Making toys from household waste.

One of the things I love about pintrest is all of the fantastic things you can make with stuff from around the house. I grew up with my stepmother saving a lot of recyclable items for us to use for craft, and have carried on the tradition with my kids. Kids are always looking for something new and exciting, constantly needing fresh ideas and stimulation, and having them make their own toys and use their imagination rather than just buying them new toys or a new computer game is not only cost effective, but gives them a sense of satisfaction and achievement knowing they have made it themselves.

Letting go of the idea of having these items look prefect took me a little while, wouldn’t they rather have a window that looks like a window instead of a vaguely window shaped blob of paint? Nope, cause to them it is not a blob of paint, it is a window that they made themselves and to them it is perfect!

We have a tub in the craft cupboard full of pencils, textas, paint, stickers etc and a shelf or two filled with toilet rolls, cereal boxes, yogurt tubs, old wrapping paper anything that looks like it could be turned into something else, and on weekends when the kids are suffering from cabin fever, out it comes and the creating starts! 

This weekend just passed, Mr 3 wanted to go into Miss 9’s room to play with her dolls and doll house but Miss 9 is going through a no boys allowed phase with her room so out came the craft supplies.

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I built the basic structure out of a cardboard box using packing tape, and hubby helped the kids “wall paper” with scrap paper so they had a nice blank canvass to decorate on.

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Miss 9 donated one of her dolls, and hey presto Mr 3 has a doll and doll house that he loves to play with!

I find the more we do activities like this, the more the kids like to use their imagination and come up with ideas for toys themselves. This morning Mr 3 came to me with 2 toilet rolls and asked if we could turn them into binoculars. 1 piece of yarn, 2 toilet rolls and 3 pieces of tape later, we have a happy adventurer exploring the forest in the back yard, and it didn’t cost us a cent!

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Happy Crafting 🙂

 

An end to the week of wips

Whew, I got so much accomplished this week! My wip pile is much smaller and more manageable, so I have rewarded myself by starting two new projects haha!

 

Now onto the rest of the finished wips!

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crochet love pillow, you cant see it in the picture, but the beige stripe through the heart is a crochet hook, pattern can be bought from Mommas

Back of the pillow

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A top I sewed out of material from an old pair of pj pants and added crochet embellishments to. Not the best, but I am pretty happy with it for a beginner sewer!

 

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I finally got around to sewing a lining into the rainbow bag I made for this years ravellenic games.

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Ok this one was not a wip, but the face washers and sheet  it is made out of have been sitting in my linen cupboard waiting to be turned into a cushion for a while, so I got it done while I had the sewing machine pulled out.

 

And finally I got Miss 9’s Winter set for this year finished.

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Scarf pattern can be found here

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Beanie pattern can be found here

 

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And the glove pattern I based these wrist warmers on can be found here

So that is it for now, I’m off to work on the baby cardi’s I started this week, happy crafting!

 

 

 

Rainy days

So it is bucketing down here today. We have pools and buckets out the back to catch the rain to save for the garden on hot days, and they are nearly overflowing!

Its the perfect day for staying in and crocheting, however my wrist is too sore to do so. (I really need to remember to wear my wrist brace when I crochet, cause it takes days to recover enough to be able to crochet again if I forget!)

So today’s project was re organizing the pantry, and labeling all of the flour containers that we use for other ingredients.

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It was pretty simple, I just cut some scrap paper to size, got my texta on and then stuck the labels on with PVA glue.

Not water proof, but the inside can be wiped out with a damp cloth.

Happy crafting, and if you are in southern Queensland or northern NSW my thoughts are with you. Please stay safe, and hopefully the flood waters start to recede soon!

DIY blocking board.

With the amount of squares I have been making lately, and with how warped they have been looking I decided that I needed to start blocking them.

Usually I use a sheet on the floor to block, but that means I have to take up floor space in miss 8’s bedroom, and buying blocking kits are expensive so I decided to make my own.

All it cost me was $6, the price of the tape.

Materials:

A strong cardboard box

Waterproof cloth tape

And some cotton material (I used an old cot sheet)

First trim your cardboard to the size you want your blocking board to be. Don’t worry about  folds in the cardboard, it will be sitting flat while you are using it anyway, and you can reinforce the back if you want to.

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Next seal off all of the sides with your tape. Now Place strips from top to bottom, slightly overlapping until all of one side is completely covered in tape.

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So now this side of the cardboard is waterproof, and should be protected from the moisture while we are blocking. But it doesn’t look so pretty, and needs a little something to protect it from the heat of the iron. (If you block using steam) At this point you can tape another piece of cardboard to the back if you think it is too thin, or needs some reinforcing.

So cut a piece of fabric so that it has approx 3 – 4 inches of overhang on each side. Pull it nice and taut, taping it down on the side that still has cardboard exposed.

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And here is the front:

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And now you are ready to block your pieces!

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Here are some of my ‘In a spin’ squares blocking.

 

NB your pins will get a little sticky from the glue on the tape. This is fine for blocking, but I wouldn’t go using your good sewing pins or something of the like with his board.

Happy crafting 🙂

Kids craft Sunday – gift tags and bows

How to turn your kids paintings into nice gift tags.

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You will need:

An old cereal box

A plain piece of paper (or scrap paper blank on one side)

A painting or picture

Glue stick

Darning needle

And some yarn, we used red eyelash yarn with a green and red picture to make Christmas tags.

Cut out one panel from your cereal box. Paste the kids picture on one side of the box, and the plain paper in the same spot on the other side. Trim the uncovered edges and them cut the cardboard into rectangles the size you want your gift tags to be, leaving a 5mm border allowance on each side.

At this point I usually poke holes around 5mm in from the edge and approx 5mm apart to make it easier for my daughter to sew, but you don’t have to do this. Then using the yarn go around the edges in blanket stitch, leaving a long tail to tie the gift tag to the present.

There is a great blanket stitch tutorial here http://www.holiday-crafts-and-creations.com/how-to-do-blanket-stitch.html

And with the 2 leftover pieces of paper from all the way back here https://cookcraftcope.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/kids-craft-sunday-splatter-painting/

We are making gift bows.

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To make these, we cut 1 cm strips across the short side of a printed A4 piece of paper. We folded the strips of paper into figure a of 8 using a push pin to hold them in place We cut the strips used to make the 3 figure of 8 shorter than the rest, and stuck a sequin on the folded out push pin.

I am not very good at explaining this one I am sorry, but there are some good tutorials out there and here is a link to one 🙂 http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com.au/2009/10/make-gift-bow-from-magazine-page.html

Kids craft Sunday – Splatter painting

It is exactly what it sounds like, splatting paint to make a picture.

You will need:

One toothbrush per colour you want (We save our old brushes)

Acrylic paint

cardboard like an old cereal box

Container to hold your paint clean old yogurt containers are great

And some paper, or what ever else you would like to decorate.

Using your card board trace and then cut out stencils in the shapes you want to use.

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Mix your paint with a little water in your containers. The ratio will depend on your paint, you want it to be runny, but not too watery.

Lay your stencils over the paper then load up your toothbrush with paint. Holding the loaded toothbrush over the paper use your thumb to flick the bristles, splattering the paper with paint.

Repeat until you are happy with your picture, then carefully remove the stencils and leave your paper to dry.

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We also did some with stencils that allowed the shape to be splattered and the surrounds to stay white.

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And with our left over paint and 2 pieces of paper we did this:Image

But I will get back to those last 2 next week 🙂