Happy holiday quick craft for kiddies

This year, I’ve made my four-year old daughter an “Activity Advent Calendar.” My dad used to make us incredible treasure-hunt advent calendars: every day’s window contained a clue, which lead to another clue, and so on, until we found the prize. He did this every day! For 24 days! How did he manage to find the time to hide clues and prizes every morning?! I must remember to ask him…

Anyway, my version is the much lazier version, and it starts on day 9 because I was too busy and distracted before then. It contains a mixture of crafting, reading, singing, and giving, and isn’t numbered, which means that I can pick which one is most suitable for the amount of time we have on any given day (she’s only 4, so she doesn’t mind).

One of the craft activities was to make a gingerbread-man ornament to hang on the tree. I had glimpsed a felt gingerbread man on Pinterest and figured that I could work out how to make it, and make it kid-friendly. And this is how:

Step 1: Gather some light brown felt (if you don’t have any lying around, you could use cardboard – then you won’t even have to do any sewing!) and a gingerbread man cookie cutter.
Find some little buttons, two little googly eyes and something to stick them on with (double-sided tape or glue dots; my googly eyes were the sticky kind), a needle and embroidery thread (of wherever colour you like), 13cm of ribbon or string for the loop, and 10cm of ribbon for the scarf.

Step 2: Show your child all the lovely bits you’ve assembled, explain what you’re going to make together, and give them an idea of how to do it. Place the cutter into your felt (this should be folded in half so that you make two men at once) or cardboard and draw around it. Cut it out.
Let them place the googly eyes where they want them to go and stick them on, then they can stick or sew (depending on their age or abilities) the buttons onto the gingerbread man’s body.

Step 3: If you’re making the man with felt, you or your child can sew the two halves together with embroidery thread, leaving a space at the top of the head for the 15cm ribbon or string. Fold the ribbon or string in half to make a loop, and knot the two ends together. Place the knot into the space in the top of the man’s head and continue to sew around him so that the loop stays secure.

Step 4: Tie a scarf (your 10cm ribbon) around his neck, and draw a little smile on his face. Display him proudly.

If you make this gingerbread man, or anything like it, share your comments with me, or your photos on Instagram – remember to use #renewedcrafts and tag me: @renewedcc, so that I can admire them.

Fifteens, Revisited

The traditional recipe calls for 15 of each ingredient (hence the name), plus 160ml of condensed milk. But you can think outside the box and throw whatever goodies you like into these little treats. Get creative!

I posted this recipe over on my old blog back in 2014, and it has been the most popular post, getting views every day. So I thought it was time I updated it, especially the photos!

We had quite a bit of fun with these photos – I’m sure you’ll be able to tell – but some serious self-control had to be exerted. (;

These treats make great gifts – they’re homemade, quick and easy, and you can personalise them with their favourite ingredients. For example, Fifteens personalised for me would be made from oaty biscuits, and contain hazelnuts and dark chocolate. Not that I’m hinting or anything.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means RENEWED may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended here. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help the 7th Heaven Children’s Haven – every penny adds to the total we pass on to them, our charity of the year. (Not every link is an affiliate link, but every link goes to something I’ve tried and I approve of!)
To buy the Colourful Crockery seen in these photos, go to the RENEWED: happy homeware online shop.

Fifteens recipe with maltesers mini marshmallows

The traditional recipe calls for 15 of each ingredient (hence the name), plus 160ml of condensed milk. Also, one of those ingredients is glacé cherries, but I’ve never been a fan so you’ll see that I’ve replaced them with Maltesers. And why not? You can throw whatever goodies you like into these little treats – get creative! I like to mix textures, so I’ve gone for crunchy Maltesers to go with the velvety marshmallows.
Here are just a few alternative ideas:

Orange & Ginger: replace half the digestive biscuits with ginger snaps, add candied orange peel, candied ginger pieces, and segments of Terry’s dark chocolate orange

Fruit & Nut: replace the digestives with oat biscuits (like Hobnobs) and add whole hazelnuts, raisins, coconut pieces, and sultanas.

Nutella Fifteens: replace a bit of the condensed milk with Nutella, add whole hazelnuts and chocolate-covered wafers. Or just throw in some whole Ferrero Rocher

Movie Night: fill with sweet pretzels, popcorn, Jelly Babies and Minstrels. Serve with a glass of that diluted Coke you get at movie theatres.

If you make Fifteens, and I recommend you do, please comment and let us know how you liked them. And we would love to know if you got creative with the recipe! Share a photo on Instagram: tag @renewedcc and use the hashtag #renewedrecipe.

Right! Enough rambling! Here’s the recipe:

fifteens recipe title chocolate spiral mini marshmallows pinterest maltesers

Sweet and Easy Fifteens

  • Difficulty: EASY!
  • Print

These incredibly tasty Northern Irish treats are the best and easiest gift idea.



  1. Crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor or with a rolling pin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the crushed biscuits with the condensed milk and all the other ingredients except the coconut.
  3. Once it’s all come together in a sticky ball, shape it into a large sausage shape, about 5cm thick. Sprinkle the coconut onto a piece of tin foil and roll the biscuity sausage thereupon until it’s completely covered in coconut. Wrap it all up in the tinfoil and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  4. Once it has hardened, remove it from the fridge, place on a cutting board and cut into 15 slices.
It will keep in the fridge for a week in an airtight container.

You can get creative with this recipe and throw in all sorts of goodies. We’d love to see what you create, so tag us on Instagram with @renewedcc and use the hashtag #renewedrecipe – we might just regram it!

Fifteens ingredients digestive biscuits condensed milk

Fifteens recipe biscuits condensed milk mix

Fifteens recipe mix chocolate biscuits marshmallows malteasers

Fifteens recipe chocolate marshmallows malteasers

Make Your Own Chocolates

Ever made your own chocolates? It’s easier than you think! And here’s how you can…

Make your own chocolate easter eggs. Raw, vegan, and gluten-free recipe.

This year, the kids will be able to hunt for healthy chocolate eggs! And I can invite other children to our Good Friday party and not have to try offer them alternatives to chocolate, which usually end up being cheap little plastic toys. Yuck!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means RENEWED may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended here. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help the 7th Heaven Children’s Haven – every penny adds to the total we pass on to them, our charity of the year. (Not every link is an affiliate link, but every link goes to something I’ve used and I approve of!)

To buy the Colourful Crockery seen in these photos, go to the RENEWED: happy homeware online shop.

My sister has been suggesting I make these chocolates for years. I finally got around to buying some cacao butter and was able to make some in time to present them to my husband as a Valentine’s Day gift. Well done, me.
(Cacao butter is also great for making homemade lip-balm and other goodies, by the way.)


You can be creative with these chocolates: add things like nuts, dried berries, mint essence, and anything else you like. These Easter-egg-shaped chocolates I made contained whole hazelnuts and crushed almonds. With the left-over chocolate that couldn’t fit into the moulds, I made truffles: I just left the chocolate to harden in the bowl, then scooped spoonfuls out, shaped them into balls, and rolled them in various things. I tried coconut sugar, baobab powder, and milled seeds. The baobab-covered ones were the best – it added a lovely fruity flavour.

raw chocolate truffles homemade recipe

The recipe is very easy. I managed to make these chocolates while my 5-month-old had one of her 30 minute naps. My 3-year-old helped a bit at first, but once I moved on to the stove, she had to stand by and watch.

All you need is a cup each of cacao butter, cacao powder, and coconut oil, and some maple syrup!
The moulds I used were bought on special at M&S, but these ones from Amazon seem to be very similar.

SpoonRest cactus homemade chocolates recipe
If you like the crockery in these photos, why not comment and let me know? I painted them! You can check out more of them in the RENEWED online shop.

Healthy Homemade Chocolates

  • Difficulty: EASY!
  • Print

Deep, dark, melt-in-the-mouth chocolates that are quick and easy to make, and good for you!


  • 1 cup Cacao Butter
  • 1 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup Cacao Powder
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • nuts, dried berries, dried fruit, mint or orange essence, or anything else you’d like to add (optional)


  1. Prepare your silicone chocolate moulds with nuts, berries, or any other dried things you like, or add them in afterwards (if using essence, add that when you add the maple syrup).
  2. Chop cacao butter into bits and melt in a bowl over some simmering water along with the coconut oil.
  3. Once the oil and butter have melted completely, stir in the cacao powder a little at a time until beautifully smooth.
  4. Take the bowl off the hot water and mix in the maple syrup (and a few drops of essence, if using).
  5. Pour into the moulds and leave in the fridge until set. Once hard, remove from moulds and keep in a suitable container.
NOTE: If you are in a warm country, keep the chocolates in the fridge. If you are in a hot country, my sister in South Africa recommends keeping them in the freezer. We live in England and just kept ours in a cool cupboard. If you’re going to hide these for an Easter Egg Hunt, cover them individually with foil, wax paper, or handmade paper boxes and do not hide them in sunny places!

You can also use this recipe to make chocolate truffles. Allow the chocolate to cool in a bowl, then use a teaspoon to scoop the chocolate into balls. Roll them in a powdered thing of your choice. Things like coconut sugar, milled seeds, and Baobab Superfruit Powder. The baobab powder was the best in my opinion – it gave the chocolates a lovely fruity flavour.
Raw chocolates ingredients
All the ingredients you need.

This recipe was passed on to me by my talented and healthy sister. You can check out some of her talents on her Facebook page: The Social Post.

Raw Chocolate recipe homemade diy quick and easy

Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas and a Clever DIY Card

We all love our mothers, don’t we? Those of us who have had mothers are very grateful. And of course we should use every day to show our mothers how much we love and appreciate them, but Mothers’ Day is an extra-special opportunity.
When is Mothers’ Day this year (2018) you ask?
In the UK it’s the 11th of March. In S.A. and U.S.A. it’s the 13th of May.
You’re welcome.

My mother loves being given things that her kids have made themselves. Is that true of yours too? If so, here is a list of easy makes for Mothers’ Day (and for those who aren’t good with their hands, I’ve included links to where you can buy something similar 😉).

First, the card:

Here in the UK, Mothers’ Day is celebrated in March (that’s soon! Hence this blog post). And in the UK, people love to drink tea (I’m generalising of course, but tea is definitely the most popular drink). Here’s a card that uses a tea bag and a pun to let your mom know how great you think she is:

tea riffic card mothers day teabag craft
Note: I added the pun to the picture, since is wasn’t obvious…


Click this link to see full instructions.

But if you don’t have the time or skills to make the card, you can buy a very cute one at the Sunshine Makes and Bakes shop.

Now, the gifts:

Number 1: Almost everyone loves a succulent, and in the words of Kirsty Alsop, these are “bang on trend.” For a boho- and desert-loving mother, grab a tiny, unloved terracotta pot, paint it – keep in simple, or get creative with colours or patterns – then plant a few succulents in it. You could even macramé a pot-plant holder from string, if you had the inclination (follow this link for instructions).

cactus egg shell mothers day DIY craft
This one uses cacti and eggshells, which is just as lovely.

Number 2: Make a little plushie of her favourite animal out of your old baby clothes. At some point, RENEWED: Happy Homeware plans to release a line of soft toys hand-made from old baby-clothes, which will be fantastic for Mothers’ Days and baby showers, but until then there are instructions for making your own over in Amuru’s Etsy shop (or you can buy one readymade).

mothers day gift soft animal toy
This photo comes from Amuru Toys’ Instagram page. It’s a brilliant page to follow: @amuru_toys

Number 3: Make an easy upcycled teacup bird-feeder. If your mother is a friend of birds and loves to fill the garden with them, this is perfect! I’m almost certain you have a friendless cup and saucer lying around that the birds would appreciate. Follow this link for the very easy instructions.

Talking of tea-sets, upcycling, and gardens…did I mention that RENEWED: Colourful Crockery has a cheerful little milk jug that’s just begging to help someone’s marvelous mother throw an extra-special garden party? If you’d like to make this little jug’s dream come true, order before the 26th of February, because I’m going on holiday to visit my own most marvelous of mothers and I won’t be able to take anything to the post office after that until the 12th of March!
Shop at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RENEWEDhappyhomeware
And have a very happy Mothers’ Day, whether you’re a mother or not.

And when the tea party’s over, wouldn’t this work wonderfully as a vase for some friendly narcissus?