It pays to be more efficient with time over the holiday period. I don’t know why we are all of a sudden so much busier, but I for one seem to have a catch up with everyone I know crammed in before Christmas. So to kill two birds with one stone, I promised to show you my design for a Christmas Shirt for 2012. Here is E getting into the Christmas Spirit AND the tshirt (because trying to explain the joy of giving only goes so far with a 3 yr old I thought a tshirt was the next best thing!).
Category Archives: Craft
Kid’s Craft: Christmas Decoration Tutorial
And now to confuse my photoblog followers!
DIY Rainbow Ball Christmas Decorations
With Christmas around the corner as a mum I am looking for things that my 3 year old can make with some level of ownership. These Christmas decorations are so easy to make and look pretty effective.
You could also make them larger by using A3 card and could even make them outdoor proof by laminating the card used. You could make them elegant by limiting your colour palette and adding subtle sparkle or design. You could light them by running solar fairy lights onto them. The options are endless. This is the toddler craft version.
Here’s the How To:
First Things First, To make a medium sized ball
You will need:
- 8 strips of card per ball approximately 2cm or 1 inch wide and 20cm or 8 inches long (I used 8 different colours) Note: you can use any width or length strip and any type of card, old Christmas cards would work if you didn’t want to decorate the pieces
- pencils, crayons or textas to decorate the strips
- stickers, glitter etc also to decorate the strips
- 2 split pins per ball
- something to poke a hole, eg stanley knife, scalpel, scissors, skewer etc
1. Let your child loose on the strips of card. I asked my 3 year old to first colour in, then stick stickers on the strips. Depending on your child’s capability level you can decorate these in any way you like. If your child is young remember to REMOVE the strips from them before they colour right through the paper or destroy them in another way! (wink)
2. Unfortunately from here the construction is an adult thing. Take the 8 strips of card and arrange them in an order that is pleasing to you in a pile. (don’t do like I did and forget that I had a green on the top AND bottom of the pile so that when they were fanned out they were together!) Using something sharp poke through all eight pieces of card to make sure that the holes are in the same place. As a guide, about 1cm in from the end and centred from either side. Repeat at the other end.
3. Starting on the coloured in side push a split pin through all eight cards. This is the bottom of your ball. Open the split slightly, but not fully yet.
4. Tie the end of the string tight around the slightly open pin and trim the end.
5. Completely and firmly open the pin over the knot securing it. At this point I cut the string at about 20cm long (a generous allowance, but you could also do it by leaving a long string (half a metre) and tying knots or using clamps at the other end, I will leave that to you.) This tutorial will cover what I did in this instance.
6. Take the new end of string and tie it around the other split pin. This is FIDDLY you may need to tie it, then slip it on and tighten it.
7. Poke the split pin with the knot through the card at the other end starting from the decorated side and push it tight to secure your knot. Then take the string from the first split pin and tie it around the slightly open split in the same way that you did before. This string should now pull taut and the card should form an arc. You can estimate how long you want the string by how you want your arc to look. Once you have tied your knot, completely and firmly open the pin to secure the knot. Trim both loose ends of the two strings neatly. You should now be able to hold your decoration by the hanging string.
8. Fan out the card pieces evenly to form a ball shape. (Note: you may notice as you start to fan that the card forms a teardrop shape, once fully fanned out this will disappear and become a ball.)
9. Take a minute to admire your handywork.
10. To hang the tinsel on the inside, just attach either end with stickytape. Move the card pieces slightly if you can’t fit your hand through and readjust them afterward.
You could also add a hanging ‘tail’ by cutting similar width, but longer strips of crepe paper to blow in the breeze. To do this you would first poke your bottom split pin through the tail before the card strips.
11. Hang them where ever you like. My son liked to watch them spin. I hope your kids do too.
If you make these, consider leaving me a link in the comments to your photo so I can see them.
NOTE: This is the first tutorial I have written. If you have any questions or I have forgotten to add something please let me know so I can update it.
DIY Toddler Craft: Glitter Water Skittles
I made some coloured water bottles for my boys out of empty soft drink containers. They have proved to be popular with both of them!
W, who is 10mths, likes watching the glitter shine and the water move. I also put some large coloured sequins in the water and some buttons so that they would rattle as they moved around. He loves poking them or rolling them along the ground watching the movement and listening to the noise they make. I also chose to use the “body” shaped bottles so that he could have a go at trying to lift them. It is going on several weeks now and he still likes them so I consider that a win.
E, who is nearly 3, likes them as skittles. I filled the water only a third of the way up to maximise the chance of them falling over if a ball was thrown at them. They make great skittles and E delights in watching the glittery water swoosh around when he is successful at knocking them over.
I went thoroughly over the bottle lid and neck with electrical tape, the kind that stretches a bit so that you can pull it tight over the edge of the bottle cap where it joins the neck. I think they are great. I don’t think they are my idea, I have in the back of my mind somewhere that I saw something similar somewhere once, but I couldn’t tell you what or where…I blame baby brain.
‘Blame it on the baby brain…yeah, yeah,’ (Milli Vanilli reference? anyone?? oh forget it)
Boys Clothing: Olympic Themed Pants
After my son E decided he loved the flannel pirate pants in the pyjamas I made him so much we wasn’t going to take it off, I realised that little kids love colour and pictures. They love them and they couldn’t care less if they are not fashionable. Boys fashion is horrible. Sure they look nice enough, sophisticated toddlers in their navy, grey and brown, but they don’t care about our social construction, they just want to love the pattern and colour on their clothing. So I have decided to make E some pants, in kid’s pattern material. As summer comes the cotton fabrics will be great. I will make pants into shorts and let him love what he is wearing. He can have the rest of his life to conform to society’s norms. As an adult he will be confined to typical men’s clothing and shunned if he dares to commit the worst crime of wearing pink! So while he is little enough to just like what he likes I am going to let him enjoy it.
I made him some pants with an Olympic theme in honor of the London games. I found a brightly coloured fabric with beefeaters in Beatlesque style and throught it was great. I decided in addition I would add a red stripey cuff for good measure (mainly because they were replacing the pyjamas which had a cuff). I procrastinated on these pants. They were half done then I couldn’t bring myself to sew again to add the cuff. I even did one cuff, then took a few days to do the other! In the end the realisation that the games had started and the pants weren’t finished moved me into action and I finished them.
E loves them! (He still wouldn’t oblige by turning around to have a photo though!)
Two days in a row now he has come to me carrying the pants asking to change out of his other clothing into them and he says to me, “Mum, I am going to wear these for a really long time”. “OK, E” I say. And I mean it too. I made them about 2 sizes too big so he can wear them ’til they fall apart!
How did I make them?
I used my favourite boys pants pattern, here. I use the FLAT FRONT PANTS. The pattern has options for both. I think they look better for day wear. Incidentally if you add extra size to the pattern and use the gathered pattern they make good shape pj pants that aren’t bag shaped (perhaps its only me that doesn’t like bag shaped pjs?). I added about 1cm to the outside of the pattern. Added the cuff giving me extra length in two ways. 1. by not hemming the pattern the legs were longer anyway and 2. obviously the extra length of the cuff. The cuff means that I can fold that up until his legs get longer. Coming up to 3, he will no doubt lengthen in the coming months!
I also added extra length to the top at the back as he still wears a nappy and it helps to cover the extra bulk.
Now I just need to make some for W. Poor thing never gets the new pants because E has so many that he has outgrown!
Refashion – women’s halter top to toddler tunic
Friends of ours recently celebrated their daughter’s first birthday. These particular friends love op shops and are into refashioning so I thought I would do one for the birthday. They are NOT into pink. Considering that 99% of the clothing for girls in stores is a variant on that particular colour I took that as confirmation that I had had a stroke of genius and set to work. I found a ladies halter neck in a jersey fabric that I thought was nice. Jersey is great for toddlers who tend to fall, crawl, scrape and so on, so something stretchy with give is better in my mind than something that will tear.
It had a nice design on the bottom which I loved so I made it into a tunic using the standard pillowcase dress idea.
I cut of the edges and used them as the ties at the top. I love it. It can be worn with a turtleneck skivvy underneath and jeans or leggings in winter and with shorts in summer. I hope she gets a lot of wear out of it.
Happy Birthday C.
Week 4 June Challenge: Final
It’s the final week of my June Challenge and I wanted to make something useful and push myself so I made it up as I went. I found it time consuming and my brain hurts, but even though it isn’t perfect I am proud of the result.
I made a stable table for my son to use in the car on trips and us to hijack and use for tv dinners at home too!
I found this bug table in a thrift shop. It cost $3 and it’s fine. It was a bit worn looking, but I had been looking for a table for a while so I grabbed it as this one comes off.
I wanted to use the top and make another bottom with a pocket for books and side bits to store pencils etc. for my son to use in the car.
I bought some cotton drill (heavy duty fabric) for the main parts and some decorative fabric for the pockets. I also wanted to be able to fill it with beanbag beans but also wash it so I made an empty zippered compartment and an extra bag from raincoat material that I filled with beans.
I used normal priced fabric because I didn’t have time this week to find exactly what I wanted in a thrift shop, but it could be made cheaply by taking time and doing so. I used hair ties to join to the table and obviously zips (you can also get them at thrift shops, but I wanted green and red like traffic lights so my 2yr old would know which one to open for paper and which not to open as it contained the bag of beans)
It took me 2 days (albeit interrupted by children and life in general) to conceptualize it and make it. I made it up as I went, but my goal was to get it done on time and it is so I am happy!
Here is the result
I am…finished my June Challenge.
In July I will be doing a daily photo challenge. The first in my colour series, I will be including red in all of my July photos.