Scribble Top Table

chalkboard table upcycle

I love any project that involves upcycling furniture. When I was recently given an old table and chair I decided to give them a make-over and turn them into a scribble top table with a chalkboard top for Little Button to get creative on, with a matching chair. She’s now at the age where not everything goes straight into her mouth, so this table is a nice way to introduce drawing.

chalkboard paint table how to  IMG_3026

For this project you will need:

  • A table and chair in need of love
  • A sander or sandpaper
  • Undercoat and primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Bright gloss paint

 chalkboard paint table  chalkboard table diy

Begin by sanding down your chair and table, making sure to wipe away any old paint remnants with a cloth when you’re finished.

Apply the primer and undercoat. I used an all-in-one to save a bit of time.

 IMG_2852  chalkboard table diy

Once the undercoat has dried apply two coats of your bright gloss to the legs and side of the table and the chair. When dry, apply the chalkboard paint to the top of the table. This paint dries quickly, but will need a few layers for a nice even finish.

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Finally, I drilled a hole in a plastic cup and attached that to the table leg, to use as a chalk pot.

Now all I need to do is find a few more chairs to upcycle for Little Button’s chums to use. Let the scribbling commence!

For more furniture upcycling ideas see herehere and here!

~ Laura xx ~

Make your own Fuzzy Felt Activity Board

felt 9

Remember Fuzzy Felt?! Hours of fun (ok, maybe not quite hours) sticking little felt people and shapes onto boards to make pictures. My toddler has reached an age now when all she wants to do is make/paint/build/destroy stuff. That’s where we are at the moment. So I thought I would have a go at making my own fuzzy felt activity board. Amelie loves it, and the best thing is that its mess free!

You will need:
Assorted felt sheets
contrasting fabric
bias binding tape
Thick card
Scissors
PVA glue.

1. Begin by cutting a thick piece of card to the size you want your felt board to be. Glue the card and stick felt in place to create a background scene. The edges do not need to be that neat.

felt 1 felt 2

 2) Glue the reverse of the board, attach some contrasting fabric and smooth down. To cover the edge of the board, glue on bias binding (in the same way you would sew it on).

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3) draw and cut various shapes, figures and objects from scraps of felt. Fun bit! To strengthen the shapes, glue each onto a large piece of felt and, when these are dry, cut out.

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All finished, ready to entertain your toddler for at least 8 minutes. That’s enough time to drink a cup of tea!

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Tia xx

Salted Caramel Millionaire Shortbread

 mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

As it’s nearly Easter I’ve been on the hunt for some recipes to try for next weekend. When I came across this on Good To Know Recipes I knew I had to try it! The recipe was easy to follow and the results were so good (even if I say so myself!). Because this is such a sweet treat you only need a little slice. It was such a hit in our house that I can’t wait to try Good To Know Recipes other mouth-watering delights.

For this recipe you will need:

For the shortbread base:

  • 150g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 200 plain flour

For the salted caramel:

  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 20g salted butter
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the chocolate topping:

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 1 pack Mini Eggs

mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

Begin by preheating the oven 180°C. To make the base, beat the butter and sugar until pale. Add the flour and mix until combined. Tip the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes until golden, leave to cool.

mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

To make the salted caramel, place the cream, sugar and butter in a small pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add the salt. Pour the salted caramel over the cool biscuit base and leave to cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

  mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

Crush the Mini Eggs in a small sandwich bag using a rolling pin.

mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

To make the topping melt the chocolate. Pour over salted caramel and sprinkle with the Mini Eggs. Pop in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

  mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

Happy Easter!

~Laura xx~

Exciting News & Easter Goodies

how to make your own toy bunny tutorial

We’re really happy to announce that, as of today, we are going to be regular bloggers on the Hobbycraft website! This is so exciting for us as Hobbycraft is our absolute favourite place on the planet (we’ve happily whiled away many a Saturday in there with bored husbands sitting outside!)! The craft superstore have an excellent blog full of different craft tutorials. We will be bringing you monthly craft projects and our first one is this cute Easter bunny rattle. For the full tutorial hop over to Hobbycraft’s site.

how to make your own creme eggs

We are also featuring over at Brighton Mums – a site which celebrates parenthood in Brighton and has a variety of interesting lifestyle posts. We will be bringing you baking and craft delights monthly. We started with how to make your own Chocolate Creme Eggs. (warning – these are awesome and addictive).

If you are looking for more Easter treats then there is still time to make our bunny dresses and our mini hot cross bun bites! Click on the photos for the full tutorials.

How to make a children's bunny dress tutorial mini hot cross bun bites recipe

We’re super lucky to have made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards, the parenting blog awards, for Best Craft Blog. If you have time, please could you vote for us here. Thank you!

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

~ Laura & Tia xx ~

Hot Cross Bun Bites

 

mini hot cross bun bites recipe

With Easter fast approaching I wanted to try to make a treat for Little Button and myself. But at one year old, she’s only just getting used to ‘grown-up’ food, and a lot of treats are for big appetites only. So we’ve been doing a lot of – well, what’s the opposite of super-sizing? – shrinking. Hence: Hot Cross Bun Bites – just big enough for little hands.

To make 24 bites you will need:

  • 450g white bread flour
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 7g pack of dried fast-action yeast
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 65g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 75g mixed dried fruit

For the crossing top:

  • Enough flour and water to make a thick paste

 

mini hot cross buns recipe

Measure out the flour, yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl. Gently heat the milk and add it to the flour mixture along with the egg and butter. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and the dough is sticky.

mini hot cross buns recipe

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

   mini hot cross buns recipe mini hot cross buns recipe

Knead the dough until it is elastic and smooth (about 5 minutes). Get some little hands to help you if you have some available!

mini hot cross buns recipe

Put the dough into a bowl with cling film over the top to rise for approximately 2 hours (or until it has doubled in size).

mini hot cross buns recipe

Once the mixture has risen, let some of the air out of it by pushing the heel of your hand into it. Add in the dried fruit and knead until it is combined. Place back in the bowl for another hour with cling film on top again. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

mini hot cross bun bites recipe mini hot cross bun bites

Roll into ping-pong sized balls and lay them spaced out on a baking tray. To make the crosses, mix a thick paste using water and flour. I used a spoon to draw the crosses on but a piping bag would be even neater.

mini hot cross bun bites recipe mini hot cross bun bites recipe

Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Serve warm or toasted with a dab of butter.

~ Laura x ~

A Little Denim Whale Soft Toy

upcycled demin whale soft toy tutorial upcycled demin whale soft toy tutorial

A few weeks ago we were having a bit of a sort out, and both had a pair of jeans that were ready for the charity shop.

After a Pinterest search we came across this gem of a post by www.valaanvillapaita.blogspot.fi for a denim whale soft toy and we fell in love with it. So we gave it a go. He was fun to make and our toddlers love him (although he’s not as professional looking as the original!). We decided to make a mini rattle whale to go along with the daddy for the baby! This cuddly little creature is whaley easy to make (sorry).

To make the mini whale you will need:

  • Fat quarter’s worth of denim (we used the material from a trouser leg)
  • Toy stuffing
  • Black embroidery thread
  • Bells or rattle

soft toy whale toy pattern

1. Begin by cutting out the whale template above to scale. Pin onto your fabric and cut out two whale-shaped pieces. Remember to reverse the template for the back of the whale.

2. Mark the position of the eye on both pieces of fabric and satin stitch the eyes in black thread.

3. Pin the pieces of whale fabric right side together. With a 1cm seam allowance, sew the pieces together leaving a 3cm gap along the bottom to turn out.

4. Turn the whale the right way round and add the toy stuffing to make a plump little whale. Add your bell/rattle to the middle of its tummy. Finally, sew the gap up using a slip stitch.

Hooray! Finished!

Now, speaking of whales and water (umm… tenuous link alert!) we’re excited to be able to offer our readers a chance to WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS  to the Baby and Toddler Show at Bluewater (see, water? Whale? We tried!). The show runs from the 25th to 27th April.

To win these tickets leave a comment below telling us what your favourite soft toy was as a child, or your child’s current favourite. We will select a winner at random. The competition is open until 12pm on Friday 11th April. We will then contact the winner by email so make sure you add your email address to the comments box (it won’t be seen by others).

 

logo-bluewater

 ~Laura & Tia xx~

 We’re so lucky to have made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards for Best Craft Blog. If you have time, please could you vote for us here.

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

If you’re feeling super generous, you could also vote for us in the craft category for the BIB Awards here.

BiB2014craftsNom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nap Time Crafts: A Shrinkie Camera Brooch

shrinkie camera 7

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks back (on making a shrinkie card), I have become a bit obsessed with shrink plastic. Its one of the easiest ways to create unusual jewellery and it takes no time at all. Watching your creation shrink down in the oven is  I decided to make a little holga camera brooch for my Little Button counterpart Laura as she’s a big fan of vintage cameras.

This craft only took me about 15 minutes… and with 2 little ones demanding attention it feels like 15 minutes is all I have right now. All hail the speed crafts.

To make you will need:
Shrink plastic in white
Sharpie pens
ScissorsAn oven
Brooch pin
Superglue
Varnish (I think Triple Thick is the best)

1) Preheat your oven to 160°C (325°F).

2) Draw and colour your image onto the shrink plastic using sharpies. My camera measured about 10cm x 7cm. Cut the image out ensuring there are no sharp edges.

shrinkie camera 1   shrinkie camera 2

3) Place the image on parchment paper on a baking tray and place in the oven. Watch as the plastic curls about – after a couple of minutes it will settle flat. At which point remove from the oven and immediately place underneath a heavy book and press down to ensure the flattest surface.

shrinkie camera 4   shrinkie camera 3

4) Varnish the plastic and glue on the brooch pin.

shrinkie camera 5   shrinkie camera 6

shrinkie camera 7 shrinkie camera 8

Lovely!

shrinkie camera 9

We’re so lucky to have made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards for Best Craft Blog. If you have time, please could you vote for us here.

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

If you’re feeling super generous, you could also vote for us in the craft category for the BIB Awards here.

BiB2014craftsNom

Tia xx

Mr Tumble’s Spotty Cake

mr tumble cake recipe

It was my beautiful god-daughter Poppy’s birthday a few weeks ago, and like many two-year-olds she’s got a bit of a thing for Mr Tumble. And why wouldn’t she? Everything in his world is bright and spotty! So I set about trying to impress her with a homemade Mr Tumble spotty cake.

For this cake you will need:

  • Ingredients for a basic sponge
  • Buttercream
  • Two sandwich tins the same size, plus one smaller one
  • Strawberry jam
  • Ready-to-roll icing in red, blue, green and two packets of yellow
  • Baking paper
  • Circular cutters in a variety of sizes

Begin by making your sponge as per your recipe. Bear in mind you’ll need double the usual quantity, as this is really two cakes, one on top of the other. While the cakes are cooling, make your buttercream.

mr tumble cake recipe

Once your cakes are completely cooled, sandwich the two larger cakes together with a layer of jam and buttercream. Then cut the smaller cake in half with a sharp knife and sandwich together as above.

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Spread the remaining buttercream all the way around the top and sides of both cakes. This will act as a glue to stick the ready-to-roll icing to the cake. I called in baking reinforcement – thanks, Tia! – for the final decoration, after she’d made this beautiful wedding cake last year.

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Roll out both packets of yellow icing between sheets of grease proof paper, which you’ve covered in icing sugar.

mr tumble cake recipe

To transfer the icing to the cake transfer the icing into the palm of your hand and place quickly onto the centre of the cake. Smooth the edges down from the top of the cake to the bottom. Trim any excess icing off the bottom of the cake and smooth out any bumps with your finger.

mr tumble cake recipe

Repeat the process with the blue icing for the smaller cake. I used fish slices to carefully move this cake onto the bigger one.

mr tumble cake recipe

Roll out the remaining icing onto baking paper covered in icing sugar. Using different size circular cutters, cut out enough spots to cover both cakes. To attach the spots to the cake, mix together a small bowl of water and icing sugar to form a paste. Dab a small amount on the back of each spot and place them onto the cake. Hold them in place for a few seconds to ensure they stick.

mr tumble cake recipe mr tumble cake recipe

With the leftover icing, Tia cut out a number ‘2’ for the smaller blue cake and a spotty bag to sit on the larger cake. To keep the bag in place we used half a cocktail stick (just remember to take it out before cutting the cake!).

mr tumble cake recipe

The birthday girl was thrilled with her party and with her cake. Happy birthday, Poppy!

We’re so lucky to have made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards for Best Craft Blog. If you have time, please could you vote for us here.

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

If you’re feeling super generous, you could also vote for us in the craft category for the BIB Awards here.

BiB2014craftsNom

~ Laura xx ~