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Children's Crafts and Activities

How to make Decoupage hearts

I love making handmade decorations, I just love sitting down with my girls and creating beautiful handmade items we can be proud of. 

We have made flower pots before using the decoupage technique a few years ago as Christmas presents where we covered the pots in pictures. When I heard about making decoupage Wooden hearts using napkins I just had to give it a go. 

After a lot of trial and error we finally know how to make them and have made some beautiful hanging decorations ready to hang around the house. 

How to make decoupage wooden heart Decorations! 

To make decoupage Wooden hearts you will need – 

Method

  • First you need to prepare your wooden heart surface and make sure it is smooth. You can use sandpaper to give it a light rub down. If you do sand the heart first make sure you remove all the wood dust before moving on to the next step.
  • We then painted our wooden hearts white as having this background colour helps bring out the details of the napkin but this step is optional and depends on how you want your heart to look. You could experiment and do one of each and see what one you prefer.
  • Cut out the pattern you want from your napkin.
  • You then need to separate the ply from the napkins. This step is very important as we found out the hard way. If you don’t separate the ply the napkin will crease and start to separate on the heart. The first sheet of ply will come off easy and with a bit of rubbing and pulling you can then separate it again until you are left with a very thin napkin layer. 
  • Next cover the heart in a thin layer of Mod Podge
  • The carefully place your napkin on the heart making sure it is right side up. When smoothing the napkin down don’t rub it to hard as it will rip. I found that tapping it works better than rubbing. You can also use a sheet of cling film and place over the top before pressing the napkin down this will also help to stop it ripping.
  • Leave to dry.
  • Once dry cover the whole of the heart in Mod Podge. Repeat this step 3-5 times until you have a nice smooth finish. 

To make your heart feel super smooth you can then use your sandpaper to give it a light rub over to erase all the bumps. If you have any overhang of napkin you can also use the sandpaper to take this off.

Tie your string to the top and find somewhere to hang your new beautiful decoration.

If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

How to make a pompom rug

Window Sticker Activity for Children

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

Window sticker activity for Children

A while ago my sister sent my girls a pack of Amos Glass Deco pens as a present (she does always send them cool presents). I had never heard or seen them before so I was looking forward to trying them out. 

Basically they are coloured liquid filled pens that you can use to make beautiful window stickers that can be pealed off and removed easily without leaving a mess.

Each pack comes with a liner pen which you use first to do the outline of your sketch, you then leave it for a few minutes to slightly harden after that you use the coloured pens to fill in your picture. Once done leave them overnight to fully dry after that you just peal your sticker off and place them on your window. 

You make your picture on clear plastic sheets that come in the pack along with a few designs you can use. As the sheets are clear it is easy to put a design underneath and trace it.

I also found that plastic wallets are great to use for creating your window sticker and then you can easily put your paper design securely in the wallet.

My girls absolutely loved using the Amos Glass Deco Pens,.  We do use them quite a lot and I join in every time they are out.

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They are great for window displays as they peel off easily and don’t leave a mess behind. We have used them to make Christmas, Easter and Halloween window stickers and the girls also have some non seasonal ones that stay on their bedroom windows constantly. 

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I also used the pens quite a lot when I was childminding as an after school activity and they were always a big hit, although it was hard to get the children to wait until the next day to be able to take them home.

I had children as young as 4 years old using the pens, they are great for building motor control in young children and improving the creative flare and design in older children.

If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rock Painting

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities Mental health & Wellbeing

Art is Good for the Soul (even if you are not very good at it)

Art is a brilliant way to relax and unwind and it is also great for mental health. You don’t have to be a talented artist creating masterpieces to be able to feel the benefits of art.

I love art but I am definitely no artist, my children can draw and paint better pictures than me but I really enjoy drawing, painting and making things. I also enjoy sitting down with my girls (when I can drag them away from their tablets) and all doing an art activity together.

For me I just love losing myself in what I am creating and forgetting about everything else going on. After I have finished I am always in a calmer and happier frame of mind. Adult colouring books are also a great way to engage in art and creativity but if you don’t have one a pen and paper can be just as beneficial.

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”Pablo Picasso

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The benefits of Art

Art can help relieve stress

Whether it is in the form of drawing, painting or colouring, participating in art is a great way to lower your overall stress levels and help you to feel much better mentally. Art will provide your brain a distraction to what issues you have going on around you and allow you to live in the moment focusing on what you are creating instead.

Art will encourage brain activity

Creating art helps to stimulate all sorts of connections between the different brain cells in your body.  A study done in Germany shows that two hours of active mental stimulation six days a week can help slow the cognitive decline you get with dementia. https://arts4dementia.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/

Art can help boost your self-esteem and provide you with a sense of accomplishment

When you create art it increases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine which has been called the ‘motivation molecule’. This can help boost your drive, focus and concentration, it also stimulates the creation of new neurons and prepares your brain for learning.

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When I bought my girls their sketchbooks I also got myself one too and I will happy sit drawing with them. We do quite often all sit down together and put on a YouTube video and follow the steps to draw a certain character.

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The best thing about art is that there is no right or wrong to how you do it, each piece created is unique and individual. So next time you are feeling stressed or looking for a way to relax and unwind pick up the pencils and get creative.

If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Window Sticker Activity for Children

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Halloween Window Decorations

We love making our own Halloween decorations to display in our windows. We use Amos glass deco pens to create our own peelable window stickers. These pens are easy to use, you just make your design on the plastic sheet provided and then when they are dry peel off and stick on your window. They can easily be removed from the window afterwards. Take a look at my post on these amazing pens and what you can create.

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Pumpkin Carving

Of course pumpkin carving has to be on the list. Halloween wouldn’t be the same without it. To add more fun to this activity why not visit a pick your own farm to collect your pumpkins instead of buying them from the supermarket. This will help show children where they come from and how they are grown as well as getting everyone out in the fresh air.

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When carving your pumpkins I would advise that you invest in a pumpkin carving kit. I always used to use a knife which was difficult and the kids couldn’t really join in but since I found the carving kits it has made it so much easier and they are safer for children to use.

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Halloween Tote Bags

Decorating your own Halloween tote bags is a fun activity.  Just get some plain tote bags and some fabric paint or even sharpies and create your own Halloween designs. When you are creating them I would advise sticking a piece of cardboard inside to stop the design transfering through to the other side. Once they have dried you will have a cool tote bag to collect up your Halloween candy.

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Halloween Biscuits

These are an easy, quick and yummy Halloween craft. Just get some digestive biscuits, white marshmallows and pink icing. Spread the pink icing on either side of the biscuit, place some white marshmallows inside cut 2 marshmallows into a fang shapes and place on either side then put the two biscuits together to make a mouth.

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Halloween Dolls

When I worked as a childminder I got through so many of these handy cut out dolls they are perfect to make into anything. These are a great simple Halloween craft as you can turn them into mummies, vampires, zombies ect. You can then use them as a Halloween display afterwards. All you need is some colouring pens and imagination.

Halloween Hama Bead bowls

Halloween hama bead bowls make great bowls to put your Halloween candy in for your trick or treaters and look really cool as well. Take a look at my blog post on Hama bead bowls for instructions on how to make them. 

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Halloween Rock Painting

A great way to spread the Halloween joy is to paint some rocks in spooky pictures and hide around outside for people to find. Take a look at my post on Rock painting to find out more and what paints are best to use.

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This post contains affiliated links to items I have used before to help you find the products mentioned easily. 

If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Window Sticker Activity for Children

The benefits of nature and ways to get out and enjoy it

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.


Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities Parenting Advice

The Benefits of a Postcard Collection!

We have discovered that a postcard collection is a great way to install a sense of travel and adventure into children. It also creates a great keepsake for them to look back over and remember all the wonderful places that they have visited.

Whenever you travel somewhere new with children buy them a postcard for their collection and watch it grow and become a book of memories to be treasured.

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I don’t mean just getting postcards when travelling on holiday as we all know how expensive family holidays are and how little we get to go on them.  Travelling and adventure to me is going to any place that you have not been before, whether it be a museum, beach, farm, or gardens as long as it is somewhere new, even if it is just down the road. We have collected postcards from a lot of the national trust places and English heritage places and other attractions that we have visited over the years as well as from our holidays abroad.

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You will find most places sell postcards in the gift shops and they are not expensive either. My children love searching through them to find the one they like the most and taking them home to add in their postcard collection book.

Quite often we will all sit down to look through the book at the different postcards and remember when we visited that place and the fun we had there.

If I am being honest with you all, this collection didn’t start because of the benefits I have mentioned above it all started because postcards were the cheapest thing in the gift shop, that you always have to walk through on your way out of these places. It was easier to bargain with a postcard than to tell them they can’t have anything at all. It was when they had a few and I noticed how excited they were to collect another one and saw them recalling the day they had spent there I realised what a great idea it was and how much it can benefit them.

I found these lovely photo albums in Wilkos for £5.00 that are perfect for fitting postcards in they do have other designs but the world map was fitting with the collection.

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I would urge you all to try this with your children, it is a great keepsake, it gets you all out and about and it is a collection that doesn’t take up too much room.

If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Benefits of nature and ways to get out and enjoy it

English heritage annual passes are they worth it

10 cheap activities to do with the children this summer

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.


Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

What is the rock painting/hiding craze all about!

We are all loving the rock painting craze and have enjoyed getting involved in it, me included. It is such a great activity not only do you get to let your artistic side flow when painting the rocks but it helps you get out and about when you go to hide them.

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The hiding and finding of the rocks is Facebook led so on the back of your rock you would write the Facebook page and then when someone finds it they take a picture and post on the page and then re-hide it for the next person. We have a local page Taunton Rocks but if you don’t have one for where you live there is a UK wide page called Love on the rocks UK.

First things first you need to collect your rocks you can buy rocks or you can find them but remember that taking rocks from a beach is illegal (although I am sure a lot of people have done this). When it comes to painting you need to use a strong paint we found acrylic paint works well and is easily available and then we used sharpies or paint pens to add any details. Posca paint pens are really great specialist pens for rock painting although they can be a bit pricey, we have also used these paint pens that work well to.  

So your picture survives the elements when outside it needs to be sealed we use ModPodge to do this as I always have a bottle handy but you can also use a specialist paint sealer.

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Once your masterpiece is finished you need to find a place to hide it so it can be found and re-hidden for the next person to find. I have to admit some of the rocks don’t get to be hidden as the girls want to keep them which is fine as they brighten up the garden and plant pots.

Please be advised though wildlife charities have put out a plea that glitter, googley eyes or stickers are not used on rocks due to them causing problems to wildlife.

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If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Window Sticker Activity for Children

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.


Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities Mental health & Wellbeing

The benefits of nature and ways to get out and enjoy it.

This Summer lets go wild, get outside and enjoy nature at its best. Nature can really help improve our health and the more we embrace it, the more we will benefit.

Why not get the whole family together to enjoy the great outdoors, breathe in the fresh air and don’t be afraid to get dirty.

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There has been so many studies showing how beneficial spending time in nature can be for both adults and children. An article I found by the BBC reported that spending time in nature can improve vitality, mood and also help anxiety.

I also found on Askthescientist.com a list of 10 interesting health benefits of being in nature these include strengthening the immune system and relieving stress.

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With mental health problems on the rise in today’s society and more and more children suffering from stress and anxiety we owe it to ourselves and families to use the healing powers of nature. We need to all take time out from our stressful lives and enjoy some relaxation in our natural surroundings.

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Here is a list of ways you can get out with the kids and enjoy nature this summer  –

Bug Hunts

Get the kids digging around in the dirt, looking under stones and in the plant pots to see what bugs they can find. This will help children understand about habitats and they get to see bugs up close. Playing in the dirt has health benefits and there have also been links to it helping fight depression.

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Grow your own Vegetables

This is a lovely way to enjoy the outside world as a family you can spend a day together planting your favourite fruit and vegetables and once planted everyone can watch them grow and tend to them. The best reason to grow your own fruit and vegetables is that you are rewarded with delicious home grown produce which always tastes so much better than anything food you buy in shops.

Even if you don’t have a garden you can grow produce in pots and grow bags or go all out and get an allotment.

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Wild swimming/paddling

Wild swimming is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in nature it is both invigorating and refreshing. This can be done in rivers, natural pools or even the sea. Here is a website with a list of places you go wild swimming. Wild swimming can also help boost your immune system and can decrease inflammation and pain. Please do check that it is a safe place to swim beforehand especially in a river.

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Nature walks

Just getting out for a walk with the family is a great way to really enjoy nature and there is always so much to see. There are lots of set walks throughout the UK and with the wonder of the internet you can find routes and walking trails before you leave. The National Trust has a list of UK walks and also the Forestry Commission has a list of woodland walks around the country.

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The beach

I love the beach and always find it a relaxing environment. There is always something for everyone to enjoy at the beach and it is perfect way to get out and enjoy the natural environment. We do tend to avoid the highly commercialised beaches and stick to the quieter more natural beaches.   

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Build a Den

Den building is a great activity that everyone can join in with it brings out the inner child in you. Whether you hunt for and collect your own materials to build a den or you go to a wood  where materials have already been provided for you it will be an enjoyable activity for all.

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My girls found all these materials left in the bush by the builders and built themselves a den out of them.

Pond Dipping

Pond dipping is a lot of fun and can teach you a lot about what lies below our rivers/ponds and is a very relaxing activity. Just listening to the trickling of the water can help calm any mood.

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Why not also read my other posts –

The Wonders of Wookey Hole

The Fun that can be had in open spaces

10 Cheap Activities to do with the Children this summer

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Rainy day crafts and activities

Here is my list of 13 activities and crafts to enjoy with children on a rainy day.

1.

Hama beads are a perfect rainy day craft for both children and adults. I enjoy crafting with them just as much as they do and we can all enjoy hours of creating our masterpieces. You can use Hama beads to make fridge magnets, key rings, earrings and even bowls. For more info check out my blog on Hama Beads.

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2.

Amos Glass deco pens are filled with liquid gel that you squeeze out onto a plastic sheet in the design that you want and once dried you can peel them off and use as decorative window stickers, which can be peeled off without any mess. 

They are easy to use, you just need to make sure that you don’t smudge them before they are dried. For more information on these check out my post on Amos Glass Deco Pens.

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3.

Den Making is another great rainy day activity. What child doesn’t love a good den and the sense of pride once they have created it. Whether you go all out to create a masterpiece of a den or just throw a spare cover over a couple of chairs, den making will keep them entertained and once built it will keep them occupied for hours as they will happily sit inside and play.

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4.

Cake Making fits right in on the rainy day activities as when the weather is rubbish what’s better than to curl up with a slice of homemade cake. Getting children familiar with the kitchen at a young age is so important and will help them in later life. It is an activity that everyone can enjoy and provides a great end result. You probably will be stuck with the washing up afterwards unless you have the kids well trained.

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5.

Homemade pizzas is one of my favourite activities to do with my children as not only does it keep them entertained but dinner gets made at the same time. Homemade pizzas always taste so much better than shop bought and the kids can custom the toppings how they want. I am sure nearly all parents will understand how difficult it is to find a pizza topping that everybody likes and will eat. For more information and recipes take a look at my post homemade pizza.

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6.

Salt dough shapes are a great children’s craft as they are cheap and easy to make and you can stretch the activity out over 2 days. This consists of one day of moulding and shaping the dough into what you want to make and then the next day once it has dried the children can then paint and decorate them. Take a look at the post I wrote on beach shell keepsakes for a salt dough recipe.

7.

Pom Pom monsters are a fun children’s craft and look cool once made. First pick the wool and make the pompoms (if you have younger children you can do this bit for them) then once made decorate however you want them to look. The crazier the better.

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8.

Crazy Dancing can be a really fun activity and can burn off a lot of energy. You can do this from just playing some music and all dancing away or put up a Youtube video and copy the dancing. I guarantee if everyone gets involved including parents then you will be happy and laughing together in minutes not to mention everyone will be worn out afterwards allowing for some chill time.

9.

Lego can provide hours of fun activity on a rainy day and really bring out a child’s creative side. Instead of just letting the children play why not dive in and all club together to see what amazing things you can create together as a family. Another spin on lego is using the minifigures to create situations and then taking photos of them this can be a fun activity. It will get children using their creativity to think of fun positions to place the figures in and it will also help your child learn to use a camera.

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10.

A Tickle fight, while this may not be an all day activity it will kill a few minutes and have everyone especially the children laughing and burning some energy. This usually entails me being the tickle monster chasing the children around and once caught giving them a good tickle.

11.

Pom Pom rugs can be a great activity for the older children and the finished rugs look amazing. If you have mastered the PomPom making this is definitely an activity to try. Adding the pompoms to the mat and making sure they are positioned right can take a while so make sure you leave enough time for this activity. For more information and instructions take a look at my post Pom Pom Rugs.

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12.

Sketching can be a fun activity for everyone to join in. I am no artist but there is something calming and peaceful about drawing. A good way for everyone to join in is to all pick the same thing to draw or use a how to draw guide and then see how they all turn out together. The best thing about drawing the same thing is that you will all learn together and can help each other along the way. Youtube has some good videos with step by step drawing guides.

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13.

Painting is a great way to pass the time on a rainy day and children love to paint. When I used to be a childminder the paints were always out. If you are struggling for drying space as children do like to do at least 5 pictures each then a handy tip is to dry them in the oven on a very low heat. I promise you it works a treat and the kids all think it is hilarious that you are cooking their paintings. If you don’t have any paint brushes let them use their fingers to paint just make sure you have a way of cleaning their hands before they go off through the house.

If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Window Sticker Activity for Children

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rock Painting

How to Make a Pom-Pom Rug

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.


Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

How to Make a Pompom Rug

My daughter learned how to make pompoms at her after school club and since then she has been making them every chance she could. We ended up with a whole carried bag full of pompoms.

I then mentioned to her that we should make a pompom rug with them so I ordered some rug underlay. 

However, I received the rug underlay back in August but since then it has stayed in the bag as we did not have a chance to make it.

That is until this week my daughter was off school with a cough and a temperature so we were both stuck indoors all day and I didn’t want her just sitting there watching TV or playing on her tablet wasting away the hours so I decided that we would finally make a pompom rug.

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How to make a Pompom Rug

What you will need

Wool (a few different colours will make your rug more colourful)

Rug underlay

Scissors

A felt tip pen

Contains affiliated links so you can easily find the products.

1. To start with, think about your design of your pompom rug and the size that you want, once you have decided, lay out your rug underlay and using a felt tip pen mark out the shape and size that you want your rug to be. Remember that the underlay has holes in which will cause the pen to go through to the floor so you may want to put something underneath it first.

2. Once you are happy with your shape take the scissors and carefully cut out the shape for your pompom rug. We decided to go for a heart shape rug.

When we made our pompom rug we just put any colour pompom we had on the rug but I would suggest using certain colour wools to create a pattern rather than just adding any colour anywhere.

3. Next make your pompoms you will need a lot of them to fill the rug. We used the method of wrapping the wool around are fingers and then carefully sliding it off and tying the extra wool around the middle to hold it together. Make sure that the wool used to tie the pompom up has about 10cm hanging down so you can easily tie it on to the rug. Then once secured cut open the sides to and fluff out to make the pompom.

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However from looking into it there is a much better way to making pompom in bulk and that will be similar sizes as well. I found this great youtube video to demonstrate.

I will be using this method next time as making them one by one is very slow especially when you need so many for a rug. 

4. Next lay the pompoms out on the underlay before attaching them so you can make sure that you are happy with the design and how it looks.

5. When you are happy with how you want your rug start attaching the pompoms. Thread each piece of wool through the holes and securely tie together at the back of the rug. As I learnt from  experience have a cup of water handy to wet the end of the wool before threading it through I learnt the hard way by putting the ends in my mouth to moisten and I ended up with wool stuck all over my tongue.

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6. Once all your Pompoms are tied on flip the rug over and cut off the excess wool being careful not to cut any of the knots holding it together

7. Flip it back over and there you have your very own Pompom rug.

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If you do make a pompom rug why not comment and let us know how it went and if you have any great tips to pass on to others. Happy Making.

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If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Window Sticker Activity for Children

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rock Painting

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

Children’s Christmas Decoration Craft Ideas

Hand print Baubles

We all had great fun making these handprint baubles last year and they will be taking pride of place on the tree again this year. They are really easy to make and look amazing.

What you need –

A plain coloured bauble

Acrylic paint

Marker pens (I recommend sharpies)

First paint your hand ensuring that the fingers are covered in acrylic paint, slapping it on thick to make sure there are no gaps.

Then take your plain bauble and carefully wrap your painted fingers around. Hold for a few seconds to transfer the paint then carefully peel your hand away. If you want to add a few extra drops of snow around the bauble then use your little finger and dab some paint around.

Once you have done this then leave your bauble to dry, I hung mine from the door handles but be careful where you hang them as you don’t want to get paint everywhere. When the paint has dried take out your sharpies and add in the detail to your picture, we made snowman handprint baubles so we added the face, scarf, hats and arms but you can add and make whatever you like.

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Window sticker decorations

Instead of buying Christmas gel window sticker decorations this year why not make them yourself. The kids will enjoy it and handmade decorations always look better and give a sense of pride to see something you made hanging up.

What you would need –

Amos glass deco pens

Plastic wallet

Paper and a pen

If you buy a pack of Amos glass deco pens they will come with a plastic sheet to create your designs on but we have found that using plastic wallets work just as well and it is easier to keep the template still inside the wallet whilst using the pens.

The packs come with templates but you can also print or draw a picture yourself and use this as your template to make into your window stickers. Once you have done this place your template in your plastic wallet or line it up behind the plastic sheet and using one of the special liner pens go round the outline of your drawing. Once you have done this leave for a while to harden slightly then use the other colour pens to fill in your picture.

Once you have finished leave them to one side to dry overnight. Once they are fully dried, slowly peel them off and stick on a window of your choice.

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Sock snowman

These are great fun to make and you can use your imagination to make them look as different or funky as you like. They are great to put on shelves or window sills to add to the Christmas spirit.

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What you will need –

white socks (we used men’s socks)

Cheap packets of rice

Buttons/stick on gems

Ribbon

Marker pens (I recommend sharpies)

Orange paper or card

Strong glue or Fabric Glue

First pour some rice into the bottom of the sock until you have enough to make the body then twist the sock round quite a few times to seal the rice in. Then pour in some more rice about half as much as you used for the body. Once you have filled the head of the snowman, again twist it at the top a few times to seal in the rice then fold the top over the head to make a hat. If you are happy with the way it looks then put a small line of glue around the inside edge of the hat so that it will stick to the head and stay in place. If the hat is too big you can trim the top of the sock until you are happy with the way it looks.

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After that you are ready to decorate, we added ribbon round the neck to make scarf’s, glued orange card to the face to make a carrot nose and then the children were let wild with the sharpies to design their snowmen’s faces. We also added some gemstone stickers and buttons that we found in the cupboard, to give them a bit of bling.

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Hama Bead Baubles

Anyone who follows my blog will know how much we love Hama beads. We have made all sorts of things using these amazing little beads, so it made sense to use them to make Christmas tree decorations.

What you will need –

Hama Beads

A square peg board

Ironing paper

String

First lay out the outline of the bauble with the beads on the peg board, once you are happy with the shape use the different colour hama beads to make your patterns inside the bauble. When you have finished with your design place the ironing paper over the top and iron. Once it has cooled down I like to take it off the board and flip it over and iron on the reverse as this helps strength it.

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Then when it has cooled enough to touch, at the top using a needle make a hole and thread through a piece of string, tie together and then your bauble is ready to be hung on the tree.

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Salt dough tree decorations

Salt dough tree decorations are so easy to make and most of you will probably already have the ingredients at home in your cupboard. They are cheap to make and turn out so well.

What you need – 

One cup plain flour

Half a cup of table salt

Half a cup of water

Acrylic paint

Mod Podge

String

Salt Dough recipe 

First add one cup of plain flour to the mixing bowl, then add half a cup of fine table salt. Take half a cup of water and slowly stir it into the mixing bowl. Once all the water is mixed in and the mixture looks like dough, take it out and knead for a bit over a floured surface. Be warned that the salt in the mixture can leave your hands feeling a little sore after kneading, you could try wearing kitchen gloves although I have not tried using gloves before.

Once your dough is ready it’s time to share it out and begin making your creations. Cookie cutters are great to use to make shapes although freehand works just as well. If you want to stick bits together dip your finger in some water and rub a couple of drops over the edges that you want stuck together. Using a cocktail stick make holes in the top so you can thread the string through later. Just make sure that you check the back of the decoration to make sure the hole is the same thickness on the back as the front.

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Once your creations are ready you can either leave them to dry on their own which can take a day or two, or to help them along you can put them in the oven on a low heat for 1-2 hours.

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When it comes to decorating I would recommend using acrylic paint as it is thicker and covers over the dough better. After the paint has dried I always use Mod Podge to seal them and give them a lovely glossy shine and feel.

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If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

Window Sticker Activity for Children

Children’s Halloween Craft Ideas

Rock Painting

Rainy Day Children’s Crafts and Activities

How to Make a Pom-Pom Rug

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