Tag Archives: gift ideas

Halloween Toddler Craft, DIY Treat Boxes

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Halloween Toddler Craft, DIY Treat Boxes

I know many Australians still have not accepted Halloween, ‘it’s a silly American tradition’, even though it is not American, but anyway, they really should, because it is heaps of harmless fun and the kids love it.  Our new neighbourhood really gets into it, I think I enjoy it more than Christmas!

But of course, it’s not just about the dressing up and lollies, halloween craft is lots of fun too. Maybe it’s because I am new to it, but it seems so much more fun than Easter and Christmas craft.  Today I just did a simple project with the little kids as the older 2 were not home.  I had another idea in my head, but have decided to keep that for later in the school holidays.  I am hoping to get quite a few Halloween themed projects in over the next 2 weeks while the kids are off.

I cut out some Halloween shapes in the potatoes while Ms4 gathered the paint and plastic plates.  The boxes were just from the grocery store, but they are available at many places, $2 shops etc. We had to allow each side to dry before doing the other side, as you need to apply pressure for best results, rather than trying to stamp the assembled boxes.  Once both sides were dry we applied another coat of glitter paint, and some embellishments, again, one side at a time.  The weather was nice today so the whole project only took a couple of hours even while waiting for things to dry.

 

I am pretty happy with the results.  Would have liked some different coloured boxes for variety, and was disappointed we are out of black paint for the bats, but over all, not bad for an afternoons work.

 

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DIY Sun catcher/Wind chime.

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DIY Sun catcher/Wind chime.

This project was inspired by another bloggers post, which I can’t find again on Pinterest, so will have to edit it back in later when I can find it.  Anyway, I ended up doing something completely different to hers, because I couldn’t get my hands on the right kind of cups.  The original mobile was created with plastic (recycling number 6) disposable drinking cups.  I hunted high and low however, the only ones of them here were solid colours, so I had to settle for these shot glasses.  The shot glasses are a lot thicker though, so the entire method required adjusting.  As you can see in the gallery images, melting these at a low heat basically make little plastic globs that would only be good for playing jacks with.   Eventually I worked out that by turning the heat up enough, I could get them to melt flat.  However, they did emit a nasty smell at this temp, so I took the project out to the BBQ.  

Adding the next colour

Adding the next colour

After melting the first cups, I added another cup, so there was enough plastic to cover the base of each muffin hole.  I was not too worried about thickness, some ended up with 3 cups, I broke a few cups up to splash some other colour around.  The BBQ was set to 220C with the lid down.   After cooling, this is what you get; 

The finished disks

The finished disks

 

They actually set really hard and when clicked together sound like glass rather than plastic.  Makes them perfect for a wind chime.  Just like with my previous sun catcher, I drilled holes in the sides of each piece using a normal drill bit.  None of them broke this time, which was an extra win.  Then we threaded some fishing line through, held each end together and threaded random shiny and transparent beads along the 2 lines. Admittedly I do have a ridiculously huge stash of beads and stones accumulated from over the years, but you can pick up cheap beads at $2 shops that will still make the project inexpensive if you were starting from scratch.  The first line was 11cm, then I continued along making each one 1cm longer, there is 17 in total.  My darling partner tied them on to the pre made metal loop (from spotlight – and much to his disappointment, he is not a crafty person).  Once they were all tied on, I just slid them around until they were spaced evenly.  And done! 

Close up

Close up

 

** Please note, breathing in the fumes from melting plastic is probably not a very good idea.  So if you do try this at home, try to use the BBQ or make sure the room is well ventilated, and preferably don’t be near the oven while its all happening.  It not like burning tyres or anything, but it sure doesn’t smell like something you should be breathing in! 

 

Valentine Heart Activities for the Kids, with a side of FAIL!

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Valentine Heart Activities for the Kids, with a side of FAIL!

The concept here is very simple, so the results are totally worth it. Gather up any old crayons, or you could even buy new ones if you like, but with 4 kids in the house, we have plenty of old odd sets.  Let the kids remove the paper (strengthening fine motor skills for the win!) and snap or cut into small enough pieces to fit in your desired mould.  *make sure your mould is heat proof!

IMG_1115Heat the oven to around 120c, it really doesn’t need to be very hot. Place in the oven on another hard tray (like a pizza tray) because they will be super runny before they set again and you don’t want crayon spilt inside your oven – ask me how I know?   If you do happen to spill a few drops, wipe it off with paper towel straight away, much easier to remove it while its still runny.

Once they are all fully melted, remove from the oven to cool.  I put them in the fridge after a while, because I am impatient.  Then just press them out of the moulds and you’re done.

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And now for the fail.  Originally I wanted to make crayon rings, for something a bit different on valentines day.  So along with my heart tray, I ordered a ring tray.  We were all set to go and excitedly looking forward to the results.

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But alas, this tray must have been for the freezer only.  I was sitting at my desk and thought ‘what is that smell’ walked to the oven to check and holey smokes!  I opened the door quickly, at which point the lot burst into flames!  So I threw some water on it in my panicked state.  The results?

IMG_1079A house full of toxic smoke and a colourful mess to clean up!  Oh dear.  So please, learn from my mistake, make sure you check the temperature ratings!

Classic Christmas Cooking – Window Biscuit Decorations

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Classic Christmas Cooking – Window Biscuit Decorations

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I helped the kids in Mr 8s class make these at school, so thought we would give them a try at home.  There is heaps of different recipes out there, so you can really make them any flavour you wants, but you want to choose a biscuit that doesn’t rise too much.   We used a basic butter biscuit recipe.

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon and all spice.  I probably don’t need to tell you how to make biscuits.  To be honest, they rose a little more than I would have liked, so might use a different recipe next time.  The recipe also started with the usual ‘pre-heat oven’, but after mixing the ingredients you had to put the dough into the fridge for 45 minutes.  What a waste of electricity having your oven running all that time?

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Use any shapes you like, then a smaller shape inside.  Pop a hard lolly (boiled lolly or jolly rancher etc) into the centre and bake on some baking paper at around 180 for only a few minutes.  The lolly will melt in the time it takes to cook the biscuit.  So simple.

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If you live in an area of the world that is humid, these wont last long on the tree.  So just eat them!

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Home Made Christmas Cards – Kids Craft

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Home Made Christmas Cards – Kids Craft

Unlike most of our projects, where I get inspired by Pinterest or something else,  I actually thought this up myself!

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Really easy messy fun for all ages.  Just take some coloured paper and draw some simple Christmas shapes.  If drawing is not your thing, trace around some cookie cutters.

Basic Christmas Shapes

Cover inside the outline with a thick layer of craft glue.  Smear around with a paintbrush or a finger tip if you don’t mind getting sticky.

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Then sprinkle christmas theme sequins randomly over the glued area.  Try to cover the outline as much as possible too.

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When you can’t see much of the paper within the shape, give it a light shake.  Then drizzle some more glue over the top to hold down any loose ones.

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Allow to dry.  We left them for 24 hours.

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Once dry, Use some large sharp scissors, cut around the shape.  If you can’t see the outline on the front, just follow the lines that went through the page as demonstrated above.

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Once the shapes are cut out, we added some double sided mounting tape (commonly used for scrap booking) to give them a slightly more 3D effect on the card, but you could just use standard double sided tape or glue.

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Position on the cards as you please, and there you have it.  Sparkly Christmas cards.  Mini ones of these would also make cute Gift Tags.  Just line the other side with another piece of paper to write on and use a hole punch to make somewhere to secure with ribbon.

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Christmas Gift idea – Teachers gifts.

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Christmas Gift idea – Teachers gifts.

As it turns out, on of my sons teachers does not drink alcohol, so my fall back gift of a nice bottle of wine or spirits at the end of the year was ruined.   Buying an actual gift for someone you know very little about, have never seen inside of their house to understand their taste, I find really really hard.   I stumbled across these nifty little things at House

I grabbed 3 different colours as my eldest son has 2 teachers.  Woolworths just happened to have Cadbury Favourites  and Lindt Lindors half price!  So I stocked up on those and away we went.

 

We filled them almost to the top with chocolates, then wrapped in cellophane

 

 

finished off with some ribbon and a bauble.

Then my son comes home and informs me that she doesn’t eat chocolate either…   So we are back to square one for her!