How do you spell….

One rainy day in early Summer, I spent an evening decorating plain wooden clothes pegs, intending to use them for a multitude of crafts, and wrote about it here.  With a box of brightly coloured, perky pegs leftover, I was looking for ideas for how to use them and stumbled across this brilliant idea for creating a spelling game.  As Harry is starting to recognise numbers, letters and enticing words (usually those relating to food or toys…), it seemed the perfect time to make him his own set of letters and words ready to practice his budding skills.

I decorated wooden pegs with scraps of gift wrap and washi tape, using double-sided tape to secure the gift wrap in place.  I had a box of these wooden letters tucked away in my craft cupboard, but you could write the letters directly onto the pegs, or use rub on transfers instead.  All you need to end up with is a set of pegs with different letters on.  You can make an alphabet, but I found it was easier to start with the words themselves and work back to see what letters I’d need and how many of them – ‘m’s and ‘d’s come up a lot, whereas some other letters are hardly used at all.

I designed and printed out a couple of sheets with words I knew would be instantly recognisable to Harry and fun to spell.  Because my wooden letters are all in capitals and I want Harry to recognise lower case too, I wrote the words out underneath so he can see how letters change in different settings.

I cut these up and laminated them by slipping several in a laminating sheet with space around them to cut between the words

Put them together with the pegs and hey-presto, you have a spelling game!  I found a storage box to keep these in, and my intention is to keep adding longer and more interesting words as Harry’s skills improve.  This is a great game to make because it can be as simple as using a pen to write letters on pegs, through to this more elaborate and decorative set – a lovely thing to make for a grandchild, perhaps, or for an older sibling to help you make for a younger one – not least because everyone can use a spelling refresher once in a while!

Laundry? Life’s too short…

There’s nothing like a weekend of torrential rain and domestic chores to make one’s mind turn to glittery, sparkly things; to cocktails and flighty behaviour and all things fun. Given that kitten heels and Cosmopolitans would be a tad inappropriate at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon, let alone hindered somewhat by a toddler and localised flooding (unrelated, those last two, for once…), H and I have been making our own fun, combining clothespins, glitter and glue to messy creative effect. Here’s the grown-up edit of alternative uses; Harry’s showcase to follow in due course.

1. Nailing ribbon to an old picture frame and using sparkly clothespins to attach personal mementos, which include here my husband’s marriage proposal (we don’t only communicate in writing, I hasten to add), a favourite wedding photo and a cherished note from a friend.

2. Adding a salvaged tap end to a clothespin to hide a message to Mr B inside his suit carrier before a business trip (always good to have something to look forward to..)

And as a creative alternative to stand-up place cards for dinner…

These are so simple they don’t warrant a tutorial; we found that double-sided tape is the easiest way of attaching coloured scraps of paper, glitter and ribbon to clothespins for all sorts of fun, but glue would work just fine.  2yr olds are ideal for the decadent and flamboyant distribution of glitter; we will be sparkling lightly all week, and the entire house has taken on a lovely sheen.  Using glitter in tonal shades works great for items like the pegboard; primary colours and vibrant patterns add a zing to refrigerator doors when a magnet is attached to the back.  And if you really want to be purist and use them for laundry, they make great ‘Lonely Sock’ pegs when hung in a row on the laundry room wall….