Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Very Handmade Birthday

There was a flurry of activity in the days leading up to this birthday. A flurry of making. Apart from a handful of books and some clothes, everything the girls unwrapped yesterday morning was handmade. Since moving house, I've been trying to cull the *crap*. There is just so much stuff. Lola was inundated with stuff when she was a baby and toddler, so everything a pair of two-year-olds could need is already on the shelves and in the baskets. So for fun, we passed up a trip to the shops, and Lola and I got busy making gifts for our girls. 

First we turned a stack of old crayons into some cool new ones following this tutorial. They were going to be heart shaped but I found out just in the nick of time that our heart-shaped ice-cube tray wasn't silicone like I thought it was. I grabbed it out of the oven milliseconds before it melted entirely away. We settled instead for round crayons made in a mini muffin tray.

Next we made some simple two-piece puzzles using the pages of a falling-apart book of animal photos. We stuck them onto some heavy cardboard with adhesive spray, then cut different ziggy-zaggy shapes from them. Jigsaws and matching pairs all in one.

I haven't seen Fernando since we went rural. Something tells me he jumped ship, destined to remain an inner-city frog forevermore. Never mind, now we have Fred and Phyllis to take his place. They haven't got eyes yet, and to be honest, they're a bit wonky. That's what happens when you're cutting and sewing a few minutes before midnight the night before.

And finally, the tepee. I've been wanting one for the girls for ages but couldn't bring myself to part with all that dosh. Then I saw an easy tutorial in a magazine and decided to give it a go. I used bright fabrics from IKEA, the ones from the kids department that come in three-metre bolts. The dowels are from the hardware shop and the ribbons came from here. I found the instructions for the tepee online via here. Easy-peasy. Let the lounge room and backyard camping trips begin.

There was one other handmade birthday surprise. This one I knew nothing about. Lola had taken herself off one afternoon into my sewing room (yes, I know, I have one now!) to turn pipe-cleaners and cupcake papers into flowers. She also decorated some toilet rolls with stickers to make telescopes. Then she wrapped everything and presented the parcels to her sisters on Sunday morning. It might just have been the sweetest sisterly thing I've ever seen.


  1. Well done.....nothing beats handmade. I just love that tepee. Have a pattern myself I've been meaning to do, I think you've just inspiried me :)
    Hope they enjoyed a magical birthday x

  2. OMG Lola is too cute! Love the handmade. Will have to visit soon to replenish craft supplies!

  3. great birthday, wonderful gift ideas, well done to you. we spent an afternoon turning all our cruddy old crayolas into tree-shaped crayons, using a silicone xmas tree cake tray that I'd been given and will almost certainly never use for cakes! the results were great!

  4. Oh what a beautiful moment- did you tear up when Lola presented her presents? I would have!

    I really love the teepee - I'm so tempted to make it despite not having any inside space to use it!

  5. they are the best pressies, love the sound of Lola's special gifts, so precious.

  6. What a wonderful teepee! I've had the supplies to make one for months now...just need some nice weather or an excuse to have a campout inside.

  7. What wonderful creations! We have a special birthday coming up here, too, and I'm inspired. That teepee would be perfect...better get to work!
    Happy birthday to your girls, and congrats to you, making it this far!

  8. Cute frogs, and the teepee looks great. What a fun birthday!

  9. I don't know about anyone else, but a tear came to my eye when I read the last couple of lines. I love the handmade jigsaws. Am just in the middle of making stuff for Luca's birthday party on Sunday too. I was hoping to be organised but looks like I might be hitting midnight as well.

  10. Fantastic - I love it all. But I have to admit your teepee is filling me with guilt (maybe inspiration!)...for I have the pattern, fabric, but alas no a teepee in sight here!


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