Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Calendar Collage to make for 2014 - a Tutorial

This Calendar Collage for 2014 (or any other year in the future!) is so easy to put together and a great deal of fun for your groups. 

It is a good idea to have some sort of theme - mine was based around UK, chosing pictures of different people in our country and of course a little map. To finish off, I cut out words I thought were appropraite to the theme...

Your theme could be food (lots to choose from in most magazines!), animals (wild or maybe pet animals), jewellery, hair styles, fashion (clothes or shoes maybe) or celebrities - there will be many more themes that will come to you as you browse through your magazines. You could also just have a colour theme - say purple and yellow or green and red or black and orange - endless choices here!

So you will need...

Magazines (mine were just Sunday newspaper magazines)
A4 Paper 
A4 Black or other coloured card 
Calendar Tab
Ribbon or string (about 15cms)

Putting your Calendar Collage together...

Having got all your cut-outs together, stick them first onto an A4 piece of ordinary paper from your printer. Overlapping them will give you a cleaner finish so decide on the order of sticking, before you start...

Then when dry, cut around your pictures, so no white paper is showing. 

Stick this collage onto an A4 sheet of dark card (I used black) and attach you calendar tab and then add a loop of ribbon or string at the top, for hanging.

Please do send us a photo of your calendars to put in Our Gallery - Thanks!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Printable Santa Template - Our Christmas Craft at Mencap...

Santas to hang on the tree!
If you want to make your own Santas - here is the link to download and print the Santa Template - print straight onto thin card if you can and then colour-in and cut out the six parts. Attach the arms and legs with paper clips (Brads) and then glue a flat lolly stick behing the body, with about an inch sticking out at the top. Attach Santa's head to this with a double-sided sticky pad. Add a loop and hang him on the Christmas Tree! Cotton wool beards and glitter can be added if so desired!

Two rather thoughtful Penguins!
Craft at Mencap Braintree - with Christmas Carols, Tea and Donuts!
Use the Search Box (top right) to find all the other Christmas Craft on my Blog...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Three New Printable Christmas Placemats

Here are some more Christmas Placemats to colour-in and use to decorate your Christmas table - either on the day or at your group's Christmas Party!

Three Christmas Placemats

If you want more of my designs to choose from, just enter Christmas Placemats in the Search Box (top right)

They are all ready to print and colour in - whatever the age group, just doing this together will get everyone into the Festive mood...

Still lots to do?? If you want a Christmas Countdown just click on this link...

Friday, 8 November 2013

It's Time to Make Christmas Cards!

We had a really good afternoon at Mencap Art and Craft Group, in Braintree, yesterday. Everyone very excited about the start of the Festive Season. We made our first batch of Christmas cards, using a few ready made (from eBay!) embellishments as well as cutting out our own backing paper and Christmas Trees.

Click here for the Christmas Tree Template

A bit of tinsel, ribbon or rick rack and "Merry Christmas"  and we were very happy with our resulting cards - made with much discussion as to who the recipients would be...

Tea, making Christmas Cards and lots of chat and laughter!
More Cards!
Enjoy making your own Christmas Cards with your groups!

Do send photos of your cards and crafts in to put up in Our Gallery for everyone to share...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Printable General Knowledge Quiz - All About Numbers!


Time for another quiz I think...

Thirty questions - all the answers are numbers...No not maths! Just general knowledge questions. Things we all come across and work with, in our daily lives - have a go with your group or maybe see how many you know, best over a cup of tea!

Here is the link - can be printed out...

Quiz - All About Numbers!

If you enjoy this one, then do have a look at my Quiz eBook

Printable eBook - 41 Easy Quizzes

Perfect for winter days to keep the mind ticking along...!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Wall Mural - Autumn!

Our Art and Craft group at Mencap (Braintree) made this lovely Autumn Wall Mural - inspired by Shaun, our group leader.

Having decided we wanted a lake and a few hills in the Mural, it then followed that we needed to put in Nessie - the Loch Ness Monster...!

So this became a Scottish Autumn Wall Mural complete with Loch Ness, Nessie and don't you love the Sunset!

The whole background is made from torn pieces of coloured tissue paper glued onto large sheets of white paper. (the whole mural is about 4 x 8 foot) the trees were painted on white paper and then cut out and glued on. All the leaves were made by painting real leaves on the underside with poster paint and then pressing them onto white paper and when dry, cutting them out. All the other creatures and footballer (!) were then coloured-in and stuck on as well...

It took us three afternoons to put together but we were thrilled with the result...

How about making a wall mural with your group - send us a photo for         Our Gallery when you do, so we can all share your creation...

Or send us in photos of any other hand-made craft or paintings you have produced - either your own or with your group...

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

More Lid Fridge Magnet Ideas!

 So many of you have asked for more ideas on making Lid Fridge Magnets so here is another batch...!

For more detail on how to put them together  - click on this link...

Lid Fridge Magnet Tutorial

Look amongst your craft stash - you will find lots of different bits and pieces that can be used to make up your unique lid fridge magnets - so be creative and have fun!

I have set up "Our Gallery" - do send in pictures of your craft (anything at all as long as it is hand-made and your paintings too would be good) so we can share our delight in art and crafts!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Make a Cone Christmas Tree - Tutorial!

Jo's Cone Christmas Trees from "Things to Make and Do"

And here is Mine!

I came across an excellent Tutorial on making these sparkling little Cone Christmas Trees.

After making one myself, I decided to give you the link to Jo's website "Things to Make and Do" so you could get your group busy making these decorations ready for Christmas...

Here is the link   Cone Christmas Tree

There is much more on "Things to Make and Do" so do have a browse around! 

Thanks to Jo for sharing her craft with us all...

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Quiz - Movie Stars and Singers - Do you know their Birth Names?

 Just as well most of us stick with our birth names - just imagine the chaos if we all changed our names, as is common amongst Movie Stars and Singers...

However, we have to admit that Marion Morrison is hardly the name for an enduring American icon, who epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height.

So by what name do we know him now??

I have compiled a list of Movie Stars and a few   Singers who did change their birth names - you will  have to agree mostly in their best interest. Have a look at and see how many you know or can work out...
Here is the link....

Quiz - Movie Stars and Singers Birth Names

If you are looking for a supply of Quiz Material for your group, why not have a peek at my 

eBook - 41 EASY QUIZZES with Answers 
Most are General Knowledge, but have included others 
eg Books, Movies, Girls Names, Flowers etc    

Not just for Seniors - anyone will enjoy these!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Gorgeous Owl Felt Wall Hanging - Easy Tutorial!

A new Felt Wall Hanging for you all to make - this time we have Owls!

You will need...

An A4 size, rectangle of black felt (or any size or shape, but that is what I used)

Scraps of other colours - for the owls, branches, moon and flowers

Embroidery thread (Use three of the six strands to sew with) and needle


Wooden dowel


How to make your Owl Wall Hanging...

Turn over and pin a 2cm hem across the top of your black felt. Using a running stitch, sew the hem down - this is to slip your wooden dowel into.
Cut out your felt owls, branches, flowers and moon - here are the printable patterns...

Turn your black felt backing over and on the other side, stitch your three owls into place.

The easiest way to do this, is to first attach the owl's button eyes. Leave the thread attached at the back of the owl and then stitch it onto the black backing felt, going back through the buttons again.

Place the moon and stitch with blanket stitch (or running stitch will do fine)

Next, take your branches, pin them into position and using a running stitch, atttach them to the black backing felt and across the owls, which will hold them and the owls in place.

Sew your buttons onto your flowers and stitch them in place. Attach the three leaves with running stitches.

Slip a wooden dowel (or garden cane does as well) into the upper hem, tie on a ribbon and hang up your Owl Felt Wall Hanging for all to admire...!

Easy to do and a lot of fun. Who doesn't love those big eyes!!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Butterfly Lid Fridge Magnets - Tutorial!

Beaded Butterfly Lid Fridge Magnet

Glitter Butterfly Lid Fridge Magnet

Another Idea for a Lid Fridge Magnet!

These little Lid Fridge Magets are easy to make and what you decorate them with has endless possibilities - use your imagination and go for it...!

You will need...

Lids - Plastic or metal. You will be amazed at how many lids you already have in your home! The blue one in the photo is a milk bottle lid, the white was from a cool drink bottle and the gold one, from a jam jar.

Magnetic Tape Strip - Self-Adhesive - I got my from eBay. It can be cut to size with ordinary scissors.

Self-Adhesive Circular Felt Pads - the kind you stick on furniture legs to protect your floor from scratches. Or - you can just mount your butterfly straight onto the lid, as I did in the beaded one.

Foam Double-sided Sticky Pads - these are to mount your magnetic tape on, inside the lid, so they will make contact with your fridge door. (see photo below)

Double-sided Sticky tape

Seed Beads



Card for the Butterfly - I cut my butterfly with a Die in my Bigshot machine. I have given you a Butterfly Template which you can use to cut out your butterfly by hand. (You can also buy ready die-cut shapes very cheaply on eBay)

How to make you Lid Fridge Magnet...

Place your Foam Double-sided Sticky Pads inside the lid and cut and place the Magnetic Strip on last, so it is level with the lid rim.

On the flat side of the lid, place the Self-Adhesive Circular Felt Pads or cut and glue on any backing you want - felt or card will do fine.

Brush glue over your Butterfly and either scatter Glitter or Seed Beads over it. Leave to dry and then, with a strip of Double-Sided Sticky Tape, attach it to the lid.

View Inside Lid, Foam D/S Pads, Magnetic Tape Strip

So have a look at what you have in your craft cupboard and start making 
Lid Fridge Magnets...!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Welcome Prince George of Cambridge - Three Printable Bookmarks!

Prince George of Cambridge - 22nd July 2013

 Great Britain welcomed the arrival of a special new baby on 22nd July 2013 - George Alexander Louis, who will be known as Prince George of Cambridge.

To help you celebrate this happy event, I have put together three printable bookmarks for you to download, print and colour-in.

Either print directly onto card or if on paper, cut them out and stick onto card. Best if they are laminated when completed (sealed into a plastic sleeve) - will then last for years!

Either leave them plain or punch a hole in the top and thread ribbon or cord through to make a loop or a tassle.

Here is the link...
Prince George Bookmarks

Enjoy and Celebrate!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mencap celebrates 60th Coronation Anniversary!

Queen Elizabeth 11 - 60th Coronation Anniversary
We spent the last few Thursdays, at Mencap Braintree, putting together a wall-hanging, to celebrate 60 years since our Queen was crowned!

We started with a piece of wooden garden trellis and Shaun, our Art and Craft teacher, cut out a large paper crown. The crown was layered with pieces of kitchen foil, glued onto the paper with PVA glue. We attached the crown to the trellis with large "drawing pins" and left it to dry out.

We then sprayed the crown with a can of gold paint and while still wet, we sprinkled a bit of gold glitter over the surface. Gems were then stuck on and the "ermine cuff" made using toy stuffing - again glued on with PVA glue.

A photograph of the Queen and a gold "60" (also sprayed and glittered) was attached.

Lastly we wound the tissue flowers we made a few weeks ago onto the trellis around the crown...

Using wooden trellis as your "frame" why not make your own wall-hanging to celebrate something happening in your country, or even to celebrate a family or group occasion... Have fun!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Printable Quiz - Anagrams of Countries and Cities of the World - Printable

  As always, I see quizzes are the most popular, sought-after post on my Blog - so have put together a mixture of Anagrams of Countries and Cities of the World for you all to puzzle over! Not over simple, but all the countries and cities are well known.

Quiz - Anagrams of Countries and Cities

Let me know by posting a comment if there is any particular craft and activity you would like to see more of...helps me to decide what to post for you next!

Meanwhile enjoy the Anagrams Quiz...

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Simple Garden Flowers


Just wanted to share some shots of flowers that my other half, Billy, has grown in our small Essex (UK) garden. All simple, common flowers, but the colours are bold and beautiful... 

So enjoy them with us!

Oriental Poppies and Oxeye Daisies

Oxeye Daisies

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial - the Easy Way!

Why are Tissue Paper Flowers so satisfying to make...? 

Especially now when tissue papers come in so many lovely, fresh colours. Do buy good quality tissue paper for your flowers - a bit of body in the paper will keep your blooms crisp and holding their shape. 

The picture above are my own Tissue Paper Flowers. These I made, following the tutorial by "Sew Sweet Stitches" - here is the link... Tissue Flower tutorial

Adjust the size of your sheets of tissue paper, if you want to make your flowers a different size or fullness - I ended up with four 8 x 4 inch sheets for each of my flowers.

Using our tissue flowers we (at Mencap Braintree) are going to make a wall display for the Queen's 60th Coronation anniversary - when it is finished I will put it on my blog - should be in the next few weeks...

Until then, have fun making your flowers!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Mencap - Our Australian Wall Mural

Over the past few months we have been working, at Mencap Braintree (Essex UK), on a new wall mural - Australia! This follows my recent trip over there with my other half, to celebrate his 70th and visit family. Thus the map of UK in the top left hand corner with an arrow showing us flying Qantas to Australia...!

The map was cut out of card and covered in screwed-up pieces of tissue paper which we glued on. 

Then the fun started - what did Australia mean to us in the UK? 

Kangaroos, Koalas, Kylie and Cricket were the foremost suggestions by our members...

Then we added lots of other animals and birds, plus of course sportsmen - cricket legend Don Bradman, and Ian Thorpe the Olympic swimmer. Vegemite followed, plus Bega Cheese and Burger Rings - all very yummy and Australian!

You will see at Merimbula (South of Sydney) Mariner Park Retirement Village is labelled - our Australian friends and supporters!

So - why don't you get together with your group and make a wall mural - the themes are endless - find something that relates to your part of the world or any place or subject of interest to you all. Have fun!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Three Bookmarks to Print and Colour In

So many of you have asked for more Bookmarks so here they are...

If possible print the Bookmarks straight onto thin card, but if your printer won't take card, then print onto paper and glue the bookmarks onto your card. Better to glue after colouring-in is completed!

Finishing... If you can laminate the bookmark, this will give the Bookmark greater durability. Also a hole punched in the top and a piece of cord or ribbon threaded through, will give your Bookmark added appeal....

If you want more Bookmarks (previously posted on this Blog) just type in BOOKMARKS into the Search box on top, right hand side.

A lovely little gift for family or a friend who enjoys reading!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Twenty Questions - General Knowledge Quiz!

Time for another quiz - Twenty Questions - General Knowledge Quiz

Quizzes are always popular and lead to much reminiscing, as the questions and answers stimulate memories and knowledge.

So get your groups together and start quizzing - have fun!

If you want more quizzes have a look at my Quiz eBook...

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Easy Button Felt Flowers - a New Bunch!


A few years back, I posted a tutorial on "An Easy Felt Flower to Make" and last week I decided to get our group at Mencap to make some fresh bunches!

I now have the pleasure of a Bigshot die cutting machine, so have been able to make a variety of different flowers with different shapes. If however you don't have access to a die cutter, the tutorial does give a few templates of flower shapes - they are simple shapes, but as they have to be cut by hand...!

So if you want to have a go at making these Easy Button Felt Flowers here is the link...  Felt Flower Tutorial

No Sewing or glueing - and so creative - the felt comes in such vibrant colours and there is an endless variety of buttons (metal or plastic, as long as they have a shank with a reasonably large hole) Mine came from eBay and Boot Sales...

We used empty spice bottles in which to display the flowers - but any jar will do!
Enjoy celebrating Spring!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A Gift from Mariner Park Australia to Mencap Braintree UK !

Art and Craft Group - Mencap Braintree
As you know from my last post, I have just returned from a trip to Australia - aren't I the lucky one??

Whilst there, I went to Mariner Park Retirement Village in Tura Beach, NSW, with my sister-in-law Anne, who is a volunteer there. She is invaluable, as not only helps to run the Sewing Groups, but also provides an "alteration and mending" service for the residents.

I was made so welcome and was invited to tell the ladies, in their Sewing Group, about Mencap in Braintree - back here in the UK, where I volunteer, helping with Pottery and Art & Craft groups.

I was given a wall-hanging with an Australian theme (see above photo) to bring back to Braintree Mencap. 

We will hang this in our hall, so everyone coming to join in with all our activities, will be able to appreciate this lovely gift.

Thank you Mariner Park!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Thank you Australia...!

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Australia, with our family over there and I want to share a few photos with you all...

The first two are about endurance and survival against all the odds...one is a soldier sitting with his head in his hands, in the mud, in the trenches in the First World War, depicted here at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The second is a gum tree (Eucalyptus) which was blow over in a storm at Port Stephens, New South Wales. Again, against the odds of survival, the tree has hung in there and lying on its side, continues to flourish and grow...

Australians tend to have this same resilience - they complain loudly and tell it like it is, but they hang in there - through adverse weather, bush fires and heated politics, but nevertheless get on with life with great energy and are so very proud of their country...

Tura Beach NSW

And here is just one of their fine beaches...

Thank you Australia for having us...