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. 

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We Made A Leaf Bowl (And It Wasn’t Just A Gloopy Mess).

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It’s taken a year for me to work up the enthusiasm to give making a leaf bowl another try  – and I’m so pleased I did.

Our last attempt (at a leaf crown because we didn’t have enough leaves) turned into a soggy, smushed up mess. I wasn’t entirely hopeful that this one would be any different but I thought Freya would have fun with the gloopy glue (plus we had a balloon left over from her birthday) so I thought ‘why not?’

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We gathered some lovely leaves, brought them home and set to work.

I used Bostik White Glu (of course) this time, watered down ever so slightly. I cut the stalks off and then got Freya to paste pretty much at will.

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She then handed them to me (the joy!) and I wrapped them around the biggest bit of the balloon. We then liberally applied another coat of glue.

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Before leaving it to dry.

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Ideally, I would have left it for longer than 24 hours but Freya was excited so, even though it was still a bit wet inside, we did the best bit (if you’re four).

As I have a deep hatred of balloons, especially when they pop, Mark did the honours (and I videoed it, holding one hand over my ear which, surprisingly, didn’t help).

Here you go.

Once we removed the balloon it all bounced back into shape and this is how it turned out .

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Would I keep my fruit in it? Probably not. Is it a beautiful addition to our windowsill bringing a touch of the outdoors inside? Absolutely.

Have you ever made a leaf bowl? What did you keep in it? 

 

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.