Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Raffia Loom Flowers

I just love the cute flowers you can create with flower looms. But have you thought of making a flower out of something that wasn't yarn or wool?

Raffia Loom Flowers

I recently picked up some raffia on clearance at my local art & craft store to make crochet some raffia hats.  When I went to look for some yarn to use to make a flower for a greeting card, inspiration struck - that raffia "yarn" would surely make a fantastic loom flower and I was right don't you think?

In addition to greeting card decorations, a raffia loom flower would be a fantastic addition to a raffia / straw hat or bag. You can also use your finger to gently smooth the corners out of the ends of the petals.

I finished these raffia loom flowers off with some white yarn (with sparkle) for a bit of contrast.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Chenille Socks for Kids

My daughters new winter pyjama's don't have enclosed feet like her old ones do so I told her she would need some bed socks. She immediately asked me if I could make some for her.  Despite never having made socks (and a failed attempt under my belt), I immediately said yes.

Knitted Chenille Bed Socks for Children

A look through the yarn collection for something suitable yielded some chenille yarn in white and pink. Having already made an animal security blanket / lovey out of the white chenille, I know how hard it is to work with, but I knew that pink chenille was just the thing for the fluffiest, cuddliest, warmest, girlyest bed-socks for a 3 year old.

My next task was to track down a pattern for chenille bed-socks for kids suitable to a sock knitter newbie. Nothing too specific there right? My first dilemma was the thickness of the chenille. The packet made no indication, but I'm sure all chenille yarns are not created equal. Patterns for chenille socks used all sorts of needle sizes. In the end I went with the knitting needle width suggestion on the packet - 5.0mm and looked for a pattern for chenille socks for 5.0mm knitting needles.

The pattern gods must have been smiling down on me that day! In retrospect I feel like I found a pattern which sums up many years of sock making wisdom. The choices for cast-on, toe, wedge, and heel all seem so perfect. If it gave a bit of direction with the cast off and had the correct number of stitches to cast on, it would be without flaw. I highly recommend the pattern, just cast on 12 (6 each side) instead of 10 and Google a stretchy cast off when you get to that stage. Oh and it is FREE! You can find the chenille sock pattern I used on Ravelry.

The instructions say the pattern is suitable for a beginner sock knitter. I absolutely agree with this, but I'm not sure how I feel about using chenille for a first sock. On one hand, chenille makes for the warmest, fluffiest socks - just the thing for bed socks. But chenille is oh-so-hard to fix if things go wrong - all you can see is fluff and it is incredibly difficult to "read" your knitting. But if you do make mistakes, fluff is good at hiding them. Definitely don't try chenille if you are new to knitting, socks are difficult enough.

I have a very happy little girl, and I'm very happy with my first successful socks! I made them a little big so they hopefully fit her for a few years, but otherwise they fit her perfectly. Following on from my success with these socks, I might even get that sock yarn out from my first failed attempt at making a sock and try again!

Monday, 19 March 2018

Make a Doll's Wardrobe

Make a doll's wardrobe by up-cycling some cardboard packaging

Coat-hangers often come with doll's clothing, but what are you supposed to do with them? Make a doll's wardrobe of course! In this post I'll take you through a project I worked on with my daughter to make a wardrobe for her Barbie's clothes. You can make one to suit any doll, you just need to choose a box that is the appropriate size for the coat-hangers and clothes.

What you will need:
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Scissors
  • Wooden skewer
  • Hot glue gun (adult use only)
  • Washable paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Gemstone stickers (or similar to make handles)
  • Washable PVA Glue
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper to protect surfaces
  • Smock
  • Keep an eye on the cardboard boxes coming into your home for one that would be suitable for a doll's wardrobe. You might be lucky and find something with flaps that can be used for the doors or you may have to attach doors yourself. Ideally you don't want to be taping a hinge on as this doesn't make for a sturdy join. Instead, look for something with a fold in it that you glue to the side of the cupboard as in the photos. Remember that you can always cut cardboard to size too.

Keep an eye on the boxes and packaging coming into your home for something suitable for a doll's wardrobe

Don't forget you can cut something down to make it suitable

You can attach doors to your doll's wardrobe if your box doesn't have suitable flaps, but for a robust join, you don't want to be attaching them with a sticky tape hinge
  • If you need to cut the cardboard to suit, do that now. Glue pieces together if required. Use masking tape to hold the cardboard pieces in place while they dry. Washable PVA glue is great to use as little kids can get involved in this step. Allow the doll's wardrobe to dry
  • Paint and decorate the doll's wardrobe any way you like. Gemstone stickers are particularly suitable for decorating a Barbie wardrobe. Allow the doll's wardrobe to dry.
When the glue is dry, it is time to paint your doll's wardrobe
A painted doll's wardrobe, ready for the rail and door knobs
  • The next step is to add the rail to the doll's wardrobe. Hold a wooden skewer up to the wardrobe to measure how much you will need. Trim the wooden skewer and trim off small amounts until the rail fits perfectly.

Hold the skewer up to the doll's wardrobe to work out where to cut it. If needed, keep trimming small pieces off the skewer until it fits like a glove.

  • Test the position of the rail before you glue it in place. Make sure the wardrobe door closes and the clothes hang properly. Mark the position of the rail.

Test the placement of the rail before gluing it into the doll's wardrobe

  • (Adult step) secure the rail in position with generous dollops of hot glue 
Time for adults to use the hot glue gun to secure the rail in place

  • (Adult step) add gemstone handles with hot glue. Allow glue to dry.
  • Hang up Barbie's clothes in her brand new wardrobe!
    When the glue is dry, hang up Barbie's clothes in her new wardrobe!

    Sunday, 4 March 2018

    Children's Easter Bunny Mask

    Create these Easter Bunny masks with the free printable in this post. A tutorial on how to make the masks is available at http://mykidcraft.com/easter-bunny-mask/75976/

    When the shops are full of Easter eggs it must be time to do some Easter-themed craft with the kids! If you aren't confident in your own drawing ability, and the kids are too young to draw themselves, then a printable what you need. There are so many free and fantastic printables available on the Internet. Just type "free Easter Bunny mask printable" into Google and switch to the "Images" search and you will find lots to choose from.

    I wanted to have a go at creating a printable myself so I created this free Easter Bunny Mask printable for the kids to use. Since I was so impressed with the results, I've put up a tutorial on MyKidCraft.com which takes you through how to create the Easter Bunny mask on the left hand side of the picture in this post. The picture on the right shows what the mask would look like if you didn't unravel the cotton wool balls. Younger children could find this easier than dealing with unraveled cotton wool.
    Create an Easter Bunny masks with the free printable in this post. A tutorial on how to make, and decorate, the mask is available at http://mykidcraft.com/easter-bunny-mask/75976/

    I really enjoyed putting this printable together - it's a way for both mother and child to express their creativity with the same craft. If you like this printable and would like to see some more on this website then please let me know.

    Wednesday, 27 September 2017

    Elsa Frozen Birthday Cake

    My minimal-stress Elsa Frozen birthday cake

    My daughter loves Frozen so a Frozen birthday theme was a must this year, along with an Elsa Frozen Birthday cake. Making a child's birthday cake is a time consuming task, but I have such fond memories looking back at my cakes in the family photo album that I want the same for my children. But I am always looking to minimize the stress as much as possible. So here is my minimal-stress Elsa Frozen birthday cake. Notice that I didn't say easy?! I don't think something that you do so infrequently and with so much at stake could ever be easy, but it can be made easier!

    I've made this Elsa birthday cake minimal-stress by sourcing a doll from a local toy shop that I was happy to cut the legs off (if need be), taking a trip to the supermarket first to see what decorations were readily available rather than wasting time hunting down hard to find decorations, and using balls at the bottom of the skirt to hide any messy joins between the icing and the cake-board. I've also stayed away from using ready-to-roll icing for the bodice to limit the types of icing I needed to work with (and colour).

    For the full instructions on how to make my minimal-stress Elsa Frozen cake, be sure to check out my article on My Kid Craft.

    My little girl adored this cake - I hope yours does too!

    Sunday, 3 September 2017

    Grandma Birthday Card

    Grandmas love to receive handmade cards from their grandchildren. I've just put up the instructions for a lovely Grandma birthday card, or Grandmother mothers day card, on mykidcraft.com. It's a fun craft for parents and children to do together as it uses the prints of both parent and child. A Grandma birthday card from child and grandchild is sure to delight Grandma!

    Hyacinth Grandma Birthday Card

    This particular card features a hyacinth but there are lots of flowers that children, or children and parents can do together. The next time you see a picture of a flower, stop and think if you could finger-paint it with some prints of various parts of a hand.

    For the full instructions, go to http://mykidcraft.com/fingerpaint-hyacinth-grandma-birthday-card. I'll be promoting my posts on mykidcraft.com on my blog now as I feel they are a great content fit.

    Saturday, 19 August 2017

    Strawberry Muffins

    Delicious Fresh Strawberry Muffins!

    I've started contributing articles to RecipeYum. I've been doing it for a while now and I think my blog readers would really like to see some of those article so I'll start letting you know when I've added recipes. I've just put up a recipe for strawberry muffins on RecipeYum. It shows you how to make fresh strawberry muffins and the results are simply splendid. I've tried to make strawberry muffins before and failed, but this recipe is an easy strawberry muffin recipe that produces perfect results every time. In fact it is now one of my favourite muffin recipes. 

    If you'd like to try this strawberry muffin recipe then please visit http://recipeyum.com.au/failproof-strawberry-muffins.

    I hope you find this recipe makes the best strawberry muffins you have ever tasted!

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