Back-to-school labels with Cricut Maker + Premium Vinyl

Here in New Zealand, our kids are heading back to school tomorrow after seven weeks of online schooling during Level 4 & 3 Lockdown. SEVEN WEEKS!

I’m happy for the boys as I know they have missed their friends, but, I’m a little bit (ok, a LOT!) nervous about the whole post-lockdown environment. We haven’t rushed back into pre-covid life at all, and there is much that we will leave back in March, as we are all about that slower, simpler life after so much time at home as a family.

As we prepped school uniforms, books and bags today, I was thinking about sanitiser and general hygiene at the boy’s schools and realised I had not labelled Nixon’s lunchbox or drink bottle at the beginning of the school year. 6-year-olds are going to need all the help they can get to keep safe and maintain appropriate social distancing, not just from each other but also from each other’s belongings. So, I sat down on Sunday afternoon and put my Cricut Maker to work.

I’m still quite a Cricut Newbie so kept this project simple as I didn’t want to spend hours labelling a lunchbox and drink bottle! I browsed the Cricut Design Space app first – beware of falling down the rabbit-hole guys, there are over 3000+ ready-to-make projects on the app so getting distracted by ALL the pretty craft ideas is a def. possibility! I could have used my own design software on the Mac and uploaded it to the app, but Design Space is super easy to learn so I just picked a font and a couple of images from the library and dove right in.

Materials

Step 1

Measure the application areas on the lunchbox and drink bottle so you can create your labels to the correct scale.

Step 2

Click New Project in the Cricut Design Space App, click on Canvas then Text. Type the text for the label, drag the handles on the text box to resize, click Image to search the Cricut library and add cute icons like the lightening bolt and skull I added to Nixie’s labels.

Step 3

Tap the green Cricut Make It icon to send your design to Maker. You will be guided to choose your material – vinyl for this project but you can use over 100 different materials when crafting with your Cricut Maker! Cut vinyl to size according to your design, position on the Light Grip Cutting Mat, load the Maker and hit the GO button!

Step 4

Cricut Maker Vinyl Labels

Once the vinyl has been cut it’s time to weed! Take your time, use a light touch and you should have no problems.

Cricut Maker Vinyl Labels

Step 5

Cut a piece of Vinyl Transfer Tape to the same size as your label. Peel the Transfer Tape liner and apply the tape adhesive side down onto your label. I then used the Scraper tool to adhere the tape to the vinyl. Peel the tape and vinyl away from the liner and apply to lunchbox or drink bottle. Before peeling the transfer tape off the vinyl label I used the Scraper tool again to ensure a good, bubble free application.

I’m so stoked with this wee Sunday afternoon project! The vinyl decals look so great, serve a very important purpose and were super easy, even for a Cricut novice like me! Link me to your vinyl Cricut creations in the comments below, I’d love to check them out.

Cricut Maker Vinyl Labels

Cricut sent me their amazing Maker Machine for review purposes and with full freedom to create my own projects. All opinions expressed are my own.

Get Crafty – DIY Feather Juju Hat Tutorial

It’s Spotlight National Craft Month and people all over New Zealand have been getting creative with help from the crafting experts at Spotlight stores around the country.  I was super happy to work with Spotlight again and finally cross a project off my ever increasing, crafty wish-list!

http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/feather-juju-hat-1.jpg

Juju hats have been hot, hot hot in interiors over the past couple of seasons and with good reason.  As a wall hanging they easily create texture, depth and warmth and are incredibly easy to hang and style as they are super light and available in almost any colour.  Hailing from Cameroon, this traditional feathered headdress was once only worn by royal dancers yet is now an ‘on-trend’ interior decor piece found in homes around the world.

And I’ve always wanted to make my own!

Fingers crossed lol.

Juju Hat Shopping List

There’s a pretty simple list of requirements for this crafty project and you can grab them all at your local Spotlight store.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Nixie really wanted to do some crafting together so I simplified things for him and picked up a Kaiserwood Monologue ‘N’ and a pack of multicoloured, mixed turkey feathers to decorate it with.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 1

Glue the Ostrich feather boa around the diameter of the wooden placemat.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 2

Before you start affixing your feature feathers, lay out your Eagle quills to ensure you get an even spread around the placemat.  Glue on the first 4 feathers, dividing the placemat into quarters and infill from there.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 3

If the exterior circle of feathers is looking a bit gappy, glue 2 turkey feathers onto each eagle quill to increase volume.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 4

Working around in a circle, glue a layer of marabou trim onto the quills with the satin ribbon closest to the centre.  Trim excess and set aside for step 10.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 5

Apply a layer of Goose Negorie feathers followed by 1 pack of feather biot at intervals.

Step 6

Working around in a circle, glue a layer of marabou trim onto the quills with the satin ribbon closest to the centre.

Step 7

Working around in a circle, glue a layer of turkey feathers onto the satin ribbon trim to hide.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 8

Keep the remaining 2 packs of feather biot bunched/tied as they come in the pack.  Fan each pack out to form a half circle and glue in place with quills in the centre of the placemat.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 9

Working around in a circle, glue the 2 packs of curled Negorie feathers with quills right in the centre – trim quills if necessary.

Step 10

Using excess marabou trim, glue in a tight circle in the centre of the Juju hat, covering all remaining quills.  Fluff feathers to finish.  Use howlite beads in centre if desired to add a more ‘tribal’ feel to your finished piece.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

The finished product is literally, light as a feather so I simply mounted mine with 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips – too easy!  I’m in love with how my Juju hat looks mounted on the wall, the dipped imitation Eagle feathers were a great choice for our lounge and dining area – loving the little pop of inky jewel tones they give to the finished piece.

Check out the full video tutorial below, including the awesome little project that Nix worked on which meant we could enjoy crafting together.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Happy crafting!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

True Story: The printer that made me forget how much I hate printers

I’d given up on home printers years ago, but after receiving Epson’s innovative WorkForce EcoTank Printer to review, I’m ready to smash work, life admin and school projects in 2018 – without running out of ink once.


I am a techy, gadget geek, early adopter kinda girl.

You don’t keep blogging for over 10 years without having some sort of affinity for how technology can increase productivity and creativity and improve your lifestyle, at least to some degree.

Despite most communication being conducted via email these days, ‘life admin’ still requires paper and printing. Forms, permission slips, itineraries, confirmations, tickets, bank statements, school projects, photos… I need to print multiple times per day (heads up, in my experience, printing needs increase exponentially with the number of kids you have!).

I swore off printers 3 years ago after bringing the last failure home. I purchased a ‘WIFI’ model that never connected to our network, wouldn’t talk to my Mac computers, printed everything on a 25° angle and required new cartridges constantly.  The kicker?  If you purchased on special it was often cheaper to buy a whole new printer (which came with ink cartridges) then it was to stock up on ink. This sort of false-economy is super disheartening as both a consumer and as someone who tries to think about the impact our purchasing has on the environment.

It was time to say goodbye to the weakest link in our home office environment, preferring to suffer through the inconvenience of waiting for that friend who could print something out at work (Dave and I both work from home so this was ridiculous!) or actually driving up to our local stationery store and using the kiosks there.

The printer that made me forget how much I hate printers

There is always an exception to every rule, however, and it appears one printer company have magic-ed up a device that can do what I need it to do – and do what it says it can do on the box!

Meet the Epson WorkForce EcoTank ET-4750.

My New Best Friend!

This multi-function marvel has addressed every problem I’ve ever experienced with printers as, well as doing its basic job of printing better than I could have imagined.

Why I LOVE my Epson EcoTank Printer

So many reasons, but let me count the ways:

  • EcoTank – there’s a BIG clue in the name; this printer has no cartridges, it has refillable tanks (!!) and comes with enough ink in the box for 2 YEARS WORTH OF PRINTING! I’m dead.

  • WIFI Direct Print/Copy/Scan: I know, sounds good right…but…NO buts this time, it legit works and is super easy and fast to set-up. I work from two Macs, my husband uses a PC and there are iPhones, Samsung and Huawei phones in our house – WE CAN PRINT FROM ALL OF THEM. It’s a home office miracle and I love it!
  • It holds 250 sheets of A4 (in a hidden draw so Nixon can’t steal it for his ‘projects’): this may not sound like a big deal, but I’m often printing in a hurry e.g. homework ‘remembered’ as Ethan is running out the door for the school bus. Scrambling for paper to print with and then struggling to get it to feed without jamming etc. is now a distant, horrible, memory (lol).
Half a ream in the paper tray no worries!
  • Borderless printing: I had no idea my EcoTank did this until we returned from Japan and Nix wanted to bring a picture to Kindy news of a manta ray he saw in the aquarium in Osaka.  I actually squealed in delight as the beautiful image came out of the printer. Guys remember – borderless printing is GOALS!

The convenience of having a home printer again and the ease of WIFI printing is just so delicious; I’m literally singing the EcoTank’s praises to anyone who will listen. There is a large range of models and price options available and all come with that amazing no cartridge, refillable tank system and 2 years of ink included.

Check out all of the options here for more info> Epson EcoTank Printers

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Epson Ecotank Printer
Nixie’s gorgeous borderless image of Waffles/Talulah (the visiting pig) to share for news at kindy.

DIY – Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Wreath

Nightmare before Christmas Halloween Wreath

In hindsight it was a totally ‘oddball’ purchase, but the first animated/family DVD we purchased when Dave and I found out we were pregnant 12.5 years ago was Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – how can that movie have come out in 1993?!

the_nightmare_before_christmas_posterAnyway, I freaking LOVE this movie, it’s a stop-motion masterpiece and thank goodness it’s on Netflix as there is literally nothing I despise more than DVDs………….except CDs lol.

We also LOVE Halloween.  You guys already know (I’m sure) that Dave is American and I lived there for 6 years so we bring our A-Game at the end of every October.  New Zealand is slowly starting to embrace the spooky season and we are super lucky to live in an amazingly Halloween Friendly neighborhood which has become a bit of a ‘destination’ for Trick or Treaters over the past few years.

So, decorating for Halloween is one of my favourite themes to work with as it doesn’t matter if it’s *less than perfect*, which to be honest, is how I roll 24-7.

So, If you’re hosting a Halloween Party or welcoming Trick or Treaters, a wreath is an easy way to set the mood and create a great focal point – it doesn’t have to hang on the front door, this one will probably go on our mantlepiece with some other spooky decorations.

I’m creating a Jack Skellington themed wreath this year because my kids NEED more Nightmare Before Christmas in their lives, I’m a bit worried I’ve been failing them on the Tim Burton front – Ethan hasn’t even seen Beetlejuice ::::::gasp!:::::

How to Make a Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Wreath

You will need:

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

1 x foam decor ring, 1 x foam decor ball for Jack’s head, wool/fabric strips in your choice of colours, artificial flowers, craft glue, a black permanent marker or black paint, scissors, pins, artificial spiderweb, ribbon for hanging.

Step 1: Cover your foam ring

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

I used a mix of cheap acrylic yarn, fabric from my stash cut into long strips and spotted crepe paper streamers.  I tied the wool off then applied craft glue to the inside of the ring.  Holding the ring between your knees as you wrap it will help things move along quite quickly!  Wrap the ring in whatever pattern/configuration you like – Jack’s colours are traditionally black and white but I wanted to add a pop of colour so used orange for contrast.  Leave a section unwrapped to save time as this will be covered with flowers. 

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 2:  Attach flowers

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before ChristmasI used dressmaking pins but you could also affix the flowers with craft glue.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 3: Draw Jack Skellington’s Face

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Find an image online to work from – I used this one.  Sketch the features on in pencil, It’s pretty simple just watch the proportions.  When you’re satisfied, trace over the pencil with black permanent marker and colour in the eye sockets.  I went over the eye sockets a couple of times to get a good black finish.

Step 4:  Suspend Jack in the wreath

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Pin (or glue) ribbon to the back of Jack’s head, make sure it’s angled so his face is square.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Pin (or glue) the other end of the ribbon to the back-top of the wreath.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

I used a large needle to hold Jack’s head in place, glue would also work fine.

Step 5: Wrap wreath with artificial spiderwebs

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 6: Attach ribbon for hanging wreath

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Fold ribbon into a loop and staple or glue.  Fix to the back of your wreath using glue or pins.

Step 7: Marvel at your creative genius!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before ChristmasHappy Halloween!

School Holiday Craft – The Seven Day Mural

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art CraftThere’s only one thing better than a great art project and that’s one that lasts for 7 days!!!

This one’s all you need mamas; the 7 Day Mural can be customized to use up whatever craft supplies you have on hand, will suit whatever age/stage your kids are at and can easily incorporate whatever creative project the kids have been dying to try.  

The foundation of this crafty creation is definitely the Science Project Board.  Ethan spent last term working away on his project and Nix became quite fixated on that damn board (that had to be protected from him at ALL costs!) so I decided to create his own ‘project’ and let him at it.

So, the plan here is to divide the board into multiple art-boards and create a different, amazing, fun, visual medium in each, working on a different aspect each day.

For Nixon’s board, I had to use some restraint and keep his projects simple and fun.  I also wanted to use as many different materials as possible, resulting in a really textural, multilayered experience that he looked forward to working on each day and that he was super proud of at the end of it.  Being conscious of the age of your kids is key here – Nix has just turned three and his attention span maxes out at around 20 minutes. Quick and easy to complete is definitely what you want to shoot for.

Materials

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

Ummmm, anything goes in this art and craft tutorial!  I shopped my own craft stash for my supplies plus headed in-store to Warehouse Stationery where I really had to pare things back when I went to the checkout!  Create Month is on right now so there are heaps of inspirational ideas to be found at your local store.  Not a crafty bone in you body?  Don’t worry, sometimes you just need to get started – plus the kids’ enthusiasm and ideas you can find at the in-store Inspiration Station might be all you need to get those creative juices flowing!  As you can see in the photos I popped a cheap plastic tablecloth down on our dining table, which was one of the most genius ideas I’ve ever had to be honest!  No worries about mess and I’ll reuse it as a playdough drop cloth after this project is over!

Day 1, ongoing – Colouring pages

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

Print out some pages that relate to your theme (if you have one, we didn’t) or just something your kids are really going to enjoy colouring.  I did a Google search for dinosaur colouring pages and lots of printables popped up.  I left these out over the week so Nix could potter and colour bits and pieces when he felt like it.  When we were finished with the mural I cut around his gorgeous colouring and glued the dinos onto the board.  The crayons we use are Jovi Wax Crayons and they are perfect for stubby little fingers!

Day 2 – Watercolours and Stickers

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

Watercolours are the best!  Barely any mess and they dry quickly.  Once again I just let Nixon freestyle here (there’s not much else you can do with a 3 year old to be honest – remember that attention span!).  In the afternoon, when the paint was dry, we went back and decorated this panel with some assorted stickers that he had picked out in-store. Easy and great for fine motor skill development.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

Day 3 – Geometric ArtWork!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft
The inspo for this activity came from a flyer I picked up at the Inspiration Station desk at my local Warehouse Stationery.  I used some masking tape and simply pressed it down firmly at multiple angles across the board.  Nix got stuck in and, voila!  I love this section of his board, he was amazed at how it looked when I peeled the tape off to reveal the clean white lines underneath.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

Day 4 – Painting and Sticky Foam Shapes

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

I’ve always wanted to use a chipboard letter or word in a project so this was my chance!  I let Nix loose with some Crayola paints and told him to “cover up all of that yucky brown!”.  He did a brilliant job and we popped this off to the side to dry.

I had picked up a foam shapes ‘jungle scene’ in-store, but you can also buy a 10 pack of foam sheets if you wanted to cut up your own shapes.  Nix had a great time placing the sticky shapes and then went to town with some markers for an extra splash of panache lol!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

Day 5 – Dressing Paper Dolls

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

When I saw these boy doll cutouts, I wasn’t too sure what my plan was, but look how cute they turned out!  I cut some pants and tops from my fabric stash, unwound some old knitting to make curly hair (just like Nixon’s) and used some googly eyes from the Fuzzy Craft Kit I picked up – just in case!  This was definitely his favourite activity; he loved dressing the wee boys and making them look cute.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

Day 6 – Mixed Media

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

You could do whatever you like here depending upon the age of your kids.  I wrote ‘NIX’ in sharpie and popped some paper scraps, feathers, pompoms, coloured foil, bits of pipe cleaner etc in front of him with some glue.

Day 7 – Felt and Velcro

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft
I couldn’t believe how cheap a 10 pack of felt sheets was at Warehouse Stationery – something crazy like $2 a pack!  You can almost pay that for 1 sheet at other stores that I’ve visited.  I had some velcro dots that needed a home so popped those on the project board and cut some random shapes from the felt.  Nix loved this activity as he could take things off and move them around; he obviously had a ‘vision’ and knew when he was done lol.

The Finished Product!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Toddler Art Craft

So that’s it!  Isn’t it so cool?  Nixon is really proud that he created something so BIG – size is everything to a toddler and I’m quite proud that we did something creative every day for a whole week!  

Guess what?  The project board has TWO SIDES!  Start planning now for round 2 during the next school holidays lol.  

For more fun and creative inspo, check out our Dinosaur DIY’s here.

There’s heaps more inspo in store at Warehouse Stationery, plus lots of take home activities the kids can do, totally a School Holiday desperation destination!

mummy-blog-new-zealand-mummy-blogger-mommy-travelblog-dinosaur-craft

 

School Holiday Craft – Dinosaur DIY’s

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

School holidays kick off here in New Zealand next week and I like to be organised and have a pretty clear plan of what we’re New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craftgoing to do or where we’re going to go each day.  This helps me get organised and also (hopefully) avoid the “I’m bored” catch-cry that’s every mummy’s nightmare!  

It’s also Create Month at Warehouse Stationery! They’ve just launched their brand new Art and Craft Club – Inspiration Station.  There’s lots of super-cool and creative initiatives happening in stores around New Zealand and we’ve teamed up to bring you some fun and crafty ideas to help survive the school holidays!

Crafts are good, if not essential winter holiday activities.  They are cheap, fun and creative and can usually be re-invented and repeated without your little darlings losing interest.

Both Nix and Ethan are obsessed with dinosaurs at the moment, so integrating what they are playing with into a creative exercise is a no-brainer.  Both of these craft ideas would work well with any animal theme – come on Mum’s you can do it!

Let’s get creative!

DIY Dinosaur Fossils

This is a great, therapeutic activity using everyone’s favourite – modelling clay!  I wanted to create some cool looking bones and fossils that the kids could use in play with their dinosaurs or alternatively they could bury them in kinetic sand and use small paint brushes to excavate them and play paleontologists – think of the fine motor skills mamas, not the mess of the sand lol!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

Step 1:  Head into Warehouse Stationery and pick up some bake-in-the-oven clay (all modelling products are 30% off until 31/7/16!).  

Step 2:  Roll out clay ready to use.  I had totally forgotten how hard these clays are!  I used little dabs of canola oil, dotted it on small pieces of clay then rolled it out really flat to get it soft enough for Nixon to use.  There are ‘soft’ clay varieties available from each brand and these would definitely be better for little hands.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

Step 3:  When the clay is nice and soft use toy dinosaurs and let the kids stomp footprints in it to make fossils, press shells or lay little dinosaurs on their sides and press into the clay to create cool profile fossils.  Slightly older kids will be able to make bones to add to the fossil pile!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

Step 4:  Place finished creations on baking paper on a tray and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 130?.  The clay will harden fully as it cools.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

DIY Dinosaur Matching Game

This activity is so easy and cheap and will provide little ones hours of fun.  As I mentioned above, you could use any animals, trucks, household items that your child enjoys – you could even have them create their own artwork to use!  

Step 1:  Source your images, you will need 6.  

  • If finding them online, look for creative commons / royalty free images that you can legally reproduce.  
  • Take photos of toys / items you have at home
  • Use kids own artwork and take scans or photos of each piece

Step 2:  If you want to, label each image with the name of the dinosaur or animal etc.  I used Photoshop, but this can easily be done on your phone using an app like Phonto.  Can’t be bothered?  Once you’ve ordered your prints, write the name on each image with a marker!

Step 3:  Order your 12 (x 2 per image) 4×4 photos using the amaze Printicular app.  I love this app so much, Ethan and I use it all the time for his school projects or when I need crafty images printed out in a hurry!

Step 4:  Head in store to Warehouse Stationery to pick up your prints.  I took some double-sided tape and scissors with me so I could get everything finished while I was in store – there is plenty of bench space to work on projects at the print centre!

  • Lay out your images on a large piece of cardboard available to purchase in-store and fix the photos with a small piece of tape or glue.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

  • Get the print centre staff to cut up your cards using one of their guillotines and then laminate them so they will last well.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

Take them home and play!  

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Rotorua Travel Blog Family Dinosaur Craft

There’s heaps more inspo in store at Warehouse Stationery, plus lots of take home activities the kids can do, totally a School Holiday desperation destination!

mummy-blog-new-zealand-mummy-blogger-mommy-travelblog-dinosaur-craft

DIY: Easter Bunny Treat Cups + Happy Birthday Spotlight Giveaway #3

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

Happy 20th Birthday Spotlight!  This month Spotlight celebrates 20 years in New Zealand with in-store parties this Saturday, March 12th at all Spotlight NZ stores.  Visit your local for huge discounts, giveaways, games & even birthday cake at 1pm in each store!

Here at The Best Nest we are doing a spot of celebrating ourselves, with three days of Easter themed DIY’s, all shopable at Spotlight, plus there is a $100 Spotlight Gift card to be won each day!

Down to the business end of our Spotlight birthday series You can catch up on Post #1 here and Post #2 here – make sure you have entered EACH day’s giveaway!)

There are so many cute and creative ways to gift Easter Eggs but if I’m going to make something myself, it’s got to be super easy lol.  These little Bunny Bum Cups work really well and are quick to put together.

DIY: Easter Bunny Treat Cups

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

You will need:

Instructions:

  • Glue pom pom on to foam balls for bunny tails
  • Cut bunny paws out of white felt
  • Cut bunny toes etc out of pink felt and glue onto white paws.  Then glue completed paws onto foam balls.
  • Stuff tumblers with shredded paper and Easter treats

Enjoy!  Happy Easter! (Don’t forget to scroll down to enter the Spotlight Birthday Sweepstake!)

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

DIY: Easter Wreath+ Happy Birthday Spotlight Giveaway #2!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

Happy 20th Birthday Spotlight!  This month Spotlight celebrates 20 years in New Zealand with in-store parties this Saturday, March 12th at all Spotlight NZ stores.  Visit your local for huge discounts, giveaways, games & even birthday cake at 1pm in each store!

Here at The Best Nest we are doing a spot of celebrating ourselves, with three days of Easter themed DIY’s, all shopable at Spotlight, plus there is a $100 Spotlight Gift card to be won each day!

I love adding simple, unfussy decor items to our mantle to set the tone for the season or celebrate the holidays.  A wreath is always my go-to as it can be placed anywhere and when you DIY, it can be modified and re-purposed very simply.  Plus, it’s such a welcoming decoration to have on your front door or in your home, and can form the basis of your holiday decor by tying everything together if you build you colour palette on the wreath itself. 

This pretty Easter wreath took me 20 minutes tops, so get creative and give it a go!

DIY: Easter Wreath

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

You will need:

Instructions:

  • Wrap foam ring with the burlap (or your choice of ribbon, fabric or bakers string looks great!), fasten on the back side with floral pins.
  • Place the large artificial flower stems and fix with floral pins.
  • Attach the paper bunting.  This comes with adhesive stickers which are holding just fine on the burlap.
  • Glue the eggs in place using a craft glue.  I used Helmar Craft Glue.
  • Place remaining small flower heads and burlap flowers.

Enjoy!  Happy Easter! (Don’t forget to scroll down to enter the Spotlight Birthday Sweepstake!)

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY 

DIY: Chocolate Easter Nest Spoons + Happy Birthday Spotlight Giveaway!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

Happy 20th Birthday Spotlight!  This month Spotlight celebrates 20 years in New Zealand with in-store parties this Saturday, March 12th at all Spotlight NZ stores.  Visit your local for huge discounts, giveaways, games & even birthday cake at 1pm in each store!

Here at The Best Nest we are doing a spot of celebrating ourselves, with three days of Easter themed DIY’s, all shopable at Spotlight, plus there is a $100 Spotlight Gift card to be won each day!

My first easy-peasy Easter DIY  is these yummy chocolate Easter Nest Spoons.  They are perfect party favours or place settings if you’re hosting friends or family this Easter, or use them in your egg hunt or as gifts for the kids friends.

DIY: Chocolate Easter Nest Spoons

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter Nest Spoons

You will need:

Instructions:

  • Melt chocolate per directions on the pack, I used the defrost function on the microwave for 2 x 30 seconds, stirring in between.
  • Spoon melted chocolate onto your plastic spoons, underfill slightly.
  • Leave to cool a little whilst you fill more spoons.
  • Stand up 2 Cadbury Mini Eggs in each spoon then sprinkle with either the hail or confetti.
  • Once set, shake off excess sprinkles, pop spoon in the cello bags and tie with ribbon or raffia.

Enjoy!  Happy Easter! (Don’t forget to scroll down to enter the Spotlight Birthday Sweepstake!)

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter DIY

Enter via the widget below to win a $100 Spotlight Gift Card!  Competition closes Sunday 13th March 10pm.  There are 3 gift cards to be given away, look for the next Easter DIY post tomorrow!

Getting our craft on with My Fun Box

Subscription boxes of all descriptions are huge right now, am I right?  Whatever you’re into, be it make-up, jewellery, food, organics, kids toys……..you can part with your cash and get a box of ‘happy mail’ landing on your doorstep once a month.  From my experience these boxes of glorious consumerism can be a bit hit and miss.  I know my own family has more than enough tangible possessions as it is, so despite the allure that a monthly box of surprises holds, I won’t be setting up any recurring payments anytime soon.

Rant over.  

E and I were stoked to have been sent The Ready, Steady, Go! box to review, filled not with toys but with activities!  This is where My Fun Box departs from the crowd.  Instead of a box of curated items, each box is packed with everything you need to fully complete three projects.  Essentially, you make your own fun.  Um, did I mention that everything you need is included in the box?  No, well, guess what?  EVERYTHING you need is included in the box!  Even glue!  Even tape!  Scissors were required which is totally do-able, even in my house which is pretty barren of craft supplies.  No subscriptions required either, you can order a one-off box or send one as a gift.

So we sat down on Saturday morning and got to work.  I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t done anything like this with Ethan in way too long, so I was rearing to go.

Together we made 3 exploding chalk rockets, a balloon car and a convertible frisbee.  Each of the three activities called on different skills and levels of assistance from me, though the origami-style folding required for the paper frisbee got even me a bit lost!  Thank goodness there are video tutorials available if you’re a bit of a mung like me and need some extra help lol.  My Fun Box suggests these activities are suitable for ages 3-10, and that’s probably true, however Ethan is 10 and he did require some assistance, so be prepared to help!  Actually, I think that is the beauty of My Fun Box, actually sitting down and completing a project with your child is freaking awesome.  Not going to lie, we had a couple of moments as we always do but it was a lovely hour or so with no electronics!  I can totally see the value in having a box on hand to bust out during winter when cabin fever sets in.  

We did require a bit of extra sticky tape to complete the balloon car and had a bit of a problem with the length of the axles, but we actually turned this into a really cool problem solving task which saw Ethan troubleshoot and figure out what we needed to do to get the little wheels spinning.

Read more about this kiwi company and Mum-preneur Renee here

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