A different creative project each week…from children's parties to sewing curtains

Monday, 28 October 2013

Pumpkin Fun

It is time to adorn our front door with cheery pumpkins to welcome visitors into our home. 

The children are on holiday this week and so these pumpkins have been decorated by them. I am sure you could put an adult twist on any of these ideas, so let your creative imagination run wild.

Here are three of the children with their pumpkins, which are as varied in size as possible (the pumpkins not children!).

Firstly Jessie decorates the smallest pumpkin with glue and decoupage paper. I am really glad we choose the smallest pumpkin to decoupage because it ended up being the longest to decorate.

We used regular glue and decoupage paper bought from Hobby craft.

If you want to weather proof your pumpkin then you should coat it in varnish once finished.

Sadly I deleted the photo of it finished so you will have to look at the above photo to see the final pumpkin.

This tall pumpkin was the simplest to decorate.

I used an old pair of patterned tights that we stretched over the pumpkin.

Then tied an elastic band around the tights at the top and the bottom of the pumpkin.

We cut off the excess tights and wrapped a colourful ribbon around the top of the pumpkin.

I love this sophisticated looking pumpkin!

Now for some colour. We painted stripes of paint over the pumpkin using leftover wall paint, though I am sure you could use acrylic paint too.

Had I been more organised I would have used a ruler or masking tape to measure the stripes, but as it was the kids got to the pumpkin before me and you can see the result in the finished photo.

Finally Jack scrapes out the middle of our final pumpkin before we attacked it with an electric drill.

After putting the drill onto a slow speed I showed the children how to drill holes down the lines of the pumpkin.

I let them drill holes all over the pumpkin to make a beautiful pattern. When you light a candle in the pumpkin it makes the prettiest of sights.

Sadly my photographic skill are not good enough to capture this beauty in the dark, but you get an idea of it in this photograph, though I had to remove the top in order to get enough light to expose the photograph, so it looks much nicer normally.

Pumpkins don't need to be scary, why not spend some time making something beautiful and fun for your home out of these delicious vegetables.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Autumn Leave Wreath

I LOVE the bright colours of autumn leaves and this week have tried to make a wreath that cherishes these colours and brings them into our home.

Whilst I made this, it is a project you could easily do with your children over half term, so I encourage you to spend time looking for beautiful leaves to use for this project and then get the kids involved!

For this wreath you will need a large selection of leaves, some glue (PVA or ModPodge) a cereal packet and a paper clip.
Begin by pressing your leaves in a book. It takes only a few days, but in doing this you will find the leaves are dry and flat making your job much easier and longer lasting.

Lay them flat in the pages of a book, and then put the book under something heavy for a day or two.
I got Jack to help me draw around a plate onto the back of the cereal packet.

Then I cut it out and using a slightly smaller plate I cut another circle out of the centre.

I repeated this with both sides of the cereal packet so I had two identical cardboard hoops.

Once you have cut them both out, glue the colourful side of one of the circles and lay a paperclip sticking out of the top of the circle. Now place a little glue over the paper clip and then stick on the second circle shape colourful side down.

The paper clip will act as the hook to hang your final piece up (see picture)

Cover one side of the cardboard circle with glue and then start sticking on leaves.

You can see that I have positioned similar looking, large leaves spaced well apart from each other.

The leaves that are the least attractive should go on first.

Now glue over the leaves and add more until all the cardboard is covered.

Layer the glue and the leaves until you are pleased with the over all shape of the wreath. Leave the nicest, prettiest leaves until last to display on the top.

The whole wreath should now be covered completely in glue and left to dry.

At this point my husband pointed out that it might have been better to cover the table with newspaper first!

I left my wreath to dry on top of a bowl so the air could get to every part of the wreath.

Several hours later, the glue is dry and you are ready to hang your wreath.

The glue has made the structure much more robust and you will now be able to hang it up by the paperclip to display your pretty autumn wreath.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Jazzy Fabric Boxes

A pretty box never ceases to brighten up my day, and as I have spent the last three days stuck in the house with sick children my day needed brightening!

You need an old shoe box with a lid and some pretty fabric. Most fabric shops will sell 'Fat-Quarters' for less than a pound or two and they are perfect for this project.

You will also need some spray adhesive glue that can be bought at a craft shop or hardware shop.
Cut your fabric the right size by laying the box in the middle of the fabric and leaving a margin around the outside that is at least 2cms longer than the sides of the box.

For example, if your box is 15cms tall then there should be at least 17cms of fabric around each side of the box.

Cover the table with scrap paper and then spray a thin layer of spray adhesive over the fabric.
Gently lift the long sides of fabric up to the box so they stick firmly. You may need to redo this if there are lots of wrinkles in the fabric.
Make sure both long edges are stuck up and then fold a triangle shape from the side onto the short end of the box. If this instruction is unclear look at how I did the lid (below) as I have marked out the triangle on the box.

Once you have stuck this triangle down on both sides the fabric can just be lifted up to reveal a perfect corner.
Once both ends have been stuck fold all of the edges over into the box.
Now for the lid.

Begin in exactly the same way measuring your fabric so it is the height plus 2cms wider than the box.
You can see on this photo that I have marked in pen the triangle shape I mentioned earlier. It is a 45 degree angle from the corner and the fabric from the side should stick to the top triangle shape.

As mentioned, the fabric folds from the side of the lid to the top triangle shape.

A bit out of focus, sorry, but the fabric can then be folded up on both sides to cover the triangle shape and then the whole lot can be folded into the lid.
Here are the finished boxes. You could use these as storage boxes, presents or decorations.

The same principles can be used with wrapping-paper instead of fabric, making this an ideal way to cover shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is a BRILLIANT charity that delivers shoeboxes filled with gifts to children in some of the poorest countries.  Perhaps you could get involved by decorating and filling a shoebox with gifts for a child this Christmas!

Monday, 7 October 2013

£10 note shirt and tie

I have always wanted to make a shirt and tie out of money…here is how you can make one too…

Firstly, you need to make your £10 note similar proportions to an American dollar bill, so fold 5mm off the side of your note (see photo above). This fold should be kept folded all through this project. It doesn't make any difference to the feel or shape of the final shirt and tie as the fold ends up in the middle.

Now fold the whole thing in half and undo it to reveal the central crease.

Fold two triangles in from each side into the middle in a similar way to how you make a paper aeroplane.

Fold the large triangle end over.
Using a pencil and ruler draw a tie shape from the middle line of the base of the triangle to the top. The tie can be as thick as you like, though I have drawn mine about 5mm from the middle point of the triangle on each side.

I have used a pen so you can see my tie, but you should use a pencil as it is much less obvious.

Now open it out to reveal the tie lines.
Carefully fold down the middle line of your note until you get to the tie shape where you should fold down the lines you have drawn.
Fold the large triangle back over and with your right hand holding the top right hand corner in place on the table.

Fold the tie in half so the lines you drew are touching which will make the top left hand section of the note now lift up.

Squash the left side down making a new fold.
Now open the neck tie out so you can see both lines again.
Repeat this process on the right side so that you have a neck tie and two creases along the top.

For clarification I shall refer to these two creases as top and bottom creases in the remaining instructions.

Fold the outside lengths of the note into the middle line on both sides.
This bit is slightly tricky…

Open your folds out, locate the bottom shoulder crease (my finger is pointing to it) and line it up with the top of the tie. Once you have done this crease it into place.

This will create slightly titled shoulders and the shirt can be tucked under the tie.
 Repeat this on both sides.

Fold up 5mm of the other end of the note.
Turn it all over with the shoulders at the top and the newest fold at the bottom.

We are now creating the collar.

Fold the bottom two corners up at an angle. You will immediately see that this has created a collar.

Fold up the bottom so the top of the collar almost reaches the bottom of the neck tie (2mm gap).
Open it back up again and from the fold you have just created (marked here with a pen) you will begin to form the sleeves.

Gently pull from the middle of this crease the edge of the note out and fold into place.

Do this on both sides to reveal the sleeves of the shirt.

 You can see from this photo that the shirt is starting to form. As you have folded the sleeves out you are forced to fold down the shirt.

Turn it over, and fold the top of the sleeves (pictured here at the bottom where the pen is aligned) to the bottom of the shoulders (pictured here at the top where my finger is pointing.
It looks like a complete mess but don't worry.

Lift up the collar so it just peaks over the shirt, and finally tuck the collar over the front of the shirt.

Congratulations…you have made a shirt and tie to wow anyone!

Why not use this as an exciting way to give to someone for their birthday, to leave as an interesting tip in a restaurant or just to entertain small children!