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                       


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              

     


Trash 2 Treasure – October

Posted on October 4th, 2015 - Fiona

How to make a Halloween Ghost or Dementor

Autumn is truly with us now, the trees are turning a beautiful shade and catching a falling leaf here on the farm couldn’t be easier. With autumn my attention turns to the fun and games we have here in the half term week for Halloween.  With so many children to entertain all day I try to make our crafts as fun yet as thrifty as possible and something that all ages can enjoy as we have from toddlers up to secondary school age all keen to participate in the days events.  Every year we have our favourite crafts to which I add new games and activities so that those returning year after year have something familiar and something new to look forward to. Throughout the month I hope to share some of my Halloween crafts in tutorial format, they are all easy and made from throw away items, do join me and see how easy a Halloween makeover could be for your Garden this year. For my lead Trash 2 Treasure post this week I’m sharing some easy-peasy Ghosts and Dementors.   

Ghosts and Dementors Halloween Tutorial

What you’ll need

  • Black Bin bags, White Bin bags
  • Sticks a little longer than the bin bags
  • Felt Pen or Googly Eyes
  • A real of Duck Tape colours 
  • String or wool
  • Floristry ribbon or material Ribbon – optional


What You'll Need Ghosts & Dementors

Method

Dementors Tutorial
  1. Scrunch up a small throwaway bag. We used the ones our laundry is returned in but a supermarket lightweight bag or another bin bag would be just as good.
  2. Place your scrunched up bag in the corner of a bin bag to form the head
  3. Secure the head with a piece of colourful duck tape to separate the head from the body, be careful not to wrap too tight as you need enough space to fit a stick through.
  4. Push a stick up through the cloak into the head to give structure and a way to stand in the ground when finished
  5. Use felt tip or googly eyes to make your ghostly eyes
  6. Add a felt tip mouth or milk bottle cap.
  7. Add string round the neck to hang from the trees or push the stick into the ground and admire your finished ghost or dementor. 
Ghosts step by step Tutorial

 

 

 

A few additions you could try

  1. Place glow sticks inside them and crack them when it’s dark to make them light up

  2. Make them from different sized bags to create a ghostly family

  3. Use different coloured ribbons with big floaty bows and smiley faces to make them less scary for little ones

  4. Place them in a circle guarding a ‘potion’ for witches and wizards

 

Making Ghosts at Halloween

 

Make up a game

Last year we made up a game whilst waiting for darkness to fall and the ghost train to run. We stuck lots of our ghosts and dementors in the cottage lawn as an obstacle course between two ropes and asked the children to line up at one end. They then had to try to cross the ghostly field without being caught by my triplets or knocking the obstacles down when I shouted “Go”. This was great fun and, along with apple bobbing and pin the arm on the skeleton, the hour of dusk soon passed.

Ghost & Dementor Game

 

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 Kippers and Curtains who have won the Duck Tape Colours with this delightful Fairy garden door from lolly sticks.  

Fairy door from lolly sticks by Kippers & curtains

I also really enjoyed

Spooky pencil toppers from Crafty Journal

Bark plant pots from Craft Invaders

Salt & Pepper shakers by Champagne DIY

 

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.    

 

 

Finally just in case you haven't already spotted it I have a great opportunity running until 29th of October to WIN your family Christmas holiday here with us at Coombe Mill. Just click on the badge below to see how.

 

   

   


How to make A toilet Roll Pig

Posted on September 20th, 2015 - Fiona

How to make a Toilet Roll Pig

Autumn is the time of year we eagerly await the arrival of our piglets. This year Sally delighted us with 14 healthy piglets. They are quite delightful and really become the focus of our morning tractor and trailer feed run with the holiday guests here on the farm.  To tie in with their popularity we have been majoring on Piglet crafts in our weekly activity hour. From Piglet face snouts and farm collecting pots to Pig writing and pencil control with our Twinkl education worksheets for early years we have whiled away an hour of crafts each week. However my most creative and popular has to be these adorable toilet roll pigs which are perfect from toddlers upwards with a little help on scissor and stapler tasks. They form part of a whole series of farm animal crafts so do come back again if you like this one.

 

Trash2Treasure September Toilet Roll Pig

What you’ll need

Toilet roll

Pink or pink and black wool

Old cereal box or light card

Stapler or paper glue

Felt tip pen

Googly eyes – optional

 

What you'll need Toilet Roll Pig

Method

  1. Lightly squeeze the top end of your toilet roll enough to get a pair of scissors around it

 

 

  1. Cut diagonally from part way down the toilet roll towards the top but making sure not to cut off the triangle shape you are creating on both sides of the toilet roll.

 

 

  1. Tease out the triangle flaps to form piggy ears.

 

 

  1. Cut 8 nicks evenly into the other end of the toilet roll 

 

 

  1. Cut away or fold up every other cut to form the legs.
 Method 1-5 Toilet Roll Pigs
  1. Now take a piece of pink wool and, leaving an inch hanging off, wind it round the body from the bottom up and back down again to give a good covering.

 

 

 

  1. Leave another inch or so at the end and tie to the start piece to form the tail.

 

 

 

  1. Cut a large and small circle from a cereal box and place these over one and other stapling or gluing into place.

 

 

 

  1. Use felt tip or googly eyes to make your piglet eyes.
 Method 6-9 Toilet Roll Pigs

A few additions you could try

Fill a cereal box or egg box with grass cuttings or shredded paper to give your pig a home.   

Make a family of pigs with a Mummy Pig from a kitchen roll and piglets from toilet rolls.

Talk about food pigs eat and a little about breads and lifestyle.

Try our Pig learning to write and colouring sheet from our education pages.

 

Toilet Roll Pigs activity Hour

 

 

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 runs 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 been upcycled from something of little value or found in nature. I’d love you to join me and there is a winner each month thanks to the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours. The September link up now running is all about back to school while October will lead with Halloween crafts.

 

Finally just in case you haven’t already spotted it I have a great opportunity running until 29th of October to WIN your family Christmas holiday here with us at Coombe Mill. Just click on the badge below to see how.

 

 

Trash 2 Treasure  clairejustine        Twinkly Tuesday    In The Playroom       what katy said

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