Craft tutorial – Egg box Christmas trees

We’ve been doing quite a few Christmas crafts this month – mainly stolen from Pinterest I will admit – but this one I just thought up when I bought some eggs in a green box. Egg box Christmas trees! (Obviously with a plain egg box they would need painting too). It does involve a little adult help for cutting the cones from the egg box and possibly putting the glue on them, but the sticking allows children to be creative with their trees and makes a very simple enjoyable activity. This is suitable for pre-schoolers and toddlers, as even Noah managed to sit through the whole craft and enjoy himself! They are a lovely decoration to put in a keepsake box, use for future Christmases, or give as gifts to family members or visitors.

Materials needed

  • an egg box
  • PVA glue
  • sequins
  • glitter paper
  • pom poms
  • Cut out cones from egg box and paint green if needed.
  • Dot glue about randomly on cones.
  • Stick on decorations.

Our Easter plans – family, chocolate, and crafts!

Before we had children, hubby & I didn’t really celebrate Easter or do anything for it – apart from buy each other lots of chocolate and stuff ourselves silly with it! When J arrived into the world, he was only a few weeks old when his first Easter came around so yet again we didn’t really ‘celebrate’. It was only last year that I decided to make our own celebration of it and I prepared him an Easter basket; N had arrived in the world a few weeks before too so we had to dress him as a bunny, of course…

This year we have more plans – though N is still at that age where he’d much rather just destroy everything but J will be getting a lot more involved. During this week leading up to the Easter weekend I have planned a few crafty activities. When we were shopping recently J picked up an Easter bonnet – I wasn’t planning on making one this year but he has gotten really into his crafts lately so I thought why not? We have already a made a start, though J has a short attention span so I’m not sure how long it will take us! He also loves helping me in the kitchen so we’re going to make some cereal/chocolate/egg Easter nests, which should be good messy fun – and tasty too! I’m also going to prepare an Easter basket like I did last year, but the two of them can share it (in theory anyway…) as I’m sure N won’t take much of an interest anyway.

We have family plans this year too. We will be staying with my mum for one night over the weekend as she had planned to do an Easter hunt for the boys; weather dependent of course though judging by the weather in the last couple of days I’m not sure about that one! I’m certain the boys will still have lots of fun at Nanna’s though, and we always get a yummy meal. On Easter Sunday we will be going to my brother-in-law’s for tea too, which means not a lot of cooking at all for us me over the Easter weekend!

It would be great if my mum-in-law could be here to see the boys having fun over Easter too then it would be a complete family affair – though if you recall my post about an experience J had around the anniversary of her death last year, she just might be here watching them anyway. I’d love to be able to talk to her one last time and may even consider a psychic reading from TheCircle in the future. Grandma would spoil the boys rotten with chocolate over Easter even if we told her not to!

I’ll be back next week with lots of photos of our Easter adventures – I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Have you any plans for Easter? 
Have you ever had a psychic reading?

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Our Easter 2014

Since little man J arrived he has actually seen two Easter holidays. The first year, he was only a few weeks old so he received nothing at all, and last year he had pretty much only just turned one so only received a couple of eggs from family and some clothes from us. 

This year I wanted to make it a bit more fun so I made him a special basket full of goodies (he had no big eggs from us as again he got them from family). (Next year though we will probably have an egg hunt as there will be both the boys to take part in it). I wanted to make an Easter basket rather than just use a standard shop bought one, so I took to Pinterest for some ideas. I pinned a few but in the end I decided on using these ones from Red Ted Art as inspiration. 

I haven’t used papier mache since I was at school so I really didn’t realise how long it took to dry – I did quite a few layers so it took a while, and it was a mad rush on Saturday evening trying to get it dry, decorate it, and fill it! Anyway, eventually it ended up looking like this:

For a rush job in the end I don’t think it looks too bad! Inside the basket I put these goodies for the little man:

  • That’s not my bunny touchy feely book
  • Hop DVD
  • Bunny ears
  • Bunny bubble wand
  • Peppa Pig surprise egg with jelly beans, stickers and a toy
  • Smarties chick
  • Milkybar bunny
  • 4 plastic eggs filled with small chocolate eggs with mini Smarties inside
  • 4 plastic eggs filled with bunny marshmallows
He loved it all, I wouldn’t say he really had a favourite item though he did tuck into the Milkybar bunny straight away!

As little man N was only 7 weeks old we I just had to dress him up, so he got this Easter bunny onesie:

I might be biased but I think he looks looks darn cute!

We had my father and brother in-law around for lunch and we had a lamb roast done in the slow cooker, it was flipping delicious but I never got a photo! For dessert I made this salted caramel mini egg millionaire’s shortbread (also mega yummy but ever so sickly!):

How was your Easter?

Christmas crafts – Salt dough decorations

I decided this year that I wanted my Christmas tree to consist of more handmade/homemade and traditional decorations, rather than my usual modern pink & silver look. I was looking around Pinterest for some decoration ideas and there was a lot of salt dough – I’ve never tackled it before so thought I would give it a go with little man. I especially wanted to make hand print Santa’s – turns out little man didn’t and he just kept trying to eat it! I figured that he wasn’t going to cooperate this year so I did them all myself in the end! I also decided to get him when he was asleep on Daddy and I ended up making a footprint reindeer instead (easier than the hand as he kept curling his fingers up!)

The recipe & method I used was:

  • 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup salt, and 1/2 a cup water 
  • combine together in a bowl, to a pliable dough
  • roll out 
  • use cutters to make Christmas shapes (not forgetting to put holes in them to put ribbon through!)
  • place on a baking tray and bake on the lowest heat for around 3 hours, or until hard.

I didn’t get around to painting them straight away, but obviously you need to let them cool first before you do this – I just used your standard poster paints – and then they need sealing. For this I used PVA glue, but I think next time I will use varnish as the glue kept ‘rolling’ up and it spoiled a couple of them – especially the footprint – which I was disappointed with but I just left it in the end as I was being a pregzilla and getting frustrated. I would also use glitter next time, too. I then threaded different ribbons through them, and this is the finished result!

I’m quite pleased with them for a first attempt. What do you think?

Next on my agenda is paper snowflakes. Have you done any Christmas crafts this year?