Friday, 12 October 2012

The Owl and the Pussycat #kidscrafts

Mr Maker would be proud of my kitchen at the moment - it's crazy craft central here, thanks to The Big Ideas Book. I picked up this 70's classic by Susan Stranks in a charity shop - and happily, age hasn't dulled its creative sparkle. I'm very much hoping our crafty wave of enthusiasm will carry us through to Christmas, because there are some great pressie ideas.

Anyway I mentioned I'd make some things from the book, so this is the first of what I hope will be a regular slot...

We decided to try paper roll animals first. Susan Stranks (one of the original Magpie presenters) makes her own paper rolls - rolling and glueing coloured paper - but for a stronger, longer lasting one, we used cardboard toilet paper rolls. The only bit of forward planning needed, is to glue the top end of the tube closed - use paper clips, and make sure the glue goes about a cm or two down the tube, because you'll be cutting into it.

Next, painting time, chose any colours you want - the tubes don't need to be painted right down to the bottom as this bit is going to be cut off. It also means the kids are less likely to paint their hands and half way up their arms....I was a little late with this tip for my makers...

With a pencil, mark a shallow curve at the glued end of the tube and cut it out - also take about 2cm off the bottom. This should neaten it up.

For the owl, from coloured paper, cut out circles for eyes (draw round a coin), pointy beaks (cut out a triangle on a paper fold so you end up with a diamond shape), wings and claws (longer than you want them to be so you can glue the extra bit inside the tube).

For the cat, petal shaped eyes (again draw half a petal shape on a paper fold and open it out) and a curly tail. Use coloured paper or painted plain paper.

The rabbit instructions are here.

The kids decorated the wings and eyes with a black felt tip pen, before sticking them on. 

..and cut out a little fish for the cats.

Simple to make and they turned out really well.

Next week - 'Something for the boys'


  1. you are clever - and very patient :-) I love these.

  2. They are so sweet... I on the other hand haven't had the most amazing art week, having had the most "brilliant" idea to do paper mache balloons with 18 5 year olds in my son's class They actually turned out really well, I on the other hand may take up smoking again! :O

    1. You are brave! Paper mache is great fun, but v messy and needs a fair bit of concentration - can't imagine what it must have been like with 18 5 year olds!! I helped my son make a pm model of the Statue of Liberty - ended up looking more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa...

  3. Those are so cute! I remember that book from my childhood too- friends had it and I was jealous. Our mum never did craft with us (sob!)
    We did loo roll owls earlier this year- it was easy and fun

  4. thanks for sharing.

  5. What a great book to come across. I love the model on the front in the latest 70s fashion! It sounds like it is packed with lovely ideas. I think I might make a version of these animals using toilet rolls to miss out the paper folding stage. I'm looking forward to seeing more from the book, it sounds a real gem and a bargain too!

    Thank you for sharing with me on #Trash2Treasure

  6. Love working from old books, if only to reminisce over items used that no longer exist. Your animals look fab and I'm sure everyone had fun making them. #Trash2Treasure