Make your own Moving Fish for Chinese New Year

Celebrate the year of the rooster this year by making a fish. Yes I said fish, a fish that moves. Not a real fish, a fish made from paper.

There are many outdoor celebrations to join in on in Central London this weekend, including parades and dragon dancing. The festivities will start on the 28th January. If you can’t get up there why not join in on the festivities in the comfort of your own home and do some crafts with the children.

We found a cute little paper craft on youtube.

You will need:

  • Coloured paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Marker pen/ felt tips

Method:

  • You will need a square piece of paper. If using an A4 piece of paper, fold over from the corner and cut off the access.

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  • Open up and fold the corners into the central line, like making an aeroplane

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  • Open up again and then fold on the central line.

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  • Make the fish head by cutting a curve from the folded line to the second fold line
  • Using the scissors, snip up to the fold line, starting from the narrow end and working your way along. Cut each snip about 0.5cm away from each other. Do not snip over the fold line. Leave a gap at the end as this is the head of the fish. We cut about 3/4 of the way across

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  • Now glue the side together to form a prism shape. Place glue on one side and fold over to the other side

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  • Now using another colour paper, cut out two fins and a tale. You can do them any shape you want. Once cut out, draw some lines on them or colour some scales and then stick them on to the fish’s’ body

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  • Using the same colour of the fish body, cut out the bottom of the mouth, glue it to the bottom

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  • Draw on some eyes or you could use googly eyes for a better effect

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Hold the tale and move your fish about.

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This activity is quick and fun. It helps the children with their fine motor skills, snipping the paper and folding the lines.

The whole craft took about 10 minutes. Grab the colouring pencils and put a design on your fish before you cut it up.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoy the activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Craft Project – No Sew Dicky Bow Tie

My younger boys love to dorn a dicky bow tie when they are getting dressed up. The middle boy, who is 9 years old has so many different bow ties in all sorts of designs and colours. He is always wearing one.

They are cheaper enough to buy but I thought I would attempt to make one with some off cut material that I recently bought. In the package was a certain piece of fabric that made me think straight away that it would make a lovely bow tie. As soon as I saw the material I knew what I was going to do with it.

This Dicky Bow is ideal to make if you’re not that comfortable using a needle and thread. It also takes no time at all, so quick to knock up for a last minute outfit choice.

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To make a Dicky Bow Tie You will need:

  • A piece of material
  • A glue gun or fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Measuring tape

Instructions:

  • Take a piece of material and depending on who you are making it for roughly judge how big you want the bow tie to be. I cut a piece of material to be 19cm in length and 10cm wide. You will also need a smaller piece of material for the piece that wraps around the middle of the bow tie. This piece 8cm in length and 3cm wide

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  • Make some fold lines to follow. Fold the larger piece in half. Top to bottom and left to right. The material needs to be right side down.
  • Working lengthways. Place some glue along the middle of material to one side of the fold and fold the edge to the middle, pressing down on the glue. Repeat this with the top edge folding it to the middle and securing in place with glue.

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  • Now you need to fold the left and right edges into the middle of the fabric. Secure in place with the glue

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  • Keeping the fabric the wrong side up, fold the length ways in towards the middle again. Only place a little bit of glue in the middle to hold it down

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  • Turn the bow tie over so you have the front of it in front of you. Pinch in the middle and secure with a little glue

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Looking good eh!

  • Measure the neck of the person you are making the bow tie for and cut some elastic of that length. Glue the ends together and then glue on to the back of the bow tie

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  • Take the small piece of material that you cut out and fold the longer edges in to the middle and secure with the glue. Just like you did with the bow tie. Now wrap it around the middle of the bow tie starting at the back where the elastic is.

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Watch your fingers if you are using a glue gun as the glue becomes very hot!

You are now ready to wear your dicky bow

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Doesn’t it look good? I am pretty chuffed with the outcome and I didn’t even have to get out a needle or the sewing machine.

 

 

 

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How to make an Owl Costume

Looking for an outfit for a fancy dress party, school curriculum day or world book day?

Take a look at this easy to do Owl Costume.

I made this last year for Curriculum day in School. Our theme was Harry Potter. I didn’t want to go as Hermione or Harry Potter, I wanted something a little original. So I came up with Hedwig the Owl.

wings

Once all of the feathers had been cut out it was easy to put together. I promise.

You will need:

  • 2 mtr thick white felt
  • 2 A4 piece of grey felt
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun
  • White cotton thread and needle

Method:

  • Measure the length of your arm, from the middle of the nape of your neck to your wrist.
  • Using a metre of the white felt, cut out two wing shapes.

wing 1

The measurement along the top being the measurement of your arm. The measurement down is the measurement of the length of your back from the nape of the neck

  • Draw out a scalloped shape on a piece of card as a template for the feathers

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  • Draw around the feather template on to the remainder of the white felt, you will need roughly about 200 feathers depending on the size of the wing. Keep some of the white felt to one side to make some straps. Draw around the template on the grey felt, until gone.
  • Cut them all out.
  • Starting from the bottom of the wing, begin to glue the feathers on. Glue along the top of the feather. Overlapping as you go on.

wing 3

  • Place a grey feather oddly in amongst the whites ones.
  • Repeat for the other wing.
  • Slightly overlap the two wings at the top and stitch together but Only at the top. The wings should be able to open up.
  • Cut out two long straps for your shoulder and two for the wrist.
  • Place the wings along your arms to measure where the shoulder and wrist strap should go. Looping the strap material, stitch them into place.

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  • Straighten up the edges by folding any feather that is sticking out over to the back of the fabric and gluing into place.

For extra security pin the top of the wings onto the shoulders of your t-shirt or vest

I finished my outfit off with making a little a-line skirt from some white fluffy fabric

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I drew out the template of a skirt in the fluffy material. I stitched the fluffy fabric onto the back of some white felt to give it some added stability. Next I stitched the front of the skirt to the back.

I didn’t need to add in a zip as the material was quite stretchy, so it easy to get on and off.

I wore this costume all day, whilst at work. It was comfortable and I was able to get on with my role as a class TA with ease.

This costume will work for Owl Babies, The Owl who was afraid of the dark, Owl Howl and many more.

 

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Creating the Solar System – School Project

On the last day of the Autumn Term in school, my youngest came out with a little slip of paper telling us all about the holiday homework. The youngest is in  Reception at school and the subject he will be learning about in the new term will be Space. So his homework is to produce a 3D object to do with space ie; an astronaut or a Rocket.

Living so close to London meant that we could board the underground and take a trip to the Science Museum. We had a day planned just before Christmas to visit Santa at Westfield ,White City, so we decided to extend our day out to visit the museum.

We had a lovely day at the museum and saw lots of interesting things but there wasn’t much for what we was looking for. We was hoping to see a model of the solar system and what planets are that make it up. But we didn’t find much, unfortunately. It was mostly about how we explore space but not what makes it up, so there were plenty of astronaut suits and rockets to look at. We did find a little display on the planets

Oliver wanted to make the Solar System, so after looking in the museum and on the internet at what the planets looked like and there names, he was ready to start making his project.

We bought some polystyrene balls in Hobbycraft, all different sizes, so these will represent the planets.

We found an unwanted box to present the solar system in and painted it black. We used blackboard paint as this worked far better than childrens paint

DSC_3232_optOliver painted all of the inside of the box, we left it to one side to dry. It dried pretty quickly as it was blackboard paint, it also gives it a matt look rather than a glossy one.

Whilst we waited for the box to dry, we researched the planets; their colours, size and where they were in the solar system. With our information at hand we was ready to paint the balls and make them into planets.

DSC_3226_optWe found that sticking a tooth pick in to the ball made it easier to hold onto and paint them. Once they were painted, we placed the other end of the tooth pick into some playdough for them to dry.

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To make Saturn, I drew out a hoop onto a piece of card and Oliver cut it out

DSC_3227_optWe then pushed the ball through the hoop into place and then painted it

DSC_3228_optI had to mix up the colours for Oliver to paint the balls, but he is very good at following instructions and managed to paint them with no trouble.

Once all of the planets and box was dry, it was time to put it all together and create the Solar System. We had bought some glow in the dark stars in the sale from Debenhams and thought they would be perfect to add to the project. Oliver began sticking them in the box

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Using some black wire and strong super glue (only for adults) we attached the planets to the box. Oliver needed help with this as he couldn’t make the holes in the box and use the super glue. So using some wire cutters I cut the wire into different lengths. I stuck one end into the polystyrene planet ball using some glue and padding it out with blu tack. I pierced some holes at equal distances along the top of the box and then Oliver poked through the wire, to the outer box. We secured it on the outside with some sellotape.

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DSC_3258 - Copy_optThe project took just over a day to make and Oliver is so proud of what he has produced. Yes he had a little help from Mummy. I had to guide him in what to do and mix up the colours and stick the wire in the balls but he done the bulk of it. He now knows the planets that are in the solar system by looking at them and from the colours.

Thank you for stopping by and reading 🙂

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Thank you for helping me grow plaque

It is the little ones last few days with his childminder before he starts full-time in school. He has been with her for 3 years and I wanted to give her a special gift that she would be able to remember him by. She has done so much for him and he really cares fo her.

I had made Thank you for helping me grow cards for the teachers at the end of the summer term and thought that it would be a great idea to try to do the same thing but in plaster.

Thank you for helping me grow is a tree with the children’s finger prints on the branches as leaves.

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Items you will need:

Resin Plaster 1kg – bought from HobbyCraft £7.99

Silicone mould – I used a 9″ cake mould

Water – to  mix in with the resin powder

Paint – brown, green and red

Small paint brush

Modelling tools

Fine line blank ink pen

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Instructions:

  • Mix the plaster resin with 1 part water to 3 parts plaster. Pour the water into a clean bowl and sprinkle on the resin powder, leave for a minute and then mix together. Pour slowly into the mould.
  • Leave aside to set. Just as the mould becomes hard, putty like, using a moulding tool inscribe the shape of the tree

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  • Now to add the thumb prints onto the branches, push down with some pressure in order to leave an imprint
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leaving his print

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  • Leave to set completely

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  • Once dry, remove from the mould. Using a thin paint brush paint in the lines of the tree and then finger print in the leaves

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Once set I wrote on his name and the date of the last day he would spend in the company of his childminder ( I say childminder but I would like to think of her as an extended part of pur family)

The finger prints and name gives more of a personal touch and hopefully she will see the love that has gone into the gift. She will be in our hearts forever and hopefully as we will be in hers.

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A gift that can be kept forever

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A New Home Map Card DIY

My brother has recently moved into his new home and I wanted to give him a quirky home-made card; something that showed that I had put some thought into it, something that was little different to what you could buy in the shops, with a personal touch to it.

This is what I came up with

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You will need:

Paper

Printer

Colour Ink

Coloured card

Small Wooden Peg (I have attached a little wooden heart on to mine)

Button

Patch Liner Relief Paint ( gel ink)

Glue

Scissors

  • First I searched for the address using online Maps and I screenshot the page. I looked at a normal view and a satellite view.
  • From the screenshot, using photo editor, I cropped the area that I wanted to use and copied in onto a word document
  • I printed out the map images onto strong paper
  • Fold the coloured card into half to create a card
  • Making sure the road that the new house is on I drew out a puzzle piece onto one of the maps images and cut it out
  • I stuck the satellite image down onto the front of the card in the middle
  • I stuck the wooden peg into the top left corner of the card and pinching it open I placed the image puzzle piece in
  • I decorated the rest of the front with a single red button and wrote New Home

I loved how the card turned out, It has the personal touch and didn’t take much time to put together.

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Hope you find this post helpful 🙂

 

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Lego Mini Figure Storage- A sewing project

Are you constantly walking around the house stepping on little pieces of Lego?

It’s like my house is booby-trapped with Lego! I find myself tip toeing cautiously around my boys bedroom, taking care of where i tread. I fear that maybe my boys have planned between them on where to leave the Lego pieces so that their Mum doesn’t enter their bedroom to tidy it up!

These tiny pieces of plastic brick shaped toys can not only be found on the boys bedroom floor but they seemed to have escaped out into landing and down the stairs, in fact there isn’t a place in the house that these tiny little feet scaring critters will go. The worst is in the middle of night, when all of the lights are out and I awake to a crying toddler. As i jump out of bed and race to his bedroom to comfort him, I find myself cursing under breath (in order not to wake the rest of the house up) as my foot comes into contact with a tiny little brick. It maybe tiny but hell does it hurt! I fall into the bedroom and hop over to a NOW sleeping toddler.

I had to think of somewhere for my boys to store their mini figures/Lego creation, either that or I constantly wear shoes in my home, even to bed!

I put my thinking cap on and came up with this

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A folding Lego storage holder.

It is made from red cotton and yellow felt. The red cotton was used for the whole of the storage holder and the yellow felt was used for the LEGO letters. It was my son’s idea to have LEGO written downwards and he asked for all of the pockets. He wanted to be able to fold it up and carry it.

Material needed:

Red Cotton roughly 1m , 150cm wide (cost £3.99 ebay)

Yellow Felt roughly 1m, 150cm wide (not all needed cost £4.49 ebay)

Red cotton thread

Yellow cotton thread

Tape measure

Sewing machine

wooden pole 5mm thick roughly 50 cm in length

Scissors

Instructions:

  • Cut out the LEGO letters. I roughly drew them on with a pencil and then cut them out, size roughly 21cmx33cm
  • Open out the red cotton and lay it flat on the floor/table. Place the letters down one side of the red fabric. Leave about 6cm along the top, bottom and edge side so that there is enough room to stitch and hem. Stitch in place.
  • Cut away any remaining red material from the bottom as this will be used for the pockets. Cut into long strips, 10cm in width I used about 8.

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  • Edge each strip both sides by folding over the edges twice, 5mm each time. Pin in place and stitch

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  • Once you have edged all of the strips You will need to place them on to the red cotton alongside the LEGO letters, so that they are running across the material.

pockets

  • Try to measure out all of the pockets so that they are the same, 10 cm. Each box pleat is about 2cm.

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  • Once the pockets are all pinned down on the red cotton, you will need to stitch in between each pocket

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  • Once they are stitched in place then you will need to stitch the strip of pockets down. Start top left and follow it around the edge, use the foot edge for guidance and try to sink stitch along the bottom.

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  • If you want a handle you will need to stitch it in place now. Stitch a long strip like you did with the pocket strips. attach it in place at the top above the letters.
  • Fold the material in half so that the pockets are touching the LEGO letters.
  • The sides need to be stitched together, the whole item should be inside out.  Remember to leave the top edge unstitched! Once finished turn inside out again so that it is the right way. You should have the LEGO letters on side and the pockets behind.
  • The top edge will need to be strengthened, I used a wooden pole. I stitched across lengthways along the edge of the letter L, making a pocket for the pole.

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  • Now stitch the top together, making sure that the handle is facing out and upwards. Make sure that the edges are poking inwards giving a neat finish.

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lego back lego finish front

My son wanted to be able to fold it up and carry it around so we attached some velcro to it, not sure if it will work as some of the Lego could possibly fall out. He hasn’t tried it yet as it is still hanging up in his bedroom for all to see.

I have thouroughly enjoyed this sewing project and I f you would like to make one yourself please share with me your finished product.

You can find me on Twitter and facebook

Thank you for reading 🙂

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