I think a child’s creativity and homemade craft boxes go hand in hand.

I am a great believer in developing a child’s imagination rather than spoon feeding them entertainment. Most parents I know feel  exactly the same but it is so easy to see little craft kits to make a peg doll or a pom pom alien or a gingerbread house and scoop these up in the name of creativity.

My local supermarket sells little sets like these for just a few pounds and they are adored by my kids. You get to make something that looks really good, all the bits are there and it even tells you how to make it? Are they being creative or imaginative when crafting like this? I’m not so sure. They are certainly learning some crafting skills: cutting sticking, layering etc but are they using their creativity? Possibly not.

Well as parents we can use our creativity to make our children a craft box full of goodies that will encourage them to freely delve into their imagination and tap into the artist within.

Are you ready?

You simply need a box.  A cardboard box with a lid is preferable but any box will do and the bonus of not having a lid is it is easier to see in!

Homemade craft boxes can be filled with all sorts of wondrous things (which may seem just everyday to you and me but not to our little artists)

In it could go:

Pasta shells

Garden String

Bubble wrap

Old magazine for colleging or paper mache


Wooden pegs

Small pieces of cut up fabric


Egg boxes

Old birthday cards

Small squares of aluminium foil

A few blank cd’s

Cotton wool

An old shirt for painting

Objects of different shapes to draw round so maybe a jam jar lid and a coaster

Some paper and card

A few paints and crayons

A couple of  paper plates

Some shaped biscuit cutters

Scissors, paintbrushes, glue and double sided sticky tape

You also ( as well as this superb Craft Box) need to provide space and a place for your child to freely craft. We also need to provide time.  Often we overschedule them or  worry about the tidying up too much.  Creativity needs to be nurtured.

We also need to bring to the table encouragement, support, interest and skilled help when required e.g with cutting, using tape, washing out paintbrushes. As well as providing the means to create: providing them with scissors or a Fiskars paper cutter, paper, paint , etc.

Your child may wish you to craft with them, just as you might read with them or help bathe dolly and this can be a real joy and an investment in their development. Look how proud my daughter is of her most recent creations. This is Annalise with her picture of her ‘teacher’

All these items I have suggested for your homemade craft boxes are probably somewhere in your home already and the little bits you need to buy should just come to a few pounds.

This is now a box of POTENTIAL.

Your child will have to think, plan, organise themselves, imagine w what they wish to create, work out how they are going to do it and what they are going to use. They are going to learn to manipulate objects, adapt items, and be resourceful.

Now that’s what I call learning!

Can you think of anything else to go in you homemade craft boxes?


We were sent the Fab Effex Make N’ Play – Animals to review. The idea is you wrap and decorate 3 cute animal forms. The set includes

  • 120 Fab Effex Pieces
  • 2 Full Fab Effex Sheets
  • 3 Plastic Animal Forms
  • 1 Instruction Sheet

I found the instruction sheet linited and somewhat confusing and I would stongly suggest you go the Fab Effex  website to get design tips and more ideas about how this works. We had lots of fun but I think there is far more we could do with practice. I have found it available from Lambs Toys at £9.99. Argos stock variety packs of fab effex too.

It’s really for children age 6+ but with a little help 4 year old Lisi had fun with it!

Fab Effex Make N' Play - Animals


Week 6

Get Crafty on a Budget – Stick Men

It has been a busy summer and our features for Baby Budgeting are coming to an end. I do hope that you have enjoyed the crafts brought to you and that they have inspired you to get crafty! Thank you to Becky for the opportunity to show you my crafts and I do hope to see you over at Red Ted Art soon!

Oh how we love this craft! It is simple and fun and we love the book “Stick Man” by Julia Donaldson.. so this is a great craft to get you out and about first and then go home and get crafty! Come visit Red Ted Art on how me made these little critters!

Don’t forget to come and visit “Back To School Get Crafty” – for a carnival of school/ office related craft ideas for more inspiration!


Week 5

Get Crafty on a Budget – Sock Monster

Hello, I am Maggy and am visiting from Red Ted Art bringing you another fun and thrifty craft!

The summer holidays are indeed very long! By now you may feel you have exhausted all ideas for keeping your kids amused… if you are stuck.. why not try some Sock Monsters? These ones require no sewing!!! And once you have made them you can put on a puppet show!

It is a very friendly monster that loves to tickle and kiss you!!!

Don’t forget to come and visit “Back To School Get Crafty” – for a carnival of school/ office related craft ideas for more inspiration!


Week 3

Get Crafty on a Budget – Saltdough

Hello. Get Crafty on a budget is back! I am Maggy and I get crafty over at Red Ted Art! Today we are featuring our saltdough dinosaurs.


This isn’t really about the dinosaurs but about our “no cook” COLOURED saltdough.. Saltdough is much easier to make than playdough, as no cooking is involved! And once you are done, you can let it airdry or in the oven to harden. Don’t just make dinosaurs, but flower pendants, little bowls, anything really! Visit Red Ted Art for the Saltdough Recipe.

Don’t forget to come and visit “Back To School Get Crafty” – for a carnival of school/ office related craft ideas for more inspiration!


Week 2

Get Crafty on a Budget – Calendars

Welcome back to Get Crafty on a budget! I am Maggy visiting from Red Ted Art, bringing you a weekly crafty feature to help you through the summer holidays. To day I would like to share our “ArtCalendar” idea with you

We have been collecting a picture a month since January and bring these all together in one calendar for Granny and Grandpa at Christmas. This however, is also a great project for the summer holidays – instead of making one a month, just do all your pictures in one go – just think 12 pictures for your children to get stuck into!!! Not only will the kids be busy, but one Christmas present will be sorted.


Check out all our posts on the Art Calendar to date –hopefully they will give you some ideas!



Hello, I am visiting again from over at Red Ted Art. A craft blog for children and adults alike – hopefully inspiring you to have a go and get crafty!

 Inexpensive crafts are a great passion of mine, I am also a great believer in “waste not want not” and you can usually make “something” out of “anything”. Today’s Fabric Mache post is probably just that – it is incredibly frugal and great fun. I did first spot it on an Australian blog, but it is a well known craft amongst the craft circuit!

How to… make a Fabric Mâché Bowl!

1) Materials: Strips of fabric, PVC glue (use cheap children’s glue), scissors, clingflim and a bowl, an old plate to work on

2) Cover bowl in clingfilm (else you work will stick to it). Cover clingfilm with watered down glue (not toowatered down)

3) Layer with “soggy” fabric – as I chose white fabric, it doesn’t matter which way up you do it. However if you have patterned fabric, make sure the patter is face down. Make sure you cover the whole bowl at least once.

4) Add outside layer. This time make sure the pattern looks up. A total of 3 layers (of facing down and up fabric) should be enough!

5) Let it dry (may take overnight)

6) Ease out off bowl (the cling film should help, ease the clingfilm off the bowl and then remove it from the fabric bowl) and trim edges if you wish (they can look quite pretty if you leave it “rough”)

7) As my “white” was very “white” I decided to decorate the inside and cut out some patterns from my fabric remains. On the denim bowl, I decided to add a ribbon, I had to use clothe pegs to help keep it in place (keep re-adjusting clothe pegs, so that they don’t stick to the final bowl!!!)

8 ) Use some more PVC glue to glue the shapes in – cover both sides of the shapes to get a nice smooth and flat finished. Let dry and finished!

I am pretty certain that you can make ANYTHING out of fabric the way you can with paper mâché. Let your imagination be the limit!

If you fancy seeing more simple How Tos or checking out our Kids Crafts, do stop by at Red Ted Art, we would love a visit!

 Thanks Maggy for another great low cost craft activity idea.


I have already written about the importance of earth day and I have found a great post packed with ideas on ways to play through Earth Day. It is definately my:

Post of the WeekI would love you to read this post How to Celebrate Earth Day which is over on the Nurture Store blog, It has tops tips under the headings reduce, reuse and recycle. Here are a couple of my favourites but you must pop over and read the post!

  • You can promote ‘going green’ in your children’s pretend play too. I love it when my girls are playing shops and I hear them saying ‘I don’t need a plastic bag thank you, I’ve brought my own’.
  • How about re-purposing items around the house and garden for your children to play with? My girls love playing with clothes pegs, shoe boxes, fircones, pebbles and other un-toys… Zero airmiles, zero packaging, free and full of opportunities for creative play.

  • NurtureStore is a blog that is passionate about play and early learning and using creativity and present materials rather having to buy, buy, buy. 

    play academy

    Cathy James who writes the blog is an ‘outstanding’ rated childminder  passionate about giving children the best start in life.  You can find lots of ideas at Nurture store that you can use with your children in your home – things which are fun, easy to do, cost little or nothing and help children develop and learn.

    Have a look around the site to find ideas for making, baking, counting, singing, getting out and about, celebrating festivals, sensory play and lots more. Their Play Academy carnival runs every Friday and brings you great play ideas from around the web – why not join in and share your ideas too?

    Being part of a resourceful community is one of the best ways to get budget ideas. 


    Are you crafty? Can you bake, sew or knit? If you can, you have an amazing resource to exploit – yourself. Making something by hand can cost a fraction of its retail cost; whether it’s clothes or toys for your kids, tasty cakes for tea or perhaps lovely home furnishings, any and all of the above can serve you well in the cash stakes. What’s more, you’ll have unique and adorable gift potential too. So, if you have a creative skill, drag it back out and dust it off as now is the time to let it shine.

    If you’re talented, many colleges offering night classes may well have a slot for you to teach something. If you
    aren’t ready for a class environment, boost your confidence by taking a refresher course (usually subsidised if you are on a low income).

    If you’d rather just create your own crafts, you could set yourself up to sell at craft fairs, to shops, on eBay or even on your own website. None of these areas is as complicated as it seems to break into. Our local craft fair charges just £17 a day for stalls. Find out what’s coming up in the calendar and contact the organiser of any interesting and appropriate events about taking a stall. You can ask the manager in any appropriate shop if they are interested in selling your items and arrange to take some samples in for
    them to see. What’s the worst they can say?

    Selling on eBay is an area you have probably already explored as it is so straightforward and selling home crafts on eBay is increasingly popular. Check out www.folksy.com too as a great place to sell any home-made items. It’s handy if you know someone with IT skills to help you set up your own website, then it’s just a case of the right software and if you aren’t very confident wth IT , a couple of hundred pounds. Perhaps see how your goods sell elsewhere first before you outlay any kind of money. Perhaps find out if your local college runs courses on setting up websites. You can be a mumpreneur from your own home and you can learn new skills whilst you have young kids. It will keep you fresh and enthusiastic.

    Refine your skills and practise. Most of your ‘creating’ can be done at home when you have a baby break (or let’s be honest, more likely in the evening when the childrenare in bed). Look online for communities of like-minded
    creatives and you may well find support and inspiration.

    Enjoy your creativity and make it work for you.

    Below are examples from a fab mum I know, Jen Walshaw, making the VERY most of her craft skills and selling her wares at folksy. For prices, more examples of Jen’s crafting or just to be inspired to make/sell your own visit:  http://www.folksy.com/shops/TheMadHouse  How gorgoeus are these….

    Children "learn to set the table" Fabric Place mat    Pair of Button Hair Slides 

    Tea Cup Pin Cushion 4 Lavender Bags



    Thanks to Docraft for this giveaway and  crafting ideas

    You will find lots of kids craft projects to keep kids occupied through June whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or a typical British rainy day! Visit http://www.docrafts.com and check out the children’s section

     Being a parent on a budget doesn’t mean that your little ones need to miss out! Simply set them up in the garden with their crafting tools and a picnic and watch their imagination run wild , whilst you can indulge you crafty imagination indulge in the docrafts Creativity! Magazine.

     Docrafts also hold free events in local Creativity! stores which are packed with inspiration! Check out their website to find your nearest event.

    How to make an  amazing aquariun – from Docraft

    Fun Foam Shapes


    Anita’s Tacky Glue – PVA 22171

    With just a few funky foam shapes and a bit of imagination you can create so many great fun animals and shapes!

    To make the flower – Cut narrow slices from a large purple funky foam circle. Repeat with a smaller circle of pink foam. Glue the layers together with a small white circle and a tiny purple circle on top.

    To make the fish – Cut a slice from a large blue foam circle for the fish mouth. Cut two fin shapes and a tail from blue foam and glue in place behind the circle. Cut a side-fin shape from green foam and glue in place. Add a large wiggly eye in place to complete.

    To make the crab – glue two small circles at the top of a larger circle and add a wiggly eye to each. Cut two claw shapes from circles of foam. Use two small circles and glue in place as shown. Cut 8 leg shapes and glue in place on the reverse of the crab. Cut a white circle in half to make a mouth and glue in place. 


    There are 5 crafty prizes to give away! Get creative with kids favourite Craft Planet by making your very own puzzle. Win a puzzle making kit (RRP £1.50) and a bumper Sticker Album Kit in a summer theme (RRP £3.49)


    To enter simply

    1. Subscribe to this blog an let me know below

    2. Leave your name


    A winner will be picked at random on June 28th. UK residents only please. Good luck.


     I just want to share with you something really beautiful my family do. Each season we make a huge new picture for our kitchen wall depicting the season. It’s our pride and joy and even daddy gets involved. The children love it and we love to set to work on a new one as the season ends. It costs very little as we use what we have pasta, string stickers even leaves but it provides hours of fun in the making!

    The kids learn to plan their art work, work as part of a team, lots of fine motor sklils and they develop their their creativity too. lus we spend lots of lovelytime together .

     We wanted to share our summer, winter and spring with you and perhaps inspire you over Easter. I would love to see your pictures too!

     Happy Easter half term!

    This post was from last year but it has been linked to this years Learning through Play blog hop for March at the tots 100. Family projects are the best x