This week has been really draining. My daughter broke her finger and had to get an operation yesterday, so I decided after two days of waiting in hospitals, we were due a relaxing day in the house. My sister had sent us a fairy garden to assemble, so we decided to put it together. I had to improvise and steal soil from other plants, but we managed to get enough to hold it together. My daughter enjoyed planting the grass seeds and assembling the little house. There was a pebble path to add, a washing line, little figures and fairy dust. It’s a good way to gently spend the day when you’ve had a taxing week. I’m a firm believer in the power of crafts to get you through difficult situations. Every time I’m feeling low, I try to create something positive out of it. Then, when you look back on the situation, you aren’t left with only negatives – you have made something worthwhile because of it. Even if it is just something to decorate your house with, a way to entertain your kids or some treats to enjoy in the house, it helps lighten the atmosphere around you.
It looks like we will be having a quiet few weeks while my daughter is recovering and her hand is out of use, and I plan to use it as an excuse to do all the projects I put off. I learned recently that drawing while my kids are awake is a good way to get their attention. They always want to get involved and draw their own pictures of the same things/ help to colour in. I think returning to activities that require creativity and the use of your hands are a good way of stripping everything back and removing your stress. Too often we are absorbed by electrical devices and forget about what’s important. Even though the last couple of days have been so tiring, sometimes events like that put everything into perspective and you realise the time you typically waste on useless worries.
I’m a fan of kid-led crafts: ones that actually look like a kid made them instead of being manufactured by me and photographed from flattering angles for the purpose of improving my blog! These are so easy to make and required minimal direction from me 🙂
Herbal Tea Box (box where the lid flips open and recloses)
Poster Paints & brushes
Glitter (the shaky kind)
Get your kids to paint their boxes however they like. Leave them to dry fully and give in to their demands for TV time. When dry, let your kids use a glue stick and shake their own glitter over it. Add stickers, sequins, buttons, shells, beads. You can decorate it however you like and have a theme if you want. (Eg, summer flowers, sea life, snowy day.) Let your kids choose what to keep inside it. They like putting toys in it and getting you to guess what is inside. Enjoy the twenty minutes this activity will keep them occupied for 😀
I decided to make something today as an experiment to see if I could produce something inspiring that didn’t require going out to buy materials or advance-planning. I like to set myself little pointless challenges because I’m easily excited by that type of thing.
So, here is how I set about making a very unprofessional ideas board 🙂 (the point of this exercise isn’t to have a flawless finished product, but to relax and make something personal to you.)
I used a large piece of thick cardboard: the ribbed kind. You can use whatever size you like.
I took a piece of fabric that I had left over from a dress I made for my daughter. I placed it under the piece of cardboard and cut around it, making the fabric 1 to 2 inches larger than the cardboard so that it could be folded over the back of the board. The piece of material I had wasn’t large enough to cover the full piece of cardboard so I sewed two smaller pieces together. I used a sewing machine, but you could do this by hand, or leave it out entirely if the idea fills you with horror.
You could also sew together different patterned fabrics to create more interest. Depending on your sewing skills, patchwork squares could be used, or a pocket could be added to the fabric.
After sewing the two sides together I opened it out and flattened the seam in one direction so that it would sit smoothly against the board.
I pinned the corners around the back of the board, folding them in like on an envelope. I then sewed these to secure them in place. (You could also use tape, glue or tack them.)
I taped down the edges of the fabric and pulled them back tautly so the fabric would sit flatly against the front of the board.
Next, I took a piece of ribbon and stitched the ends of it to the back of the board. (Again, you could use tape or glue.) Don’t worry about being too perfectionistic about the back of the board as, unless my wonderful method fails and it collapses off the wall, no one will ever have to see it.
After attaching the ribbon, the board was ready for ideas to be pinned to it. I used some pastel coloured push pins. You can use any colour you like, or just use plain drawing pins. If the cardboard isn’t very thick just be careful you don’t stab yourself when you have pushed them through, or push them in at an angle to avoid this!
You can add anything you like to your board. It is supposed to be inspiring to look at and it’s designed to remind you of positive ideas and things you want to experiment with. Avoid putting work-related information on it. Its purpose is to encourage creativity and allow you to daydream; not to act as a reminder of your incomplete to-do list. You can update it as frequently as you like, or tailor it to what you find inspiring in a particular month.
Here are some ideas of items you can add to it:
A list of books you plan to read.
A word that prompts ideas in you or reminds you of a quality of yours would like to focus on more.
Recipes to try and pictures of the end results.
Home décor you admire that gives you inspiration for ways to change your home.
A list of music you would like to learn more about.
Any topic to research for fun.
A list of kind acts that you have recently witnessed.
Clothing styles you would like to try/an item that you would like to add to your wardrobe this month.
A photograph that reminds you of the future memories you’d like to create.
A relaxing project you plan to complete this month.
A list of things you would like to buy.
A drink recipe.
A place you want to dream about visiting/a nearby place you can visit now.
You don’t just have to add notes or pictures to it, you can also pin fabrics, mementoes, tickets, embellishments, etc. It is something that you can constantly add to and that should evolve with you, as your interests and plans change.
Every time I see a DIY-related idea on Pinterest I feel extremely incompetent and like it requires skills far beyond what I know to do with a drill (which is nothing.) So here is an idea that is so simple I managed to complete it.
I decided to cheer up a plain, white, rather depressed-looking wall with a little washing line for hanging post-its, photos and pictures on. I opted for pictures that inspired me, were seasonal or relevant to an idea I had had.
Here is a Christmas version I made:
I used some jewellery wire and used cutters to trim a length of it. I made some jewellery loops just to finish the ends off using needle nosed pliers. I can do a post on this if anyone would like to try it. Alternatively you could use a length of ribbon, string, or wrapping ribbon for presents. You could use anything that is lying around the house, like embroidery thread, lace or wool.
I used some decorative pegs and clipped them onto this. You could also use wooden pegs and decorate them with patterned paper, embellishments for card making, glitter glue, paints or nail polish.
You can affix whatever you like to the pegs. It can be used for reminders, recipes, inspiration, photos, etc. You can change the pictures depending on the season/whatever you are in the mood for.
I just used old magazines and cut out pictures I liked/ unusual baubles for Christmas time. It is a really simple, cheap decoration to make and helps you make use of items that are already lying around your house.
When you are finished just hang it from two nails. I measured the length between the nails that I needed in order for it to hang like bunting and used three pin hooks because hammering nails into walls always ends badly for me 🙂
I feel like it would be silly to even categorise this post as DIY, but technically, I did do it myself 🙂