Sunday, 9 August 2015

Easy DIY Educational toys for 0-1 year olds

I knew before our little Annabelle arrived that I didn't want to fill my house with shiny, loud plastic toys that flashed and sang at the touch of the button, they have their place and Annabelle does enjoy them,  but primarily I wanted her toys to be fun and educational, teaching her fine and gross motor skills and teaching her to enjoy learning to work things out and allow her to experience a variety of different materials and textures along the way. Below are a selection of the home made toys I have made her, super easy and cheap to make and she really enjoys playing with them and they have taught her a lot along the way! The cotton reel tub below and the milk bottle top posting box have been her firm favourites for ages now, they keep her happy for ages.

At around 9 months Annabelle developed a LOVE of posting things, I looked it up and kids often have urges to do certain things like posting, or hanging upside down (!) or climbing etc and they are called development schema, you can read more about them on the Nature Play blog here. This toy definitely fed her desire to post and was also very easy to make. All you need are empty cotton reels from ebay or something (ours were painted by her great Grandma when she was in the WI) , and an empty tub with a removable lid (mine was a candy floss tub from Warwick Castle), cut two holes with a scalpel, one so they can go in round end first, and a rectangle hole so they can go in sideways. If I tip these out, she will happily sit there until she has patiently "posted" them all back into the tub. Genius! I stuck the pink coloured card on the lid to give the holes more definition.

Click read more to see the other easy to make toys....

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Friday, 3 July 2015

Delicious Homemade Fudge

We used to make this fudge nearly every weekend as kids and its been a long while since I've made a batch, but it was my Dads birthday last weekend and traditionally, alongside Liquorice all sorts, fudge is another one of his favourites (at least I hope it is Dad and you aren't just being polite now!? ;-) So I whipped up a batch while Annabelle had breakfast, took me right back! Its super smooth and soft and wickedly moreish, the best thing is it's cheap and super easy too! Hope you enjoy it!

Click read more for the ingredients and recipe below

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Sunday, 10 May 2015

How to use Bondaweb - Photo tutorial

This tutorial is for my friend Esther! Bondaweb is amazing stuff and enables you to do appliqué so crisp and neatly. So this is a very quick tutorial just to show you how to use it correctly, but the possibilities are endless and can give you such a neat professional finish. (Have a look at my previous post about simple ideas to quickly jazz up a blank T-shirt here
I love using this to do appliqué onto jersey fabrics especially as they tend to move about when you stitch onto them, but doing it this way the Bondaweb holds the design and the fabric in place. Below are two I have just recently done, one inspired by Fi Fi Lapin and the other is just something I drew.

So if you want to know how to use it, click read more!

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Sleep mask tutorial and free Pattern

Summer is definitely on its way, and with that comes bright early mornings! I have made a blackout blind for Annabelles room to prevent any unwanted early risings, but haven't made one for our room, and seen as my husband can sleep through anything, I figured I just needed to make it dark for myself, much easier and cheaper than buying/making blackout blinds! So here is a free pattern and photo tutorial for making yourself a sleep mask either to keep those pesky sunbeams at bay first thing in the morning, or to help you sleep on a long haul flight, or for whatever reason you may want a bit of personal darkness. Its a very quick project and I managed to get mine done in an hour and a bit despite having a 6 month old who needs attention! (If you don't have a baby I imagine it will take you much less time!!)

For the free pattern and photo tutorial click "Read more"

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Crochect Chevron Blanket

I have finally finished crocheting my chevron blanket I started more a year ago! It really shouldn't of taken that long to do, but I hadn't decided on a way to finish it and so it has been left incomplete for a long time! As this was the first thing I had really crocheted (apart from the baby shoes) my tension wasn't quite right, and I'm not sure I had the correct hook size for the yarn and so my sides were a bit uneven, and I had also decided to fill in the zig zags at the top and bottom of the blanket which made it very lumpy looking.  I thought it really needed something extra to give it a better finish. So after much deliberation I decided to back it in a pale blue jersey fabric and then used matching embroidery thread to hand quilt the back to the front, much quicker and quirkier than other options. I machine stitched the jersey to the front of the blanket to create a border. In hindsight I should of planned the blanket a bit more carefully as the yarn I chose was although very smooth and soft, it was very expensive, and I needed waaaay more yarn than I anticipated! So her is the most expensive blanket I have ever made or been given! If you want to have a go yourself you can find a free pattern here.

So here it is! Its lovely and smooth for Annabelle to play on and because its so heavy it's also nice and warm to use over her in her carseat.
See more after the jump.....

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Jazzing up baby t-shirts

Anabelle is growing very fast and in a bid to save some money I bought some plain t-shirts in the sales, a set of 3 for something like £2. Now that I don't have much time either (babies are quite time consuming !;-) I needed a quick and easy way to jazz them up, so I did some simple animal silhouettes using the wonder of Bondaweb and some cute ditsy print fabric! Wanting to keep traditional I decided to do woodland animals (apart from the Dashund, I just love them!), and found the sillouhettes using google images. I drew the shapes onto the paper side of bondaweb, ironed it onto the back of the fabric and then cut them out. I then ironed them into the t-shirts and stitched round the edge. I'm very pleased with the result, they look super cute and trendy. I will also be posting a "how to" bondaweb  for those who want to know how to use it properly. Let me know what you think!

More after the jump......

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Easy Baby Teether!

So just recently Annabelle has been a little on he grizzly side and since her friend Jospeh (who is only one month older) cut his first tooth around her age I was beginning to wonder if the dreaded toothy pegs would be cutting through! She seems to like sucking on my cardi and other fabric things so I wanted something that was fabric and hard so it would be good to teeth on and this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy making it, it only took me about 20minutes.

For the photo tutorial click "read more"

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