Heart print wrapping paper, and gift wrap in general, can be expensive to buy, so we do make a LOT of home made paper – this heart print wrapping paper is so easy to do, and great for birthdays as well as Valentine’s Day.
We use the end of a toilet roll tube to do these (squeeze the end of the circular opening flat, and then bend in the top section to create a heart shape). Dipping the tube into the red and pink paint and printing onto the brown parcel paper, which can be bought fairly economically from office supply shops. Alternatively, we have also used metal heart shaped cookie cutters – (see photo, we used the same cookie cutter for our Plum Pie recipe) which works just as well… if a little less organically!
Using butcher’s string is another way to make the parcel look really special, particularly if you attach a home-made gift tag, which we created at the same time, using the off-cuts of the heart print wrapping paper… gently fold the printed hearts down the middle to cut a nice symmetrical heart shape and attach with the butcher’s string – lovely!
We created heart print gift tags, and greetings cards, at the same time as the heart print wrapping paper, to have a full set… and even print some extra to keep in the cupboard for that unexpected party or to use to send a pressie to Granny!
So we have frozen plums and frozen pastry in our freezer = The Perfect Plum Pie recipe for Valentine’s Day!
We’ve been practicing for Valentine’s Day at our house this week… and reminiscing on last year’s Valentine’s Day cake, where we used a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, and some ready-roll-out icing to decorate Daddy’s cake – we came up with the perfect idea, ready-roll-out pastry, and a heart-shaped plum pie of course!
Using the frozen plums from late summer’s picking frenzy, we warmed them from frozen in a saucepan with a tablespoon of sugar, when the plums start to thaw, strain the juice into a cup (to use later as a sauce if you like), and pour the sugary plum mixture into the plum pie dish (we have a heart-shaped cake tin, perfect for many occasions!) Meanwhile lay the pastry over the plums, and crimp the edges, cut off excess with a sharp knife, and use that excess for your little hearts. to:
Brush the pastry with a beaten egg, and add the little hearts in whatever pattern you like, the egg will help them stick to the pie, don’t forget to brush the hearts with the egg glaze too, and for extra sweetness you can sprinkle some course sugar over your plum pie. Bake for about half an hour, or in our case, until the plum pie crust starts burning!
Ah, this one is SO easy to do, once you start, you won’t be able to stop, and you’ll have a whole room full of them stapled together as Valentine’s Day bunting!
Simply fold a sheet of paper in half, and draw around your child’s (or your own) hand positioning the thumb and forefinger slightly over the folded edge of the paper – (see the red paper image here) As you are drawing the area which will become the ‘heart’ slightly curve the tip of the thumb up, so that you can see the shape of half a heart appearing… cut around the fingers, and unfold to create this lovely shape of hands holding a heart, and repeat! If you have access to a sewing machine, you could join them together to create bunting, a stapler would work just as well, or simply write your message on the hands, and pop into an envelope! #SWALK (that’s sealed with a loving kiss if you aren’t familiar with that acronym!)
Granny has had several of these hearts over the years, dated, so we can see their little hands growing in size every year…. so sweet!
The boys wanted to MAKE something for their teachers this Christmas, and LOVED these wallets my sister had made for them for their birthdays earlier in the year, so we’ve been saving our wide 1 Litre Tetra Pak cartons, and got busy!
All you need is a sharp pair of scissors and you’re ready to go… Make sure the carton is totally clean. Fold the carton flat so that it has gussets down both sides (see photo).
Cut the bottom off the carton. And at the top too, and cut the three centimetre deep panels into both the sides, cutting the ‘front’ into a curved flap-shape.
Fold the pack in half again, width-ways, up to the point you have cut down 3cm for the sides, and fold the back and front flap-shape over so that it starts to look like a wallet.
Open again slightly, and the panel (back) that you have not cut into a curve then tucks into the front section.
Add some velcro and your upcycled purse is ready to go. If you’d like to WATCH me make one of these, check out the Netmums Craft video here where I was joined by Maggy, Lizzie, Kelly and Anthea. “Bloggers get Crafty – Teacher gift ideas”
Even at aged 11 and 9 the boys are LOVING this homemade advent calendar – so easy to make, all you need is some clothes pegs, a colour printer, and some colourful paper bags and you’re away! For a FREE printable sheet of the peg numbers, see below….
I’ve simply filled each bag with something different for each day: from chocolate coins, lego characters, gingerbread men, and paper airplane kits (saved the more interesting bits for the weekend dates). And bonus, it works as an incentive too… They can only open the calendar after school, and only if they’ve got to school on time that day too… four days in and all going well! click here to download FREE>
I recently met up with a party of British bloggers at ‘do’ organised by Susanna and Jen from Britmums, and was lucky enough to come away with a few chocolate goodies which found there way into the bags too… they LOVED the chocolate popping candy cracker chocs, such fun!
So we’ve gone all churchy and made these lovely stained glass window style cards…. cutting shapes from the card, and gluing coloured tissue paper behind the apertures. Eek… I let the boys use a scalpel! These look fab with a tea-light popped inside (battery operated for safety) or stuck to a window.
Themed hampers are a great idea for a gift… My lovely Mum has, over the last few years, built me a ‘foodie’ hamper from her trips to the local Hare Hatch garden centre (amusingly she makes us give her back the empty wicker hamper so she can re-use it).
So inspired by this, now that she’s sadly staying in a rest home, the boys and I have put together a themed-hamper for her birthday… a Stationery Hamper.
Stationery Themed Hamper – We used a box-file filled with:
Smart new pens
Diary for next year
Pack of post Christmas cards for her to send out
Pack of home made notelets
Book of stamps
Return self adhesive address labels
Some posh hand cream
The boys decorated the exterior of the box file to make it look like an envelope – very clever!
Not to be out-done… the other Grandma is book-crazy, so we decided to use ANOTHER box file (this time decorated as a book…)
And filled it full of book-themed gifts:
Book Themed Hamper – We used a box-file filled with:
What is it with skulls? There is something so graphically appealing about them… and with several small boys to entertain for yet another birthday party, I decided to involve them in making wrapping paper, and party bags… So we each carved a face into a potato and got printing!
It’s pretty simple stuff, you can see in the photograph of the potato, you slice it lengthwise, and carefully cut the mouth and eyes with a sharp knife. It’s essential that the potato is sliced FLAT otherwise the print won’t be nice and clean.
8yo (as he was at the time) enjoyed mixing the colours to get the murky grey, and we rolled out some brown packing paper on the table to print up the wrapping paper. The party bags are really easy to make too, you need a tissue box for a template and for an easy ‘how to’ vlog – click over to redtedart.com where one of my earliest appearances on video camera will entertain you…
Want to see me talking about this project and skull potato printing? Click the link and photo left, to watch via youtube…. Maggy Woodley from Red Ted Art hosted a fabulous “Halloween crafts’ on Google+.
This week my darling boys got busy with some Andy Goldsworthy style flower arranging! Well, they made some gloopy papier mache glue (recipe here: two parts water, one part flour, nuked in the microwave for 50 seconds…stir stir stir the lumps out as best you can).