Tag Archives: craft gifts

Easter Chocolates

Standard

I wanted to try making some Easter shaped chocolates this year with the kids, as I thought it would be fun. We were given a number of plastic chocolate moulds by a good friend, and my mother also gave us a silicone chocolate mould to try. We started with the silicone mould.

IMG_9124We didn’t make our own chocolate, we used choc melts, in milk chocolate and white chocolate. I melted small batches of the melts in a ceramic bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds at a time. Each time the microwave dinged, I mixed the chocolate with a spoon to make sure that it was melting evenly and not burning on the bottom of the bowl. It’s very important to remove the spoon from the bowl before it is placed in the microwave!

Chocolate mould.

Chocolate mould.

I did not let the kids handle the bowl with the melted chocolate, as it can be very hot. I used an oven mitt to prevent burning myself on the bowl when removing it from the microwave. After a minute or two it was normally cool enough to touch, but we still had to be very careful.

Mixing the hot chocolate.

Mixing the hot chocolate.

Ready for the fridge.

Ready for the fridge.

As silicone is floppy, we used a plastic cutting board underneath the mould to prevent it from drooping and spilling the chocolate. We transferred the melted chocolate into the mould one spoonful at a time, carefully filling each hole to the top and smoothing it out. Inevitably, we dripped chocolate onto the cutting board, mould and even on the bench. The kids didn’t mind swiping it up on a finger and popping it in their mouths. Once all the holes on the mould were filled, we placed it in the fridge to set.

Placing the chocolates onto the cellophane.

Placing the chocolates onto the cellophane.

We made some plain milk chocolate, some white chocolate, and some we mixed together to marble the chocolate. I also had a go at layering the chocolate. I found it was best to let the first layer set in the fridge for about fifteen minutes before adding the second layer.

Forming a bundle.

Forming a bundle.

The kids cut some cellophane into squares and placed about four chocolates onto each square, then brought the cellophane up around the chocolates creating a little bundle. We added some curling ribbon to tie it up, and I curled it with scissors. L tried to curl her own ribbon, but she didn’t quite manage it. They want to give their little parcels of Easter chocolates to relatives.

Little parcels of Easter chocolates.

Little parcels of Easter chocolates.

Melty Beads Bookmarks

Standard

IMG_8039All of us are guilty of reading several books at once, leaving bookmarks in them, and forgetting to replace our bookmarks when we are done. L made a lovely bookmark holder out of pop-sticks a couple of weeks ago which is helping us to keep our bookmarks together, but we could do with some more to add to our collection. We were browsing through a Hama Beads Inspiration booklet when we saw some bookmarks made from the beads and some ribbon. We decided to have a go at making some bookmarks like this, though we made up our own bead designs.

IMG_8035

L made this design on our penguin pegboard.

L made this design on our penguin pegboard.

Each of our designs included a hole for the ribbon to be attached, and we tried not to make them too big or they would have been too heavy to stay in the book. Since each one wasn’t very big, we used a few of the smaller pegboards to create them.

IMG_8038I ironed the beads together and when they were cool we threaded some ribbon through the hole we’d left, and tied it off. We made the ribbon long enough that it would lie right along the height of our books and poke out the bottom.

These make for some very cute little bookmarks, and they were really easy to make. L particularly liked that she could make any shape or design she liked with any colours.

L's new bookmark in one of our books.

L’s new bookmark in one of our books.

IMG_8036

Melty Beads Bag Tags

Standard

IMG_8173When L was a preschooler her teacher noticed that while she was advanced in many areas, her fine motor skills could use some improvement. The school gave me some ideas for things to practice with her to improve her fine motor skills to help improve her writing. One of their suggestions was melty beads, which I found under the brand name Hama Beads in Lincraft. These are little plastic ring-like beads that are placed on a peg board in the desired design and then the top is ironed to melt the beads together (with baking paper between the beads and the iron face to prevent the beads melting onto the iron!). Then once the beads cool down, the design can be removed from the peg board and displayed or used in whatever way one wishes. These melty beads were a huge hit with L. We have done many designs over the past couple of years, and it never seems to lose its appeal. Now A is also very interested in making designs with the melty beads.

L adding beads to her star peg board.

L adding beads to her star peg board.

Yesterday we used our melty beads to make some bag tags. A chose to make her bag tag in a heart shape, while L picked to use the star peg board. There are many different shaped peg boards available, and we only have a small selection. There are also lots of different coloured beads, which can be purchased as individual colours, or in various mixed packs. I have always bought  sets of mixed beads for variety, and L and A mostly like to place the coloured beads randomly onto their chosen shape.

A placing beads on her peg board.

A placing beads on her peg board.

As predicted, A made her two hearts in a completely random way, though L made some patterns on her stars. I wielded the iron as it is too dangerous for the kids to touch.

A's hearts.

A’s hearts.

L's stars.

L’s stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a hot glue gun to attach a piece of ribbon to the back of one of the shapes to form a loop from which the tag could be hung. Continuing with the glue gun, I stuck the second shape back-to-back with the first shape, so that the ribbon was sandwiched between them. A’s two hearts went together nicely, and L asked to have her stars placed so that the points of one were between the points of the other. She thought this looked cool. The glue doesn’t take long to dry, so shortly after finishing the kids could attach their new tags to their bags.

We didn’t write their names on these tags, but they do help the kids to identify their own bag at school.

New bag tag hanging on A's backpack.

New bag tag hanging on A’s backpack.

L's new bag tag hanging from the handle of her backpack.

L’s new bag tag hanging from the handle of her backpack.