Tag Archives: garden crafts

Hand print stepping stones for Father’s Day

10 Jun

thomas-stone

I have recently developed a bit of an obsession for sea glass. We saw some jewellery made with it at a craft fayre recently and I just fell in love with it.  We love hunting for sea glass at the beach and seeing the excitement on the children’s faces when they find a good piece is just great! After a particularly successful trip to the beach, I decided to use this to decorate some hand-made stepping-stones.

This is not something I’ve done before and I didn’t have a clue where to start.  I didn’t even know the difference between cement, mortar or concrete! Luckily I found a very helpful chap in B & Q who suggested I use this.

mortar

You just need to add water to it and mix well which is the kind of instructions  I can cope with! You then need some kind of mould for your stone. I used this plastic tray from a plant pot which seemed to work well. I greased it first with vaseline to prevent any disasters getting the stone out!

plant tray

Once you have mixed your mortar just pour it into the mould and level it out to a nice smooth surface. It needs to begin to set before you add any decorations. I left it for 90 minutes before we did anything else. This would probably depend on how wet your mixture is. (Don’t make it too wet or you’ll have to wait weeks for it to dry!)

After around 90 minutes the children pushed their hand down into the mortar to make a lovely hand print. You need to get them to press down quite firmly for this. At this point they wrote their names in the mortar with the end of a small paintbrush. This wasn’t really that successful to be honest. Where they had pushed the end of the paintbrush in it just kind of collapsed in on it self and didn’t look great.  I think for any future stones we will paint their names on when the mortar has set.

We also pushed in the pieces of sea glass that we had collected earlier, along with some pretty clear blue glass nuggets that we bought from The Range. Now you need to leave it all to dry out completely. We left it for 2 days, again it could take longer depending your mixture.

At this point the children painted their handprints to make them stand out more. You can see in this image where the writing kind of fell in on itself.

lily-stone

Finally, we painted the background of the stone white.  By the way all the paint we used was acrylic as this is waterproof. Depending on the age of the child they can do an awful lot of this themselves. It is pretty tricky to paint in around the decorations on the stone so you might want to just paint the hand print and leave it at that.  Lily and Thomas were both very excited to give these to Grandad for his birthday but I think they would love make lovely Father’s Day gifts.

thomas-stone

Garden Crafts for Children. Our favourite craft book ever!

28 Jun

Garden Crafts for Children by Dawn Issac

I have read many, many craft books. I usually order new ones from the library when they come out and most of the time I am disappointed by how repetitive they are. They always seem to include the same ideas and I’ve even seen the same photos!

So, it was with a HUGE amount of excitement that I came across Garden Crafts for Childrenby Dawn Issac.

The ideas in this book are original and exciting, the photos are excellent and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. The book contains 35 different projects and the chapters include simple crafts, growing projects and container gardening.  I love that the crafts are all garden themed so that children can be encouraged to enjoy the outdoors and develop a love of nature. I can honestly say that this is the best craft book that I’ve come across. If you enjoy creating things with your children then you should definitely have this on your book shelf!

We’ve been trying out many of the projects in this book.  I loved the idea of growing seeds in clear containers so that you can see how the root system develops. The instructions for this are really clear and we loved how it turned out! I did have a bit of a problem with condensation when I took the photo but hopefully you get the general idea!

Another idea that I really loved was planting up the children’s wellies! We always seem to have a few pairs that no longer fit and sometimes they are just too cute not to keep! The children loved being able to fill their wellies with soil!

How cute do these look?

Other projects that we have tried include the Dinosaur Garden and the Cress Cards. Next on our list is the gorgeous ‘Cress Caterpillar’ made from empty egg cartons. I think this book is going to keep us busy for a long time! You can purchase Garden Crafts for Childrenon Amazon for £10.49.

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