Crafty Creatives… The Art of Papercutting

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Crafty Creatives is a fantastic subscription box which delivers an exciting craft kit to you every month. I love crafts and am keen to try out new ones, but the thought of buying loads of equipment only to discover I don’t like the craft after all scares me. That is why Crafty Creatives is so perfect! Every month you receive everything you need to complete a wonderful craft project, so you don’t have to spend a small fortune to see if you like it. I have to say though I subscribed around 6 months ago and have loved everything they have sent! Thanks to Crafty Creatives, I have made a fascinator, mosaic hearts, lip balms, a rolled wool trivet, and Hama bead coasters.

The October box was amazing! I have seen some stunning works of art made from papercutting and have admired their intricacy. I had wanted to try it but hadn’t known where to start! Luckily for me, this box gave me everything I needed to make 2 beautiful designs.

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Included in the kit were a self-healing cutting mat, a finger tip swivel knife, a picture frame, and the 2 designs to cut out along with the paper to mount them on. I was a bit nervous when I saw the swivel knife as it looked like it might be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but I was wrong thankfully. You hold it like a pen and it hooks comfortably around your finger, which makes it so easy to manoeuvre, and provides support when you move it around. The blade is what sets this knife apart from other craft knives. It turns smoothly as you change the direction of your hand! That means you can cut out any shape without having to move the paper or take the blade off the sheet. Fantastic! This box was worth having just for the knife!!!

The two designs were lovely modern ones…. words with a little symbol linked to the word. I cut out Star first as I knew I would prefer the Love one if my first attempt went wrong. I needn’t have worried though as they both turned out beautifully. I have kept Love in the frame provided and as my son is my little star, he has the star one in a frame in his bedroom.

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I definitely feel confident to carry on with papercutting projects, especially with this amazing swivel knife! It was such a therapeutic relaxing activity. Some crafts can take ages to produce finished pieces. This was relatively quick and easy, so great for people who like to see results fast!

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box). 

DISCLAIMER: This is my own honest opinion of Crafty Creatives. I receive no fee/discount/compensation and I pay for my subscription in full. All views are my own. 

A Triveting Crafty Creatives August Box

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The August Crafty Creatives box was a visual treat of beautiful bright colours. The box contained everything needed to make a stunning rolled wool trivet: different coloured recycled wool strips, a long straight needle, a curved needle, extremely strong thread, and a page of easy to follow instructions. The kit was created by Rag Art Studios exclusively for Crafty Creatives.

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I have to confess, when I opened the box it arrived in, I had a quick look and thought it would be a very easy, very fast kit to complete. I was wrong on the time part. It took me quite a few hours to make! The idea was easy enough: place different coloured strips on top of each other, roll them up tightly and sew in to place (that’s the basic idea). Obviously though you need to make sure no stitches are visible on the top, but it needs to be sewn well so that it holds together with no chance of unrolling or falling apart when you pick it up. I thought the curved needle would be brilliant for hidden stitching, but I found it quite tricky to use, so completed my trivet using just the straight needle.

I would definitely make more of these. Maybe make some colour co-ordinated ones to match the decor of my friends’ kitchens. As well as being used to protect surfaces from hot pans, they would also be great to stand vases on to protect tables from scratches, or to protect them from the hot bases of candle holders. The versatility of it means it would be a beautiful gift for anyone to receive. With Christmas coming up (sorry for dropping the C word) these would be great made in traditional festive colours to use in place of table mats. I want to also try making some using different materials for different effects. The possibilities are endless! I loved making something that was pleasing to the eye with it’s pretty swirls, but also practical. It will be well used in my house!

I had never seen trivets like this before, only metal mass produced ones. This is one of the things I love so much about craft… the fact that no to items will ever be the same. Every piece is unique. This kit would have been sent to countless other Crafty Creatives subscribers, but every single trivet made would be slightly different, and each made with love.

Crafty Creatives sends out a kit for a different craft every month. You never know what you will get, it’s all a wonderful surprise. To have a look at past kits they have sent, have a look at some others I wrote about…

 

https://confarreocreates.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/crafty-creatives-feeling-the-mosaic-love/

https://confarreocreates.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/crafty-creatives-may-subscription-box-hama-time/

https://confarreocreates.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/crafty-creatives-surprise-craft-subscription-boxes/

 

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box)

 

DISCLAIMER: I pay for my subscription and get no reward for writing about it, other than the happiness of being able to recommend something I love. All views/ideas/opinions are my own and I only write honest reviews. 

 

 

Crafty Creatives… Feeling the Mosaic Love

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I absolutely love Crafty Creatives. A subscription box for craft lovers, in which you get sent a mystery craft project each month to complete. Everything you need is included and each project has clear instructions, so that everyone can complete it no matter what skill level they are at. The best part of it is you get to try a new craft every month, so you can find out if you want to carry on with it, without having to spend loads of money on equipment only to find out it’s not for you.

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The July Crafty Creatives kit was my favourite so far. I have always wanted to try my hand at mosaic work, so you can imagine how excited I was when I opened the box and found this mosaic hearts kit waiting for me. It contained 2 wooden hearts, various mosaic tiles and pieces of crockery and glass pebbles, glue, grout, disposable glove, spreader and ribbon to hang the finished hearts. There was a sheet of very clear and easy to follow instructions, and I was so excited to get started!

The first part was to glue my chosen pieces of tile and crockery on to the hearts. My 9 year old son was keen to try too, so he chose to work on the smaller heart and I used the larger one. It sounded very easy… stick the pieces on leaving a small gap between each piece so that the grout can fill in the spaces to hold it all in place. Easy, right? I think I can honestly say this part took the longest time. It was like doing a jigsaw, trying to find the right sized pieces to fit. After my son and I had covered the 2 hearts that came with the kit, we had a lot of pieces left over so we used them to cover some smaller wooden hearts that I already had in my craft stores.

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We left them overnight to make sure the glue had completely dried. The next day I mixed up the grout following the instructions given, and used the spreader to spread the grout over the whole heart and along the edges. After it had been drying for a while, I used a few pieces of kitchen roll to clean the grout off the pretty pieces. It was very easy to just wipe it off. They were then left to fully dry. We were over the moon with the finished hearts. We used the ribbon to hang the two original ones.

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I will definitely be doing more mosaic work. I found it so relaxing and enjoyable, and I had a huge sense of achievement when I saw what we had created. It was a wonderful activity to do with my son too. Quality time spent crafting. My idea of heaven.

The August box will soon be landing on my doorstep and I can’t wait to see what craft will be inside!

(EDIT 12/09/2018: Unfortunately Crafty Creatives has just closed their subscription box)

 

DISCLOSURE: I pay for my subscription and receive no compensation for my review. All views expressed are my own honest unbiased opinions. 

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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