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Let the children help with this year’s Halloween decorations. Print Anna’s template with swirled snakes, gather the family to decorate them and make it a cosy family time to prepare for the season’s festivities.

You can print the template here:


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The boxes can both contain tasteful treats for your guests, be used for storing collected sweets and as a fun part of the table setting. Warm up for Halloween by letting the little ones make their own monsters of reused cardboard boxes.

List of materials for this DIY project:
Reused cardboard box
Scisssors
Paint
Paint brush
White pasteboard or paper
Hot glue gun
Pen


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Discover the wonders of the Asian cuisine, just like the sisters. Dumplings are a fun starting point and once you get the gear in order, it is a fairly easy project to take on. You can either fry the dumplings or steam and deep-fry them, depending on what you find most tasteful.


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Anna enjoys decorating the home with chalk pens that are applicable on several surfaces, such as glass, plastic and metal.

The pen is not permanent and can be easily removed with a moist cloth.

You can print both templates here:

You can print both templates here:


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There are many ways to create a festive birthday table which does not need added sugars. Use sweet cookie cutters to cut fruits, make fruit skewers using the sisters’ reusable straws or create an appetising ice-cream cone of fresh fruits and natural banana waffles.


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The sisters’ silicone baking mould and baking mix for Madeleine cakes make it easy to bake the sweet creations. Decorate the cakes with icing sugar and organic lemon zest.

List of materials for this DIY project:
Silicone baking mould for Madeleine cakes
Baking mix for Madeleine cakes
Organic lemon
Icing sugar
150 g. butter
5 eggs


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Fun and play with stamps.

Tip
By making a repeating pattern using the wall stamps, you can create a lovely wallpaper look in a children’s room.

Method

1. Paint in freeform an area approximately 25×25 cm in size in your favourite colour. Let the paint dry completely before continuing.

2. Use a foam sponge to apply an even coat of paint to the stamp to achieve a uniform look. Press the stamp against the wall and make sure the pressure is evenly distributed before carefully lifting the stamp away from the wall.

3. Now add the little hand-painted motifs. Here, Anna has painted circles and branches with leaves. When you are satisfied, repeat the process over the entire wall.

4. Finish by painting the wall pegs the same colour as the wall, and incorporate them as part of the wall decoration.


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Passion for papier mâché.

Tip
You can also make statuettes that look great in other parts of the house besides the children’s rooms.

Method

1. Inflate a balloon, taking care not to make it too big. Cut a strip of corrugated cardboard, fold it into a tube, then tape it to the balloon. Make sure to cover the cardboard with plenty of tape so it does not get too wet when you now apply the papier mâché.

2. Cover the entire surface with papier mâché.

3. Now shape the details of the head. Remember to add extra papier mâché to the back of the head if you add a lot of details to the face to keep the head balanced. If you want to create a bun on the top of the head, make a ball of paper and cover it with papier mâché and then attach it to the head. For the tiger’s nose, Anna used paper cups cut in half.

4. Let the head dry for approximately one week. If small cracks develop as it dries, simply apply a little more papier mâché. Now paint and decorate the head. When the paint is dry, you can add a layer of lacquer, which will extend the lifetime of your creation.


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Soft and convenient storage.

Clara can always use new bowls and baskets for storage, and this simple felt design is perfect for her desk.

Method

1. Transfer the basket template to some baking paper, see how on page 5. Place two pieces of felt one on top of the other and hold them together with a couple of pins. Now use the template to trace triangles onto the felt as shown in the image. Make sure to place the triangles as mirror images of each other in all four corners. Cut out the triangles.

2. Thread a needle with the string and fold the sides of the basket up. Fold the short sides up first, and then the long sides. Use pins or paper clips to hold the sides in place as you sew.

3. Remember to stitch every corner of the basket together as well as the two long sides, so that all folded edges are secured with string.

4. Image 4 shows what the basket looks like if the long sides are folded up before the short sides. For this alternative basket, you do not need to stitch the corners together, just the two long sides.


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Crochet storage to hang on the wall.

In these images, you can see both the bottom and the handle of the basket to make it easier to successfully recreate Anna’s design.

How to do post stitching:

Post stitching is done by hooking around the post of the stitch rather than into the top of the stitch. The structure is created by hooking around the post and under by inserting the hook either from front to back, or from back to front, in the previous row. Post stitching is a fun technique which may appear more difficult than it actually is.

Abbreviations

Tr        treble crochet stitch

Ch       chain stitch

Ss        slip stitch

Dc        double crochet stitch

 

Crochet pattern

The basket:

Start by doing 30 chain stitches (ch). For a wider basket, just increase the number of stitches. Join with a slip stitch to form a ring.

Row 1: (2 ch, 1 tr in next ch) x 30 times in total, incl. The first 2 ch [30].

Row 2: Do 1 back post crochet stitch around the post of the first stitch, then do 1 front post crochet stitch around the post of the next stitch. Alternate all the way around the circle [30].

Repeat row 2 until the desired height, e.g. 6-7 rows.

It is crucial for the rib pattern that you follow the instructions carefully and make sure to alternate between back post and front post crochet stitches.

 

Handle and finishing:

Crochet a handle by doing about 5 ch, or more to achieve the desired length. Skip the equivalent number of stitches and continue right round the edge of the basket doing a slip stitch (ss) in each stitch. Finish by crocheting over the handle again to make it a little sturdier.

Thread yarn through the outside loops at the bottom and pull tight for a round bottom. Hide yarn tails.


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Soft and comfortable velour.

A belt can quickly become the little detail that makes the big different. This inspired Anna to create this velour design, which is easy to make at home.

Tip

Clara recommends making the belt in several different colours so you have a selection to choose from.

Method

1. Fold the elastic band around one half of the belt buckle and hold it in place with a sewing pin.

2. Sew with zig zag stitching, and remember to sew back and forth both at the beginning and end of the work for a durable result.

3. Now measure how long you want the belt to be. Loop the elastic band through the other half of the buckle and hold it in place with a pin, then test the belt length before cutting the elastic. The belt cannot be adjusted once you have cut the elastic. Repeat step 2, and the belt is finished.


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Little bird sing the advent of Christmas.

These birds make lovely host and hostess gifts during the holiday season, believes Clara.

Method

1. Transfer the bird template to baking paper, see how on page 5. Fold a piece of fabric in half with the wrong side out. Trace the template onto the fabric, use pins to hold the halves together, then cut out the bird. Take care to cut a couple of millimetres outside the edge to give yourself more room to work when using the sewing machine.

2. Sew along the dotted line. Start and finish the work by sewing back and forth to fasten the thread.

3. Trim off any extra fabric, then stuff the bird.

4. Cut a loop of ribbon and place it in the opening as close to the bird’s head as possible. Now sew up the hole by hand using small stitches. Tie off ends, then cut the thread.

5. Now sew on a little bead as an eye on each side of the bird’s head. Pull the thread nice and tight as you work, to give the bird the right look.

6. Transfer the wing templates to baking paper and cut them out. Now trace two large wings onto a piece of carton and two small wings onto a piece of felt. Choose playful colour combinations. Important: make sure you place the wings as mirror images of each other when you attach them to the bird using a hot glue gun.


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Carefully crafted with beautiful leather.

“It is easy to tell the house key and car key apart when they are on separate keyrings,” explains Clara.

Method

1. Transfer the template to baking paper, see how on page 5. Trace the template onto the kraft paper. When cutting out the shape, it is a good idea to cut a couple of millimetres outside the line to give yourself more room to work when sewing. You need two identical pieces.

2. Place the two pieces of kraft paper one on top of the other and hold them together with paper clips before sewing along the traced line. Take care not to sew the top of the shape closed. A hole should be left for the leather string. Sew back and forth at the beginning and end to fasten the thread.

3. Now cut off the excess kraft paper and decorate if desired using paint and stamps.

4. Now measure out a length of leather string long enough for the necklace to hang comfortably around your neck. Cut the string to the desired length, add a keyring, then pass the ends of the string through the top of the kraft paper envelope before knotting the ends.


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Felted accessories for the kitchen.

They say that knitting soothes a restless and troubled mind. And Anna certainly feels relaxed when she knits.

1. Image 1 shows a pot holder before the felting process, which takes place when you wash the pot holder at 40°C.

2. This is what the pot holder looks like after felting. Carefully make a hole in the felted potholder by sticking the tip of a knitting needle through the top, then pass a piece of leather string through the hole. Now knot the ends of the string together.

Knitting pattern

Cast on 39 stitches on the needles. Gauge: 10 x 10 cm = 13 m x 17 p.

Row 1-4: Moss stitch (1st row: knit 1, purl 1. 2nd row: knit 1 on purled and purl 1 on knitted 1)

Row 5-8: Stockinette, but the two first and last stitches shall always be knitted. This applies to the rest of the rows except when using moss stitch.

Row 9: Knit 4 stitches. Mouche part: put the tip of the right needle in the previous row’s stitch in the next stitch and lift up a new stitch. Knit the next stitch and lift up another stitch from the previous row. You have now increased with 2 stitches. Turn the work around and purl back on 3 stitches. Turn the work again, front facing you and increase 3 times in the next 3 stitches, turn the work around and purl 6 stitches. Turn the work around, front facing you, and decrease by knitting 2 and 2 together 3 times, turn work around and purl 3 stitches. With the front facing you, lift off 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together and lift the lifted stitch over. Knit 5 stitches and repeat the mouche part. Knit 4 stitches.

Row 10-16: Stockinette.

Row 17: Knit 7 stitches, make a mouche, knit 5 stitches, make a mouche, continue like this to the end of the row. Finish with 7 stitches.

Row 18-24: Stockinette.

Repeat row 5-24 two times, knit 3 rows stockinette and finish with 4 rows of moss stitch. Cast off while knitting the fourth row of moss stitches.

Attach a leather string for hanging.

Wash with your other laundry at 40 degrees.


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Classic and elegant christmas ornaments.

To Clara, a properly decorated Christmas tree always includes at least one colourful Christmas drum.

Use the following templates for one drum:

– One wide strip.

– One strip with sawtooth pattern.

– Two circles for the top and bottom.

– Two narrow strips.

Method

1. Transfer the drum templates to baking paper, see how on page 5. Now trace the templates onto corrugated cardboard in the desired colour and cut them out. Remember to place the templates so that the corrugated cardboard can be rolled.

2. Use the hot glue gun to glue the ends of the wide strip together, forming a ring.

3. Glue the strip with sawtooth pattern on top of the wide strip. Position one of the teeth so that it covers the seam in the ring.

4. Now take the string and glue one end to the inside of the drum along the edge of one tooth. Now weave the string alternately inside and outside the drum, following the sawtooth pattern all the way around. Finish by gluing the ends of the string to the inside of the drum.

5. Glue on the top and bottom of the drum. If you do not get the circles positioned perfectly, you can trim off any excess cardboard. Then glue on the two narrow strips.

6. Now tie the ribbon in a bow and snip the ends to equal length. Cut another piece of ribbon, fold it into a loop and glue it to the edge of the drum for hanging. Glue on the bow to hide the seam, and the drum is now finished.


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Pastel magic for children’s rooms.

People always say there is a treasure at the end of the rainbow, so Clara recommends hanging these up in the rooms where your little treasures sleep.

Method

1. Cut four lengths of wool yarn, measuring 80 cm, 72 cm, 66 cm and 60 cm, respectively. You will need four different colours of cotton yarn for the rainbow.

2. Fold the shortest length of wool double with a slight overlap, and tie it off with a short piece of cotton yarn in the colour you will be wrapping around the wool.

3. Now wrap cotton yarn around the folded length of wool. Start about 4 cm in and stop 4 cm before reaching the opposite end. Take care not to wrap the yarn too tightly or too loosely, and try to avoid crisscrossing the yarn too much.

4. When all the colours of the rainbow have been wrapped, glue them together in the shape of an arc. Glue only one at a time using the hot glue gun. Avoid using too much glue as it can run down the front of the rainbow. Cut a short piece of cotton yarn, fold this into a loop and tie a knot before gluing it to the back of the rainbow. The rainbow is now ready for hanging.

5. For an even more decorative rainbow, glue beads to the front using a hot glue gun.


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Luxurious leather jewellery with beads.

Many years ago, Anna gave Clara a bracelet like this, and she still loves it to this day.

1. Cut a length of leather string measuring 40 cm. String the desired beads onto the leather.

2. Now it is time to tie the first knot. See part A in the illustration.

3. Now tie the next knot. See part B in the illustration. Cut off any excess leather string using scissors.


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Crochet winter decorations for the home.

Tip
For a bigger acorn, use a bigger crochet hook. The acorn in the image has been made using crochet hooks in sizes 2.5 mm and 3.5 mm.

Abbreviations

S        stitch

Ch     chain stitch

Ss      slip stitch

Dc     double crochet stitch

 

Crochet pattern

The basic shape:

The bottom of the acorn will be colour 1, and the top of the acorn (cap with stem) will be colour 2.

Start with colour 1:

Start by making a magic circle with 6 dc.

Row 1: (2 dc in next s) x 6 [12].

Row 2: (1 dc, 2 dc in next s) x 6 [18].

Row 3-8: dc (x 5) [18].

Change to colour 2.

Row 9-11: dc (x 3) [18]

Add stuffing.

Row 12: (1 dc, invisible decrease) x 6 [12].

Row 13: (2 dc, invisible decrease) x 5 [6].

Row 14-15: dc (x 2) [6].

Finish with an ss, fasten and hide the yarn tails.

Embroidery:

Cut a piece of yarn in colour 2 (about 100-200 cm). Using your embroidery needle, make long stitches from the base of stem to the edge of the cap of the acorn. Keep adding stitches until you are happy with the size and shape of the cap.

Attach a piece of string for hanging.

How to do invisible decrease:

The invisible decrease is a way to crochet two stitches together using only the front loops of each of the two stitches and not both the back and front loops like you would do for a normal decrease.

1: First insert your crochet hook underneath the front loop only of the next stitch, then insert the hook underneath the front loop only of the following stitch.

2: Yarn over hook.

3: Draw through the two loops, leaving two loops on your hook.

4: Yarn over hook again, and draw through the two loops remaining to complete the stitch.


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Bring cardboard to life.

Yet another idea
Reuse one of your old cardboard boxes to make a little house for the animals.

Tip
These fun animals can also be used as table decorations for a child’s birthday party or as place cards for a christening.

Method

1. Cut narrow and wide strips of corrugated cardboard, taking care to cut along the short edge of the cardboard so the strips can be rolled. The narrow strips should be 1 cm wide. They will be used for the ears, legs and arms as well as for the frog’s eyes. The wide strips should be 2 cm wide, which is perfect for the head, body and the owl’s eyes. To make the teddy bear, you will need 13 wide strips and seven narrow strips.

2. Tape eight wide strips together, as shown in the image, then roll the now very long strip up tightly. Now fasten the end of the strip using the hot glue gun. If you are using decoupage glue, hold the end in place using a paper clip while the glue dries.

3. Tape five wide strips together for the head and roll them tight as illustrated in step 2. Now make the two ears, two legs and two arms using the narrow strips. Make the arms by making a fold in the cardboard about 3 cm into the strip and then gently fold the strip around it to form an oblong roll. Now attach the head to the body with glue. Tie a piece of ribbon in a bow around the neck of the bear before attaching the remaining parts.

4. From the back, gently push the rolled strips out to make the nose and the round belly. Now roll the last narrow strip and attach it to the back as a tail.

5. Transfer the nose template to baking paper, see how on page 5. Then cut out two small circles for ears, and glue them onto the bear.

6. Glue the googly eyes onto the bear.


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Just in time for holiday treats.

Clara likes to fill Christmas cornets with individually wrapped treats before hanging them on the tree.

Method

1. Transfer the cornet template to baking paper, see how on page 5. Trace the template onto the kraft paper using a pencil and cut out the cornet.

2. Make the kraft paper wet and then crumple it up to give it some texture. Leave to dry on a kitchen towel.

3. Use the punch pliers to make holes for the leather string. The placement of the holes is indicated on the template.

4. Now decorate the cornet with paint and stamps. For the best result, dab the paint onto the stamp using a sponge. Let the paint dry.

5. Glue the cornet together using a hot glue gun.

6. Cut a length of leather string and pass one end from the outside in through the top hole, then from the inside out through the bottom hole. Now finish with a knot on the outside. Repeat with the other end of the string on the opposite side.


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