Make & Do

A selection of crafts and activities suitable for children, includes some simple crafts that can even be done with toddlers!

Easy Peasy Cheese Straws


 

Easy Peasy Cheese Straws

This was a quick emergency idea I came up with when the baby was poorly and my 12 year old daughter was badgering me for something to eat! She completed the task herself, with only a few verbal instructions, and was even awesome enough to take some of the photos for the blog.

Jenn - you rock!

Ingredients

1 packet puff pastry
1" wide slice of mature cheddar cheese - grated (approx 2oz/50g)
sesame seeds
flour to dust worktop

Method

  1. Roll the pastry out on a floured worktop.
    Rolling out puff pastry
  2. Sprinkle some of the cheese over the pastry.
    Cheese Sprinkled Pastry
  3. Fold the pastry over and re-roll the pastry out.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all the cheese is used up.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the pastry with sesame seeds and use the rolling pin to press them slightly into the pastry.
    Cheese patry with sesame seeds
  6. Cut the pastry in half down the length, and then into strips.
    Cut sesame seeded cheese pastry
  7. Seperate the strips and carefully lift them onto a lined (or well greased) baking sheet.
    Raw cheese straws
  8. Bake in the hot oven (200C) for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Leave to cool, then eat.
    Sesame seeded cheese straws

How To Braid With 4 Threads


 

To create a 4 strand plait is a lot easier than it sounds. It isn't much harder than plaiting with 3 strands.

 

I have used 4 different colours as it is easier to see what is happening. I used lilac, pink, blue and red.

  1. Knot the four threads together and fan them out.
    4 threads fanned out, ready to plait
  2. Starting starting left to right, pass the first strand (lilac) over the second (pink), then the third (blue) strand over the fourth (red).
  3. Then pass the third strand (now red) over the second strand (now lilac).
  4. Keep following this pattern - 1st over 2nd, 3rd over 4th - Then the new 3rd over the new 2nd (the two middle threads)


1st stage of plait

1st (pink) over 2nd (blue) and 3rd (lilac) over 4th (red)

stage 2 of plait

Then 3rd (red) over 2nd (pink)

Repeat these two steps until the braid is the length you want (or you run out of thread!)

Toilet Roll Wreath


 

The following design is very simple, but effective. It can be adapted for any occasion. We have made these wreaths for Easter, Yule, Valentines and Halloween. The materials are easy to find around the house, and the ones that aren't are cheap enough to buy.

Toilet Roll Easter Wreath  

A printable PDF of the instructions can be viewed here.

Materials Needed

wire coathanger toilet roll inners double sided tape & crepe paper
Wire Coathanger Toilet Roll Inners
Double Sided Tape & Crepe Paper Roll, or paint
Coloured card, paper, pens and scissors Decorations & Ribbon
Coloured card, paper, pens and scissors Decorations & Ribbon

What To Do

  1. Bend the coat hanger into a circle shape. If you want, wrap crepe paper around the hanger to cover it and change the colour.
    Bent Coathanger
  2. Arrange your toilet roll inners around your loop so you know how many you need. If you want to make a pattern like the one shown you will need to cut some toilet rolls in half.
    Toilet Rolls In Place
  3. If you want to paint the toilet rolls do so now and when they are dry jump to step 6. If not, put a strip of double sided sticky tape along the length of each toilet roll.
    toilet roll with double sided tape on it
  4. Wrap the crepe paper around the toilet roll (it will need to be at a slight angle), all the way so it overlaps the ends of the roll.
    crepe covering toilet roll
  5. Tuck in the loose ends of the crepe paper. Use a bit of tape to hold the ends in the tube.
    covered toilet roll
  6. Continue doing the same to all of the toilet rolls until they are all coloured.
    Lots of coloured toilet rolls
  7. Cut half way across the toilet roll. It will probably squash a bit but don't worry about that!
    Cutting the toilet roll
  8. Squeeze your toilet roll back to a tube shape and then push it onto the wire coat hanger.
    toilet roll on coathanger
  9. Continue to do the same to all the toilet rolls until they are all arranged around the wire coat hanger.
    Toilet rolls on coathangers
  10. Add strips of card to the back of all the cardboard tubes. This prevents the tubes from rotating when you add the decorations.
    Fix tubes in place
  11. Turn over the wreath. This is the front and the side you will be adding the decorations to.
    Wreath ready to decorate
  12. Cut out your shapes. We used eggs as we were making an Easter decoration. Decorate them with pens and/or stickers.
    Making cardboard eggs
  13. Start adding decorations to the wreath. You can add cardboard shapes, flowers, stickers, anything!
    Decorate the wreath
  14. Keep going until all of the wreath is covered with decorations.
    Decorated Wreath
  15. Make a shape with your seasonal greeting written on it and punch a hole in the top. Thread a length of ribbon through the hole and knot it.
    Seasonal greeting
  16. Put the greeting in the centre of the wreath and tie the ribbon around the coat hanger hook.
    Attach the message to the wreath
  17. Add a ribbon bow as a finishing touch and hang up your decorative wreath.
    Completed Wreath