Category Archives: Craft & DIY

Craft the parcel blogging challenge

I was recently approached to take part in a project called #CraftTheParcel involving two teams of nine crafty bloggers all eager to produce an eclectic mix of twelve inch squares that would join up to form two blankets to be given to charity.

The project is sponsored by InPost, a postal service that allows you to send, receive and return goods using their nationwide automated parcel lockers. The lockers allow you to access your parcel at a time that suits you, even at 3am if you were so inclined! So no more waiting around for that courier or having to trek to your nearest parcel depot during rush hour. Continue reading Craft the parcel blogging challenge

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Rainy day activity: 5 minute no cook play dough from The Imagination Tree

It has not stopped raining here today so I decided to make some homemade play dough for the boys. It literally costs pennies, takes 5 minutes to make and lasts for 6 months. This recipe comes from one of my favourite activity websites ‘The Imagination Tree‘.

I have kept it plain today, but love to add all sorts of things to my play doughs including glitter or sequins. I also offer the boys some dried pasta, chickpeas, farm animals, cars etc to stick in the dough. It’s amazing what their big imaginations create from it.

Make your own fabric softener

I recently ran out of fabric softener and after briefly contemplating just not doing the washing, I thought I would have a go at making my own! It’s cost effective and good for your machine too.

All you need is:

1 litre container with lid
300ml Distilled white vinegar
400ml Water
200g Soda Crystals
15-20 drops of Essential oil (optional)

I find vinegar and soda crystals brilliant for cleaning just about everything!



Method

Add the vinegar and water to your container then slowly pour in the soda crystals. The mixture will fizz up (hence the add slowly part). Put the lid on the bottle and give it a good shake. Add 15-20 drops of essential oil (optional) and you’re ready to go.

My clothes have been coming out brighter and feel a lot fluffier than they did when I used the shop bought fabric softener. Apparently shop bought fabric softener leaves a residue on the clothes that builds up over time which can leave them dull and almost feeling greasy. Also, homemade fabric softener doesn’t clog up your machine and the vinegar and soda crystals will actually help keep it clean.

My washing machine doesn’t seem to collect the homemade softener from the drawer so I just add 60ml to the drum before I stick my washing in.

Make sure you give the bottle a good shake before each use to mix up the ingredients. What’s not to like?

Save money and build your own easy peasy teepee!

How to make a teepee

Peepo!
I love making things for the boys and I have been making them dens using bedsheets and chairs for ages. I saw a handmade teepee for sale recently costing £180 (!!) so I decided to make my own.

To make your teepee you will need the following:

  1. 10 bamboo canes approx 2m each in length
  2. Fabric to dress the teepee or an old flat sheet or duvet cover (preferably king size)
  3. Some twine or string
  4. Some adhesive tape for a bit of extra strength.
How to make your teepee:

Tie 2 bamboo canes at each end with twine or tape together with adhesive tape. Repeat a further 3 times so you end up with 4 sets of bamboo canes (having used 8 altogether).

Now the tricky part. You need to place them into a teepee position (make use of the other half at this point) and tie twine around the top.

Top of the teepee

Once you have done that, it will still look a bit unstable so what I did was cut a bamboo cane in half and on one side of the teepee threaded each end through the bamboo canes. I then secured it with some twine.

If in doubt ask the cat for some assistance!

Using the other half of the bamboo cane repeat this on the opposite side of the frame.

For extra strength you can make a little square out of the last piece of bamboo and slot it over the top of the main frame.

Secure the square in place with twine.

Once you have done all of this your frame may look a little wonky. It’s ok, there should be enough movement in the twine to adjust it to how you want it.

Now that you have the frame as you want it, add some strong adhesive tape to the joints and this will prevent the frame from moving and also cover up any sticky outie bits.

I know it doesn’t look that pretty, but no one will see it because it’s covered with fabric.

Congratulations you now have your frame! Now, if you are using fabric you will need to measure up your teepee for the fabric panels.

If you are using a flat sheet or a duvet cover all you need to do is cut a hole in the centre and then place it over the teepee.

Once in position, cut a single line up the middle of one of the sides to make the door.

    I have an abundance of fabric and I like to sew so I created my own panels and separate little hood for the teepee.
    That’s it! You now have a fully functioning teepee. 
    Why not go crazy and add extra bits to it such as:
    • Wraping a pretty scarf around the top of the teepee
    • Creating a window in one or two of the sides and hand stitching an old tea-towel at the top edge of the window to create a flap.
    • Get your children involved in decorating it, buy some fabric paints and maybe do some hand prints or footprints on the outside to create a piece of art that they can also be proud of.
    I hope that’s been useful and I hope your little ones enjoy a shaded place in the garden or an inside hideaway on a rainy day.