How to Make Beautiful Glass Pebble Magnets – An Easy Craft Activity for the Whole Family

I recently had a wonderful subscription box called the Sunshine Box (see my review HERE) and part of that was a little craft activity, making glass pebble magnets. I had never heard of or seen these before, but my son and I had so much fun making them! The supplies in The Sunshine Box were enough to make 20 magnets, and one was included ready made as an example. As soon as we had made the 20, Luke asked if it would be easy to find the supplies to make more. Luckily it is very easy and very cheap, so now we make them whenever we have free time.

These were the ones we made from the supplies in The Sunshine Box:

Photographing them clearly is a bit tricky with reflections, but you can see how lovely they are. The beauty of these is you can make them in any design you fancy. They would make gorgeous wedding favours if you used the same colour and design as is being used on the wedding invitations and save-the-date cards. We love geocaching, and part of the fun of that is swapping little treasures. These are perfect for geocaches as they fit in most sized containers. They also make beautiful token gifts as you can choose the design to suit the individual person. They are perfect for rainy days to keep your children occupied, or as an activity for childminders (as long as young children are supervised so they don’t put them in their mouths). It is also such a therapeutic activity for yourself, just to unwind and feel creative.

Here is a list of what you need:

  • a selection of magazines, old cards, brochures, catalogues, wrapping paper, or anything with a design you like the look of,
  • PVA glue,
  • a small paintbrush,
  • a pen,
  • a pair of scissors,
  • self-adhesive small round magnets/magnetic dots (I bought 132 which were 12.5mm across from Amazon for £3.49)
  • clear round decorative glass pebbles/stones (I bought 100 which were 18mm across from Amazon for £3.99)

Look through the brochures or whatever paper materials you have and find a small design you like. It doesn’t matter if it is tiny, the glass magnifies things slightly. Place a pebble on top of it to check it fits, and if it does draw around the pebble. We found lovely designs on a letter from Morrisons:

and a Lakeland brochure:

as well as book brochures and magazines:

When you have drawn around your pebble, cut the design out just inside the circle you have drawn so it fits perfectly. Brush a thin layer of PVA glue on the back of the pebble (the flat side) and press it down on to the cut out design. Make sure it is perfectly positioned – you might need to trim a tiny bit more off from around the edge. Brush another thin layer of PVA over the back of the design and leave the pebble face down to let it dry.

When it is dry, simply peel the backing off one of the magnets and press it on to the back of the pebble. Polish the front with a cloth to make sure there are no glue smudges or marks, and there you have your beautiful personally chosen pebble magnet! It really is that easy! If you prefer you can paint the back of the design before you stick the magnet on so that you can’t see any other print if you turn it over, but we didn’t bother with that.

Here are a selection of ones we have made so far:

I also had the idea to maybe try using some pressed flowers we had to see if they would work. I hadn’t got many small enough but I did have a few:

For these, I drew around a pebble on to plain paper and cut out the shape. I brushed a thin layer of glue on to the paper and carefully placed the flower on to it, then brushed a layer on to the pebble and pressed it down on to the flower. Finally I brushed another layer on the back and let it dry, before sticking a magnet on. I absolutely loved how these came out:

These would be perfect wedding favours too if the bride’s bouquet has small flowers like gypsophilia included. You could buy some well in advance, press them and make up some magnets using them as lovely keepsakes. Or use bits of confetti instead of flowers. The possibilities are endless!

Have fun and happy crafting!

 

Easy Easter Crafts for Children…. Eggs and Nests

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The school half-term holidays are upon us already and in a few weeks it will be Easter. Where is this year going?? If you have children who are always complaining they are bored, or if the weather is miserable and you’re all stuck indoors, how about having some sticky crafty fun? These eggs and nests make beautiful Easter decorations and are a lovely unique way to give little chocolate treats as gifts. They are messy to make but that’s half of the fun isn’t it!? The only mess though is glue, and that is easy to clean up. Your child will have a great time peeling off the dried PVA glue from their hands too. My son Luke loves this part just as much as he loves the actual activity!!

Let’s start with the eggs. All you need is:

wool in whatever colour takes your fancy,

a water balloon,

PVA glue,

scissors,

a small container to put the glue in (an old clean takeaway container is perfect)

a small pot to dry the egg on (an empty yoghurt pot or even an egg cup is ideal)

small foil-wrapped chocolate eggs (we used Dairy Milk ones)

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  • Cover the bottom of the container with PVA glue, then add an equal amount of water. Mix well to thin the glue down. Cut some long strands of wool and put them into the glue. Press down until the wool is completely covered. Children love this messy bit! Leave to soak for a bit.

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  • Stretch the opening of the water balloon open as wide as you can and ask your child to push a chocolate egg into it. Push it down as much as you can and repeat with one more egg. When both eggs are inside, blow up the balloon. You might find it easier to use a balloon pump if you have one. Tie a knot in the filled balloon.

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  • Take a piece of the wool out of the glue, run it between thumb and forefinger to remove most of the glue, then wrap it around the balloon in all directions. Repeat until you have no big gaps left. You don’t want the eggs falling out when the balloon is popped! You can use more than one colour to make a really pretty effect. When it is covered as much as you want it to be, put it on to the small pot or egg cup to dry. You need to leave it overnight so the wool dries hard.
  • When it is completely dry, gently pop the balloon and use the scissors to ease the popped bits off the chocolate. And there you have a beautiful Easter egg decoration and a lovely gift for someone. This would make a cute table gift if you are having people round for Easter too. You can gently push aside a line of wool to remove the eggs inside.

 

To make the nests, blow up a water balloon and tie a knot in it. Use the same method then to cover just half of the balloon with wool. This time you want to put a lot more on to make it look more like a well-made nest. Leave it to dry on a small pot or cup overnight.

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When it is dry, pop the balloon and remove from the nest.

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Fill these with tissue paper and chocolate eggs and treats. They don’t need to be foil-wrapped for these nests.

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You could wrap these prettily in cellophane and give as Easter gifts to teachers. This is what Luke will be doing with his 🙂

I love encouraging creativity in children. So much better than them sitting in front of a screen, be it TV, tablet or computer. They are so proud when they have an end result of something beautiful that they have created themselves and even more so when they then give them as gifts.

Have a creative half-term! 🙂

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Children’s Craft Idea… A Colourful Paper Bowl

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Half-term is upon us already so here is a perfect craft activity to keep your children occupied for a while. They’ll love the finished bowl too, and it can be used for so many things. Halloween is round the corner so this would make an ideal container for all the yummy treats and sweets. You could make it with just orange paper and make it look like a pumpkin. Or how about a gift for a teacher at Christmas? I used to work in the Reception class of a local primary school, and had so many gifts at Christmas and end of the school year. The handmade ones were always my favourites. They were more personal and unique, and I still have them now all these years later. Your child could make a small version of this bowl and put a few chocolates inside. The possibilities are (almost) endless. My son made the one in the picture and uses it to hold some of the play food in his play kitchen. It is very messy to make, but that makes it extra fun! Just put lots of newspaper or a mat on your table to protect it from dripping glue!

To make it, blow up a balloon to the required size. Luke wanted a big one so we inflated the balloon to its maximum size. Cut up lots and lots of paper into small pieces. You can use any paper you want, but we cheated and used quilling paper from The Works. It is ready cut into strips so it is a lot quicker to cut into pieces. (I was going to put the link up for it but I can’t find it on their website now. I’m sure other places sell it too, or just cut up sheets of paper).

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Use a paintbrush to cover your balloon with PVA glue to the height you want the bowl. Hold it by the knot to do this and cover the other end with glue. Stick pieces of paper on until all the glue is covered, and rest it on a cup or container to dry. This will take a couple of hours. Luke had fun peeling the glue off his hands at this point. Remember doing that when you were at school? Ah, happy memories….

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When it is dry, cover all the pieces with another layer of glue, and stick more paper on top. Repeat this process of drying and adding more until your bowl is nice and sturdy (at least 3 layers of paper pieces). Cover it all with glue again and leave to dry. The final layer of glue will protect it and make it stronger. It will dry see-through and will make the bowl rigid.

When it is dry, pop the balloon gently and peel away from the bowl. You’ll now have a very rough shaped bowl.

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This is the trickiest part so best for older children or adults to help with… carefully cut around the edge to make it a nice tidy bowl.

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And there’s your finished bowl! Well, this is Luke’s but you know what I mean. Your children will have had lots of fun, and you’ll have a snowstorm of paper bits to hoover up but it will have been worth it 🙂

I’d love to see your finished bowls if you make them with your children. Happy crafting!