Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Preparing the A4 Cat Calendar for 2016

Our new term opens at Mencap next week and at Art and Crafts we are starting 2016 with an A4 Cat Calendar...

Spent the morning cutting out all my cats - ready for the group to make an A4 Cat Collage for their calendars  - will show you how they look next week...!

Have a very Happy New Year and Keep Crafting....!!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for visiting my Blog...hope you find it helpful...

Here's wishing you all a fantastic 2016 - keep crafting....!!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas Bunting - Printable Templates!

A simple string of Christmas Bunting - can be made out of felt, as above, but will also be just as effective cut out of card. Mine has just five shapes, but you can make the String of Christmas bunting as long as you wish, using a mixture of the shapes or just choose one or two of them...

You will need...

Felt sheets or Card

Buttons and other embellishments

Tacky Glue

String, ribbon or tape and small craft pegs

To make...

Print your Template of Christmas Shapes

Cut out the shapes - in felt or card

Decorate with embellishments / buttons, using fabric or tacky glue and leave to dry

Peg the shapes onto your string and hang them up...

Enjoy this exciting time of the year - have fun preparing for the Festive Season...!!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Three New Christmas Placemats - Print and Colour-in..!

Keep everyone busy, in the run up to the Festive Season - Three new printable Christmas Placemats, for you and your groups and families to colour-in, ready for your Christmas Dinner table...

Here is the link ...   Three Christmas Placemats

Also - why not make this little felt Christmas stocking - fill it with candy and hang it on your tree...!
Tutorial - Felt Christmas Stocking Decoration

Friday, 20 November 2015

Easy 3D Tissue Flowers in a Vase - Tutorial and template

So easy to make these 3D Tissue Flowers - we put them in a vase and mounted them onto black card...!

What you will need...

Tissue paper
Stems - we used wooden coffee stick-stirrers but you can use string, paper strips etc
Print-out of template for vase
A4 sheet black card
Strip coloured paper for "table cloth"
Double sided sticky pads
Glue stick
Stickers and bows (optional)

How to make them...

Cut out one vase template (there are two on each print-out) crease down lines on sides and bottom.

Turn it over and colour-in your vase front.

Then on the coloured side - Apply glue to the tabs - bottom and sides..

Attach the bottom tab to your black card and then ...

folding your glued tabs inwards, attach you vase to the black card. Push the tabs inwards so the vase is 3D and not flat.

Fold your tissue paper so you have about 20 layers of tissue (approx 9cms square) and staple twice in centre as per picture below.

Cut into a circle (no need to measure - doesn't matter if a bit wobbly!) and then cut into edges about 1cm (as below)

Then, one layer at a time, separate the tissue layers and pinch up into the centre.

Place your stems in the vase (fix in place with a piece of double-sided adhesive pad) and then attach your flowers - also using double-sided adhesive pads.

Finish with a strip of coloured paper across the bottom "table cloth" and we added a few butterfly stickers...

These 3D Tissue Flowers can also be used on greeting cards - make them any size you want...!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Paper Lanterns - Tutorial...!

I'm sure most of you have made these Paper Lanterns at some time in your life - either as a child or with your own children - but in case you need a brush-up here is a good tutorial

Diwali - an ancient Hindu festival, known as "The Festival of Lights" is celebrated this week and these lanterns are also great for Christmas decorations too...

We used thin card for the Lanterns and decorated them with glitter, stickers, ribbon, lace and shiny confetti, but you can use anything you have, that will enhance these colourful Lanterns.

Enjoy making your lanterns....!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Spider Halloween Headbands!

We had a lovely afternoon at Mencap making our creepy, crawly, scary, colourful Spider Halloween Headbands...

Using ready-made spiders, flowers, feathers, organza bits and ribbons we attached a elastic headband - using plastic coated ties and lots of black sticky electrical tape to secure the embellishments...

The girls will be wearing them to the Braintree Mencap Halloween party!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Beady Head Keyrings - Tutorial Wooden Bead & Felt Dolls

You just must love these little Beady Head Keyrings!

We made them at Mencap this week and even two little boy Beady Heads appeared...

We discovered how to make these little fellows by following this very good Tutorial...

We used self adhesive felt for the clothes and stuck the buttons and bling on with double side adhesive tape. 

We added a keyring and some of the class made a string of beads to hang alongside.

Have fun making your Beady Heads!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Village Collage - Easy but so Creative!

Jenna with our Village Collage
Collage is always a favourite project at our Art and Craft Group. It is very creative and I am always intrigued with what our group produces.

We chose to do a Village Collage this week. We used old magazines and I asked them not to worry about the actual pictures, but to just look at the colours in the pictures.

After all the cutting and sticking had been done, we outlined their houses with a black felt tip pen. No precise measuring was done! The charm of the houses in our village is their slightly wonky look - straight out of fairyland...

Then we cut around each cluster of houses (on the A4 card) to make an interesting shape and stuck them all onto a sheet of A2 black card.

All you will need for this project is...

Old magazines or junk mail
Glue sticks
Black pen
A4 Card (we used mixed colours)
A sheet of A2 card (for every 4 x  A4 cards)
Butterfly stickers (optional)

Have fun making your village!

Monday, 5 October 2015

My Blog is now User-Friendly! Eight new Craft and Quiz Menu Buttons...

After five years of posting Craft and Quizzes onto my Blog, I felt it was time to make it more User-friendly...

I have added eight new pages - each one containing a list of links to the Tutorials in my Blog.

Each page has a button in the Menu above - so do have a browse and see what you fancy having a look at...

Thanks to all my visitors - do hope you find my Blog helpful in finding suitable Craft and Quizzes for your groups, yourself and your families...

Friday, 2 October 2015

Pop Up Books Monsters and Frozen - a lot of fun and easy to do craft - Tutorial!

 Monster Pop Up Book 

Frozen Pop Up Book

 When we say we made Monsters and Frozen "Pop Up Books" at Mencap Art and Craft Group, we actually made one Pop Up page in our Project Books. These books are carried through the year and added to, with different themes - many relating to the seasons and holidays in the calendar year. 

What you will need -

Either, like us, an A4 book with good quality art paper or you can just fold an A3 sheet of card in half and use that...

Glue stick

Colouring in pens

A4 sheet of thin card to make the Pop Up facilty - to make this, look at this excellent tutorial...

Extreme Paper Crafting - Pop up basics  (Follow Lesson 1 The Box)

If you want to use my Frozen or Monsters prints, here is the link

Monsters Pop Up

Frozen Pop Up

or you can use you own pictures - do check the sizes as they need to be within the page when the book or card is closed...

How to make up...

Colour in the pictures

Glue the Pop Up facility into you book or card - make sure you do not glue the bits that Pop Out...

Glue and place your pictures 

Here are some we made...

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Mod Podge on Hardback Notebooks - Decorating the cover!

This week, at Mencap, we decided to try our hand at using Mod Podge...!

What you will need...

Deciding that working on a flat surface was the best choice for a first attempt, we bought some A5 Hardback Notebooks.

A Bottle of Mod Podge Gloss 

Some Sponge "Brushes"Image result for sponge brush

We decided to use some fairy and woodland cutouts we had and some craft paper that we use for backing paper, on greeting cards. 

(Mod Podge works best on fairly thick paper we found - sheets of thin paper wrinkled a lot - sometimes this is a desired effect, but not for our project)  

How to do it...

We found Mod Podge Rocks a very useful site, with loads of tutorials - here is the link...explains how to use Mod Podge far better than I can!

 Learn How to Use Mod Podge

So enjoy using this wonderful product - don't worry if it looks white and patchy when you finish your work - by the next day it will have dried clear and bright - very rewarding! 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Paper Plate Dream Catcher Tutorial - Easy and fun to make!

These Paper Plate Dream Catchers are great fun to make and easy for any age and ability...

You will need... 

A good quality paper plate -  needs to be rigid enough to keep its shape

A length of Yarn - we Used Cotton Yarn DK - 2.5m plus 2 or 3 pieces for the dangles - each about 40cms long - Also about 30cms to make a tag to hang it.

Beads with large holes - we used Pony Beads

Feathers - dyed ones available at craft shops

Colouring-in pens or paints

Punch to make holes 

Sticky Tape

How to make... 

Cut out the centre of the plate.

Punch holes around the inside hole as per photo - about 2.5cm apart - no need to measure - don't have to accurate!

Working on the "bottom" surface of the plate - colour or paint the decoration - our plates had ridges which added to the effect!

Take your long piece of yarn and secure one end with sticky tape to the inside of the plate.

Thread the yarn through the holes - back and forth - no fixed pattern - just as you like! When about two thirds through, thread some beads onto the yarn (see photo above) 

When all the holes are used up, secure the end again with sticky tape, on the inside of the plate.

Punch a hole centre top and make a loop to hang up your Dream Catcher.

Punch two or three holes along bottom edge for dangles...

Tie a bead about a third of the way down on your yarn - then thread beads onto the longer piece above the tied bead.

Thread the end of this yarn, above the beads, through the punched hole and secure with sticky tape inside the plate.

Repeat with other one or two dangles.

Tie feathers onto the ends of yarn below the beads.

Sweet Dreams!
Nicola with her Dream Catcher

Andy painted his Dream Catcher with Acrylics


Monday, 14 September 2015

Beach Hut Birthday Cards Tutorial - Summer Activity!

Caroline and Paula's cards
 As we started the last term of the year at Mencap, we decided to make Beach Hut Birthday cards - a last bit of Summer fun, by the look of the changing weather, here in Essex...Autumn approaches!

What you need...

Blank greeting cards (rectangular shape)
Coloured paper 
Thin card (for the door)
Happy Birthday wording - stickers or print my sheet out here
Colouring-in pens 
Glue stick
Seaside theme stickers (optional)

How to make...

With the card folded, make a mark on the top edge, half way across. 
Make another mark on each side of the card, about a third of the way down.
Draw a line from these side marks to the top mark and then cut, to make the roof shape.

Cut a rectangle of thin card for the door.

Cut strips of coloured paper for the stripes on the roof and walls. Cut them about 1cm longer than you need.

Using a glue stick (any glue actually will do) stick the coloured strips of paper onto the roof and walls. (Leave some white stripes showing if you like)

Let the ends of the strips stick out from the card. When dry, turn the card over and trim the strips back to the edges of the card.

Glue on the door.

Colour-in and attach the "Happy Birthday" and apply the seaside theme stickers.

Nicola made this bright card!

 Enjoy making these Beach Hut Birthday Cards with your group...

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Printable Quiz - Ten Words ending in TEN!

A summer quiz - just for fun...over a cuppa tea or coffee!

How many words do you know that end in "ten" ?

For example...often, handwritten 

Ask your group to try to write a list of 
that end in "ten"...

Here is selection of some I have found, but there are lots more...have a dictionary on hand to resolve disputes!

Have fun! 

If you would like more quizzes to have fun with, here is the link to my
Printable Quiz eBook - 40 x 10 Easy Quiz questions


Friday, 10 July 2015

The Wizard of Oz - a Poster!

 The Wizard of Oz


Some of our group at Mencap in Braintree are going to Southend-on-Sea in August to see the stage show of "The Wizard of Oz", so we decided to make a poster...

The prints of the original cover and first page of L. Frank Baum's book (1900) we found on Gutenberg

The characters - printable versions of Dorothy with Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Lion and The Wizard of Oz himself, were easily found on Google images. We added the witch's hat, a rainbow (essential!) and Dorothy's red shoes. 

The Yellow Brick Road and the Emerald City and the "frame" we made from coloured electrical tape (I was surprised at how many colours are available in electric tape these days - will have to keep it in mind for future projects, as so easy to use) To finish off, we stuck flower stickers down the edges of the yellow bricks and a few butterflies found their way on as well!

Next week is the end of the term so we will be having our usual party food and games afternoon... plus achievement certificates all round!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Quiz - Printable General Knowledge Quiz

Time for a Quiz! 

 Have put together a
General Knowledge Quiz
for you to enjoy with your group, over a cup of tea or coffee. All printable and with the answers on a separate sheet...

If you would like more quizzes to have fun with, here is the link to my
Printable Quiz eBook - 40 x 10 Easy Quiz questions

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Felt Owl Purse - Tutorial with Printable Pattern

 We made Felt Owl Purses this week at Mencap using this excellent 

They are so cute and very easy to put together.


So get your felt out and start making your own Owl Purses - would be a good item to make for a fund-raising stall...!

Enjoy choosing the colours for your unique Owl! Here are some of ours...