Kids Crafts – What We Made For National Recycling Week

With it being national recycling week we were set a challenge, to make something for this little cutie…

20130626-091704.jpg… Using recycled materials.

The Canimals (currently showing on CiTV) are all about turning something ordinary into something extra-ordinary and we (meaning myself and the toddler) took this into account while doing a little brainstorming. Well, eventually the toddler decided on making a play zone for his canimal with an empty cardboard box.

Harley loves playing with his car mat and this is where the idea came from. The only materials required were that of the cardboard box that we opened out and some child friendly poster paints… Oh and our canimal of course!

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Having painted on a bendy white road under the instructions of my three year old, he then got to work turning our canimal play zone into a brightly coloured adventure zone.

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Given it was a warm evening the activity was done in the garden where Harley had loads of room to express his creative flair.

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He had great fun painting on a river, grass bank and loads of pretty colourful flowers.

The whether was nice so his masterpiece took little time to dry. This was great news as it meant his cute little canimal could enjoy their purpose built play zone in no time at all.

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Kids Crafts – Painting A BirdHouse

We love a delivery from Baker Ross! Our last delivery was one packed with fantastic products all of which the children really enjoyed getting creative with.

Crafting, is a great way to amuse the kids during the school half term. We have so far had no boredom set in, despite the rainy weather we have experienced here in london these past few days! Why? Because the children have been busy painting and decorating their very own birdhouse.

The suppliers (all provided from Baker Ross Ltd) were as follows…
Box of cardboard readymade Bird Houses, selection of 8 Grotto acrylic paints (designed specifically for children), PVA glue and some fantastic and EZ Stones (that I’ll explain a little more about later within this post).

The toddler age 3 and my daughter Alice Sara 10, Had a fabulous time painting their birdhouses.These cute little houses come ready-made and all that is required is your child’s colourful imagination and some child friendly grotto paint. Grotto acrylic paints are specifically designed to be used by children, they come in 8 colour shades, are supplied in their own carry case, and are all water based and 100% safe to use.

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Alice Sara used the paints to decorate her birdhouse in a Multi coloured stripy fashion. She then used sponge stamps to decorate various areas of her birdhouse. Harley also went for a Multi coloured design and enjoyed mixing and swirling his paints all over his house… And mine!

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The children gave their birdhouses an hours drying time before applying PVA glue to the roof and then covering the glue in crystal EZ stones. These colourful vibrant crushed natural stones add a Three-dimensional effect, giving it that something. a great alternative to glitter. textured, sparkling effects. 6 assorted colours, 150g per colour.

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This is the very first time myself and the children have come across EZ stones but already we love them! They really help to make a craft project that little bit different. The natural stones have been finely crushed making them easy to work with. They are available in an array of fantastic colours and can be added to almost any surface whether its a painting on standard paper or a huge playhouse made of cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes. I’ll be honest! These stones can leave a little mess around the table/floor but that’s easily sorted with a clean dust pan and brush (you can then sweep them back into their original containers and seal).

Now, back to the project at hand! Once the glue was completely dried and the stones firmly stuck in place, the kids painted a few layers of Mod Podge as to give it a seal and protect the kids lovely art work.

So… Here are the finished birdhouses!

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I love these cute colourful birdhouses and think the kids did a fantastic job. I know that if I were a bird I’d definitely fancy popping in for a quick bite to eat! Wouldn’t you?

If you think your little ones would love to get creative in this way, then just pop over to the Baker Ross ltd online store where all of the listed materials can be easily found. The great news is that Baker Ross Ltd don’t charge the earth for these materials and whats more they can even be brought in bulk which saves you even more money (fantastic for schools and community groups ect).

Well, thanks for reading! We (myself and the children) hope this project has inspired you to get crafty.

How To Make Jewellery From Shrink Plastic

Shrink plastic is a very versatile medium. Its fun to work with for both children and adults alike and its available from most good craft stores and online.

Today I’m going to show you how to use shrink plastic to make these two lovely pendants…

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The materials you will require are…

2 x frosted sheets of shrink plastic
Black permanent marker pen
Gold metallic gel pen
Gold metallic pencil
Silver metallic pencil
Length of black cord or leather
Thick silver memory wire (for choker)
10 4mm flat backed crystals (white)
2 x Charlotte crimp bead tips (silver)
1x jump ring
Flat silver charm (like a tag)
2 silver pendant attachments
1 necklace clasp
Small amount of silver tiger wire

Tools

Scissors
Mini hole punch
Access to a pre heated oven or heat tool
Flat nosed pilers
Wire cutters
Super glue

To make your round pendant use your permanent black marker pen and draw a circle that goes into a swirl on the rough (frosted side) of your shrink plastic.

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Next decorate the edging of your swirl with a petal like pattern like I have.

Use the gold gel pen to colour in groups of the petal like decoration like so.

Decorate any other way you wish.

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Now cut out the shape and use the mini hole punch to make a hole in your pendant (not to close to the edge).

If using an oven preheat this to the temperature stated on the manufacturers instructions on your shrink plastic. Follow the guidelines to shrink the plastic.

If using a heat tool, place your plastic, frosted side up, on a ceramic surface and hold it with a pencil tip as you apply the heat.

Within seconds the plastic should start to shrink. It will all fold up into a ball before finally opening back out to reveal its smaller self. This process takes seconds.

The plastic will now be 7x smaller and much more thicker than it was previously.

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Once the plastic has cooled use super glue (a tooth pic or similar) to glue one crystal to the centre of your swirl and three more crystals like I have in the image below.

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Now fit a pendant grip through the pendants hole and thread the black cord through the hoop.

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Its now time to finish of your necklace using the jewellery findings!

Thread a charlotte crimp end to each end of your thread. Tie in a knot to secure and use flat nosed pilers to crimp the thread securely inside the body of the Charlotte.

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Now, to one end of your thread add a jump ring to the Charlotte crimp end and to the other end attach a clasp.

Your first pendant is now complete.

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Gold and silver pendant

Cut your shrink plastic into a thickish strip.

Use your gold and silver pencils to add swirls of both colours to the rough side of your plastic. Ensure your swirls overlap one another like so…

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Once your design is complete again cut down your plastic remembering that it will be 7x smaller once shrunk. Your finished pendant will need to measure at least 2-2 1/2 centimetres in length.

At this stage you will also need to round off your edges to ensure there are no sharp corners.

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Turn your plastic long ways up and use your mini hole punch to make a hole both at the top and bottom of your shape.

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Now place in the oven shrinking your plastic as you did before (instructions above).

Once your plastic has shrunk and it is cool to touch use you super glue to glue on five of your crystals randomly in the centre of your swirls.

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Attach a pendant grip to the top hole like so.

Now take your flat silver tag and glue on one more crystal to its centre.

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Thread a small piece of silver tiger wire through the loop of your flat pendant and then through the hole at the bottom of your shrink plastic.

Twist using flat nosed pilers and cut of any excess with wire cutters.

Your flat silver tag should now dangle from the bottom of your plastic pendant.

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Lastly mould the memory wire into a hoop and thread the pendant onto the wire. Secure the end by forming two loops using flat nosed pilers.

And your finished.

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Alice loves wearing these home made creations and the shrink plastic has done well to impress us both.

Why not give those above a try or simply use your imagination to create your own style of shrink plastic jewellery.

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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 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.