Spring time crafting

We’ve been basking in glorious sunshine in the UK lately, well in my little corner anyway. The back door has been thrown open, my garden has been getting some much deserved attention and my children are happy to re-discover their outdoor toys.

I thought I would have a look on Pinterest for some fun activities for outdoor play with my children. When I started to look I realised just how many we’d already tried, such as painting with buckets of water, drawing on the patio with chunky chalks, making painted pebble ladybirds and our own bird feeders.

I love looking for something specific on Pinterest, it makes me really happy to create a board of ideas to keep us busy. My 4 year old is learning about growing at the moment which scares me as I just don’t have ‘green’ fingers. However I’ve pinned some ideas for crafting with leave, sticks and pinecones which I think will keep him entertained. I also saw a fun Nature Scavenger Hunt which will be perfect for our next trip to the park.

I sometimes find it difficult to plan a craft for my 2 and 4 year olds as their abilities are so different. I found a couple of ideas which I can’t wait to try – painting with flowers and using petals to make butterflies.

outdoor play ideas

Is anyone else as excited about Spring as I am?

lostandfoundthings

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Crafts for St Patrick’s Day

I know it doesn’t seem long ago since I was looking at St David’s Day crafts but we’re already onto our next holiday in the UK, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th. For many it’s an excuse to drink copious amounts of Guinness but since my children came along the focus has been very different!

This year I tried my hand at making some tasty green treats. I melted marshmallows and mixed with rice krispies and green food dye then pressed the result into a baking tray and cut out shamrock shapes. They are great fun for a St Patrick’s Day party.

shamrock treats

We made a colourful handprint rainbow and even made our own (salt dough) gold coins for the leprechauns. Although I’m not actually sure how leprechauns fit into the story of St Patrick!

My 3 year old loves painting with his hands so got quite messy with the green paint and made a handprint shamrock.

handprint shamrock

There are so many fun crafts to help celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Have you ever tried cutting a pepper across the middle? You get a brilliant shamrock shape, perfect for little hands to print with.

As usual I have a St Patrick’s Day Pinterest board packed full of ideas from green velvet cupcakes to garlands, toilet roll leprechauns and pretty rainbows, perfect for all ages and abilities. Are you celebrating?

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St David’s Day crafts

This Saturday sees us celebrate the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, which falls on 1 March each year. I don’t think you have to be Welsh to enjoy everything that is great about Welsh history and culture 🙂

My Pinterest stream has been full of colourful daffodils and leeks, both of which are national emblems of Wales. According to Wikipedia the flower is a generic Welsh symbol and is in season in March. The leek is Saint David’s personal symbol. Both can be worn by those celebrating St David’s Day.

handprint flowerWe’ve had fun trying out some of the crafts we’ve saved to our St David’s Day Pinterest board. Our favourite was a fun handprint daffodil which has really brightened up our craft space. On previous occasions we’ve also had fun making pretty daffodil biscuits and paper daffodil bunting.

This year for the first time we made our own Welsh cakes together. They were really simple to make and easy enough for my children to get involved too. You can find the recipe and method over on my blog.

Welsh-cakes-for-St-Davids-Day

I also found felt leek badges, recipes for Bara brith and adorable Welsh lady bunting. What will you be making this year?

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Kid-friendly Valentine crafts

It can’t have escaped your notice that we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day this Friday 🙂

It’s a great opportunity for some crafting and we’ve made a couple of things which we really enjoyed. The first was ice hearts which is great for sensory play!

My 3-year old has been learning about water, ice and snow at nursery so this gave us a chance to talk about water and what happens when you put it in the freezer.

We also talked about colouring water with food dye. He was more than happy to add the food dye to the water and mix it.

playing with water

Then he poured the water into a silicone mould. He enjoyed doing this and there were only a couple of spills. We carefully placed it in the freezer and waited.

playing with water

The next time we had a bath we popped the ice hearts out of the mould and placed them in a bowl so we could look at them. We admired the different colours we had made …

ice hearts

… and then watched them melt in the warm water.

ice hearts

We’ve also made red wool wrapped cookie cutters, heart sun catchers, marzipan hearts dipped in white chocolate and printed our own cards using sheets of styrofoam! I’ve pinned these and lots of other crafts to my Pinterest boards so come and take a look!

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Chinese New Year crafts

Chinese New Year is celebrated on January 31st and 2014 is the Chinese New Year of the Horse.

It’s a great time to be crafty as the red traditionally associated with Chinese New Year is really vibrant and much needed at the time of year. Red is a lucky colour in Chinese culture and on Chinese New Year money is traditionally given to family, friends and employees in a red envelope.

I thought I had a Chinese New Year Pinterest board but I don’t (yet!) which is strange as my timeline has been inspiring us to craft at home for weeks. Here are a few we’ve come up with so far:

Chinese New Year tea light holders

Chinese-new-year-tea-light-holder

Finger print Chinese lanterns

fingerprint-Chinese-lanterns

5 minute fortune cookie

5-minute-fortune-cookie

What have you all been making? Feel free to comment and I’ll come and visit!

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Toilet roll stars

How are you all getting on with your plans for Christmas? I’m pleased to say I’m pretty much done which is the way I like it. I spend all November shopping and planning so I can really enjoy December and all the fun festivities. My son has fully embraced the festive season (he’s only 3) and we’ve been enjoying crafting together.

We’ve made hand print angel toppers for his Christmas tree, tried our hand at handmade stamps and wrapping paper, a craft stick Christmas tree and made some sweet smelling dried orange slices for our tree. I’ve also tried some more grown up decorations, such as a tree from vintage rulers, clothes peg snowflake and even hand stencilled some gifts.

Our latest offering is toilet roll stars. It amazes me how many things you can do with toilet roll tubes but this is one of my favourites, inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. I cut a tube into thin slices and made a hole through the centre of each slice with a bradawl, fixing the three layers together with a split pin. Then my son got busy with the paint and stickers. We spray painted some gold, I wrapped one with red wool and he decorated the rest in his own way.

toilet roll stars

You can easily hang them on a tree by adding a little loop through one of the slices.

toilet roll decoration

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Christmas tree garland

It’s not an understatement to say our entire household is sick right now. We’ve been coughing and sneezing for the past week and not really feeling very festive at all. However my son has his first Christmas play at school this afternoon and fingers crossed that will make us all feel a bit more Christmassy.

Luckily we started our Christmas crafting a while ago so we have lots of half-finished projects that need a tweak. This morning I finished off a Christmas tree garland made from paper plates. My son had fun seeing the project come together.

First of all he painted 4 paper plates with green paint. After they had dried I cut them into four and he decorated each one with a selection of festive stickers.

christmas tree garland

Then I hung them on a piece of ribbon with small clips. They’re currently in his bedroom where he’s been hanging all the decorations he’s made.

christmas tree garland (1)

It’s a sweet little garland which he’s pretty proud of. What have you all been making?

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Finger print snowmen

Over the weekend I was searching Pinterest for some Christmas crafting ideas. My 3 year old is really keen to make decorations so I was trying to find something suitable. He loves getting his hands messy with paint so I thought finger print snowmen would be fun.

He covered one hand with silver paint and placed it on a sheet of back paper.

painting

He managed to do this twice before his excitement got the better of him and he went crazy with the paint. Yep, there was paint everywhere! I put our sheets of paper to one side to dry and let him carry on….

finger painting

When our hand print was dry we chose some things from our craft drawer to decorate them – googly eyes, wool for scarves and craft foam for carrot noses.

Then my son went to work decorating his snowmen. We had a chat about snowmen as he doesn’t really remember snow or snowmen but he did a great job. What do you think? I think some hats would definitely finish them off – and stop them looking a bit like penguins!

finger print snowmen

I have pinned some similar crafts to my hand and feet Pinterest board but I’m always on the look out for more ideas. If you think of any then please let me know.

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Pre-school snowflakes

My son is really enjoying our Christmas preparations. His nursery is doing a little show and he is excitedly singing carols around the house. One night over the weekend he slept really badly and was up early so I thought some painting would cheer him up.

I looked through my Christmas craft Pinterest boards and found a really simple snowflake decoration which looked fun. I found a cheap canvas board I had previously bought in Tiger, my favourite shop for affordable craft supplies. I made a snowflake shape with washi tape then let my toddler loose with a pot of gold coloured paint.

Pre-school snowflakes

He really enjoyed covering the canvas in paint and as it was so big I didn’t need to worry about him getting paint anywhere. We left the canvas to dry overnight and the next day carefully peeled the washi tape off. We were left with a sweet piece of pre-school art which my little boy is really proud of.

snowflake

He’s constantly asking to make more Christmas decorations so I’d better get back to Pinterest for some more ideas!

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Washi tape Christmas decorations

I’m not sure why I feel the need to apologise for writing about Christmas today but I do. As a crafty person I love to start my Christmas preparations early so the beginning of November means I turn to my Pinterest boards and start planning. I know I’m not the only one as my Pinterest stream is full of ideas.

My washi tape collection is on constant display in our house so I thought I would look for some fun ways to incorporate it with our Christmas decorations. Oh my, there is so much inspiration.

We’ve all seen how washi tape can be used on cards, wrapping paper and gift tags but how about a washi tape Christmas tree? I would love to make one on our walls but there is precious little wall space in our home! Something smaller though, such as a washi tape Christmas garland, Christmas candle holders, Christmas wreath or baubles would be ideal. Take a look at my washi tape Christmas Pinterest board for more fun ideas.

I decided to make a washi tape tree for a table decoration. I used a white styrofoam cone and covered it with one type of washi tape. I started from the top and covered it in long strips, just tearing off at the bottom and folding it underneath. It’s a really simple decoration but I’m pretty pleased with it and will definitely be looking out for some different sized cones to make more.

washi tape tree

Today is the last day to win 3 rolls of washi tape on my blog so pop over if you’re feeling lucky!

jenny sig