Paper Flower Fun For Everyone #BostikBlogger.

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While April showers are supposed to bring May flowers – and we’ve certainly had a wet start to the month in Norfolk – we couldn’t wait that long so we’ve made our own.

It was actually a very happy coincidence that ‘flowers’ was the theme of this month’s Bostik Blogger craft box because Mark’s hay fever has flared already so I’ve had to re-home my beautiful Mother’s Day hyacinth, which was adding to his misery.

A quick Pinterest search revealed lots of different paper flowers to make of varying difficulties so we did some test runs and picked the best three.

Easy Daisies.

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We used:

Card (white, yellow and patterned).

Bostik Blu Stick.

Scissors.

Bostik Glu Dots.

Chopsticks or flower wire.

Step one.

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We cut the card into thin strips.

Step two.

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Freya popped some glue at one end of a strip and then attached the other end to it to make a petal. While the glue is blue to help you see where you’ve pasted, it magically dries white (this blew our minds).

Step three.

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We cut out a circle (and also used a flower shape for another of the daisies) to stick the petals to. We tried this with the glue stick but found glu dots held better.

Step four.

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I attached it to a chopstick with a glu dot (as it was a bit fiddly) while Freya decorated a jam jar to keep them in.

Simple rose bud.

We used:

Card (pink).

Pencil.

Scissors.

Bostik Tape Discs.

Wire.

Step one.

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We cut a small square (about 10cm by 10cm) out of a piece of card.

Step two.

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Freya really enjoyed this bit. I drew a swirly pattern on the card (she had a go too) and then she cut it out. The joy of it is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to the lines because it makes it look more petal-like.

Step three.

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I then rolled the card into a fairly tight ball.

Step four.

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I used a tape disc to hold it together and then attached some wire for the stem (the bud was tight enough that it stayed on the wire without anything to stick it).

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Slightly more complicated roses.

I loved making the daisies and the simple rose buds with Freya but, while she was at school, I had a go at making some slightly more complicated roses – and fell in love.

I used:

Card (pink, patterned and cream).

Bostik Tape Discs.

Bostik Glu Dots.

Clear tape.

Scissors.

Green tape (I had some florists tape so used that).

Bostik Blu Tack.

Chopsticks (painted green)

Step one.

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Using a scrap piece of card, I roughly drew a flower shape like this. This is about 11cms wide.

Step two.

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I stacked four pieces of card and cut around the shape. It doesn’t have to be exact.

Step three.

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I poked a small hole in the middle of each card. I then folded each petal, as above, and bent the odd petal at the top too.

Step four.

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What I should have done here was get the stick and wrap the paper around it. However, I didn’t think of that until afterwards. Instead, I got one card and folded the first petal in half, I stuck it with a disc and then folded the next petal over it. I kept doing this until all five petals were together. I then taped around the bottom half of the bud to hold them in place.

Step five.

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I attached a glu dot to either side of the rose and then stuck the next layer on using the same method as above. I added the next two layers in this way, adding glue dots as needed, until my rose was formed.

Step six.

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As I said, this is better done at the start but at this point I poked the chopstick through the hole in the bottom so about 2cms was inside. I then wraped blu tack around the base to keep it in place and covered it with green tape.

I’m really pleased with the result. I sprayed an old jam jar white and then had a play with ribbon to see which looked best. I’m going to get some different card and have a go at making my favourite yellow roses too.

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With the rosebuds mixed in.
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With the daisies.
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Matching my living room.

Freya was thrilled with them when she came home from school (and insisted on pretending to be a bride, complete with her favourite dress).

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Mark was also happy not to be constantly sneezing and itching his eyes while indoors (I can’t do much to help him outside).

What are your favourite flowers? Have you ever made them from paper?

* Please note: We receive a craft box from Craft Merrily free of charge, as part of our role as Tots 100 Bostik Bloggers, 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. 

Easy Crafts With Children: A Room Of One’s Own.

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I’m just about to start what feels like the epic task of redecorating our bedroom and living room but, as a sort of warm-up, Freya and I decided to make her “big dolls” a place to call their own first.

Thanks to various charity shop visits she seems to have amassed a little collection of Barbie-sized dolls but her wooden house is too small for them to fit into so, inspired by the Small Stories Exhibition, currently on at Norwich Castle, we found a cardboard box (not as easy as you might think these days) and got our craft on.

Our living room is painted all one colour at the moment and I really fancied having a feature wall this time so I collected a few samples of wallpaper, which have been stuck up in various places while I tried them out.

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Not wanting to waste the ones that clearly were not going to work, we reused one for the carpet and one for the feature wall in the dolls’ room and Freya painted the other walls (and herself).

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While that was all drying we started on the furniture. Freya’s feet have grown yet again and she recently got a new pair of school shoes and some trainers so we used the boxes to make a bed (Freya felt it was a too hard for them to lay on so we padded it and the headboard with cottonwool before covering it) and a wardrobe plus a toilet roll and empty ribbon reel for a bedside table.

Add in some decoration in the form of stick on butterflies, hearts, ribbon and curtains and there you have it – a room I would be quite happy to sleep in (were I a bit smaller).

Sometimes we make things that Freya only plays with a few times but this box had been a hit – she even tries to get in it herself. I’m tempted to try and make a little box kitchen or living room to sit next door.

Before that though I need to make a start on our actual rooms. I have a feeling decorating full size rooms is not going to be as much fun.

Any tips for hanging wallpaper greatly appreciated.