Tag Archives: DIY

The Christmas List: 2. Christmas Spirit

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!).

2 christmas spirit


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
  • string
  • tinsel
  • something to poke a hole, eg stanley knife, scalpel, scissors, skewer etc
  • stickytape


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.

Merry Christmas!

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.

Christmas Themed T-shirt: To buy or not to buy?

Christmas is coming up quickly and we love to celebrate a festival in this household. Its fun and it gives me a chance to get crafty.

Every year I wonder whether I should buy a Christmas shirt for my kids and sometimes for us too. Mostly my personal taste is not well represented in Christmas tshirts. So this year I have decided to design and make one with something that my whole family can wear. I have an idea in my head which I will create either by drawing or making on the computer and then I will use freezer paper to stencil it to a shirt. As a side note, in Australia you can’t just buy freezer paper. You either have to get it from a craft store or, like me, have it shipped to you from half way around the world! (I am dedicated to general craftiness) When I have finished the job I will post the results, but I encourage you, if you love Christmas, but aren’t happy with with what’s in store, have a go yourself! Freezer paper stenciling is one of the easiest craft projects around. And if you do, feel free to post me a link. I’d love to see your efforts đŸ™‚

Remember I will also be doing ‘The Christmas List’ photo a day challenge in December and you can play along with that by tagging your photos #thechristmaslist and spreading the cheer!

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)