Monthly Archives: December 2013

Chocolate Cranberry and Pistachio Christmas Treat.

Chocolate Cranberry and Pistachio Christmas Treat.

A good friend makes this recipe each year as just a large slab that she then cuts into squares (or shards as she calls them, lol), The colours just look so pretty together, so I thought I’d take it a step further and make an edible decoration out of it!



There really is no recipe as such, and the method is as straight forward as it looks.  Heat chocolate until smooth and runny. You could use any kind of chocolate you like, milk, white, dark, I used a store brand milk cooking chocolate.   You can just pour it out onto a flat surface or use some cookie cutters like I have.  While still runny, sprinkle with your favourite fruit and nuts, pistachio and cranberry work well at this time of year as the colours are what I consider “Christmassy”.  Dust with edible glitter if you like, but it still looks yummy without!  




How the flat versions can turn out

DIY Christmas Bell Mobile

DIY Christmas Bell Mobile

If you like working with fabric like my friends at All Tizzied Up , here’s a simple Christmas craft decoration you can put together with the kids that will last for years to come.




Once you have gathered the fabric you want to use, all you need is some styrofoam bells, ribbon, hot glue and sharp scissors and you’re ready to get crafty.  The smaller kids can get working on the covering the loop while an adult does the hot glue bits.  The rest of the steps are covered in the photos below.


3 Easy Mini Christmas Tree Decorations

3 Easy Mini Christmas Tree Decorations






My crafty mum friend at All Tizzied Up has been very busy putting together some Christmas Craft projects with the family.  Thought we’d share for inspiration.




They created 3 different trees from styrofoam cone shapes using buttons, ribbon, felt, and every crafters favourite tool – a hot glue gun!



The felt tree was created by layering leaf shape felt pieces working from the bottom up, then decorating with plastic jewels.


This one is simply a case of measuring out same lengths or ribbon, fixing with hot glue, then twisting, gluing again.  Glue 2 of these together to create a flower type shape and attach to the cone.  Again, finishing with some jewels to look like ornaments.

The button one is covered in aluminium foil, before attaching buttons all over with hot glue.

So if you are wondering what to do this weekend before Christmas, maybe get out the craft supplies and get crafty with the kids.  Would make a great addition and talking point for your Christmas table on Wednesday!


Christmas Craft for Kids, Snowflake Garland

Christmas Craft for Kids, Snowflake Garland


We started making snow flakes from patty cake pans – as you do, they were so pretty, I figured we should use them for something more than making a mess.





I am sure everyone has made snow flakes before, so I won’t worry about elaborating on instructions.  We used the tin foil patty cake pans, then laminated them so they wouldn’t break and could be strung up easier.  I strung them up with fishing line, but any kind of string would have been fine.  Pretty Cool results I think.


Easy Kids Craft – Hanging Christmas Decoration


These are really simple to make and kids of all ages can help.  Mr8 actually showed me how to make one, then we extended on the concept to create this hanging ornament.


It is really just 2 card board stars slotted into each other at right angles to create a ‘3D star’ as he calls them.  But we made 4 different sized and hung them form some cotton.  We covered each star with some paper from a themed wrapping pack, so they were not all exactly the same, but similar enough to ‘match’.  The whole project took about 20 minutes for 3 of us and looks pretty cool!  Further instructions available if you open or scroll over each picture.

Home Made Teacher Gifts, Peppermint Bath Bombs

Home Made Teacher Gifts, Peppermint Bath Bombs

It’s that time of year again folks. Time to thank the dozen different day care providers, half of which I don’t even know the names of, for putting up with my darling children 2 days each week.

This year I decided to make something that all the kids could help with, as last years gift required minimal effort from the kids.  So we made Bath Bombs and I am happy to report they were a success (we tested one out last night!) 


I used 2 different recipes, the first one was here

Dry ingredients: 

  • Baking Soda – 8 ounces
  • Citric Acid – 4 ounces
  • Corn Starch – 4 ounces
  • Salts – 4 ounces

Wet Ingredients:

  • Water – .75 tbsp
  • Essential or Fragrance Oil – 2 tsp (I used peppermint, as it is Christmassy)
  • Oil – 2.5 tbsp
  • Food coloring – 1 or 2 drops
  • .

For the pink lot, I used this recipe

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid powder (use fine grade, available from chemists or pool supply shops)
  • Sieve
  • Potpourri or herbal teabags such as chamomile, lemon, rosehip or peppermint
  • An essential oil such as peppermint, lavender, geranium
  • Sweet almond oil (I just used vegetable oil)
  • Food colouring
  • Rubber gloves
  • Moulds from craft shops

Which came from here

The method I used for both was the same though.  Mixed all dry ingredients in a large bowl, then had Mr8 ever so slowly pour in the wet ingredients while I stirred like a mad woman.  With the second recipe, it doesn’t actually call for corn flour (starch) but I decided to throw a handful in just to make the recipe go further.  The second lot stuck together better than the first recipe while wet, but they have both dried lovely and firm and both fizz wonderfully in the bath tub.

We made the round ones in some empty plastic Christmas ornaments like the blogger in the first link did, as well as some smaller ones in some Aldi silicone trays.  If I was to make them again, I think I’d find a mould that was spherical, but a bit smaller, so you end up with more bombs from your mix.  I left the silicone tray ones to dry over night, and they popped out easily the next day.

It is summer here right now, and humid, which can destroy the bombs.  So before putting them in the little draw strings bags ($2 for 5 at the cheap shop) I wrapped them in cling wrap to protect them from moisture.

Added a little thank you note and Merry Christmas tag to the bags and we are ready to drop them off.

Make Your Own Sensory Santa Slime.

Make Your Own Sensory Santa Slime.

Ok, so the school holidays have not quite started here, but this looked like too much fun and I had a fairly light schedule for the day, so we gave it a go.  The best part is, unlike normal play dough, it is not going to go bad when stored between uses.


The recipe I followed required Elmers Glitter Glue, but after searching everywhere in a 20km radius I was still empty handed.  Apparently Elmers is available in Australia now, but from what I can tell it is only the white stuff, and I really wanted the clear version for this project.  So I just used non toxic craft glue, added my own glitter and was thankfully able to achieve the results I was after.  The recipe came from this delightful blog  

Santa Slime Recipe 

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl
 In a separate bowl combine
  • 3/4 teaspoons of borax
  • 1 & 1/3 cups very warm water
Once the ingredients of both bowls are mixed, combine them and mix, the slime will form almost instantly.

– See more at:

As I mixed up the ingredients I found it very hard to believe it needed all that water – but it really did, and then some!  Not sure if it was because I used so much glitter or because the make up of the glue I used was different than Elmers, but it turned out really firm, almost like play dough, and certainly didn’t ooze like I anticipated.  After I got over the initial disappointment, I figured I could either spend another $11 on glue or try to fix it – had nothing to lose, so I added more water to a section of it in a bowl (which did nothing while cool) and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Yes, it worked, the slime took on more water and began to get runnier.  I continued to do this in sections, increasing the time in the microwave and the amount of water until I had the desired texture.  

The kids have been having heaps of fun with it, even the older 2.  We ended up with about 3 litres of slime after adding all the extra water, so plenty to share between the 4 of them.  If I make it again using the same glue, I will use twice as much water from the start, because adding some extra borax to thicken will be a lot easier than adding extra water was!

D.I.Y Leaf Print Christmas Cards

D.I.Y Leaf Print Christmas Cards

Here’s a unique home made card idea that the whole family can get involved in.  All you need is some card stock, paint (brush and roller), sequins or other bling and some tree shaped leaves.  Glitter optional!

leaf print

Coat the leaves in a thick layer of paint, we used white as I thought it would stand out nicely on the black card.  Place the leaf, painted side down, carefully on the card, then roll over it with a clean dry paint roller to press down.  Remove leaf and you should have a pretty leaf print.  If you want to add glitter, do so now while the paint is still wet so it sticks.  If you are creating more than one card, just give the roller a wipe with an old rag between leaves to remove any paint and avoid smudges.  Once dry, let the kids decorate with sequins, we used PVA to attach them – done.

Christmas Tree Decoration

Christmas Tree Decoration

Maybe I should rename this blog ‘101 alternate uses for Christmas Baubles’, lol.  Here is something we put together this afternoon.  It took about 45 minutes and stands over a meter tall.  As usual, I struggled to take a photo of it, I really need to learn how to use my camera properly.

Christmas Tree

The sticks are those ornamental ones you buy from home decor shops, I think these ones actually came from The Reject Shop as around $4 a bundle. We cut them to size with secateurs and  glued with hot glue, I reinforced the corners with zip ties.  The stem is glued on – it is not weight bearing!  Then starting at the top we glued the bead string to one side, worked out the length needed to reach the other side, cut the string, threaded on some baubles, and glued the cut end to the other side.  Repeat, working your way down the tree.  To create the zig zag look, the strands are 12cm/5cm apart down each side.

Once upright, I shortened each string on the baubles by just tying another knot in them.  Glued on the star (came with the pack of baubles, $8 for the lot), and we are done.


Bauble Tree.

Bauble Tree.

Paper Plate Angel Garland – Christmas Craft

Paper Plate Angel Garland – Christmas Craft

These are very easy to make and can be as fancy or as simple as you like.


I usually avoid glitter when doing craft.  Sure it’s pretty, but after we use it, that stuff turns up all over the place for the next month.  ‘The herpies of the craft world’ a friend of mine called it, I think she was right.  But today I caved, because an angel needs her sparkle! Honestly, there was no template, just trial and error until I got the shape I was after.  You can see the steps in the photos below.  Double sided plates for the body would have made pretty dresses, but I couldn’t find any of those, so we stuck with white.  Of course you could get the kids to colour them or even use a different colour glitter on the body too. But I was all glittered out after the wings alone!