Super Loop Bands Review

Super Loop Bands are the latest in crafting for kids. I know that everyone, boys and girls in my sons year at school are mad about this easy to learn rubber band craft. We were sent a set of Design & Make Super Loop bands RRP £9.99 from myStyle to try, and find out what this new craft is all about.

super loop bands

The Super Loop Bands box contains instructions and enough bands and connectors to make 5 bracelets. The contents look a little disappointing on first inspection as the box is quite large compared to its contents. The instructions are bright and very clear and easy to follow, and the boy had no problems getting started.

super loop

Simply choose 20-25 bands in the colour pattern you want we chose a the colour combination of blue and purple. Then starting with a connector loop each band in turn to make a very effective and simple chain. Finish by looping back onto the connector and the bracelet is done. The boy found the bands easy to make, without the need of any additional tools.

make a band

Comparing Super Loops to other band crafts we have tried, the boy said he thought there wasn’t much to this kit. If you compare the quality though you can tell that this set is much better quality, I think the bracelets would last better as they have a thicker band and metal connector. The colours are good and look like they would fade less than other bands. Plus you don’t need a complicated loom, and hook so the Super Loom bands can be made on the move in the car with no problem.

The Super Loop Bands kit would make a fab gift for anyone who enjoys crafts, and the boy has enjoyed making these band bracelets for friends and even family. Even Bingo granny has a lucky one for bingo!

Disclaimer we were sent this kit to review the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

 

Krinklies, a new craft creation

Krinklies are a new fun craft creation and something I thought might keep the boy amused while we were at home over Easter. These colourful, bendy, connectable craft pieces are easy to use and suitable for children aged 8+. So what are Krinklies? well have you ever played with a straw from your favourite drink carton? Krinklies are the bendy bit of the straw! Highly addictive to play with, we even got Bingo Granny to have a go at making something with them.

krinklies

Our Krinklies box came with 2 packets of bright bendy Krinklies (over 200), glue dots, scissors, clear mini connectors, 2 clear tubes for straightening the Krinklies. (note the box is still going through rebranding and ours is a sample)

There are two ways to use Krinklies, join them and bend them into the shape, we linked ours and made a bright coloured chain. Or you can cut and join them with the glue dots to make 3D models. The Krinklies are very tactile and easy to handle, as you get more confident with them you can make more elaborate models. We made a small table, which the boy quickly turned into a BBQ complete with smoke!

making models with krinklies

The Krinklies are easy to use, fitting the connectors is the only fiddly part, and a certain amount of patience is needed. This is possibly why the recommended age is set at 8+. The boy only needed a little help, and once he started to use his imagination then there was no stopping him. You can make funny faces, spell your own name and then bend them back into another shape.

creating models with krinklies

Krinklies are available from the online shop with the boxed kit costing £18.95, this includes £4.00 postage. This does seem a little pricey, but the box does come complete with everything you will need to get started and aprox 200 Krinklies. Top up packs cost as little as £1.20 for a bag of 100 links and £1.44 for 40 coloured Krinklies.

I think Krinklies will be a great store cupboard craft, and combined with other craft materials will be very useful for school projects and construction tasks. We both agreed that Krinklies were good fun, both as a craft and a toy, and hope that these little colourful bendy craft will be available in the shops soon.

Disclaimer we were sent a box of Krinklies to try the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

 

Country Craft with Hilarys Blinds

Country Craft is a blogger challenge to make something crafty with a 100cm x 100cm square of fabric from the new collection available from Hilary’s Blinds. The fabric choice was from Bird Parade, Calluna, Wild Poppies and Patina. I chose Calluna as I had already had an idea of what I wanted to make. When the piece of fabric arrived I was surprised how big the 100cm square was, ok I knew the size but it still looked huge! I realised there was much more than I needed for the first craft idea I had, had. I set about thinking of something different to make, the Calluna fabric pattern was inspired by the textures of moorland heather and with this in mind I decided I would make something useful for the garden.

fabric 1

Here is my step by step guide to making a gardening apron, and kneeler.

For the apron you will need the following:

5 pieces of fabric cut to the following sizes, Body 55cm x 22cm, Pocket 60cm x 18cm, waist band 56cm x 10cm, 2 x ties 10cm by the length needed to tie between 65cm – 75cm each.

Bias Binding, I made mine by following this you tube video, it was easy to follow and I had some scrap fabric, you will also need a bias binding tool which folds the material while you iron it flat. Alternatively you can purchase bias binding from most needlework stores.

Sewing machine, cotton, needle, pins, scissors, sewing machine, ruler, fabric chalk or pencil, chop stick or knitting needle.

step 1After cutting the material you start by sewing bias binding across the top of the pocket, simply pin and stitch the bias binding straight across the top. The next step is to pin the pocket to the front of the body piece of fabric. The pocket is slightly longer, allowing you to make small pleats in 2 of the pockets. I wanted 6 pockets and marked the fabric with chalk at the following intervals from left to right. 10cm, 12cm, 10cm, 12cm, 6cm, 6cm with two small pleats in the two larger pockets. You can mark the pockets out at whatever sizes you like and this apron could also be useful around the house so design to suit your tools.

step 2

Once you have pinned the pocket stitch along the marked lines making sure you double stitch the top of each pocket well as this will get the most wear. Next I rounded the two bottom corners by using a glass as a template. Trim and then edge the whole outside of the fabric with your bias binding excluding the top edge where we will be fitting the waistband.

step 3

Once stitched you will need to make the two ties, take the two pieces of fabric. Fold each in half with the pattern inside and stitch 5mm from the edge down one short and the long side making a tube. Once stitched each of the ties will need to be turned in the right way and using a chop stick or knitting needle poke out the corners and iron flat. I stitched my ends at a slight angle as this looks nice but is not essential.

step 4

Once you have both ties, pin and stitch them to the top either side of the body fabric. I again made a small pleat to each, and double stitched with a cross pattern as this will take the weight of any tools you use the apron for.

step 5

Next to add the waistband, you will need to iron a 5mm hem around the edge of fabric, then fold and iron. This will neaten up all the edges as you attach this over the top of the body fabric and over to the back. Double check that all the edges meet as at this point you can shorten the fabric. I found that I did needed to re iron a couple of times to make sure that the waistband covered all my edges and fitted neatly.

step 6

Once stitched in place, simply finish off any loose cotton and you will have this great and versatile apron. I am forever having to wander back to the shed for things I have forgotten so I know this will prove a very useful addition to my gardening basket. I still had plenty of fabric left so decided to make a kneeler to match.

For the Kneeler you will need

Foam, I bought mine from Dunelm Mill, for £3.80 and this dictated the size of my kneeler. Mine was 56cm x 50cm and I cut it in half to make it double height.

Piece of fabric a little bigger than your foam size.

Piece of oil cloth or PVC fabric big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your foam. I bought some PVC fabric usually used for a table-cloth. It cost £5 for 1/2 metre.

pins, cotton, sewing machine, scissors, ruler and a marker pen.

step 1

This project proved a little more difficult than the apron and if I did it again I would have made it a little differently. I cut the PVC big enough to cover the bottom and sides of my foam. Then pin each of the four corners in place to fit. Stitch each of these, and I double stitched as they will get some wear. Then turn the PVC inside out, pin and stitch the fabric again inside out to the top of the PVC on three sides, leaving a gap big enough to turn out and fit your foam through.

step 2

I made a handle for my kneeler and this was made by cutting a rectangle of left over PVC fabric and stitching the same way you made the ties for the apron. Simply twist and stitch into place on one of the sides. Once you have wrestled the foam back into the kneeler. (This was tricky as I hate the feel of foam, its like nails down a chalk board. not something I plan on doing again in a hurry!) Then you will need to hand sew up the remaining seam, I found this tricky as the PVC is quite tough to sew so you may need a very sharp needle.

step 3

Once complete I am very happy with the kneeler as it is much thicker than my shop bought one. Backing the kneeler with PVC means it is wipe able and will not soak up any moisture from the ground.

I still had a few scraps of fabric left from my project and I decided I didn’t want these to go to waste. So with a little bit of chopping I had just enough material to make a string of bunting for my summer-house! This is the most simple way to brighten up a dull corner.

For the Bunting

You will need fabric scraps, bias binding, pins cotton, knitting needle or chop stick, and scissors.

step 1

Simply cut triangles using a template to make them all the same. I like an odd number so for a 7 string of bunting you will need 14 triangles. The Calluna material has a lovely gradient pattern so with some careful cutting I was able to get lighter and darker pieces and use these alternatively along the row. You could use old scraps of fabric or even cut up some old clothes.

step 2

Stitch the v shape and trim, turn in the right way, then iron and pin inside your bias binding. Check you have both the front and back tucked in the bias binding then stitch.

I was amazed how far I managed to make the fabric stretch and If I had purchased the fabric as well as the few extra bits needed for this project the cost would still have been less than £15 for all 3 items. I don’t have a fancy sewing machine either so anyone should be able to make these items on any machine.

So here are my finished crafts, and I am very pleased with the results as I will be able to use these in the garden this summer. The bunting is a little bit of fun and matches my summer-house beautifully making it a place I will enjoy sitting in for my well deserved cuppa!

fabric 12

fabric 13

hilarys 16

This is my entry into the Hillary’s Blinds Country Crafts competition.

 

Dinogami

Dinogami is a fab new book from Parragon Books RRP £8.00 the kit includes an awesome book of ideas with 20 scaly papers and a ready-made dinosaur as an example.

Fold bend and crease to make a whole herd of colourful mini-gami dino models! Use the papers and easy how-to book to create a terrifying T-rex, vicious Velociraptor and tri-horned Triceratops

I have been looking forward to this book, as I have always loved paper-folding or origami, so this book with its play on words sounded just the thing for a wet Sunday afternoon! We sat down and starting from the beginning of the handy sized 48 page book. With 20 dinosaur scaly papers you have everything you need to get started on a dinosaur folding adventure.

The first two pages teach the basic folding terms and techniques, needed to make the models on the following pages. The book is quite small and some of the Dinogami models later in the book are complex so an understanding of these basic folds are essential. The book starts with a Pteranadon, using one sheet of the pre-printed papers this is a great and easy starter model. The boy enjoyed making this model and there were two papers supplied so we were able to sit side by side and the boy copied my folds.

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As you work through the book the Dinogami models become more complex and some need two or more sheets of paper. I will admit to being a little disappointed that a couple of the models will also need glue to hold them together, this for me is not the art of origami. However with the cute pre-printed papers the dinosaurs are brought to life with a wonderful character of their own. My personal favourite is the Iguanodon as he was easy to make and stood up on his own, the boy likes the Pterodactyl as you can make his wings flap.

I was worried that once the pre-printed papers have run out that you might lose interest, but I think the possibilities of making your own painted papers or even drawing on your own dinosaurs will prolong the enjoyment. I have loved making these Dinogami models and I think you will too, so why not have a go and try and win a copy of Dinogami in the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer we were sent this book to try the opinions remain ours and have not been altered.

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Fiskars Scissors

Fiskars recently sent me a selection of their scissors range, and with lots of craft and wrapping to do we were very pleased to try them out. I was sent household, paper and needlework scissors, all made from stainless steel and with distinctive ergonomic orange handles these scissors have been easy to use even for the boy.

fiskars

I used the household scissors for the tricky job of wallpapering and they proved invaluable as you need a good clean edge. With a long cut these scissors made light work of trimming the edges and wiped clean easily.

Next we used the paper scissors for our Duck Tape crafting project. The boy said he liked the scissors as he didn’t need to squeeze hard to cut easily through the sticky tape. the results are shown in our fantastic advent tree, which the boy is very proud of.

Finally I have been using the needlework scissors for the little mending jobs, and the boys cub badges. They are small neat and fit nicely in my needlework box. Altogether I am very pleased with the quality of these scissors as there is nothing worse that having blunt and difficult scissors as the boy keeps telling me!

Disclaimer we were sent these Fiskars scissors to try and review, the opinions remain mine and have not been altered.

Fiskars make a great range of quality crafting products and can be bought from lots of crafting shops around the country.

Crafting with Duck Tape Colours

The boy and I have been very excited to get crafting with our new colours duck tape. Duck Tape colours is a new idea, with a strong structure to the tape traditionally used for mending, or in my case joining carpet. You can use the tape for making new and brightly coloured crafts with only your imagination to limit you. We were sent two patterned tapes and four plain coloured tapes at RRP £4.99 I think these are good value and are a great addition to my household crafting kit.

I used my new scissors from Fiskars as you do need a nice sharp pair of scissors to cut a clean edge to your tape. With the instructions to make a simple rose the boy and I gave it a go. The tape is very sticky, so you will have no problems with sticking the pieces together. Starting with a straw to make the stem of the flower we then cut pieces of tape folded into simple triangle shapes to make petals. Building up layers we soon had a rather effective looking flower.

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There are lots of other ideas on the duck tape colours website, with step by step instructions and great coloured pictures. The boy wanted to make a wallet, as well as decorating daddy’s leg. The tape comes in a choice of 15 solid colours as well as four funky patterns like the Penguins which is the boys favourite.

On Sunday we went to B&Q for our third Kids can do it workshop and on our return we realised that Duck Tape would be perfect for making our advent calendar doors, or in this case bags. The boy and I set about making small bags, each one slightly different, these were made like a sandwich by using one piece of tape slightly smaller than the other stuck together, trimmed and then add a handle, decoration and the boys finishing touch a numbered tag. Thanks to Morrison’s for the gold coins, and each little bag now has a chocolate gift.

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The new advent calendar has pride of place in the living room, as it really does look very good. The boy is very proud of his creation, and I think it will be something that will come out every year from now on. Duck Tape colours will be fantastic for all of the other little Christmas projects that we have planned as well as the boys school projects.

You now have the chance to win Three rolls of Duck Tape colours so that you can have a go at crafting yourself, simply enter the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: we were sent rolls of Duck Tape colours to try, the opinions and craft ideas are our own.

 

More Th>n Just Carpet Art

No! I had never heard of it before, so when I was challenged by MORE TH>N Insurance to create my own carpet art I thought it sounded fun so here we go.  MORE TH>N teamed up with award-winning artist Ed Chapman to create the first piece of carpet art, celebrating the achievement of Andy Murray and his Wimbledon victory.  Research revealed that 35% of Brits have spilt or knocked food, drinks and other substances onto their carpets while getting over-excited watching sport on TV. I know I have had my fair share of accidents,including dark blue nail varnish with cream carpet!

Ed Chapman's Carpet Art

How was this created well, it was common household spills and accidents include red wine, beer, coffee, paint, burn marks and loads more, I didn’t expect my small square to come up to this magnificent standard. Inspired by my friends autumnal effort at Over 40 and Mum to One, I thought autumn leaves and stains might work well so here is my stain/carpet/collage.

I used the most common stains from my house as well as a few from the list, paint, mud, tea, coffee, nail varnish and having a child felt tip!

Disclaimer I was sent a square of carpet and £10 contribution to my stains, the effort and words are all mine.

 

A giant cactus? No problem…

I do like a challenge so when a friend said “do you have a giant cactus?” My answer was no, but I found myself saying “but I can make you one!”

I have loved making things but this is not quite the same as paper chains or Christmas cards. So where to start, well I had planned it in my head for a few days. Something I have discovered I am pretty good at and just in case you are ever asked then here is what you need:

So I gathered my resources, long plumbing tube (6ft) roll of heavy duty lining wallpaper, veg box, felt tip pens, scissors, gaffa tape, staple gun, cello tape and half a dozen black straws…

First we found a Wild West style cactus picture on google, then fixed the pipe with the box at the bottom. Next roll out the paper, draw an outline cactus body and cut out. Then two arms were drawn out and secured with tape. Next the boy and I used lots of scribbles to colour in and outline.
Then secure the tube and box with a couple of staples and and tape at the bottom. Next you need to reinforce the arms I made triangular tubes and taped these on. Lastly we cut spiky straw taping these in groups to the back and sides.

All was ready we stood our creation up! And didn’t stop laughing!! Firstly as it was over 6ft tall and second as it looked like it was doing a dance. It certainly looked the part. The boy enjoyed the process and the problem solving. I just wanted to prove to him that you can make most things with a bit of imagination…

Now you might have just one last question, why a cactus, well that is another story…