Block Printed Wrapping Paper

Last year we enjoyed printing Christmas & thank you cards with my eldest daughter’s designs, so this year we had a go at printing wrapping paper. This was a great project that we could all get involved with. My four year old did the design this time; a sweet reindeer drawing that made a great print.

 
Materials

1 roll of Plain wrapping paper

Block printing ink

Ink tray

Lino cutter

Ink roller /brayer 

Lino sheet

Paper

Pencil

Marker pen

Wooden block (cut to size of design)

Strong craft glue

1. Draw out a design. Using a thick marker pen on the lino.

2. Cut out the areas around the marked section. Trimming off excess lino. Glue to wooden block.

3. Roll out some ink and apply a very thin layer to the lino. 

4. Do some test prints for positioning and ink density.


5. Apply a very thin layer of ink after each print for an even finish.

6. Print the red noses. We used a flat crayon dipped lightly in ink but fingertip will do too.

7. Leave to dry.

8. Ready to wrap gifts!

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Homemade Sparkly Scented Play Dough

We get through so much play dough that I thought I’d be worth having a go making it ourselves. I’ve tried a couple of times before but always ended up with that stodgy floury nursery school smelling stuff. This time I experiented with some different ingredients and invested in some good essential oils. The children enjoyed having different fragrances to sniff, they love smelling the tester perfumes in shops so it was great to have an activity like this at home. 

To make four colours –

You will need 

2 cups plain flour

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1/2 cup salt

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

1 – 1.5 cups of warm previously boiled water

Food colouring 

3-4 drops of glycerine

Essential oils

Vanilla essence

Bowls

Wooden spoons

Plastic containers to store play dough 

Glitter


I used cinnamon leaf, pine needle and mandarin essential oils and vanilla essence. Make sure to research the oils which are safe for you and children, also in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil.

I have used grapeseed oil with all my children in baby massage so I knew their skin wouldn’t react to it. A good tip my baby massage instructor showed me, if using for the first time, is to dab a little on the wrist and wait ten minutes to see if there is a reaction or not.

I divided the ingredients into four so the children could make a tub with a different colour and scent each. But you can always make one batch and then divide the dough to  colour and fragrance.

1. Into four bowls add flour, salt and cream of tartar. 


2. In a separate jug add 2-3 drops of essential oil (or 1tsp vanilla essence) to a teaspoon of grape seed oil and glycerine.

3. Add a 1/4 cup of warm water to the mixture and add the food colouring. 

4. Take one of the bowls of the flour mixture and slowly combine the wet mixture with the dry, adding more plain water if needed, until you get a bread dough like consistency that can be kneaded.

5. Adding different colours and scents repeat stages 2,3,4 for the remaining three bowls of flour mix  

I used yellow with vanilla, green with pine needle, orange with mandarin and red with cinnamon.



6. Place the dough on a smooth surface and add a sprinkle of glitter (too much will cause the dough to crack). 

7. Knead the dough well and it’s ready for play. 


8. Work into a soft ball and store in airtight containers when finished with


If you feel the dough needs refreshing at any point rub a few drops of grapeseed oil into hands and work though the dough, it moistens the dough and your hands!

Wooden peg dolls

What is it about pound shops? I go in for kitchen roll and come out with a basket full of all sorts. I picked up some wooden pegs on my last visit, I wasn’t sure what we were going to do with them. Today it started chucking it down outside so out came the craft boxes. 

To make the dolls you will need:

pva glue
glue brush
twine
wooden pegs
felt (various colours)
black pen
embroidery thread
sewing needle
paper
ruler
pencil
scissors
  

1. Take a square piece of paper and draw dress pattern (as above)

2. Using dress template to cut felt

  
3. Cut twine (x12 of 10cm lengths)

4. Glue twine strands to top of peg. Leave to dry and cut if needs to be neatened.

*a hand embroidery design on felt can be completed whilst glue dries

   

5. Glue dress in place – apply glue just to top as shown above. Then down a strip to secure the edges of felt

 

6. Draw face

  
7. Handsew a running stitch along hem and tie some thread across the waist.

  
  
The children have played with them for most of the day. 

  
They also enjoyed making some; drawing faces and choosing dress and hair colour.
  

  

Felt Chicks

This little chick makes a lovely gift or looks great dotted around the house for Easter celebrations. A looped ribbon can be easily added to make a hanging decoration or a rattle insert can be put in. Multiple  chicks with loops can be attached to a length of cord which will make a pretty garland for a nursery or can be used to make a sweet mobile to hang above a crib.

You will need

Paper

Pencil

Scissors (fabric and paper)

Circular object to draw around (diameter 7cm)

Felt fabric (yellow and orange)

Cotton thread (yellow and black)

Sewing needle

Soft toy filling

First draw out your pattern. I would have done a downloadable one, if only I knew how to set that up! Anyway this way you get to do it all from scratch which is great because you can adjust and create patterns for different animals for future projects.

  
1. Draw around circular object  (7cm diameter)

2. Use scissor handle to draw head shape. Then draw ‘shark fin’ shape on right for the tail.  

3. Use the circular object to draw from back of head to tail. Round off the bottom of head and tail.

4. Draw a small triangle (approx 1.5cm sides)

5. Use the top of circular object to draw top part of a semi circle. Do the same on opposite side to create an oval that 7.5cm wide and 4cm high.

  
6. Draw points at the sides of the oval (shown above) taking the shape to 8.5cm wide. It should look a lemon or an eye. 

7. Draw a shape the same as the tail (you can trace it from the tail). Round it off to create the wing. It should be 4cm long and 2cm at the widest part. 

  
8. Cut templates out

9. Cut the shapes from felt. Orange for the beak. Everything else yellow. Also cut two pieces of all but the ‘lemon’ shape for which you’ll only need 1 piece.  

I made three chicks and find it easier to cut all at once. 

   
10. Mark with pencil where the eye will be stitched then stitch using black cotton. I did 4 stitches, two crosses that made a small 8 point star.

  
11. Fold the widest part of the wing and hand stitch in place. Repeat with the opposite piece.

  
12. Stitch the ‘lemon’ shape piece to the bottom side of chick with the seam exposed. I chose to hand stitch with a back stitch. 

  
13. Place the opposite piece in place and stitch around leaving the top and front of the chicks head unstitched. (If you are making a garland, hanging decoration or mobile stitch in the loop/ribbon/ties at the top)

  

14. Using pen or knitting needle to reach the tail, begin to fill a little at a time, gently separating the filling to give a smooth finish. The children loved doing this (If you are making a rattle put the insert in with the filling)

    
15. When it is just about full, stitch in place the beak. Keep filling as you stitch until it is closed. 

  
Ours have been named Aleela, Rosie and Bill. 
  

 A fun little project that the children can be involved and enjoy playing with. 

Hope you will enjoy making these, tag my Instagram account chrissie_white I would love to see your finished pieces 🙂