We have a new Aquabeads set just in time for the Summer holidays. This is a full mini set rather than just an additional add on or refill set. It contains a mini work station along with hundreds of coloured beads, water spray bottle, templates and an easy bead remover.
This set is themed around the popular Disney Princess’s. Unlike other sets which come with many varying design templates, this one comes with just 4 templates on 2 cards. With these templates we can make rapunzel, aurora, aerial or Belle.
I thought I would give this a go myself first as Izebella was very eager to have her own princess design and although I’m fine with her having a go herself, I know that she would become easily frustrated when the small beads don’t go her way, so I made one for her.
For some strange reason I actually found this large face design much easier and quicker to complete than some of the smaller designs from previous boxes. I completed this is just 15 minutes or so and allowed 20 minutes to dry.
The new pink easy lift tool is essentially just a piece of tough plastic with grips. It doesn’t look much but it seems to help to remove the bead designs in one piece and they don’t have to be completely dry to use this. As long as the beads are firmly stuck the tool can usually be used after 20 minutes of waiting.
And our princess lifted off the design station perfectly without the loss of any beads.
Once dry and stuck together, aquabead designs seem to stay that way and can be used as mini displays on windows and bedrooms.
I found making this princess with the beads quite therapeutic this time round and not at all boring. Now my girls are busy making theirs too tho not quite as fast as mine.
This Disney Princess aquabeads set seems to vary in price across different stores that I have looked at. The price is usually between £15-£20.
There’s a whole new way to draw and colour for kids. Paint sticks look just like coloured glue sticks and are like a crayon and paint all in one.
This may sound harsh but I am one of those mean mummies who won’t have lots of paint activities in my house. I may allow it once in a while and for homework purposes, other than that if they want to paint then they go outside. My house is not huge and I paid a lot for my carpets and furniture and even kids clothing. Paint can be so messy, even the water based stuff. Stains on floors, tables, clothes which does not always wash out, then letting the soggy paintings dry out and more stains. Then cleaning the equipment and yes more stains on the sink. It’s a very messy activity which kids seem to love.
Our new Little Brian paint sticks seem to eliminate the majority of the mess left by regular painting and also make painting activities much easier for little hands.
The packs of paint sticks come in various sizes and we have a rather generous 12 pack.
The results from the paint sticks do look like paint and it dries instantly too. Very minimal mess on hands and none on furnishings. Obviously I still make my kids use a hard flat surface underneath paper to protect flooring underneath. The paintsticks can be used on many surfaces too, including paper, plastics, glass including windows as it’s really easy to sponge off clean.
When doing regular paintings such as on paper or an easel, adding a little water to the painting with a brush or sponge gives a blurring effect and slightly wetting the paint stick gives a deeper paint effect so we can play around with these to get different effects.
My two girls liked them instantly and ended up painting non stop the same night they got them. I very much like the reduced mess and not needing to find paintbrushes or having paint mixed up into awful muggy colours.
And guess what? these paint sticks also have another really good use. Probably not what they were intended for; but: I recently glossed my bathroom window ledge in bright red to match the wallpaper. The flossing went well but I put a orchid pot on the window thinking the paint had dried properly. It hadn’t and I ended up taking a small patch of gloss paint off, revealing white patches underneath. I had no paint left. I used the red paint stick to fill in the gaps and now I cannot tell any difference. It blended in perfectly and has dried to match the gloss. Therefore they have many uses.
Little Brian have their own website but sell their paint sticks via Amazon and Asda stores plus a few more places. A 12 pack like this costs about £7.25 with a 6 pack being less. They will last a long time too.
If you like the look of the paint sticks then you can win a 12 pack for yourself and family. Simply click the enter link below.
This giveaway will close on July 20th 2017 and is open to U.K. residents only.
My first subscription box of the week is Inspirations club.
These boxes contain a curated package of ribbons, fabric, materials, buttons and other craft type materials.
Now I am usual hopeless when it comes to making anything and especially so when it comes to sewing, but this package seems to make it much easier for people like myself.
As well as all the craft materials, several project ideas will be included each month. My box gave easy guides to making a cactus keyring, fabric pencil case and a cactus pin cushion. The boxes come with different themes each month, hence the many cactus ideas in this box. Of course if your good and better than me at crafting you could just make whatever you wish with all these items.
The fabrics in my box were the first thing to catch my eye as there are a fair few of them. The blue fabric underneath shows how big the fabrics arrive and they all feel very good quality.
Inspirations club offer a number of monthly subscription packages beginning with their basic package which starts at just £10 per month. The higher priced subscriptions contain larger sheets of fabric and are more suited to those who regularly make things or run a small business.
It has been a good experience trying this box as it certainly differs from the rest.
Our latest Aquabeader set is Cinderella themed, something which both my girls love.
As well as lots more beads, this set also comes with a glass slipper to decorate with aquabeader creations. Don’t worry, the shoe is made of plastic, not real glass but I guess that’s what people will refer to it as.
As always there are a few templates too with Cinderella themes both little and large.
My girls and their friends focused on the small patterns such as the bows and flowers.
I however decided to be a little braver than normal and attempt the big main design, being Cinderellas face. I must be getting better as I did not find it too difficult, more time consuming than anything and annoying when the beads won’t stay in place; but here is my completed and dried finished design.
I messed up ever so slightly on one of the eyes I think and I also seemed to somehow run out of the specific colour beads that I needed (I think Jordanna maybe used them for other things) but hey ho I got their in the end and finished it.
This set costs about £10.00. You will need an Aquabead tray to use this set which can be purchased as part of a starter set or one of the studio sets which vary in price.
Both my girls love anything to do with fairies. Even my 9 year old who considers herself past playing with dolls still loves fairy things. They also both love jewellery and making things and this small craft set from Interplay UK enables my girls to make bracelets or necklaces with beads and fairy charms.
Inside the box we get many colourful beads in bright princess style colours with coloured elastic string, fasteners and 12 metal charms. The charms are all fairy inspired with wands, crowns, rainbows, stars and more.
No instructions came with our box but I do believe that these are meant to be included so I have no idea what happened to them. However it is really just a case of threading beads onto the string and adding charms.
The bead holes are big enough for the elastic string to be easily threaded through, I even found this easy and my fingers are slightly larger than a childs. All sorts of designs can be made and as the string is very stretchy, even the smallest made bracelets will fit.
This is just one little bracelet that my girls made for me.
If getting this craft kit then it’s a good idea to have a small tin or tub to keep the beads and charms in because once the box is opened there is nothing to keep them in place and they just fall out of the box.
It costs approximately £9.99 and will make 10 pieces of jewellery, possibly more.
Gel-a-peel is still a fairly new type of craft material. It is a gel which comes in squeezy pens and can be used to make various things. The gel sticks once dry and it comes in lots of colours with many design ideas. We have had quite a few packs and our latest one is this one.
Our pearly pastel gel-a-peel set contains 3 gel tubes all in shiny pearly type colours. Along with templates and a few other bits.
This set was sent to my children so that they can create cards for Mother’s Day and that is exactly what Jordanna has been doing. The gel is quite easy to use and patternsare simple once we got used to it. The letters can be a bit more tricky. Sometimes we do need to squeeze the tubes quite hard to get a bit out. Anyway here is an early Mother’s Day card made with gel-a-peel.
I really like the shininess of these pearly colours as they seem to catch the light and look really effective. I think Jordanna has done a fairly good job here as it can be hard to write with gel-a-peel.
Jordanna also made this little bracelet too.
The bracelets and other types of jewellery can be made using the included templates, left to dry and then worn. Gel-a-peel has endless uses and is not too messy providing it’s done on a mat or in one area.
Packs vary in price and are sold at most toy shops.
Gel-a-Peel is recommended for children aged 8 +
Did you know; Gel-a-peel isn’t just for making squiggly patterns or even jewellery.It can also be used for decorating objects and as it’s almost Chrismas, we have been decorating Xmas bits using the stuff.
This is the kit and accessories that we started out with.
If you don’t know what Gel-a-peel is, then in short it’s a new type of craft/design product. Tubes of squirty coloured gels that harden as they dry.
And here are my children’s #craftychristmas designs.
The gel-a-peel pens are easy to use and the stuff dries within a few hours. It is best to do it on an old towel or a non carpeted surface just so it doesn’t end up stuck everywhere.
Ryan now has his made stocking in his bedroom, yes boys will enjoy it too. My girls decorations are of course now proudly hung on our tree.
Gel-a-peel packs and accessories can be purchased in most good toy stores.
This post is part of the #CraftyChristmas campaign to celebrate Christmas being less than one month away.
This monster selfie studio kit, proved to be a big hit in our house in the run up to Halloween.
When you first look inside the box, it just looks like any other craft kit with various monster cut out designs and frames.However the kit works alongside a free app which can be downloaded on iPhones and android devices.
For just £9.99 this kit helps transform our photo selfies into monsters and here’s how it works.
First take a selfie with your phone, choose which monster you want to be via the app, then print it or email it. This is Ryan’s monster selfie and yes he’s a werewolf.
Once printed the face can be cut out and put into one of the frames or add more monster accessories, or you can just keeps the printed images as posters. This is Jordanna as Frankenstien monster
And this is Ryan’s completed design once cut out.
Obviously you will need a printer if you wish to make something such as this as you have to print the images out. The one problem we came across was that the instructions state to print at 100% and not “fit to page”. We have a cannon air printer and print from iPhones and I have not come across any setting via a phone which allows us to change the setting so we just had to hope for the best and luckily the images printed at the correct size.
This kit and another similar one with animals can be purchased directly from Interplay, Amazon and most good toy stores.
Sand Art comes to us from Kids bee happy. The sets cost about £7.00 each and contain all we need to create beautiful sand art pictures. There are many different themed packs, many of which are Disney. We have the Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck set. This set contains 2 image boards and 16 tubes of coloured sand.
The images come with yellow stickers on and the idea is to peel off part of it bit by bit to reveal the white sticky board, then add sand to each area.
The stickers can be tricky to peel off but a tool is included to help with lifting them. The more you peel off , the more the picture comes to life.
All the picture can be peeled, even the background area. It’s best to use lots of different sand colours for the best effects.
It is sand and it can get messy. After areas of the picture are covered, the excess sand gets tipped off. The sand tubes are extremely difficult to fully open so tipping the sand back in is quite impossible. It’s a good idea to do the sand creations on a large tray to avoid lots of sand on the floor.
The images look very easy to do, and they are but it can be time consuming as there are a lot of areas to fill in with sand.
These are great as rainy day projects!
MGA entertainment have launched a brand new product called Gel-a-peel. It’s aimed towards girls and there are many sets to choose from.
With Gel-A-Peel you can create your own gel jewellery or designs. The packs cone with tubes of squeezy gel and various templates.
It looks quite simple on the box but it does take lots of practice to create something similar to the images on the box. It’s all about following lines and patterns with tubes of coloured gel and it’s not as easy as it looks. It’s also about how hard the tube gets squeezed as the gel designs need several hours to dry out and if the design is of uneven thickness then part of it may not dry as quickly.
This is an image of possible jewellery items that could be created with practice.
Jordanna has done a few creations so far and is slowly getting the hang of it.
The plastic sheet is supplied and is easily wiped clean so she can create more designs.
The kits start from £4.99 and there is a design station too for £24.99. Gel a peel has its own webpage which shows the full range of kits available.