Make a paper carry bag

Make a newspaper bag

Last week at church a woman was generously giving away kiwi fruit after the service. She had a stack of these nifty newspaper carry bags which she had made to put the fruit into, and I instantly fell in love with them (yes, such is my personality… I’m easily pleased by simple, useful, handmade things!).Make a paper carry bagShe gave me a very quick lesson in the making of the bags, and once home I un-made the bag and put it back together.  Simple, yet perfect for carrying all manner of things… I hope – like me – you too can find a million uses for these bags.

Here’s how you make your own newspaper carry bag:

First up you need a couple of sheets of newspaper – not the small tabloid sized pieces, but the big, old-school, full sized newspaper sheets.

Lay the paper down on a flat surface (kitchen table works well) and fold the top (long) edge down about 3 inches.Make a paper carry bagFlip the sheet over and fold it into thirds – first one side, then the other side.Make a paper carry bagNow ease the top third under the flap (folded over top) immediately below it.output_dQFIk6

Then flip the whole thing over and fold the bag in half (long ways) and tuck the bottom under the flap.Make a paper carry bag And there you have it, one all purpose newspaper carry bag… ready to fill and go! Make a paper carry bagCool huh?


Apron with crochet edge

One thrifted vintage pillowcase, which became a cute apron…Crochet edge apronI’ll tell you how, if you promise you won’t tell anyone I’m wearing a pillowcase?

I simply folded over 20cm (8 inches) and sewed all around the outer edge and then straight up the middle to make a split pocket for the front.  Next measure up another 15cms and cut off the remainder of the case, fold a length of ribbon over the (cut) top edge to enclose it and sew the ribbon in place.

I could have stopped there, but don’t you agree it was really in need of some crochet love?

So using 2 ply crochet cotton I blanket stitched around the edge, then added a row of single crochet. On the next row add a picot edge that goes like this – single crochet in the first stitch, skip 2 sc, 6 double crochet in the next stitch, skip 2.

Viola one ‘uber 60’s housewife’ apron.

Crochet edge apronAdds a little sunshine to my housewifely duties.  Now enough blogging/crafting, it’s time to go and do some work…. but shhh I’ll let you in on another secret… while I’m writing this my husband is clearing up dinner, and getting the kids in the bath 😉

Upcycled yoga skirt

I could really get into upcycling!  My Mum gave me this nightie (?) which she had brought a while ago (read pre-children) for me and never got around giving to me.  She asked if she should throw it out, but I really loved the print and colours so I brought it home and thought for a few days about what I could turn it into….

Ive been making these skirts for Maia recently…so snip snip, and a cotton lycra band later I present to you one gorgeous skirt.  In under 10 minutes!  Love it!

I’m on the hunt to see what else I can hack up for skirts; no seams, no hem… I even used the shirring that made the band in the middle instead of gathering, how much easier can it get?  I might have to make myself one! Because seriously people my daughter has waaaaaaaaaaay to many skirts… Any suggestions about a re-use for the top; Ive kept it of course 😉 xx

A suitcase full of fun

Yesterday a lovely neighbor gave us the most amazing gift…

A suitcase full of fun!

Lovingly collected over years of her own children and grandchildren, who have now outgrown the desire to dress up.

What delight was in store…

…and what adventures this suitcase will inspire.

An amazing collection, not just of clothes fit for a king, or queen, knight or bride;  but hats, belts, hand bags, fans, scarves and gloves!

And a beautiful little case, full of… jewels!

Maia and Carter were nearly beside themselves with excitement! But oh… to admire ourselves in the mirror…

That is, I think you’ll agree, the best part!

I hope your week has some fun filled adventures (or at least a little admiring yourself in the mirror) 😉

Easy Christmas Crafts to do with Preschoolers

Its been a hectic week or so here, there’s been so much on – both silly season and work related.  Doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of crafting going on though (and crochet- more about that soon, promise)… I thought I’d share some of the Christmassy crafts we have been up to (suitable for a two and almost five year old).

Christmas tree cards made by painting a sheet green and then cutting out a triangle (for the tree) and a brown/black rectangle for the trunk then decorating…

Easy Toddler Christmas CardDoesn’t matter that its decorated on the wrong side of the card does it?

Easy Toddler Christmas CardHands and Feet Rudolph Reindeer – trace around and cut out hands (antlers) and feet (head/body) then glue together… add a mouth, big red nose and jiggly eyes. Glue an ice block stick on the back if you want to use it as a puppet!

Hands and Feet ReindeerThe kids had lots of fun with these…

Hands and Feet ReindeerEgg carton bells… cut out individual egg cartons, paint and decorate.  Punch a hole in the top, thread through a piece of ribbon and attach a bell underneath; voila a fabulous Christmas bell decoration!

Egg carton bellsChristmas bauble gift tags… Cut out mini snowflakes and glue onto bauble shapes, add a loop of ribbon and use on your tree or a gift.

Christmas Bauble Gift TagsOf course a bit of glitter will fancy it up a bit…

Christmas Bauble Gift TagsDecorate some easy to make angels;

Cardboard AngelsAdd glitter, feathers, sequins… the options are endless!

Cardboard AngelsIve included a template here if you would like to make an angel or two for your tree. Simply print off the angel onto some card, cut it out and use it as a template draw around. When you have finished decorating it secure the wings together by fitting them together behind through the two half cuts.

Paper chains… I remember making these every Christmas as a child.  So easy and lots of fun! Just cut strips of paper, about 15cm or so long and about 2cm wide.  Staple or glue together to make a chain.

Christmas Paper chainSo does our tree look like it stepped straight out of a show home?  No.  Do we love it anyway?  You betcha!  Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here…

Our Christmas treeNow Ive just got to get some pressies wrapped and under that tree, quick smart. I hope your week has lots of Christmas cheer, and its beginning to feel like Christmas at your place too!! Lots of Love Janette xxxx

Make a snow globe

Christmas is the perfect time for crafting with children. There are so many easy and achievable crafts they can manage and enjoy doing with great results!

Despite it being officially summer here in New Zealand, yesterday we made snow globes and I thought I’d share with you how its done so you can make your own too.

Make a snow globeYou are going to need some small plastic or ceramic figurines (something that’s not going to dissolve or rust under water).  I spotted a nice selection at a cake decorating store a while back which were perfect (and cheap!), I imagine most craft stores would have something suitable.  I didn’ t get a shot of the little trees as they wouldn’t stand up! You could also re-purpose small Christmas tree decorations for a snow globe too.

Make a snow globeAssorted glass jars…

Make a snow globeSome glitter for snow.  Silver is the obvious choice, we did make a couple of multi coloured snow ones too. Other ideas I read about include buying craft snow, or grating up a piece of white plastic…

Make a snow globeGlycerine- this helps make your water thicker so that the snow doesnt fall too quickly…

Make a snow globe

I didn’t take a photo of the glue – use an epoxy resin or a contact adhesive – something that’s going to hold up underwater.  I don’t think a glue gun would work too well here.  I also used small assorted plastic lids from milk bottles and small jars to make a stage for the figures to stand on – this just lifts the scene up a bit so it shows well above the jar thread.

Arrange your scene on top of the upturned jar lid and glue everything to the base and then glue the stage to the inside of the lid you are using for your snow globe.

Make a snow globeMake a snow globe

Pour cooled boiled water into your jar until it is almost full. Add a dash of glycerine (use your discretion here I gave them a good glug) and some glitter.  Too much glitter resulted in a snow storm, so much so a couple had to be emptied out and refilled with water! Sprinkling glitter is a lot of fun! A little sprinkle is fine…

Make a snow globeScrew the lid on very tightly – this is a Mum or Dad kind of job. Repeat as many times as desired!!  Admire you snow globes!

Make a snow globe

Make a snow globe

Make a snow globe