Posted in Crafts, Cricut Projects

How To Cut Felt With Your Cricut Maker

I absolutely love working with felt and have always enjoyed sewing little soft toys for the kids but don’t really enjoy the hours of cutting small pieces that often follows a felt project, so I was elated when I heard that my Cricut maker could in fact cut my felt pieces for me.

About felt

Felt has to be, for me, one of the easiest and most versatile materials to work with. It is a go to for no-sew crafts and whilst most craft stores will sell you felt squares in approximately A4 size, you can also buy it by the meter from a haberdashery.
For most of my projects, I use felt squares which are available from any craft store.

Tools for the job

If you are new to working with felt on your Cricut maker you will want to ensure that you have the following tools for a successful project.
You will need:
Mats – The pink mat has a strong bond and is used for material. You can also use the green mat for felt. The purple mats can be used for heavy-duty materials.
Wavy blade – The wavy blade adds a curved edge to felt and materials. Great to use if you are wanting to make flowers. The wavy blade is only compatible with the Cricut Maker.
Bonded fabric blade – The bonded fabric blade is used for cutting craft felt or thinner materials that are thin and pliable.
Deep cut blade – A deep cut blade is used for cutting thicker felt or material.
Rotary blade – The rotary blade cuts most fabric quickly and accurately
Spatula – I use a spatula to help lift the material from the mat.
Brayer – A brayer is used to help your fabrics lie flat on the mat.
Fusible interfacing – this is used to bond the fabric before cutting.

Getting started

After you have decided on your project and plotted it on the Design Space App you will need to first use fusible interfacing to attach it to the felt before you start cutting.

(Although you can cut felt without bonding it your Cricut maker will default to a deep cut blade. You can change it to a rotary blade by clicking underneath the blade image. )

To get started cutting load your felt onto a pink cutting mat and smooth over with the Breyer. If you are using a bonding paper you could also use a green or blue mat.

I automatically change the cutting pressure to ” more” to ensure a deeper cut, however, for thin felt this is not necessary.
It’s important to remember that felt fibers are not woven tight enough to cut anything too intricate, so choose more simple designs when choosing a project with felt.
Your blade will cut through both the interfacing and the felt.  Once the design has been cut you will want to use your spatula to remove the felt and interfacing from the mat.
Remove the bonding paper or interfacing and you should have a perfectly cut felt project like this Spooktacular T-shirt I made for Hamish 
Posted in Crafts, Cricut Projects, Halloween

Make a spooktacular easy Halloween t-shirt for your child

With Halloween just around the corner, I asked Hamish today what he wanted to go dressed as and he answered that he really wanted a Ghost t-shirt and so with the helping hand of my trusty Cricut maker I whipped him up this cute ghost face shirt in a few minutes.

Doesn’t he look boo- tiful?

How to make your own

You will need: 
  • Plain white t-shirt
  • Black felt
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors or a Cricut machine
( You can see my guide on how to cut felt on a Cricut maker here)
To make
On the Cricut 
Choose a design from the Design Space App. ( I used the premade design Pumpkin Body Suit which uses the image Scared Pumpkin Face.  These images are approximately 8.25cm x 12.7cm so depending on your shirt size, you may want to enlarge your design before cutting.)
Load the pink mat with your felt.  Add more pressure before cutting and follow the prompts on your machine to cut the design.
With scissors 
Trace or draw pattern pieces onto paper, you could draw these free hand. Pin to your felt and cut out 2 eyes, a triangular nose, and a mouth.
Once you have your pattern pieces cut out, use your fabric glue to glue into place.
Leave for an hour before allowing your child to wear.
Hand wash your t-shirt when dirty.
Posted in Crafts

How to make a lion handprint

We made this little lion print painting as part of our #kindnesschallenge with Playsense during the month of August.

it is really sweet and increadibly easy for most preschoolers to make with very little assistance.

lion craft

To make your own you will need:

Paper

Markers

Paint

Paintbrush

 

To make :

Paint your child’s hands yellow.

Print this onto the paper. This will become the body of the lion.

Now paint a yellow circle face and add details with a marker.

Lastly paint some grass and it’s ready to hang on the fridge.

Posted in Crafts, Education, preschool

Activity – Unicorn fine motor game to make

This unicorn fine motor activity is easy to make, great as a quiet time activity and can be brought out on a rainy day to keep the kids entertained.

I’ve also added a few ideas on how to extend the activity for older children.

Make your unicorn

Some of our best moments of play are with ordinary home made games we make.

This morning I drew a unicorn on some old card, Hamish coloured the horn with crayon and then he exercised those fine motor and co-ordination skills as he decorated the unicorns mane with pegs.

Unicorn craft
Let your child use coloured pegs to create a fun unicorn mane

To make your own you will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Black marker
  • Crayons,markers or paint
  • Colourful pegs

How to make your unicorn

To make your unicorn start by drawing a unicorn head shape onto a thick piece of card with the black marker. Add details like eyes, etc.

Cut your shape out.

Let your child colour the eyes, horn and ears with crayon, marker or if you prefer paint.

When the unicorn head has been coloured, give your child a small container with coloured pegs and show them how to peg them onto the unicorn shape to form a mane.

Hamish designing his unicorn mane

Extended activities

Another great way to use this would be to help your child learn to make patterns by pegging the coloured pegs into a colour sequence.

You could also number the pegs, label them with the alphabet or with your child’s name to enhance the activity for older children.

Posted in Crafts

Rainbow salt painting

We spent yesterday doing some salt painting. This is a really easy activity and nice to use for several ages.

It also looks so pretty when the colour runs along the salt.

To make your own you need:

Paper
Glue
Salt
Water colours or food colouring

Method:

  • First draw your image onto the paper.

  • Next trace over the image with glue.
  • Pour salt over the glue.

  • Use the water colours ( be sure to wet them quite a lot) and drip the colour onto the salt. You should notice how the colour spreads making the salt look like coloured crystals.

Have you tried this activity ? Did your children enjoy it?

I would love to share your children’s beautiful artworks so tag me on social media with the hashtag #FMmakeitmonday

Posted in Crafts

5 easy ways to reuse your birthday party balloons

All Hamish wanted for his birthday this year were balloons and a birthday cake.

Naturally I wasn’t about to let him down.

But

We all know how much I hate the effect that balloons have on Nature.

Waste not

Because of how much I hate buying balloons, I decided we would make these balloons last as long as possible.

A week later we still had these 10 metallic balloons floating around the house and so, I decided to craft with them ….

How to craft with old balloons

Here are 5 fun ideas of what to do with your old balloons.

1. Floating Hamish

We chose a photo of Hamish in a tube.

Cut it out and sewed it to the bottom part of a balloon. This now looked like a hot air balloon. Hamish threw it up and watched it float down.

This would be great using helium balloons. As it would look like he was floating in the sky.

2. Happy faces

I have Hamish pompoms and wool and he made some happy faces on the balloons.

A nice emotions game could be to ask your child to create the face of how they feel now and open discussion on the result.

3.Dinosaurs

I cut dino body parts from paper and we glued it on.
Added a flashy eye.

Note ….it’s best to use a thin card and rather tape it on as the paper was way too thin and this brontosaurus looked more like he had broken his neck.

4. Drum

Just stretch a deflated balloon over a coffee can.
Hamish glued beads and used 2 craft sticks as drumsticks.

This was the hit of the day.

We also experimented with sound to see how different things make a different sound. ( so he hit it with sticks, his hand, spoons, ect)

5. Pretty jars

This is actually really cool.

I reuse the glass jars in my pantry so this can add a pop of colour to the jars or you could use it to colour co-ordinate your spices, ect.Just trim the top of a balloon off and pull over a glass jar.

So the next time you have some balloons floating about why not pop out this post and create a fun repurpose idea.

Posted in Crafts, Education, Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers

How to make a set of nature inspired number flash cards and counting poster for your homeschool classroom

Every springtime the Western Cape show cases the most gorgeous blanket of little wild flowers.

Every open field has huge spreads of whites or yellows or orange daisy and we are blessed to live very close to one of these areas.

Nature appreciation

Not only are these flowers beautiful they also hold an abundance of life in their little ecosystems.

Little ants that scurry about, earthworms underground, bees, dragonfly, bumblebee and beetles all gathering nectar….these can often be missed as we focus on the flowers.

But, I’ve always tried to teach my children the importance of nature, show her beauty and have them understand our role to protect and look after the world around us from ant to whale.

And so before we even started our activity, Hamish and I, first admired the flowers and sat along the side of the path watching the insect and bird life that danced amidst them.

Using nature to learn

Knowing how important it is for me that my children appreciate the natural world around them, I incorporate nature studies and the use of natural materials in our home classroom.

We count out sticks, print with leaves, have sensory play with mud and build with stones.

If we learnt flower parts we did so outside with real flowers. Shapes and patterns were identified in the garden and what better way to learn about the ocean than to be there?

A Pinterest idea comes to life

Somewhere along my late night Pinterest scrolling sessions, I saw a number freeze made by forming numbers with stones and leaves.

I knew I wanted to make this.

But, the stones and leaves looked dull against the grass background …what if we used flowers?

And so Hamish and I took a walk down the road and gathered several little white flowers to start our new project.

Counting flowers

As soon as we got home, I let Hamish cut the stems off the flowers and we started arranging flowers on the grass in the shape of numbers to photograph.

These number photographs have become the posters and flashcards we use in our classroom.

How to make a set of nature inspired flash cards and counting poster

To make your own you will need:

  • Wild flowers ( but you could do this with any natural item- shells, stones, sticks, leaves)
  • Scissors to cut the flowers
  • A container to gather the flowers in
  • A camera ( your cell phone camera will work just fine)
  • A grass background ( although you may want to use a wooden background, sandy beach, mud, ect)
  • Printer or printing facility
  • Laminator or laminating facility

To make:

  • First gather all your flowers. We used about 20 flowers and made two numbers at a time. Reusing the flowers for the other numbers so that we didnt have to cut that many flowers.
  • Next arrange the flowers into the number shapes.
  • Photograph each number.
  • Edit your photographs until you are happy.
  • Have each photo printed. I printed A4 to make the number freeze and printed 2 images on an A4 piece of card to cut into A5 sized flash cards.
  • Have your posters laminated and display.
  • Cut your flash cards in half and store neatly.

Posted in Brands we love, Crafts

Kids can paint their own masks with Dishy designs

Last year I found an awesome little company that offer tea towel kits for your children to paint.

This was so much fun.

Making a masterpiece

As I had wanted to create a special memory with Hamish for Mothers day, this was the perfect kit to do that.

We could make something that not only symbolised the strong bond we have but also represented the fun we have throughout our day.

Paint your own tea towel kit

With the PAINT YOUR OWN TEA TOWEL KITS we set to work making my masterpiece.


I especially loved that the dish towel is a blank canvas. For me this means I was able to use my creativity and Hamish could express himself freely without worrying about painting in the lines.

The kit comes with a set of fabric paints, a mixing palette and a thick brush so chubby fingers can easily work with this.

About our design

I chose a design to represent us….

The word love because he fills my heart with pure love.
I used his foot prints ( which because he hates having his feet painted, I had to do while he was asleep) to always remember how small he is was.
On either side of a giant heart I made a print ,first of my hand and then his to show our bond.
Lastly I let him paint the heart so I would have a lasting memory of his first paintings

Paint your own mask kit

This was such a fun project that I was super excited to see Dishy designs have now brought out a PAINT YOUR OWN MASK KIT for kids to paint their own mask.


Just like the paint your own tea towel kit the paint your own kids mask kits includes everything you need to create your masterpiece.

  • 100% cotton, triple layer mask with D15 filter
  • 6 x non-toxic, water based fabric paint
  • Paint brush & palette
  • Usage instructions

A wonderful way to making the wearing of masks less frightening to some children, a fun bonding experience, a great project for toddlers and preschoolers to encourage them to wear their masks and a wonderful back to school activity for children who may be feeling some anxiety about going back to school.

For more information www.dishydesigns.co.za

Posted in Blog posts

How to make your own teranium

Recently Hamish was on Expresso Morning show with Sparkle parties showing some of the sustainable crafts this imaginative party planning company offer as part of their party service.One of those crafts was this beautiful teranium that Hamish got to keep after the show.It holds pride of place in our home on his shelf and is such an easy craft to introduce the water cycle, how plants grow and how to take care of plants to preschoolers.So, inspired by Sparkle Parties I thought I’d show you how to make an easy teranium with your little ones.

Make teranium
Easy teranium to make

Make your own teranium

You will need:

  • Clean wide mouth jar and lid
  • Small pebbles ( relative to the size of your jar)
  • Activated charcoal
  • Soil
  • Colourful fish tank stones ( optional)
  • Small plastic figures – Hamish used a dinosaur but you can use fairies, little houses, any plastic animals or little dolls
  • Cuttings from a succulent plant

Teranium
You can use any plastic figures in your teranium

How to assemble your teranium

  • Scoop the small pebbles into the jar
  • Then add some activated charcoal ( Your jar should be about a quarter full now)
  • Now add the soil to just over the half way mark of your jar
  • Plant your succulent.
  • Add the fish tank stones if you want to add some colour to your jar
  • Add your decorative stones or plastic figures
  • Water your teranium. It is best to water with a spray bottle.
  • Put the lid on

How to care for your teranium

How to care for a teranium
Place your teranium where it gets enough sunlight
A teranium is a self watering little garden. It will need to be placed where it can get enough light energy necessary for photosynthesis.The succulent will produce glucose ( a plant food source), oxygen and water vapour. This water vapour will colect on the lid and trickle down the sides of the jar to self water your plant.Water your teranium at least once a month unless you notice that the soil is dry and needs watering sooner.

Happy gardening

Posted in Crafts

How to make a Valentine’s day inspired wrapping paper

This is the first year that Hamish understands Valentine’s day and he wanted to get his daddy a gift

I wanted to help make the gift completely from him so I grabbed a few items and we got ready to make our own special gift wrap for this special gift.

Wrapping paper
Heart print wrapping paper

To make your own you will need:

  • White paper
  • Red paint
  • Heart cookie cutters

Supplies
Things you need

Directions

Making your own wrapping paper is really eaeasy and a nice activity for younger children.

I would start by lining our work surface if I was at school, but because we were using washable finger paint, I just added an extra sheet of paper underneath.

Print making
Making prints

I placed some paint in a flat plastic plate, so that he could spread the paint enough onto the cookie cutter to be able to stamp.

Prints
Valentine’s prints

And then I let him stamp all the paper with the different sized heart cutters.

When he was done, I set it aside to dry and later today we will wrap his dad’s gift in his very special wrapping paper.

Do you encourage your preschoolers to send valentine’s day gifts?