Make Your Own Masquerade Masks for New Year #BostikBlogger

IMG_8246My memories from the last time I went out on New Year’s Eve are vague – not because I was worse for wear but more because it was so long ago.

Overcrowded, over-priced clubs or pubs were never my cup of tea but after having Freya the logistics involved in going out, especially as we don’t have anyone nearby who could watch her, are just too complicated.

Normally we just go to bed and wake up on January 1st (unless the neighbours wake us before) but I thought this year, as Freya is much more aware of what’s going on, we’d have a little mini-party, just the three of us (although we will probably all be in bed by 10pm).

As New Year is the theme of our latest craft box from Craft Merrily, which we receive as part of our role as a Tots100 Bostik Blogger, I thought we could make ourselves some fun masquerade masks to wear as we welcome 2018.

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To make your own masks, you will need.

Card (ideally glittery or sparkly).

Decorations (we used sequins, feathers and flowers).

Chop sticks (or something to hold the masks).

Pipecleaners.

Card to make a template.

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Step 1.

To get an idea of what to make I Googled “mask silhouette” and all sorts of pretty examples came up. Freya already had a cardboard owl mask so we drew around that first of all and then I adapted it for the different designs we wanted.

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Step 2.

Once you have cut out your template, transfer it to the card, making as many as you need.

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Step 2.

Once you have cut them out, the fun really starts. I basically put a box of decorations in front of Freya and said “go for it”. I was really surprised when I turned back from decorating my own mask to find she had picked all the flowers out. This was all her own work (apart from some help with the tape).

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I decorated this one.

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And the last one we did together.

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Step 3.

I twisted the pipe cleaners around the chopsticks, just to make things a bit more colourful and then stuck them on.

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You can tell Mark is loving every minute.

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Have you got anything planned on New Year’s Eve?

Note: We were sent a box of craft materials for free in return for this post.

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The Gift Of Giving Snowman Bag #BostikBlogger.

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This year Freya really seems to be getting into Christmas – not least because she’s playing Mary in her class nativity (I’m welling up already and it’s still a week away).

She’s written a letter to Father Christmas listing some of the things she would like but I wanted to let her know, in a gentle way suitable for a four-year-old, that it’s not just about getting new stuff and that giving is just as important.

My mum’s friend is involved in a charity that helps disadvantaged families so I thought putting together a little Christmas parcel for a child, with Freya picking out some of the items, might be a good way to make her think but not cause her to worry too much. She’s quite a sensitive little soul so I have to be careful about the way I broach things.

We were sent a lovely little cloth bag in our craft box from Craft Merrily, which we receive as part of our role as Tots100 Bostik Bloggers. As this month’s theme is Christmas I thought we could decorate the bag using some of the other bits and bobs from the box and then fill it with some treats for a child in need.

To make and decorate the bag, you will need:

A cloth bag.

Snowman shape.

Glittery card.

Gold leaves (or something for his arms).

Two googly eyes.

Bostik White Glu.

Gold card.

Gems.

White pom pom (or cotton wool).

Orange pom pom (or something for his nose).

Beads or sequins for his mouth.

A label.

To make:

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I don’t mind admitting I started off by asking Freya: “Do you wanna build a snowman?” (If you haven’t seen Frozen, it won’t mean much to you). She didn’t find it funny either.

It was only after we’d stuck on his eyes, buttons and made him a hat that I realised something was missing – his nose! Of course. I quickly found an orange pom pom to use.

Working out how to attach him to the bag is something I spent quite some time thinking about. Maybe I should glue him or sew him or a combination of the two. It was only when we had decorated him that I realised he had a sticky back (doh!).

IMG_4806After finishing off the decoration by sticking on beads for his smile and the white pom poms for snowballs, it was time to shop. We had some advice on what to buy and a mixture of practical and fun seemed to be the way to go. We are luckier than many people but still have a limited budget so we went to our local pound shop to get some things.

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We came home and packed the bag and I sealed it with some double sided tape so the items don’t fall out. I wrote on the label what age child it was aimed at.

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I know it’s only a little gesture but I hope it brings some joy to a small person this Christmas – and helps Freya realise how fortunate we are.

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

Spotty DIY Living Room Makeover.

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Before: It was a pale purple.

While I was decorating the living room last week, I found out something I never knew before (and it wasn’t that I don’t know how to decorate, I knew that already).

I thought I’d try something a little bit different with some spots – just to liven things up a bit.

Now, when I first mentioned to Mark and my parents what I was going to do there was a mild look of horror on each of their faces and I could almost see them thinking “here we go again”.

I’ll admit there have been some unfortunate decorating choices, including one that meant painting over a colour that clashed so badly with the carpet (who knew cream was difficult to match?) that it actually made me feel sick every time I looked at it – which is not ideal in a living room.

Anyway, it looked like they were right to have their doubts because when I tried to paint the spots on using a cardboard template I made from a cereal box…let’s just say, it wasn’t quite the look I was going for.

Undeterred, I ordered some vinyl stickers in a light and dark grey (to match the curtains and the sofa) from the internet.

The two colour walls (the other two are now white) were supposed to be a light green but actually turned out more a bluey grey, which thankfully works rather well with the soft furnishings. Mark wanted blue in the first place but I thought it would be a sad colour. I’m wondering if he swapped the paint when I wasn’t looking?

I was going to try and work out exactly how far apart the spots should be placed using maths but, as you may know, maths is not my strong point so I sort of guessed using frog tape. I don’t think I did too badly. I did use a spirit level #proud.

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When he saw it, Mark’s actual words were: “When you first mentioned it I thought it would be something else that I would have to pretend to like and then just put up with it but actually it’s awesome.”

When questioned tied to a chair with a spotlight in his eyes he said he was joking about the “something else”. Hmm.

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New grey boxes to store all Freya’s toys.

My mum and dad have been helping out and it was my mum who said: “I’d never have thought of doing something like that.” (I clearly need to introduce her to Pinterest.) “You must get it from your grandad, he was always trying new things. He once did patchwork paint squares in our hallway.”

My grandad died 20 years ago when I was almost 21 and my memories of him are like little pieces of film playing in my head. The earliest is of him taking me to the park (via the betting shop which was strictly forbidden) and collecting frog spawn in a jam jar. Then I see him standing in the amusements when we all used to go on holiday together smoking a cigar at the slot machine (which tells you how long ago that was). As I got older, he was often poorly and my memories are of my mum being called out in the middle of the night and then visiting him in hospital. It was lovely to learn something new about him after all this time.

I’m really pleased to have the living room mostly done. It badly needed repainting and it was almost embarrassing having people visit (not that anyone ever said anything). We didn’t really have the budget to change loads of things but it feels like a welcoming place to live again.

Have you ever done anything a bit out of the ordinary in your house?