Category Archives: Burlap Craft for Kids

Final Ekka Entry! Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cradle

Here is the last of my entries for the Ekka craft competition this year. For the Childrens Toy section I have made a Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cot.

This small bag, opens out and inverts into a stand up doll cradle!

I would like to claim credit for the ingenious design behind this cradle, but I can’t. A friend of mine recently showed me a knitted version that she had been given as a child. It was one of her favourite toys as a child and she had not seen anything like it since.

So I took it upon myself to create a Burlap Version. The great thing about sewing and crafting with Burlap is that you can use it to give your projects real structure and form. If you were to make this out of cotton, it would collapse when turned into the cradle position. But using Burlap, it stands really well.

I hope the judges at the show appreciate the dual functionality of this cradle. The Ekka starts next week, so I’ll let you know how I go.

It is a bit complicated to explain how to make, so I will work on a proper sewing pattern and put it in my pattern store soon.

This cradle got me to thinking about my favourite toys as a child. Most of the really memorable favourites were handmade. The timber crib for my dolls and washing line that my Uncle Dave made me, Maxi and Mini dolls that Uncle Dave’s Mum made me. What were your favourite handmade toys as a child? Have you made them for your kids? Let me know. I think we should restart the handmade toy movement! I’d love to hear about your handmade toys as I think my boys could do with some Handmade love!

Entries for the Royal Show

Tis that time of year again in Brisbane when the Ekka comes to town. The Ekka is the Agricultural Show when ‘country comes to the city’. It’s also the most competitive show in the State for Crafters. This year I’ve opted to enter three categories:

  • Funky Fabrics and Wearable Art
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Childrens Toy
And for once, I’m actually somewhat organised.
So I thought I would share with you what I am making. The first is the Christmas decorations. Given many people celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ now is a good time to share with you my Burlap Christmas Trees.
Here’s the final product:
If I were displaying them around the home, I would probably sit them on top of wine or champagne glasses at varying heights, but for now, they are just sitting on the table.
To make, they are really simple. Take a large sheet of cardboard (I used old manilla folders) and roll them around using one corner as the point to form a cone shape.
Sticky tape the cone shape to hold in place, and trim the bottom with scissors so it is level.
Paint the cone with PVA glue. Lay on a corner of Burlap and roll to cover. Overlap the end about 1 cm then trim the burlap. You will need to apply more PVA to the Burlap where it overlaps so it sticks together.
Trim the Burlap at the top and then the bottom leaving a 2cm edge at the bottom. Then apply more PVA glue around the inside bottom edge and fold in the Burlap and glue down.
Once dry, you can then embellish with ribbons, sequins and beads using a hot glue gun to apply them.
As Burlap comes in so many great colours, you can make trees to suit any colour scheme. And the best part is how affordable they are. So if your celebrating Christmas in July, get busy with these Burlap Trees for your centrepiece, or you may like to get an early start on some fresh decorations for this Christmas.
Next week I’ll show you my funky fashion, wearable art entry.

Lorax themed 5th Birthday Party – A Burlap Picnic in the Park

As I said April is birthday month in our house, so I thought I would share with you some of the highlights of my 5 year olds Lorax themed birthday party.

We had the party in the park after school. Before the children arrived we set up some tables for food and party bag goodies. We also set up a large picnic rug for the kids to enjoy their afternoon tea on. As usual Burlap abounds in our house, so we recycled the Burlap we used for the smash cake back drop the week before, and laid it down as the picnic area. Then created a table runner out of another length of printed burlap with a crazy red chevron print which looked like a graphic from a Dr Seuss Book! We also hung tissue paper pompoms from the tree over the picnic area.

The food table was set up with Barbarloot bears (Tiny Teddies cookies in individual packets), Barbarloot snacks (Marshmallows), Traffula trunks (Musk sticks) and Traffula Trees (fresh pineapple, watermelon and kiwi fruit, cut into circles and mounted on kebab sticks and inserted into a paper covered polystyrene base.

We then played pass the parcel (with the soundtrack from the Lorax movie), and each layer of the parcel had three bean seeds. Once a child got their bean seeds they then went over the the party bag table and planted their seeds by filling a plastic cup with potting mix. They then had the opportunity to ‘Adopt a Lorax’ which was a grasshead that I had made and stuck on some eyes and then cut a Lorax moustache from felt and stuck it on. They could also choose a traffula tree, which was a pencil with coloured felting wool stuck to the end with PVA glue. And they got a small packet of ‘Edible Traffula Seeds’ which was 8 Jelly Beans in a small plastic bag.

We then cut the cake which was a simple green iced vanilla cake. Just before lighting the candles we put Fairy Floss tufts on the end of Lollipop sticks and stuck them in the cake to create a Traffula forest.

Overall the kids had a great time. The parents loved the party. And the kids had an ongoing reminder of the party whilst they watched their grassheads and bean plants grow. Parents are still commenting to me two weeks later about how their kids check the grassheads and beans every morning.

It was a really cost effective party as I didn’t buy lots of lollies or nic naks for the party bags, just a few items to create the traffula pencils, grassheads and bean seeds. There were 30 kids at the party and I only used 2 packets of jellybeans for the lollybags.

I find with kids parties (and believe me I have done more that the average mum in my previous life as a Indoor Play centre owner, over 300), that creativity will win over budget every time. You don’t have to spend a fortune on jumping castles and caterers to have an awesome party. Just pick a theme and spend some time thinking about how you can bring that theme to life. I guarantee you will have a rockin party that the kids remember for a long time to come!

And of course – use Burlap wherever possible:).

Last minute St Patricks Day gift for the boys from a Leprechaun!

This is a great last minute St Patrick’s Day gift that is quick and easy to make.

My boys are now 7 and 5 and I thought this year it would be nice for them to celebrate a bit of their heritage with St Patrick’s Day. They are also old enough to start to understand where they come from and the concept of generations past. So I thought why not surprise them this year with a gift from a Leprechaun to get into the St Pats spirit!

I plan on leaving this Pot of Gold on the front steps St Patrick’s Day morning.

It’s super easy. I just cut a length of Burlap long enough to go around a mason jar. I use foam stamps from the dollar store and green acrylic paint to stamp ‘Pot of Gold’ on the burlap. Once dry I used a hot glue gun to stick the ends of the burlap together at the back of the jar.

Then I filled the jar with gold coin chocolates.

For the top I made a Leprechaun Hat from black felt. I cut a circle the same size as the lid of the mason jar. Then I cut a rectangle of felt 10cm x 4cm and rolled it into a tube and hot glued it together. I then glued this tube to a square of felt just larger than the tube and then the other end of the tube onto the large circle. Once dry I trimmed the square to the circumference of the tube.

Then I choose a small gold button I had (appropriately with a clover leaf – unfortunately not four leaf though!) and glued it onto the felt hat. I then glued the hat onto the top of the mason jar.

I think the boys will be thrilled with their gift from the Leprechaun on Sunday! It’s not too late to make one of these for your kids or neighbours.

Burlap Christmas Gift Tags

Things have been a little slow on the blogging front lately as all my attention has been turned to my new studio. Hopefully, all fingers crossed, it will be ready for Christmas and be the best Christmas present ever!
So my Burlap adventures have been curbed somewhat, however I couldn’t resist a little burlap for Christmas.
This year I decided to go with brown paper packaging tied up with string (these are a few of my favourite things!). So for the gift tags I made some simple Burlap tags.
Here’s the how to:
Cover a piece of A4 cardboard with spray adhesive and lay your burlap over the top. I then placed a piece of baking paper over the top and weighted the burlap down to make sure it sticks. I used a box of champagne bottles – after all it is Christmas time!

   

Once stuck down (about 15 minutes) I then trimmed the Burlap from the edges of the card and put the card into the guillotine and cut various random squares and rectangle. You could make them all even if you wanted to measure, but I think random adds to the charm.

I then took a stamp pad and red ink and stamped some stars and the word Joy on the burlap side of the tags. I also cut some stars from red burlap and using the spray adhesive, sprayed the stars and stuck on the tags. The stars also need to be weighted down.
Finally hole punch each tag and tie onto your presents.
Simple and beautiful.

How to Grow a Sack of Potatoes

– Literally!    Even if you live in a tiny apartment.

If you’ve ever grown your own potatoes you would be familiar with the great potato hunt that occurs at the end of each crop! For those of you that haven’t, I’ll explain. Potato’s grow as a plant that comes out of the ground, whilst under the ground the potatoes are forming. The potatoes are ready when the plant dies off. The problem is you then have to find the potatoes by randomly digging through the ground around the plant. This is relatively easy for a potato farmer with a tractor but not so easy for the home gardener.

 
But I have a Burlap solution of course!
 
Growing your own potato plant inside a burlap sack makes the process of retrieving your loot of potatoes really easy because you know that all your potatoes will be contained within the sack. It is a great project for kids, and non gardeners as well, as it is very straightforward and low maintenance. Plus it looks fabulous in any garden or deck and also makes the perfect apartment garden.
So to grow your own Sack Full of Potatoes follow these easy steps:

 
What you will need:
  • Store bought potato
  • Burlap sack
  • Potting Mix
Materials
  1. Take a store bought potato and leave it in the sun for a few weeks. It will start to sprout roots and when it does it is ready to plant.
  2. Take your Burlap sack and roll down the edges of the sack so it is about a quarter of it’s normal height. 
  3. Fill the sack with potting mix.
  4. Place the sprouting potato in the potting mix so that it has just a sprinkle of potting mix covering it. 
  5. As the plant grows upwards, gradually roll up the edges of the sack and add more potting mix, leaving the top leaves of the plant exposed at all times. Continue this process over the next few weeks until the plant dies off.
  6. Once the plant dies off, your potatoes are ready to harvest. Simply roll down the edges of the sack and brush away the soil to reveal your potatoes. This way you know you will find every potato and there won’t be any hard laborious digging in hard soil.
  7. Make sure you collect the potting mix and store it for next time.
Place potato in potting mix and cover with a light sprinkle of potting mix
Place in a sunny spot
Give it a try and you’ll be growing sack full of potatoes in no time!