DIY Catapult

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These are really simple, frugal and quick to make.

Supplies

Hole punch
Elastic bands. I bought a cheap box from home base, it has smaller and larger bands in a range of colours. I used 8 longer and 24 smaller for each catapult.
Eyelets and eyelet tool.
Leather piece approx. 16cm by 4cm.
Cut leather on grain so non stretchy
One Y shaped stick, try and find one with relatively equal top forks. Cut to size by eye. (The Hand hold part of mine range from 10 cm which fits my hand to 8 cm (for a 5 yr old)this one is also a smaller circumference. Total height from 16-19 cm.

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Method
1. Fold the leather in half widthways. This is to increase the strength. Also I had “fake” leather left over from a car job so I wanted to hide the reverse of the fabric.
2. Punch a hole in the centre of each shorter side.

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3. Add an eyelet to each hole.

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3. Select 4 longer elastic bands, I chose 4 of the same colour. These are going around one of the “prongs” of the Y shaped wood.

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4. Now chose 4 of the smaller bands. These are going half way through the longer bands. Then one end if them goes through the loop of the other end to secure a knot.

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This is how I do it I grab the two ends of the 4 longer bands around my finger then. Feed the 4 shorter bands half way through, with my finger still there so they don’t ping off the wood. Next pass one end of all 4 bands through the loops of the other ends. Sorry I could not work out how to hold the camera and demonstrate this, but here what it looks like when you have done that.

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5. Continue this with two more groups of 4 bands. You won’t need to stick you finger in these and they are not under tension.
6. Repeat for the other side (fork).
7. Now to attach the leather. Take one set of the longer bands off the forked wood and on to a finger. Sorry fuzzy picture can’t do one armed camera, need a tripod.

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8. Now feed the final smaller bands through an eyelet, half way and create the same loop with the chain of bands.
9. Slip the larger bands back on the fork.
10. Repeat with the other side.
11. You are done, time to play.

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Opps I’ve tagged this as boys toys, but honestly my girls are pretty keen on them too.

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Christmas Wreaths

My second farmers market is tomorrow, I’ve been busy wreath making. We have loads of willow and hazel withies at the wild woods. So it was time to make use of them.

It’s a bit early to add greenery and expect it to last to Christmas. This is my favourite…

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I started by making a pile of hoops.

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These are available for sale leave a comment if you are interested.

Next I had fun decorating, here’s a sample….

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Lacy crochet Christmas Decorations

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Oh the fun of making for Christmas. I have been given a ball of cream crochet cotton and had a play with a Teeny tiny heart pattern I have made several times before. I loved it, it came up all lacy and quite different looking to the yarn ones I made previously. I used a USA size H hook, mainly because it is a lovely shiny green Christmassy colour. (Quick google suggests its a 5mm hook).

I next tried the lovely Lucy’s teeny tiny star.. I decided to turn the second round into dc (double crochet) instead of tr (treble crochet) to make it even more teeny. Again it worked beautifully, thank you Lucy.

However I wanted more Christmas, I thought about trying her jolly holly but wasn’t sure how it would look as a hanging decoration. Time to go it alone, I’ve come up with my own pattern it’s for a teeny tiny tree. As you can see it works up to be the same size as Lucy’s star and heart patterns so would make a lovely garland.

Here’s the instructions:

1. Chain 4

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2. Join with a slip stitch.

3. Crochet 12 dc into the loop you have just made. That’s hook through the loop, yarn over, pull back through the loop. Yarn over then back through all loops on hook.

4. Slip stitch to first dc.

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5. Now for the shaping. This is half of the top of the tree. 2tr into first dc. (Treble is yarn over, through stitch, yarn over, back through two loops on hook( stitch and 1st yarn over) yarn over, back through two loops, leaving one loop on hook. The way I remember it is that a treble has 3 yarn overs and a double has 2).
6. Now 1/2 tr into next stitch. ( yarn over, through stitch, yarn over, back through 3 loops leaving one on hook.)
7. Dc into next stitch.
8. 1/2 tr into next stitch.
9. 3 tr into next stitch, this is the first bottom corner.
10. Now repeat the 1/2 tr, dc, 1/2 tr into the next 3 stitches.

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11. 3tr in the next stitch for the next corner.
12. 1/2tr, dc, 1/2tr into next 3 stitches.
13. Finally 2tr into first stitch with the original 2tr.
14. Make a picot point for the top of the tree. 2ch then slip stitch into first if these 2ch.

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15. Slip stitch picot point to first treble made. You are done.
I finish and make a loop with the last stitch which I weave to the very top of the tree and fasten off with a few 1/2 hitch knots.

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Having a go at a bell or maybe angel next….

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Turning Children’s Drawings into Soft Toys

From an old sheet to soft toy.

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We have done this a couple of times. It started with the Jane Bull book. She has a pattern for a figure shaped like a ginger bread man which can be made into a variety of characters from pirates to cats.
We took it one step further and I let them draw on a piece of old sheet, with fabric pens.
1.I cut a piece of sheet about 60cm by 30 cm which I folded to make a 30cm square.
2. Next I taped this to the table cloth with masking tape, so it did not move when the used the pens.
3. Abi who was 6 at the time drew her own out line ( a unicorn) then coloured it in and drew on features.

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4. For Mia who was about 2 I drew the outline if a cat and she coloured it in.
5. The outline was then cut out adding a 1 cm seam allowance.
6. The reverse of the bottom piece was then illustrated by them in the same way.
7. The pieces were pinned together right side in.
8. I showed Abi how to do a running stitch around hers. It took nearly a year of her picking it up and putting it down to complete. But she did it including a wool tail.
9. Mia had a go then I machine sewed hers. Leaving a gap of a couple of inches for turning and stuffing.
10. When you turn the character the right way round (through the hole you have left). Make sure you use a blunt instrument such as a chop stick to poke small pieces like cats ears to get definition. Also if you have sharp corners or steep curves you may need to clip off some v’s into the fabric to enable it to lie flat when turned the right way round.
11. You can stuff it with toy stuffing or cut up old clothes into small pieces to use as filling. Or even add a some rice or dried beans to give it some weight or turn it into a warmer. ( if you are doing this you will need to make sure the stitches are very small).
12. Stitch up the gap.

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There you have your child’s designed and made soft toy.

Abi is making her second now. This is the start of it….

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Fun with Cardboard Boxes

We had a delivery with two enormous cardboard boxes. The girls have had so much fun, they have been cars, boats caravans. I lost them one morning, they were both in one both together with blankets, teddies and pillows.

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Smaller boxes have been used to make “dolls houses”.

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Finally, I think they wanted to make dressing up dolls. One if the boxes had split down one side by this time. We opened it right up and split it in two. This made enough cardboard for each girl to lie on and be drawn around. I then cut them out.
Today they wanted to give them faces and clothes. As they are the same size as the girls they borrowed from their own wardrobes.

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Mia dressing her “doll”.
Next they decided they needed shoes, this was a bit more tricky. They attempted to cut slits in the feet for flip flops.

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Didn’t work. But crocks and sandals did…

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here’s Abi’s nearing completion

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And here’s Abi with her creation

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Finally the pair if them with their alter egos

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Happy boxing.

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Home made waspinator

20130807-134158.jpgWe were really plagued by wasps this lunchtime. It was not a relaxing meal.I daydreamed about buying a waspinator.

My brain then ticked over with ideas, such as trying to make one with a ballon and paper mâché, then just scrunching up some news paper.

I excused myself and went in a newspaper hunt. I came back with a brown paper, scrunched it up and hung it on the fencing by our table.
It worked like magic. The instant effect was shockingly brilliant.
Chilled out lunch.

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Home made licky stickers

Abi’s wish this morning was to make stickers. After a quick google admiring this post, this post and this post .

I asked Abi what she wanted to do with the stickers “stick them on people”. Ummmm the warnings in the first post about the stickers being permanent ruled that one out. We could find any white glue, must be at the woods, so that ruled the last option out. A gelatin hunt resulted in the discovery of some leaf gelatin.
Woohoo we’re in business.
Abi decorated the card she wanted to use for stickers. Then we broke up a couple of the gelatin sheets into small pieces in a cup. Added a tablespoon of boiling water and stirred. Resulting in a gloopy solution. We painted the back of the card with the sticky stuff and left it in the sunshine to dry. While Abi designed more stickers.
Then we got licking and sticking on my jeans ( thanks Abi)

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On the dogs bowl

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Infact anywhere that stood still for a few seconds

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What surprised me was the amount if time these stickers lasted. Especially on the shiny dog bowl surface and my jeans which got lots if movement. I took the sticker off my jeans before it fell off. This glue is goooood.
Abi finally made a load for her friends

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We left the left over gloopy glue in the pot to see how long it would last. Answer not long at all, we checked it after about half an hour and it looked like this

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The moral being make it when you are ready to use it and use it quick.
Happy sticking.

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