Category Archives: Crafts

Creative Little Kids : Create a Crayon Shape Painting

Here is a simple activity that will keep young and old kids entertained over the holidays, that is also mess free, and guess what, it’s educational too.


Create a Crayon Shape Painting

Once your young child has figured out how to draw shapes, they’ll want to make them all the time. Get inspired by shapes with this fun art project that introduces geometry to your shape-drawing child. They’ll make a pattern resist painting, as they develop their drawing skills. All it takes are some crayons and watercolor paints for this engaging project that serves to make the next rainy day much more enjoyable!

What You Need:

White drawing paper
Watercolor paints
Paint brushes
Small container for water
What You Do:

Get started by taping a piece of white paper onto a worktable, or the tray of a high chair.
Give your child a selection of crayons to use, and encourage him to fill the paper with shapes of all different sizes and colors. This is a great opportunity to introduce them to some new shapes that he may be unfamiliar with, such as stars, moons, and ovals! Show him some examples on a separate piece of paper.
Once the paper is filled with shapes, remove the crayons and place a small cup of water, a paintbrush, and watercolor paints within reach. Ask the kids to paint over the crayon shapes they have  drawn with watercolor paints, and watch the crayon shapes pop through the paint.

Next, encourage them to continue dipping the paint brush in water and a color of paint. This fine tunes their color recognition and hand-eye coordination!
Urge them to continue painting until the entire paper is covered with paint, without any white paper showing through.
Your child’s finished pattern resist can be proudly displayed in a colorful frame for everyone to see!

You can find activities like this, and more over on the popular site

Noodoll Need Kids aged 5-8 Who Like Goody Bags!

pineapple-coco-bonbonNoodoll are  looking for children aged 5 – 8 to test their new Ricemonster activity book!

Our lovely friends over at Noodoll have been working on a new Ricemonster activity book and now we are looking for some kids to come and test some pages!

On 7 & 8th July 4pm till 5.30pm they’re inviting you to bring your kids to the Noodoll studio to try out some of the activities in their new book. Spend an hour and a half testing out fun activities including drawing, colouring and puzzles! There will be drinks and snacks and each child will get a goody bag to take away!


If you’re interested in coming along get in touch on, please let them know how many children you will be bringing, their ages and which day you would like to come.

It will be held in their studio in Old St – Unit 4, 7 Wenlock Rd, N1 7SL.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email them. They’re excited and looking forward to meeting you!

5 of the Best Bespoke Stationery Shops and Designers



The HoneyTree team are a fully fledged British success story. They have grown their personalised stationery company from their farmhouse kitchen table in Somerset. It is now a thriving small business, where the staff are a major part of the family, and each artist receives a commission when their illustration is chosen.


Run by husband and wife team Lizbeth (Head Artist and Social Media Belle) and Seb Galbraith Helps (the Business Head), the company offer every type of stationery from jam jar labels, save the date cards, hand illustrated prints, (everything is personalised and that’s what makes this company so unique) corporate and wedding stationery, and that’s not half of what’s on the menu.


They also have a fantastic new monthly subscription postal gift service for kids called Young HoneyTree, where each month kids will receive a bundle of beautifully hand picked stationery, to inspire them to put pen to paper… we recently received one and the #busstopkids will be giving their feedback very soon.


Present & Correct

Run by two graphic designers, this store hidden away behind Sadlers Wells, is a showcase for the things we have enjoyed since school. You will find they have a long-term obsession with stationery. Paper and office objects which are inspired by homework, the post office and school.



The store with the best of the rest of the best. Liberty print anything is the stuff that dreams are made of. Here at their online or real life store you will find a selection of goodies from a range of procured designers from across the world. But, it’s the genuine article that makes this stationery stand out from the crowd. The Liberty printed books, pencils, note cards and even the little 10″ ruler for £5.75. It all has a special place in a true stationary lovers heart, especially the tailors and haberdasher’s out there.




Marby & Elm

Marby & Elm Store’s studio space is in Clerkenwell, London. A hit with the cool and stylish kids on the block, Marby & Elm is stocked in Liberty, Melrose & Morgan Deli in Primrose Hill, and all the independent shops in town worth knowing about.

They use traditional printing methods, using an Adana flatbed Q H with metal and wood type ranging from 6 point Gill Sans to 72 point Caslon Old Face type. They also use illustrative blocks made from their own drawings alongside vintage illustrative blocks.

The letterpress printing process is a time consuming but highly rewarding one. It involves setting up movable metal or wood type, inking them and then pressing the letters to force an indentation in the paper.

The result is a de-bossed impression which when you run your fingers along it feels and looks very different to mass- produced digital print. Each piece of card or paper is hand –cut, printed with hand- mixed ink and hand-fed into the letterpress printer to create a uniquely crafted piece of stationery. I bet you know more about printing methods than you did 10mins ago.


Run by Lucy, and her small team, they scour the globe to bring together an eclectic collection. You’ll find desk accessories & stationery from Kate Spade, luxury letterpress cards from Sugar Paper LA, hand-painted illustrations from Rifle Paper Co, ‘objets’ from fashion house Maison Margiela, neon Japanese iPad covers and much more.
Even if it’s just as a sofa surfing moment, checking out what’s happening over at Quill is a mighty fine and feathery experience. Enjoy.

5 Best Kids Bookplates and Bookmarks

We’ve just started a book swap in my little girls Year 2 class at school. It’s super simple to set up. I grabbed a basket from the hardware store, and made a painted sign (home made is always best right?) for it. Then all that happens is we send home a bookplate with each child, and they bring in a book they don’t mind parting with, write on the bookplate and stick it in.


If you think about how excited kids get about wanting to see and play with each others toys, then sharing a book should generate a similar level of excitement I hope! I’ll let you know how we get on, in the meantime here are some beautiful bookplates for you to set you up to start your own book swap. There are lots more over on my Pinterest here.


If you have time read this earlier post I published which has lots of reading advice from the UK’s top literary organisations, and don’t forget one of the best places to generate a love of reading is just taking a trip to your local library. Giving your little one their own card, allowing them to choose whatever they want, and reading to them, all helps them appreciate the joy of hanging out with words and pictures and you!





Credits (all came via Pinterest, and can be found on my board see link above)

Ex Libris, Mollusks, 1902 :

Vintage Clip Art – Children’s Bookplate – Squirrel – Elf

NOTE : These book plates are free to use for non-commercial purposes only.  Copyright for these artworks belongs to the artists.

5 Best DIY Christmas Cards

My criteria for DIY crafts is to make them easy peasy, there’s a lot of satisfaction in the whole family sharing a craft moment together, which is why I often try and throw in ideas that are simple to produce. These fit that criteria, and are a great afternoon activity for any guest that pops round for a cuppa and mince pie over the weekend.


Credit :


Credit : allwomenstalk


Quilled Santa CHRISTMAS card handmade greeting card by szalonaisa on Etsy


Credit :


Credit :

Cover Photo credit : Skinny Mom 

You will find lots more over on my Pinterest Christmas Craft Board here.


Craft Project, Easy Christmas Card

My criteria for DIY crafts is to make them easy peasy, there’s a lot of satisfaction in the whole family sharing a craft moment together, which is why I often try and throw in ideas that are simple to produce. This one fits that criteria, and also would be super cute showing the various finger print sizes of a whole growing family…!

Sourced from Hubpages here.

christmas card

Craft Project, Advent Calendars

I am totally aware that the likelihood of any of us being able to deliver this type of ‘i’m-a-perfect-parent’ advent calendars is similar to the challenge of trying to explain why Father Christmas keeps turning up in the middle of shopping centres smelling of cheap (craft) lager. But being the optimist I am, I hope one day that I will add a note to my diary in March, that I must sit down and produce a few cracking advent calendars, that will be admired, adored and be left in my will to the V&A …

Here are 5 pretty simple ideas, to give you inspiration.

All credits sitting quietly on my Pinterest Christmas Board.





Craft Project, Superhero Photo Booth

superhero card

Anyone who names their website One More Mushroom is a friend of ours. I have a small passion for all superhero related crafts, which if you lot are very sweet I will post more of soon. How krypton-cool is this. I am already imagining a christmas version for the online christmas card this year.

As the One More Mushroom blog explains here …

To make the city scene all you need is an old blue sheet, a ladder, a cloud pillow or two, buildings made out of cereal boxes and duct tape, and of course a willing super hero with a cape and mask. For the buildings I enlisted the help of my good friend Merrilee, who among her many talents is something of a duct tape genius. Aren’t her buildings amazing?!!! They really make the photo booth. Thanks Merrilee.

Craft Project, Little Rocket Man

rocket fancy dress

If you didn’t know it, the Aussies are a mean crafting nation. The Doodlecraft team have a tutorial for a sic-fi fuelled jet pack for us today. Armed with a hot glue gun, 2 large fizzy pop bottles, and some fiery felt and your little person will be flying to the moon just in time for their bed time story.

You just know this outfit will steal the heart of every wannabe space-person out there. Ps. for added atmosphere put on some Elton John whilst gluing.

5 Best Halloween Costumes

This post is more for inspiration, and to give you a warm giggle-glow moment… dressing small kids up into Oompaloompa’s has to be one of my favourite things to see at Halloween.

Check out the links for each photo over on my Pinterest board here.

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Craft Project, Happy Finger Stamping

finger stamps

All together now… Ahhhhhhhh! We are huge fans of the finger stamping art (yes, anything using paint is art apparently) in our house. We often whip out a finger or two, a blank card, a black pen and away we go… we have been known to personalise our finger stamps into, bugs, princesses, dogs, birds, and even a kate moss lookalike (ok maybe not the last one).

Here is some inspiration from Ishta Olivera, and remember to use the stamp pads, not proper paint or there will be tears before bedtime, as you clean finger prints from every surface in your house! xo

Craft Project, Personalised Cushion

cushion craftDon’t tell me you won’t be in the good books for ever, if you whip this present up for your in-laws on Christmas Day.  All instructions found over on the talented Leigh Laurel Studios blog. Although she calls this an embroidery project, let’s use that term loosely on this occasion, as I think even I could get this one off the ground, and I am still having trouble with the knit one purl one technique, so there’s hope for us all. xo

Craft Project, Tea Cup Garden

tea cup garden

Even if you are not a serial craft blog hunter (like my twin sister is), I promise you will find it hard not to love all the cleverness happening over on the Pretty Little Pieces blog.

Also, I don’t think you need my help with how to put this tea cup garden together, as I trust you to find that old bit of dirt (suitable for growing champion plants of course), a cutting, seed or teeny weeny plant and you will be able to pop it into that vintage tea cup that you borrowed from your granny. Go for it green fingers. xo

Craft Project, Mr Leaf Man


Add another member to your family this weekend – Mr Leaf Man (yes he does need a partner).  This is leaf collecting, just as it says on the tin, not for the feint hearted I might add, leaves are very heavy, intellectually challenging, and require adults not to be hungover at all if this activity is to be taken seriously.

If you’re feeling clever, you could pop some googly eyes and stick glue in your pocket, and you can make them en route! PS. Just to help you that little bit more, why not head to Regents Park? It is the largest outdoor sports area in London (footy, rugby and cricket). There is also the Zoo, the theatre, the Garden Cafe for a decent Sunday lunch as well as take away snacks, The new Honest Sausage (that has been turned into a newer sparkly sausage cafe run by Benugo), The Boathouse Cafe and the Tennis Centre Cafe. Pretty impressive, so well done The Royal Parks, I salute you. xo

More fun crafts can be found here or over on my Pinterest here.

Craft Project, Symmetrical Homemade Cards


symmetry cut outs

You gotta love those guys at Krokotak – always a crowd pleaser whatever time of day you visit.

If you didn’t know, I am a fan of 5-minute crafts, that the kids can do themselves, whilst you check the news online which is essential for tea time chat, and then (and only then) Daily Mail side bar of shame.

This is such a simple idea and easy way to make a bespoke card or decoration (with a hole and ribbon added) for any celebration, it will bring smiles all round I am sure. It goes without saying it will improve your fine motor skills, as you know your kids ones are in perfect condition!

symmetry 3symmetry

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49 Things to Do with the Kids this Summer



1. Take a picnic : Explore one of the secret gardens in London, take a sketch book and some pencils, and collect as many different shaped leaves that you can. If you need a ‘warm-up’ exercise take a look at my favourite MrPrintables site for craft inspiration. Oh! and we wouldn’t be without our yumbox on our picnic these days, so let the kids fill their own boxes, and you’ll find they eat everything on the bus before you get there, and they say “what’s for lunch?!”.

2. Geeks are great : Book your kids onto one of the brilliant science camps this summer, let them find out the answers themselves to all those brilliant questions such as Why is the Sky Blue? Where does all the rain go? and why do I have to make my bed (ok, maybe not this one, but at least they might get used to working things out for themselves…!)

3. Nature not nurture : Let your kids get grubby, and find out more about their local eco-system. There is so much going on right outside their window that they might not realise, and now is the best time of the year to find out what. Sign up to a local nature club, the Woodland Trust Nature Detectives club, or go on a woodland walk and breath!

4. Summer of High Streets Fun : London’s high streets will come alive with pop-up cinemas, street markets, fashion shows, dance, music, food festivals and more! Check out what is happening near you here.

5. Cook up a Storm : Give your kids free reign to make all the meals for one day. Let them write out the menu, the shopping list, the recipe cards, the place cards, decorate the table, and make the salads, and homemade pizzas! They will not only learn and appreciate all the work it takes to get dinner on the table every night, but also enjoy the independence, and learn more about their GCSE maths in this one day, than they will all of their Year 3!

5a. If you want the kids to take a taster workshop to get them excited for their stormy cooking day, book in for the Mr Men icing session (£15, 15 July, 2-5pm) at Biscuiteers cafe in Notting Hill. Each child will receive all the decorations and icing to create three Mr Men themed biscuits, as well as Mr Men storytelling and face-painting.

6. Crafty Crufts at The LIttle Angel Theatre will help you make your own pet dog puppet in their summer workshop. For ages 5-11 on Thursday 7 August, or Thursday 28 August.

7. Pop Up and over to the Momma Loves & Carousel Show Un-Birthday Party in Covent Garden on Saturday 19th July  at 17 Floral Street, WC2E 9DH. Rsvp : KIRSTI@MOMMALOVES.NET X

8. Love your local Lido. Grab your swimmers, and join the brave crew that swim daily at 0630 in that fresh fresh water. These buildings are beautiful every day of the year, but when the sun is shining on the victorian tiles, and the water is glistening there is probably no better place to spend a morning during the Summer.

9. Sir John Soane’s museum wants you. Born in 1753, the son of a bricklayer, Soane died in 1837 after a long and distinguished career. He designed 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields as his home and as a setting for his antiquities and works of art. After his wife’s death he lived here alone, constantly adding to and rearranging his collections. He established the house as a museum by Act of Parliament (1833) requiring that his romantic and poetic interiors be kept as they were at the time of his death.

10. Festival of Love, Southbank : Between Saturday 28 June 2014 – Sunday 31 August 2014, The Southbank Centre brings together hundreds of artists, communities and partners to create its Festival of Love. The festival celebrates the Same Sex Couple Act, hosts an exciting programme of free events, differently- themed weekends, performances, poetry, talks and pop-ups. It’s worth just wandering by the Thames-side site which is also being transformed by several large-scale indoor and outdoor installations and artworks

11. West End Theatre : Jazz hands at the ready : Purchase half price and discount London theatre shows at theatre lands famous discount ticket booth in Leicester Square. Originally founded in 1980 as The Half Price Ticket booth, TKTS is located at the centre of Leicester Square in the Clock tower building and provides a one-stop ticket shop for West End Theatre.

12. Cooking Lessons : Cook up a storm, and your tomato sauce and allow your kids to improve their cooking skills at a course in town, there is a fantastic selection read my earlier post on cookery courses here.

13. Cartoon Museum Workshops : Create a Beano Cover, or improve your Manga style at The Cartoon Museum : Summer Workshops for kids : starting 28 July and run throughout August : Ages 8+ : Check times/ prices online above.

14. Exhibition at The Tate, St Ives : When you’re down West in Cornwall, make a visit to the exhibition The Modern Lens : International Photography and the Tate collection : Ends 10 May 2015 : Pioneering artists from across Europe, the Americas and Japan will be shown at Tate St Ives for the first time in The Modern Lens. Tate St Ives : Adult £7.00, Concession £4.50; free to 18s and under and Members Open daily 10.00 – 17.20 : For public information print +44 (0)1736 796226 | | Twitter @tate_stives

15. Open Air Theatre : Learn the words to Summertime, and enjoy the stunning location of one of London’s Royal Parks watching The Gershwins Porgy & Bess : Regents Park Open Air Theatre : Runs 17 July 2014 – 23 August 2014 : Tickets £25 for under 18’s, book online above.

16. Kidsweek Theatre Week, London : These include half price and free tickets for kids’ theatre shows this August (mainly in the West End). One child goes free for every adult ticket bought. There are loads of behind-the-scenes events including workshops with the crew, back stage tours and singing workshops, and all are absolutely free. Booking started on June 17th at 10am.

17. Tate Modern & Tate Britain : From Thursdays through to Sundays throughout the summer holidays experience the Tate through a Sonic Trail created by Sound Artists. Visit the “Families Welcome” spaces to pick up your trail kit. (This recommended for children of age 7 and up). From the 24th of July at Tate Modern, The Family Gallery brings Matisse’s cut-outs to life through specially commissioned sound, animation and sculptural work. You can also talk part in Colour Walk, an activity that explores the tones of colour that Matisse used in his work. If you’re nearer to the Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum then take the “I Spy Challenge” and use picture clues to spy artworks on display. Prizes are available if children complete the challenge.

18. National Trust Days Out : Visit any of the endless National Trust houses, castles or majestic gardens. Make sure you check out their Activity List of 50 Things To Do before you leave home. For 5000 acres of unspoiled Chiltern countryside, try the Ashridge Estate in Berkhamstead, Bucks. There you can choose to explore any number of trails and woodland walks. There are lots of specially organised family events, too. If you feel like a taste of France without the journey, try Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury in Bucks. It is a 19th century chateau built by Baron Rothschild, which houses an impressive personal art collection and has a lovely restaurant, shop and gardens – a little slice of fairytale life for all your Princes and Princesses.

19. Party hard at The Little Angel Theatre Summer Party on Sunday 7 September between 1-5pm.

20. BBC Proms to sing-a-long with CBeebies : Book one of the many BBC Proms family events this summer. The Proms bring together acclaimed artists and great music at London’s Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. There are both ticketed and free events and there is even the dedicated CBeebies Prom on Sunday 27th of July at 11am. (Please see their website for the full schedule and all booking information).

21. Imperial War Museum re-opens : Celebrate the 2014 centenary of World War 1 by paying a visit to the Imperial War Museum, which reopens on the 19th of July after a much-anticipated transformative building project. The museum will now feature a huge new atrium that will house iconic objects from across their collections, and there will also be a moving, brand new First World War Gallery space to view. The First World War Centenary Partnership will last for four years from 2014 – 2018, and this huge project, which is led by the Imperial War Museums will be running a wide range of events across the UK.

22. Family Festivals : Festivalkidz have lots of advice and tips for first timers. They have an A to Z directory of the many festivals on offer, and posts on how to survive at festivals, what to pack for the potential wet weather, the range of food available, baby changing facilities, the size of each festival, and more. I recommend that if your little ones are under 4 years of age that you first try out a day pass and then embark on the full camping experience (complete with noise) when you feel ready.

23. Become an author, and start your own book. Take inspiration from the brilliant Booktrusts website, which offers tips from authors, games, advice and book lists for those that are restocking their library.

24. Go Asian, and eat dim sum in one of London’s many dim sum and chinese restaurants. Small parcels of chicken feet never tasted so good.

25. Rambling is cool : There are endless stunning walks around our beautiful countryside. There is little better medicine than leaving your car behind, turning off the phone, and packing your bag with treats for a glorious walk across the Chilterns, the Lake District, or even Hampstead Heath in North London. The National Trust have a guide to 10 best family walks around the UK or, if you’re ‘with buggy’ you should check out the Walks With Buggies blog, that offers tested walks across the UK. Walking Britain is a fantastic free resource for walkers covering the nation.

26. Watch a Studio Ghibli movie : All kids love these films, and for those that are totally enchanted and drawn into the world of Director Hayao Miyazaki (know to many as Japans’ Walt Disney), take yourself down to Forbidden Planet and buy a plush Totoro keyring.

27. Garden Camping :  A great way to spend a day with the kids is to book in a whole 24 hours when you all live in your tent as a family. Each of you can take one bag full of whatever you need (apart from a picnic basket from the kitchen fairies), and cuddle up together, telling each other stories, drawing pictures (no iPads allowed), and playing cards. If Dad likes to ‘be prepared’ he can have a read of the Camping with Kids “Love the Outdoors” website, which has the best camping checklist and scavenger hunt ideas. For those that get the bug, you could order the Cool Camping Guide book to plan your next trip away (not forgetting your duvet and hand sanitizer, of course).

28. Kids and playgrounds rule. Jump on the bus, and spend the whole day at a playground. Don’t leave until the kids are begging you to, until they have climbed every step, met every child, jumped across every block, just allow them to take control of what time you leave for a change. One night of beans on toast when you get home, and no bath never hurt anyone.

29. Rain Play Time : The team from The Wild Weather Book have lots of ideas on how to keep yourselves entertained during the rain, wind and even snow-filled days. These range from making wind flags and flying creatures, playing stuck in the mud, creating a wormery, making a water run, and catching raindrops. What could be more fun than that?

30. Pick Your Own : One of the best days out that we ever had, which has never been forgotten by my girls, was picking our own fruit at our local farm. Although there weren’t many blackberries or raspberries left, and I was hoodwinked into buying the most expensive local honey ever, my girls and I enjoyed the fresh air, hunting down healthy runner beans, and the excitement of eating the very freshest strawberries. You can find your nearest pick your own farm in the UK on this website.

31.Plan ahead, and book a children’s trip to the theatre for the whole family. We are spoilt for choice with some of the best theatre production teams globally, and if ever there was a reason to support the Arts, then this is one of the best places to start.

32. Get planning a house swap for your next holiday. Save money on rental fees, time on searching out the best properties, and just lock your valuables away, and enjoy a holiday home from home.

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33. Grab your sword, and take a day trip complete with armour, 4 roast chickens, and a flask of mead to your nearest English Heritage palace, castle or park.

34. Playing on the beach, has to be one of everyone’s top 5 ever best things to do ever! Grab your jelly-shoes, sun hat, and get instagramming your kids holding as many weird pieces of seaweed, massive stones and crab legs on one of our well cared for beaches. For ideas click on the link.

35. Free Food, yes really! Treat the kids to some free food (click on the link for the 5 Best Eat free post) and fine dining in London, and buy yourself another drink and celebrate your savings!

36. Take a family trail around The Barbican. You are spoilt for choice here, with the wonderful scooting, playing and spacious surrounds of the Barbican to play in. Then walk over the footway to The Museum of London, grab a Benugo coffee and pick 3 facts about historic London to impress your Grandma with.

37. Spend your pocket money, and support one of the brilliant British kids magazines. If you want to get familiar with the content, take a look at their websites, they have fantastic games, films and also sell great books, and other creative gifts for all ages.

38. Make your own flowers for Auntie Ivy. They will last forever, and you will never want to throw the Sunday papers away again.

39. If you need a craft holiday book for the whole family, how about the brilliant paper-toy book? It is a hit with our Super-hero Dad, and the kids can spend a while (under supervision) crafting families of sweet monsters together.

40. Fish and Chips are nutritious when you eat them on holiday only. Get yourself down to Whitstable on the super fast train out of St Pancras, and wander past the sweet traditional shops on the high street, grab a beer, and catch a crab or two.

41. Take the kids for lunch on a scooter at Camden Market. You name it and you can find it in the world of global cuisine, and crazy take-away food at the Market. Choose from famous residents Honest Burgers and Big Apple Hot Dogs, plus, Global Kitchen favourites Circus Brothers and Fresh Vietnamese. There is also free football and table tennis, and if you stay late enough (ahem bed time please) then the DJ’s get to the decks…

42. Fancy a dig? On 29 July, Enjoy the Family Day: Festival of British Archaeology & Bones in the Basement at the Benjamin Franklin House.
Children will explore the House’s fascinating archaeological history.

43. Watch This Space will you please?  Between 27 June – 31 August 2014 this summer, the Watch This Space Festival packs its bags and heads out on tour, taking some of the best free outdoor entertainment right onto our neighbours’ doorsteps, in and around Lambeth and Southwark. Check the schedules for various wild and wonderful events.

44. Get down to the Horniman Museum in Dulwich, either just for a day out to visit the art, exhibitions and gardens, or if you’re going on a weekend check online as they run food markets, festivals, craft drop ins, dance classes, no wonder they keep winning awards and is known as the best family friendly museum in town.

45. Grab your National Trust hat, and make it your mission to visit 3 of their amazing places of inspiration around London in 2014. Choose from Cliveden for a stunning location on the way out on the M4 (many film’s are shot here), Red House for design lovers, and 2 Willow Road for budding architects in Hampstead.

46. Have tea with the Queen, and if she’s not in, just see if she’s around in her onesie anyway! Royal London is where it’s at. Well that’s what millions of tourists think anyway.

47. For the perfect picnic spot, jump on the super quick train from Kings Cross to Hatfield, for a day out at Hatfield House. It’s up there in our top 5 days out ever list, and that’s not even mentioning the farm, tractor rides, amaze balls play ground, acres of green grass, posh house and rather nice cafe to grab a cuppa.

48. Walk in a straight line (or scoot, if you’re sensible) the 5k (3 miles) through the Royal Parks, and never put step on a London street. You start at St James, through Green Park, Hyde Park and finish up at Kensington Gardens for pirate action and pizza as a reward.

49. Teach the kids to haggle, at one of London’s rocking street markets. Choose from farmers markets, fashion, furniture/flea, and Columbia Road’s popular flower market (Sundays).  I like Chapel Market (Islington) for ease, it’s compact, and stalls sell vintage china, clothes, books and pictures, and Portobello for lunch with the girls, and the kids can grab cupcakes at the Hummingbird Bakery. Time Out London have kindly put together a market calendar for us all, so we can check what happens on what days. Don’t forget to keep your bag zipped up, and put your mobile number on their arm… and make sure you grab a bargain.

Make It : Pretty Headband : Beau London

You always need a hair band don’t you? I can think of at least 19 uses for them, from adding bunny ears, devil horns, and hair extensions too, as well as practical uses, such as whilst painting at school, skateboarding, and the bigger the better for when hosting your sloane-ranger fancy dress party. As you know, we have some lovely friends, one being Susan from ‘Beau London‘ who sweetly said she would share a quick n easy 5 min craft with us that will definitely impress the grandparents. Enjoy xo

Ingredients :

  • 1/4″ metal headband
  • Strong glue, ideally a glue gun
  • 1/4″ double-sided tape
  • 5/8″ double ruffle ribbon

Make it :

1) Peel off one side of the double-sided tape and stick it to the top of the metal headband, covering the entire headband.

2) Peel off the other side of the double-sided tape.  Starting just below the end of the headband, stick the ribbon across the headband.

3) You can line the inside of the headband in the same manner (I recommend Lion incredible yarn as it sticks the best.)

4) For best results, apply a bit of glue in the middle of the headband and at the two ends.  (You can even ask an adult to use hot glue for a long-lasting stick).

Stockists (click on the links below)

Thanks Beau London


For a lovely selection of hairclips, hairbows and headbands, please visit the website   


Q+A with Debbie Daniel from Craft Guerilla

Craft Guerrilla are the original hosts of the ‘DIY Craft Night in London’. Debbie and her team started in a pub back in 2008 bringing their own original “stitched & pissed” events with craft, DJ’s, board games and more! Now their designer maker fairs provide a platform to showcase upcoming London & UK talent. Their aim is to empower and help creatives follow and realise their dreams of creating a thriving and sustainable hand-made business. bannermini You can hire them for one off bespoke work shops, DIY craft events, and private lessons. They love to share, bringing their merry gang of craft experts with them, delivering their very warm, cosy and friendly teaching skills with them.

Debbie, tell us a little about you, where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I’m the founding member and creative director of Craft Guerrilla, I’m a ceramicist by trade but dabble in lots of craft disciplines. My childhood was spent on two continents (Europe and North America) but I grew up in London. I’ve moved over from Portugal when I was 19 so I grew up here and I had to grow up fairly quickly! I’ve lived in London ever since and I currently live in Walthamstow. I do see myself as a Londoner and I’m pretty happy to be part of it all!

What inspired you to choose your career ?  I’ve always made things from a very early age. I’m from a long line of tinkers, artists  and makers. I was pretty much surrounded by crafting as all grannies ( and my mum !) were amazing at it. Plus my maternal granddad was a goldsmith and I loved sitting beside him at his bench watching him work. I guess in a way being around so many creative people it does rub off on you…so there was really only one way I could go!

Do you have a mentor, or role model that you would like to say thanks to today?  That’s an easy one, it has to be my auntie Zé. She was a maverick crafter and entrepreneur. She started a business making macramé curtains which became a huge success in Porto. But she basically made everything from paper maché puppets to hand-made candles then sold them in local markets and shops in the late 1970’s. I thank her for the time she spent with me in her studio showing me how to make things! She was very patient, a great teacher and passionate about crafting! She was an amazing, inspirational woman who unfortunately is no longer here… but she’s left a great legacy. One of the things she did was open a craft centre for children with downs syndrome which still operates today and an animal rescue centre which functions a little bit like the RSPCA and is one of its kind and was the first to operate in Portugal.

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Which are your favourite cultural/ creative places to take visit (and take kids if you are in charge that day)?  I love going to craft fairs and I always drag as many people as I can to come along! The markets on Brick Lane are pretty good too but in general very young kids will lose interest after 30 minutes! There’s just too much to see and take in so it can be overwhelming. An alternative yet great kid friendly space I also love is The British Museum. It’s packed with great artefacts and antiquities plus the covered hall is soothing and calm…the light in there is magnificent and there’s enough space to sit and relax between all the looking and learning.

Which products/ areas of your business are you most excited about at the moment ?  Currently I’m aiming to work more in the therapeutical field so using craft as a therapy. Lots of interesting and positive results have been achieved so it’s something I’m very keen to develop and explore. I worked with The Alzheimer’s Society and it was awesome. I’m hoping to continue doing more as I truly believe crafting is a healthy and beneficial way to bring people together and also to help people into a healthy and positive mood.

Which talented people or companies are you most impressed with at the moment, and why ?  I have a huge soft spot for The Aviary. I love Victoria Foster’s work, her illustrations and products are both beautiful and inspiring. If I could I would literally buy everything she ever produced! Also Boobou Designs, AKA Lindsey O’Harrow. She found a great product and she’s made it a success. I think it’s really amazing to find something which has such a wide appeal and is so commercially successful. I really admire her determination and skills.

You’ve won a (paid) year off from work for being a ‘good citizen’ (& school for the kids) where do you take the family ?!  I’m a traveller by nature so I’d probably go to Lisbon for a few months just to soak up the energy. It’s such a creative, positive city and a very family friendly place. I think I’d also travel to places where I could add to my craft skills by learning ancient methods so I could add to my caché. Somewhere like Japan and the far east, India, Africa etc.. yeah I say I’d take a year off from work but I’m not able to just stand still and not do anything for too long!

The BIll Gates Foundation is giving you the role of ‘COO of changing the world for a day’ what campaigns/charity do you back ?  That’s a hard one, there is so much we can improve on which is pretty sad… but a lot of people are doing positive things so I’d concentrate on something close to my heart. Because I’m very animal friendly I’d have to back any charities which worked for the benefit of animals, nature and ultimately humanity. For example I love what The Brooke Charity do. They work with farmers and people who use work animals in Africa and India to teach them responsible animal husbandry, ownership and care. It’s all about education and not just bettering the animal’s life but also the people’s lives and the community too. If I wasn’t working in craft I’d be working with animal charities or become a vet to work in disadvantaged communities or third world countries. black duke

Blackduke & Cashman : 83 Grove Road : Walthamstow : London : E17 9BU

Which are your favourite shops/ or destinations for birthday treats, and can you tell us your top 3 Arts & Crafts shops, as we are always on the look out for these?  “Cabbages and Kings” in Stoke Newington has an amazing selection of hand-made gifts and art plus they share the space with “Knit with attitude” so lots of gorgeous wool and knitting paraphernalia. Also We Make London have an amazing shop in Camden which also sells designer maker gifts and finally if I can blow my own trumpet… the Craft Guerrilla concession space in Walthamstow Village in the Black Duke & Cashman shop. We sell lots of amazing hand-made items, zines and illustrations by UK based designers and artists and the guys sell mid century furniture which is another favourite!

Where is your favourite spot for a long lunch with family & friends ? Either Primrose Hill for a picnic or The Albion café on Boubdary Street in Shoreditch for a sit down meal which serves amazing food made with fresh, seasonal British ingredients.

Which 3 children’s books are you most fond of ? I grew up on Dr. Seuss so one of them has got to be “Green Eggs and Ham”, “Charlie and the chocolate factory” by Roald Dahl and finally “Little women” by Louisa May Alcott which isn’t really an obvious children’s book but it is a “coming of age” novel.  It was one of the first “serious” books I ever read when I was young as it was a hand me down, an English 1926’s edition, which belonged to my great granny Albertina. I still have it and it’s one of my prized possessions.

What was the first record you bought, and what music did you last listen to ? Blondie’s “Autoamerican”. I still have it of course as I love listening to it. But don’t let that fool you… I love everything from Opera, 1920’s jazz, punk and electronic to Drum and Bass. My current favourite is the new Daft Punk album and especially the Pharrell Williams track “Get lucky”.

Can you recommend any friends, colleagues or other talented people who might be willing to share a secret or two ? I work with lots of creative people and one which never ceases to surprise me is Sanna King of Sannapanda & Friends. She is a massive talent and an amazing designer maker. Also Ellen Mair Jones, a jeweller and crafter who’s been an active craft educator since the 1960’s, a Greenham woman, activist and amazing all round artist!

The Craft Guerrilla On line boutique showcasing the best UK designers and their hand-made products… easy & quick and available at a click! Concession space featuring a selection of hand-made goods, illustrations, zines and more… at Black Duke & Cashman 83 Grove Road E17 9BU London

You can find out more about Craft Guerrilla here, or follow on twitter: @craftguerrilla & be their friend: & &

5 Best Valentines Cards to Make At Home

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1. You’re My Cup of Tea (The Hand Crafted Cottage)

2. Cute feet card (Pinterest)

3. Wax resist valentine card (Happy Hooligans)

4. The Thumbprint Family (

5. Pom Pom print card (

Craft Project, Drawing Penguins

This post is quick, to the point and in homage of one of our favourite sites Krokotak. It’s going to become a post similar to a trusted friend, that will allow you to show off to all sorts of people from your beloved own kids, waiters, colleagues, and even strangers on a train. How ? Well you and your gang will now be able to draw, doodle, graffiti, and produce a treasured hand-crafted Valentine card, and all made in less time than it takes to order your chai latte. Now you have no excuse not to send a piece of your heart to someone you adore.

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5 Best Homemade Festive Biscuits

Some of you might have bake sales to donate your time to, or need ideas for homemade presents, or best of all, just fancy getting flour all over the kitchen to do some baking with some kids you know. I think it’s safe to say, baking at home is one of the ALL time favourite things kids ever do, so if you need to entertain on a grey and windy day. Make the effort, you will all have fun, I promise.

Here are some links to basic recipes that might get you started.

All these and more can be found on the Bus Stop Christmas Food Pinterest Board.

Mama's Secret London

edible xmas trees

A combo of some green icing, sweeties and bootlaces : from babycentre blog

snowflake biscuit

via pinterest

Gingerbread men on a red platter

Ginger girls from

xmas tree biscuits

via pinterest

cookie reindeer


Mouth wateringly pretty from this lovely blog :  buttercreamchantilly

Cute and delicious, happy decorating xo

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5 Best Birthday Cards to Make At Home

I didn’t want you to feel left out, and not remind you how super-easy it is to make your own cards with the kids. These cards, are also certain to get a super smile from any teacher you give them to, and who knows if you give one to the head-teacher, you might even get an invite to their ‘invite-only’ drinks party this year!

1. Santa hand print card found at

2. Tree leaf rubbing from True Aim Education

3. Santa quilled card from Quilled Wonderland at Etsy

4. Bunting celebration cards from Saidos da Concha blog

5. Super simple tree cards from

Don’t forget on the home page there is the Events Diary which is full of family activities across London for everyone looking for a creative day out, it’s there for you, so keep me in your bookmark, when you have finished making your brandy snaps, use it to plan your family weekend.

There is lots more craft inspiration to be had over on my Pinterest Christmas crafts board. So why not forget about the washing up, get the glitter out and make yourself a real designer-maker item that you will be selling on Etsy in no time. xo

5 Best Easy Halloween Face Painting Ideas

1. Scary skull

2. Little Devil

3. Halloween mask

4. Pirate 

5. Witch

Send me over your creations on twitter, or Facebook.

Best Halloween Cakes for Biting The Hell Out Of

Check on the links below for more information; Frankenstein Cake from Bird on A Cake Scary cupcakes in a box via All Things Cupcake Bloody cake from Divine Dinner Party Spider and Friends at Bakerella Halloween & Spider templates for all cakes at Country Living and over on my Pinterest Halloween Board.

Craft Project, Halloween Party Ideas

For those of you who will be throwing a few ideas together 24 hours before the actual event this year, here is a little inspiration to keep you going.

I also have a blood curdling Pinterest board full of horrifying ideas just over there … fingers crossed you sleep well later.

All credits and instructions sourced via Pinterest.

The Amazings : Craft Something You Love : Online Craft Tutorials & More

The Amazings is, well, just a great concept, with a great title, doing great things. Just like Lloyd says, you can start by accident and before you know it you can make a career out of it.

As they say themselves, they take craft and wisdom from elders with amazing life experience. It works like this, you join the website for free, then pay-as-you go for a wide range of online tutorials, real life courses, and workshops from wise people, (who are possibly a little older than you, or even younger!), but the point is they have a skill, and are up for sharing it.

The site is very functional, incredibly easy to navigate, and at a cost of £12-£20 per tutorial, the fun bit is you can then keep that lesson …forever.  Much easier than storing patterns, hunting down self-made tutorials from a housewife in Tallahassee, or enrolling at Art College! Just like us, The Amazings is a for-profit, for-good company.  But better than us, they have set up a business where up to 20% of every enrolment goes to our amazing elders. *Loud cheers, and applause please*.



They offer fun, friendly, informal, classes and courses for you to learn everything from feltmaking to joinery to journalism — directly from people with lifetime knowhow. Classes start from as little as £15 and courses from £120, and take place everywhere from coffee shops, to pub backrooms, to workshops, to cosy living rooms, to online hangouts – anywhere that isn’t a traditional classroom.
Anyone over the age of 50 can become an Amazing. You don’t need to have been a teacher, or have letters after your name. The important thing is to be utterly passionate about your interest, and to want to share your wisdom. It’s free to suggest a class. Become an Amazing teacher
482552_452906838130882_1782798539_nWHO THE CLASSES ARE FORAnyone who wants to learn but hates formality. We want to make learning more fun, more friendly, more social, and more personal. If you want certificates or diplomas, keep on walking. If you’re interested in learning for its own sake, we’ve probably got a class for you.422165_448554818566084_1977898041_nTHE MISSION

We see Amazingness everywhere. It’s the retired postman who can play the ukulele. It’s the grandparent who knows morse code. It;s the neighbour who was an opera singer. Maybe society isn’t as good at passing down these skills through generations as we used to be. Our little company started because we wanted to fix this. 
Our vision is a marketplace and platform for wisdom. We see the potential to change learning; the opportunity to re-think retirement; the possibility of bringing together communities; and the chance to bring back the make-do and mend spirit, so we can at the very least, know how to hem a skirt or fix a bike.It’s works doesn’t it! We will soon be trying out their ‘up cycle a shirt’ tutorial, so will report back after, and let you know what magical creations for the ‘Bus Stop Collection A/W 14’ have got through quality control, and we are sure we will be staying in touch with all The Amazings for a very long time. Now back to making that pot of tea, and the good ole days …

Noodoll : Design A Monster Competition : Drawing printable

The team at Noodoll HQ are running a ‘Design A Monster’ competition. All you need to do is design as many monsters as you want on their Noodoll template, and send them in to the address at the bottom of the drawing (by Aug 2nd, 2013), with a chance to win a monster making kit (…and other prizes). The brilliant bit is even if you don’t win, you get to create your very own Noodoll family at home and, I’m sure Mrs Noodoll wont mind if you keep drawing all Summer long…

Noodoll Monster Making Template


Noodoll is a fun, bold, design-led brand. They design and produce toys, gadget holders, stationery, accessories (and lots more). They’re based in London and we send these goodies, with lots of love, to lucky recipients around the world.

At the heart of Noodoll are a cast of characters, both mischievous and friendly in equal measure. Made out of noodles and rice, these playful partners appeal to children and adults alike.

Their customers often tell them that they’ve fallen in love with the wonderful and unique world of Noodoll. We reckon that the potent combination of cheerful bright design, humour, honest quality, affordability and responsible manufacturing has this effect. What’s not to love?


Noodoll was created by designer and author YiYing Wang (王怡穎) as part of her MA in communication design at the Central Saint Martins, London.

In addition to bringing the wonderful world of Noodoll to life, YiYing has written six successful books, penned articles for a number of publications continues to create ranges of characters for other publishers and brands.

They’ve teamed up talented illustrators and designers to produce the ‘Noodoll’s friends’ range. These products are the resulting visual consequence of Noodoll’s world colliding with the imaginations of others.


Friendships from the world of design, already forged include Donna Wilson, Gemma Correll and Harriet Russell.

Prints & Wallpaper We Love : Jon Burgerman


Take to the walls and become your own artist….well to a degree. 

• Thick, heavy weight wallpaper.
• 1000 x 52cm / 394 x 20.5″ roll with black print.
• The artwork repeats every 52cm / 20.5″
What could you not love about this wallpaper.
It’s Jon Burgerman, you & your little one can colour it in….awesome!
Buy it for £35 + P&P here at Burp Boutique

Bus Stop : Craft Project : Mini Eco Blog : Balloon hovercraft

Quick craft for kids // Balloon hovercraft

This is another brilliant tutorial from the clever Kate over at mini-eco. It reads like this …


We live not too far from a science centre and my boys l-o-v-e going there. Last time we went there was a ‘balloon hovercraft workshop’ which we all loved.

Kids craft: Make a balloon hovercraft!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

+ A smooth floor
+ A balloon
+ Some glue (strong enough to glue plastic. You can use plasticine as an alternative)
+ An old drink bottle lid (with a valve)
+ An old CD

Kids craft: Make a balloon hovercraft!

Kids craft: Make a balloon hovercraft!

– – – – – – – – – –

1. Apply glue to the base of the lid. Use plenty (remember you are trying to create an air tight seal).
2. Press the lid onto the CD. Allow to dry.
3. Blow up your balloon.
4. Make sure the valve on your lid is snapped down, then attach the balloon to the valve.
5. Put your hovercraft on a smooth floor, release the valve and gently push it around.

Kids craft: Make a balloon hovercraft!

By the way the font above is called ‘The Skinny‘ and is available to download for free!

Have a look at the wonderful Mini Eco blog, (you’ll also see her book available to buy), over here, and you can also read the Q+A she did for us a few weeks back here. We just can’t get enough of her world. xo

Bus Stop : Father’s Day : Lazie & Lazy Card : Mr Printable

We think these adorable cards might just hit the spot, for those of you still needing to get one ready for tomorrow morning. All Dad’s are allowed to be lazy on  ‘Dad’s Day” aren’t they ? As long as they put the rubbish out of course! xoprintable-cards

You can find them here to download on the wonderful Mr Printables site.

Please welcome our lazy printable cards – we call them Lazies. They are very lazy. They just sit around, doing nothing but keeping you company.

So when you send one of these to someone, it surely will keep that person company – always, because it doesn’t want to do anything else. Isn’t that sweet?

The Bus Stop : Craft Time : Homemade Baking Presents

Mama's Secret London

gift jar

Gingerbread gift jars found here

  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 50g chopped crystallised ginger
  • 125g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda


Mango & apple chutney found here

  • 3 1⁄4 large ripe mangoes , about 1kg/21⁄4lb
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • onions , halved and thinly sliced
  • thumb-sized piece fresh rootginger , peeled and cut into thin shreds
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds , lightly crushed
  • ¼ tsp black onion seeds (Nigella or Kalonji are good)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Bramley apples , about 500g/1lb 2oz, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large red chilli , deseeded and finely sliced
  • 375ml white wine vinegar
  • 400g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

muffin mix

Muffin mix (with a Christmas twist) found here

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Weekend Craft : Animal Colouring : V&A Museum of Childhood



Thanks to the wonderful V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, here is a printable of three animal-colouring-sheets to play with this weekend. Just colour in the pictures of the animals : giraffe, ostrich or camel!


  • Coloured pencils or felt tips
  • A4 paper
  • Colour or black and white printer

What to do

  • Download and print Animal Colouring Sheets.
  • Colour the sheets in.
  • Draw a picture of your favourite animal and write a poem about it.


Sewing for Teens : Ray-Stitch, Islington : After School Dressmaking

We are big fans of Ray-Stitch in Islington. We like the vibe, the staff, the muffins and coffee, and most of all the well thought out selection of fabrics. Not forgetting the best selection of sewing kit ‘extras’ probably better known as accessories that we have found in North London to date.  Yes, honestly even better than Mr J Lewis too …

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Sadly for the little cherubs in the Islington village, they no longer run their kiddy classes, but they do run a teenager after-school dressmaking club. The course will teach them the basics of dressmaking and encourage them to be resourceful and create their own unique and stylish clothes

It runs over 6 weeks (£90) on Thursdays or Fridays with the first workshop giving them the opportunity to bring in and customise items of their own clothing. They will then be taught how to make a garment from scratch using a commercial sewing pattern. The gang will be required to provide their own fabric for the garment but all other materials are included.

Of course, there is a great range of other classes to chose from, which are split into level appropriate sections : Beginner, Beginner Plus and Intermediate & Children. We like the sound of the roman blind workshop, the pyjama (family) workshop and and the dressmaking : Mathilde Blouse with the newly famous Tilly Walnes from BBC’s new Craft-Off reality show ‘Sewing Bee’. Tilly also has a popular blog which I really like, and recommend for those of you that are thinking about stepping your toe back into sewing after your ‘resting’ period, her blog is a charming and warm world of sewing to peek into.

The info

  • Book classes online or call 020 7704 1060.
  • Booking entitles you to a 10% discount off fabric in the Ray Stitch shop.
  • Complimentary drinks and snacks are provided at all our classes.
  • Machines are provided in all our classes but are available to hire separately for £10 per hour.
  • We can also offer one-to-one tuition with our experienced tutors by arrangement. Call the shop to discuss.
  • Ray Stitch
    99 Essex Road
    N1 2SJ020 7704 1060

The Bus Stop : Weekend Craft : Super Simple Stamp cards


apple cards

With Spring in the air, apples in the shops, and May Day bank holiday around the corner, here is a super simple craft for your pocket.

It was actually based on cards for the Jewish New Year ‘Rosh HaShana’, as apples are one of the traditional symbols for their New Year. So either, get ahead of the game for next year’s Jewish New Year, or adapt the cork-stamps to your own design, and stamp away. Oh, and when has there ever been a better excuse to drink more wine, and save the corks than now ?? xo


a wine cork

a sharp knife

a stamp pad

a black pen

some card

How To: Using a sharp knife or a craft knife, simply remove from the cork two notches, one for the indentation at the top of the apple and one for the indentation for the bottom of the apple. That’s it! Stamp carefully, with a towel under the cardstock to enable a better print, and set aside to dry before adding details.

With thanks to the Creative Jewish Mom blog…of course you can certainly use your little stamp to make gift tags, napkin rings, treat bags, you name it! And if you’d like to explore some other methods of stamping, you can see previous posts on her blog: potato printing, craft foam stamps, styrofoam tray printing.

A Super Easy DIY Craft is the ‘I Really Can’ Book

The ‘I Can Scrapbook’

OK, how about this one … the ingredients today are;

(1) Scrap book

(2) Glue

(3) Clever kids that can do stuff …

N0w all you need to do is watch the babes show off their skills, in any order, and then write the skill at the bottom of the page.

I can cook, I can cut, I can draw, I can eat everything on my plate … who knows, it might inspire all the kiddiwinks in the land to also write I can listen to my Mum & Dad and let them read the newspaper when ever they want. Good luck out there. xo


Thanks go to Pinterest (again)


Bus Stop Weekend Craft : Blown Easter Eggs



We couldn’t resist this traditional craft for those of you that have delicate hands. This is always a crowd pleaser, and they look beautiful attached to small tree branches, in or outside your home. xo



The above eggs are not the ‘blown’ version. As you can see it is the Easter Egg tree from my little pixies’ nursery class. Ahhh. xo


Before you start blowing your egg, it is very important to scold your eggs in boiling water.

Scolding is important because of salmonella bacteria on the outside of the egg. The egg should only just be dipped or boiled water poured over them – if they are left in the hot water for any longer they will start to harden inside and be impossible to blow.

Make a small hole in both end of the egg (a meat pin does a great job).The hole needs to be 2-3 mm. Try to poke the pin into the egg so that you penetrate the membrane and the yolk.

This will make it much easier to blow which is all there is now left to do…easier said than done!

Once empty, give egg a good wash to clean out any egg inside and use a bit of a matchstick or toothpick to secure the string for hanging it up. Alternatively for a natural look, use raffia. Most shop bought eggs use this. You tie the string to the stick, feed the stick through the bigger end of the egg and it will lodge itself sideways inside the egg and the string will be secured.

They can now be decorated with felt tips, glue and sequins, paint, decoupage images, feathers, ribbon, stickers – in fact – almost anything – varnish them when finished and they will look great for years to come.

Some ideas for blown eggs:

Disco egg: Dilute PVA with a little water to make it easier to paint onto egg – then roll egg in glitter!!

Chick egg: If one blown egg breaks (you can just use a big broken shell) and insert one of our fluffy chicks with a blob of glue and hang. Cute!

Jewelled egg: Dye or paint egg in a bright colour. Add sequins and/or beads. Looks lovely…

Polka dot egg: Dye or paint egg and cover evenly in sticky dots mixed or just one colour (any good stationers will have these). Easy!

Thanks for the tutorial Mr & Mrs Pipii

Craft Project : Sunshine Hands : Krokotak

For those of you that know us, you wont be surprised that we have been hippity happy about getting back to the land of Krokotak for another craft fix. Now, we might be wrong, but we have a feeling that what with your recent dismay at the sentencing for old Mr & Mrs Huhne, and your latest resistance to yet more anti-biotics, and the fact that you have more washing to do, we thought you might just fancy a little sunshine to brighten your weekend. Here goes…xo


This project may be a little messy, but it’s well worth it.  The sun turned out very beautiful. It will look good anywhere. Color the child’s hand with tempera or finger paints and make a dozen prints on different sheets of paper. Draw a big yellow circle on another piece of paper. When the handprints have dried, cut them out, leaving a thin white outline. Glue them around the yellow circle.


Greenwich & National Maritime Museum

royal museum greenwich

We have an idea for those of you that fancy a trip down the river to visit the National Maritime Museum and the delights of Greenwich on any Saturday in March.
Firstly there is loads to do go in Greenwich, choose from visiting the stunning newly built Cutty Sark (above) which has brilliant family activities, and monthly events, the famous craft and handmade Greenwich Market,
heaps of restaurants, The Royal Parks very own Greenwich Park with A-mazing views across the city of London, the Royal Observatory (below)
royal observatory
old royal naval college
which is a stunning set of buildings and grounds and often used as locations for film sets, and hosts some fantastic events, and talks. There is lots more going on, but we want to leave some of the other finds a surprise for you to discover on your adventure …
If you’re ready to play, get yourself ready for some (Free) performance and storytelling at the National Maritime Museum; (Sammy Ofer Wing) and meet a character from the past and take part in an exciting performance that will bring maritime history to life.
Sessions start at 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00 and are suitable for ages 6+.
And for those of you that like a good printable, to make your own at home, take a look at the National Maritimes museum’s website here …. there are brilliant ideas and instructions for activities, from making a sundial, Victory Model, Rocket, Sea-Monster Mask, Globe and Quadrant.
Remember your Creative Bus Stop mantra : Make it, Making it, Made. Enjoy! xo

Kids Sewing Craft : Zip-up Purse

How to make a zip-up purse

Turn leftover fabric into a neat little purse. It’s quick, easy and economical, says Perri Lewis

Zip-up purse

A handmade zip-up purse can make a great gift. Photograph: Perri Lewis

Sometimes I just want to whip something up in half an hour, rather than slave over a project for weeks on end. So what’s the best thing to make? For me, it’s those little fabric purses that you’d pay a tenner for if you bought one from Accessorize. It puts small and otherwise useless fabric pieces to good use, and it’s a brilliant stand-by gift for a lovely lady of any age.

You’ve got plenty of variations on the standard instructions all over the interweb: this one on the CRAFT blog has a zip on the side; this one on Skip To My Lou is lined; and U Handbag’s tutorial has a rather neat travel card pouch on the side.

However, I reckon this method is the quickest and easiest. Using upholstery fabric means that your purse will be sturdier and more hardwearing than if you used cotton (although, of course, you can use whatever non-stretchy fabric you fancy), and cutting it with pinking shears means you don’t have to worry about hemming and neat seams and all that fiddly stuff. And if you’ve never had the confidence to sew in a zip before, this is a cracking little project to start off with.

What it costs

I forked out £30 for my pinking shears because I wanted to invest in a decent pair, but you can pick them up for £9.99 in Argos. A short plastic zip can be bought for about a pound if you go to a market stall, or around £2.50 from a high-street haberdashery. I used scraps of upholstery fabric, left over from some bunting I made for my mum, usingone of my last tutorials. It was originally £7 a metre from John Lewis.

What you need

Upholstery fabric
Pinking shears
Sewing machine, zipper foot and thread/needle and thread
Embellishments: buttons, sequins etc to decorate (optional)

What to do

1. Buy a zip that is as long as you want your purse to be wide, or a little longer (you can shorten a zip easily using this tutorial).

2. Cut your fabric using pinking shears. You need two pieces that are the same size. The width should be 2cm longer than the zip, and the height 2cm longer than you want the final purse to be.

3. On one piece of fabric, fold one long side over 1cm and iron the fold in place.

4. Pin one long side of the zip to the edge you just folded. The fabric should be about 2mm from the zip’s teeth.

5. Sew the zip in place (using a zipper foot if you have a machine, or using a strong needle and thread and a backstitch if you don’t).

6. Repeat steps three, four and five with the other piece of fabric. When laid flat, your purse will look like a zip with a piece of fabric sewn on either side.

7. Do the zip up. Position the purse so the right sides of the fabric are facing. Pin them together. Make sure the tops of the two pieces of fabric are aligned so the purse is nice and neat when you sew it up.

8. Sew down each side of the fabric, 1cm from the edge. Unzip the zip.

9. Sew the long bottom shut, again, 1cm from the edge.

10. Turn the purse the right way round. Use a chopstick or pencil to poke the corners out (if they don’t make a nice right angle, chop the corner off the inside seam).

11. Decorate if you fancy (and have the time).

• Perri blogs about making stuff at

You will love this Papertoy-Monsters Book

papertoy monsters


By Brian Castleforte, Robert James – Workman Publishing (2010) – Paperback – 233 pages – ISBN 0761158820


This is a really fantastic book for the whole family. Who doesn’t love a friendly monster, especially one that you can create, build and love from beginning to end ? It’s also got to be a on the present list for any 5 or 6+ year old, who likes a monster or fifty. We have this book at home, and it is the one that our girls spend their adored ‘daddy time’ with, they all  get to make whichever monster they want, and between them, can deliver a new monster to the family in a pretty short time now. The one tip that our Daddy monster has it to use sticky-tape over glue, as that way you get your finished product much faster than waiting for glue to dry. I am still trying to find the time to put the monsters together as a mobile, as I’ve run out of space around the house for them to sit. So, us monsterettes here give this book a big thumbs up, and promise to share the photos when we do get around to hanging our monster mobile. xo



This is a paper folding book, that now has a cult following amongst graphic designers and illustrators around the world, The creator of the papertoy world ‘Brian Castleforte’ (read his blog here) rounded up 25 of the hottest papertoy designers (from Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Italy, Croatia, Chile, even Jackson, Tennessee) and built this book with 50 original designs that are all prepped and ready for you to pop out, build, and stick (we use sticky-tape in our house, for an immediate result). Each character comes with its own back-story.

papertoy monsters


Meet Zumbie the Zombie, who loves nothing more than a nice plate of brains and yams. NotSoScary, a little monster so useless at frightening people that he has to wear a scary mask, and Grumpy Gramps, the hairy grandpa monster with his very own moustache collection. That could be one to do with the in-laws perhaps (no offence grumpy grandpa!).


Valentine Printables : Poppy Paper Dolls & Monster Puppets



Whilst waiting for our bus to love central station (feeling travel sick yet?) we found these super cute free Poppy Paper Doll printables from the blog, which even if you were to email to someone in-between meetings, or your long-lunch, we think would still be a pretty loverl-y thought.



Mari recommends printing on heavy cardstock, or gluing/laminating to chipboard or cardboard for sturdiness.



or try the Monster Puppets here. Enjoy. xo


DIY Craft : Love Hearts : Paper Straws

We all love a straw don’t we? And how about a quick-simple rainy day craft with the kids during this cold and cuddly weather, that involves a *straws*ribbon or stickers*heart template*cup cake cases or doilies*images from magazines* — or,  a few stickers, some old pages from books, newspaper, and a little love?


I found a template here from the best ever online shop Pipii, so get cutting, and sticking, and let’s see how beautiful your lovingly made straws turn out. Don’t forget to use non-toxic PVA glue, and to cut a 1-2cm straight line along the top and bottom of the decoration for your straw to fit through.



For those of you that aren’t practised in the art of buying doilies, have a look here, there is quite a selection!

Kids & Feathers : Craft Project : Bird pictures

Hot off the heels from the RSPB Garden Bird Watch last weekend, we know you like your nature + super simple family projects, so how about this one … get the kids to draw a feathery friend. If you need a little inspiration, have a look at this beautiful book by Matt Sewell. I am a secret lover of his blog too…

matt sewell

Big Garden Birdwatch : RSPB

bgbw_header_tcm9-336554Helping garden wildlife is fun – and it couldn’t be easier. Over the weekend of 26-27 January 2013, we’d love you, your friends and family, to get involved in Big Garden Birdwatch – the world’s largest wildlife survey!

There are some great nature craft activities on the website here

Make a flock of fingers

These starling finger puppets are really easy to make. Why not make a starling for each finger and create a whole flock? More…

Make a flock of starlings

Make a recycled bird feeder

Let the birds eat out in style – turn your junk into a bird restaurant! More…

Make a recycled bird feeder

Colour a bird

So, you think you know the colours of some of your favourite garden birds? Try this game and find out if you really do! More…

Colour a bird

Rook’s Binocular Birdwatch

Do you know the birds in your garden and school grounds? Find out with Rook’s Binocular Birdwatch game. More…

Rook's Binocular Birdwatch

Make a speedy bird cake

Give the birds a treat and keep them happy with this quick and easy cake recipe. More…

Make a speedy bird cake

Big Card Birdwatch

You’ll love this Bird Life version of Top Trumps starring the birds you’re most likely to see in your garden. Play with your friends and family and see who has the best Big Card Birdwatch skills. More…

Big Card Birdwatch

Chaffinch - colour by numbers

As an activity that started life as something for our youth membership to do in winter, Big Garden Birdwatch has grown into fun for all the family. All you need to do is count the birds in your garden or a local park for one hour then tell us what you see.

If, like us, you love wildlife and want to do something to help, this is your chance to get involved in something that really counts.


Taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch couldn’t be easier, simply follow these three steps: (check on the website for the downloadable spotting sheet here)

1. Watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour on the weekend of 26 – 27 January 2013.

2. Record the highest number of each bird species you see at the same time. Don’t count the total over the hour as you may get the same birds visiting more than once. Also, please only count those birds that land within your garden – not flying over.

3. Once your hour is up, tell us what you’ve seen. Even if you didn’t get as many birds as you expected, or your ‘regulars’ didn’t appear, do still please let us know. It’s all really useful information. Our form will be open from the Birdwatch weekend until 15 February 2013 for you to tell us what you’ve seen.

4. Yes, we know we said three easy steps. But you’ll like this step as we just want to say ‘congratulations – you’ve done the Birdwatch!’ Along with hundreds of thousands of other wildlife lovers, you’ve taken a step for nature and helped us find out more about our garden birds. Thank you.

If you don’t have a garden or green space near you, don’t worry. You can do your birdwatch anywhere! If you don’t believe us, check out our video to see some of the more unusual places that people have spent an hour watching the birds:

DIY Craft : Symmetrical Homemade Cards

symmetry cut outs


You gotta love those guys at Krokotak – always a crowd pleaser whatever time of day you visit.

If you didn’t know, I am a fan of 5-minute crafts, that the kids can do themselves, whilst you check the news online which is essential for tea time chat, and then (and only then) Daily Mail side bar of shame.

This is such a simple idea and easy way to make a bespoke card or decoration (with a hole and ribbon added) for any celebration, it will bring smiles all round I am sure. It goes without saying it will improve your fine motor skills, as you know your kids ones are in perfect condition!

symmetry 3 symmetry

Make These Gorgeous Bunting cards


Look at these super sweet cards, which are hand made by Kerry and her little angel Josh … and feature hereon her charming blog Ventura Upon Thames. I fell upon the blog in my usual post-bedtime, ritual of ipad surfing, and thought they looked so cute and effective, and would be fun to make with the kids. I am hoping that my girls (3 and 5) can cut out the flags, and sort out the stamps, and then I can deliver them pronto on the machine?! Fingers crossed, and I will update you soon with our progress.

I am sure there is also a way to easily turn them into Christmas-y versions – any one got any bright ideas?

Here are a couple more photos of her work in progress… thanks so much for sharing Kerry, keep them coming… and keep getting your inspiration from Etsy, soon you will have your own shop.  xo

DIY Craft : Eat Me : Biscuits


edible xmas trees

A combo of some green icing, sweeties and bootlaces : from babycentre blog

snowflake biscuit

via pinterest

Gingerbread men on a red platter

Ginger girls from

xmas tree biscuits

via pinterest

cookie reindeer


Mouth wateringly pretty from this lovely blog :  buttercreamchantilly

Cute and delicious, happy decorating xo

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Make a 3D Paper Star with Krokotak

My little girl was given a couple of these by her nursery, her talented teacher made them, and apparently they are much easier to make than they look. I think they would make a lovely mobile in different colours, or cut out from kids magazines.

So I found a tutorial on the wonderful Krokotak site, and wanted you to have a small crafty stocking filler… xo

paper star

They only look complicated, but actually do not take more than 10 minutes of your time.

Paper Christmas star

Cut 8 square pieces of paper. Fold each one as shown on figures 1, 2 and 3. Snip twice as shown on figure (4) then unfold the piece. It must look like the one on figure 5. коледна звезда от хартия

Glue opposite corners together, turning the paper each time.

Paper Christmas star

Glue together all eight parts into a star.

Rainy Day Craft : Snow Globes : Not just for Christmas

snow globe martha

Ingredients :

A jar with lid : Enamel paint & Paintbrush : water hardy figurines : glue gun : water : glitter : glycerine

(1) Paint The Lids

Paint outside of jar lids (optional). They will need two coats. Leave to dry between coats and allow to dry completely.

(2) Arrange the scene

Using your glue gun, generously apply your glue and stick your arrangement to the inside of the lid. Allow glue to dry completely.

(3) Water And Add Snow

Fill the jar almost to the top with water. Add a teaspoon of glitter and a dash of the glycerine. (Glycerine thickens the water and creates a snowfall effect with the glitter.)

(4) Seal The Lid

Using the glue gun, line the inside of the jar lid with glue. (Optional, if you don’t want to open it again!) Screw on the lid tightly and leave to dry. Add a festive gift tag to the jar neck for additional decoration (optional).

Snowy thanks to Channel 4 & Martha Stewart for the picture. Send your creations in and we will make a feature of your beautiful creations. xo

Rainy Day Crafts : Divine Paper Snowflakes : Mini-eco

snowflake-1 (1)

If you have time, order your graduation paper to emulate the above, or just get the kids or grown ups to scribble madly on plain paper and the cut.

That’s it.

Oh! and for those that need a sneak at ‘How to cut…” have a look here on Kate’s delightful blog.

Yummy Eggnogg : Colour-in fairy gift tags

colour in tags

A book of 10 fairy gift tags to colour in and decorate your presents, perfect to stick in your handbag, and take out with the kids to keep them busy when you’re having that coffee & christmas cake. xo

A pack of 2 £5.99 + P&P direct from Eggnogg or other stockists

About Eggnogg

Eggnogg, a bright, design company, creates quirky gifts and greetings cards for all ages. From colouring in tablecloths, postcard books, posters, bunting and pocket books to greeting cards, wrap, notebooks and stickers, Eggnogg is challenging the senses with an explosion of colour, texture and humour.

Eggnogg’s Kate Edmunds worked as a TV graphic designer for 10 years before swapping to illustration after her children were born. Greatly influenced by Tim Burton, Kate has always loved writing and illustrating her own children’s stories, conjuring up weird and wonderful characters for them to enjoy. Her love of textiles is a bit of an obsession which she also incorporates into her designs.

After illustrating children’s books for several publishers and numerous cards for friends and family, Kate decided set up  her own company. In fact Eggnogg’s name came from one of Kate’s first greeting card designs depicting a nostalgic 70′s party, (inspired by ‘Abigail’s Party’).

Eggnogg gives Kate a blank canvas to do exactly what she loves best, creating fun, quirky characters that bring a smile to everyone’s face. All products are uniquely designed using black line, textures and saturated colours, giving Eggnogg its distinct style.

Set up in April 2009, Eggnogg has been going from strength to strength with hundreds of retailers in the UK as well as distribution overseas. Bright and humorous, from stocking fillers to children’s parties to colouring in gifts and over 160 greetings card designs, there’s an Eggnogg gift for everyone. Have you been Eggnogged yet?

Stockists include Fenwick, National Trust, Kew Gardens, Blackwells, Liberty and hundreds of shops nationally and internationally.

Rainy Day Craft : Salt Dough Decorations









Salt dough has always been a great craft material because it’s easy to make and you can create thousands of things of it. For Christmas snowflakes you’ll need some salt dough, parchment paper, a blue pen, acrylic paint, acrylic spray, sliver embroidery floss.

First, make some dough mixing 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup salt, one tablespoon of lemon juice and a cup with warm water. Stir the dough and knead it until smooth. Scoop the dough and using a daisy cookie cutter and a star cookie cutter to cut out the ornaments. Bake them in the oven, let dry and paint with acrylic paint. Draw your designs with a blue pen, spray two coats of acrylic paint, add sliver embroidery floss and you’re done!

Courtesy of Shelterness






Slanchogled : Camden Craft Shop : Craft workshops & a treasure of goodies …



We’ve  been to a couple of these 1-hour long work shops (4-5pm) with the wonderful Jenny at Slanchogled in Chalk Farm just up from Camden Market. We cant recommend the workshops, or the shop enough (they also host birthday parties at the weekend).

The shop is an experience in itself, and I promise that you will not be disappointed on your visit. The selection of crafts are very cleverly chosen and displayed, and will satisfy both the beginner crafter to the more experience art graduates, and skilled craft makers.

sleigh window

There will be more workshops next year, and we will keep you posted. xo

Make a Teddy Bear Sleeping Bag

I have fingers and toes crossed that this is an easy-ish project. It’s so damn cute (as my girlfriend Kimmy would say)

that I can’t help thinking that it’s worth a go, and who knows we might learn something along the way too. xo

There are full instructions, pattern/pdf for £5, over at the super sewing blog Flossie Teacakes.

The Best Homemade Baking Gifts

gift jar

Gingerbread gift jars found here

  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 50g chopped crystallised ginger
  • 125g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda


Mango & apple chutney found here

  • 3 1⁄4 large ripe mangoes , about 1kg/21⁄4lb
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • onions , halved and thinly sliced
  • thumb-sized piece fresh rootginger , peeled and cut into thin shreds
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds , lightly crushed
  • ¼ tsp black onion seeds (Nigella or Kalonji are good)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Bramley apples , about 500g/1lb 2oz, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large red chilli , deseeded and finely sliced
  • 375ml white wine vinegar
  • 400g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

muffin mix

Christmas muffin mix found here

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 100g pecans or walnuts
  • 140g tropical dried fruits medley
  • 100g light muscovado sugar


Oatcakes found here

  • 60g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g fine oatmeal, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 60g butter


Chocolate truffles found here

Mistletoe Kisses & Magic mushrooms : A present from Fairyfolk

magic mushrooms

Yesterday here at the Creative Terminal Lost Property office (It’s Christmas so it’s very busy here as you can imagine), we heard a little fluttering noise around our heads, and then felt a little dizzy, and realised that a spell had been cast upon us by the magic felt loving fairy folk over at The Magic Onions website.

Have a look at these enchanting photos, and you might feel a little warm around the top of your ears, and a little sleepy too… it’s not a bad way to spend the next 5 minutes. xoneedle felted owl

needle felted owl ornament


felt mistletoe for christmas kisses


Needle Felted Cardinal perched on a branch

Read here to find out a little bit about the magic behind the world of The Magic Onions

A note from Donni the creator and Mama.

I am in love with the craft of Needle Felting… it is pure bliss for me. I have at last found my creative medium and my soul quivers with the possibilities of what I can make. I love the sound of the needle as it goes into the fiber, the smell of the wool, the feeling of my creation in my hands. I am so grateful to have found this fabulous craft. There is an endless range of textures and colors, making anything possible. It is pure magic to watch the wool take on a life of it’s own.

I am the proud owner of three Etsy shops;
Fairyfolk – where I share my needle felted creations with those of you who want to bring a little bit of my magic into your homes. My needle felting work is often inspired by moss, toadstools and other magical woodland treasures. I am the original home of felted acorns, enchanting colorful wool acorns to add a burst of color and magic to your home decorating. I’m sure you will fall in love with my craspedia inspired felt flowers and colorful felted beach pebbles. I also make educational toys for natural kids, inspired by Waldorf and Montessori Education. I also have a line of handmade felted jewelry, necklaces, pendants and rings.
Fairyfolk Weddings – where I create woodland, country and rustic inspired wedding decorations.
Dovie Moon – where I share my nature inspired photography. I am particularly excited to share my Flower Fairy Photograph Series with you… It’s no secret that my children and I look for fairies everywhere. Their imaginations have inspired this Waldorf inspired series of Fairy Photographs. The three of us set out into the wild places to search for fairies… we often find them and some have let us photograph them.