Category Archives: Basic Ideas

1 Minute Easter Chick

1 minute Easter chick

 

You will need:

2 pompoms, big one for the body and smaller one for the head
2 Googly eyes, small
Craft foam
PVA Glue

Glue the 2 pompoms together. Stick 2 googly eyes to the head. Cut a small triangle from craft foam; this is the beak. Glue this in place under the eyes.

It really is as simple as that! You could try using different things to add wings (I couldn’t find anything that looked right!), or make different animals.. the possibilities are endless 🙂

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When twins are poorly, use Cbeebies!

Jasmine is still poorly today, and Thomas also seems to be coming down with something now as well. Both have had high temperatures and Jasmine spent a few hours in bed this afternoon drifting in and out of sleep. It seems to have done her the world of good though as she managed to eat more at dinner this evening than she has done in all her meals put together since Thursday!

So today we’ve had moments of quiet alongside moments of wanting stuff to do today. This morning I wandered into the living room to find all 3 kids sitting at the table drawing really nicely together. DrawingThey were all drawing Kwazii from The Octonauts!

They have been asking to make this Kwazii puppet since they saw it on CBeebies a few days ago and because it is a craft that can be done a bit at a time it was perfect for today. We painted the paper plates this morning and then gradually throughout the day all 3 kids finished their puppet.

They are all very pleased with their finished puppet, and of course now they want Peso and Captain Barnacles puppets as well! Luckily we have plenty of paper plates!

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Paper Plate Snake Mobile

We finally finished our paper plate snake mobiles this afternoon! We started them last weekend when we were doing some snake based crafts for Chinese New Year. I found the idea here. As they take a couple of days to make (you have to paint both sides of the plate) they just got left behind but finally I found 10 minutes to grab the kids attention just before dinner today!

You need:

Paper Plate
Paint
Stickers
Pen
Wool

How to make:

Paint both sides of the paper plate. Draw on a spiral. Decorate the plate with stickers. Draw a face in the centre of the spiral. Cut along the lines of the spiral. Make a hole on the head of the snake and thread some wool, securing with a knot. Hang your snake mobile.

 

 

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Chinese New Year Crafts

Gung Xi Fa Cai to everyone 🙂

Today is Chinese New Year and 2013 is the year of the Snake.

This afternoons craft session was all inspired by this celebration.

We started off making Tangram pictures. A Tangram is a Chinese geometric puzzle consisting of a square cut into seven pieces that can be arranged to make various other shapes. I printed out the colour Tangram and several picture silhouettes for us to have a go at from Activity Village. Jasmine and Thomas had a good go at these and, with help, managed to complete the pictures. We made a swan, a rocket, a rabbit, a dog and a boat.Tangram PicturesThen they both made up their own picture using the shapes. Well actually Jasmine made her own picture, Thomas told me what he wanted to make and then mostly let me do it! Jasmine’s (on the right) is a giraffe and Thomas’ is a spaceship

Tangram Pictures 2After the Tangram pictures we made very simple snake sock puppets. I got 3 old socks, cut out a tongue for each and stuck it on with glue stick. We then used googly eyes to complete the puppets. These have been very well played with this afternoon!Snake Sock PuppetFinally we made Chinese Paper Lanterns. I love making these and do them every year with the kids.

Take a piece of coloured card (I use A4 size) and mark out lines, approximately 2cm apart going across the width of the card. Fold the card in half, then unfold and score the marked lines carefully, leaving 3cm uncut top and bottom. Decorate, then add a handle to hang up your Chinese Lantern.Chinese Lanterns

 

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Lemon Curd and Lavender Bags

I have been holding off writing about the hand-made Christmas Gifts we made this year because Granny (Gordon’s mum) was away for Christmas and in our usual disorganised way we hadn’t finished most of the gifts before she went! She is back home now and we are going to visit tomorrow so finally she will get her Christmas gifts and I can write the first post! 

Lavender Bags

One of the things I really started to enjoy last year was sewing. I have never really done any needlework in the past but my Hama Bead obsession led to me trying out Cross Stitch (they are both about counting patterns and colours!) and from there I gained confidence with a needle and began making some simple items. One of the first hand-made gifts I decided to make for Christmas was lavender bags and satchets.

I began by cutting 2 pieces of fabric 18cm x 15cm. With right sides of the fabric facing, pin together. The pattern I was following said this included a 1cm seam allowance so, being a beginner, I marked a 1cm border along 2 long sides and 1 short side and used this line as a guide for the stitching. For the first bags I made I hand stitched in backstitch but I have also machine sewn a few now.

Once the 3 sides are sewn turn the bag inside out and push the corners out with a blunt pencil or similar. Hem the top opening. The pattern said to either hemstitch or blindstitch. I had to google both and found a great tutorial on YouTube for blindstitch so used this. I was surprised by how easy it actually was once I knew how!

I then filled the bag approximately 2/3rds full of lavender (purchased from Ebay) and tied it tightly shut with a 30cm length of ribbon.

I also made some lavender drawer sachets using 15cm square pieces of fabric and leaving a 2cm hole in one side to turn out and fill. Once filled I sewed the hole up and completed the gift by tying 3 together with ribbon.Lavender Bags and Sachets

Lemon Curd

One of my favourite books of 2012 was The Complete Book of Preserves & Pickles by Catherine Atkinson and Maggie Mayhew. I used it a lot over the year and one of my very favourite recipes is Lemon Curd. It takes only 4 ingredients and can be made from start to finish in less then an hour. It is a perfect hand-made gift idea.

To make about 450g/1lb you need:

3 lemons
200g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter, diced
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

Wash the lemons, the finely grate the rind and place in a large heatproof bowl. Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Set over a pan of gently simmering water and add the sugar and butter. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted.
Put the eggs and yolks in a bowl and beat together with a fork. Pour the eggs through a sieve into the lemon mixture and whisk well until thoroughly combined.
Stir the mixture constantly over the heat until the lemon curd thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove and pour into small warm sterilised jars. Cover, seal and label.
Store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months. Once opened keep in the fridge.Lemon Curd

 

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A Messy Afternoon

I started writing our Christmas Cards this morning and discovered we didn’t have anywhere near enough. This provided me with just the excuse I needed to get the kids crafting!

So out came the cards, the paint and the Christmas themed sponges. I used plates for the paint so the kids could dip the sponges in easily, however after the first couple of cards I realised it would be more successful if they painted the sponge rather than just “splatting” it into the paint 😉

Sponge Painting Cards

 

We didn’t have many blank cards left (obviously a trip to the craft shop is needed!) and the kids were of the opinion that they hadn’t done enough painting, so they moved onto paper and they didn’t stop until we ran out of drying space!

A Messy AfternoonA Messy Afternoon 2

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Pomanders and a Sweet Treat

A few days ago a friend posted a link on Facebook showing how to make an Orange Pomander. I’ve not done these since I was at school so really wanted to give it a go with the kids. It is a brilliant, simple festive activity and they look and smell wonderful too!

All you need is an orange, whole cloves and ribbon.

I also used some plastic pins to hold the ribbon in place and for younger children you will need something to make holes in the orange for them to place the cloves in to. Even at 5 Thomas and Jasmine were getting frustrated at times as they couldn’t always push the cloves through the orange peel. I used one of the plastic pins to make holes for them but you could use a knitting needle or a toothpick.

Place the ribbon around the orange, using pins (or paper fasteners) to hold the ribbon in place. Leave enough ribbon at the top to make a hanging loop. Then fill the orange with the cloves.

Orange Pomanders

This evening I have been experimenting with boiled sweets and, after 3 failed attempts, made these

Boiled Sweet Decorations

 

For the small shapes I cut the sweets up but for the larger one I just used whole sweets. Place the sweets in a cookie cutter on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven until they have melted. You have to remove them from the oven as soon as they go soft or the sweet leaks out from underneath (as I discovered!) Once I had removed them from the oven I placed a drinking straw into the large one to make the hole. I had to hold it in place for a minute or 2, until the sweet had hardened enough to hold it in place. Once it has cooled thoroughly, remove from the cookie cutter and thread with ribbon (if required)

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Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere

I don’t usually start Christmas this early, but for some reason this year I have been thinking and planning for a while already.

So when I saw this post on a friends blog I had to have a go at these cards with my kids!

Take some glue, some shaped cookie cutters, some blank cards and some glitter. Dip the cookie cutter in the glue, place on a blank card to leave a glue shape and cover with glitter..

I love the cards we made!

We did end up with quite a lot of glue and glitter left over on the trays! So we made some pictures by drizzling glue over A4 paper and sprinkling glitter over. The resulting pictures are really effective!

Our house is very sparkly this evening 😉

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Junk Modelling

When I was thinking of a name for this blog I wanted one that meant something, something that said “this is us, this is what we do”, and the one thing my children LOVE doing is Junk Modelling. Really, the blog name should be 3 kids and a gluestick, a roll of sellotape, some googly eyes and several cardboard boxes, but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it I don’t think 😉

Anyway I’ve been blogging for 10 days now and in all that time they haven’t junk modelled once, probably because we’ve had so much else going on! But today I found Jasmine with the tell tale scissors, cereal boxes and googly eyes, asking for the sellotape! (We do actually keep the sellotape out of reach because our cheap dispenser is very temperamental and the cutting edge frequently falls off.)

She made an “Underwater Monster”. (The Monster is the wrong way round apparently as it should be looking down to swim, but when I explained that I wouldn’t be able to take a good photo of it looking down as we wouldn’t be able to see the eyes, she agreed that it was OK this way!)

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Daddy’s Birthday Cards

It was Gordon’s birthday yesterday 🙂 Birthdays are a great excuse for some simple crafting! This year we only had to make cards as presents had been shop bought, so while he was at work over the weekend we got designing. Star Wars is the latest craze in the house, so of course the cards reflected this!

Jasmine drew Yoda, complete with Lightsaber and stick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas drew R2D2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Ben drew .. um, what 2 year olds draw!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jasmine and Thomas also wrote inside their cards. Every time they do any writing I am amazed as I have never done any formal writing with them but they are getting so good all by themselves!!!!

 

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