Toblerone Shortbread Cookies

toblerone cookies recipe

These cookies can be made at any time of the year, but with the abundance of giant Toblerone bars in the shops for Christmas, they make a quick and tasty festive bake.

To make 16 cookies you will need:

  • 250g softened butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 a large Toblerone bar, roughly chopped

toblerone shortbread cookies recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Begin by creaming together the butter and sugar, then beat in the vanilla.

toblerone shortbread cookies recipe

2. Add the flour and cornflour into the mixture bit by bit, mixing well after each time.

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3. Roughly chop the Toblerone triangles into chunks and stir into the mixture.

toblerone shortbread cookies recipe

4. Roll the dough into balls and place well apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 180 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

toblerone shortbread cookies recipe shortbread    

 5. Once cooled, serve with extra chunks of Toblerone because you can never have enough Toblerone! These cookies turned out thinner than I would have liked but I’m going to blame baby brain for that one!!

~ Laura xx ~

Cinnamon Scented Play Dough

cinnamon play dough recipe

Our tutorial for Brighton Mums this month is this quick and easy Christmas present idea for your little one or their chums. This cinnamon scented play dough is simple to make and can be packaged up with festive cookie cutters.

Basic ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoons cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
  • Food colouring
  • Ground cinnamon

Begin by mixing all the ingredients together in a pan over a low heat, making sure you stir continuously. The dough will start off as a soupy slush  and begin to thicken. Keep cooking until it clumps in the centre then remove from the heat and allow it to cool.

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Add the food colouring, bit by bit, and knead into the dough – older kids might enjoy helping with this bit but bear in mind food colouring stains! We opted for a Christmassy cranberry colour (pink, red and a tiny bit of blue). Then press the dough out flat, sprinkle a layer of cinnamon on top and work in. Repeat this process 3 times for a really cinnamon-y scent!
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We tested out the dough on our little ones and they loved it!

Tia & Laura x

 

 

Applique Skirt and Braces DIY

SKIRT

We are big fans of the clothing range Little Bird here at Little Button Diaries. So much so that we would happily buy the entire range every time a new season comes out. After I spotted this adorable skirt with braces in the latest collection, I decided I wanted to try to make my own variation in blue, to fit with my Little Button’s wardrobe.

For this project you will need:

  • Half a metre of lining fabric
  • Half a metre of cord fabric
  • Matching sewing thread
  • Elastic
  • Two buttons
  • Bondaweb
  • Scraps for fabric for appliqué

skirt with braces diy

  1. Begin by measuring your child’s waist. Next, measure from their waist down to their knees. Make a note of these measurements.

skirt with braces diy

  1. Cut your cord and lining fabric out into two rectangles. For the width of the fabric, use the waist measurement plus half the waist again. For the length of the material use the other measurement and add on three inches.

skirt with braces diy

  1. Next make the waistband. I tried a new type of waistband for me, one which has an elastic back panel and a flat front panel. This is made up of two tubes of fabric, one with elastic in, which are then sewn together. Cut two lengths of fabric that are 3 inches wide. For the length you need to cut it half the waist measurement of your child and add on five inches.

skirt with braces diy

4. Press both tubes wrong sides together and sew one along the long edge with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

skirt with braces diy

5. Next, cut your elastic. The measurement for this is the total length of the front panel plus an inch. Thread your elastic through the tube and gather the tube to fit the elastic. Sew in place at both ends with a zig zag stitch.

skirt with braces diy

6. Turn the raw edges of each of the tubes under and sew the two pieces together at each end by tucking the elastic piece inside the flat piece.

skirt with braces diy

7. To make the skirt, fold your cord material right sides together and sew in place with a half-inch seam allowance. Repeat with the lining fabric and press the seams out. Next, turn your cord material the right way out and tuck your lining fabric inside the cord material, making sure your side seams and the top of the skirt are aligned. Pin in place. Add gathering stitches along the top. Tia explains how to do this in this tutorial.

skirt with braces diy

8. Attach your waistband to the skirt. Pin the waistband onto the top of the skirt, right sides together to hide the raw edges, and sew in place. Use a straight stitch for the front panel and a zig-zag stitch for the elastic back section.

9. Try on and pin the hemline. I wanted my lining to show so I turned the hem up twice (to hide the edges) and sewed. To make the hem less bulky, I cut off the front material then turned the lining fabric over twice to conceal the edges.

skirt and braces diy

10. To make the braces, cut a length of cord material 3 inches wide. I cut one long piece of fabric and then cut that into the two braces. You want them to reach from the back of the skirt, cross over the shoulders and secure at the front.  Sew with a half-inch seam and press the seams out. Turn the braces the right way out and press flat. Using safety pins, pin to the front and back of skirt, crossing the braces over at the back.

11. Now it’s time to try it on your Little Button, and if necessary to adjust the length of the hem and braces.

applique skirt and braces tutorial

12. Once you are happy with the fit of the braces, sew in place using a zig zag stitch at the back and attach two buttons at the front.

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applique skirt tutorial

13. The finishing touch is to applique a design on the front corner of the skirt. For this, draw your design onto paper, pin onto your fabric and cut out. Iron Bondaweb onto the back of your fabric and press it onto your skirt. Finally sew in place using blanket stitch.

applique skirt and braces tutorial

I was really pleased with how the finished skirt came out. My Little Button test-drove it at the park along with a Zara shirt and it remained intact, with the braces on the shoulders. Result!

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applique skirt and braces tutorial

~ Laura xx ~

Christmas Advent Garland

stocking advent little button diaries

Is it okay to be in Christmas mode yet? We couldn’t wait any longer! We decided to make a little Advent Garland for the Hobbycraft Blog – 24 little stockings and mittens that can be filled with goodies in the lead up to Christmas. It’s really easy to make but bear in mind that you do need to make twenty four! So it takes a little time.

Pop over to Hobbycraft now if you want to learn how to make your own!

DIY Christmas Advent garland

 ~ Laura & Tia xx ~

Personalised Wooden Peg Dolls

personalised peg dolls by little button diaries

I’ve wanted to try making my own little peg dolls for ages but couldn’t find the plain dolls. So when I saw them flash up on EBay I was very happy. If you’re in the US these are pretty easy to come by on Etsy – I just can’t face paying more on postage than on the item! So I bought a family set and painted my little family.

You will need:

  • Wooden peg dolls
  • acrylic paint
  • Fine paintbrushes
  • Pencil
  • varnish (I use Triple Thick)

1. First, roughly draw out the main shapes on the dolls. Don’t worry about the faces at this stage… I did, but when I painted it the lines didn’t show through, so don’t waste your time!

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Mix up some skin-tone paint (this takes a bit of practise but should be mainly white with a hint of yellow, brown and red). Paint in the faces and limbs.

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3. Add the bulk colours, painting the hair and clothes in. Use a fine brush for the hair.

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4. Pencil on the face and paint on with a fine brush, along with the other details.  If you aren’t confident with painting these smaller bits, use a sharpie pen. It can be quite fiddly!

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5. Once dry, paint on a couple of layers of varnish – start with the heads so that you can then hold onto these to paint the bodies.

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Kids are big fans of personalised things and Amelie just loves playing with these. In fact she loved them even when the faces were just pencilled on, so they don’t need to be that good!

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Tia x

Our First #Crafttheparcel Applique Quilt Square

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We were recently asked to take part in a craft challenge with new postal service InPost to create a quilt with a group of other bloggers, each crafting a 12″ square and adding it together to create one big quilt that will be sold for Charity at Christmas. The challenge – #CraftTheParcel is like pass the parcel for crafty bloggers. What could be more perfect?

Inpost allows you to send parcels to lockers across the country – so its a good way of sending something without having to leave the house. You can pay online beforehand and InPost collect it straight from your doorstep – handy if you’re not a fan of standing in Post Office queues with two bored-easily babies. The recipient then gets a little text when it arrives as their nearest locker so they can collect it. The service is in it’s infancy so there were a few teething problems but we found the support staff helpful and efficient.

When the quilt arrived it had three squares completed. I decided to do a little starry appliqué scene, with added buttons of course! Here’s how I created my square:

First I attached bondaweb (we LOVE bondaweb) to some scraps of yellow fabric and cut out star shapes in various sizes. These were then arranged onto some backing fabric and pressed to seal.

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I blanket stitched around the edge of each star and popped a button onto the middle. I stitched some straight lines to connect the stars and added a bit of text.

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Finally, I stitched wadding onto the back and attached it to the rest of the quilt, ready to be sent by InPost to Kate at Craft on Sea.

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Have a look at the other #crafttheparcel creations on this Pinterest board.

Rocky Road Cupcakes

rocky road cupcake recipe

Being pregnant I find myself having sweet cravings a lot of the time. I also find I’m pretty indecisive in choosing what I actually want as a treat. When I couldn’t decide between a rocky road or a cupcake the other day, I thought why choose when you can have both! These chocolate chip cupcakes are topped with vanilla buttercream and a deconstructed rocky road on top. They really do satisfy any sweet craving you have, pregnant or not!

To make 12 cupcakes you will need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 175g caster sugar 
  • 175g self-raising flour 
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 150g milk chocolate chips

For the topping:

Vanilla buttercream:

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 8 drops vanilla extract

Rocky road topping:

  • 75g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 50g glace cherries, chopped
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 75g milk chocolate chips
  • 25g marshmallows, chopped
  • 50g melted chocolate to drizzle

rocky road cupcakes recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line your cupcake tray.

rocky road cupcakes recipe

2. Mix the butter, eggs, flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder in a mixer until smooth and fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon into the cupcake cases (3/4s full) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling tray.

rocky road cupcakes recipe

3. To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sifted icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk and mix until completely combined. Spoon the buttercream on top of the cakes and smooth using a knife.

rocky road cupcakes recipe

4. Prepare the rocky road topping by chopping the cherries, marshmallows and nuts. Crush the digestive biscuits in a sandwich bag, using a rolling-pin. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until mixed up. Melt the chocolate.

rocky road cupcakes recipe

5. Add the rocky road topping on top of the buttercream and drizzle melted chocolate on top. Get stuck in!

rocky road cupcakes recipe rocky road cupcakes recipe

rocky road cupcakes recipe

~ Laura xx ~

A Day Trip to Brighton: Our Mini Guide

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Brighton is brilliant in the summer. We know that because there isn’t a spare inch of beach free when the sun has got his hat on. But Brighton is also lovely, magical and beautiful when it’s cold and wintry. So come and visit us! Here is our mini guide for where to go on a day trip to Brighton with children.

THINGS TO DO:

The Brighton Wheel is great for getting a good look out across our city and the little pods are lovely and cosy when it’s cold outside. Oh and Steve Coogan provides commentary, which is strangely comforting…

brighton wheel

If it rains, there’s no better place to hang out with tots than the Sealife Centre. It’s so old – in fact it’s the oldest working aquarium in the world – so it’s worth a trip as much for the architecture as the fish. It’s got a nice little cafe in the middle and plenty of underwater creatures to delight and fascinate the tots.

sealife centre brighton

The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink is also a must-see this winter. Set in the gardens of this Regency landmark, the ice rink offers young kids (under 5’s) ice-skating sessions in the mornings (from 10am) or there are push-along penguin skate aids to help if your child is a little older. If however you have toddlers like we do, the ice rink is still good to visit. You can sample the hot chocolate menu (yes you read that right) in the rink-side cafe whilst the kids are entertained with toys. We find watching the skaters entertainment enough though!

brighton ice rink

EAT & DRINK:

If you’re looking for a nice meal out with the little ones, look no further than Jamie’s Italian on Black Lion Street. This restaurant welcomes children of all ages, and you don’t have to worry about keeping too quiet as the general atmosphere is quite relaxed and inviting. The staff are very friendly and there are high chairs available should you need them. The menu is a collection of delicious classics that will suit even the pickiest of eaters – spaghetti, fish fingers, chicken fillets and sausages.  The last time we went in they gave Amelie a free toy, stickers, colouring books – it really is the most child-friendly restaurant we know.

jamies italian brighton

Brighton is overflowing with a great selection of independent cafes. Knowing which one to pick can be tricky if you’ve got to factor in space for a buggy and highchair facilities. Temptation Cafe on Gardner Street in the North Laine offers a great spot to have a cuppa and a slice of cake. There’s a section of comfy armchairs (and a cuddly kangaroo) at the back, plenty of highchairs and kids books to keep the little ones entertained. If you’re crafty like us, you’ll appreciate the knitted window display too.

For more baby and child friendly cafes have a look at our Top 5 Baby-Friendly Cafes that we compiled in the summer.

temptation cafe brighton

SHOP:

If you’re in Hove, pop on down to The Book Nook. It’s an adorable, friendly, hands-on children’s bookshop with a good little cafe.

If you are crafty mamas like us, then please don’t leave Brighton without popping into the lovely Sewing Centre in the North Laine. It is such a wonderful little shop, with a beautiful range of fabrics and very friendly, knowledgeable staff. We spend much of our free time (and most of our pocket money…) in there.

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If you would like to add any recommendations for cafes, shops or other child-friendly places in Brighton, then please add them in the comments below and share the love.

~ Tia & Laura xx ~

Turn a Photo into an Applique

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Ages ago, before our little buttons were on the planet (and what a different planet it was…), I did a bit of experimenting with turning photographs into appliques. Iwould chop out pictures, often magazine images, place them onto scraps of fabric, and sew to create an applique like this one:

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Flicking through some pictures the other day I came across one of Amelie that I thought would be nice ‘in fabric’. So I made a little applique picture using the photograph as a template.  If you’d like to know how to do something similar, read on. Its really easy (I know, I say that a lot. That’s because I can only do easy things!)

You Will Need:

  • Picture printed on paper
  • fabric scraps
  • plain background fabric
  • lightweight iron on interfacing
  • bondaweb
  • tailors chalk (or other fabric marker)
  • sellotape

1. First, find your picture. I think simple is definitely best, something without faces or complicated shapes. I picked this one of Amelie. Print it out to the size you want your applique to be. Cut it out, then chop it into segments for each different bit, as below. You can see in the picture that the boots are cropped off, so I’ve just added the right one back in as I want this to show in my applique.

camping bruce arms pewsey  5 applique art little button diaries 15

 2. Select scraps of fabric for each piece. Attach iron on interfacing to the background fabric – I went with cream for neautrality. Take the first scraps and cut them down to just a bit bigger (about 5mm all the way round) than the paper pieces. Attach interfacing to your fabric scraps too (to stop it crumpling up), then a small amount of bondaweb onto the centre of each one.

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3. Now work out which piece you will need to attach first. The picture will be built up in layers, so the underneath pieces, i.e. the ones covered by anything else in the picture, need to go on first. In this case, it’s the legs as they are behind the boots and skirt.  Arrange them on the background fabric. and press to seal the bondaweb and secure them whilst you sew. roll up a tiny bit of sellotape and stick it onto the paper, then stick the paper in place on the fabric. Sew round the paper. Mark with chalk where the next pieces go, if you need to.

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4. Now snip away the excess fabric, nice and close to the stitches. Then you can start the next layers, repeating the process above for each layer.

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5. For the coat, I decided to stitch on the seams in a matching thread. I just drew over the lines on the paper with pen and then sewed over the paper, then pulled it away.

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You can then embellish the picture however you like. I added a cloud, some rain and a couple of balloons to the coat to liven up the colour a bit.

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 Tia x

 applique fabric art little button diaries