanied by some images of some of the pupils. In order to get selected as one of the chosen pupils to be photographed, children including my daughter, were asked to make a crown, the type that would get them noticed. Well, my daughter being the girl who never shies away from a camera, got on the job right away.

Armed with a box of bits and bobs, she got to work. Given we had to be somewhere yesterday evening meant she didn’t actually have all that long to design and create her “large” noticeable hat! But in all fairness this little lady is pretty capable of doing some fantastically creative projects in a tiny space of time.

So… Here it is! Her flower, butterfly, and of course… Bumble bee crown.

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She used all sorts of materials to create her crown, from tissue paper to sequins, glitter to foam, card and decorative tape. A mountain of flowers that were so delicately sprinkled with glitter, then laid lightly around the crown. She even made a bumble bee eye mask to match her large hat! Alice may now have walked the walk to school with a head full of bumble bees but she did so in style.

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She is a real inspiration my amazing Alice-Sara! Even if her oversized bumble bee crown doesn’t get her in the local rag, it gets her in my top spot list, as she always does, time and time again!

Well, thanks for checking out the crown of bumble bees! We hope Alice-Sara has inspired your little ones to get creative with buzzing bumble bees.

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Beach Combing For Sea Glass

We have just got back from a lovely weekend away at Butlins Bognor Regis. Right outside the Butlins complex is a rather lovely pebble beach. So on Saturday myself and sister took the children to the beach during low tide. The perfect time to beach combe.

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The toddlers beach combing

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The kids love collecting bits and bobs in their buckets. We collected some interesting pebbles, a few stuffed with Quartz crystal, some pretty shells and best of all some lovely pieces of sea glass for jewellery making.

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It was my daughter Alice-Sara who had the best eye for finding sea glass. She found mostly clear glass (which now has this frosted white appearance) and some pieces of green glass.

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So just what is sea glass?

Here’s a Wikipedia definition for sea glass…

“Sea glass or beach glass is physically and chemically weathered glass found on beaches along bodies of fresh and salt water. These weathering processes produce natural frosted glass. Sea glass can be collected as a hobby and can be used to create jewellery”

We found that looking for this special glass during low tide produced greater results. We sat and used our hands to search through the pebbles along the tide line.

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We didn’t find loads of the glass but did find a few nice pieces, enough to make a few nice items of jewellery.

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Other pieces we found were lovely but not ideal pieces for jewellery, purely because these had some chips and were a little irregular. However these would look awesome if used for a mosaic project.

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Here’s a few other bits the children found…

Natural formed quartz crystal the images fail to show just how sparkly this really is

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<em>Huge shells and crazy looking pieces of sea plants

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Tiny shells found by the toddlers

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Some strange yet interesting rocks

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Tutorial – Decopatch Friendship Heart Pendants

Over Easter I shared with you all some crafts inspired by Polystyrene eggs. While shopping in the town centre when enjoying a recent holiday to Butlins in Bognor Regis, I popped into the ‘Works’ Where I uncovered these cute little polystyrene hearts.

Having recently used polystyrene miniature eggs to create Egg pendants with the children, it gave me an idea for a crafty project for these hearts.

The idea… Heart Friendship Pendants!

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If you fancy a go at these yourself, they are relatively easy to make just a little fiddly if anything. Its the perfect craft to do with bigger kids. Alice who is 10 had lots of fun making hers.

Here’s what you’ll need to make two pendants like ours…

2 designs of decopatch paper (your choice of design and colours)

Decopatch Glue

Mod Podge Shimmer (gold)

Glue/Decopatch Brush

Tiger Wire/Craft Wire

fishing Wire

Tiny Gold Beads

Glass beads

Glass crystals (colours to complement Decopatch paper)

5 x 4mm flat backed crystals (colours to complement decopatch paper) I used white and blue.

Jewellery Findings (couple of crimping beads and crimp covers, 2x pendent attachment, jump hoops, 2x clasps & catches)

Tools…

Crimping tool
Brushes
Scissors
Nail (to pierce a hole through hearts)

Here’s how to put it all together to make your heart pendents

1) Use a sharp nail to pierce 2 small holes opposite one another, right at the top of your hearts in the centre, like so…

2) Cut papers into small manageable pieces. Decopatch your hearts using your paper pieces and decopatch glue. This is done by simply adding glue directly to the heart and over the top of the paper. Cover one side of pendants, allow to dry for 30-40 minutes before doing the other sides.

When it comes to covering the sections of the hearts where the two holes are located, do this using the nail to locate the holes and piercing the paper.

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3) Once these are dry use a clean brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge gold shimmer. Apply to one side of the hearts, leave it to dry for 30 minutes before adding the shimmer to the opposite sides and again leaving to dry.

4) while the pendants are still wet, secure your 3 4mm flat back crystals in a row down the centre of one side of one of your pendants and the remaining crystals onto your remaining heart pendant in the same way. Now leave to dry.

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5) Now take your two tiny gold beads and insert into the two holes with the holes facing up.

6) next take your pendant attachments and fit them to the hearts via the holes on the gold beads.

7) Next, take some fishing wire (enough to make desired necklace length) and thread it through each of your pendants hoops

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8) Now thread on your glass beads and crystals like so. Five on each side looks nice. Do the same for your second necklace in a different style.

9) Make a knot on both ends of the wire while you prepare your findings.

10) Finally connect your crimps and covers, jump loops and catches. Sit back and admire your work.

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We made 2 heart necklaces as Alice-Sara wanted to make these for herself and best friend as friendship necklaces.

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The thing I love most about this project is the endless possibilities it brings. You can make a different heart for each day of the week just by changing the paper style or beads and crystals on your necklace.

What’s more, with the magic of Decopatch glue and Mod Podge your polystyrene heart is now stronger and much more solid, but still super light to wear.

Why not try it yourself, experimenting with different papers and beads as you go.

Hope I’ve inspired you to get creative with Decopatch papers… Enjoy.

Kids Crafts – Painting Pebbles

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We, meaning myself and the kids, collected lots of pebbles while on our recent trip to the seaside. Once we got them home we decided we would paint them for the garden.

Our pebbles would be used to brighten up flowerpots and flower beds. Here’s what we used…

Various Pebbles (collected from the beach)
Acrylic paints (various colours)
Mod Podge
Googly Eyes
Glitter glue

You can paint your pebbles anyhow you like the possibilities are endless. This is a great little craft project that you can do with the kids. My very own toddler loved it.

The activity held my creative little three year olds attention for over an hour. He painted in various colours before adding different coloured googly eyes and painting on red smiles.

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His little stones were painted and glittered… Messy but fun.

Once the toddlers pebbles were dry I added a layer of Mod Podge to give them a shine as well as a protective layer.

Yourself, along with the kids, can let the imagination run wild painting & creating allsorts of designs and patterns from funny faces to dinosaurs, dots to hearts.

We also made some pebble bugs using paint and googly eyes. For our bees and lady birds we used some foam pieces to form the wings. For our spider we used some garden wire for the legs. These are currently busy drying on the window pane, but I’ll be sure to post another little update once they are dry and ready to display.

As for Harley’s wacky face pebbles, we plan to place them around the flower beds in our garden today (given it remains bright and sunny that is).

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Hope we have inspired you to have fun with paints.

Remember… Painting on paper is fun but painting on pebbles is awesome!

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Upcycle – Transform Chocolate Trays into Nail Polish Storage

Would you have ever of thought it, that a chocolate tray from a dairy milk tray box could come in this useful?

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How about this for a little upcycle project… Use the chocolate trays from a chocolate box to make perfect sized drawer inserts to store all your nail polish in. The variety of shapes cut out for the chocolates are great to fit your different polish bottles and will stop them rolling around in your dresser.

Here’s what you will need to make one for yourselves.

Tray From A Chocolate Box (mine is from a milk tray box)

Acrylic Paint. (I used a chocolate brown colour, how appropriate)

Mod Podge Gold Shimmer

Tools…

2 Glue Brushes
2 Sponge Applicators (Small)
Plenty of Nail Polish in Need Of Storage.

This idea is very simple to pull together. Here’s what you do.

Give your chocolate tray a good wash in warm soapy water to remove any yummy chocolate flakes. Be careful not to spilt the plastic. Dry fully.

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Next, take your chosen paint and one of your sponges and apply the paint to your tray. Use a paint brush for the hard to reach areas.

Give your tray a total of two coats of paint with a 20 minute drying time In between.

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Once your tray is dry use your second sponge to add a coat of Mod Podge Gold Shimmer. Use a brush in the hard to reach areas.

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Add thicker coats of shimmer to certain areas to give the tray both vibrant and subtle tones of gold.

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Once dry you can try it out for size, placing nail polish bottles in all the different compartments.

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Its a great little upcycle that not only cuts down on waste but also provides a pretty convenient storage solution that’s so easy to create, a toddler could do it.

Thanks for reading and have fun.

Tutorial – Shabby Chic Crackled “Love” Hearts

20130415-190916.jpgSo cute but so so easy.

To make a small crackle heart in this pretty shabby chic style you will need the following materials…

Small Paper Mâché Heart
Folk Art Acrylic Paint (940 Coffee Bean)
Mod Podge Shimmer (Gold)
PVA Glue (Mixed with water)
1 4mm White Flat Backed Crystal
Acrilex – Tinta Craquelex Branco (basically white crackle paint)
Black Marker Pen

Tools
Glue & Paint Brushes
Heat Tool or Hair Drier
Sponge Paint Applicator

First paint both sides of your heart in the coffee bean paint.

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When dry apply one thin coat of mod podge shimmer to both sides of the heart.

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Once dry mix 4 parts PVA to 2 parts water. The mixture needs to be thin but still tacky (apply more glue or water if you need to).

Apply the mixture to your heart with a sponge applicator. Don’t apply to thickly.

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Now blast your heat tool or like me, your hairdryer, over the heart. Don’t dry the glue fully! It needs to be tacky but not wet.

As soon as this is done use a brush to dab the Craquelex over the tacky glue (do not reapply over the same area more than once as this stops the effect from appearing. Be sure to work fast as to avoid the glue over drying.

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Once your heart is covered blast the hairdryer on to the heart and watch as the cracks begin to form.

Let the heart now sit for an hour before taking your permanent maker and writings the word ‘Love’ in which ever style you desire across the front of your heart.

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Leave to dry for a further 30 minutes as to not smudge the ink on the next step.

Now applying another coat of mod podge shimmer gold. At this point also apply the 4mm flat backed white crystal to the bottom point of your heart.

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Leave to dry and then hang and display.

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If you love these hearts but don’t want to make them yourselves please email me and I’d be happy to create these for you. Prices start from £2.50 and can be made in various colours.
Email clairelouise.tss@gmail.com
All payments are taken via PayPal

Kids Spring Crafts – Tissue Paper Flower Bouquets

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Here’s a very easy craft project to do with the kids this weekend.

Given its been kinda wet outside these past few days spring doesn’t really feel like its in the air. So, why not bring spring indoors with this cute spring bouquet made with tissue paper flowers.

These are easy to do yet an enjoyable activity for children both big and small.

Bouquets can be decorated anyway your child desires whether it be simply dotty flower wrapping or crystals and bows.

To make these with your children, here’s what you are going to need to make it happen.

3x Sheets Of Tissue Paper (3 different colours)
Mod Podge (or PVA/water mix)
Ribbon
3x Strong Glue Dots
3x Tiny Faux Pearls (for smaller flowers)
3x Big Faux Pearls (for larger flowers)
Decorations (examples… Embellishments, beads, glitter..)
1x Elastic Band
1x Sheet Of Green Tissue Paper (optional – if leaf shoots are desired)

Here’s what to do…

First take two sheets of tissue paper in 2 of your 3 colours and rip them into strips (you want around 6 strips, 3 in each of the 2 colours).

Now one at a time roll your paper strips ( ensure that 3 of the strips are rolled more tightly than the other 3). Now pinch 1/4 of the way down and twist to form a bud and stem.

Fiddle with the paper buds to form the flowers shape. At this point you can slightly open the buds and fluff them out a little on the not so tightly rolled flowers. For the 3 tighter flowers be sure to twist and pinch a little firmer to keep them closed like rose buds. Remember, for this tutorial we are making 3 rose buds and 3 open roses.

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Now, cut of some of the stems away to make the flower smaller. At this point no glue is required as the twisted paper will hold itself.

Once you have done this step for all your tissue paper strips bunch them together and secure with an elastic band.

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Now bring forward your remaining sheet of tissue paper, fold in half and half again and lay down at an angle like that of the image below.

Place the bunched flowers at a tilted angle so that the buds are directly beneath the top right corner like so.

Wrap your flowers in the paper forming a cone like shape, squeezing the bottom tightly and securing around the middle with pretty ribbon.

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Push the 3 small faux pearls into the 3 rose buds.

For the larger open roses, add an extra strong glue dot to the bottoms of the 3 large pearls and again push into the centre of the flower.

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Now add a very thin layer of Mod Podge or PVA/Water mix (though this will require many more hours to dry).

If using mod podge leave to dry for around 40 minutes (more or less dependent on the conditions your working in.) If using PVA/Water mix this could take anything from 6-24 hours to dry.

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Use your decorations to glam up your bouquet. We just added a sequinned pink heart to our flowers wrapping for a pretty finishing touch. If using gems and glitter apply another coat of glue mix or mod podge to ensure all decorations are set. We just added our heart so nothing more was required.

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You can let the kids go crazy making these. They could really mix up the colour combinations or even roll one colour tissue paper inside of another to give that pretty two tone effect.

Experiment with the wrapping of your flowers, maybe wrapping them in pretty cellophane or felt. Another pretty idea which can be done for winter as opposed to spring, is to add white ultra fine glitter dust around the edging of each flower for an iced, snow effect.

If like us you want some green in with your roses, then why not add some shoots of grass to your bouquet which are easy enough to achieve and requires nothing more than a sheet of green tissue paper.

Here’s how its done.

1… Simply roll the green tissue paper tightly
2… Pinch and twist a 1/4 of the way down
3… Twist tightly the remaining paper making a stem and cut in half (discard of bottom half)
4… Tie off at the end and then snip the flat end (top) to resemble grass.
5… Fit into your bouquet where desired.

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Don’t they look lovely?

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Hope you’re now feeling inspired and the kids are too.