Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Cork bunny with a heart - Valentine's crafts for kids

Another cork craft idea inspired by my sizeable Christmas cork collection... from something fizzy this time! The shape at the top is perfect for a head so we thought rabbit, and it would make a sweet present for Valentine's day, especially with a little message written on the heart.

You'll need:
A Champagne/cava cork
White paint
Plain paper
Pink paper (or plain painted)
Black felt-tip or gel pen
Old Christmas/Birthday card (optional)
Pink felt tip pen (optional)
PVA/craft glue

1. Paint the cork white and while it's drying fold a small piece of plain paper in half and draw half a long rabbit's ear on the fold. Make it about 6cm (21/2in long) and cut it out.

2. Before opening your ear up, place it on another folded piece of paper, lining up the folds and draw around it carefully. Cut out the second ear - this is a quick way of doing it and should keep them roughly the same size.
If you prefer, after cutting out the first one, open up and draw around the full ear shape, before cutting it out. You could also stick the ear on some spare cereal box card and cut it out to make an easier template to draw around. Whatever you find best.

3. For the pink ear middle the quick, easy option is to use a pink felt-tip pen. Draw the outline first inside the white ear and then colour it in. We decided to use some pink paper (or you could use painted/coloured plain paper). Fold it as in step 1, and draw a shorter (about 5cm/2in) and narrower ear shape that will fit inside the white one. Copy by following step 2, then glue on the pink middles with a rub of glue stick or a thin layer of craft glue.

4. Brush some glue on the bottom cm or so of the ears and fold them in half lengthways, pinching the bottom part so the sides glue together - then glue this bit to the sides of your bunny's head. If they're slipping or popping off - lie your rabbit on its side with a book leaning on the top ear.

5. While that's drying. cut out a strip for the arms - make it about 1cm wide (1/2in) and 8cm long (2in) though it might need to be longer if you have a big cork.

6. with a pencil, draw a semi circle at each end and cut carefully around the curve for the rabbit's paws.

7. Fold the arm strip in half to find the middle and brush or rub some glue either side of the fold, leave the arm ends glue-free. Stick the middle gluey part to the back of your bunny, in the grove just below the head.

8. Use a fine black felt-tip or gel pen to draw on a face, then, while holding the ears where they're attached to the cork, use your free hand to press open the top part of the ear, so you can see the pink middles clearly and the ears look fuller.

9. Fold another small piece of white paper in half and draw half a heart on the fold - make it roughly the same height as the bottom section of the cork, below the head. Open up the piece of paper, cut roughly around the heart shape and use a glue stick to attach it to some spare cereal box card. When dry, cut out the heart template and use it to draw around on some red card, or on some colourful old Christmas or Birthday cards. This is the time to add a Valentine's message if you want.

10. Dab some glue or rub glue stick on the paw ends on the inside, and attach one to one side of the heart. Make sure the pointy part of the heart is roughly level with the base of the cork. Fold the paw around the edge of the heart, pinching them together. Repeat on the other side, keeping the visible paws as equal as you can.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Cork lovebirds - Valentine's crafts for kids

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day, but I am partial to a good hearty craft, and unlike most Valentine's stuff, it won't cost you! These little lovebirds certainly won't - they're made from corks (saved up over Christmas.. I have many.. ) They are quick and easy to do and can be turned into a useful gift, like a keyring or a fridge magnet. Love a useful craft. You could also write a little Valentine's message on the heart if you want to.

You'll need:
A cork
Coloured paper
Hole punch
Glue stick
Craft glue
Black felt tip or gel pen
Feather (optional)
Mini eye pin (optional)
Keyring (optional)
Small magnet (optional)
Strong all-purpose glue (optional) 

1. Paint the cork any colour you want. 

2. Fold a small piece of coloured paper in half and draw half a heart on the fold. You want it to be roughly half to two thirds the length of the cork - and make it narrow too. (We made the heart a bit bigger for the penguin)

 3. Carefully cut around the shape and open it up.

4. Rub glue stick on the back of the heart (or a thin layer of craft glue) and glue it to the cork with the point almost touching the bottom edge. Cut a strip of different coloured paper for the wings - make the width about two thirds the length of the cork. If you're making a penguin, leave out the wing strip.

5. Line the strip up with one side of the heart and the base of your bird and wrap the rest around the cork - cut away any extra paper where it touches the other side of the heart.

6. Rub glue stick on the top half of the strip only and glue in place, so the bottom of the wings stick out slightly.

7. For the eyes, use a hole punch to punch out some circles - rub a little glue stick where you want the eyes to go on the cork, wet your finger to help pick up the little circles and stick them in place.

 8. Use a black pen to add the pupils.

9. For the beak, cut out a small triangle from yellow or orange paper (or colour in some plain paper), rub glue stick just below the eyes, wet your finger to help pick up the triangle, and glue in place.

10. Paint on claws on the bottom edge with yellow paint and leave to dry.

11. To add a feathery head plume, make a hole on top by screwing in a small screw, nearer to the front. Take the screw out.

12. Choose a feather, dab a little glue on the pointy tip and push it into the hole.

13. To make it into a keyring, screw a mini eye pin (seen in step 11) into the top of your cork and attach a keyring. Or, for a fridge magnet, glue a small magnet to the back of your bird. Use strong all-purpose glue like UHU.

I got these little magnets on Ebay - they're a great size, weren't expensive and are seriously strong. Nothing worse than a fridge magnet that doesn't hold stuff!

To make them more durable you could give your lovebirds a coat of clear varnish. If you don't have any, try clear nail varnish instead.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Easy Darth Vader figure - #StarWarsCraft

Come over to the dark side....

Darth Vader is back...
And if you have any young Star Wars fans in your life, then you might want to have a go at making this easy little mini figure.

You'll need:
Egg carton
Craft scissors
Black paint
Silver metallic pen (fine/medium nib)
PVA/craft glue
Red/pink straw
Black permanent marker (like a sharpie)
Nail scissors (adult supervision needed)

1. Roughly cut out two middle cones from an egg carton so they're easier to work with.

2. On one of them, draw a line all the way around the cone, just above the bumpy card joins at the bottom. Cut along the line and check the cone sits flat and even. This will be the body.

3. For the head, take the second cone, and use a ruler and pencil to measure and mark about 2cm (3/4in.)  from the top on each side. Join the marks with a rough line. Cut out the head - a good way to do this is to cut up two adjacent corners to the line, bend back the card flap and cut it off. It's now easier to cut along the rest of the line.

4. Glue the head onto the body. Cut a strip of card from the egg carton lid for the arms - make it roughly 0.5cm wide(1/4in.) and about 5cm long (2in.)

5. Paint the body and the arm piece black.

6. While that's drying, cut about 4cm (11/2in.) off the end of a straw and use the black marker pen to colour in the handle of the light sabre.

7. Use the silver marker to add detail to Darth Vader's head and body, using the picture here as a guide.

8. When the paint is dry, bend the card strip in half and cut along the crease, then either stick the arms on each side of the body with glue, just below the head - or, make slots either side using the nail scissors (keep them closed, press down and twist - once you've made a hole, cut slots to fit the arms)

9. Make small cuts up the handle end of the light sabre (with the nail scissors), so you can slot it onto the bottom of Darth Vader's arm, and he's ready for action!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Thank you for popping by over the last year, it's been so lovely having your company. And I've plans for this little blog (as you do on the 1st Jan...) that might hopefully make this an easier space to look around. We'll see anyway!
I've accepted I need some help updating things, and with a new craft book coming out in March, think it's probably about time.

Here's hoping 2017 is kind to you; that it brings success, good health, happiness and cheer, and that there is always more light than dark.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Morning rush

I like this one, because it kind of looks how I feel early in the morning - a bit blurry and rushed.
It was taken from the car on the way to school.
And no, I wasn't driving!

Linking up with Photalife's My Sunday Photo

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Christmas tree decorations - #ChristmasCraft

Christmas tree decorations this time, and they're not that different from the sparkly birds.

You'll need:
egg box/carton
plastic bottle top
sheet of newspaper
fine paintbrush
craft glue
strong all-purpose glue
glitter (optional!)
Sequins and other shiny bits
needle and thread
Nail scissors (to make holes - adult supervision needed)

1. Roughly cut a whole cone from the egg carton

2. Draw a rough pencil line all the way around the cone, just above the bumpy card join at the bottom, and cut along the line. Neaten up the edges so the sides are even and the cone sits flat.

3. Paint the cone green (if it's green already you could leave it). When the paint's dry, use the nail scissors to pierce a hole through the top (if there isn't one there already) - keep the scissors closed, press down and twist from side to side.

4. Thread a needle with a good length of thread - we used gold thread, but use whatever you have - and push the needle up through the cone and through the hole, then back down through the hole, leaving a loop for hanging your tree. Use sticky tape to stick down the two strands of thread inside the tube. Trim the ends of the thread.

5. Brush glue inside the cone and push in a scrunched up piece of newspaper. Don't fill it completely - leave a small space at the top.

6 Put a layer of strong all-purpose glue (like UHU or Bostik) on the newspaper and put some on the rim of your bottle top too. Stick the bottle top onto the newspaper and leave to dry upright.

7. When the glue's dry, brush some craft glue in a spiral, around your tree for the tinsel, then sprinkle over some glitter. Shake off the excess. A good way to save glitter is to do the sprinkling over a paper plate, then bend the plate in the middle to catch the glitter in the fold, and funnel most of it back into a container.

8. Have fun gluing on sequins or any shiny bits you have. You could also scrunch up small balls of coloured tissue paper to make baubles.

9. For the star on top, we used two identical stars from a pack of Christmas confetti, brushed glue on the back of one and stuck it onto the thread, just above the top of the tree. Then we stuck the other star to it, sandwiching the thread between them. Fiddly to get the stars to line up, but looks good when they do.

Next time Christmas fairies!