Kids Crafts

DIY Play Tent – Summer Fun!

The latest Staedtler Try-It-Tribe challenge was to build our own tent for some creative camping. As we had a couple of nice days over half term this seemed like a great excuse to get out in the garden for some summer fun!

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

Ours wasn’t a perfect success as it only stayed up for half an hour or so before collapsing, but that was down to poor structure choices. I’ll explain as we go along so that you can make yours much stronger if you have a go. The kids didn’t mind it collapsing as they’d had so much fun building it – they just made me promise we could build another one again in the summer holidays!

We started off with some bits of material (sheets and beach towels would work too, but we did draw on a couple of white bits of material so you’d skip that step if using nice sheets!), some string, lots of sticks both tall and short, a roll of paper, lots of Staedtler pens, and a bunch of pegs (the pegs aren’t in the photo but they were just basic wooden pegs):

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

Next we tied three tall sticks into a tee-pee shape. I say ‘we’ but the kids couldn’t reach that high – they were just helping to hold the sticks and string! After tying the tee-pee shape we used smaller sticks to strengthen the structure, putting them horizontally across 2 sides of the tee-pee and tying them in place:

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

I could tell at this point that our play tent wasn’t going to last too long. See the tall upright stick on the left-hand side of the tee-pee? It’s actually 2 sticks tied together. I tied 2 together because they were not very strong sticks and they kept bending. I hoped that tying 2 together and strengthening the sides would be enough to hold it up, at least for the afternoon. But once we put the material on too, and the wind blew the tent over a couple of times, well them sticks just kept bending! Lesson learnt – I will gather tall strong sticks before attempting this again!

The kids went off to colour in some pegs, decorate the white material, and design a flag, while I worked out how to peg the material onto the stick structure (they especially liked using gold & silver pens on the pegs):

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

Another note – this flag was way too big for our windy day – it kept knocking the tent down too! Next time I’ll use an A4 size piece!

The tent didn’t look very pretty from the back, with pegs all over it and some big stones weighing the sides down to stop them blowing in the wind:

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

But it did look cute from the front, especially when the kids stretched their legs out so I could see their feet poking out:

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

The front of the tent had the most colourful pegs holding the door together when they were inside:

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

They’d even coloured in a couple of leaves which they pegged onto the tent too:

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

They had lots of fun with the tent while it lasted:

DIY Play Tent Summer Fun at Jennifer Grace Creates

Have you ever tried to make your own tent? It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon. But next time I’ll definitely have more strong sticks! I want to try an A-Frame tent next time!

I hope you’ve had some warm weather where you are too, for some outdoor adventures!

Disclosure: Staedtler sent us the pens to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are our own.

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

Kids Crafts

Easter Egg Bunting – Kids Craft

We’ve just had a nice relaxing weekend. On Saturday I went out for lunch with a friend, then me, hubby, and the kids went to Dorchester Library to pick up some books – we’re lucky that we can take books out from there, but still return them to our local library as they are all part of Dorset County Council. It was fun as they had lots of different books to our library. We also went and spent the kid’s World Book Day vouchers at Waterstones.

Here’s my kids dressed up for World Book Day, as Hermione and Harry Potter, and them sharing a book at Dorchester Library (ignore Little Miss’s messy hair!):

World Book Day and Dorchester Library

On Sunday we just chilled out at home all day for Mother’s Day which was lovely. I was served a bagel, strawberries, and a cup of tea in bed for my breakfast and we played some board games (Rummikub and Picture Yahtzee), then in the afternoon we did some homework, and worked on our next Staedtler Try-It-Tribe challenge, which is to design an Easter Egg.

I decided we could make some Easter Egg bunting to hang up, so I cut 6 eggs from white card using my Cricut Explore and put all our Staedtler drawing materials out on the dining table – we have crayons, felt pens, colouring pencils, highlighter pens, fineliner pens, and metallic gold and silver pens:

Easter Egg Bunting at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I just let the kids loose!

Easter Egg Bunting at Jennifer Grace Creates

They used some of each of the drawing materials, but Cheeky Boy’s favourite items were by far the gold and silver pens. He finds them really easy to use, and though he smudged them a bit here and there it didn’t seem to bother him, and I managed to clean it off his hands and the table okay! Little Miss favoured the felt tip pens.

I love how each egg turned out differently. I didn’t give them and guidance except to say they could do patterns or pictures or a bit of each. I just wanted them to have fun and they sure did – so much that I had to go and cut another egg out each as they didn’t want to stop!

I tied the eggs all together with curling ribbon once the kids were finished:

Easter Egg Bunting at Jennifer Grace Creates

On the back of each egg we wrote ideas for what the flavours of the eggs would be. The ones I like the sound of most are the ‘Night Time Egg’ which tastes like the moon, a ‘Robot Zorg Egg’ which tastes fizzy and spiky, a ‘Minty Air’ egg, and an ‘Every Flavour Egg’ – which is the one with the girl’s face on – apparently the ‘every flavour’ only works for that one if a girl eats it, you can also get one with a boy’s face on if you’re a boy.

It was a lovely way to spend an hour or so, just watching their process and seeing their ideas, and they were very proud of the finished item:

Easter Egg Bunting at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m tempted to make some mini Easter Egg bunting to add to a scrapbook page, what do you think?

I hope you’re having a lovely, relaxing day today!

Disclosure: Staedtler sent us the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are our own.

Bye for now, Jennifer x

Kids Crafts

Valentine’s Day Fimo Hearts Teacher Gifts

For the latest Staedtler Try-It-Tribe challenge we were asked to make some Fimo Hearts for Valentine’s Day, using a Fimo mould. The kids were not so keen on making hearts (can’t we make more spaceships?!), until I suggested we make them to give to their teachers for Valentine’s. They LOVED this idea as they are still at the age where they love their teachers and want to give them nice gifts!

Here’s the hearts we made:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

The 6 large ones are teacher gifts, so we added ribbon to those to make them into decorations. The others are spares for the kids to play with (though they gave the tiny yellow one to me).

Want to know how to make your own?

Step 1: Start with some Fimo, a Staedtler Fimo Clay Mould, some talcum powder, and a brush:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Sprinkle your mould with talcum powder:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then use the brush to dust it around and into the creases of the patterns, tapping any excess off:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

You should barely be able to see the talcum powder:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Knead the Fimo a bit to soften it then roll it into a ball:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Press the ball into the mould, making sure you are pushing it down enough to fill the dips of the patterns:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once you’ve pressed all your Fimo in it should look a bit like this:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Turn the mould upside down and use your thumbs to press the Fimo out of the mould, the mould is quite bendy so it’s easy to do:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Ta-da!

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Make sure you re-dust the mould with talcum powder if you are using the same heart again. We had to re-do the rose one almost straight away, as I managed to put my elbow on the one we’d just made. Doh!

Some hearts may need a bit of excess Fimo cut off if there was a bit too much for the mould:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can experiment too. We thought the plain heart shapes looked a bit boring compared to the patterned ones, so we twisted 2 sausages of Fimo colours together, then pressed them into the moulds for a marbled effect:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s the ones we marbled:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Little Miss also got creative with the back of some of them, making a pattern with the point of the plastic knife:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: When you’ve finished making hearts use a wooden kebab stick or similar to make a hole through the hearts which you want to hang up. You will need to wiggle the stick around a bit to stretch the hole so it’s big enough to fit ribbon through. And don’t forget to pick the heart up and make sure the hole is big at the back too, not just at the front:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Arrange on a baking tray covered in tin foil, and bake according to instructions – for the Kids Fimo we were using this was 30 minutes at 110 degrees C:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Once they are baked and cooled you can add a ribbon – you may need to use the kebab stick to help poke the ribbon through – and tie a knot to hang them up:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

The kids can’t wait to give them to their teachers (Cheek Boy has turned into Spiderman!):

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

I especially like the patterned hearts, they’d make nice Christmas decorations too I think:

Valentine's Day Fimo Hearts at Jennifer Grace Creates

They’d look even nicer with a bit of gloss varnish on, as some of them look a bit talcum-powdery! But I didn’t have any gloss varnish, so never mind.

Do you ever use moulds for any of your creations? I want some small ones to make some embellishments for my scrapbook pages!

Have a great day – it’s a rather stormy one here with Storm Imogen rattling the windows. We’re staying snug inside.

Disclosure: Staedtler sent us the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are our own.

Bye for now, Jennifer x