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Easy Toddler Wings Craft

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When I was a wee tike I was selected as part of the Royal Ballet Help the Poor South London Kiddies Scheme. It meant being bustled off each week to a cold, scary big hall and leaping from corner to corner and getting told off for not leaping gracefully enough by older ballerinas. I didn’t really like it much (what an ungrateful Beneficiary of Good Will!) and didn’t last very long. But before I had my last tussle with Mum about whether I could give up this opportunity I did get to perform in the Royal Opera House dressed as a giant chicken.

Despite being a rubbish, ungrateful ballerina I can remember being so proud on that stage, and feeling so full of fancy, so unlike my clumsy self, I felt that even my leaping met the grade, as a flapped my way from stage left to stage right.  I think I was probably the last child out of my suit.

There is something about wings, even those wings of the inelegant chicken, that makes a child’s imagination soar.

After seeing some images of a child in wings on the internet a few times, I decided I had to give this craft a crack and discovered just how irresistibly easy it is and what delight they provoke in children!


It was such a simple craft, anyone could manage it with just some scraps of fabric and a sewing machine. It did take a while cutting out all those reams of looping feathers, and it is fairly monotonous sewing the lines – but I am sure you all have a much higher boredom threshold than me!   I used up some upholstery samples, so I had fantastic, bold colours but really just too heavy for tiny arms to happily flap for hours.

How to:

  • You need a base that reflect the arm length of the child. I did 30 cm x 30 cm (for a 1-2 year old, would fit up to 3)  and cut a loose curve between them.
  • I then cut lots of loopy strands, beginning at 36 cm and getting smaller as you sew up into the corner.
  • My strands were  around 5 cm wide, but these could be any width- wider if you are lazier than me and want less strands or much less wide if you would like lots and lots of feathery layers.
  • Best to leave a loop hanging off each end and then cut the loop smaller once you are all done.
  • I just sewed straight along the top of each strand from corner to corner, wriggling and doing tiny tucks as I went to accommodate the curve for the first one or two longer strands. For the short strands you can zip straight along.
  • I then laid them out to make a half circle and so I could easily imagine where the ribbon needed to go.
  • I then attached a long piece ribbon to the pointy corner of each wing, with a few centimetres between them, so that could go around the neck with a nice bow.
  • I left the bottom corner to just hang, and tied a smaller bit of ribbon on the far end corners to tie around the ribbon.
  • Hope that all makes sense!

As you can see, I didn’t use the ideal fabric and my cuts are wonky but it still turned out okay! Such a forgiving craft, my absolute favourite kind.

I made two pairs to send to my two toddler nephews in New Zealand. It is hard finding crafty  present ideas for toddlers and children so I was REALLY happy when my sister-in-law sent a video of her darling boy having a major giggle, flapping about and dancing to Adele. These are now my present of choice for every child!!

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Easy resin craft – Bambi and scrabble letters get Pompei’d

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I want to let you into a little crafter’s secret. I’ve mentioned it once or twice before. It is the key to making stuff that really doesn’t look home made.

Sometimes homemade IS the look you want; mismatched fabrics, crazy collections of buttons, novice stitching. But other times you want to be able to say “I blooming well MADE it!” without stating the absolute obvious.

Let me welcome to the stage, Resin. Crystal Resin.

I whipped up some bottle top magnets a bit earlier and waterproofed a jar lid before, but today resin is moving up from supporting act to main.

I embedded some paper – a tiny cut out deer (I Pompei’d his ass) and a sentence that said “so busy dreaming” – I love that you can see the words all the way through as they curl round. I also cut up a few flecks of sweet wrapper to act as glitter. And thirdly a scrabble letter. No craft experiment of mine is complete without getting a least one old scrabble letter in there.

The thing I especially love is that you could put absolutely ANYTHING inside and it would come out looking cool. An insect flew into the resin as it set – it looked grotesqely nice before I fished it out. Imagine getting your kids to collect random objects and then setting them in?!It is a way of making something together that you can both be stoked with. (Pasta shape pictures only go so far, eh.)

“Here mummy! Here’s a slug!” “Oh, darling. Such a shame, it’s not going to fit into the mold.”

As you can see, I made a necklace and I made a pencil end – it funks up a boring object, transforming it into a  magical wand. But you could really do ANYTHING with these molds. Magnets. Brooches. Rings. Leave them plain and put them in people’s drinks along with the ice as a delight for their eyes as they sip. Party favours or place settings even.

Logistics
At first it doesn’t seem hugely cheap- I use Gedeo which at the moment is online for £12.95 for 300ml. I fill the molds only a third up, so this makes these come in at about 50p each, which I think is pretty bargainous for a gift or bit of jewellery.

Have you noticed, apart from using the drill, this is completely skill free?! If you don’t know how to use a drill I suggest you sort that out pronto. It will change your life. You know the little bits that you poke into the end of the drill? Do you know what they are called? Drill Bits. Yep, it’s true. If that genius simplicity doesn’t make you want to learn how to use it I don’t know what will.

Linking up with Lakota’s spanking new Ta Da! Tuesday.

Also, if you get a moment to vote for me in the MADS, in the Thrift and Craft catergories, that would be phantasmagorically wonderful!

What reckon ye? Got any imaginative ideas for these molds or things to embed?

Extreme (more cosmetic, really) Makeover: Bathroom

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On our return from the camp at the weekend I persuaded my ever loving husband that we should makeover the bathroom- “It will just take a couple of hours, it’s all just aesthetic stuff: it will be an easy win.” Oh, how wrong was I. It was painful. Not so much for me, I got to just make up crafty things. But Tim got stuck with laying the stick-on tiles that, erm, didn’t stick.

So, several arduous evenings later we have almost finished. I wanted to share it so that it gives the impression that we are doing more than ignoring our unpacked boxes and ripping the odd bit of paper off the walls when we happen to be passing. Hehe.

What we used:
24 slate coloured stick on tiles from B and Q- £24
Fluro orange spray paint- £5
A utensil to scrape off ceramic animals
Some old containers and crockery
A vegetable rack

I wanted to go for an “industrial meets natural” feel, metal and orange with a dash of woven fibres to add a bit of a homely feel. I love it. Tim thinks it is a bit weird. What do you think?

BEFORE:

Meet the duck. There were ducks, dolphins and shells glued on all over the place. Alas, they didn’t fit the new theme. They will be missed.

The floor was just really quite speckled blue and minging. It had to go too.

It is really quite small, so nice looking storage of things was proving to be a challenge.
GETTING MY THRIFTY CRAFT ON:

This is me in the back garden painting and spray painting random objects haphazardly. It was a lot of fun. *Dances naked in garden high on fumes*

AFTER:

To sort out the storage challenge I spray painted some old biscuit tins. They house the million pieces of rubbish bathrooms (well, all our rooms) gather- old sun tan lotion, vitamins, more vitamins and more sun tan lotion… and a gazillion cotton buds. (Everyone loves a good old ear poking eh.)


These beauty little safe boxes have been sitting in my stock room at work, I  couldn’t handle them sitting in a dark musty corner un beloved, so gave a little extra into the petty cash for them. Definitely my favourite bit of the bathroom, and practial too, storing even more extras like my husbands shaving paraphanalia.

I spray painted some orange dots (I fashioned a stencil out of the front page a swanky RSA bookletI got in a charity shop for 20p.) We pulled about 8 of these white tea pots from a bin last year- no lids, so not good pourers but perfect tooth brush holders amongst other things!


These frames once held those bright fake gerbera flowers -know the ones? Now they hold plastic Maori tikis, shells and string, in colours that are very on-brand for our new bathroom, courtesy of that lovely spray paint once again!

That is my quick and thrifty bathroom make over – what do you reckon?