Handsewn Bags for Children’s Christmas Book Advent

Handsewn Bags for Children’s Christmas Book Advent

Every festive season, we countdown with a Christmas Book Advent. 24 books that take through until Christmas Day. This year, I've hand-sewn these keepsake book bags. Each day, I will simply place a new book in each child's book bag. This is a simple sewing project for even the not-so-confident seamstress. #Christmasadvent #ChristmasDIY #Christmascrafts #Christmasbookadvent #kidscrafts #ChristmasforkidsEvery festive season we count down to December 25th with a Christmas Book Advent.
Once upon a time, I used to wrap each book in colourful paper and embellish with pom poms and all kinds of decorative paraphenalia.
These days, I ain’t got time for that. Nor do I wish to give myself RSI or a bazillion paper cuts doing so.

So here’s how I intend on rocking the Christmas Book Advent in a more environmentally-friendly fashion this year with 3 kids.
I’ve handsewn some sweet little bags and each day I will simply place a new book in each child’s bag.
I originally saw this idea done by Hana, and I love that it also creates a keepsake that can be used year after year.
(Hana and I are both suckers for creating traditions and love-soaked memories with our littles.)

Oh, and did I mention that sewing is not my strong point?
So if you are not the most confident seamstress, take heart. It’s a project simple enough for even those who flunked Home Economics in high school.

Every festive season, we countdown with a Christmas Book Advent. 24 books that take through until Christmas Day. This year, I've hand-sewn these keepsake book bags. Each day, I will simply place a new book in each child's book bag. This is a simple sewing project for even the not-so-confident seamstress. #Christmasadvent #ChristmasDIY #Christmascrafts #Christmasbookadvent #kidscrafts #Christmasforkids

What you will need:

A length of fabric (Ours measured 40cm x 50cm)
Cord for the drawstring
Needle
Thread
Scissors

How to:

I chose to cut my fabric to 40cm wide by 50cm tall. This was to accommodate the largest Christmas book in our collection.
You might like to make your bag smaller or bigger. So step 1 is simply cut to size, leaving about 2cm seam allowance.

Every festive season, we countdown with a Christmas Book Advent. 24 books that take through until Christmas Day. This year, I've hand-sewn these keepsake book bags. Each day, I will simply place a new book in each child's book bag. This is a simple sewing project for even the not-so-confident seamstress. #Christmasadvent #ChristmasDIY #Christmascrafts #Christmasbookadvent #kidscrafts #Christmasforkids

Turn your fabric over and fold over a seam of about 2cm. Iron this down to get a nice sharp fold.
I chose to do a back stitch along this seam. Mainly because I’ve just learnt how to do such a stitch from my friend Trixi and I wanted to practice it. Apparently back stitching is an embroidery technique. I’m obviously not embroidering, but whatevs!
“Do what works for you” is totally one of my creative mantras. You could obviously just do a simple running stitch.
You will be threading your drawstring cord through this section, so don’t stitch too close to the edge.

Once that step is complete, fold your bag in half so the front halves are facing towards each other.
Stitch down the long side and then across the short side to meet the fold.
Again I had a seam allowance of about 2cm.

Let the record show, that at this point my husband declared “It’d be so much quicker if you just used a sewing machine.”
To which I responded with an eye roll and “Yeah but we don’t have a sewing machine.”
What a cheerleader!

You can now turn your bag out- and you have something that resembles a bag!
Before threading the drawstring cord through, I just turned in the edges of the drawstring openings and sewed that seam in to give you a nice, clean edge.

Time to thread the drawstring through and this may be the stage where you mutter a few sweary words.
Attach a safety pin to the end of the drawstring cord so that you can feed it through the seam.
Eventually it will come out the other end. But I warn you, it may take a few frustrating attempts.
Knot the ends of your cord to prevent them slipping back through the seam, and voila! A book bag!

Every festive season, we countdown with a Christmas Book Advent. 24 books that take through until Christmas Day. This year, I've hand-sewn these keepsake book bags. Each day, I will simply place a new book in each child's book bag. This is a simple sewing project for even the not-so-confident seamstress. #Christmasadvent #ChristmasDIY #Christmascrafts #Christmasbookadvent #kidscrafts #ChristmasforkidsEvery festive season, we countdown with a Christmas Book Advent. 24 books that take through until Christmas Day. This year, I've hand-sewn these keepsake book bags. Each day, I will simply place a new book in each child's book bag. This is a simple sewing project for even the not-so-confident seamstress. #Christmasadvent #ChristmasDIY #Christmascrafts #Christmasbookadvent #kidscrafts #ChristmasforkidsWe don’t have enough Christmas-related books to fill 24 days.
So I fill in the gaps with our favourite books from the year that was.
Any opportunity to celebrate reading and books!

Click to grab a copy of my Christmas eBook

Connect creatively with your children this Christmas with arts, crafts and play. #Christmascrafts #Christmascraftsforkids #reindeercraft #DIYChristmasornaments #handmadeornaments #kidsmadeornaments

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Every festive season, we countdown with a Christmas Book Advent. 24 books that take through until Christmas Day. This year, I've hand-sewn these keepsake book bags. Each day, I will simply place a new book in each child's book bag. This is a simple sewing project for even the not-so-confident seamstress. #Christmasadvent #ChristmasDIY #Christmascrafts #Christmasbookadvent #kidscrafts #Christmasforkids

FREE PRINTABLE Kids’ Birthday Interview

FREE PRINTABLE Kids’ Birthday Interview

We’re madly wrapping presents and planning cakes in preparation for my eldest’s 5th birthday.
(She requested a love heart cake. Then a cat-shaped cake. Now we’re back at the love heart request.)
Birthdays always make me sentimental and nostalgic.
Do you have any birthday traditions with your littles?
Back when she was about to turn 2, I posted these kids’ birthday interviews.

Cue all the lamenting about “where does the time go?!”

Every birthday, I print off an interview template and fill it in. I then keep them in a journal dedicated to each child.
(The title is meant to be filled in as “Your child’s name at age they are.” E.G Emily at 5 years old.)
I like to think of it as a birthday time capsule.

Because I’m clearly not dealing with all the emotions of “how is she 5 alreadddyyyy?!” I created a few new designs for some fresher birthday interviews.

Want to print your own kids’ birthday interviews?

Click on the images below to download your own copy.

Birthdays always make me sentimental and nostalgic. Do you have any birthday traditions with your littles? Every birthday, I fill out a birthday interview for the birthday girl or boy. Download and print off one of these 5 kids' birthday interviews to create your own birthday time capsule. #kidsbirthdays #kidsbirthdayinterview .

Birthdays always make me sentimental and nostalgic. Do you have any birthday traditions with your littles? Every birthday, I fill out a birthday interview for the birthday girl or boy. Download and print off one of these 5 kids' birthday interviews to create your own birthday time capsule. #kidsbirthdays #kidsbirthdayinterview .

Birthdays always make me sentimental and nostalgic. Do you have any birthday traditions with your littles? Every birthday, I fill out a birthday interview for the birthday girl or boy. Download and print off one of these 5 kids' birthday interviews to create your own birthday time capsule. #kidsbirthdays #kidsbirthdayinterview .

Birthdays always make me sentimental and nostalgic. Do you have any birthday traditions with your littles? Every birthday, I fill out a birthday interview for the birthday girl or boy. Download and print off one of these 5 kids' birthday interviews to create your own birthday time capsule. #kidsbirthdays #kidsbirthdayinterview .

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Birthdays always make me sentimental and nostalgic. Do you have any birthday traditions with your littles? Every birthday, I fill out a birthday interview for the birthday girl or boy. Download and print off one of these 5 kids' birthday interviews to create your own birthday time capsule. #kidsbirthdays #kidsbirthdayinterview .

Prawn on the Barbie Summer Craft

Prawn on the Barbie Summer Craft

Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.

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When I think of summer in Australia, I feel the searing heat of the sun on my skin. Salty lips. Beach hair. Lazy days. Backyard BBQs. Prawns.
Yes, prawns. Because I can’t think of a BBQ without hearing the phrase “throw another prawn on the barbie.”
And that, my friends, is how this summer craft came about.
Create some felt prawns, a BBQ out of reused cardboard, make use of some velcro and you’ve got yourself a backyard summer game.

What You Will Need:

For the BBQ
Cardboard (we reused a box)
Craft knife / sharp scissors
Pencil
Black paint
Bowl to trace around
Velcro (Hook tape fastener)
Grey / silver spray paint

For the prawns
Free prawn printable
Felt in colours of your choice
Thread and needle
Fiberfill / stuffing
Googly eyes
Pipecleaner

How To Make the BBQ:

Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.Raid your crockery cupboard, find a big bowl and trace around it onto cardboard.
Add handles if you wish.
Cut your round BBQ shape out.
If using a craft knife, use a mat and be careful! (Yes, mum.)

Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.Paint your BBQ black and set aside to dry.
Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.My hook fastener came in a roll.
I ran strips from one end of a box to the other end and then spray painted the strips.
Ensure that you spray paint in a well-ventilated area.

Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.

Once the paint on the BBQ and the velcro strips has dried, peel the backing away from the velcro strips and stick onto the BBQ.

How To Make the Prawns:

Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.

Print and cut out the prawn template. (I used the larger size.)
Place your template on two pieces of felt and cut out your prawn.
I used a simple running stitch to sew the two pieces of felt together.
Before sewing up the whole prawn, be sure to add stuffing.

Look, we don’t judge around here.
If the thought of sewing gives you heebie-jeebies, then use a hot glue or fabric glue to seal the felt together.

Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.

Embellish your prawns as you please. I just glued on a googly eye.
I made antennae with pipe cleaners and then pushed the pipe cleaner between a gap in stitching.

Now the fun part. Determining the rules of the game.
Do different zones of the BBQ bring different points?
Do you earn extra points for “flamboyant” prawn-throwing?
Do you have to stand a certain distance from the BBQ?
So many possibilities.

Grab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.

 

 

We also made medals for the Grand Throwing-a-Prawn-on-the-Barbie Champion.
We traced around a lid to create the medal.
Using the smaller prawn on the template, we decorated them with paint sticks and collage materials.
Then we glued the prawn onto the BBQs, punched a hole and strung some yarn through.
Voila. Medals!

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rab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie. www.ohcreativeday.com

 

rab the free prawn printable for this summer craft and throw some (felt) prawns on the (cardboard) BBQ. Go on. Throw another prawn on the barbie.

 

 

Craftmas: The Ultimate Christmas Crafts Collab

Craftmas: The Ultimate Christmas Crafts Collab

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

All right stop, collaborate and listen.
I’m fairly certain that Vanilla Ice was not referring to this kind of collaboration when he sang “Ice, Ice Baby.”
But I can’t help humming it when I think about the Craftmas collaboration.

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts.
It was the sparkliest, most delightful of collaborations.
I had the Hobbycraft team on my blog.
And now I’m delighted to share with you all the projects from all the ladies on all the blogs.

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

No Sew Garland by Art Camp over on Little Button Diaries

That’s my head! Reindeer Headband by Oh Creative Day over on Hobbycraft

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

Colourful Christmas Trees by Creating Creatives over on Handy with Scissors

Pom Pom Wreath by Teach Investigate Play over at Smocks On

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

Kid-made Wrapping Paper Ideas by Toddler Tornado and Raising Kinley over on The Art Garden Blog

Splatter Paint Gift Boxes by Handy with Scissors can be found over at Make It Your Own

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

Kid-made Scrape Painting Ornaments by Make It Your Own over on Creating Creatives

The Art Garden Blogs’ Winter Shadow Box can be found over at Teach Investigate Play

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

Find the Twiggy Christmas Tree DIY by The Harmony Tree House over at Smocks On

Winter Garland by Barley and Birch over on The Harmony Tree House

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

Momma Teaching’s Time Capsule Ornaments are over at Brainy Beginnings Network

This Foxy Wreath by Brainy Beginnings Network can be found over at Barley and Birch

15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

DIY Polar Bear Sow Globe by Little Button Diaries over on Art Camp

Light Bulb Reindeer by Hobby Craft here on Oh Creative Day

If Vanilla Ice is into Christmas crafts, I’d like to think he wholeheartedly approves of all this rad, Craftmas goodness.

Grab a copy of my "12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas" eBook. Creatively connect with your children through art, craft and play this festive season. 70+ pages featuring… 12 projects with detailed tutorials | Loads of tips, tricks and inspiration | 13 pages of templates, play dough mats and printable prompts.

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15 creative ladies from across the globe came together to share their love of all things Christmas crafts. Here are the 15 projects that made up Craftmas.

 

 

Reindeer Wall Hanging

Reindeer Wall Hanging

A reindeer walks into a bar…. oh wait, no, wrong story.
A reindeer lands on an island.
How did this reindeer land on an island?
Well, that’s how this reindeer wall hanging came about.

Awhile back, I connected with an amazingly rad group of creative ladies over on Instagram.
We workshopped arty, crafty problems. We chatted through the highs and lows of motherhood. Use of the past tense here is misleading as we still do all those things now. Errrry day.
We marvelled at the fact that, despite being spread across the globe, we still felt entwined in each others’ lives thanks to social media.
We joked that, one day, we would buy an island together, hang out and solve the world’s problems, one creative project at a time.

Introducing the Island Creative Collective.
A group of 8 creative females who all possess a fierve love of cardboard.
So we created this free eBook as a festive ode to cardboard.
It’s our Christmas present to you.

The eBook contains the templates, tips and tricks you will need to make this reindeer wall hanging.
I hope he has his sunscreen on so that he can enjoy Island Life to the max.

How do I get my hands on this eBook?

Sign up to my newsletter to grab your free copy of The Island Creative Collective’s 8 Easy, Recycled Holiday Crafts,

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Want to grab the template to make this reindeer wall hanging? It's a simple Christmas craft that makes use of cardboard boxes and all the sticks brought home from the park. #Christmascraftsforkids #Christmas #Christmascrafts #kidscrafts #kidsactivities

 

A FREE eBook from The Island Creative Collective | 8 Easy, Recycled Holiday Crafts

 

Homemade Gifts Kids Can Make

Homemade Gifts Kids Can Make

 

These simple and colourful beaded creations are sweet homemade gifts kids can make.

Every Christmas, I ambitiously plan all these projects we are going to tackle in the lead up- baking, decluttering and donating to charity, Christmas crafts, homemade gifts the kids can make…..
I am then alarmed to discover that December does not indeed contain 60 days, and there is not enough time for all the things I want to do.
It happens every year. Every year.
CURRENT STATUS: We have just finished working on some homemade gifts for the kids’ preschool teachers and the other important people in their lives.
If you need some sweet homemade gifts for your kids to make, you’ve still got time to make these beaded creations.

What you will need:

natural wooden beads*
acrylic paint (We used IKEA’s Mala paints.)
shoebox
necklace cord or floristry wire

Optional:

imitation gold leaf
glue
clay

How to:

These simple and colourful beaded creations are sweet homemade gifts kids can make.Place your wooden beads in a shoebox.
Squeeze in some paint, close the lid and shake, shake, shake.

This is possibly the best part of the process- opening the box to reveal your beaded beauties.

These simple and colourful beaded creations are sweet homemade gifts kids can make.Set your shoe box of beads aside to dry.
TIP: Jiggle the shoe box every 30 minutes or so, otherwise your beads will dry to the shoe box base.

We also made some salt dough decorations, because what’s Christmas without a little salt dough making?
You can find the recipe we use here under Salt Dough Star Ornaments.

We also had some oven-bake clay so we exercised our fine motor muscles and created clay beads too.
You can find more tips here on how to use oven bake clay.
You know that my life mantra is MORE IS MORE, right?! I think these gifts would be beautiful just with the painted beads, but we kept finding more things to add.

These simple and colourful beaded creations are sweet homemade gifts kids can make.
In a temporary moment of insanity, I bought some imitation gold leaf at the local craft shop.
Be warned: it gets messy! Best wear some gloves whilst you decorate with it!

These simple and colourful beaded creations are sweet homemade gifts kids can make.
We placed our dried beads in an egg carton and painted them with glue.
Then, we crumbled the imitation gold leaf over the top of them. It all started out very contained but quickly descended into a free-for-all mess. You have been warned.

Once our salt dough decorations were dried, we painted them and glued some gold leaf on to them.

Then the real fun begins. The stringing and creating.
We used necklace cord to create necklaces.
Floristry wire is excellent for bending into ornaments.We also made a few (unpictured) key rings.

So that’s one item ticked off the Christmas To-Do list.
How’s your To-Do list going?

* Our wooden beads were gifted to us by Cleverpatch. These cool cats provided product sponsorship of my Christmas eBook, “12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas.”

Click to purchase your copy of the “12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas.”

12-Oh-Creative-Days-of-Christmas ebook

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These simple and colourful beaded creations are sweet homemade gifts kids can make.