Last week we made some paper chains using recycled magazines or papers. This week I thought I’d tell you about the cutie little fairy-sized crackers that I had a go at making.
You need a few basic things to make these – but before you start I should mention that they do not actually crack! (Although you can buy the poppers at some art stores if you really want some.)
- crepe paper
- the inner core of a toilet roll
- glue, sticky tape, scissors, ruler
- pretty string
- shiny tape or wrapping paper
- goodies to put into the cracker – like sweets, little charms, jokes or even vouchers to wash dishes or make cups of tea or coffee.
First you need to modify the toilet roll core.
A normal toilet roll core is 10cm long and 4cm wide. Cut it down the centre and then cut it in half. Roll one half around your finger and tape it closed. This should give you a baby sized toilet roll core of 5cm long x 2cm wide.
Crepe paper is nice and stretchy and comes in flat rolls in many different colours. You can get lots of crackers out of one roll.
Put your tiny core in the middle (at the bottom) of a rectangle of crepe paper that measures ~15cm x 11cm.
Roll it up and put a bit of glue on the edge to stick it down.
Carefully tie one side up with a piece of pretty string.
Pop the sweet or whatever you are going to use into the core and tie up the other side.
Then you can decorate the middle bit of the cracker with shiny tape or anything you have handy – stickers, pictures, leaves – get your creative hat on.
The crackers can then be used as table decorations for a special meal, or you can hang them on the Christmas tree if you have one. You could even staple one end of the cracker to your paper chain. Or you can simply use them as little presents.
Remember – you can always adapt ideas and make them your own. There is no right or wrong when it comes to being creative.
The main thing is to have fun in the process.
Lots of love,
Somehow the festive season always seems so much more jolly when decorations are involved.
Of course, you could tootle off to the shop and spend money on fancy, shiny, plastic, commercial decorations that might, or might not, land up in the bin after all the festivities.
Or you could make your own.
Like paper chains – they are nothing new – but they’re still fun and easy to make.
All you need is… imagination, an old magazine, scissors, a ruler, a glue stick or stapler.
- Cut the magazine into strips. (~2cm strips are very easy to use and you get a chain of about 60cm long from one page.) If you make the strips 1cm or less, it becomes a little fiddly, but you obviously get many more strips out of a page so your chain is much longer.
- Cut (or tear) all the strips in half.
- Make a circle out of the first strip (overlapping the ends) and glue or staple it closed. Stapling is easier but is less environmentally friendly because when the paper breaks down you are left with little bits of metal that hang around for a whole lot longer.
- Interlock your next piece of paper through the first circle and close it.
- Keep going until you have a chain long enough to stretch from one side of the room to the other – or however you want to drape it. Better check with your parental agent before you stick things on the walls though.
Get creative and make little bunches of shorter chains to hang at the end of the long chain.
Traditionally chains used to be made out of coloured crepe paper. You can easily still get this paper and it’s not very expensive. Crepe paper has a bit of a stretch to it – so does not break very easily. It also comes in lovely bright colours.
If you are financially challenged though – magazines work just as well. You can even use newspaper!
You could glitz the chains up with a bit of glitter… but I was reading the other day that glitter is also becoming an environmental no-no. It is now classed as a micro-particle – it gets into the water system and does all sorts of nasty things to birds and other little critters.
Next week we’ll make some more decorations so stay tuned!
Have fun and stay safe this holiday.
At Christmas time somehow we never seem to have enough money for everything. Even double cheques and bonuses seem to magically disappear. It is the time of year when the shops are full of goodies and you just feel like spending money.
But of course, if you spend it all in December – then you are in deep trouble in January!
Here are a few ways to help save money this December.
- Write a list before you go shopping and stick to it.
- Make your own Christmas presents instead of buying them. Check out Pinterest and other such sites – people are so clever and they come up with really stunning ideas to make gorgeous stuff out of easy to get materials.
- Eat a good breakfast – this will mean that you don’t spend money on unhealthy snacks during the day.
- Drink more water – not only is this better for you than drinking cool drinks, but you can refill your bottle from the tap and keep it in the fridge.
- Invite friends over instead of going out. Get your friends to bring plates of food too.
- Clean out your cupboards. Don’t just toss the stuff you don’t want – have a garage sale or sell big items on-line. Or you could give something that you no longer use (that is still in good working order) to somebody else and brighten up their day.
- Swop books, games and DVD’s with your friends instead of buying new ones.
- Stop smoking. Put the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in a jar for a month and then buy yourself a present – you’ll be shattered at just how much money you will have saved.
- Don’t carry your credit card around with you – leave it at home for emergencies. That way you won’t be tempted to buy something that you cannot afford.
- Pack your own sandwiches instead of grabbing something from the shop at lunch time.
- Check out free events in the newspaper.
- Keep an “ideas notebook” in your pocket or bag – jot down any good ideas that you get and then you won’t forget them.
- Grow your own veggies – or at least some of them.
- Carpool – not only is this great for the environment – it’s a real money saver too.
- Don’t speed. You’ll save petrol and won’t run the risk of getting speeding fines!
Let’s all make it through December a bit more easily this year.
It is no secret that I am fond of sciencey stuff. The other day I found out about a programme that is so exciting I just had to share it with you all.
Well – come to think of it – it is particularly aimed at girls. Sorry boys! This is not really for you. But I suppose there is nothing stopping you checking out the videos of the cool experiments and trying them out yourself.
The programme is called the “I Am Science” project and it combines cool science activities, video and digital learning. Three things in one project!
Wait! Don’t get discouraged and think it sounds too clever. It’s actually a lot easier than you think.
The whole point of this programme is to get girls interested in science and to change mind-set around the thinking that science is too hard for girls to do. Did you know that only around 30% of the researchers in the world are women? We seriously need to change those statistics.
Science is not hard and we can do it.
This is how easy it is to participate in this fabulous project.
- Visit LevelUp http://mylevelup.mobi/ and register.
- Click the drop down menu on the home page and choose ‘I Am Science’.
- There you can just watch videos and do quizzes related to the videos. For every right answer you are rewarded with digital tokens which are redeemable on the mobisite for data and airtime.
Ah hah! I saved the best for last… never mentioned the fact that you can win airtime and data if you ace those quizzes. How cool is that?
But even cooler is the fact that you can watch those little (they really are little – not much more than a minute each) videos and then you can go and wow your friends and family by doing a cool experiment YOURSELF – like holding fire in your hand, or poking a sosastie stick through a balloon without it popping – because you will have learnt how to do it (safely of course).
Seriously – I kid you not. Go check it out. Every week a new quiz is published on the home page of LevelUp so it does not get boring either.
If you want to know more about the whole project – visit the website. https://www.iamscienceproject.com/ . You could maybe even get your school involved and make your own video.
13th of November was World Kindness Day. Yes! There really is such a day. Although honestly I think that every day should be kindness day – just like every day should be earth day.
The world revolves around kindness.
Just think a bit… if somebody smiles at you, or compliments you on something – you feel good. Right? It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and your whole body feels a little lighter and happier. Just because you are feeling good about yourself – you might then smile at somebody else involuntarily because you’re in a good mood. And that might make them smile too.
It’s a chain effect – a good one!
Just the same if someone yells at you and makes you feel bad, you curl up into a little ball, and smart at the injustice of it all. You are far more likely to yell at the dog, shove the cat and be mean to the next person you come across.
That’s also a chain effect – a bad one.
Being kind is a mind-set. It costs nothing and means the world. If you are a boss it can be as simple as thanking somebody (publically preferably – remember – thank in public and scold in private) for a job done. It does not have to be a hard or complicated job either. Being nice to people makes them feel valued and then they want to do more. Being nasty makes people think… why should I bother?
It is crazy when people in charge belittle their staff and then still expect them to perform well. There’s a guy who owns a restaurant near us and he always yells at his waitrons and treats them like dirt. Obviously his staff turn-over is very high yet he still does not get that he, him-self is the problem.
It’s easy to say to say something nasty or demeaning – but it is even easier to say something nice.
And you don’t have to lie – if you don’t think a dress looks good on somebody – you could say you like the colour, or the style or something.
There are numerous ways you can be kind. Lend a helping hand. Give a word of encouragement. Give somebody a letter or a card. Compliment a stranger. Or just smile at random people – that also does the trick.
Have a nice day.