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.

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?