Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Bunny and Chick Easter egg holders

These make great table decorations for a Easter day spread. You could even write the children's (and adults..) names on them, before filling with treats like mini eggs.

You will need:
Toilet paper tube (or two)
Glue stick
Black pen (gel or felt-tip)
Green paper (optional)
Coloured tissue paper
Feathers (optional)

1. Flatten the cardboard tube with your hand - press down along the sides, so you can see the creases.

2. Squeeze the tube back into shape, then line up the two creases you've just made, in the middle, and flatten again, pressing down on the sides.

3. While the tube is flat, use a ruler and pencil to draw a line across the tube, about 2cm from the bottom.

4. Use the scissors to cut down the (longer) two side creases to the pencil line.

5. Squeeze the tube back into shape, then line up the cuts you've just made in the middle, and press the tube flat again.

6. With a pencil, draw half an 'n' shape on the fold, so it goes about halfway up the tube. Leave a space between the pencil shape and the side cuts.

7. Cut around the shape to the pencil line (*mini makers might need help cutting through the double card). Snip through the crease at the top, above the shape (see pic below), so you can bend each side piece down, and fold on the line. Now they're easier to snip off.

When you squeeze the tube back into shape you will have the body for your chick or bunny.

8. For the head, draw around something like a coin or a bottle top on spare card and cut out (if there isn't enough card left, cut open another toilet paper tube and use that.)

9. (Bunny only) Fold some spare card and draw a rabbit ear on top. Cut through the double card * to get two identical ears. For an easier option, use paper instead.

10. Now you have all your pieces, it's painting time. Paint behind the body first - use a nice, bright colour. Then paint the body and the other pieces. Paint a small piece of spare card (or paper) orange, for the chick's beak.

You could paint the foreground, below your chick or bunny green, or make paper grass (in step 12) 

We also cut long zig-zags into the back of the tube, to make it look like the rabbit's hiding in some grass.

11. Use a black pen to draw on the faces. For the chick, cut out a small triangle from the piece of painted orange card (or use paper), and use a small amount of glue to stick it under the eyes. Glue the bunny ears behind the head.

12. If you would like to make some grass for the front of your egg holder, cut out a strip of green paper (or colour in some plain paper). It needs to wrap round half your tube and be about a cm or so higher that the pencil line at the front.

14. Cut zig-zags along the strip - keep them short and make them uneven.

15. Glue the grass below your chick or bunny, lining it up with the bottom of the tube - a glue stick is good for this, just rub a layer of glue on the back of the grass.

16. For the flowers, scrunch up small squares of coloured tissue paper, dot some glue on the grass, where you want them to go, and stick in place.

17. Glue the chick's head on and if you have two feathers, glue them either side. If you don't have feathers, you could cut some wings out of paper and colour in.

For the bunny, glue the head onto the body.

You could use a paper clip to keep things in place while the glue dries, or prop them on their sides.

And why not customise your egg holder with some blingy sequins before adding Easter treats.

(They're a perfect size for a creme egg.. )

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Happy St Patrick's Day...

..from Brian the Lion and his blue, beardy friend (visiting from a planet far, far away... )

Brian the Lion

Find out how they met in my new book, 'Brian the Lion goes into Space', which is out next month. More about that soon!

Friday, 9 March 2018

Shoebox kitchen - table and chairs

toilet paper tube table and chairs

Sometimes a craft idea just makes me happy... and this is one of them.

They're often the simplest ideas, and though the chairs mightn't look that simple, honestly, they really are. Each one is made from a single toilet paper tube, and you won't even need any glue.

You will need:
Toilet paper tube (for each chair)
Toilet paper tube (for the table, narrow if possible)
Cereal box card (for table top)
Craft glue

1. Flatten a tube with the palm of your hand and press firmly all the way down the two creases.

2. Squeeze the tube back into shape, carefully line up the two creases you've just made, and flatten again with the palm of your hand, pressing firmly along the new creases. You'll now have four evenly spaced creases.

3. While the tube is still flat, draw a line across the tube, 4cm from one end. (This will be the height of the seat part of your chair. Check this in relation to your kitchen - you may want it to be higher)

4. Cut down all the creases to the line (from the longer end) and bend out THREE of the flaps, pressing firmly along the fold.

5. Shorten the two flaps either side of the one you didn't bend (the back of the chair). The flaps should be about a cm or so.

6. Bend the front flap inwards, creasing it where it meets the back of the chair, and then snip off the extra, leaving a cm or so (to tuck into the back of the chair). Press firmly along this crease.

7. You can stop here for younger makers - just bend the side flaps inwards, and tuck in the front flap (trim the sides of this flap a little if you need to, for a neat fit). Move to step 13.

8. OR, flatten the chair again and use a ruler to draw a line about a cm below the one you drew in step 3.

9. Then, draw chair legs either side of the creases - try to keep them even, and cut up to the line, OR, have a go at cutting up to the line without the pencil guidelines, keeping the cuts as even as you can. It's easier (and quicker) than you think!

10. Bend each flap of card between the legs outwards, fold on the line and cut off.

11. Squeeze the chair back into shape, press along all the creases one more time, and then fold in the flaps. You may need to trim the sides of the seat flap to get it to fit in neatly. You shouldn't need glue, but if the seat part is popping out, put some glue on the flap and use a paper clip to hold it in place while the glue dries.

12. (OPTIONAL) If you would like to add some detail to the back of the chair, you could draw some rectangles (or a different shape) here, and use some small, sharper scissors, like nail scissors to pierce a hole through the card (put a piece of plasticine/modelling clay behind the card, so there's something to push against). Then carefully cut out the shape.

13. For the table, use a narrow tube if you can, place it beside your chair and decide what height you'd like your table to be. Mark this on the tube, but cut the tube about a cm ABOVE the mark.

14. Make lots of small cuts down the tube to the line and firmly bend and fold back all the flaps.

15. Cut the top of your table from a piece of cereal box card. Ours is 10cm long by 7cm wide, and then we made about a cm fold along the length of the table on both sides (to make it look thicker), but leave this part out if you want to.

16. Glue the base to the middle of the table top and leave it upside down with something on top of the tube, to weigh it down while the glue dries. Then, paint your table and chairs any colour you want.

We went for a wood effect..

shoebox kitchen

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Creme egg cockatoo

This is just a bit of fun - creme egg wrapper to cockatoo collage in four snips!

The hardest part is getting the foil off in one piece!