Easter Bonnets

April 10, 2012

I know this post is a little late, but in my defense, we started these a week ago, and finished them at the weekend, but Alice only obliged to wear hers for a picture today after her nursery Easter Bonnet parade.

I found a pattern online for an old fashionedy bonnet and roughly copied it onto some newspaper a provisional fitting with this looked quite successful so I cut two out of packaging card, laying the patterns so the corrugations would allow the bend in the bonnet. I put the two small tabs in the pattern together to form the lampshade shape and stuck it with gummed paper tape (so it could be easily painted over). We tried them on again and although they were a bit wobbly on their heads they were a pretty good shape so the kids set about painting them – pink of course!

Once they were dry we added the lacy sections of paper doilies to the inside face edge of the bonnets and then we raided my ribbon and fake flower stash for decorations, I tied bows in the ribbons and stuck them on with hot melt glue, including the two thick long ribbons for tying under the chin.

I think they look super cute, however I realised then uploading these pictures that Alice’s face is always covered in food!

 

My husband bought me the ‘Iron Ons’ book by graphic designers ‘Sukie’ for christmas – I believe it was from my amazon wish list, but I have seen these for sale  (new) in oxfam shops. I have been a big fan of ‘Sukie’ wrapping paper for a while and even have a sheet of their mixed font alphabet paper framed in our stairwell. So the opportunity to make some stuff with the quirky cute designs has been very tempting – but not so much that its taken me till March to make use of them!

I had planned to upcycle some old t-shirts with the iron ons, but all the girls’ tees seem to be covered in too many stains for sucessful up-cycling, so I had to buy new. I found these 3 packs of plain colour capped sleeve summer tees in tesco, so bought a pack in size 5-6 and another in 2-3, one set for each for Martha and Alice. I let them pick their own images from the book, with a bit of persuasion from me of course. Martha chose the page of pink and khaki butterflies and the ‘princess castle’ with home sweet home on it. Alice liked the animals in the tree which reminded her of her favorite book of the moment – ‘Stuck’ by Oliver Jefferies (firmly recommended by the way). I chose the two half page alphabet designs the same as I have hanging in the stairwell, the colours in these included the same pink and peppermint green as two of the t-shirts in the packs so I put those onto the dark blue ones, the pink butterflies and 3 cute birds on branches went onto the pale green tees and the tree and palace went onto the pink tees. With the planning done I got out the iron, I do most of my iron ons on the kitchen counter as its firm and flat enough to apply some pressure, I am however pretty tall so can stand on my tippy toes and apply a considerable amount of my body weight to the iron during the process, a sturdy kitchen table would work for shorter folks, but be careful not to scald the surface. You have to have the iron on its hottest setting and no steam or water.

They went on pretty easily, and I am really pleased with the results, 3 super cute t-shirts each for the up-coming summer, that look much more expensive than they actually were. The girls love having an influence in what they wear and this is a such a quick and easy way for us to customise things. And we have loads of these lovely ‘Sukie’ designs left in the book, now lets see, what can we use them on next?…

Christmas Cards

December 5, 2011

I know I am spoiling the surprise for anyone on our christmas card list this year, but I think we did a really good job of these. The girls found some new glitter in their advent calender yesterday morning. Hobby Craft has come to Staines so I picked up a bottle of ‘confetti’ glitter glue, with iridescent glitter and tiny stars in it, and the Christmas fairy popped it into Sunday’s drawer in our wooden advent calender. To be honest I didn’t really have a plan for this years christmas cards until the last minute but I had bought some gold doilies in Saisbury’s during the last big shop, with an idea to use them somehow, and picked up the glitter and the blank cards (with envelopes) in Hobby Craft earlier in the week. Then on an quick inspiration hunt on the internet I spotted this gorgeous vintage angel posted on one of my favorite craft resource blogs ‘graphics fairy’, (http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com). I love the graphics fairy, her blog is jam packed with lovely vintage images, and this pretty little cherub, was just asking to be printed, cut and pasted onto our christmas cards with a gold doily ‘frame’ and the new glitter glue, adding sparkle to her stary sky. (The stars in the new glitter even matched the tiny stars in the picture.)

I promptly downloaded the picture took it into photoshop, resized it and made an A4 page with 8 angels on it, and printed 5 of these onto some gloss photo paper I had knocking about. I sat and cut out all the angels and cut the frilly bits off the edges of the doilies and then cut into triangles. Then I filled a beaker with PVA glue and got the kids. I painted a rough star shape onto the card with glue and the kids stuck the triangles onto it to make star shape and then stuck the angel picture into the middle. Then we painted the glitter onto the angel picture, which was certainly the girls’ favorite bit. Some are of course better than others, but I quite like that they are all a bit different. They certainly look homemade which is the whole point. We only have one that opens backwards this year!

Ribbon Alice Bands

September 26, 2011

Martha loves an ‘alice band’, and we seemed to miss all the blue school ones in the ‘back to school’ season in the shops, so I thought I would have a go at making some. We made these in her new school colours but could easily repeat this to make matching Alice Bands to go with her favorite outfits too!

I got 5 plastic alice bands for £1 in Poundland, they had a kind of holographic design on them – lovely, but importantly didn’t have the row of little spikes around the inside, I don’t think you could ‘wrap’ those ones as easily and Martha refuses to wear them as she says the spikes hurt. I used PVA Glue, (huge fan of PVA glue and one day plan to publish a ‘1001 things to do with PVA’!) painted small sections of the alice band securing the end with a clothes peg and wrapped the alice band in ribbon. I bought a few different ribbons from my local haberdashery a gingham one, a grossgrain (most expensive) and a couple of double faced satins, and used about a metre of each for each alice band, including the little bow. Continuing to paint small sections, about an inch at a time (as this avoids all the ribbon getting sticky and fiddly), and wrapping making sure that the edges matched up or overlapped a little, until I reached the other end. Then trimmed off any excess ribbon and held it with another peg and left it overnight to dry. I used plastic clothes pegs as in my mind they are less likely to stick to the gluey ribbon than wooden ones would, they came off quite easily anyway.

I ‘finished’ them by tying a small bow in any left over ribbon (there wasn’t any excess grossgrain I used the whole metre for the wrapping I guess because it was slightly narrower than the other ribbons) and sewed it onto the alice band, trying to catch some of the glued on ribbon with the stitches to secure it, but essentially just taking a stitch into the back of the bow through the knot then back through and around the alice band. Then I wrapped the ends with a bit more cotton thread to bind the ends of the ribbon to the alice band and put another blob of PVA over the thread behind the bow and over the two bound ends.

Martha has been wearing them to school and so far they seem to have stood up to it unlike her new shoes that came back on the first day more scuff than leather! (Although one has disappeared completely at school already – alice band not shoe!)

 

I love making toys from stuff destined for the bin. We made this princess castle with bits and bobs of recycling last week, it made use of an old teabags box, a kitchen roll tube, a toilet roll tube, a tube from the inside of some wrapping paper (cut into 2) a pringles tube, a paper cup and the pointing bits from the inside of an egg box. Martha and I asssembled these pieces and cut some castle top shape strips out of an old cereal box to decorate the tops of a tower and the tea box. We glued these together and to help them stay together while the pva glue dried I used some masking tape. We painted the whole lot pink (of course!) and left it to dry.

The next day, I cut out some windows and arrow slits from black paper and Martha chose where to stick them on (the big window in the paper cup roof of the pringles box is the princess’s bedroom!). Then we used the frilly bit from the edge of a doily to decorate the egg box bit roofs. Martha drew some flowers and we stuck them on the sides of the towers and then decorated the whole lot with some sequins.

Martha also wanted to make a rainbow to go with her castle, so I cut a semi circle out of a bit of left over mount board, but any thick cardboard would work and made two supports for each side by cutting half a slit in the rainbow and half in the support and sliding them together. Martha drew a rainbow on the white side with crayons, and then we painted each coloured stripe with glue and covered it in different coloured glitter. To make the rainbow as sparkly as possible.

Once they were dry she has been playing with them ever since, using happyland figures. I think they look pretty good for rubbish.

Super-specs!

February 20, 2011

We recently updated the gels at work, I rescued this pink from the bin. As soon as Martha spotted it she put it over her eyes to look through it which gave me the idea to make it into glasses. I saved an empty cereal packet and used an existing pair of kids sunglasses to cut out a few basic shapes for the frames and arms. I cut two of each frame design. and cut some pieces of the gel to fit each of the designs.

Martha and I then glued the two sides of each frame together with the gel sandwiched in between, with PVA glue and let these dry, then we painted the frames and the arms of all 4 pairs of glasses. When these were dry we decorated them with big sequin shapes and glued on the arms.

Martha is particularly pleased with her princess glasses (the ones with a crown above the two lenses), and the ‘Elton John’ ones are pretty fab too! I don’t suppose they will hold up to excessive playing but were great fun to make.

Paper Doll

October 21, 2010

Check out these gorgeous, genius, re-usuable, fabric paper dolls!

I discovered the fabric at my mum’s local craft/fabric/haberdashery emporium ‘the cheap shop’ in Tiptree, Essex (www.thecheapshop.ltd.uk), a panel of the fabric cost £5.40, and has 8 gorgeous vintage looking dolls each with a pet friend and a couple of outfits.

Today we made one of the dolls, Martha chose the one she wanted to make, and I roughly cut them out of the panel. I used bondaweb to stick some super stiff interfacing to the back of the doll and her pet dog, then carefully cut them out, then backed the clothes with a normal iron on interfacing and cut them out too. I pressed the ‘tabs’ on the clothes as you would fold the paper tabs on the original versions.

I think these were the quickest easiest toy we have ever made, no sewing just ironing, and ready in about 10 mins. I plan to make the other dolls as reuested or they would make lovely presents (christmas is fast approaching!)

The fabric is called ‘Aunt Lindy’s Paper Dolls’ and a quick google search found me loads of shops selling the panels online, although the cheap shop is well worth a visit!