Monthly Archives:

December 2016

Candy Cane Reindeer #24XmasCrafts

Candy Cane Reindeer

Kaycee loved making these sweet candy cane reindeer. They don’t take very long and are another cheap and easy gift idea for school friends 🙂

candy cane reindeer

You will need:

  • A candy cane
  • 2 googly eyes
  • A pipe cleaner
  • A pencil
  • Glue
  • A sparkly pom pom

 

candy cane reindeer

Fold the pipe cleaner in half to find the middle then twist it around the top of the candy cane to secure it.

candy cane reindeer

Wrap each side of the pipe cleaner around the pencil to make the antlers.

candy cane reindeer

This is what you should have.

candy cane reindeer

Glue two googly eyes onto the candy cane.

candy cane reindeer

Glue the sparkly pom-pom onto the end of the candy cane to make the nose and you’re done 🙂

candy cane reindeer

Mix and match different coloured pipe cleaners and pom-poms to make different ones.

candy cane reindeer

Day 22 tomorrow and we’ll be making a paper star chain.

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Cinnamon Dough Tree Ornaments #24XmasCrafts

Cinnamon Dough Tree Ornaments

 

These no-bake cinnamon dough tree ornaments smell lovely and dry a nice light brown colour. You can leave them as they are or paint them.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

You will need:

  • 1 cups of plain flour
  • Half a cup of salt
  • Half a cup (approx 40g) of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • Rolling pin
  • Christmas cookie cutters
  • Ribbon
  • A straw

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

Mix all the ingredients together until a dough forms. Knead the dough for around 5 minutes.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

Roll out the dough to the desired thickness.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

 

 

We rolled it to about a centimetre thick.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

Choose a selection of Christmas cookie cutters.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

Cut out the shapes, re-rolling the dough to get as many decorations from the dough as possible.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

Using the straw, make a hole in each decoration for the ribbon.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

Let them dry for a few days. They’ll go quite light when they’re fully dry.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

Thread ribbon through the holes and hand on the Christmas tree.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

 

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

 

cinnamon dough tree ornaments

We’ll be making candy cane reindeer tomorrow 🙂

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Back Problems and Bathing

Back Problems and Bathing

For the last 20 years, I’ve suffered from back problems. It started when I was working in a factory and got worse after the birth of my son.

When he was 3 months old, I was at the photographers having some baby photos done. I’d taken him in his pushchair and we went on the bus. After having a few photos taken, I went to lay him down for the next one and the top half of my body just seemed to drop down a bit. A pain shot up my back and I wasn’t able to stand upright.

I managed to put Aiden down safely then I held onto my back and hobbled to my chair. Not letting the photographer know I was in agony was very difficult. It was very embarrassing and I didn’t want him fussing when he wasn’t able to do anything. I got through the photo session and carefully put Aiden back in his pushchair.

I don’t know how I managed to get back to my mum’s on the bus but somehow I did. It took me an hour to shuffle slowly from the bus stop to my mum’s house, a distance that usually took 3 minutes.

Slipped disc

It was the worst time it could have happened. Not only was I a new mum, just getting used to having this baby, I was a single mum. My mum had been brilliant, helping out with everything but she’d recently had an operation and I was supposed to be going to her house every day to look after her.

I ended up having to get my sister to help us both. It was a nightmare.

The doctor diagnosed a slipped disc. I spent the next 2 weeks in bed, not being able to move. I dreaded every time I needed the toilet because it meant I’d have to move.

As you can imagine, there was no way I could have a bath because I couldn’t get in or out. I didn’t have a shower so for weeks I had to make do with just having a wash.

I’ve had a slipped disc twice but thankfully it hasn’t happened for many years. I do still suffer from back pain, though. I have to take painkillers every night so I can get some sleep.
We have both a bath and shower here but I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had a bath. It’s too painful getting in out to make it worth the hassle. I do miss my baths, though. I much prefer bathing to having a shower (unless I’m washing hair!).

New Bathroom

We need new bathrooms (you’ve probably seen my many posts about my bathrooms before!) and hope to get them next year if funds allow. I’ve been looking at walk-in baths from Bathing Solutions. It would be wonderful to be able to have a soak in the bath again and not be nervous while I’m there that I’m not going to be able to get out.

bathing solutions walk-in bath back problems

Just looking at the picture makes me want to relax and a nice hot bath! Fingers crossed for new bathrooms next year 🙂

 

Please note: This is a collaborative post.

Salt Dough Photo Frame #24XmasCrafts

Salt Dough Photo Frame

These salt dough photo frames make lovely personalised gifts for grandparents. I’m keeping ours though because I love it too much to give away!

dough frame

 

For the dough, you will need:

  • 1 cup Plain flour
  • Half a cup salt
  • Half a cup water
  • A rolling pin
  • A knife

 

salt dough photo frame

Mix all the ingredients until a dough forms. Knead the dough for around 5 minutes to help with the elasticity.

salt dough photo frame

Roll out the dough then cut to size. It helps to use a photo to see how big your frame needs to be.

salt dough photo frame

Cut out the middle of the photo frame a little bigger than the photo you’re going to be framing.

salt dough photo frame

Squash each side in a bit to make the frame a nicer shape. Make 2 holes for the ribbon to go through when the frame has dried and been decorated. (Remember to put the holes in the right place. Ours are in the wrong place as I forgot I wanted to use a photo that is landscape, not portrait!)

salt dough photo frame

We left our frame to air dry; depending on the size and thickness, this can take 2-7 days. If you want to speed up the drying process, you can dry them in the oven.

For the decorations you will need:

  • Gold spray
  • Gems
  • Glue
  • Glitter glue
  • Ribbon (not pictured)

 

salt dough photo frame

Spray the frame gold and leave to dry.

salt dough photo frame

 

Using the gems, glue and glitter glue, decorate the frame. When the glue has dried, thread the ribbon through the holes and tie at the back.

salt dough photo frame

 

Glue the photo to the back of the frame.

dough frame

 

Day 20 tomorrow and I’m getting almost as excited as the girls! We’ll be making cinnamon dough tree ornaments.

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Christmas Party Dresses from JD Williams

JD Williams Party Dresses

I don’t usually wear party dresses, but I do make an exception for Christmas and weddings, so I was delighted when JD Williams asked if I wanted to choose some dresses. It’s nearly Christmas, obviously, and I have a wedding at the start of January 🙂

I’ve been a customer of JD Williams, in the past, so I knew the dresses would be of excellent quality.

Being a woman who wears plus size clothes, JD Williams is always the first place I go when I need a new outfit. I was able to pick 2 dresses from the long dresses collection. There were so many lovely ones, it took me ages to choose!

For the wedding, I chose this sparkly black one. Ella didn’t like the idea of my wearing a black dress to a wedding, but I told her it was totally fine to do so!

party dresses

I now have to buy new shoes and a clutch bag. Somehow I don’t think my huge handbag will look very good!

For Christmas Day we’ve got my father-in-law and 2 of my 6 step-children coming for dinner. I picked a lovely jade green lace dress and I can’t wait to wear it 🙂

Christmas party dresses

 

Now, I’m all set for Christmas day and the wedding. It’ll make a change being organised for the wedding so far in advance. I’m usually panicking, the day before, trying to find something to wear!

Christmas Pyjamas

Whilst looking for the dresses, I noticed the Christmas option on the menu and had to have a look!
I always buy the kids new Christmas PJs to open on Christmas Eve. I’ve needed new PJs for ages now. The ones I have were from JD Williams nine a few years ago and, after losing 7 stone, they keep falling down. I have to put a few stitches in the pyjama bottoms to make the waist a bit smaller. I don’t often buy clothes for myself (as you can see with the PJ situation!) so I thought it was about time I finally got new pyjamas, especially as they’re Christmas ones and I love Christmas so much. Having new Christmas PJs just seemed right! I’ve gone from a size 32 to a size 24 🙂

I decided to treat myself to new Christmas PJs so I’ve ordered these and they should be delivered in the next couple of days. I can’t wait to see them.

Mickey and Minnie Christmas shortie pyjamas JD Williams

 

All I need now is my own Christmas jumper and I’ll be all set! I think I’ll leave that until next year, though. I’m sure the super wonderful husband will agree that I’ve spent far too much on Christmas this year already!

Please note: I received the dresses in return for an honest review.

Candy Cane Christmas Tree #24XmasCrafts

Candy Cane Christmas Tree

These are lovely for the kids to make for friends at school and they don’t cost much.

You will need:

  • Green felt
  • Glitter glue
  • Scissors
  • A candy cane
  • A pen or pencil

 

Candy Cane Christmas Tree

Fold the piece of felt in half and draw half a Christmas tree, making sure to draw it on the folded side.

Candy Cane Christmas Tree

Cut out the tree and open it up. Lay the cane on the tree and mark where the cuts need to be.

Candy Cane Christmas Tree

Fold the tree in half make the small cuts where the cane will go.

Candy Cane Christmas Tree

Put the cane in the holes.

Candy Cane Christmas Tree

Decorate using the glitter glue and let it dry before giving it as a gift 🙂

Candy Cane Christmas Tree

 

Nearly there! Day 19 is a tutorial to make a salt dough photo frame gift.

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Paper Hand Wreath #24XmasCrafts

Paper hand wreath

I love this craft. I’m going to save this hand wreath to use every year because it’s lovely to see how small your child’s hands were.

Christmas paper hand wreath

You will need:

  • Christmas themed backing papers
  • 2 pieces of stiff card
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • A small plate
  • A pencil

Christmas paper hand wreath

Place the plate on a piece of stiff card and draw around it. Cut out the circle.

Christmas paper hand wreath

Draw a smaller circle in the middle of the large one and cut it out.

Christmas paper hand wreath

On the other piece of stiff card, draw around your child’s hand. Cut it out and use this as a template. Now draw lots more hands on the printed backing papers. The number needed will depend on how big you’re making your wreath.

Christmas paper hand wreath

Cut out all the hands. This can take a while!

Christmas paper hand wreath

Glue the hands onto the card circle you make earlier, overlapping the hands to cover the card.

Christmas paper hand wreath

Tie some ribbon onto your wreath and hang it up 🙂

Christmas paper hand wreath

 

On day 18 we’ll be making a candy cane Christmas tree using felt.

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Fairy Tree Ornament #24XmasCrafts

Fairy Tree Ornament

Kaycee’s using our fairy tree ornament as the tree topper on her mini Christmas tree. Ella wanted one for hers so her daddy made her one. He used pom-poms for the face instead of card. Ella LOVEs it! 🙂

fairy tree ornament

You will need:

  • Paper or card
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • String or ribbon
  • A mug
  • Gold or silver pen

fairy tree ornament

Draw around the mug and cut out the circle

fairy tree ornament

Cut the circle in half

fairy tree ornament

Using one-half of the circle, cut out 2 arm shapes

fairy tree ornament

Decorate the sleeves

fairy tree ornament

Cut out 2 hands and glue on to the sleeves

fairy tree ornament

The other half of the circle is for the fairy’s dress. Decorate it to match the sleeves.

fairy tree ornament

Fold the dress semi-circle into a cone shape and stick with glue or tape

fairy tree ornament

Make the head

Cut a small circle for the head then use it to draw hair on one-half of a folded piece of card. Fold the card and cut out the hair. Use this piece to draw around and cut out another shape.

fairy tree ornament

Stick the face on to one of the hair pieces.

fairy tree ornament

Use a folded piece of card to draw the wings on one-half next to the fold. Cut the wings out.
Cut a piece of string or ribbon that’s long enough to thread through the dress, have enough hanging at the bottom to make legs and enough at the top to attach the head too. Make a knot about 2 thirds down which will hold the dress in place and stop it sliding off.

fairy tree ornament

Thread the string through the dress

fairy tree ornament

To attach the head, first stick the piece of hair without the face, on to the string then stick the piece with the face, to the front of the hair, making sure the string is in the middle of the 2 pieces.

fairy tree ornament

Stick the wings and arms to the dress and thread some beads onto the string for the feet

fairy tree ornament

Hang on the tree or use as a tree topper like Kaycee has done on her mini Christmas tree!

fairy tree ornament

On day 17 we’ll be making a hand wreath using Christmas backing papers.

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Toilet Roll Tube Christmas Tree #24XmasCrafts Advent

Toilet Roll Christmas Tree

This toilet roll tube Christmas tree is a nice and easy craft for little hands to make.

You will need:

  • 4 toilet roll tubes
  • Green paint
  • Sticky tape
  • Stickers/Gems/Sequins to decorate

 

toilet roll Christmas trees

Use the first tube for the bottom of the tree then cut each tube a bit smaller. The top tube can be cut in half. Use one-half for the top of the tree and the other half for the trunk.

toilet roll Christmas trees

Stick the tree tubes together with sticky tape

toilet roll Christmas trees

Paint the tubes green and leave to dry

toilet roll Christmas trees

When the paint is dry, stick the trunk on and decorate

toilet roll Christmas trees

For day 16 we’ll be making fairy tree ornaments 🙂

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

Dried Orange Slices Tree Ornaments #24XmasCrafts Advent

Dried orange ornaments

These are really simple to make and smell delicious when hung on the tree (well, they do if you like the smell of oranges and cloves!)
All you need is an orange, some cloves, and some ribbon to hang them up.

dried orange tree ornaments

Slice the fruit into 1cm thick slices. Place on an old tea towel and fold it over the slices. Press gently, soaking up as much juice as possible.

dried orange tree ornaments

Place the slices on a cooling rack and place into a preheated oven 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Leave in for 2-3 hours then leave in the oven to cool.

dried orange tree ornaments

While they’re still warm, push cloves through and make a hole for the ribbon.

dried orange tree ornaments

 

dried orange tree ornaments

Hang them from your tree or use to decorate gifts 🙂

dried orange tree ornaments

Tomorrow we’ll be making toilet roll Christmas trees 🙂

To see all of the 24 tutorials, check out my Pinterest board

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