Trash to Treasure – December

Posted on December 6th, 2015 - Fiona

How to Make an Outdoor Stick Christmas Tree Decoration

December is here and for me that means time to indulge in creating some Christmas decorations made simply from bits and bobs around the house and garden.  I love to gain inspiration from winter fairs, on line or shop windows, however if I can make something similar myself then it gives me so much more satisfaction than buying decorations and I know the children staying will love making Christmas crafts in our Activity Hour.  I have already shared my Christmas centrepieces this season and festive post boxes, this week I’m sharing an idea to decorate the garden, front door or any outdoor space with these hardy and colourful decorative Christmas Trees.   

 

Christmas Tree Twig Tutorial

 

We made these stick Christmas Trees last year on the farm at Christmas and I hung a few in the fairy gardens. They have actually survived a whole year and are still hanging there a year on so no problem leaving these outside in all weather.

 

Year old Christmas Tree

What you’ll need

Straight stick

Floristry ribbon colours of your choice

Scissors

String or wool

What You'll Need Xmas Tree Sticks

Method

  1. Cut strips of ribbon 50 – 60 cm long

  2. Rip them length ways to make 2 ribbons from each

  3. Begin to tie the ribbon strips around the stick with equal lengths left either side and secure with a granny knot

  4. Keep the knots tight together as you work up the length of the stick

  5. Starting on one side at what will be your top, cut diagonally away from the stick to give it an angled edge.

  6. Cut down the other side to create a similar edge to give it an even Christmas Tree look.

  7. Tie one last ribbon around the top and loop the long ends round to create a bow to finish it off.

  8. Tie some string or wool to the top and hang your finished tree in the garden.

Step by Step Stick Xmas Trees

A few additions you could try

Try hanging them off branches on a Tree and call it a Christmas wishing tree

Place them round the garden and turn it into a treasure hunt to find them. I am planning to do this along our Welly Walk to keep the children looking out for them and counting them after the success of our witch’s walk at Halloween.

Try varying the colours with some rainbow, some two tone and some single colour.  

 

How to make a Stick Christmas Tree vlog tutorial

 

Joining in with Trash 2 Treasure

If you have post about something you have made with something from nature or something you would have otherwise have thrown away please come and share on Trash 2 Treasure. The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. Post can take any form, all that matters is that the item made has primarily been upcycled from something of little value or found in nature. Leaves and loo rolls, sticks and staples, there are so many throw away items which, with a little imagination can be turned into something of value. Most of my something from nothing craft tutorials will come from fun keepsakes we have made with the children in our farm activity hour but sometimes I will share bigger upcycling projects from Farmer Nick too. I hope through the linky to acquire some new ideas and I welcome all posts old and new. 

 

A little extra from the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours

  

Trash 2 Treasure sponsored by Duck Tape UK with Coombe Mill Holidays for creative fun.

 

Trash to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. Our favourite upcycling post each month will receive 3 colourful rolls of tape to inspire your next project. Do check out their website for plenty of creative ideas.

 

Thank you for all the wonderful posts again last month and congratulations to the Creative Pair who has won the Duck Tape Colours with this beautiful match box advent calendar Match Box Advent Calendar

.

I also really enjoyed Christmas crackers by Saw it, pinned it, did it  and homemade firelighters by Craft Invaders

 

 

When joining in please use the hashtag #Trash2Treasure on twitter, instagram or Google Plus and I’ll find you

If you link up I’ll send you an invite to pin on my Trash 2 Treasure Pinterest board

           Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Trash 2 Treasure. on Pinterest.

   

 

Please grab my badge and join my crafting journey and do pop back to check out other people's posts during the month.    

 

   

   


How to Make a Fairy or Elf Christmas Post Box

Posted on November 22nd, 2015 - Fiona

 

Imagination and Christmas go together, with elves, Father Christmas, reindeer and fairies all featuring dancing in our children’s mind creating a festive build up of excitement alongside the traditional Christmas story.  Have you ever stopped to think who writes a Christmas list for the fairies? Here at Coombe Mill we have a Christmas Post box in our reception for any worried little ones concerned that Santa may not know where they are staying, however our Fairy Garden is full of fairies also wanting to post their messages.  Now they can with our easy to make toilet roll post boxes at perfect fairy size! A fun craft for fairies living inside or outside your home.

Fairy & Elf Post Box

What you will need

  • A toilet roll
  • Red, black and White Paint
  • Black ink pen
  • Scissors
  • Cereal box or other card
  • Stapler
  • PVA Glue

What You'll Need Postboxes

Method

  1. Cut into the top of the toilet roll about 1 cm deep

  2. Fold out each tab at the top of the toilet roll

  3. Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard the size of the splayed top and cut it out.

  4. Staple the circle of cardboard to the splayed top.

  5. Draw a long thin rectangle about 1 cm from the top to make a letter box.

  6. Cut the rectangle out, trying to keep it as neat as possible.

  7. Paint your toilet roll red all over, making sure you paint the underside of the top where it folds out and leave to dry.

  8. Paint a black line around the base of the toilet roll.

  9. Paint a white square under the rectangular cut out and leave to dry.

  10. Write your special Christmas message in the white box.

  11. Paint over the entire post box with P.V.A glue, being careful over the writing so that it doesn’t run. this will help make it water resistant for outdoors. 

 

Post Box Step by Step

  1. Cut out rectangles of cardboard making sure they’re the right size to fit through the post box hole.

  2. Write your special Christmas messages. 

  3. Post it through the letter box for the fairies and elves to read. 

 

Fairy Post Step by Step

 

A few additions you could try

  1. Pop cotton wool on top to look like snow 

  2. Add some festive paint or sticker decorations

  3. Make some Pipe cleaner Fairy Folk to go with your post box.

  4. Put it next to a dolls house, fairies like to gather in here!

  5. Pop a battery tea light inside and use as a Christmas ornament

  6. Hide a few in the garden or house and make a Christmas Trail

 

On my first day of Christmas shopping in Plymouth and I spotted this one in the shopping centre, complete with snow effect and extra decoration ideas. 

 

Christmas Post Box in the snow

 

How to make a Christmas Post Box Vlog Tutorial

 

 

 

 

Trash 2 Treasure                       


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on November 13th, 2015 - Fiona

Transport for Tots

 

With an eager group of 2 year olds and a beautiful afternoon I was keen to come up with some activities that would keep them interested, involved and active. I took inspiration from a puzzle book from Parragon that had just landed in my office and decided on a transport theme. It didn’t take me long to come up with a range of activities that as usual more than used our time.

 

Transport for Tots

 

We began in the tent making the puzzle together with the early to arrive. By the time we finished the tent was filling up and we launched into the story. They children loved looking out for the little dog hidden on every page and it gave us the perfect chance to talk about different forms of transport and what we were going to make as we enjoyed the short rhyming lines that made the story.

 

Book and Puzzle

 

Taken by the hot air balloon in the book we began by making our own version of a hot air balloon out of the businesses old laundry bags and toilet rolls. The children used felt tip to decorate their bags then added Duck tape and floristry ribbon to their toilet roll basket.

 

Making the hot air balloon baskets

 

Having made our hot air balloons we had to find a suitable place to launch them from as ours were definitely going to travel down and not up! The air in the bags and lightweight nature of the toilet roll meant that the balloons glided down gracefully from the top of the pirate ship and the children tested it out over and over.

 

Flying the Hot Air Balloons

 

Inspired by our balloons we began making helicopters and paper airplanes next with the children helping to fold the paper with us. Back outside there was more testing. The paperclip weight and folded paper spun round like helicopter propellers while the paper airplanes soared above through the air. We found some sycamore seeds on the ground and showed the children how to make these spin like a helicopter too.

 

Helicopters and Airplanes

 

We had plenty more activities up our sleeve like our lovely Early Years Tractor letter tracing and train drawings but with time marching on we handed out the sheets to take home and moved on to apple boats inspired by Domesstique in her Country Kids post a few weeks ago. We substituted the wooden mast and paper sail for pieces of twig and leaves or feathers and headed off to Coombe Bridge over the river Camel to see if they would float and sail downstream. The children were thrilled to watch them sail away.

 

Apple Boats on the River

 

We recapped over the fun methods of transport we had made while Guy arrived to give us a ride on the train making our fifth mode of transport for the afternoon.  

   

Joining in with Country Kids

I’d love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky.  All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out.  All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air.  I’d be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these communities, I’d love you to join me: 

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

 

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 

 

 

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

 

A few of my favourites from last week:

 

A great recommendation from Life as we know it for a free day out by a like in Mid Wales. 

 

the beautiful autumn colours at Sudbury House Gardens in Darbyshire brought out the countryside fun for Clairna's Contemplations

 

Liverpool was the setting for some autumn park fun for Hayley from home

 

All the fun of a safari park for Kids Days Out Reviews

 

  

Win a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies with Country Kids

Muddy Puddles Giveaway with Coombe Mill Country Kids  November 15 

 

I am delighted to announce that Muddy Puddles have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. My favourites each week will be considered for a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way.  If you are not already familiar with this wonderful outdoor children's range please do take a look at their website where they have everything needed for year round country kids. The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month. For more more information on the Muddy Puddles wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here   

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

   

   



Trash to Treasure – November

Posted on November 1st, 2015 - Fiona

How to Make a Festive Table Centrepiece

No one can miss as the clocks go back and the evenings draw near that Christmas is on the way. The children are starting to build their excitement and it is the perfect excuse to start making a few Christmas crafts.  I hope to share a few of our favourites with you over the coming weeks; things we have made from nature or everyday bits and bobs. I hope in turn you can help my Christmas crafting by adding your upcycling ideas big or small to the link up below. I am kicking things off with our nature table decorations. Christmas is a family time and meal times are a great way to embrace this. Laying an inviting table and adding your own centrepiece that the kids can easily make is a great way to turn a simple dinner into a fun family occasion throughout the festive season. 

 

Festive Table Centrepiece Tutorial

 

What you will need

A potato or marrow 

Knife

Skewer

tea light or tall candle

festive foraged foliage ( holly and berries are ideal giving colour and structure)

Silver foil for the potato, not needed for a marrow 

Silver or Gold or snow spray paint or glitter – optional

 

What You'll Need for Christmas Centrepeices

Method

  1. Cut your potato or marrow in half, for the potato the cut side is the base, for the marrow the skin side forms the base.

  2. Use the metal rim of your candle to mark the placement on the potato.

  3. Carve a small area in the potato just deep enough for the candle to sit in. Scoop out the marrow and place the candle in the burrow.

  4. Wrap your potato in tin foil ensuring you tuck it into the candle hole tightly.

  5. Take your skewer and make a few holes around the potato about 2 – 3 cm deep, the marrow is soft enough not to need this step.

  6. Snip the ends of your foliage to an appropriate length and stick them in the prepared skewered holes so they feel secure.

Festive Centrepeice Method

 

Finished potato and marrow table centrepieces for a festive occasion

 

A few additions you could try

Spray paint a few leaf tips

Stick a skewer in with a flag style menu on the top

Make the children in charge of collecting new foliage to keep your centrepiece fresh for more festive meals

Add some mini floristry ribbon bows or tassels on cocktail sticks

Try doing the same for Easter using mini chicks on cocktail sticks and daffodils

For a simple alternative which is great for the children to do on their own, just wrap foil around the ends of a few sprigs and lay them on the table. I did this last week for a dinner party and it was really effective.

 

 Making our Centrepieces at Christmas on the farm last year for Activity Hour 

Making the centrepeices at Activity Hour

 

Joining in with Trash2Treasure

If you have post about something you have made with something from nature or something you would have otherwise have thrown away please come and share on Trash 2 Treasure. The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. Post can take any form, all that matters is that the item made has primarily been upcycled from something of little value or found in nature. Leaves and loo rolls, sticks and staples, there are so many throw away items which, with a little imagination can be turned into something of value. Most of my something from nothing craft tutorials will come from fun keepsakes we have made with the children in our farm activity hour but sometimes I will share bigger upcycling projects from Farmer Nick too. I hope through the linky to acquire some new ideas and I welcome all posts old and new. 

 

A little extra from the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours

  

Trash 2 Treasure sponsored by Duck Tape UK with Coombe Mill Holidays for creative fun.

 

Trash to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. Our favourite upcycling post each month will receive 3 colourful rolls of tape to inspire your next project. Do check out their website for plenty of creative ideas.

Thank you for all the wonderful posts again last month and congratulations to Claire Justine who has won the Duck Tape Colours with this clever soap dispenser from a Jack Daniels Bottle.  

Jack Daniels Soap Dispenser. A great upcycled idea from Claire Justine for Trash2Treasure.

I also really enjoyed

Roaring Dragons from The Real Lara Shoe

Edible food scabs for Halloween from Craft Invaders

Upcycled Christmas cards from Jill in a Million  Jill in a Million

 

When joining in please use the hashtag #Trash2Treasure on twitter, instagram or Google Plus and I’ll find you

If you link up I’ll send you an invite to pin on my Trash 2 Treasure Pinterest board

           Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Trash 2 Treasure. on Pinterest.

   

 

Please grab my badge and join me on my crafting journey.    

 

   

   


How to Make a Witch or Wizard Costume

Posted on October 18th, 2015 - Fiona

With Halloween fast approaching I have been working on a cheap and easy Halloween costume for boys and girls. Every year on the farm Halloween turns into a full day of spooky fun from a Halloween dressed tractor and trailer feed fun to a ghost train and trick or treating at the end of the day. Many of our regular guests know the format and come prepared with their costumes, however I never want anyone to feel left out or forced to pay for expensive shop bought outfits, so our first craft session this year will be outfit making. Those without out outfits will then feel part of the fun and those who have costumes already can help us decorate scarecrows with their DIY costumes.

 

Witches and Wizards Halloween Costume

What you’ll need

  • 2 black bin bags
  • Red or purple floristry ribbon
  • Staples
  • Scissors
  • 2 cereal boxes
  • Paint
  • A stick 

What You'll Need Halloween Costumes

 

Method

To make the cape

  1. Cut off the closed end of a bin bag.

  2. Open up the bin bag so that it forms a tube.

  3. Lay it flat on a table and cut along an edge to make it a single layered rectangle.

  4. Lay a strip of floristry ribbon the length of the rectangle approximately 10cm from the top.

  5. Gather the bin bag beneath the floristry ribbon and staple the gathered rectangle to the straight ribbon leaving equal lengths of ribbon free at both sides to form cape ties. The gathered cape should measure approximately 30 – 40 cm depending on the size of your child.

  6. Wrap your finished cape around your child’s shoulders and fix by tying in a bow or adding a staple.

How to Make Cape

To Make the Hat

  1. Open up a large cereal packet and lay it flat.

 

  1. Hold the cereal box on diagonal corners and twist into a cone shape.

 

  1. Staple the cone top and bottom to hold.

 

  1. Cut around the base of the hat to make it a flat edge

 

  1. Cut up from the base approx 6 cm deep and fold out to form a brim.

 

  1. Place the point of your hat in the corner of a bin bag and wrap it around the outside.

 

  1. Stuff the remainder of your bin bag inside shaping it around the brim.

 

  1. Add a stripe of floristry ribbon to match your cape above the brim.
How To Make Witch's Hat

To make the fork.

How to Make Forks
  1. Print out the Fork printable here or draw your own fork shape onto a cereal box.

 

  1. Cut out your fork design.

 

  1. Paint both sides of your fork in a colour of your choice.

 

  1. Make 2 holes in your fork.

 

  1. Find a long stick and poke your fork through the end of the stick.

A few additions you could try

  1. You could staple some stars cut from floristry ribbon to your cloak or hat.
  2. Instead of a fork you could paint the end of a stick white or wrap white string around the end to make a wand or tie small twigs to the end of your long stick to make a witches broom.
  3. You could make a stick scarecrow with 2 sticks and have the scarecrow stand in the garden wearing your spooky outfit.

 

Having fun with our costumes on farm for Activity Hour

 

Capes, Hats and Forks at Activity Hour

 

 

A step by step vlog to making Halloween costumes 

 

For some spooky ghosts or dementors made equally easily and cheaply to decorate your house or garden please see my October #Trash2Treasure post and do add any upcycling tutorials of your own there too.

Finally until 29th October you can still enter to win a family Christmas to remember  here at the farm including a Christmas crafty session for the children. 

Safety Notice

Further to the warnings on the news recently about flammable Halloween costumes, please be aware that bin bags melt when burnt. Keep away from fire and in the unlikely event a fire situation does occur rip off, the staple will just give, then drop and roll. On a more cheery note, rain is more likely than fire for Halloween and a bin bag will be more shower proof than a bought nylon costume!   

 

 

 

Trash 2 Treasure