Make Your Own Christmas Cards #BostikBlogger.

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As a general rule we don’t send Christmas cards. I know, say hello to The Grinch family, right? It’s not that we don’t like Christmas, it’s more that we (ok, it’s mainly me) don’t like waste (both financial and environmental).

For the last, I would say, five years, we have given the money we would have spent on cards and postage (plus a little extra) to charity instead. I know not everyone feels the same but most of our family and friends have been ok with it.

However, there are always a couple of people that need cards – mainly because we can’t connect with them very easily in other ways (Freya’s great grandma lives 150 miles away and isn’t online, for example).

This month we were sent some blank cards in our Craft Merrily box, which we receive as part of our role as Tots 100 Bostik Bloggers, and I thought we would have a go at making our own. To me that also seems more in keeping with the spirit of Christmas.

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For both cards you will need:

Two blank cards and envelopes.

Glitter.

Small sparkly pipe cleaner.

A round shape (we used a cookie cutter).

Bostik White Glue.

Bostik Foam Pads.

Scissors.

Card (white and glittery).

Beads and assorted adornments.

A bell.

Ribbon.

How to make the bauble card.

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Having searched Pinterest for ideas, I decided to adapt this card (which says it’s by Kylie) by using the beautiful green glitter we were sent rather than gems.

Step one.

I started by cutting out a piece of red card to fit inside the green and then white card to fit inside the red (guesstimates all the way). Next I put the white card on a tray, popped the cookie cutter on top and let Freya pour in the white glue.

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We used a glue dabber (I’m sure they have a proper name) to make sure the glue was spread out. She then poured in the glitter, which she loved (naturally). The great thing about this pot was that it had the sprinkle option so it didn’t all just fall out in one go.

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I made sure the circle was well covered and let it settle for a minute or so before pulling the cutter away. I then shook the excess glitter off into the tray.

Step two.

Once it was dry we stuck it to the red card using the foam pads and then did stuck it all on to the green card.

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Step three.

I threaded the bell on to the pipe cleaner and then on to the ribbon. Freya then tied this around her wrist and ran around the flat pretending to be a dog (for 30 minutes). Thankfully she was fully housetrained.

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Once she had finished, I cut the ribbon to size (so there was enough to be able to stick it behind the red card).

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Step four.

I then made a bow. We glued it on and then left it to settle while we got to work on the second card.

How to make the Christmas tree card.

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Step one.

As we don’t have a Christmas-tree shape cutter, I simply cut one out of card. I then got Freya to put glue all over it (another job she loved) and then sprinkle the glitter on again.

Step two.

Once it was dry, we glued the tree on and then decorated it with the beads. Freya cut out the presents and then decorated them with the sparkly gems and stickers of her choice.

Step three.

Last job of the day was to stick the star at the top.

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I think they look pretty good, plus Freya had a lot of fun, when she wasn’t being a dog, making them. This year she’ll be able to sign her own name, which I find exciting (and a little bit frightening at how fast she’s growing up).

Hopefully our chosen recipients will be pleased to receive them.

Have you ever made your own Christmas cards?

Please note: We were sent the craft box free of charge in return for this post. 

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Make Your Own Christmas Countdown Peg Advent Calendar #BostikBlogger

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Did you know there are just over seven weeks until Christmas? Hands up if you’ve started your present buying yet. Not me. What we have done already is some festive crafting, starting with a peg advent calendar.

As many of the shops now put their decorations up at the start of October I have been fielding “is it Christmas today?” questions (from Freya, not Mark) for several weeks now, which is why I thought we’d make something she can use to count down (the pegs will also double up as Christmas tree decorations).

Thanks to some happy post from Craft Merrily, as part of our role as a Tots 100 Bostik Blogger, all we were really missing was the wooden pegs – and the ability to name all of Santa’s reindeer.

“There’s Prancer and Dancer and Vixen and Grumpy and Sleepy and, oh, wait…”

The internet was able to help with that and, after a quick trip to a pound shop for the pegs, we were off.

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We used:

25 wooden pegs.

A foam wreath base.

Paint (we used acrylic).

Brushes.

Wooden reindeer shape.

Lolly sticks (to make the wreath base a bit stronger).

Decorations (including beads, pom poms, stars and sequins).

Pipe cleaners, wool and silk thread (for snowmen scarves).

Pretty string or cord.

Black, orange and brown marker pens.

A wooden reindeer for the middle (with two googly eyes and a red pom pom nose).

Bostik White Glue.

Bostik Foam Pads.

Ribbon.

How we did it. 

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Step 1.

There are all sorts of characters you could include such as penguins, The Grinch and angels to name just a few. You could even do a nativity. We kept it simple and picked Father and Mrs Christmas, the reindeer (once we had worked out how many there were), snowmen and elves.

I set Freya to work painting the pegs the various base colours. To make it easier for her (and less messy) I clipped the pegs on to a plastic tray (actually the cases from dummies, which I kept). The white needed two coats.

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Step 2.

With a little bit of help, Freya had fun decorating the snowmen. She wanted to play with them after they were finished rather than do any more. Luckily, Father Christmas very kindly sent one of his elves to visit  (you’d think they would have better things to do) and she woke up the next morning to find they had all been decorated.

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Step 3.

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Some how, even though I thought it was out of the way, we managed to get paint on the wreath base. After making it a bit stronger with some lolly sticks, I decided to wrap it in gold ribbon to cover the stains. It also means once the pegs come off it will still look nice (although I’m going to spread the pegs out a bit).

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Step 4.

Rudolph was going to be our centrepiece so Freya coloured in the wooden shape and then, having spent some time using her hand as a puppet, glued his eyes and nose on. We stuck the green and red cord to his back and then attached it all to the wreath base.

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Strange how the paint on her hand is the same colour as on the wreath!

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Step 5.

Time to pop on the pegs and then, with Freya’s help, number them with a black pen.

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There are many things I like about this craft, including that she can use it to practice her number skills. The pegs are easy to get on and off and she’s also had a lot of fun just playing with them. I made some snow out of cotton wool and we had a whole Christmas scene going on.

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And here it is on the wall.

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While it took a bit of time, I think it was well worth it. It’s reusable too (imagine if she passes it down to her children, if she has any). I’ve written the date on the back of Rudolph so we can remember the year we made it.

Are you planning to make anything for Christmas? Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Note: As a Bostik Blogger we received the craft supplies free of charge in return for this post.

My Sunday Photo – Week 52.

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It’s the final My Sunday Photo of the year  – although maybe the first on a Friday?

I’ve surprised myself by managing to link up every week in 2016 and while some have been better than others, it has been a great inspiration to get my camera/iPhone out and snap away – plus it makes me want to take better photos. I also love seeing what everyone else posts, it’s always such an eclectic mix.

Thank you to Darren for hosting each week, which I’m sure takes a lot of work, and to everyone who has visited, liked and commented on my posts, it really makes my day.

Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas with best wishes for 2017.

Here are a few of my favourites from the last 12 months.

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