Category Archives: DIY

Upcycled pallet planters

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Upcycled pallet planters

As part of the never-ending garden makeovers going on around here, I wanted 2 large barrels. I needed something off the ground so that my darling chooks and dogs would not dig them up, and the plants in them would have some chance of becoming established.  But then I saw how much barrels were and the idea went wayyyyyy down the list of priorities. I mean who is going to spend $200 to save some $3 petunias?

The blank canvas

The blank canvas.

I happened to be at Bunnings just a few days after Christmas, and their pallet recycling pile was massive, presumably from all the extra Christmas stock. I grabbed a long pallet for another project then inspiration struck! I called Mr. SAHL and he was on board.  What better reason to pull out all those power tools I buy him.

Unfortunately, heaps of the photos of the progress have gone missing, so what was going to be a step by step guide cannot be.  But hopefully, this blog can be inspiration enough anyway.  I was aiming for pots at least 70cm tall to deter the chooks. But you can make them any size you like really.

 

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I was originally planning on painting them, but now I kind of like the rustic finish, even with the random chunks of blue. 🙂

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And we have progress.  The temporary fence is in place to keep the dogs and chooks out while the groundcover, lychee, and pomegranate trees get established. The middle section is where we will be building an aviary in a few months time. Stay tuned!

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DIY Party Favours

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DIY Party Favours

We only have parties every 3rd birthday in our house as organising parties for 4 kids every year would be a full-time job (plus I’d need a 3rd job to pay for them).  So when we do have a party, I like to try to make it ‘next level’.  This month my daughter will be having her 9th birthday party with 10 close friends at home.  I thought rather than just the usual party bags filled with cheap lollies and plastic noisemakers, I’d try to make it a bit more grown up and special for them.  Here is one of the ideas we came up with to include in the party favours.  They worked out to $1 each and took about an hour for the 2 of us to put together.

You can purchase these packs studs in an assortment of colours and sizes from most Kmarts for just $2.  With only 10 guests we just split a pack in half, but there is no reason you couldn’t break them down further if you were to have more guests.

Image from http://www.kmart.com.au/

The background ‘thank you’ note was created on PicMonkey which is a really fun and easy editing website that even the kids can navigate. I inserted the image into a Word document to make it easier to adjust the size and estimate how big they needed to be on an A4 page.

Once we decided on an appropriate size for our image, we simply printed and cut them out and stuck on the strips of card that came with the earrings, using a glue stick.

Then it was simply a case of transferring the earrings over to the new home pushing them through the pink layer of paper.

If you plan on doing this project buy one more pack than you need as unfortunately some of them did break as we were removing from the cards – but at $2 for 10 pairs it’s hardly worth complaining about nor making another trip to Kmart. 🙂

And there you have it.  Thank you cards with a gift, all for $1 each plus a bit of ink and paper.  Happy party planning. 🙂

Rustic Clay Wind Chime

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Rustic Clay Wind Chime

It has been entirely too long between entries.  Life gets like that though I guess. I actually made this wind chime back in May, but have not had a chance to blog about it. Pretty sad when you can’t find a spare half hour in 7 months… but hopefully I will make up for that over the next 3 weeks while my schedule is not so hectic.

I am really happy with the way this project turned out, but it may not be something everyone can make at home, as you will need access to a kiln for the baking of the clay.  I am lucky enough to have that access 🙂  The discs were made from potters clay, available from any good craft shop, about $30 for 10kg (it’s really heavy when wet!). I rolled some clay out to around 5mm thick, then cut the circles out using a metal egg ring.  I then used a variety of leaves and flowers from around the garden, laid them over the clay and rolled over gently with a rolling pin, just enough to create the patterns as you can see.

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Clay circles with leaf and flower prints.

Once baked and cooled, it was time for assembly.  Mr 5 and Miss 6 were happy to help decorate the pieces of fishing line with some chunky transparent glass beads I had in my bead stash.

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Threading the beads on fishing line before assembly

We then went on a hunt for the perfect stick, attached it to a chair and began assembly.  I wanted the discs to taper down, so this was not something the kids could help with.

Assembly of wind chime

Assembling

Once I was happy with the positioning of each string, I tied them in a few more knots and decorated the top hanging twine.  Cut off any loose ends and it’s done.  As simple as that.

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Each disc touches the next ever so slightly, making a lovely sound in the breeze, without being too noisy.

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Simple Christmas Card Ideas – Part 2

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Simple Christmas Card Ideas – Part 2

Christmas craft that doubles up as a math lesson! Hehe.

This activity really doesn’t require much explanation.  All you need is some paddle pop sticks, sharp scissors or secateurs, some craft glue and card stock. Work out how tall you want your tree.  If you want to make a pattern, decide on that now too. We just went random.  Measure out on the sticks 1cm, then 2cm on the next one, 3cm and so on.  Cut the sticks where you have marked them.  Set them out on the table then add a generous amount of glue to your card, stick them down and you’re done!

We added a little green tree trunk to ours too, but that is optional.  You could also add some other little squares of stick as decorations if you wanted.

Paddle pop Christmas Tree.

Paddle pop Christmas Tree.

Simple Christmas Card Ideas, Part 1.

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Simple Christmas Card Ideas, Part 1.

Here’s a simple card decoration idea that doubles up as a fine motor activity.

For all the card projects this year I am using plain black card stock.  They were $2 for a pack of 12 at a $2 shop.

For this project you will need some coloured paper or thin cardboard, craft glue and any decorations you like (we kept it simple with an angel sequin)

Trace out a tree shape on the back of one of the pieces of paper.

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Fold the other coloured paper in half to double it over then bring all 3 pieces together and cut along the outline so you end up with 3 identical shapes.

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Using a pencil draw some lines across the back of one of the trees.  Then tear carefully along the lines as demonstrated by Ms5

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Cover the other colour tree completely with glue, then stick down every second piece of torn paper.

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Allow to dry and secure to your card stock 🙂

Torn paper christmas tree.

Torn paper christmas tree.

Christmas Craft For Kids – Cup Cake Christmas Trees.

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Christmas Craft For Kids – Cup Cake Christmas Trees.

These are so easy to make and turned out super cute.  Inspiration actually came form some fish scales I saw some students at school making.

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All you need is some cup cake papers, cardboard (we used an old cereal box) glue stick (or paper glue) and scissors.  We just used cup cake papers we had in the cupboard, the striped green is my favourite.

Draw and cut out a tree shape.  For the first few, I drew lines as a guide for the rows so that Ms 5 didn’t just stick the papers all over the place.  This created the layers or ‘tiers’.  By the time she got to do her own at the end, she didn’t need lines anymore as she understood the process.

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Just press down the flat part (the bottom) of the cup cake paper, not the corrugated part. Once the bottom line is covered, move up to the next row and repeat until you get to the top.

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Ms5 decided to finish them off with a yellow paper sticking out the top like a star.  Great idea!

Cupcake Tree

Cupcake Tree

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3 Easy DIY Fancy Dress Costumes.

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3 Easy DIY Fancy Dress Costumes.

It’s that time of year again mums and dads!  The painful time when your kids want to dress up as something that you can’t possibly find at a costume shop.  AKA Book Week!  This year was made extra painful by the fact I only realised at lunch time the day before, that I TOO had to dress up for work!  So I needed something we could whip up in one evening – these are the results. 

I wanted Mr9 to go as Mr Bump, but apparently he is too old for that.  So he wanted to be an MnM, even though that has nothing to do with book week… 

I needed to be able to sit and write in my costume, so a cardboard front was not going to work.  As poorly demonstrated in the photo, the body took its square shape while I held my hands up, which is all I needed for the parade part of the day. So it worked well.  I simply worked out the length I wanted it, doubled it over then brought one corner across to make a right angle triangle. Cut away the excess and the hard part is done! 

Then it was simply a case of drawing on the face and cutting a slit for the head hole. My ‘weights’ are old rope reals that we happened to have in the garage (for storing Christmas lights) and the hat was $2 from a junk shop.  

Little Miss Sunshine and the MnM are just variations of the same.  Trace a circle (work out how big you can go for the size of the costume wearer) We made a compass with ribbon and 2 pens.  Rather than painting, you could just use the correct colour card and maybe back it with some firmer cardboard, but we left this too last minute so had to paint.  The yellow craft paint required a layer of white under it as it was too transparent alone to give you that very ‘bright’ yellow that LMS required.  

We hand drew LMS facial features with pencil then went over them again with black marker.  The hair was cut from felt, but if you didn’t have any felt you could just draw the lines on for her hair (that’s all she has in the books anyway).  The plaits are 3 pieces of felt, hot glued to the back of the card.  

The MnM is much the same, but we used some templates for the facial features from this blog.  Which made life much easier.  I cut away the eye lids however and traced them back on so they were a consistent red.   Then it was just a case of fixing some straps to the back so they could be worn hands free. For this I simply attached some ribbon to the back with ample sticky tape.  Leaving a piece of ribbon hanging out the bottom, which was then stuck over the top in the opposite direction to avoid the ribbon sliding out of the tape.  The ribbons were still firmly secured at the end of the day.  

I think given more time some white gloves for each of these costumes would have finished them off nicely.  Other than that, not a bad outcome for a few hours work the night before. 🙂 

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Egg Carton Daffodils – School Holidays Craft

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School holidays!  Woot! First cab off the rank, these simple little daffodils made from egg cartons.

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All you need is an egg carton, paint, pipe cleaners or skewers, glue.  I used split pins to attach the centres to the petals, but you could just glue them too.  One carton makes 5 flowers.

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Cut the centres first, as shown above.  Then cut out 5 of the cups to make neat little flowers.  Daffodils technically have more than 4 petals, but I just worked with 4  as the egg cups have a squarish shape and it was easier to cut that way.

Paint the middle sections inside and out.  We used orange, but you could use any colour you like.  Then paint the outers a lighter colour.

Once dry, I poked some holes through the centre of each piece and using pliers inserted a gold split pin (my fingers wouldn’t fit in there, so had to use pliers).

For the stems, pipe cleaners would have been easier, but I decided to use some skewers wrapped in green raffia.  It gave them a more natural texture.  I secured the raffia at each end with some sticky tape.

Then it was simply a case of attaching the stems to the flowers.  I used hot glue for this.

 

DIY Hidden Object Game

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DIY Hidden Object Game

I saw one of these in a game shop last Christmas, I thought it was very cool but not “I’m happy to spend $40 on this” cool.  It just looked far too easy to make myself.  Turns out I was right. You could make these in any shape or size, and fill them with just about anything.  We had all these things in the house already, so it was fairly inexpensive.

 

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There is several methods for colouring rice on the net, but I was looking for quick and simple.  The blue and red we made with just food colouring and a dash of water, mixed well then laid flat to dry.  The yellow we used vinegar in place of the water (some recipes asked for rubbing alcohol but we don’t have any of that).  The yellow dried about 3 times faster than the other 2, so that is the way to go.  Instead of placing the trays in the sun, I just put them in the oven at 50C with the door open.  The red took about an hour to fully dry (it took the longest).  I did stir it around occasionally to prevent any sticking and distribute the wetter rice.

Mixing the colour and spreading out to dry.

While that way drying we hunted around the house for appropriate goodies to put inside.  We came up with 20 items.  The amount of items you want to use will depend on your container size.  I think we could have easily used twice as many, but it was still a good ratio.  The items varied in weight and texture.

It would have been easier to mix all the rice colours together prior to filling the container, but the kids enjoyed layering the different colours with a few objects between, then shaking to mix at the end.

The container we used was an old straw holder. You can buy them full of straws at the grocery store for around $4.  It did have a hole in the top, but this actually came in handy as a place to insert a ribbon and attach the key to what is inside.

I took a photo of all 20 items, shrunk it, then printed and covered in clear contact.  Attached to the ribbon on top.  If you were to just use a clear water bottle or similar, you could just tie something to the neck of the bottle.

The key

The key

Once everything was put in and we were happy with the level of rice, I taped it up nice and tight.  And that’s it.  Some of the lighter items are easy to find and often pop up to the top, but theres several things we have not managed to find again, like the smily badge and dinosaur!

The kids really enjoyed this project and were able to be involved every step of the way.  It was a bit messy, but over all a success.

The Craft Cupboard Overhaul

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The Craft Cupboard Overhaul

I’ll be honest, I rarely walk past a discount shop without picking up a little something for my craft stash.  The only problem with this, is finding somewhere to keep it all.  The side board I keep everything in was at breaking point, it had been for weeks actually. So it was time to dive in and sort everything out.  It was a painful 3 hour job, but worth it!

 

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4 small bins worth of rubbish and a few hours later…

 

That all fits nicely now, but it did mean my supplies have to start taking over another room.

Craft cupboard.

Sewing kit, ribbon box, wool and twine box, tule, felt and glue stash.

Ohhh, looky, there is even some extra space!  What ever will I fill it with?  Mwahahaha!

Kids Craft, Easter Egg Sun Catcher / Stained Glass

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Kids Craft, Easter Egg Sun Catcher / Stained Glass

Inspiration for this project came from Alpha Moms blog. I thought I’d adjust it into an Easter themed project, given it is already that time of year.

All you need is some of the whitish milk or juice cartons.  We actually used a cordial bottle for the grass.  The stickers on the milk bottle where quite hard to remove and left a sticky residue.  I managed to remove this with some mineral turpentine.

Once you have your clean pieces of plastic, draw or as we did, trace your shapes using a black permanent marker (Sharpie etc).  Then let the kids colour as desired.  Once coloured, cut away the extra plastic and you’re done!  They turned out even better than expected.

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We attached ours to the windows using double sided tape rather than suction cups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pom Pom Easter Wreath

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Pom Pom Easter Wreath

The girls at All Tizzies Up do love a pom pom or 700!  Here is a simple easter wreath they put together using basic craft materials and a pile of pom poms!

 

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Make Your Own Easter Head Bands

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The girls at All Tizzied Up had a busy weekend doing Easter craft. Their first creations were these cute little hand made head bands.

Mum has taken step by step photos that do all the explaining themselves.

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Make Your Own Bottle Top Stamps

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Here’s a super quick and easy activity to put together to keep your toddlers and preschoolers entertained.  All you need is some bottle caps and foam stickers (available from most $2 shops and craft stores). If you don’t have a stamp pad, you can spread out a thin layer of paint on a plate or add a few drops of water to a water colour tray like we have.  

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School Hair Clips and Hot Glue Burns.

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So Ms5 started big school this year and she has been wearing lovely hair bows every day thanks to the wonderful All Tizzied Up.  But I figure at the rate we lose hair bands in general, she will soon be requiring more.  So I thought I’d give making some a go.

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I ordered a stack of plain clips from ebay, I think it was $5 for 100 or something equally ridiculously cheap.  The ribbon was the only kind in the school colours that I could get my hands on at the local $2 shop.  The various widths limited my design options, but I am pretty happy with the results for a first attempt.

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I have been warned by the pro not to get addicted! I can see how easy that might be though!  Beside the row of buttons one, they are all basically just loops or figure 8s of ribbon, glued on top of each other.  The buttons nicely cover up the mess in the middle too!  Might have to watch some tutorials on other kinds of bows when I get my hands on some more ribbon.

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By the way, just in case anyone was not aware, hot glue burns like fire.  Yep, true story, just ask my finger.

Bugs and Bees and Butterflies! So Sweet!

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Bugs and Bees and Butterflies! So Sweet!

Check out these cute bugs the girls at All Tizzied Up put together on the weekend.  Made from pipe cleaners, pom poms, wooden pegs, goggly eyes and tulle.  So simple and so cute!

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They have kindly taken step by step photos so you can be inspired too, to create your own colouring creepy crawlies.

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Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

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Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

Everyone loves a sun catcher – well according to Pinterest they do! This is basically the same concept as the Valentine Hearts  we did a few weeks back, but instead of random shapes, we used a punch to make stars and circles etc from the cellophane. Once laminated, we cut out smaller shapes and hung them from a branch with some beads.

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This is yet another almost impossible thing to photograph, it looks so much more bright and colourful in real life. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, or maybe I just need to do a photography coarse, or even read the instructions for my DSLR…

Kids Valentine Craft, Love Heart Entrance – Bubble Painting.

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Kids Valentine Craft, Love Heart Entrance – Bubble Painting.

We have done a bubble painting project before for Easter, it is so easy and the results are always cool, so we have tried it again this time just using pink.  We also used some pink paper as well as the white, where as last time we just used white paper.

Valentine Door Hanging,

Valentine Door Hanging,

 

Again I cheated and printed out some heart shapes, rather than drawing them all just so all the sizes were consistent.  You could obviously trace around a cookie cutter too, but hey, did I mention I am lazy?  I didn’t really measure out the ingredients for the bubble paint, it really was a squeeze of dishwashing liquid, splash of food colouring and a splash of tap water.  Then let the kids blow bubbles in the mixture until the bubbles come up over the top of the bowl.  Get them to quickly place the paper gently over the bubbles and the patterns will transfer to the paper. Instead of cutting each shape out first this time, we did the painting then cut them out after they were dry.  Then it was just a case of attaching them to some gift ribbon with tape.  I stuck them to the wall with blue tac.

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If you wanted to make these hang in a door way, it would be a good idea to paint both sides of the paper, so they can spin and still look pretty on both sides.

Kids Valentine Craft – Stained Glass Hearts

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Kids Valentine Craft – Stained Glass Hearts

I was determine to do some Valentine craft today with the kids before we ran out of time.  I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do, but we couldn’t find the type of paper I needed.  While picking up some other bits and pieces from the grocery store, we found A4 laminate sheets on special and decided to grab some for the craft cupboard. I had a look around Pinterest for inspiration and then it finally came to me, lucky we grabbed those sheets!
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The steps are pretty self explanatory I think, but you can see more instructions by clicking on or running your mouse over each photo below.

The similar projects I have seen on Pinterest use clear book contact, which you could also use if you don’t have a laminating machine.  The laminate sleeves give a much clearer finish though.  I was worried at first that the cellophane might melt as it went through the heat, but it was fine.

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Ribbon Roses, Valentine Craft

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Ribbon Roses, Valentine Craft

All Tizzied Up has taught her daughters how to make these ribbon flowers just as she did when she was a kid.  Very cute and pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

 

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All you need is some ribbon (thickness will determine how big the flower head ends up being), some felt if you would like to add leaves, styrofoam ball, wooden skewer and some pipe cleaners for the stem.  Step by step photos and instructions can be found by running over or clicking on the picture gallery below.

 

 

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