Saturday, 14 September 2013

Felt cupcakes for a rainy day

A few weeks ago I came across a blog post on The Daily Buzz with 10 toddler busy bag ideas - things to keep handy to entertain your little ones while waiting at the doctor's surgery or enjoying a coffee at a cafĂ©. I really liked the idea of the felt pizzas - I think they would also be great for a rainy day activity, or something to take on a trip away that doesn't take up much space. Just store them in a ziplock bag for some instant fun! My girls have a shop-bought felt ballerina playset and they love dressing up the ballerinas in the different outfits, so I think they will love this one too. So the next time I was shopping I picked up some squares of felt in a variety of colours and set about creating my own set of felt goodies.

I started with the pizza idea, and cut out the bases, sauce, salami, mushrooms, pineapple, ham, and capsicum by hand. I used various sized containers from my kitchen to get the right shape for the circles for the bases, sauce and salami but the others were cut freehand. I was pretty happy with how they turned out.


As I was cutting away, I started thinking about other yummy foods that could be easily made from felt, so once the pizzas were done I made some felt cupcakes and ice cream cones. Many of the pieces for the cupcakes and ice cream cones are interchangeable - I made 6 of each piece including cupcake bases, cones, strawberries, cherries and chocolate topping plus pink and cream circles which work as both the cupcake top or ice cream scoop. Again I used various containers from my kitchen to get the right shape for the circles, and then the other pieces were done freehand. For the chocolate topping and strawberries, I drew my pattern on some scrap paper and when I was happy with the shape I cut it out and used it as a template for the felt cutouts.

Here are some of the finished creations:


They almost look good enough to eat!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Father's Day and birthday cards using kids artwork

Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day with my husband, my Dad and my father-in-law. We also celebrated the birthday of one of my nephews, so I had four cards to make on Saturday. I love making cards but I didn't have a lot of time and still wanted to create something special for these special people. A while ago I had seen this cute handmade "Daddy" sign on Pinterest and decided to use that idea for each card with my own twist.


First I got my two daughters (aged 5 and 3) to paint a sheet of A4 paper using wide brushes with red, blue, yellow and green paint. I got them to do long brush strokes (rather than spots or squiggles), and tried to get a good mixture of colours across the whole page so that the finished product would be colourful and have the sort of effect I was after. While the whole page itself wasn't an artwork you could hang in a gallery, it worked really well for the card design.

Once the painting was dry, I used my Cricut machine to cut each name out of some white cardstock. I had already cut the cards to size (slightly larger than half an A4 sheet so there was enough room for the text) and put the card straight on to the Cricut mat. I used my SCAL software to write the name, using the Courier New font in bold. As each card came out of the Cricut, I removed the positive cuts (making sure I kept the circles for the insides of the letters). I cut my painted page into three equal sections (big enough to fit inside each of the names) the cards and then positioned the painting underneath the name cutouts to make sure it looked good (depending on the pattern of colours from the painting). Once I was happy with the position, I glued the painted piece onto the cardstock. I also made sure that there was glue on the parts of letters that weren't fully attached (eg the triangle part of the 'y'). Then I attached the inner parts of each letter (ie the circle inside the 'o'). To make sure each inner part was positioned perfectly, I put the positive cut from the letter back in its hole and then put some glue on the back of the inner circle and positioned it in the remaining hole.

I have to say that I'm so happy with how these cards turned out - to me they are simple but effective and made extra special because they include some of the girls' artwork as well.  Here are some closeups of each card: