Category Archives: Other crafts

Other crafts including crochet and sewing

Easy Last Minute Christmas Treats to Make With Kids

Last minute? Me? Haha never let it be said!!

OK, I’m no Super Mum, but I’m trying my best! My kids are high as kites, and we need some activities which will capture their interest and keep them (relatively) calm!

If you are in the same situation, or are short on time or skill like me (!) here are two extra-easy yummy last minute treats to make with the kids for Christmas.

  • Chocolate Yule Log

This is so easy. Just take a ready-bought chocolate swiss roll of your favourite variety, and ice with chocolate buttercream icing. Then pull a clean fork through the icing in a slightly wiggly pattern, and decorate with ready made icing toppers or holly leaves, and sprinkle with icing sugar for snow. It’s a no-fail kid pleaser!

Chocolate Swiss Roll Yule Log
Chocolate Swiss Roll Yule Log

2. Chocolate Biscuit Houses

A great alternative to the gingerbread houses, much easier and much more likely to get eaten too! Take chocolate biscuits, put them in a triangle shape and stick together with icing. Once dried, put more white icing along the top and let it drip down like snow, then embelish with sweets, sprinkles or anything else your heart desires!

Christmas Chocolate Biscuit Houses with Sweets
Christmas Chocolate Biscuit Houses with Sweets

Pin for later:

Easy Last Minute (and very yummy) Christmas Treats To Make With Kids
Easy Last Minute Christmas Treats To Make With Kids

Vlogmas Week 2+ Is This The End?

Week two of Vlogmas saw us flagging somewhat. We managed 6 of the 7 days I think, plus a few more, and then….. well it’s all starting to fall apart a bit!

Last week was the final week of school, which meant so many busy things happening. Two nativities, school disco, and Santa visit which I’d co-ordinated via the PTA. I also had my little one off school sick,  which meant I missed out on the school dinner I was invited to. Lots of school events which I wasn’t allowed to share unfortunately, so no great Vlogmas content!

Then the panic also set in with Christmas shopping. Suddenly  I feel very disorganised. I haven’t bought everything I need yet, and haven’t wrapped anything at all. I didn’t even write a card until Sunday!

So I’ve pulled back with the Vlogmas thing. I hope nobody minds. I suspect nobody even noticed!

It isn’t likely to improve much any time soon. I was at the hospital today for a follow-up consultation from the procedure I had done last week. It was successful, but means that the doctor is going ahead with the Radiofrequency Ablation operation THIS THURSDAY!! I’m then going to be out of action for two weeks (like I wasn’t out of action already!), but I’m now in total panic mode trying to do all of my last minute Christmas preparation in the next two days. Or alternatively, I could just write about it…..!

Please wish me luck as you watch some of my Vlogmas videos from the past week or so….. Merry Christmas!

Diary of An Imperfect Mum


Vlogmas ’16 – We Made It Through Week 1!!

Did you know we were doing Vlogmas? Do you even know what Vlogmas is?? I didn’t until quite recently, when I made the somewhat rash decision to take part! It’s a Vlog a day in the run-up to Christmas, for the whole of December.

Shall I just reiterate – a DAILY vlog!

Crazy, I know! But when I started this blog, it was partly because my boys were really getting into YouTube and wanting to make their own videos, and I wanted to help, guide and supervise what they were doing to ensure they were being safe and sensible. Then, we kind of let things tail off, and it all went quiet for them. So I wanted to pick up the pace and re-spark their enthusiasm and mine.

I also wanted Family Makes to be much more crafty, and Christmas is the best time of the year for crafts, so another good reason to document it.

So, we’re winging it a bit, to be honest. I’ve made a list of ideas with possible dates, but we’ve already deviated from it, as I have such a painful back at the moment (and am going into hospital today to have a procedure done on it – eek!)

So without further ado, here are our first week’s worth of vlogs. Of course, it depends how it goes in hospital today, whether we’ll be able to keep it up or not. Wish me luck!

We’d also love it if you could follow us on Youtube, and leave some likes or comments too if you could please!

Thanks for watching!

RachelSwirlYou Baby Me Mummy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

How To Make Chalkboard Gift Tins For Christmas Gifts

The nice people at Rust-Oleum sent us some lovely paints to use in our craft projects. They also sent us a link to their inspiring website where we found a fabulous idea for chalkboard painted gift tins, and decided to make it our own!

We recycled some sweet tins, one plastic and one metal, and covered them with Rust-Oleum Chalkboard spray paint. The steps are very straightforward, but we’ve made a how-to video for you to follow and see what we made:

  1. Eat all the sweeties from your chosen container. I know, this is the tough part!
  2. Make sure the tin is clean.
  3. Consider using a primer (or skip this part if you are impatient like me!)
  4. Spray the tin and lid separately with Rust-Oleum Chalkboard spray paint. Use two thin coats if necessary, rather than one thick coat which may run.
  5. Once dry, apply your chosen design with chalk or chalk pen – take care as chalk pen can be quite difficult to remove (although not permanent, it can leave a smudge). You might want to consider using a stencil or repeating pattern.
  6. Fill with your chosen gift and give to the lucky recipient!
All finished! Home made chalkboard gift tins
All finished! Home made chalkboard gift tins

You might also like to see our other project using chalkboard paint, the Advent Calendar.

Directions and a short video for how to make these lovely chalkboard painted tins. A great upcycle/recycle of your sweet tins or cake tins!
Pin this for later

You Baby Me MummyHannah Spannah
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking SundayWe Made This Life

How To Make A Chalkboard Advent Calendar Or Christmas Picture

Doesn’t Christmas make you feel all creative? It does me! Suddenly there are all kinds of creative projects to do, with or without the children. It’s really exciting!

We have been sent some lovely paints from Rust-Oleum to help get our creative juices flowing. It has definitely worked – I’m feeling very inspired.

Yesterday I completed this quick and easy chalkboard Advent calendar. It’s definitely not too late for you to have a go too. It doesn’t even have to be an Advent calendar, it could be a lovely Christmas picture, with a Bible verse or line from a Christmas song perhaps? Take a look at our Pinterest Board for inspiration and printable templates.

Home Made Advent Calendar Using Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint
Home made Advent Calendar

I’ve upcycled an old canvas painting which was just lurking in the garage waiting to get damaged, so I don’t feel too bad about turning it into a chalk board using the Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint. An old picture or photo frame would work really well, as you could do the outside of the frame in a different colour. If you don’t have one, try a charity shop.

Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint in Action!
Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint in Action!

I used a printed font for the writing, and chalked over the back of the letters then simply rubbed down to transfer. Then I went over the writing with a chalk pen as it is a bit more precise than ordinary chalk.

Advent Calendar Chalkboard Alternative Finish
Advent Calendar Chalkboard Alternative Finish

I had an old Christmas ornament which I used to make the advent. You can also buy them new, or use string and pegs with brown envelopes like they did on the Rust-Oleum website. If you’re making a decoration rather than an Advent calendar, you could try string and baubles or rows of holly as I’ve shown in my example here.

A blank chalkboard canvas for your ideas!
A blank chalkboard canvas for your ideas!

Let your imagination run wild, and maybe use up any old decorations which you don’t have space for anywhere else. The options are limitless.

Here’s our quick ‘How To’ video:

Most of all have fun, and please let me know how you get on. I love seeing everyone’s creations! Please tag me on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) if you share your projects!

You can also view our other Chalkboard Paint project here

How To Make A Chalkboard Advent or Other Christmas Chalkboard Picture Using Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint
Pin this for later!

24 Things To Put In Your Advent Calendar

Yes, I know, it’s December already. Have you made an Advent Calendar? Or are you still panicking about what to put in it? Well don’t worry…

The first thing, which only really dawned on me yesterday, is that you don’t have to fill it with a full month worth of stuff. If you do, the little blighters darlings will only peek/swap around/steal the stuff early anyway. No, panic not, fill the next few days’ worth, then read my list and do the rest later (at your leisure, as it were!)

This is an Advent Calendar I made yesterday using Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint (instructions here) which I simply put candy canes in, as they look so pretty! It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Home Made Advent Calendar Using Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint
Home made Advent Calendar

Some ideas depend on the size of the pockets or boxes on your calendar, some depend on the age and sex of your children, but here is a list of ideas for you to work with. I hope you are inspired!

24 Ideas for Filling Your Advent Calendars
Ready to fill our Advent Calendars
  1. Lego – I’m splitting a small lego box for mine. The best way is to follow the instructions as you split the pack so they can be made as they go along.
  2. Jigsaw pieces – same principle, a few pieces per day to make up the puzzle
  3. Stampers (rubber printing stamps)
  4. Stickers
  5. Chocolate coins
  6. Real money coins!
  7. Mini figures
  8. Party poppers
  9. Tiny puzzles – I used the little ball/maze puzzles
  10. Marshmallows to make a snowman or with hot chocolate
  11. Pin badges (flashing lights/Christmas themed)
  12. Keyrings
  13. Stationery items – rubbers, pencil sharpeners etc
  14. Necklace/bracelet
  15. Hair bows, bobbles, slides, clips
  16. Craft items, or split up a craft kit (we’ve got Mr. Maker kits this year)
  17. Christmas baubles to hang on the tree
  18. Felt finger puppets or decorations, maybe in kit form if children are older
  19. Wrapped biscuits
  20. Christmas style chocolates (foil wrapped mini Santa, Snowman etc)
  21. Chocolate tree decorations
  22. Lip gloss or chapstick
  23. Vouchers or notes for special treats (panto, Santa visit, view lights, movie night – let your imagination run wild!)
  24. Acts of kindness – we are adding an act of kindness every day in ours. Giving is as important as receiving. It’s a good lesson to give at Christmas time!

If you need inspiration for acts of kindness, Mum in the Madhouse has some great printables, or see our Pinterest board for more.

Advent Clanedar Train to fill with ideas
Our Advent Calendar Train

24 Things to put in your Advent Calendar - lots of inspiration
Pin for later

Happy to be linking with:

You Baby Me MummyHannah Spannah