Blog Posts

Origami Zebra and Tiger

Here is another origami instruction from Monday Arts Live, this time a zebra and tiger!

You will need:

2 squares of paper and a surface to work on
Pritt Stick
Paint, palette & brushes if you are decorating your paper with paint, or you can use pencils, felt tips or ink.

How to make your lion:

  1. For your zebra decorate two of your squares of paper with black wiggly stripes and the same on orange paper for your tiger.
  2. Follow the instructions below for how to fold, or follow the link to our Facebook Art Live video for how to decorate your own paper.

Eva Stamps!

This week at Heathlands we have been making stamping blocks! These are really simple to create and are a great way of getting creative and decorative with your crafts.

We’ve made our stamps to be interchangeable, meaning that the number of stamps you can create are only limited by the scale of your imagination.

To make your stamps you will need:

Eva foam / funky foam

Sticky back velcro / hook and loop tape

A block of wood

Staple gun

Scissors

Pencil / pen

To use your stamp you will need:

Flat paint tray

Poster paints / acrylics

Paper / material to stamp on

How to make your:

  1. Stick the hook side of your velcro onto your wooden block.
  2. Staple to secure at each end.
  3. Draw your desired shapes for your stamps onto the eva foam making sure not to make them any larger than the block of wood.
  4. Cut out your shapes and add the loop (soft) velcro tape onto the back. Remember that your stamp shapes will reverse or “mirror” when you are stamping. So draw letters and numbers the wrong way round.
  5. You are ready to print! Pick your favourite paint colours and add an even layer to your stamp and get printing. You may need to gently rock your stamp to get it even.
  6. Remember not over load your stamp or it will slide.
  7. Have fun!

Other idea’s for simple stamps include: leaves, flowers, simple shapes, birthday balloons, snowflakes and Christmas tree’s.

Origami Giraffe

We’ve been working on our origami again here at Heathlands. This week we’ve decorated paper and folded a giraffe. You can follow our instructions below and watch our live video as well.

You will need:

2 squares of paper and a surface to work on
Pritstick
Paint, palette, brushes and a sponge if you are decorating your paper

How to make your giraffe:

  1. Decorate your squares of paper with a yellow fur texture, allow this to dry, then use a rough sponge and brown paint to create splodges for your giraffe.
  2. Follow the instructions below for how to fold, or follow the link to our Facebook Art Live video.

Minion Memo Board!

Here at Heathlands we will soon be opening our brand new and renovated portacabin! It was designated “blue bubble”, however we wanted to make the space as warm and cheery as possible. So, the space will be decorated with both blue and yellow. Thus Minnion Bubble was born.

With that in mind, I thought for this weeks craft we would make something for our new space. A memo board inspired by minions! We’re using lightweight denim and yellow ribbons for our theme, but you can use any colours or patterns you like.

What you will need:

A wooden board or piece of MDF

Fabric

Ribbon

Quilt wading

Decorative upholstery tacks

Picture hanging fixings

Staple gun

Scissors

Screwdriver or cordless drill with phillips head bit

How to make your memo board:

  1. Make sure your board has no sharp edges and sand off anything you think might snag your fabric.
  2. Place your board on top of your wadding, leaving a gap around the edge so that you can wrap the wadding around to the top.
  3. Cut the wadding to size.
  4. Cut your fabric to the same size or every so slightly larger.
  5. Wrap the wading and fabric around the board, and starting from the centres of the sides, working out, staple them down. Periodically check that the fabric is stretching evenly.
  6. Starting from one corner, staple your ribbon from the back, and wrap it diagonally around the front of the board. Cut the ribbon after each wrap. Work along the board, making sure to leave even gaps.
  7. Repeat step six in the opposite direction to create a diamond pattern with your ribbons.
  8. Use your decorative upholstery tacks to pin down the ribbons at each point where they cross.
  9. Attach hanging fixtures to the back, put up on your wall and enjoy!

Beaded Suncatcher

A few weeks back we decided to follow up our #30dayswild nature dreamcatcher craft from The Wildlife Trusts with a suncatcher.

The craft was for one of our Facebook art live shows, so I thought I would write a blog post with instructions on how to make your own.

What you need:

A sturdy stick to hang your beads around
Wire
Glass beads
Twine
Small pliers / wire cutters
Scissors

How to make your suncatcher:

  1. Cut 5 lengths of wire, x1 30cm, x2 25cm and x2 20cm
  2. Place a small bead about 2cm from the end of each wire, turn the wire back on itself and twist together.
  3. Thread each wire with your favourite glass beads, leaving 4cm to wrap around your stick.
  4. Arrange your wires: small, medium, long, medium, small, along your stick, around 3cm apart.
  5. Cut a length of garden twine around one and half to two times the length of your stick and tie it to either end of your stick.
  6. Hang your suncatcher in a window and enjoy.

Nature Dreamcatcher

As part of our #30dayswild activities from The Wildlife Trusts, we decided to follow one of their instructions that you can find here.

Making a your dreamcatcher is simple and fun. It’s also a great opportunity to get outdoors and explore nature. Go for a walk and collect natural materials to make your dreamcatcher with.

What you will need:

Three sturdy sticks
Garden twine
Natural materials to decorate – hag stones (stones with holes in), feathers, shells, leaves, flowers, grasses etc
Scissors

How to make your nature dream catcher:

  1. Arrange your sticks in a triangle and tie together with twine. Leave one with a long tail to hang.
  2. Create a pattern of your choice in the triangle with twine. It can be a simple or as complicated as you like.
  3. Once you’re happy with your twine, start decorating! You could also suspend some of your materials from pieces of twine from the bottom.
  4. Think about adding flowers for colour and herbs for fragrance.
  5. Hang your dreamcatcher and change out the fresh materials when they wilt.

Pom-Pom Bumble Bee

Bees are really important to our whole eco-system so we thought we’d show our love of them by making a fluffy pom-pom version.

You will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Yellow and black yarn
  • Small amount of white net fabric (or similar)
  • Black pipe cleaner
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Circular templates
  • Glue (PVA or a hot glue gun work best)

Step 1.

Use your circular templates (we’re using a roll of tape and a small pot) to draw two ‘donuts’ onto your cardboard. They should be the same size as each other. Cut them out.

Step 2.

Hold your two ‘donuts’ together and we’re going to start wrapping yarn around, as shown in the pictures. We’re going to wrap the ‘donut’ in black and yellow sections so we get a nice stripy bee! Try and wrap as evenly as you can, working around the circle.

Step 3.

When you’ve wrapped so much yarn the centre is full you’re ready for the next step. Very carefully, use your scissors to cut around the edge of the pom-pom, as shown.

Step 4.

Now it becomes clear why we used two cardboard circles; cut a piece of yarn and slide it in-between the cardboard circles. Wrap it around the middle and tie it as tightly as you can.

Step 5.

You can now remove the cardboard rings and give the bee a trim if needed to tidy her up!

Step 6.

From the white fabric cut two wing shapes and glue them onto the back of the bee. Bend the pipe cleaner in half and glue onto the top of the head. You may also want to bend the ends into a curve. Finally, glue the wiggly eyes onto the front of the bee. Wait for the glue to dry and you’re done!

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Felt Rose Brooch

In this post we’re going to show you how to make a beautiful rose brooch, there’s only a little bit of sewing involved and unlike a real rose it won’t wilt!

You will need:

  • Felt
  • Brooch back or safety pin
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Circular template (we used a roll of sellotape)
  • Coloured pencil

Step 1.

Use your circular template and coloured pencil to draw a circle onto your felt and cut it out.

Step 2.

Cut the circle into a spiral, with a rounded bit in the centre, as shown in the pictures. You can use your coloured pencil to draw the spiral before you cut it.

Step 3.

Starting with the outer edge of the spiral, wrap it tightly around itself in a spiral top form a rose. The rounded bit will cover the base of your spiral (see pictures.)

Step 4.

Using your needle and thread make several stitches through the spiral to hold it all in place.

Step 5.

Sew your brooch back or safety pin onto the base of your rose and it’s ready to wear.

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on.

Butterfly Mobile

Have you seen any butterflies flying around yet? In this post we’ll show you how to make your own fluttery butterfly decoration that you can enjoy all year round.

You will need:

  • Coloured card
  • Thread, yarn or thin ribbon
  • Small hoop or wire
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Optional: pens, collage materials

Step 1.

Fold your coloured card in half and then using our templates (or make your own) cut out several different butterflies from the coloured card (keep the card folded as you cut so that when you open it up you have a full butterfly!)

Step 2.

At this point you could decorate your butterflies if you want to; you could draw on designs, stick bits of coloured paper or add gems and so on. Alternatively you can leave them plain!

Step 3.

To make the top of your mobile you’ll need something circular, we’re using the inside of a broken embroidery hoop but if you don’t have anything similar you could bend some wire into a hoop shape. Ours is around 20 cm across.

Step 4.

Now we’re ready to join all the bits together. Using your needle and thread attach a length of thread to each butterfly and tie the other end to the hoop. Hang each butterfly at a different length and try and space them evenly around the hoop. Keep adding butterflies until you are happy with the results.

Step 5.

To hang the mobile cut six lengths of thread each around 30 cm long. Tie them at even spacings around the hoop and then gather the other end of the threads and tie them all in a knot together at the top so you then have a way to hang the mobile.

Paper Roses

We’re back with another tissue paper flower idea for you! In this post we’ll show you how to make simple paper roses, they look really good bunched together or you could use some fancy paper to make a single rose for someone special!

You will need:

  • Tissue paper (or other lightweight paper)
  • Pipe cleaners

Step 1.

Start with rectangles of tissue paper, ours were about 20 x 15 cm

Step 2.

Work with one sheet of paper at a time and fold over the long side, leaving a gap around 2-3 cm at the bottom. You can also gently scrunch the paper up a little for a bit more texture if you like.

Step 3.

Hold the folded edge in your fingertips and roll the paper around in a loose spiral.

Step 4.

Pinch the other end together and twist it to secure the flower.

Step 5.

Wrap one end of a pipe cleaner around the bit you just twisted, leave the rest untwisted for the stem of the rose.

Step 6.

Make some more and then pop them in a jar or vase or tie them up with a ribbon. Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Country Slice Cake

Ingredients:

215g self raising flour

22g butter

200g caster sugar

1tbsp cornflour mixed with 3tbsp of cold water

3 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

80g sultanas – soaked in hot tea for 10 minutes and drained

Sugar crystals to sprinkle with

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan)
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
  3. Slowly add the whisked eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir in the cornflour mix.
  5. Add a handful of flour to the sultanas to coat them – this prevents them from sinking into the mix.
  6. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold together.
  7. Put into a lined cake tin and sprinkle with sugar crystals.
  8. Bake for between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
  9. Test with a wooden skewer, if clean, cake is done.
  10. Enjoy!

Ingredients in Bold are allergens

Bubble Painting

This is a really fun (if slightly messy) activity and is great for creating patterned paper for use in other crafts.

You will need:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Bowls or dishes (one for each colour)
  • Food colouring (or you can use paint; poster paint is great for this but you could try watered down acrylic or watercolours too)
  • Paper
  • A straw

Step 1.

Fill your tray or dish about 2-3 cm deep with water. Add the food colouring (or paint) and a good squirt of washing up liquid. The more colouring you add the stronger the colour of the bubble prints; you do need to use quite a bit. Give it all a good swish around!

Step 2.

Use the straw to create lots of bubbles by holding it under the water and blowing.

Step 3.

Carefully and gently lay the paper on top of the bubbles and lift off again. You should have some beautiful bubble prints!

Step 4.

You can over print with another colour to make an even more interesting surface.

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Beautiful Beaded Heart Hanging

If you have any old bead necklaces that you don’t wear anymore then you could upcycle the beads into a pretty wire hanging.

You will need:

  • Beads (ours were from old necklaces)
  • Wire (we used garden wire)
  • Pliers and wire cutters
  • Ribbon

Step 1.

Start by cutting a length of wire; ours was around 60 cm long but you could make it longer (for a bigger heart) or shorter (for a smaller heart.) We stripped the plastic coating off our wire but you don’t have to do this (or you might be using wire without a plastic coating anyway!)

Step 2.

Thread a bead onto your wire and make a loop around it, this will stop the other beads sliding off as you are working.

Step 3.

Thread on more beads! Stop when you have about 5-10 cm free wire at each end.

Step 4.

Twist the two ends of wire together, pushing the beads together so there are no gaps.

Step 5.

Bend the wire into a heart shape, or a different shape if you prefer!

Step 6.

We threaded a few beads onto the two loose ends of wire for extra decoration but you could just twist the ends together and trim. Whatever you do it’s worth using your pliers to tuck the loose ends of wire in so they don’t catch on anything.

Step 7.

Tie a ribbon onto the wire between two beads so you can hang up your heart.

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on.

Homemade Fudge

This indulgent treat has only a few ingredients, but you need to be careful making it!

This recipe involves boiling sugar.

Ingredients:

450g Demerara sugar / soft brown sugar

115g butter

150ml milk

396g can of condensed milk

Optional:

100-150g of peanut butter

Method:

  1. Weigh off all ingredients and put in a large saucepan.
  2. Line a 20cm square tin.
  3. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly.
  4. Once boiling, boil for 10-15 minutes, making sure the mixture does not catch or burn.
  5. Take off heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour into tins and chill overnight.
  7. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Magazine Papier Mache Bowls

Did you know you can recycle your old newspapers and magazines to make beautiful decorative bowls? This can get a bit messy so it’s worth covering your work area and wearing an apron!

You will need:

  • Newspapers and magazines (you can also use packaging paper for this)
  • A bowl to use as a mould (something you can easily wash) and a bowl to contain your papier mache mixture
  • PVA glue or wallpaper paste
  • Petroleum jelly or washing up liquid
  • Varnish (optional)

Step 1.

Start by preparing your newspaper pieces. You’ll need lots of pieces torn into squares around 4 x 4 cm. You can also tear some longer, thinner strips from the magazines, try and choose nice colourful pieces. These will be used to make the inside and outside of your bowl so choose colours you like!

Step 2.

Next mix up your glue or wallpaper paste solution. If you’re using PVA glue dilute it to 1 part glue to 2 parts water. If you’re using wallpaper paste follow the instructions on the packet.*

*Lots of wallpaper pastes contain fungicide so it’s a good idea to wear gloves.

Step 3.

Now we need to prepare the bowl (mould) and then we’re ready to get making! You can build your bowl on the inside or outside of your mould; whichever side you use cover it with either petroleum jelly or washing up liquid so that your paper mache bowl will be easier to remove when it’s dry.

Step 4.

If you’re working on the inside of your mould then your first layer will be the outside of your bowl so use the nice brightly coloured magazine strips you tore up for your first layer. Dip them into the glue solution and lay them inside the bowl , side by side and slightly overlapping until the bowl is covered.

If you’re working on the outside of the bowl then the first layer will be the inside of your bowl so again choose the coloured magazine strips; dip each strip in the glue solution and lay side by side, slightly overlapping until the bowl is covered.

Step 5.

Now we start to build up the body of bowl. We will work in layers using the newspaper squares. Dip each square in glue and then lay it in the bowl, working methodically around the bowl until it is covered. You’ll need to lay down at least 5 layers to make sure your bowl is nice and strong. I like to work alternate layers of newspaper and packing paper so I can see where I’ve been!

Step 6.

For your final layer use the colourful magazine strips again.

Step 7.

Leave your bowl to dry out thoroughly, this may take several days. Try and leave it in a warm dry place to speed the process up.

Step 8.

When the bowl is totally dry carefully ease it off the mould. You can now trim the edges with scissors to make it even or leave it rough.

You can give your bowl a coat of varnish if you’d like it to be a bit tougher but you don’t have to.

Stand back and admire your hard work! Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on.

Simple Collagraphs

Collagraphs are basically print plates made by creating a collage. In this post we’ll show you how to make a simple collagraph from bits and pieces of paper and how to take rubbings from your collagraph.

You will Need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scraps of different textured papers (e.g. wallpaper samples, tissue paper and so on)
  • Scraps of fabric or lace (if you have them)
  • Paper to make your rubbings on, we’ve got some plain paper and some coloured paper
  • Glue (we’re just using a glue stick for this example)
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Graphite stick (if you have one)

Step 1.

Cut a piece of cardboard to use as your base, ours is around 10 x 15 cm.

Step 2.

Either on your base card or on a scrap piece of paper sketch out your design. Here we’ve made a simple design based on a cup.

Step 3.

Cut and tear pieces of textured paper to create a textural collage of the different sections of your design. You could also try using fabric, lace, string or anything else textured you can stick down!

Step 4.

When you’re happy with your arrangement glue it all down. Make sure you use enough glue to ensure everything is secure and all the edges are well stuck down.

Step 5.

Now we’re ready to make a rubbing! Place a piece of paper over the top of your collagraph and using the flat side of a crayon or graphite stick rub over the surface to pick up the textures. You’ll probably need to use one hand to hold the paper steady while you work so it doesn’t move or you could tape it down as you work. You should see your design coming through, showing all the different textures you’ve collaged.

Step 6.

Experiment with making rubbings on different coloured papers, papers of different thicknesses and try using different coloured crayons to highlight different sections. Each rubbing you make will be a bit different, you could make a whole set of images!

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Penguins!

It’s Penguin Day on 25th April so we thought you might enjoy a penguin themed craft! Here’s how to make a simple slot-together model of a penguin. You could make them in different sizes and colours and create a whole colony of penguins.

You will need:

  • Penguin template
  • Cardboard (we used an old box)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint (or you could use coloured pens or even collage if you prefer)

Step 1.

Print out our penguin template and use it to draw a sideways penguin and a front facing penguin on your cardboard. Don’t forget to mark where the slits will go (these are the dotted lines on the template.)

Step 2.

Carefully cut out your penguins and cut the slots; on the sideways piece this goes from the top to the centre and on the front facing piece it goes from the bottom to the centre.

Step 3.

Paint (or colour or collage) the pieces of your penguin on both sides. Most penguins have white bellies and black backs but you can use any colours you fancy!

Step 4.

When the paint is dry slot the two pieces together and you’ll have a penguin! You may need to make some small adjustments to the slots or the painted areas to make sure everything matches up.

Step 5.

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Devilled Eggs

These are a firm favourite in our house, and there is always a plate at a family buffet or picnic. Making devilled eggs is also a fantastic way to use up your pace eggs!

Ingredients:

6 Hard boiled eggs

3 tbsp mayonnaise 

1 tsp curry powder OR 1 tsp English mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

To garnish:

Pinch of sweet paprika

Method:

  1. Make your hard boiled eggs. To do this put the eggs on to boil and when they start boiling set a timer for 7 minutes.
  2. Put immediately into cold water to cool.
  3. Peel your eggs and cut them in half.
  4. Remove the yolks and place in a mixing bowl with all of your other ingredients except your garnish.
  5. Mix together well until smooth.
  6. Spoon or pipe your mixture back into the half eggs.
  7. Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy!

Sock Bunnies

Do you have a collection of odd socks? Here’s a fun way to upcycle those lonely socks into cute little bunnies.

You will need:

  • A sock
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Needle and thread
  • Buttons
  • Stuffing (we used toy stuffing but you could use small fabric scraps, cotton wool or even rice)
  • Scissors

Step 1.

Start by stuffing your sock, leave the top 5-6 cm or so unstuffed.

Step 2.

Make a cut down the centre of the unstuffed section and round the ends off to look more ear-like. Tie the two ends together to stop the stuffing escaping and create ears.

Step 3.

Tie a ribbon around the stuffed section to make a head and body.

Step 4.

Now we can give our bunny a face! Sew buttons on for the eyes and nose. You could also sew one onto the back of the body for a tail or make a little pom-pom and sew that on!

Step 5.

You’re done! Admire your hard work and if you have a collection of odd socks you could make a whole family of rabbits!

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on.

Paper Feathers

These feathers are very simple to make but look really beautiful. We’ve used plain paper but there’s no reason you couldn’t use patterned paper or decorate the feathers before you start cutting.

You will need:

  • Paper, we used off cuts from other projects
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Pointy object like a knitting needle
  • Template

Step 1.

Cut out a feather template (or draw your own) and draw around it on the back of your paper. When you come to do the middle of the feather press REALLY hard with your pencil so it leaves an indentation on your paper!

Step 2.

Use the knitting needle or similar pointed object to go over the middle of the feather, you’re aiming to make an indentation in the paper that will show on the right side.

Step 3.

Cut out the feather. Carefully fold along the indented line (the central part of the feather) to give it a bit of shape.

Step 4.

Now for the fiddly bit! Carefully cut all along each side of the feather being sure not to cut through the central part of the feather. Use the template with the dotted lines as a guide. Take your time doing this, you want the cuts to be quite close together but be careful not to cut off the strands.

Step 5.

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Marmite Cheese Twists

Cheese twist or straws are a simple and delightful snack and really easy to make! You can adapt this recipe in many ways… add finely chopped sundried tomatoes, chilli flakes, herbs or even some mustard.

Ingredients:

Plain flour to dust your surface

Premade puff pastry

2tbsp Marmite softened for spreading

75-100g Gruyere or Cheddar cheese

1 egg beaten for glazing

Method:

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment and preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Soften your marmite on a gentle heat on the stove or in short bursts in the microwave.
  3. Dust your surface with flour and unroll pastry if pre-rolled or roll out a 30-40cm square.
  4. Paint your pastry with the marmite about halfway up and sprinkle with about 3/4’s of your cheese.
  5. Fold over the bare pastry and pat down.
  6. Reroll to a little less than half a centimeter.
  7. Egg wash and sprinkle over remaining cheese.
  8. Cut into strips 1.5-2cm wide.
  9. Gently twist your strips, place on baking sheets and chill for 10 minutes.
  10.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until nice and golden brown and cool.
  11. Enjoy on their own or with your favorite dip!

*** Ingredients in Bold are allergens.

Easter Chick Pop Up Card

Easter is nearly upon us so we thought we’d share a simple but fun pop up card craft with you.

You Will Need:

  • Card (to make the card!)
  • Yellow paper or card
  • Small piece of pink card
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Pink felt tip pen
  • Ruler
  • Wiggly eyes (optional)

Step 1.

Start of by folding your card in half to make a card!

Step 2.

Using our template (or make your own) cut out a head, body and two wings from the yellow paper.

Step 3.

On the back of the head piece draw out a diamond, as shown in the photograph. Cut the solid line and fold along the dotted lines. It’s easier to do this if you fold the head in half! You should now be able to open out the ‘beak’ along the folded lines.

Step 4.

Cut out a small piece of pink paper, a little bit bigger than the diamond you drew but smaller than the head!

Step 5.

Now we’re ready to start putting everything together. First, fold the body in half longways and then glue the body in the middle of the card, matching up the folds. Next, fold the pink paper in half and stick above the body, once again lining up the folds. On top of the pink paper glue the head, making sure that the pink paper shows when the ‘beak’ opens. Finally stick on the wings and eyes and draw on some pink legs.

Step 6.

When you open and close the card the chick’s beak should also open and close! Decorate the front of the card and you’re done. Send it to someone special or pop it on your window sill as a decoration.

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on.

Wonderful Weaving!

Weaving is an ancient craft and can be used to create amazing functional and decorative work. However, at its most basic it’s also really easy to get started so in this post we’ll show you how to make a simple loom from cardboard and get you weaving! We’re going to work with fairly short lengths of yarn for this project to give us a fringed edge.

You will need:

  • Cardboard (we’re using a 15 x 15 cm square)
  • Scraps of yarn, ribbon and fabric (you can use up all sorts of odds and ends for this!)
  • String or strong, non stretchy thread
  • Bodkin or large, blunt needle (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pen or pencil

Step 1.

To start with we’re going to make our loom; mark a 1 cm line along two opposite edges of your square and mark along this line at 1 cm intervals. Now cut along the edges to the line you marked at the 1 cm intervals.

Step 2.

The next step is to warp the loom. We’re going to use the string for this bit, the thread you choose for the warp needs to be strong and not stretchy. Start at one edge by tying the string around the first ‘post’ of the top of the loom.

Step 3.

Now we’re going to take the string down to the opposite edge, around the back of the ‘post’ below and back up, around the next ‘post’ and back down. Keep going like this all the way along. When you get to the last ‘post’ tie the string off. You need the string to be quite taut but not so tight that it bends the cardboard.

Step 4.

We’ve made our loom so now we can start weaving. Cut a piece of yarn about 5 cm wider than your loom (so in our case this was 20cm.)

Line 1: Thread the bodkin/needle with the yarn and starting at one side of the loom work over one of the loom threads, under the next one, over the next one, under the next one and so on until you reach the other side. Leave an even amount of yarn loose on either side of the loom.

Step 5.

Line 2: Take another length of yarn (20 cm for us again) and this time weave under then over each thread, so that you’re doing the opposite to the line before (i.e. you go over the unders and under the overs.)

Step 6.

For the next row work the same as line 1 then the following row the same as line 2. Keep repeating these lines until your loom is full. Every few rows push the threads to the bottom of the loom so you get a nice tight weave.

Step 7.

As well as using yarn you can use strips of fabric, ribbon and pretty much anything linear! Experiment with different materials and see which effects you like best.

Step 8.

When your loom is full and you can’t fit anymore strips in then you can carefully lift the loops of the warp thread over the ‘posts’ of the loom. Tie the loose ends to one of the fringed ends to secure them. You can also trim the fringes if you want a neater edge.

Step 9.

Admire your hard work! Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on.

Beautiful Blooms

These beautiful flowers are really simple to make and you don’t need much in the way of materials; just some tissue paper and a pipe cleaner.

You will need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaner (or wire)
  • Scissors

Step 1.

Cut your tissue paper into rectangles, the bigger the rectangle the larger your bloom! We used the folds of the tracing paper as a guide for cutting out and our rectangles are roughly A4 size. You need between 3-8 sheets of tissue paper for each flower, more layers gives a fuller bloom.

Step 2.

Lay your rectangles on top of each other and make a concertina (like a paper fan) by making a fold across the bottom, flipping the whole stack over and folding up again by the same amount, flipping back over and folding up and so on. The folds on ours are around 2 cm wide.

Step 3.

When you’ve made your concertina, fold it in half and wrap the pipe cleaner around the middle to hold all the layers together.

Step 4.

Trim the ends of your concertina into rounded shapes, this will make your flower look like it has petals.

Step 5.

Carefully open up the concertina into a circle and gently start lifting and separating each layer of tissue paper, one by one. This bit is fiddly so take your time!

Step 6.

Admire your beautiful bloom and make some more!

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Pickled Beetroot

Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables. Raw on salad, pickled, roasted or made into soup, it’s always delicious. Did you know beetroot is good source of vitamin C? which it great for boosting your immune system!

Pickled in this way, you can store beetroot for up to 18 months.

Ingredients:

Beetroots

White vinegar

Water

A few Bay leaves

½ – 1tsp Yellow Mustard seeds 

1tbsp peppercorns

1tsp salt

Method:

  1. Clean and trim your beetroots.
  2. Boil for around 45minutes until tender.
  3. Peel the beetroots once they have cooled a little, slice and add to sterilised jars.
  4. To make your brining solution, use 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water. Make enough to cover the beetroots you have prepared. Add your herbs and spices and bring to a boil.
  5. Pour the solution over the beetroot in the jars and seal. 
  6. They will be ready to eat in around 2 weeks.

Fabulously Fringed Scarf

If you’ve got an old t-shirt that you’d like to give a new lease of life then you could turn it into a tasselled scarf, you don’t even need to do any sewing!

You will need:

  • T-shirt
  • Scissors

Step 1.

We’re going to use the body of the t-shirt to make this scarf so start off by cutting across the t-shirt under the arms, leaving you with a tube of fabric.

Step 2.

We’re now going to make the fringe, make a series of cuts from the cut edge of the tube to about 5 cm from the opposite edge (the t-shirt hem edge,) like in the picture. Make sure you don’t cut all the way up to the edge!

Step 3.

Gently tug on each of the fringes so that they curl in on themselves slightly.

Step 4.

You’re now ready to wear your scarf! If you used a large t-shirt to start with you might be able to wrap it twice, giving you a double fringe.

Ribbon Jar Vase

As we move into Spring it’s nice to be able to go outside and gather a few bits of greenery for our homes*. Here’s a simple upcycling project to turn a glass jar into a beautiful decorated vase to show off your finds.

*Always be careful if gathering plants from the wild; only gather things that are plentiful and take care not to damage anything and only take a very small amount of any plant.

You will need:

  • Glass jar
  • A selection of ribbons, lace or other trims
  • Double sided tape
  • Scissors

Step 1.

Put two strips of double sided tape down the length of the jar, on opposite sides. These will anchor the ribbons in place.

Step 2.

Starting at one end of the jar lay a piece of ribbon or lace on top of the double sided tape, don’t totally cover the tape as you’ll need to stick the other end of the ribbon onto this tape too. Keeping the ribbon/lace taut, stretch it around the jar so it meets up with the starting point, sticking it onto the double sided tape so it lines up.

Step 3.

Work your way down the jar wrapping ribbons and lace around to create a pleasing pattern.

Step 4.

When the jar is fully covered you can cover up the ‘seam’ (where all the ribbon ends meet) with another piece of ribbon, stuck down with another piece of double sided tape.

Step 5.

Use another piece of ribbon to tie a bow and attach this at the top of the ‘seam’ with double sided tape.

Step 6.

Pop some pretty twigs or flowers in your new vase and admire your hard work!

Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Catch the Sunshine Suncatcher

Make the most of the sunshine and make yourself a beautiful suncatcher from a plastic lid. When the light hits the suncatcher it will light up the colours like stained glass! We used lids from food pots but any clear plastic will work for this craft.

You will need:

  • Clear plastic lid/circle
  • Permanent markers in different colours
  • Ribbon or thread
  • Needle
  • Scrap paper
  • Pencil

Step 1.

On your scrap paper draw around your lid and then in the circle draw out your design, or use ours!

Step 2.

Place your plastic over your design and using the permanent markers* colour it in on the plastic.

*Felt tip pens are no good for this craft, they’ll just wipe off.

Step 3.

Use a black permanent marker to draw in the outline, over the coloured areas to give it that stained glass look.

Step 4.

Thread your ribbon or thread through the top of your plastic to make a hanging loop.

Step 5.

Hang your suncatcher in the windows and enjoy the jewel like colours. Have fun and don’t forget to show us how you get on!

Daffodil Pinwheel

1st March is St. David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales. The national flower of Wales is the daffodil so to celebrate St. David’s Day we have a daffodil themed craft for you this week!

You will need:

  • Yellow card
  • Yellow paper
  • Green card
  • Paper fastener
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue stick

Step 1.

We’re going to start by preparing the main part of the daffodil (the pinwheel.) We need to start with a square, ours is 21 x 21 cm. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner and then measure 5 cm out from the centre along each of the four lines.

Step 2.

Cut along the diagonal lines from the outside edge to the 5 cm line.

Step 3.

Using the pencil very carefully poke a small hole in the centre and at alternate ‘points’ of the square. Put this piece to one side for now.

Step 4.

Now we’re going to make the centre of the daffodil. Cut a strip of yellow paper 10 cm x 5 cm and mark a 1 cm strip along one long edge.

Step 5.

On the 1 cm strip that you’ve marked cut a series of slits from the long edge to the 1 cm line about 1 cm apart. On the other long edge cut lots of slits close together and about 2 cm long.

Step 6.

Put a line of glue along one of the short edges of the yellow paper strip and roll it into a tube and stick in place. Tuck the short tabs that you cut to the inside and cut and then glue a circle of yellow paper over the tabs. Use the pencil again to carefully poke a hole in the bottom of the circle. Put this part of the daffodil to one side.

Step 7.

Next we’re going to make the stem for our daffodil. Cut a piece of green card 10 cm wide and as long as you’d like the stem (ours is around 30 cm.) Divide the strip into four columns; three columns 3 cm wide and 1 column 1 cm wide. Fold along the lines you’ve marked.

Step 8.

Carefully poke a hole in the middle of one of the 3 cm columns about 3 cm from the top.

Step 9.