Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Rainbow foil fish - Easy Easter craft

easter craft

'Just need to eat this bag of chocolate eggs so I can make some shiny shapes!'

Yes, this has got to be one of THE best excuses for chocolaty treats!

At the moment the shops are full of colourful foil wrapped eggs, bunnies, you name it - and I'd say the hardest part of this craft is getting the foil off in decent size pieces, or saving enough from impatient little people who just want to rip it off. So you end up with tin foil confetti!

Try to hang on to some if you can. You'll be glad you did.

You will need:
Colourful tin foil pieces
Kitchen foil (optional)
Cereal box card
Glue stick
Black marker pen (Sharpie)
Stick (optional)
String or yarn (optional)
Sticky tape (optional)

Now you see them...

1. To make a fish shape, draw half a fish on the fold of some cereal box card - we used one of the side box folds that was already there - cut out and use as your template. Make the fish any size you want - we made two, one about 14cm/51/2in. long, the other 10cm/4in.

2. Draw around your template and cut out the fish shapes. We made eight altogether.

Snip your colourful foil (and kitchen foil) into smaller pieces if you want. Cut away any straggly edges.

Then cover a card fish with a good layer of glue stick and start arranging your foil.

Overlap to avoid too many gaps and use more glue to stick these foil pieces down.

Don't worry about bits hanging over the edge, because these can be tucked around the back when you've finished. Rub more glue along the back edge before wrapping the foil around your shape.

3. We added a fin, this is optional though, just cut a small triangle from some spare card, rub some glue on, and cover with foil. Glue to your fish. Dot on eyes with a black marker pen (like a Sharpie).

4. Use your fish in a collage..

5. Or you could make a wall hanging.

Find a good stick - ours is a piece of driftwood from the beach, but something from the garden is perfect. Ours is about 40cm/15in. long.

Cut a length of string or yarn about 40cm/15in. long (just as a guide). Then cut two more pieces of string, double that length.

Tie the end of the shorter piece to the middle of your stick with a double knot. Tie the other pieces either side, but make the knot in the middle of the length of string, so you have plenty left to hang your shoal of fish.

6. Rub a good amount of glue stick over the middle part of the back of your fish and arrange them on the strings. Aim for the middle of your fish, but it really doesn't need to be perfect, so don't worry.

7. Give the glue a chance to dry, then turn the fish over and use some sticky tape to properly attach them to the string.

8. Cut away any stray strings. You may find some of the bottom fish don't look like they're swimming completely straight, but I think this just gives the display a bit more movement!

9. Hold your fish up by the two side strings, and when it looks even, tie the strings together and trim.

Lovely when they catch the light...

Of course you don't have to make fish, I'm just very fond of fish!! We have covered other shapes too.

easter craft

easter craft

Monday, 4 March 2019

Brian the Lion paper plate and mask - World Book Day

This is a very quick and easy paper plate craft that works perfectly well with my book, 'Brian the Lion goes into Space'. You can either leave it as a paper plate picture or make it into a mask. Could be handy with World Book Day around the corner!

You will need:
Large paper plate
A bowl/side plate
Black pen (like a Sharpie)
Nail scissors (optional - adult supervision needed)
Elastic (optional)
Old pair of glasses frames (optional)
Sticky tape (optional)

1. Paint the centre of the plate yellow, all the way up to the bumpy rim - it really doesn't need to be neat!

2. Once the yellow has dried a bit, find a bowl or side plate that covers most of the centre of the paper plate. Then, keep your hand on the bowl or plate while painting the brown mane around it. Make sure to go right up to the edge of the bowl. (Make brown by mixing a little red with yellow and adding a dab of blue until you're happy with the shade). Don't be tempted to take the bowl or plate off too quickly!

3. Once dry, remove the bowl and you should have a lovely, crisp yellow circle.

Now it's time to cut the mane. First, make two cuts opposite each other, just up to the edge of the yellow circle.

 4. Then make another two cuts opposite each other, halfway between the ones you've just made.

5. Keep snipping halfway between your cuts, and work all the way around, until the cuts get closer together and you're happy with your mane. Doing the cutting like this keeps the mane even - it is also good scissor practice and it helps kids start to make judgements about space and distance.

6. Use a black pen like a Sharpie to draw on Brian's face. As a guide, the eyes here are about 6/7cm a part.

7. If you want to make him into a paper plate mask, then a grown up with have to make holes through the eyes with nail scissors. It helps to put some modelling clay behind the eyes, so there's something to push into. (Keep the scissors closed, press down and twist from side to side.) Make the holes a decent size, so it's easy to see out. You could make some slits in the nose too, if you want to.

8. I think the best way is to use sticky tape to stick an old glasses frame to the back of the mask. Very quick to do! And it keeps the mask nice and flat when you wear it.

9. You could attach some elastic to the mask instead, but the sides will tend to bend around the wearer's head.

Make holes at the side of his face, close to or just inside the mane. I found some of my son's paper reinforcement stickers and stuck them around the holes at the back.

Once you've knotted and tied the elastic to one side, get the mask wearer to hold it to their face while you gauge how much elastic you need on the other side. Hold the elastic at the chosen spot, and mark with black pen. Now thread it through the hole, tying a knot or two on or as near as possible to your black mark.
We painted over the knots on the front, so you don't see them so clearly.

 Think the mask would look better on a smaller child! Mine are all getting so big now..

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Oink! the Pig - TP roll crafts for kids

Oink is very similar to Scamp the dog. I love the way they look like they're on the move! 
Made from a single toilet paper roll that's quickly transformed with a few careful cuts and folds, plus a little bit of glue.

You will need:
Toilet paper roll (about 10cm long)
Paint (white and red)
Craft glue
Paper clip or similar
Black felt tip or gel pen

1. Paint a toilet paper roll pink (plenty of white an a little red). Paint the inside too, at both ends, as well as a small piece of spare card (for a snout). 
When the paint is dry, lightly press the cardboard tube flat, but no need to press firmly along the creases. The creases are  mainly for guidance.

2. Line up the two creases you've just made in the middle, and press the tube flat again, but not too hard, so you end up with four evenly spaced, light creases.

3. While the tube's still flat, use a ruler and pencil to mark 2cms in from each end along the middle crease. Then use this mark as a guide to mark the two creases either side. And finally the one on the back.

4. Cut up to the marks, so you'll have four cuts at each end.

5.  For the legs, fold two opposite end flaps down, and cut a thin, long triangle from the middle of the flaps, to define the legs.

6. For the tail end, cut a top flap into three strips. Leave the middle one (for the tail) and bend the other two down.

7.  Fold the side flaps inwards, and glue them together. Use a paper clip or something similar to hold the card in place while the glue dries. Trim the card flaps if you need to, to neaten things up.

8. Roll the card tail between your fingers, from the end, right down to the pig's back, to make it curl.

9.  For the ears, fold the top flap at the other end, so it points up and cut out a triangle, from each corner to the middle of the flap.

10. For the face, fold the two remaining side flaps right back. 

11. Then fold each of these flaps in half and firmly press the creases.

Bend the flaps back towards each other.

12.  Glue the flaps on top of each other and use a paper clip to hold them in place while the glue dries. 

13. When the glue has set, you could draw on a snout and eyes straight away. Or, cut out a round snout from the spare piece of painted pink card, add nostrils and glue in place. Draw eyes either side with the black pen. Shorten the legs and bend the ears forward.

14. And Oink is ready to scamper off!