Weekend Craftsperation – the best Autumn crafts for kids
This month, I’ve searched high and low for the best autumn crafts for kids and indeed the whole family.
I’ve been running a weekly slot over on Facebook for over a year called Weekend Craftsperation, where I share gorgeous and (fairly) simple makes that you might like to try with your children at the weekend. I’m really picky about what I share with you because it needs to be useful and achievable. I’ve now put all my crafty discoveries into one handy blog so you don’t have to go ferreting around on social media for them! I hope you like it.
Having spent a lot of time searching the internet for crafty DIYs I’ve come across a lot of sites that bombard you with advertising and are hard to load, read and follow. So I’ve avoided all of those and brought you only the best craft websites that I can muster (and for you to pin for a rainy day!).
Pine Cone Mobile
First up is this wonderful pine cone mobile by the amazing Art Bar. You can have loads of fun hunting for pine cones on a lovely autumnal walk and then go home and paint them whilst enjoying a hot chocolate. These mobiles will look beautiful in your home and the whole family can take part! This is definitely high on my list of things to make (and yes, it’s a long old list!).
Have you ever needed to ‘encourage’ your kids to go out on a walk to get fresh air?
The leaves are in full flow of turning all the beautiful colours at the moment. I love nothing more than spending a cool, sunny, autumn afternoon on a walk with the family kicking the leaves!
My kids love taking a bag out with them to collect autumn ‘treasure’, it’s a great way to get them outside in nature and to get them excited about making too. I hope it works for you too and keeps the whole family happy.
Once you have your stash of leaves, you could try these glass tea light jars by Spark & Chemistry. (I think the leaves don’t need to be too dried out as they’ll just crumble, so I’d recommend doing the craft soon after your walk).
OMG … these leaf bowls by Dainty Dress Diaries are ABSOLUTELY beautiful! I’m not entirely sure that my efforts will be quite so amazing but I’m going to give it a go! These bowls would be a brilliant rainy day activity during the school holidays. You could also use the left over clay for all sorts of fun projects such as making beads and animals, or for the next project.
Does your child struggle to sit still and craft or perhaps the leaf bowls are a bit tricky for them? This idea from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots is quick and simple and perfect for littlies. My son made these at school this term and he’s so proud of his! I’ll share his beauty in the comments (he’s called Spiky).
Finally, I couldn’t let October pass without a nod to Halloween and this Lego DIY by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls is so imaginative! You can even pop an led tea light in it and it looks awesome 😍 (the website is a little slow, but stick with it, I promise it’s worth it).
Ahh, the great British summer … a mixed bag of blistering sun, rainy days and grey skies! With staycations, camping and holiday cottages firmly on the menu for most of us this year, I’ve put together ideas for easy summer crafts for kids and the whole family to do. Perfect activities for those chill out days in the garden, rainy days and down days.
Plan Your Summer of Fun
Six weeks is a long time to fill with fun and activities. In fact, it can be quite an overwhelming prospect. Before we get to the craft ideas, lets take a moment to talk about planning your summer of fun.
We have a family tradition, where we get together and put down all the activities and outings that we’d like to do over the school holidays. This can be as small as baking a cake right through to the more costly treats, such as a day out in London. We get the colouring pens out, make it really pretty and then stick it on the wall for all to see. You could even add pictures, stickers and photos if you wanted to get really fancy about it. I also like to add little tick boxes next each activity so we can check them off once they’re done.
In addition, we’ve added the activities into a summer planner, I got mine from Joanne Dewberry, Networking Ninja. She’s created this gorgeous summer planner to help you get organised to plan in some fun, as well as navigate the joys of home working or going out to work. Enjoy the free download version or buy a physical copy for £4 inc p&p.
Easy Summer Crafts for Kids (4-12 year olds)
Last year, over the first national lockdown, I ran weekly, live Craft Along With Me events on Facebook. I’ve uploaded all the videos into a playlist in YouTube so you can access all the videos any time you would like. The playlist is packed with easy summer crafts for kids. All the videos include a list of supplies needed and I’ve used everyday crafts supplies and bits from the recycling bin as far as possible.
Playmobil Lilo Making
One of my favourite videos is the Playmobil Lilo making tutorial. This was something my children created and designed all by themselves. It was followed by hours of imaginative play – a total win in my book!
You’ll need – some plastic straws and sellotape for this craft. Of course, the lilos aren’t just for Playmobil people, they can be for any toy. Just adapt the size to be smaller or larger as needed.
If you’re new around here, I’ve created a gorgeous summer staycation craft kit to keep the kids occupied on those inevitable rainy days and much needed chill out days at home. It’s been designed with staycations, camping trips, sleepovers at Nanny’s and holiday homes in mind.
The kit contains three activities – a keyring, eye of got weaving kit and a lantern. The crafts can be used whilst on holiday to decorate the tent, add the keyring to a backpack or suitcase and the lantern makes a lovely centre piece to al fresco dining and doubles as a treasure box for holiday keepsakes.
Easy Summer Crafts for Teens and Tweens
Tassels and Pom Pom Making
Tassels and pom poms are really easy to do once you know how. They also allow teens and tweens a bit more freedom with their creativity.
You’ll need – To get started, you’ll need a pom pom maker (I like these ones from Clover), sharp scissors and wool. Optional extras include beads, hairbands, headband, key chains and necklaces.
Instructions– I’ve written a blog about how to make a pom poms handbag charm here and you can learn how to make tassels here
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try making this gorgeous wall hanging and add on treasures from your UK travels. Such as shells, pretty stones, sea glass, pottery, photos and dried flowers.
Tie dying is the hot craft for this summer! I’ve bought this kit from Baker Ross to do as one of our summer activities at home. So I’ll let you know how it goes, but I’m currently sourcing pillowcases, t-shirts and bags to dye. I’m really excited about doing it (maybe more so, than the kids).
Crafting as a family is a great way to spend time together and make memories, but you’ll probably want easy summer crafts that you can set up in an instant. The following ideas hold many happy memories for my family and I.
Family Canvas Challenge
We loved creating our family art canvas with The Art Pantry. We did it over the whole of last summer and it was something that we could dip into when we had a spare 30 minutes. The challenge includes 10 different art activities to do as a family on one canvas to create one masterpiece. You’ll need – a canvas, cardboard or a large piece of paper and all of the arts and craft supplies you can lay your hands on! Don’t worry if you don’t have some of the supplies. You can just swap them out for something else, or skip that layer. How to get involved – Sign up to the 10 day challenge here.
Rainbow walk photography challenge
Rainbow photography walks are such a lovely family activity to do. It will encourage the family to talk to each other and look for the little details and joy in life. Some colours are harder to find than others and this makes the challenge even more fun!
You’ll need – a camera or smart phone and somewhere to go on a walk!
How to take part – Show the kids how to use a camera and set them the task to take a photo of something in every colour of the rainbow on your walk.
When you get home, put together a slide show on the TV or do a collage (we use Canva and the kids love it) and then admire each other’s handiwork.
Icy Cool Fun in the Paddling Pool
This activity is a double whammy – ice cube making is enormous fun and playing with them afterwards, sparks squeals of joy. We’ve been freezing small toys in pots for years and the kids love it! If the sun fails to appear this summer, the bath works just as well.
You’ll need – Water, yoghurt pots or small plastic tubs, food colouring, flowers and or small toys (plastic dinosaurs and animals work perfectly).
How to make –
Firstly, fill your pots with water.
Add food colouring, petals, grass or small toys and then freeze.
Pick flowers from your garden (or go on a walk) and add them to the pot of water.
Transfer the pots to the freezer and leave for a few hours or overnight.
Finally, take the pots out of the freezer, pop the funky ice out of the pots and play with them in the pool or bath.
They look really beautiful as they melt and reveal the surprises inside!
Hammered Flower art
Hammered flower art is an amazing art and science activity all in one! Experiment with different flowers, grasses and leaves and see what imprints they leave on the fabric. Try different patterns to see which you like the best. Let me know in the comments what works well for you.
You’ll need – A hammer, mallet or rolling pin, flowers, white or natural cotton fabric (an old pillowcase, old shirt or hanky is perfect), kitchen towel, chopping board, sellotape and newspaper.
Side note – I recommend doing this outside or on the floor.
Go on a walk and pick different petals and leaves (or raid the garden).
Lay a couple of sheets of newspaper on top of your chopping board and then lay your fabric on top of the newspaper.
If you’re using a pillowcase, you might want to put the chopping board and newsletter inside the pillowcase, so you only dye one layer of fabric.
Place your flowers on top of your fabric (randomly or in a pattern).
Put 2 sheets of kitchen roll on top of the flowers and sellotape your ‘sandwich’ of layers together (so the flowers don’t move around).
Take your hammer, mallet or rolling pin and bash all over the top of the kitchen roll. Please take care of fingers!
When you’ve bashed the whole design, take off your sellotape and carefully peel off the kitchen roll. If you’re happy with the effect, take off the petals and discard them. If the imprints are faint, put your ‘sandwich’ back together and continue to bash the design.
Display your creation with pride, you could frame your design if you used a scrap of fabric or perhaps turn it into a flag or bunting.
Crafts and Fun and the Beach and in the Forest
Our family absolutely loves The Beach Book by Jo Schofield. It’s packed with easy summer crafts and activities to do at the beach, river or lake. We adore making the sand sculptures.
Alternatively, if you live away from the coast, The Stick book is equally brilliant and packed with inspiration on creative things to do with sticks.
Thanks for checking out my inspiration guide for easy summer crafts for kids. Let me know your favourite summer craft activities in the comments. I’m sure we’ll all need more ideas in our back pockets than we think!
Last summer, Children With Cancer (in London) got in touch with me about running a charity craft party. They asked me to run some of the largest virtual craft parties that I’ve ever done. Since October, I’ve sent out almost 450 craft kits to families across the country. It’s been a privilege to meet many of them at the online craft parties.
This spring, I designed an Easter craft kit for the charity’s virtual party. I listed the kit in my shop for the public, with £1 from each Easter kit sold going to Children With Cancer. Elita, from the charity, wanted to say thank you to everyone who purchased a kit and to share more about their work below.
Charity Craft Party for Children With Cancer
Over the past few months, we have been working closely with Lexy at Made by Me Craft Parties to put on some wonderful Virtual Craft Parties for Halloween, Christmas and now Easter!
Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer; our mission is to create a world where every child survives cancer. We focus our funds primarily on research, but also on raising awareness and providing support for families. Over the last 12 months, we are proud to have provided some much-needed fun in a virtual setting for hundreds of families to take part in.
Some of you may have seen the special edition Easter Craft Kit on Lexy’s website which a small donation from each one purchased has been donated to Children with Cancer UK. Well, we used this Easter Kit and held an amazing virtual craft party last weekend for 40 families (70 children) affected by childhood cancer crafting up a storm!
What The Families Say About The Craft Party
Erin took part in the crafting with her big sister Milla. Her mum, Alexis, told us:
“Thank you so much for another fabulous craft party. The girls love the oh-so-cute decorations – definitely starting to feel like spring. These events have really kept us going as we found our feet post-treatment and given the girls something to look forward to. Erin missed out on so much due to her treatment and Covid meant we couldn’t start giving her the usual childhood experiences when treatment finished. We really appreciate the effort Children with Cancer UK put into finding online ways of generating moments of joy and normality”
We wanted to thank Lexy for some amazing parties which she has helped us with over the pandemic. In total over 100 families were entertained with her wonderful kits and tutorials were a huge hit.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to hold an in-person event with Lexy very soon. In the meantime, we are excited to share a couple of photos from the most recent party below.
Thank you to everyone who came to the party – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Also, we would like to say a thank you to our supporters who help us continue to make events like this happen.
If your family is affected by childhood cancer, take a look at their Events for families affected by childhood cancer. You also can find out more on our Keeping families together page.
Would you like me to work with your charity?
If you’d like to host a craft party for the children at your charity. Please get in touch with Lexy to discuss your needs. Virtual parties, kits or in-person party options are available. Lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk
I’ve hunted high and low for the best Halloween activities to keep you and the family entertained over the October and the school holidays.
*cough, cough* I’ve created a rather marvellous Halloween craft kit for children aged 5-12, packed with 3 fun crafts and a spooky experiment (plus it’s fairly mess-free – yay!). There’s also a wand craft kit available for any aspiring witches and wizards!
Each kit comes with exclusive tutorial videos for the ultimate stress-free craft experience!
You can also find some autumnal craft inspiration over on my Autumn crafts blog post. the Lego pumpkin is especially cool!
My wonderful friend at Biscuits By Sarah B has made the most gorgeous biscuit decorating kits. My children and I have been lucky enough to try out a few of Sarah’s kits and they’re so much fun and delicious.
Pumpkin picking and carving has taken off exponentially over the last few years, so why not make a day of it and take a trip to a pumpkin picking patch to choose your perfect pumpkin? If you’re local to me in Dorset, Kara and her family from Are We Nearly There yet? went to Sopley Farm. There’s also a great patch at Fordingbridge.
How about mixing things up this year and paint your pumpkins? This is especially good for little ones.
Turn mini pumpkins into doughnuts with this wonderful tutorial by Studio DIY
Kailo chic has created some gorgeous 80s inspired pumpkins and just look at those gold storks!
Finally, if you’re feeling brave just let the kids go wild and do their own thing with Art bar’s painting pumpkins with kids tutorial.
Play dough is a brilliant activity to keep kids both young and old entertained. Kids love to get involved with making the play dough as well, check out this autumnal recipe from Sophie at This Mum Oils.
If you don’t have time to make your own,Oki Dough Ki makes THE MOST adorable play dough sets. Check out Rachel’s Halloween kit. I have it under good authority that they smell divine and inspire awesome imaginative play.
Fun with clay
If you’re local to Dorchester, Deborah at Creative Clay for All has put together some takeaway clay kits. She’ll walk you through adding textures and shapes to create clay creations to be proud of!
Free Halloween Colouring
You can download and print a free spooky pumpkin colouring download from By Charlie’s Hand.
This October half-term, the Enchanted Nanny brings you the VIRTUAL School of Magic! Five days of potion-making, wand crafting, transfiguration (cookery), astronomy, herbology and more! (Guess who’s doing the wand making – yup! Meeeee!).
They’ve conjured each of the lessons, games and activities into something virtual that will transform your little one’s world at home, into their own magic academy over the half-term break.
Tickets are £10 per family and you can find out more or buy them here. Add on biscuit and wand kits can also be purchased.
Shire Hall Slime Making
Throughout the half-term holidays, Shire Hall (in Dorchester, Dorset) will become home to spooky family-friendly fun. Join them for slippery slime-making workshops, count the spiders trail and spooky story-telling throughout the week. Slime making will be to current government Covid guidelines.
Halloween Party Games
I know many of you are planning a small family Halloween party, so why not try some of these games?
Hanging doughnuts on a string and eating them with no hands.
Toilet paper mummy wrapping.
Bingo – A quick search on Pinterest brings up lots of free Halloween themed bingo cards. My favourite is by Paper Trail Design.
Spagehtti rummage (grim but fun).
Pin the mouth on the pumpkin/ nose on the witch etc.
Pumpkin treasure hunt – Samantha Prewett from Samantha Prewett Photography suggests ‘We are doing a sweet hunt around the house instead of trick or treating. Turning off the lights and giving the kids a torch to find the sweets.’
Halloween Films …
There’s bound to be a rainy day or 2 over half term, so take cover and pop on the TV, snuggle under a blanket and enjoy a Halloween favourite! Here’s some inspiration if you need it. (Let me know your go-to Halloween film in the comments).
Spooky Food & Treats
When I’ve ventured into the supermarkets, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot less Halloween decorations, sweets and treats to buy. But fear not! The wonderful duo at the Bon Bon Boys has put together a gruesome selection of sweets for your delectation. Halloween is saved – hurrah!
If you’re after further foodie inspiration how about…
worms and eyeballs (meatballs and spaghetti)
witches fingers (hot dog sausages)
mummy hot dogs (wrap pastry round to look like bandages)
I hope you’ve found some Halloween activities inspiration.
Don’t forget to check out my Halloween craft kits before they’re all gone! Let me know in the comments if you know of any fun Halloween events or activities happening this half term and of course what your favourite film is! Let’s share the Halloween love and inspire each other. xoxo
PS Please note that this blog contains links to affiliate links. (This means if you click on a link and purchase something, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll earn a small commission.).
Many kids love to create and make, but how on earth do you store your children’s craft supplies?
Both of my children (aged 7 and 10) love arts and crafts. However, I used to store our supplies in different cupboards, boxes and drawers all over the house, making them inaccessible to the children. Furthermore, crafting in our house had to be an activity that was planned in advance and the kids had to ask for the supplies.
Subsequently, a couple of years ago, I read the Artful Parent by Jean Van Hul. Her family are luckily enough to have an art room. Few people have that luxury, but it got me thinking … art shouldn’t always be led by adults. Children should have the freedom to explore different materials and techniques.
An Invitation to Play
Firstly I purchased the Raskog Ikea trolley and an oilcloth table-cloth. The trolley lives in a corner of the dining room, yes it’s not the most attractive thing to look at and it does get rather messy. BUT, as a result, the kids regularly gravitate towards the trolley and make models and pictures all by themselves.
If you don’t want a trolley, you could use a storage box, dedicate a shelf in a cupboard or plastic rainbow drawer units are useful too.
Get Organised: How to store children’s craft supplies
Once you’ve bought all your craft goodies, there are lots of ways to organise them. I decided to put all the card, paper, foam and stickers together on the top shelf. The middle shelf is full of pots for beads, foam shapes, glitter etc. The bottom shelf has boxes from the Scrapstore (full of scrap materials) and boxes with lots of compartments for embellishments.
My top tips for how to store children’s craft supplies –
Put art supplies you’re happy for them to play with unsupervised in a tin, basket or trolley.
Make the art supplies easy to get to and preferably near a table.
Organise craft materials in clear plastic pots.
Put papers, foam sheets, stickers together in document holders or cut the top off a cereal box (See photo).
Keep poster paint, paintbrushes, old t-shirts and water pots in a box out of sight and reach. Only get this out when you’re around! (Above all, nobody wants blue paint on a beige carpet – trust me!)
Purchase each child an A4 plain notebook with thick pages and encourage the kids to paint, stick and draw in the books. As a result, you won’t have stray artwork everywhere and you can all look back on what they’ve done.
Save jam jars, pretty packaging and old beauty pots to store your craft supplies.
If you have space, it’s worth having a box in the garage and keeping a supply of cardboard boxes, kitchen rolls and interesting scrap for model making.
I hope you’re inspired to store your children’s craft supplies and allow them to have their own creative adventures. I’d love to hear what you put in your kits or even better, a photo in the comments would be awesome!
A handmade, pom pom wall hanging is a gorgeous addition to your home decor and furthermore, it’s easy to make! If you’re short on time, you could make a mini wall hanging, with just one tassel, pom pom and beaded wire.
I think there’s something therapeutic about making pom poms and tassels, but there’s only so many keyrings you can add them to. Consequently, my daughter, Izzy and I were super excited to create this gorgeous wall hanging together (to be fair, I only helped a bit!).
On a recent beach walk at Mudeford in Dorset, we found the most beautiful weather-beaten sticks, which were certainly shouting out to be used for a craft project. Subsequently, we dug out some delightful shells and raided my extensive wool collection. Then Izzy got cracking with the crafting!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own pom pom wall hanging.
Twig (ours is 40 cms) Wool – We used Paint Box Yarns in pink, blue, yellow and grey. Pom pom maker (preferably different sizes). We use Clover pom pom makers in sizes 35 mm, 45 mm, 65 mm and 85 mm. Beads Piece of card 7 x 11 cms Scissors Thin wire or embroidery thread
Please note, that these links are affiliate links and I receive a financial kickback if you make a purchase 🙂
Optional – shells (we found these shells with holes in already on a beach in Spain last summer).
Pom Pom Wall Hanging Instructions
Firstly, choose your colour scheme for the wall hanging and make 2 tassels out of wool, you can follow our online tassel tutorial for full instructions. We made one pale pink tassel and one yellow and added pony beads onto the hanging threads. Leave a generous amount of wool to hang your tassel with, so you can play around with the length. We used 42 cms for the yellow tassel and 86 cms for the pale pink tassel.
Secondly, following my pom pom tutorial make 2 or 3 pom poms in different sizes. We made pink and grey pom poms using a 65 mm pom pom maker and a blue pom pom using a 45 mm maker. Leave a generous amount of wool to hang your pom pom. We used 60 cms for the pink pom pom, 38 cms for the blue and 70 cms for the grey.).
Put your stick on a table or the floor and lay out your pom poms and tassels in the order you want to hang them. Then tie them onto the stick using a double knot or reef knot and trim the ends.
Cut 3 lengths of thin wire (about 30 cms long each)
Thread a bead onto the end of each one.
Wrap the wire around the bead to secure it
Add a shell and / or some more beads.
Wrap the other end of the beaded wire around the twig several times.
It’s a good idea to use a different amount of beads on each length of wire. Alternatively, if you don’t have wire, use wool or embroidery thread.
Cut three lengths of wool at 170 cms (we used yellow, pink and grey). Tie all three ends together at one end and plait the long threads. Tie the ends together once you have finished. We found it easier to ask someone to hold the tied ends whist the other person platted (or you could tie the ends onto a chair). Tie your platted threads onto either end of your twig.
Finally, hang your wall hanging up and enjoy!
In addition, you could add on other seasonal nature finds, such as pine cones and leaves in Autumn or add little pegs to clip on small photos.
I hope you enjoy making your wall hanging and I’d love you to share a photo on Facebook or tag me on @madebymecraftparties on Instagram! Happy pom pom making.
Oh my goodness! I can’t believe that Made By Me Craft Parties is celebrating it’s 5th birthday in October! Five whole years of bringing crafty sparkly joy to parties in Dorset. To say thank you to all my customers, followers, supporters and future customers, I’m throwing a craft party to celebrate!
The Story Of Made By Me Craft Parties
Five years ago Made By Me was just little old me running ‘bronze, silver and gold’ craft party packages. But why did a set it up? To cut a long short short, it was my family. I didn’t have aspirations for world dominance in the world of parties, in contrast, I wanted a career that fitted in with my young family. I won’t bore you with all the details, but you can find out more about my story here.
How I’ve Grown
It’s been a steep learning curve of website building, networking, marketing and developing new parties. I’ve met some amazing small business owners along the way who’ve helped me enormously. My parties have developed over the years with attention to detail and a vast array of craft materials by my side!
Five years later, I’ve won an award for Creative Of The Year from the Successful Women in Business Awards. I launched the Spa of Our Own parties. Sarah, from Biscuits By Sarah B and I joined forces to create our wonderful Mini Makes & Bakes toddler classes. School holiday craft classes were launched in 2018 and I’ve written a blog for Hotter Shoes with Joanne Dewberry.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you for each like or comment on social media. For booking a party or for asking me to collaborate with you. But above all for sharing the love of Made By Me Craft Parties to your friends and families!
I’m so very grateful for all the love you give my sparkly little business. I hope it’s clear how much passion and effort goes into each party and event that I run for you! I certainly couldn’t do it without you!
Win A Place At My 5th Birthday Party
Finally, to celebrate this special birthday, I’m having a PARTY! I’ve given away 8 tickets to customers through 4 different competitions and I’m looking forward to celebrating with them all on the 20th October.
Furthermore, I’ve joined forces with the marvellous Sarah from Biscuits by Sarah B who will be supplying some beautiful biscuits. Samantha from Samantha Prewett Photography will be taking some gorgeous photos to capture the moments and memories of the day. And Rachael from Bakery Boxx is creating a beautiful cake for us to devour!
Here’s to another five years of amazing craft parties. Woop Woop!
What should I put in my child’s craft box? Being the owner of Made By Me Craft Parties my children have access to a whole room full of craft supplies and as a result, they’re eager recipients of my cast-offs! But what do you do if you’re just starting out? What on earth do you buy to set up your children with art and craft supplies and start their first craft kit?
Here’s a list of things I think are perfect items for your kit;
Felt tips/coloured pencils Little Brian Paint Sticks (For toddlers and younger kids – these are AMAZING!) Plain white card Coloured paper Stickers Glitter (if you can bare it!) Eco glitter is even better. Beads Pipe cleaners Sticky foam shapes and gems Washi tape (paper Sellotape) PVA glue Pritt Stick glue Scissors (age dependent) Lollypop sticks Apron for younger kids Small pop up bin or similar Watercolour paints for older kids and paint brushes
Where to buy craft supplies?
It can be an expensive lark getting all these supplies together if you’re just starting out. So don’t rush off to the expensive craft stores, besides, with a little bit of time and thought you can put together a kit for very little cost.
Firstly, if you have a Scrapstore near you, this is an excellent place to start. You can buy a bag or box of scrap for a few pounds and fill it with ribbon, wool, paper, card, embellishments, boxes and random bits and bobs for modelling. Scrapstores often have a shelf of art supplies for sale, such as paints and glue that are good value.
Secondly, consider a trip to the likes of Poundland, Wilkinsons, The Range and even Lidl or Aldi. The art range at Ikea is also fantastic and well priced and of course you can pick up lots of bits online at ebay and Amazon.
You won’t be able to get all the supplies in one place, but you can certainly pick up a few bargains on your travels to get you on your way. Just choose your materials carefully if you’re buying for older children, it’s worth investing a bit more money into their paint brushes and paper.
Finally, you can find ready-made boxes of crafts in lots of the supermarkets and craft stores and these are well worth buying as a birthday present. Besides, you can then add to them as and when you see any bits you like.
Organising Craft Supplies
Once you’ve bought all your goodies, there are lots of ways to organise them. Check out my blog post on how to store children’s craft supplies, which gives you lots of ideas for craft storage and making crafting accessible for your children.
I hope you’re inspired on what to put in your child’s craft box, what else would you add? Have you found a hidden gem to purchase your craft supplies from? I’d love to know in the comments.
The Pinata craze looks here to stay and they’re a popular activity at so many parties. But what if you want to make your own? Well, party bag queen, turned small business champion Joanne Dewberry has created a rather useful DIY guide for lucky number 7. So here’s how you can save some pennies, do a spot of recycling and unleash your inner craft queen!
When organising a birthday party for your child the most useful thing you can do is have a theme. Having a theme helps collate all your ideas, colour schemes and activities. For Megan’s 7th birthday party she requested a “Woodland Themed”, so we held it at our local Country Park. Utilising the park and walking opportunities meant the children were entertained leaving us with less to organise. For me that was an epic win in party planning. We put up a gazebo, which we filled with activities whilst we waited for everyone to arrive including decorating wooden slice necklaces and a pinata, which was Megan’s idea before going on a scavenger hunt, ending the party with snack boxes and cake plus a play in the park.
Megan’s pinata suggestion was super last minute, like a couple of days beforehand! She’d suggested a pinata would be a great way to entertain her friends whilst we waited for everyone to arrive, she was of course right! After consulting my craft best friend “Pinterest” I realised there wasn’t anything suitable as I didn’t want to be covered in paper mache stressing out so late in the day. So quite simply I crossed my fingers and botched something together! Luckily we’d had a few deliveries and I knew the recycling bin was full of big boxes.
This is probably one of the easiest and most entertaining things I’ve ever made. I literally cut out a giant 7 which I used this as a template to create a second 7. Using bits of cardboard I built up sides around the first 7. You can see I have taped card in the inside to make sections. I did this for 2 reasons :
To add a bit of stability to the 7 and stop it being so flimsy.
To stop the sweets from sitting at the bottom of the 7 as they’d have all fallen out in the first smashing. This way the children had to break through 3 sections giving everyone a chance to hit the pinata and win a sweetie treat.
When I said I’d bodged it together I wasn’t lying! There is nothing level or neat about this number 7. I used duck tape on the corners alongside lots and lots of sellotape to connect the sections. Some of the cardboard wasn’t even the same size it was literally held together by tape, lots and lots of tape.
I filled the three sections with sweets and then sellotaped the second 7 on top, which wasn’t exactly pleasing to the eye. Lucky for us Daddy Moo is a day before Christmas Eve shopper and ends up buying all the naff Christmas paper rejected by us normal shoppers. I found some holly and berry wrapping paper in the stash which was perfect for the Woodland theme. Keeping with making this as simple as possible, I wrapped the cardboard number 7 like a present.
It looked amazing hanging up and the children had a blast knocking it down!
This post originally appeared on Charlie Moo’s. Joanne is a 30 something coffee lover living in rural Dorset with her long suffering partner and three children Charlie (2007), Megan (2008) and Olive (2011). Joanne owner and creator at Charlie Moo’s specialising in handmade fabric party bags.
Joanne also writes a small business blog www.JoanneDewberry.co.uk, and author of Crafting a Successful Small Business. In 2010 Joanne was named Dorset Business Mother of the Year and has numerous accolades and awards to her name. In her spare time she likes to eat and watch crime dramas sometimes at the same time!
You’ve spent hours planning the perfect party; booked the entertainment, sorted a cake, prepared the food and party bags … phew! Often children’s parties are so busy that it’s hard to preserve decent memories of the special day. I’ve invited local, leading baby and family photographer Samantha Prewett to share some tops tips that will help you take some lovely photos to remember your party forever.
‘I launched Samantha Prewett Photography just over 5 years ago, I offer beautiful, natural and newborn and family photography across Dorset. As a parent to two little ones aged 9 and 6, I know how important it is to capture all those first memories to treasure for a lifetime.’
1. Take some photos before the party guests arrive
The chances are you will be very busy during the party, so by planning a little time beforehand to take some photos of the birthday child, party set up and any important family members who can arrive early, you will be saving yourself some time and be calmer for the party.
2. Social media etiquette
If your children are inviting friends from nursery or school you probably won’t know all of them. It is always polite to ask their parents when they drop them off if they mind them being in photos, especially if you plan to post photos online. As a general rule, I won’t post any photos of children on my social media if I am not “Facebook friends” with with their parents. Also don’t forget to check your privacy setting regularly.
3. Set up a DIY photobooth
If your children are a little older, a great way to make sure lots of photos are taken during the party is to get them to take some themselves. All you need for this is a tablet with camera function, something to mount it into, and some props which you can either make or buy from fancy dress shops. There are lots of ideas online and you can even download a photo booth app!
4. Take lots of natural photos
During the party, take lots of photos of the children playing/crafting/what ever they are doing for their party, without getting them to “pose”. Natural, in the moment photos make the perfect keepsakes and are lovely to look back on.
5. Print your photos!
My best tip is to make sure you print off the photos you take. In this digital age we take so many photos, but how many of us still print them? There is nothing more satisfying than looking back through printed photo albums or scrapbooks, and your children will love doing this as they get older. Trust me, mine do. You can even let the party magic live on longer by getting your child to make a party scrapbook with you. They can stick in some of their cards or small decorations that you might want to keep too and put their own mark on it by writing or drawing in it to.
I hope you enjoyed my tips and will try some of these ideas at your child next birthday party. I would love to know how you get on, and don’t forget me when you need someone to capture those extra special parties and events, I do that as well as newborn and family photography sessions and I love the opportunity to do something a little different.