We’re into our second week of the summer holidays here and life has really started to slow down. Yay for no more school lunches, homework or racing to and from extra curricular activities. We spent the morning at the local pool and when we returned home the boys relaxed in the aircon whilst I found some time for a little crafting on the front deck.
I was inspired to make this wreath by the lovely blog The Merry Thought. I just loved it’s simplicity. To make it my own I’ve substituted the evergreen tree cuttings with rosemary sprigs and used just one colour of yarn.
To make a rosemary and yarn christmas wreath you will need:
A metal hoop, yarn, Rosemary sprigs and scissors.
Start by cutting your yarn into lengths, and then looping each length of yarn around the hoop as shown here. I used 42 lengths of yarn and each length was about 80cm long.
Once you’ve finished attaching the yarn to your hoop create two little bunches of Rosemary (I used four cuttings in each bunch). Tie each bunch together with yarn and leave a bit of a tail so that you can then tie it to your wreath.
To finish off add a little piece of yarn to the top of the hoop to make it easy to hang, then trim the bottom of your yarn into whatever shape you so desire. I went with an asymmetrical look like the wreath shown here on pinterest but you could keep the yarn straight if you prefer.
This has to be the easiest piece of DIY decor I’ve ever made, I just love it. Happy crafting.
With school finishing next week I thought I’d better get a wriggle on and start preparing for christmas. The first craft on my list was a new advent calendar. My boys love counting down the days till christmas so it’s become a tradition in our house to make a DIY christmas advent calendar each year.
If you’re a regular to my blog you’ll know I love a neutral colour palette so I went with black and white on plywood for our advent calendar. It complements my homes interior decor and works well with my other christmas decorations.
To make an advent calendar like mine you’ll need a piece of plywood (mine is 600mm x 900mm and 9mm thick), velcro sticky dots, wrapping paper, sticky tape, scissors, twine, printed numbers or tags and whatever little treats you would like to pop inside. I used these printables from The Painted Hive. I originally planned to use them as they were intended – cute little pockets, but unfortunately three treats wouldn’t quite fit so I used them as labels instead. But, if you just have one child or want to make individual advent calendars, these would look lovely made up as pockets and attached to the ply.
Start by wrapping up you treats, creating 24 little parcels of similar size. I chose a variety of christmas inspired chocolates, from magic elves with popping candy to lindt chocolate santas and chocolate puddings. You can add whatever you fancy but just make sure it will last the full twenty four days without going off.
After wrapping all of your parcels arrange them on your ply and once your happy with their positioning apply a velcro dot to the underside of the parcel and one directly to the plywood. Then just adhere each parcel to the plywod backing. If you find your dots are not sticking very well or if your parcels are not very flat on the back, just add a little craft glue to the velcro dot which attaches to the parcel, this should ensure they don’t fall off.
Once all your parcels are attached decorate with printed numbers or tags to count down the days till christmas. We start our calendar on the first of December and count down the days starting with 24 but you could start at one if you prefer.
Feel free to customise your Christmas advent calendar however you like, from the backing board to the wrapping there’s so many possibilities. I hope you have lots of fun and I’m sure your kids will love it!
As you may have seen in my previous post last week at school we celebrated Book Week. Ryder chose to go as Robin Hood and Zavier as the Mad Hatter. It suited his quirky personality perfectly.
To make Zavier’s Mad hatter Coat and vest I used the Burda kids 9538 pattern. I actually made the coat two years ago as part of his Willy Wonka costume, so I was really happy he could still squeeze into it. To make the coat a little more mad hatterish I just added some lace around the cuffs.
His wig was definitely the hero of the costume. I looked all over Brisbane for a Mad Hatter wig and eventually found this one at Cracker Jack Costumes, Taringa. They have a fantastic array of kids costumes and accessories. As for the the bow tie, it was just a piece of colourful fabric 25 cm wide tied into a bow and I found his top hat at spotlight for just $5. Being quite a shy child I wasn’t sure if he’d leave the costume, in particular the wig, on for very long. But to my surprise Zav happily wore it all day and was quite proud that I’d made it for him.
Each year for book week I try to think of interesting storybook characters for the boys to dress up as for their costume parade at school. I usually resort to DIY homemade costumes as there isn’t a great deal of cool boys book character costumes available in the store. Plus, I like to add a bit of individuality to their costumes. This year I trawled through the pattern books at spotlight and came up with a short list of options. Ryder chose to be Robin Hood, he loved the idea of the cape and bow and arrow.
I made his Cape and Jerkin from felt and used the Burda Kids Robin Pattern (number 9472). I also added a little extra length to the cape. Felt is so easy to sew as it doesn’t Frey, which meant I saved time not having to add hems. I was really happy with how quickly the Robin Hood costume came together, but more importantly Ryder loved it.
To complete his outfit Ryder wore a plain white t-shirt and black legins from Target, one of my old high waisted black belts, and a pair of suede boots I picked up from a discount shoe store. It was quite a chilly morning so it was nice to send him off to school knowing he was rugged up but he also had the option of removing layers if the day warmed up.
To celebrate Ryder’s 6th birthday I created a Modern Superhero Party. He’s a boy who loves colour so I went with a bright and fun colour scheme of red, blue and yellow with just a few touches of black and white to balance it out. Ryder wanted to be his own superhero so I ran with the idea that inside every child is a superhero, and made each child an individual cape and mask.
For the dessert buffet we took our old vintage farmhouse table to the park and filled it with cupcakes, brownie pops, Cookies, Popcorn, Rainbow jelly’s and some lolly pops too. I reused some of my props from other parties such as the mini suitcases from Ryder’s Very Hungry Caterpillar Party and the vintage boxes from his Scooter party to give various heights and interest to the table. A new addition was the superhero case which held the brownie pops.
The park offered plenty of entertainment but we also played pass the parcel and had a piniata too. The Piniata was originally a licensed superman piniata which was on sale at spotlight. To customise it I covered each side in blue crepe paper fringe, starting from the outside and winding my way into the middle, adhering it with craft glue as I went. Then I added a layer of yellow cardboard and yellow fringe, and finally I printed out the Bam and Pow letters in word and decorated them with red crepe paper fringe. It was a really easy Piniata hack which could be adapted for any themed party.
I must confess I almost lost my sanity sewing all the capes and coordinating masks, and it didn’t help that my sewing machine globe blew. But it was so worth it. The kids loved them; they had so much fun flying around the park. It was a pretty simple project but just time consuming given the number of capes I had to sew.
To make the capes I used a cape which we already had as a pattern and appliquéd a variety of stars and lightning bolts onto the back. I found the templates for the stars and lightning bolts here and for Ryder’s cape I used the modern robin symbol which you can find here. for something a little extra special for the birthday boy I also appliquéd the R symbol onto the front of Ryder’s white T-shirt.
To create the felt masks I used this printable pattern from Our Everyday Art. After cutting out two different coloured layers of felt I sewed them together with a simple straight stitch on my sewing machine, sandwiching the elastic between the two layers.
The cookies were made from a butter cookie dough and decorated with royal icing. I found the comic style bam and pow cookie cutters on Etsy here and the R symbol cookie cutter here.
For Ryder’s birthday cake I made a three layered sponge and covered it in butter cream icing. I decorated it with a city skyline made from fondant and topped it with some of the cookies. It was very simple but effective and suited the modern superhero theme.
Simone from Simone Made It created my superhero party printables. I used them for the welcome sign, water bottle labels, favour tags and popcorn and cupcake toppers too. Once again they were so easy to use. I just downloaded the file, customised the wording and then printed them out. To waterproof the water bottle labels I added a layer of clear contact.
The black and white polkadot favor bags were filled with Ryder’s favourite sweets and sealed with a mini peg. Each child also got to take home their cape and masks too.
The felt bunting was another simple and easy sewing project. I just cut circles from felt and stitched them together on my sewing machine. It was pretty much the same sewing process as in my Paper bunting tutorial.
And of course I had to co ordinate the layers of sponge too. I’m sure I say it with every new party I create, but I think this is one of my favourites. It was such a lovely day and the weather could not have been more perfect, something you always hope for with an outdoor party.