DIY Sticky Doll House

DIY Sticky Doll House {via Octavia and Vicky}

DIY Sticky Doll House {via Octavia and Vicky}

The other day Pebble came up to me, as she often does, rattling off a verbal list of craft supplies for her latest project. I’m usually a ‘yes’ mama when it comes to craft, especially now that Pebble is four and super independent. Craft time usually means that I can get some housework done plan a lesson or two and maybe write a blog post. I pulled out all the craft materials that Pebble asked for, gave her a little help with cutting up shapes and peeling and sticking contact paper, and she made this super gorgeous doll house! Read on for instructions for your own DIY doll house.

DIY Doll House

You will need:

  • one large box (we used a nappy box)
  • scissors
  • clear or coloured contact paper (sticky backed paper)
  • sticky tape
  • white or coloured paper
  • collage materials (we cut shapes from coloured paper and foam, but you could use any collage materials)
  • optional: washi tape

DIY Cardboard Dolls House with Contact Paper Collage DIY Cardboard Dolls House with Contact Paper Collage

To set up: 

  • cut off the flaps from the top of the box, which will become the roof.
  • cover the sides of your box with white (or coloured) paper, to cover any patterns or labels on the box and help the collage to really stand out.
  • cut holes in the sides of the box for doors (and windows if you like).
  • cover the (open) roof and sides of the box with contact paper, making sure that the sticky side is facing out, ready for collage. Don’t worry about being too neat, as the contact paper will be covered with collage anyway.

DIY Cardboard Dolls House with Contact Paper Collage DIY Cardboard Dolls House with Contact Paper Collage DIY Cardboard Dolls House with Contact Paper Collage

To create the collage:

  • place the collage materials and contact paper-covered house in easy reach of a toddler, preschooler or school age child and watch as they go to town, decorating their house!
  • Pebble had very specific ideas about wanting tiles and bricks on her house, but children could decorate their house in any way that they liked.

Optional extras: 

  • create washi tape carpets and rugs by sticking strips of washi tape on to paper parallel to each other. Trim with scissors to neaten up and stick in your play house with double sided tape. Washi tape can also be used as part of the collage on the outside of the house.
  • Children can make their own accessories and furniture (Pebble  made that star covered letterbox).
  • You could also create picture frames on the walls or stick pictures of family and friends and the walls for some doll house wall art :) Ok, I’ll stop now…. but the options are endless!

Time to play!

  • The fun isn’t over yet. Help children to choose their favourite dolls or figures to play in the house. They will come back to this play scene again and again.

DIY Cardboard Dolls House with Contact Paper Collage

Why use contact paper? 

  • Contact paper allows children the freedom to add and remove collage materials easily, taking away the fear of doing it “wrong” or making a mistake. It also allows them to more freely adapt their designs as they go.

Learning through play

While creating and playing with her house Pebble has been practising:

  • fine motor skills
  • dramatic play
  • identifying shapes
  • sorting objects by size
  • naming colours
  • estimating and comparing length
  • having fun!

Do you and your kids love using contact paper? I love using it for anything EXCEPT covering books. Now that’s a tricky job!

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


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Felted Pom Pom Necklace

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Way back when, before Christmas, we made these gorgeous felted pom pom necklaces as teacher gifts for Charlotte’s teachers. They were very simple and fun to make, and can be a great way to practice fine motor and patterning skills.

We bought all our supplies from AnnyMay, which sells eco-friendly, natural products (not sponsored). I couldn’t find an Australian seller at the time, but if you know of one, please let me know :)

Note: I’m not a proper ‘crafter’ or jewellery maker, I made this method up as we went along (as with most things!). Here’s how we made these necklaces.

DIY Felted Pom Pom Necklace

You will need:

  • felted pom poms (ours were 20mm and 10 mm)
  • wooden beads (ours were 10mm)
  • waxed cotton thread
  • a large needle (with an eye large enough for your thread)
  • pliers

To make:

  • Design your necklace. Pebble placed the felted and wooden balls on a piece of paper in the order that she wanted them to go onto the necklace. She spent a long time making sure that she got the colours just right for each person.
  • Cut the waxed cotton thread to your preferred length. As I said, I’m not a jewellery maker, so I decided to tie these off by running both ends of the cord through a wooden bead and securing it with a knot. This meant that we needed our necklaces to be long enough to slip over the head. Just measure against yourself to see how long you will need the thread.
  • Thread your necklace. This is where we hit a little hurdle. The needle was very tricky to push through the dense felt pom poms. I pushed the needle so that it was just through, then used the pliers to pull the needle and thread out to the other side. Unfortunately this meant that Pebble couldn’t help with this bit. Never mind, she busied herself making a wooden necklace instead :)
  • Tie off your necklace. Finish your necklace by threading both ends through a wooden bead and tying a knot . Cut off any long pieces of thread that might be sticking out of the knot, to neaten it up.

Charlotte’s teachers were very thankful for their custom made necklaces :)
Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}

Felted Pom Pom Necklace {via Octavia and Vicky}
Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

Looking for more home made gifts? Try these:

Homemade Coconut IceDIY Striped Frames - hand made by kids

Christmas Tree Card

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Do you need a super quick and easy homemade Christmas card to give? Or something to keep the kiddos quiet for a few minutes? Let’s be honest, you probably just need a good lie down before CHRISTMAS is here tomorrow. But I can’t resist sharing these cute cards we made for Pebble’s teachers this year.

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Tree Christmas Card

You will need:

  • Green card
  • A4 Red card
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Star sequins

Prepare these bits before giving to little fingers:

  • Fold and cut the A4 card in half.
  • Fold each half to make two small red cards.
  • Cut out two triangles from the green card – did this without measuring or ruling, just cutting free hand, but you could draw the trees first if you prefer.

Now hand over to the kids:

  • Stick the tree to the front of the card.
  • Stick the star sequins on the tree.

Tips:

  • older children can fold and cut their own cards and trees.
  • if you don’t have star sequins you could use glitter, empty the back of your hole punch and use up the little round coloured bits of paper, or children can draw on their own decorations.

As you can see, Pebble was quite enthusiastic with her use of stars :)

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Did you make your own cards this year?

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

We decided to skip the real Christmas tree this year. Rocky is a little explorer and likes to pull, push, climb, bash and chew everything. Pine needles and Christmas ornaments probably aren’t very baby friendly! I had seen a few felt Christmas trees for sale around the place but thought we could whip up a simple version ourselves at home.

As I’ve said before, I’m really not a crafter. I like setting up crafty activities for kids, but adult craft is not my thing. So I kept the plans for this Christmas tree very, very simple. One green felt triangle, lots of round felt Christmas baubles in bright colours, a felt Christmas star – DONE! Here’s how we did it:

Looking for more baby play ideas?
Get your copy of Zero to Two: the book of play.

Zero to Two - The Book of Play

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

You will need:

  • 1 large piece of green felt (approx 1 x 1.5 metres (3’4″ x 4’9″) – or to the size of the space you’d like to fill
  • 5 sheets of felt in different colours (or more if you want more baubles)
  • 1 sheet white felt
  • 1 star template (I printed one from here)
  • 1 small drinking cup (or small circle to trace around)
  • 1 marker
  • scissors
  • 3- 5 damage free adhesive hooks or restickable tabs

Note: you can buy felt off the roll and individual sheets of felt at your local craft store. Adhesive hooks and restickable tabs are available from most supermarkets.

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

To make the felt Christmas tree:

DIY Felt Christmas Tree Instructions - 1.	Fold felt in half so that the long sides meet.  2. Draw a line from the top left corner of the folded felt to the bottom right corner.  3. Cut along the line to create a triangle tree shape.

To stick the tree to the wall:

  • snip one small hole, about the same size as the point of your hooks, in each corner of the triangle.
  • thread one hook through the top corner of the tree and stick the hook to the wall in your designated ‘tree spot’. Make sure you follow the directions on the packet for your hooks.
  • now that you have the top corner secured, pull each bottom corner so that the tree is flat against the wall and secure to the wall using the remaining hooks.
  • I used a couple of restickable tabs along the length of the tree to keep it snug against the wall. You could also use more hooks.

DIY Felt Christmas Tree DIY Felt Christmas Tree

To make the felt Christmas baubles:

  • Trace circle shapes onto the felt sheets and cut them out. Children who are capable with scissors can help with this part. Cut out lots of different colours to make your tree look gorgeous! You don’t need anything to stick the baubles to the tree – the genius of felt is that it sticks to itself!

To make the felt star:

  • Trace the star shape onto white felt and cut it out. Press the white star onto the top of the tree (felt sticks to itself). Optional: We also made a slightly larger red star to make the white star stand out on our white wall. You could also make an angel, if you prefer :)

I think we’ll all enjoy playing with this felt Christmas tree for many years to come.

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

Tell me about your tree this year – is it real? Fake? Alternative?

Zero to Two - The Book of Play

Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations

Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations

Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations

Recently we made these pretty Christmas baubles using sharpies, a laminator and this free printable. We had some templates left over and a lovely box of bright crayons to use, so we decided to experiment with them. This is how we ended up with Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations!

Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations

You will need:

Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations Melted Crayon Christmas Decorations

To make the decorations:

  1. Print and cut out the printable Christmas decorations (including cutting out the centre circle). Older children can do this on their own, younger children will need help.
  2. Dab a little bit of glue on the back of each Christmas bauble and stick it inside an open laminating sheet. The glue is optional – it just helps to keep the templates in place while you are working on them.
  3. Use the grater to create small flakes of crayon.
  4. Sprinkle a small amount of crayon inside each bauble template. Be careful not to over fill as the crayon may leak out into the laminator (see the template filled with pink, purple and orange on the bottom right of the photo above? That’s too much crayon… I speak from experience – eeek!).
  5. Close and laminate the sheet then cut out each bauble.
  6. Punch a hole in top of each bauble and thread with the ribbon

These Melted Christmas Christmas Decorations can also be used to make cute gift tags for family and friends.

Why not try making these cute Christmas Baubles too?

Kid-made Christmas Baubles {guest post from Octavia and Vicky}

Which Christmas traditions have you been enjoying this festive season?

*Thanks to Micador for sending us a free set of oil pastels to try out. I was not paid to write about Micador products.

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities