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MollyMoo Crafts

Cardboard Craft & Handmade Toy: Circus In My Pocket

I am delighted to finally be able to lift the lid on this little craft project I created for the current issue of Anorak Magazine. I just received my copy today – and had such giddy little butterflies in the pit of my belly when I saw it lying there in the hallway waiting for me.

When first invited to be the featured ‘Make Stuff’ crafter by Anorak’s editor I had total crafters-block, just couldn’t decide what to do and flip-flopped for a fortnight, anxious that it be the best project yet!.

Wanting to do a microcraft for a while I decided to marry that desire with the magazine’s ‘Circus’ theme….. and this is what I came up with – a Circus In My Pocket Toy Craft, featuring a giant cardboard matchbox and troop of colourful characters made from winecorks, polystyrene craft balls and toothpicks.

Jump on for the step by step instructions on how to make the matchbox and talented circus crew…… let the show begin!! and have fun

[read on]


DIY Cardboard Aquarium Craft

Two craft posts in one week! this housework avoidance must stop :)
This one came about from wanting the kids in my weekend arts and crafts class to have somewhere for the fish they would be making to call home, somewhere for the kids to admire and play with their gorgeous colourful creations.

please [read on] for all the beginning to end photos and tips on how to make your very own cardboard aquarium [read on]


Papier Mache Pizzas

By far the hit of this week’s summer camp were these papier mache pizzas. I think it was the possibilities for trickery that got the kids more excited than the actual making of them :)

The creative little crew, all aged between 5 and 9yrs, mastered every step, and were so eager to get everything right to make their pizzas as ‘believable’ as possible for when they got home to their hungry daddies. I had made up demo pizzas the night before to illustrate each step and this really helped the kids visualise what they needed to do and how. Starting with pre-cut cardboard circles they rolled their newspaper sheets, taped them down all around the edges and then glued on their cardboard toppings – circles for pepperoni, squares for ham and pineapple, and a few mushrooms on the side….. check out the inspired ‘chip and chocolate’ pizza for the non calorie counting ones amongst us – brilliant :)



jump on for all the step by step photos and instructions on how to make your own pretend play pizza [read on]

the story of a ‘putt putt boat’

Imaginative play and storytelling…..
inspired by a humble milk carton

I’ve been planning on making a milk carton boat for some time…so yesterday, when Molly was at a birthday party, I plucked one out of the fridge and got busy (anything to avoid housework!!) and later putting the finishing touches on when she was gone to bed.

Now Molly is not really a morning person!! but Oh My Giddiness was she on form this morning – so super excited when the little milk carton boat was sitting there on the kitchen table waiting for her. Without taking a breath she ran straight back up to her bedroom to get ‘something’ and arrived down with her little crochet princess doll – “see mom I knew she could sit in there”

Between spoonfuls of weetabix her little imagination took flight and the following gorgeous little story popped out (such a proud mammy today :)

Princess and The Sevens
“Once there was a princess in a big high castle.
All these days she practiced her ballet.
All of a sudden a caveman arrived!!
Then the princess ran down the stairs to see who it was.
She ran back up, and the caveman followed her.
She slammed the door.
The caveman heard the slam.
He followed the sniff
And the sniff stopped at the ballet room door.
He waited until she was asleep and took her!!
She woke up in a teeny little boat.

The caveman stopped at a boney, stinky, old house – yucky.
The poor princess had to do ALL the work.
One day when she was working outside she looked in the window, and the caveman was asleep.
She hoped in the boat and sailed off to Syracuse!!

When it was bedtime she went fast asleep,

And when she woke she opened her eyes and was in Syracuse.
She lived happily ever after.
The end”

word for word by Molly age 6 :)

Notes: She’s called ‘Princess & The Sevens’ because she is 7yrs old!
I love that the caveman sniffs her scent like a dog, how funny :)
I love that Molly just stuffed her down in the boat at bedtime :)
and she told me she heard of Syracuse in her Sinbad dvd (google just confirmed!!)

Jump on for the step by step photographs [read on]



DIY Stamping Fun

Some simple wine cork stamps I’ve made for tomorrow’s Gandelow Gang classes – wine corks donated by The Wine Buff, funky foam shapes, matchsticks, plant ties and anything else I could lay my hands on in the ‘junk drawer’ in the kitchen (we’ve all got one of them right :)


“make it more piratey mom”

This ‘make a pirate ship’ project started out as a simple enough idea – a boat for Molly to play out her Pirate Captain & Crew adventures on – and of course, as always, I got carried away with the detail. Two evenings later, covered in glue and paint, the ship was pushed down the slipway and launched with no great fanfair! no champagne and cheering crowds, just a glass of orange juice and a cocktail sausage!

The pirate ship could of course have been a hollowed out milk carton with a lollipop stick but I wanted to create something Molly would engage with for even longer.

She loves it, played with it for hours yesterday, and because it’s not the archetypal black with skull and crossbone pirate ship she thought it ok to welcome a group of giddy Polly Pockets onboard for a spin around the bay too. Result.

I found her under the kitchen chair at one stage…. the pirates secret lair.

A happy little person, fuelled by her own imagination
…and all it cost me was my time :)

Read on to see all the step by step photos & the free hull template [read on]



Land Ho!! egg carton raft craft

I didn’t do much craft with Molly over the Easter holidays – choosing instead to visit friends and generally ‘mess about’ outside as much as possible between the hail showers, before she returns to the classroom tomorrow.

So this afternoon I decided it was time to get out the paint and glue and spend a bit of time creating something for the Tinkerlab Creative Challenge.

With egg cartons, lollipop sticks and a glue gun I made a sturdy raft with a mast and crows nest, then Molly picked the paint and got busy with the brush, while I cut a piece of fabric for the flag and watercolour paper for the sail. I think my favourite bit is the ‘girlie’ pirate skull and cross-bone sail Molly drew – a menacing sight for sure on the high seas :)

[read on]


cupcake anyone?


The tables were turned here a bit at the weekend – Molly took the lead and came up with *her own* craft idea and I had to *follow* her instructions!! (the power went to her head at times). I was of course a willing pupil, very chuffed that she had come up with this on her own…

Anyhoo as girlie as only a girl thing can be, her craft idea involved cupcakes and decorating :)

read on for Molly’s recipe and decorating instructions…. [read on]

Quick Craft: Button House For Fairies


I’m always careful that with all my ‘carry on’ Molly doesn’t get jaded with making and creating so I’ve consciously not initiated anything crafty with her for the past couple of weeks – choosing instead to wait for her to initiate. So this morning when she said she wanted to make a ‘button house’ I sprang into action and got everything ready for her.


I can never bring myself to throw out an Innocent Smoothie box, perfect size, lovely solid cardboard and a ready made hole for making birdhouses and playhouses. So with scalpel, masking tape and some matchsticks I quickly molded a smoothie box into a house shape and gave it to her with a box of buttons, pva and a brush. She had found some tubes of shiny things for the roof!. I left her to her own devices and embraced the laundry (without the same level of enthusiasm!!)


…. and about 30 minutes later she emerged from the kitchen with her embellished little house, a cute little butterfly doorknob, and a fistful of polly pockets :)


With bedtime in sight her little creation has now found it’s way to a quiet little corner of the garden, far away from sight. Molly wishes she, like Wendy in Tinkerbell’s Great Fairy Rescue, will get to meet and greet a real life button-loving fairy :))
[read on]

love the simple things

Fun for all with a roll of craft paper, a packet of crayons and the kitchen floor.
Assuming the role of assistant town planner I helped with the winding road and forest and then watched from the sidelines as the little village took shape around every turn –  a mucky field for the farm animals, lake with fish family, mermaid and beach, train tracks and a factory with ample carparking :) The windows on the houses were blackened because the lights were off!!
My My did Molly love doing this – a new pack of crayons was reduced to bits (some deliberately-on-purpose I think after I promised we could melt the broken ones and made crayon cookies tomorrow !)


what’s on the box?

With the first autumn ‘nose cold’ taking shape today I decided to play it safe and stay indoors with MollyMoo…sniff, sniff..

Still in our pajamas, we set our sights on a humble microwave box… and
1. cut out the hole for the screen
2. painted the front and sides
3. glued the on/off buttons
4. made pipe-cleaner & pom-pom aerials
5. stuck tin-foil on the inside
6. made the remote control from a painted leftover piece of cardboard & buttons

taa daa – MollyVision went onair with a very interesting lineup of young presenters & Just For Kids programming. The digital, free-to-air channel, will be available in playrooms only :) [read on]


mother nature’s finest

Last summer Molly was sent home from school for the holidays with a sunflower plant to grow and support and, and….it lasted a few weeks!! (I don’t have a great record in the gardening department). The wind ended our project during the wee hours one night – but of course the wind wouldn’t have broken it in two had mummy put it in a more suitable place!!. Well anyhooo, to start the holidays this year I decided we would make one instead – I couldn’t mess than one up :)

Made with Molly’s handprints, glued on beads and felt leaves. If doing this again I think five handprints would work better.


Happy Father’s Day

A simple little idea for tomorrow – no need for the credit card to come out (save that for Mother’s Day!!).

Decorate and fill a Love Jar with funny thoughts for dad to read, and doodles of course. It took us about 2mins to decorate the jar and about half an hour to write all the notes. We put two together – one for dad and one for granddad. They’re hidden under her bed until ‘the sun comes up’.


Easter Egg Hunt Clue Cards & Game

Right that’s it then ‘we’ are all ready for Easter morning. Clues 1 to 6 will take M from closet to drawer to bathtub – and on to two not so choclaty eggs. Inside the eggs conceal jigsaw pieces, which when put together reveal the final all important clue ‘Where is THE egg’

TO MAKE: I used happyhomefairy card printables and modified the clues so they would suit where we were going to be on Easter morn. I painted a blank jigsaw I found in the craftshop and finished with some 3D markers. The plastic eggs were just some moshi monster things used as a last resort when I couldn’t find ‘eggs that opened’ in the afore mentioned craft shop :)


DIY Mother’s Day Cards

Quick and simple is all we can manage this week, and these quick little thumbprint cuties went in today’s post to a special {god}mother and {grand}mother. Mine is being ‘hand delivered’ :)
Inspired by RedTedArt

It was Molly’s first introduction to ‘secret’ brackets (typographers daughter!!) I think we’ll be seeing alot of them for a while.




for crayon out loud

Molly’s school will be closed all next week for midterm break so we had to get her little Valentine treats ready before friday. Thankfully I didn’t have to make them for her entire class – she just wanted to give them to her ‘bestest’ school friends and playdates :)

Last weekend we gathered up all the bits of broken crayons around the house, and chopped up a few more to fill our silicon baking tray. Into the preheated oven we popped the tray and watched carefully as the crayons were ‘reborn’. Once out of the oven they only took a few minutes to cool and harden  – ready for M’s road test. She thought it was like colouring with a rainbow :)

I used the Happy Colour oliebollen printable mentioned earlier for the card, photoshopping Molly’s handwritten message into place instead of the message on the printable, and used little craft envelopes from the art & hobby shop to package each crayon.

Tip: only use bright crayons as the blacks and browns go all muddy.
I had seen instructions online to leave the crayons in the oven for 15mins at 230 – this did not work for me!! the wax got too hot in my nuclear reactor of an oven. We tried again at 200 for just 5mins and that worked perfectly. The main thing is to keep a very close eye on them and adjust to suit your own oven.


grab the table salt for some frosty fun

Molly and her cool buddy Harry had great fun making thank you cards for Santa today. First time trying this technique and the salt really gives a frosty feel for perfect winter paintings. We’ll be experimenting more over the next few days for sure.
Simply get the kiddos to paint some gloopy glue one or inbetween some lines, sprinkle the salt over it and let dry. M of course got out the pink glitter to glamorise her one, immediately – couldn’t have a snowgirl not looking her best :)


spongebob – best fun eva!

The most fun you can have with a car sponge…


what to do with all the Innocent magnets

I had a lightbulb moment the other day – the Innocent Smoothie magnets were mounting up on the side of the fridge so I thought we’d get the scissors out and use a few to make fridge magnets for ‘everyone’. With some gloopy glue and craft foam we used up about ten… now what to do with the rest??


Penguin Potato Print Cards

Woo Hoo! my potato print penguin christmas cards have just been featured on The Crafty Crow children’s craft collective website. Delighted, made my week :)

Click here for the tutorial on how to make these cute homemade cards with just the humble spud and fingerprints.




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