Author Archives: thestick81

About thestick81

Stay at home mother of 4. Full time mum, full time student, full time cleaner/cook etc - kids will do that to you. BUT, love every minute of it!

DIY Christmas Bell Mobile

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

snowflakes

 

 

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

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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.

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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

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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!) 

bathbombs

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.

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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.

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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: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/12/santa-slime-recipe.html#sthash.MROKZyw1.dpuf

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

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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!

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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

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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.

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Bauble Tree.

Bauble Tree.

Paper Plate Angel Garland – Christmas Craft

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Paper Plate Angel Garland – Christmas Craft

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

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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!

 

Easy DIY Christmas Table Centrepiece

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Easy DIY Christmas Table Centrepiece

These were so quick and easy to make and I could not be happier with the results.

TableTrees

 

I picked up this wool a while back with nothing particular in mind, I just loved the colours.  The styrofoam tree shapes are available just about anywhere at this time of year.  These came from a $2 shop.  However, there’s no reason you couldn’t just make a cone shape from cardboard and achieve similar results.

 

I tied a tight knot in one end to stop fraying, then pushed through the wool and down into the middle of the cone.  Then gently began wrapping the knit around the top of the cone, before fastening again a few rows down so that it doesn’t spin off.  Continue down the full length of the cone until you reach the bottom.  Cut with enough room left over to tie another knot, then secure with a 3rd pin.  Done!

 

Peg Angels Quick Toddler Christmas Craft Activity

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Peg Angels Quick Toddler Christmas Craft Activity

Check out these cute little Christmas Angels Miss4 and I put to gather today.  The best part? The whole kit, with everything except glue – $2 from Kmart.  Win.

angels

 

Ok ok, they have no arms, but who cares! We used hot glue to stick on the hair and faces, because hot glue rules the craft world (and I didn’t have time to PVA to dry).  The project is not something Miss4 could have done on her own, but it was quick, simple fun and the results are pretty cute.  She has been playing with them throughout the day and they have not fallen apart yet!

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If you didn’t have access to a Kmart, the kit is made up of 4 old style wooden pegs, 4 paper doilies, wool, gold string and some pre cut wings.  All things that are easy to get your hands on from a craft of $2 shop.

 

 

DIY Marble Effect Baubles, Family Christmas Craft

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DIY Marble Effect Baubles, Family Christmas Craft

Everyone was making all sorts of cool glass baubles last Christmas, but by the time I tried to source the actual baubles to do anything with, they were sold our or $6 each – errr, nah.  But I found some in Spotlight in August this year and grabbed them so I didn’t miss out again!

Baubles1

 

I got the 2 different sizes available at spotlight, but for this project we just used the smaller ones.   The process really is so simple it barely requires explanation.  The beads are just plastic pony beads, you can find them in either the craft section or the ‘girls’ toy section of most variety stores.  The ones that turned out the best were about 2/3 transparent beads and 1/3 solid colours.  We did one with just transparent beads, but it ended up all kind of mixing together and turning brown, which was disappointing.  If you don’t have a well ventilated kitchen, it would be a good idea to do these outside on the bbq, but the beads surprisingly don’t let off much fumes compared to other melting plastics I have played with.   I had the oven set to just over 220c.  You will need to keep checking on them every 5 – 10 minutes and turning as desired to create the marble effect.  We used a silicone muffin and chocolate tray to position them after each turn and plastic tongs to handle them with.  I ended up adding some extra beads to a few half way through the process, and just used a tea towel to hold them while they were hot.

As they cooled down out of the oven, they did make a popping sound, which I thought was the glass breaking – but it was just the plastic separating from the glass inside a few of them.  There you have it, marbled Christmas baubles.

DIY Heart Shaped Christmas Wreath

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DIY Heart Shaped Christmas Wreath

I actually started today out with the intention of making some bell tree ornaments, but the bells I had were too big.  I then attempted another type of wreath and it was a big fat fail too.  So after a few hours of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to make a different kind of wreath using the same principle as the bauble tree I made last year.
baublewreath

Run your cursor over or click each image for step by step instructions.

Pine Cone Christmas Tree Decorations

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Pine Cone Christmas Tree Decorations

Yep, it’s that time of year again kids.  I can deny it all I like, but that doesn’t help at all.  I am disgustingly unprepared this year, but don’t really have the time to care, I am sure I will pull it all together in time.  I do however, have time to think about some Christmas projects, YAY!   So this very simple Idea should have probably taken a single afternoon, but things have been so hectic around here lately it took several afternoons over a week.  It didn’t really turn out as well as I had imagined, but they are still pretty cute, and we have plenty of left over cones to make something else out of when inspiration hits me.

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The shaggy wool (I’m sure it has a real name) was $2 a ball.  There was wayyyy more than we needed in each colour.  I just used cheap spray paint, Mr 8 did the first few coats then I went back and got the bits he missed.  I tried sticking on some plastic ‘diamonds’ for extra sparkle, but you can’t really see them. We all had a go at wrapping the wool into the cone, then I gave them a hair cut to tidy them up.  Simple as that!

 

Autumn Tree, Family Craft Activity

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Autumn Tree, Family Craft Activity

This week I am excited to feature a project from a local crafty mumma from All Tizzied Up .  She and her gorgeous girls have brought nature and some textiles together to create a colourful fall themed wall hanging.  

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They have gathered up some bark and leaves and painted the leaves while still fresh using acrylic craft paint.  The paint has slowed down the drying out process and kept them supple so they don’t crack through the next few steps.  The rest if fairly self explanatory, or run your mouse over each picture for more details.

Once all the collage was together, mum then filled in the surrounds of the tree with blue paint and there you have it.

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Spooky Tea-Light Holder, Quick Halloween Craft

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Spooky Tea-Light Holder, Quick Halloween Craft

This was really easy and looks really cool in the dark. As with everything I do lately though, it was almost impossible to take a photo of.

The glass pot was from the $2 shop, but you could use any kind of glass jar.  I just liked the shape of this so grabbed it.  I painted the inside with some orange craft paint, which in hindsight was a bit silly, I should have painted the outside so it was not so close to the flame.  I drew the outline of the tree and some bats with permanent marker then Mr8 filled in the rest.  Scratched away the paint from behind the eyes and there you have it.  If halloween had not snuck up on me so quickly, I would have done a bunch in different shapes and sizes, but alas, it is tomorrow and I have no time left.

DIY Halloween Wreath.

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DIY Halloween Wreath.

There is lots of variations of this all over Pinterest, but I thought I’d have a go myself.   I was excited to see a decent range of Halloween themed fabric in Spotlight this year, which made choosing my materials easy.   I bought 40cm of each one, figuring 20cm strips would be sufficient.  The ring was a pre-made one from there as well.  Around $4.

 

I cut the fabric into 2x 20cm wide strips, then cut those large strips into roughly inch wide strips.  I was not too fussed about them all being perfect, as the over all results I was going for was messy anyway.  Then the tying on.  I finished the whole thing in the car on a day trip to the city and back, so just over an hour.  I think the cutting into strips actually took longer than that!

Not far into it, I realised I had made my strips way too short for the size of the loop, it just looked too sparse.  But they were already cut, so I decided to continue on then just cut the hoop smaller later.  That solved the problem just nicely!  The witch hat was a last minute addition, it was actually part of a  halloween headband, again from Spot Light, I just chopped off the headband.   The kids helped paint the wooden letters and I glued them onto the most appropriate coloured ribbon I had on hand.  Done.

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I didn’t take a photo of it against our door, because the Kookaburras, white timber and glass just didn’t quite work!

 

Knitted Pumpkins, Upcycled Jumpers/Sweaters

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Knitted Pumpkins, Upcycled Jumpers/Sweaters

This project was very popular last fall in the US, but I never got around to trying it.  I was looking forward to trying it out coming up to Halloween, but as it is not actually cool at this time of year in Australia, getting the sweaters, or jumpers as we call them, was easier said than done!

Pink tone pumpkins

Pink tone pumpkins

I visited 4 different op shops trying to find anything knitted, but they had already sold out (it is spring here, and a hot spring at that).  On the fourth stop, the lovely lady allowed me to dig through a storage bag to find some.  I was not game to tell her that I was actually planning on cutting them up. *blush*.

The best ones I have seen use ribbed or cable knit sleeves to create the lines on the outside of a pumpkin.  None of the jumpers I could find had that on the sleeve, but they did in the body, so I just folded them over and sewed them into a tube before cutting. Worked like a charm.  Hover over the images for step by step instructions if you’d like to try this for yourself at home.

 

 

knitted pumpkins

If you enjoyed this project, please like and follow this blog.  Happy crafting!

Spooky Halloween Doorway Hanging.

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Spooky Halloween Doorway Hanging.

I saw some similar ghosts on Pinterest and thought we’d give them a go.  We made them earlier in the week, but it took me a few days to decide what to do with them.  A door hanging seemed perfect!

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The cheese cloth/white gauze was from Spotlight and only $2 per meter.  We used 2 meters for the 18 ghosts.  Each ghost needed 2 layers, as the cloth is quite transparent.  After I cut out the squares, Ms4 put the ghosts together.  Some how I have lost the photos of this step.

For the larger ghosts, we used eyes with backs on them, like you’d use making softies or teddies.  The spike on the back worked well to hold the cheese cloth in place too.  For the smaller ones we just glued on googley eyes with craft glue.  I had intended to make some bats and spiders to add as well, but when I laid out the ghosts, they covered the area better than expected.  Plus I have so many projects on the go at the moment, I thought I best actually get one finished.  We did add some plastic spiders for effect.  Using the longest needle I owned (which really needed to be another 2cm longer) I threaded each item onto 4 separate strings.  I used doubled over crochet cotton as it was the most appropriately coloured thing I had on hand.  Fishing line tends to get tangled too easy, so I avoided it this time. I attached the strings to a rod we had in the shed, but any stick would have been fine.  And there you have it.  As with most of my projects lately, they are really hard to take photos of!  Hopefully you get the idea!

If you’d like to see more family craft activities, please follow this blog and Pinterest!

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DIY Wind Chime, Candelabra/Sun Catcher.

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DIY Wind Chime, Candelabra/Sun Catcher.

I dragged the kids to the $2 shop to stock up on some supplies for other projects, and came across these cute little glass bottles.  I had to have them.  And I had to use them right now!  So much for Halloween craft this week! lol.

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I didn’t have a small enough pre made wreath wring to use as the frame, so I just used some gardening wire and platted it loosely along with a piece of twine.  I like the rough look it gave and thought it fit well with the theme.  The little glass balls were another score from the junk shop, they are actually part of a floating candle set, but I had bigger ideas.  I love those old glass buoys as decorations so I figured these could be made into mini ones.  I slightly filled the little jars with some crushed crystal beads I bought off eBay years ago, just to add some colour, then tied them all up.  Originally I was going to position each one, stepping them down as I went, but as they were all different heights and widths, it just didn’t give a worthwhile effect.  So I just tied them randomly, but so they would still hit each other to make a noise in the wind.   The candle holder in the middle was a last minute decision, I just thought it was missing something, and that finished it off perfectly.  To be honest, I wouldn’t leave the candle lit unattended, as those strings are flammable, maybe a battery operated tea-light would be a better idea.


Anyway, I am pretty happy with it.  I think I will do it again, after I collect some larger bottles to hold more candles.  Create something a little different again, and probably use wire to hang them next time.

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The finished product

The finished product

If you would like to see more craft and DIY projects like this one, please follow my blog and Pinterest.