Kids Crafts – Bug Boxes and Masquerade Masks

I love crafting with the kids! As mentioned Little man who is 12 and has Aspergers Syndrome and he isn’t overly keen on the whole crafting thing.But younger sister Alice-Sara and the Toddler can’t seem to get enough of it!

We are very lucky to be Baker Ross Ltd Reviewers and love the fun stuff they send us. Last week we shared some really fun activities, including… Scratch art bug magnets, British butterfly decorations and decorated foam pencil cases (click here for post)! This week its all about glitzy Carnival Masquerade mask kits (perfect for the upcoming festival season) & cute foam bug boxes.

The children really enjoyed decorating the masks. We were sent a set comprising of 2 kits. Each contained, pre-cut foam mask, feathers, sequins, glitzy self adhesive decorations and a wooden stick for supporting your mask in place as you hold it to your eyes.

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The only thing we needed was some glue to stick the feathers and sequins, plus some tape for holding the stick in place.

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Given Alice-Sara is 10, she required no help whatsoever. I helped the toddler correctly place the glitzy foam around the eyes but basically let him go wild and freestyle the rest.

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Foam is a difficult material when it comes to sticking things to it with glue and many ordinary glues just don’t cut it. We’ve been using Baker Ross Ltd Tacky Glue for a while now and this seems to work perfectly. Also it should be noted that the same applies when it comes to taping down your stick in place, so good strong tape works best!

These were so much fun to make. Follow the examples on each instruction sheet inserted in each kit or let the creativity within come flooding out by letting the little ones freestyle their own design. I love the way these turned out.

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The Bug Box Kits are very cute and simple to make. We were given a set comprising of 4 kits, each containing, a small box, large foam shape, smaller self adhesive foam pieces and instruction sheet. You will again require some glue or double sided tape to stick your finished bug to the lid of your box. Once again we used the tacky glue and found this worked just fine.

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Alice constructed a bumble bee box and with my help the toddler worked on the lady bird box (the two bug designs in this kit).

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Harley just needed some assistance to remove the backing paper from the self adhesive shapes and guidance on where to place them. He decided he wanted to play with his finished ladybird for a while before finally securing him to the lid of the box, which was fine with me. πŸ™‚

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Alice found these very simple and made hers really quickly. She said that they were a little two easy, meaning the whole crafting experience was over relatively quickly. Nonetheless, she did love the end result all the same.

I think all the craft, activity sets from Baker Ross ltd would make great additions to a party bag or even used as party activities instead of games. Kits are also perfect for rainy day play, creative activities for nurseries or even pre-schools. They are fun and creative and help kids master fine motor tasks while realising inner creative flare.

Reference section

Bug Box Kit (4 pack) Β£3.96
Carnival Masquerade mask kits (2 pack) Β£2.50
Baker Ross Ltd Website

How to organise A slumber Party On A Budget (Part 1)

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My daughter turned 10 yesterday and because her birthday fell on a Tuesday we decided she could do something special last weekend.

I guess I thought she’d just want to have a party… Ok its a load of tidying up and a little preparation but I didn’t mind… Honest!

She did opt for a party but one of a different kind… Sleepover AKA… slumber party. I had a little think about it and decided that yes she could, but she was only having a maximum of 5 friends stay over the night.

In the end she opted for just 4 of her friends and as one couldn’t make it just 3 came! Nonetheless, 4 girls in total was actually more than enough… Girls can be bitchy to one another, even sweet little ten year olds ( or so I discovered).

So, they received an invite that stated “Please bring Your Sleeping Bags” and Alice excitedly awaited the weekend.

Me, I wanted my “Not” so little girl to enjoy herself but I still wanted to stay sane during the process, especially given I’d be parenting a demanding 3 year old toddler and a melt down prone almost teenage boy with Aspergers Syndrome on the side. With this I sat down with Alice and we brainstormed on things they could do to make the sleep over exciting and fun but also in a cost efficient way (its January not one of my best months for money).

Here’s a few ideas we came up with…

Home made girly bunting & other decorations for the bedroom
Tattoo bar (temporary of cause)
Nail bar (again temporary)
Hair Bar
Face Painting
Girly chick flicks accompanied by a hot chocolate bar and popcorn cups
Monster High Cupcakes
Few little gifts on the night
Personalised girly gift bags (for when they leave)
Board Games
Karaoke
And more besides… She made a reasonable size list!

We came up with an agreement that was …

Alice could have the sleep over, mum (that’s me) would make the decorations and cakes and bags with Alice’s help. On the night Alice would be provided with all the supplies to have an awesome time but she would then need to use them as she wished… example being that she would not once tell me she was bored! She would organise her hair and nail bar and create her own schedule for the nights event. The only rule being was that all these things were done by 10 pm and then it was time to settle down with hot chocolate and watch the movies provided. I would also be making dinner at a set time so she would need to organise her fun around this time too.

The party Shop…

I decided a trip to PoundLand was in order. It was the perfect place to grab some materials for the nights events.
It was here that I stocked up on treats like crisps, marshmallows, sweets etc. I also grabbed a 20 flag bunting in all different colours as well as balloons, pretty cupcake cases and cake toppers, cupcake stand and decorative tags. Plus I found some pretty little wire butterflies and flowers that I felt would be perfect decorations for the bags. I think I spent around Β£15, so not to bad at all.

Next stop was Primark… Yes seriously! I was there buying myself some PJs when I noticed the big discount basket that was full off stick on nails. They had these great sparkly metallic gold leopard print design and were reduced to a fab-Tastic 50p each. That was another Β£2 spent.

Next up was eBay… No queues or heavy bags here. This time I was shopping from the sofa. Here I did very well. I won a bid for a bulk load of 30 girly party bag items. There was 6 different items 5 of each. These include… Temporary tattoo packs, wooden bangles, friendship bands, sticker sheets, packs of 4 hair accessories and mascaras (that they didn’t get). I won the bid at Β£2.20 with Β£1.50 postage. The stuff is of excellent quality so I was super happy.

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I also brought a bag of 100 acrylic Alphabet beads (Β£1.40 free postage) 20 funky plastic rings Β£1 with 85p postage and 10 heart mobile phone charms (that can also be used on iPods, hand gaming consoles and more) these were 99p with Β£1.99 postage.

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The last two items I got from eBay were a pack of pretty girly cellophane flower design bags and a pack of 20 monster high rice paper cupcake toppers both items were Β£2 each with free postage.

Prep…

Given the bunting was rather plain (just brightly coloured flags on a string, we decided to cheer them up with stuff from the craft cupboard.

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We used…

Different size decorative tapes in 5 different designs (pink lace, stripy, Love, skull and cupcake)
Self adhesive buttons
Self adhesive hearts
Mod podge gloss

We cut the 20 flag strip in two halfs of 10.

We used the different tapes in various ways to decorate each flag. Some had multiple strips where others just received a boarder along the top.

We used the different embellishments to decorate. Buttons were applied directly to the tape or in the middle or bottom of our flags. The hearts were sometimes gathered in groups of 2 or 3 giving a bold and girly design.

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The skull tap did look a little pirate theme but we then added a strip of Pink Love tape along with a heart to make it stand out in a girly fashion.

The last step was to apply one coat of mod podge to each flag. Now although the flags and some of the tapes were already ultra glossy due to the material they were made from, I decided to do this as to make the bunting stronger and to give the embellishments and other bits that same glossy look.

Mod Podge applied to this material dries in minutes. Our bunting took less then 20 minutes to make which does include drying time. It was therefore up on the wall in no time.

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Other decorations we made together, were some very pretty hanging butterflies that would not only be fab decorations for a slumber party but a great addition to her bedrooms decor like that of the butterfly canvas we recently created and showed you here on the blog. With this I’ve decided to show you these in a later post (that will include a little tutorial). We also made paper chains from decorative papers and pompom garlands. All items apart from the flag bunting were already housed in our crafts cupboard, so the costs were kept very low

As for the party bags (for when they leave to go home) we created these with the following items…

Clear cellophane bags with flower design.
Wire ties (came with bags)
Self adhesive wire flowers and butterflies
Ribbon (different colours)
Decorative tags
Decorative paper and a balloon and heart craft punch (to make sequins)
Party Bag Contents (the items from eBay, including the rings and mobile charms)

These, were simple to create but the end results were very pretty, much better than your bog standard party bag that normally involves little themed bags that kids tip all over the floor just so they can find what it is they are looking for.

I wanted the bags to be see-through hence the cellophane bags. This allows kids to see whats inside without even opening them. Nonetheless, I still wanted them to be really pretty and girly so opted for the flower design I’ve mentioned above.

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Each bag was filled with the treats mentioned and there was no inclusion of any sweets. I hate it when my kids bring home bags of sticky sweets following a party. 1- They may have siblings (and we all know how kids like to share their sweets) and 2- Sugar highs are not welcomed by all parents. I also decided to hold back the mascaras. I didn’t fancy parents calling me up asking why the hell their 10 year olds were stood in front of the mirror poking themselves in the eye as they stood applying mascara! The contents were however really fun and girlie and included all the other little bits I mentioned earlier within this post.

To add sparkle and that something extra, myself and daughter sat for what felt like ages punching out balloon and heart shapes from decorative papers with the craft punches. We then added a handful of these shapes to each bag before finally tying them shut with the plastic wire ties followed by pretty ribbon tied into a bow.

The last few steps were to apply the self adhesive wire flower and butterfly shapes to the centre of each tied bag (one for each). Finally we used a small piece of our pretty “Love” print tape to attach the pretty decorative tags that we hand wrote the names of each child attending.

Stunning don’t you think…

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So… to find out what food we created, cakes we made and special little gifts we gave, be sure to return to read our second instalment of “How to organise A slumber Party On A Budget” I’ll be sharing tips on how to create fun party food on little money, cocktails appropriate for 10 year old little ladies and an update on just how well Alice’s slumber party played out… Warning Paracetamol intake involved.

Staying in doesn’t have to be boring!

It’s rare that I get my party head on, but a couple of weekends back I found myself doing just that.

Ok… Ok I didn’t have some big arse night on the town but I did have some girls round, drink a few cocktails and glasses of champers, eat a little pizza and play a few party games. Actually it felt great to let go and have a little fun.

The guys at Ladbrokes supplied me with a box of treats topped with items designed for a girls night in!

I grabbed my box headed over to my mums and called a few of the girls over for a Casino themed night in.

Before the drinks started flowing I prepared finger food and experimented with the cocktails.

Here’s some of what we got up too…

Cocktail making… I’m dead proud of my mojitos

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And the games were much more fun following a few glasses…

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We even popped open the champers I was given when winning a Mad blog award in September…

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We then settled down and watched some talent on the TV before finally having a girls only poker session that we played in the upmost serious manner…

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See… Staying in doesn’t have to be boring πŸ™‚ Thanks to Ladbrokes for supplying our box of party essentials.

Nine today 19/366

Today it was my beautiful daughters 9th birthday and we headed off to the ‘Build A Bear’ store in Bromley Kent. Joining us was her Little best friend, her younger brother Harley and my niece Amy-Leigh. Big brother stayed at home with daddy, to old for building a teddy bear (well, so he tells me)! Here’s an image from the day.