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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.


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



Kid-friendly Valentine crafts

It can’t have escaped your notice that we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day this Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

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!


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


Finger print Chinese lanterns


5 minute fortune cookie


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


(Nearly) No Sew Nativity Costume

Hello again Pinaddicts!
Apologies for the radio silence and the distinct lack of posting-things have been a bit tough in the Make Do and Mend household for a bit, but I am back on it now ๐Ÿ™‚

In case you hadn’t noticed, it is that time of year-Christmas.
And the need for Nativity Costumes to be merrily whipped up at the drop of a hat.
Being a devout Make Do and Mender, when BigSmall was appointed the role of The InnKeeper in last year’s Pre-School Nativity, I managed to whip up this costume,


at no cost and with very little effort, and in case you need to do the same, here’s how:

  • Take an old sheet, and fold it in half. Cut it to a reasonable size/length for your Small person, and then cut a semicircle in the middle of the folded edge to make a head hole. You can then try it on and adjust the length if necessary (obviously you can’t make it longer if it’s too short, so err on the side of caution when first cutting it..). Use a bit of string/cord to make a belt around the middle, et voila!
  • The cape/cloak is from an old curtain out of my fabric stash. Again, I cut a rectangle, and then folded over about 2-3cm along the top edge, and stitched this down to make a casing for some ribbon. If you donโ€™t have a sewing machine, you could easily do this by hand, or I guess you could also use iron on hemming tape, just as long as you can leave a channel for the ribbon to go. Then put a safety pin into one end of a length of ribbon, and gently feed this through the channel that you have made. Ta da! A cloak!
  • The beard was made from some fluffy material we got from the Scrapstore, held on by a piece of elastic, but good old cotton wool would also have sufficed, if you had glued it to a card backing
  • And then, all topped off with the obligatory tea towel headdress!

Easy peasy! It took less than half an hour. And it was free. Yay!

This year, in his first year at Big School, he isโ€ฆโ€ฆ..
A Bluebird!????!!!
Let’s see how we get on with that one-will keep you posted ๐Ÿ™‚


Circles in the Sand

I was doing a bit of research online looking for some inspiration for activities linked to contemporary artists. I found some greatย Andy Goldsworthy activities on Pinterest, using lots of autumn leaves and pebbles.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 20.48.10Also, a lovely play dough homage to The Field by Antony Gormley – one I’m definitely going to re-create with my children as my mum, dad and sister were part of the original sculptors in 1993 for The Field for the British Isles.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 21.01.02The third discovery was Tony Plant and his sand drawings.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 21.05.54I’ve never heard of Tony before and got rather distracted looking at the images and videos of him using the whole beach in coastal coves to produce the most beautiful images. It’s like crop circles that are washed away when the tide comes in. How do you create something so big that you can’t really gauge whilst doing it? The true impact revealed when you get up high and look down on it. The beach is rather redundant during the next few months for us with regards to sunbathing and paddling but we are definitely going to get out our sticks and rakes to have a go at this next time we get to one.

Have you made anything that has been inspired by a contemporary artist, or have you got a great idea pinned on your ‘must do’ list? Please share.

Cara Signature 2

Autumn Leaf Crafts

We had a lovely afternoon on Sunday in the sunshine collecting leaves, berries, grasses and bark. We’d been inspired by Pinterest to create some leaf collages and leaf characters.

Autumn Craft Collage

There are so many ideas on Pinterest to make creative wonders from leaves. Here are a few of my favourites.

This site shows a scene for all four seasons using autumn leaves.

Click image for source

Click image for source

Are you going to an autumn wedding? How about some autumn leaf confetti – or use the shapes to make cards, collages or buntings.

Click image for source

Click image for source

Have you ever noticed how a maple leaf looks like a fox? No? Me neither until I saw this:


Click image for source

Have you got any favourites or any leaf crafts you’ve blogged – do leave (pun intended) a link in the comments for us to ooh and ah over.

Also don’t forget the giveaway of two fabulous books I mentioned last week. You have until Friday 11th October to enter to win a Liberty Sewing or Woodland Knits book – here

Cara Signature 2


Make your own mummies

Yay, it’s October which means we can start to get excited about Halloween crafts! My Pinterest stream is full of some great ideas which I’ve been busy pinning, hoping to keep my children occupied now the weather is cooler.

My toddler loves any craft which involves a cardboard tube. The first thing he said to me this morning was something about painting tubes and turning them into cars – not what you need at 6.50am!

Anyway, we used some old cardboard tubes, printed photos of the children faces, found a roll of bandages and set to work.

Cut out a face from your photograph and use some sellotape to keep in place on the cardboard tube. Wrap the bandage around the tube and the edges of the photograph, making sure you keep the eyes clear. Secure the end of the bandage in place with sellotape and you have created your very own Egyptian mummies.

Halloween craft

Anyone else excited about Halloween crafting and baking or is it far too early?

the gingerbread house blog

Pine cone spider

Every Monday we enjoy a lovely walk to our local library for story time. There’s plenty to see along the way, passing through the River Pinn Meadows and I love watching how curious my children are about the things they see. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve enjoyed studying the trees change colour and have collected pocketfuls of acorns and pine cones.

pine cones

I thought we should make something with them so searched for nature crafts on Pinterest and found some fun pine cone spiders. As well as pine cones we needed pipe cleaners for legs and googly eyes.

We twisted the pipe cleaners around the scales of the pine cone, underneath and around the other side to make the legs. We did this three times until we ran out of space. My son added a pair of googly eyes and we were done.

pine cone spider

A spooky pine cone spider, perfect for a nature loving boy.

jenny gingerbread

London Underground crafts

At the beginning of the year my family set ourselves a challenge to visit all the stations on London Underground. We didn’t give ourselves a time frame as the Underground isn’t exactly pushchair friendly but we’ve been enjoying taking the tube and leaping out to take our photos next to the station signs! Crazy but fun!

I’ve been on the look out for some London Underground crafts and I found some brilliant ones for rainy days. For adults, how about a cross stitch map of the Underground? For toddlers I’ve found thumbprint trains, craft stick signals and cardboard tube trains. I have a London Underground Crafts Pinterest board if you’d like to see more.

Last week I made my train-mad son his own London Underground t-shirt to wear on our train-spotting jaunts. I made a paper template based on the Underground roundel, fixed it in place with washi tape and painted on to a blank t-shirt in three stages – the circle in red, the rectangle in dark blue, adding his name in white. I ironed each layer to fix the paint.

london underground tshirt

It only took an evening and he liked it enough to wear it train spotting the next day.

london underground tshirt (1)

jenny gingerbread

A craft for Kids.. by a Kid! A Video Tutorial by Tayla

My 11 year old daughter has a YouTube channel as a hobby…. she loves to babble about makeup (too sweet), fun challenges and more recently .. crafts. She wanted me to share this tutorial with you – Beware… glue gun involved!! You have been warned… ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

kerry sig