We are not alone… (Fairy Doors)

Strange noises have been heard in our house of late.  Scratching and skittering from behind the panelling, often at night.  Things are also going missing; tiny things, like single earrings, and crumbs from the floor. My husband, ever the pragmatist, is convinced that we have mice.  Whilst he headed off to the rodent-control section of the hardware store yesterday, Harry and I stumbled across the truth, and it’s much more exciting; We Are Not Alone!

Almost invisible to grown-ups, camouflaged against the kitchen skirting boards, is a very tiny front door.  To adults it looks just like a plug socket from a distance, but to eagle-eyed little people it is immediately obvious that this is the entrance to the home of the Other People who share our house.  And look; as if more proof was needed; they even receive mail and milk deliveries!

So now we watch this door very carefully, from the corner of our eye, just in case we manage to catch someone coming or going.  We’ve found that the best thing to do is to be very still and to pretend to be absorbed in something else entirely.  Whilst we wait, Harry has led an exhaustive search of the house to see if there are any other signs of our neighbours, and lo and behold; we found another door!!  Occasionally when Harry comes down in the mornings there is a tiny plastic ladder nearby; we think they borrow it from his toy box and use it to scramble up the skirting to reach the door.

Harry is convinced that this front door belongs to all the little action-figures which by day are jammed into his toybox; at night, they obviously retire home to a warm – if tiny – bed, shortly after Harry wends his own weary way upstairs.  As a lifelong fan of Mary Norton, I think that we have Borrowers, and have been telling Harry all about them.  In due course I expect we’ll also discover that this is the doorway that Santa’s tiny elves use on Christmas Eve when they slip in to check that the coast is clear for the Big Man himself.  The tooth fairy, too, probably makes a cameo appearance via this very same entrance.  In the years to come, doubtless Harry will forget this wee door and it will fade into obscurity again.  Till maybe one day, years from now, someone small enough and attentive enough will discover it once more…

This is the lovely site which inspired me to create the presence of tiny neighbours in our own house.  I ordered a couple of inexpensive, non-opening dolls house doors online (‘proper’ doors have deep frames which make it difficult to affix them to skirting unless you actually go the lengths of channelling them in – only for the truly dedicated), then spray painted them and added some miniature door furniture.  I crafted tiny letters and tied them together with bakers twine; interestingly, it’s these that Harry has been most captivated by and saw as the ultimate proof of life.  The doors are attached to our skirting boards with double-sided tape; strong enough to withstand Harry knocking on the door and tugging the knob, but easy enough to remove if necessary, with perhaps just a dab of touch-up paint if needed.

And finally, for those who want the instructions in an all-in-one Pinnable tutorial, here’s a montage below;

Making a Statement: brighten up a dull day

I’ve just finished redecorating the room in our house I use for all-things-creative; the walls are whitewashed, the old navy blue carpet ripped up and consigned to a skip, and it feels light, bright and inviting at last.  I wanted to paint the ceiling and walls bright white to maximise the light, but as a result they can look a little bare.  Last night’s project was therefore a simple paper banner which I can change at will, loosely strung between two wall tacks along a length of ribbon.  It adds a vibrant splash of colour but is entirely temporary, and can be reconfigured to create other words when I get bored….

To make this, I decided on my phrase and typed it into a document file, one letter per page.  I switched the font randomly each time, and played with the colours.  I then simply printed out the sheets and glued each to an A4 sheet of coloured cardstock (I love these tonal papers and use them for most projects, and tend to always have a pack in my drawer)

I then strung a length of ribbon between two tacks I nailed into the wall, and used wooden pegs to attach the sheets.  In my usual slapdash style, I didn’t make any measurements and just did this by eye – it looks rough ‘n’ ready and that’s fine by me!

I can see these appearing round the house in due course in various permutations; I can create an ‘enter!’ banner from my existing letters to string over a door, and by adding an ‘H’, ‘L’ and ‘M’ to my collection I can make a ‘Harry’ sign for his bedroom door, a ‘NOEL’ for Christmas, and a ‘Be Mine’ for those romantic moments which manage to occasionally elbow their way into life with a young family.  The possibilities are endless.. almost.  ’Never Be Ordinary’ seemed an appropriate motto for a family whose various members will frequently go shopping in a cowboy hat and swim goggles (Harry), and hold a Guinness World Record for running the fastest 3-legged marathon whilst tied to your brother (the unlikely-but-true pick-up line used by my future husband soon after our eyes met across a crowded room…). Embrace individuality – and so say all of us!

Self-Assembly with Harry the Friendly Pirate

It’s been a chaotic week here chez nous, with builders in residence, my husband travelling, and flat-pack-tastic furniture from IKEA covering every surface awaiting my amateur attempts at self-assembly.  Harry has been angelic throughout, only occasionally becoming stuck in near-dry cement, chewing on innapropriate pieces of hardware (‘these nails taste spicy Mummy’), or dragging still-warm power tools into his den.  As a reward for his forbearance, I decided to use all the leftover cardboard packaging to make a pirate ship.  It’s been a darn sight easier than assembling a LeftvigKlemtangerArkleHeinig filing cabinet, that’s for sure….

I used a square cardboard box as the base, then stapled long pieces of cardboard either side to form a boat-shape.  I covered these in leftover wood-effect wallpaper for a nautical touch, though paint would do just as well.  The sails are made from sheets of standard A3 paper, printed with a skull and crossbones, then lashed to bamboo poles with an old washing line, before being tucked into a silver-sprayed cardboard tube.  I punched holes in the paper first and reinforced them with eyelets.

I threaded spare curtain rings on string through the cardboard to simulate life-rings (not very pirate-esque, but let’s call it artistic license…)

Harry’s telescope is 3 empty toilet rolls, wrapped in black paper and edged with glued-on ribbon.  I tucked them one inside the other and used a glue gun to secure them.  Apparently you can use it either way around to spot ships and bounty…

I made the treasure map by printing out the text on a sheet of paper, scribbling on a rough ‘map’, then daubing with used teabags.  Here comes the exciting bit; stand far away from smoke detectors (outside, preferably), and singe the edges, blowing out quickly each time.

The ‘anchor’ is the doorstop from my office, threaded through with a length of chain we rescued from a neighbour’s skip.  It threatens Harry with juvenile hernia every time he gamely attempts to toss it overboard; I may replace it with a cardboard model before social services arrive.

Even pirates need to eat once in a while, so I constructed this fishing line from a slotted wooden spoon, ribbon and fish shapes cut from coloured card stock.  I used buttons for the eyes and reinforced the holes with eyelets, in the hope that these wee fishes manage more than a single outing from ocean to boat.

And so, as the sun sets we will sail off in our cardboard ship to seek our fortune on the ocean wave, and turn a blind eye to the 648 pieces of pre-drilled swedish hardwood which are scattered throughout the house.  Let’s hope we spot my husband and his screwdriver on the horizon sometime soon…

Tea with a twist

Sometimes the simplest projects are the most fun, and these are certainly simple. When we have people to dinner, the evening inevitably draws to a close with coffee – for the hardened souls who can sleep despite any amount of caffeine – and herbal teas, for those of a healthier disposition.  I have a range of lovely different fruit and herbal teas, but all are pretty uninspiring to look at, especially when served bag-in… so here’s a way of pimping your teabags to raise a smile! I raided my stash of beads and charms, and simply replaced the original paper tags with something a little more interesting.  Ideas below…

Lovebird tea? Use a simple mini heart peg and tie the teabag string to the clip. These pegs came in a pack of about 20 for £1.50 / $2.

These neon rubber beads are a good accompaniment to zingy fruit teas…

How about making a set of these to tie onto Christmas tea as a gift – I’ll be enlisting Harry to help with punching these and choosing the colours as a simple homemade gift for relatives later in the year.

I used whatever I had to hand – it’s fun experimenting, and you don’t need a full ‘set’ of matching tags.  For the charms you’d be sorry to see go, just make sure you serve them at home – then you can craftily snip them off when washing up and start all over again…

Rocket Man!

Today the house is once again filled with swirling brick dust as our renovations continue, though it is eerily silent as the builders seem to have downed tools in search of sunshine, and have not been seen since Thursday. I’ve been forbidden from stepping in to finish the job, glue gun and apron in hand, so instead have turned my restless energies into creating…. a rocket!

Harry’s current passion is rockets and outer space, having discovered Wallace and Gromit and their adventures to the moon in search of cheese.  With the challenge of only using items already around the house, I built this in a couple of hours and it has already been piloted on several missions (‘Let’s go whooshing Mummy! Put your seatbelt on and I will press the button!’).  Making the rocket capsule was easy enough – I used an opened-out packing box from our recent move – but the domed roof gave me pause for thought.  In the end, I used a fibre matting liner intended for the hanging baskets I never quite got around to planting this summer.  Sprayed silver and with empty yoghurt pots glued on top it does the job just fine…

I cut out the viewing window by drawing round a plate and then using a craft knife.  A polystyrene wreath ring makes a good porthole, especially when wrapped in scraps of brightly coloured paper.  Cotton reels give a countdown to launch, and also provide the basis for an external control panel (below; I added one inside too for proper piloting of the craft after take-off…).

On the side of the rocket is this fuel cap and general gadget bar, made from old plastic lids and some stick-on alphabet letters

The captain needs a proper entrance, of course…  Reels provide doorknobs on both sides, for pilot access and to firmly shut the door once inside, in case of aliens (or grown-ups).  See how to make 3D stars like these here.

And finally our accessories; a spaceman lunch box (for cheese sandwiches and milk; the food of champions), a range of plastic tools in case of spacecraft malfunction – always possible when Mummy is the architect – and space goggles; this cardboard pair of 3D specs I saved from an old comic.

If you fancy making one of these yourself, come fly with us!  Here’s a full list of what we used, though the beauty of these is there’s no ‘right’ way of doing it – use whatever you have to hand.  A word on technique; I found that hot glue (from a glue gun) is the best way of ensuring everything stays in place, and craft knives – rather than scissors – are best for cutting corrugated cardboard like this without squashing and tearing it.  Toys like this will take a battering if used to their fullest potential, so I’m armed with a big role of clear packing tape to add reinforcement and repairs when needed.

Like this project? If you’re a cardboard recycling fan, you might also like our cardboard train and our cardboard shop.  And now you’ll have to excuse us; we need to prepare for  a moon landing in 5…  4 …  3… 2….

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!

Wallpaper Waistcoats

I’ve got a bit of a thing at the moment for paper clothing.  Not to actually wear, of course – the memory of those giant disposable paper knickers they hand you as you wince your way out of the maternity hospital is still far too vivid for that. No, I’m thinking of the fragile beauty of works like these, and even the current trend for origami dresses which is spreading across Pinterest faster than a bush fire in Summer.

So when I opened a cupboard last week and was hit by a cascade of rolled up wallpaper offcuts and samples we’ve been collecting for our home makeover, I decided to have a go myself, and knocked up this natty waistcoat to hang decoratively on Harry’s wall – albeit safely out of reach.  It took a couple of hours from sketching out the template to glueing on the last button; I describe all the steps below and will attach my hand-drawn template this weekend for download if you fancy having a go yourself.  A great way of doing this is to simply draw around a favourite item of clothing and use that as a rough paper pattern for crafting.  Simple girls dresses would look beautiful made out of wallpaper, kraft paper or sturdy gift wrap, especially if trimmed in leftover ribbon – a gallery of my favourites from across the web can be found at the bottom for inspiration!

To make my paper waistcoat I used…

1. Leftover wallpaper (this is a slightly textured, iridescent print we used as an accent on a feature wall), or wallpaper samples procured illicitly from your local DIY store. 2. A contrast paper for the ‘lining’ and pocket cuffs; I used a cheap map-of-the-world wall chart; I buy a few at a time and use them for all kind of projects. 3. Ribbons for edging, or use bias binding for an even simpler, pre-folded alternative. 4. Suitable glue and sharp scissors and finally 5. Buttons! Anything goes here… I had a handful leftover from an old shirt. Oh, and 6. Chocolate, red wine (not shown); well, a crafter needs fuel, right?

I used a waistcoat of Harry’s to draw a rough template of a back and the two front sides, then laid them out along my roll of wallpaper to allow me to cut out a single piece (with a smaller piece of wallpaper you could cut them out as separate pieces and attach them together later).  As with a sewing pattern, I left an extra inch all around to fold under like a seam, giving my paper waistcoat a nice edge. I cut and folded my outline into the basic shape of the waistcoat (below).

Once you have this basic shape, the possibilities for embellishing it are endless.  Here’s what I did (no step-by-step pics I’m afraid as I did this one evening after darkness fell..):

  • Stapled the should seams together (do this with the sides too if necessary), as close as possible to the edges – you’ll hide the staples later with your ribbon edging.
  • Folded and glued ribbon around all of the raw edges (sleeves, neckline and front edging)
  • Cut a piece of contrast map paper using the ‘back’ template and glued it in place, adding a splash of colour and hiding my raw edges around the neckline
  • Cut out pocket shapes from both papers and laid them on top of each other, gluing in place with a piece of the ribbon as edging
  • Fashioned a handkerchief pocket from offcuts and folded an interesting section of map paper for the ‘kerchief
  • Found a handful of matched buttons and glued them in place.

I used the materials I had to hand, making it both cheap and an instantly ‘do-able’ project.  Next time I’ll try it with a more brightly patterned wallpaper and some primary colours for the ribbon and buttons; at this rate, I can feel a paper wardrobe coming on ;-)

Here are some more ideas for paper clothing from around the web, from the ethereally beautiful through to hardcore shoe fetishism; all references below

Images 1&2 by artist Elisabeth Lecourt, Images 3&4 via here, Image 5 via here

An Indian Summer: The 10 Minute Tipi

We’re having a mini heatwave here in England, specially ordered for the Olympics.  The streets are filled with chic Europeans, bronzed Americans, and lobster-pink, slightly startled looking Brits clad mostly still in their winter wear, having not previously had the opportunity to break out the shorts and vest tops they bought back in Spring.  To provide some shade from the sun and a foundation for exciting adventures, today we constructed a 10-minute tipi, the beauty of which is that it requires only a small handful of household objects, and can be erected – and destroyed – in the time it takes to make a cup of tea.  We make these indoors too, the other 11 months of the year…

You’ll need:

  • A handful of bamboo canes, rods or old curtain poles; any long sticks will do. We use 2m bamboo poles; a minimum of 6.
  • A large flat sheet; ours came straight off a bed en route to the laundry basket
  • Clothes pegs
  • A length of string or rope.
  • Optional accessories include feathers, blankets, glow sticks and torches (for nighttime adventures)

How to make the tipi:

  1. Line up all your poles and tie them together  about 3in from the top using a double-shank leftover half twist racing knot.  Okay okay, I lie; tie them any old how, just make sure your knot(s) are tight and will hold.
  2. Gather your bundle of poles and place them where you want your tipi to be, and move them out one by one into an ever-wider circle, leaving a bigger gap between two poles for the entrance
  3. Drape your sheet around loosely and use a peg to clip it together at the top whilst you distribute it evenly at the bottom
  4. Peg the sheet to the bottom of your poles, and to the sides of each entrance pole.

And finally clip back the entrance flap to one side…

We also tucked feathers into the top of each bamboo cane for a bit of colour…

We added sheets, toys, blankets and a pillow, and set up camp for the day. Furry chipmunks, polar bears and even a deer came outside from the playroom to inspect what was going on; we even survived an attempt by a passing bear to hustle his way into camp (below).

Finally, we just had time before sundown to assemble a hasty campfire and cook up some sausages and eggs, borrowed from Harry’s play kitchen…

Dens, tents and tipis seem to be hardwired into kids’ DNA as a source of endless pleasure and fun – when Harry’s older I’ll just give him a couple of sheets and some rope and let him work out for himself how to construct his very own den.  If you’re making this tipi with slightly older kids,  string a torch from the end of the rope you use to tie together the canes and let the fun continue after dark; marshmallows ‘cooked’ on a pretend campfire taste just as good as the real thing…

The Dream House Part 1: Kitchen restoration

Whilst most of my creative projects involve paper, glue, baking or clay, there’s one big – nay, HUGE, project keeping me busy in the background, and that’s the renovation of our new house; a crumbling yet beautiful pile that we moved into just before Christmas.  We were looking for somewhere big and vaguely unkempt, where Harry could run amok without it mattering, and where adventures could be had and memories created over many years. My husband saw it first, and it’s a testament to the magic of the house that he, ever practical and sensible, was captivated. Windows rattled, mice fled for cover, plaster dust quietly settled around us but still, we decided, it had to be ours.  Madness, of the very best possible kind…

So here we are, 6 months in and with no money left, neat fingernails a distant memory and a complete and profound happiness about having found Home.  Our first big project was to convert the formal living room into a family kitchen/dining space, where we now spend almost all of our waking hours.  This is what it looked like before:

And now after…

The room – like the rest of the house – has some beautiful features we were keen to keep,  like the panelling, bay windows and ornate coving from when the house was built in the 1750s. We had an imprint made of this, so we could continue it around the new in-built range cooker and cupboards.  A lime-washed, engineered oak floor replaced the old pink carpet (you can see now where all our money has gone…), and is living up to the promise of being hard-wearing and resistant to everything a two year old can drop on it.  Much of the space in the l-shaped room was under-utilised before, as the previous owners had understandably clustered sofas round the fireplace and left the far end alone. Instead, we added our main kitchen area here, working with Martin Moore to design a layout which maximises the space, and centres around a large Cook’s Table and chairs which we perch on whilst dinner bubbles away on the stove. (Alright, alright I confess; whilst dinner pings in the microwave).

And after….

The fireplace (below) was original to the property but very ornate and rather too heavy with bunches of grapes and dancing maidens for our taste; we replaced it with this simple yet majestic stone surround slate hearth, and retained the original backplate.  The fireplace is an object of fascination for Harry, who is convinced the chimney is home to a family of owls, ever since I hooted down from an upstairs fireplace when he was standing below.

By the time we’d finished the kitchen and floor, our collective money boxes were nearly empty, so we bought these two dressers relatively cheaply and painted them to tone with the kitchen at the other end.  Random objects gathered at junk sales and flea markets over the years have finally found a home on top (I knew that 3ft wide vintage Ukranian dough bowl would look good somewhere…), and our mismatched white china is stored inside.  Our melamine Disney plates and chipped mugs are still around, of course, we just hide them in our new cupboards..

Finally we added a squashy cream Chesterfield sofa in the bay window; the perfect place to read Sunday papers (though the relaxed reading of newspapers is a distant memory, in truth).  Cream sofas may seem like another act of insanity, but this one is steeped in industrial strength stain-guard, which so far is doing a magnificent job.

So; Phase 1 is now complete, and the memories of months of rubble, chaos and the Electrician-Who-Fell-Through-The-Ceiling are rapidly fading and being converted into cheery anecdotes.  The electrician, I hasten to add, is fine; he stepped off a beam upstairs and went straight through the lathe and plaster ceiling below; fortunately a lifetime of eating Cornish pasties for lunch ensured he simply became wedged between joists and suffered an uncomfortable hour in mid-air, and mid-floor, whilst reinforcements – and a ladder – arrived.

Reinvented artwork!

If there’s one thing toddlers can produce a lot of, it’s craft. Oh, and nappies, and broken nights and so on – but let’s stick with craft for now.  Most days, whether at nursery or home, Harry wields a paintbrush flamboyantly, producing a range of slightly sticky, partially recognisable masterpieces.  In the last month, we’ve made monkeys, Batman masks, easter chicks (we were a bit late with that one…) and neon flowers, as shown below.  As artist and his devoted mother, both Harry and I are very proud of these, but as they threaten to take over the house I’ve decided that action is called for, and have captured the best in a couple of simple projects which will mean we can clear some wall space and preserve them for a little while longer.

1. A Boxed Memory Game, or ‘Snap!’

Remember those memory games you played when you were really small where you had to take turns in flipping over cards until you found a pair?  For this one, I photographed a selection of Harry’s pictures and made two A7-sized copies of each, mounted the collection on card stock and decorated the backs of each to create a personalised memory game for Harry. A leftover box which had originally contained Christmas cards was the perfect container, so I added a picture of the full set on the front. Job done!  Detailed instructions at the bottom…

2. Thank-you Cards

For these, I photographed individual art projects and printed onto A5 matte photo paper (you could scan them rather than photo them if you prefer) to create flat correspondence cards to thank people on Harry’s behalf for birthday gifts, treats and general loveliness.  I then cropped the image and pasted it multiple times onto a .ppt slide in order to create a matching envelope liner. This works particularly well with black and white and bold primary colours – Harry’s batman mask worked a treat.

Making the memory game…


  • A selection of artwork
  • Camera / scanner
  • Paper (to print onto) and card stock (to mount images onto for sturdiness)
  • Pens, glitter or other embellishments to decorate the reverse of each card
  • A storage box; individual cereal boxes, large matchboxes and playing card boxes are all a good size for this.

Firstly, take a picture (or scan) each piece of artwork. Download to your PC and add words if you want to; I chose to add alphabet tags, thinking that one day we may have a full set.  Then print off your images in duplicate; I arranged them in a contact sheet format and printed a large single sheet, but it doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as they’re the same size…

Cut up the individual images and mount on cardstock; they’re going to get a lot of wear and tear!

And finally decorate the reverse of each card – given the amount of time they spend face down in this game, it’s worth spending as much effort on the back as the front! I used monogram ‘h’ letters for Harry, and continued this theme on the front of the box…

We had a lot of fun with this! To play the memory game with very young children like Harry, turn over a single card each and keep it turned up; take it in turns to turn another one over until you find the pair; at this stage it’s more about recognition and being the first to scream ‘SNAP!!’.  When kids get a bit older, you can play it more traditionally, turning the cards back over every time and relying on memory.

Now I’ve got Harry’s artwork stored on my PC, there are lots of other options for display… what do you do with yours? All ideas very welcome!

Keepers of the Flame!

With less than 4 weeks to go until the Olympic Games begin, the torch is weaving its merry way towards the stadium here in London. 8000 torchbearers are helping to transport it along its journey, and having been inexplicably overlooked by the selection committee, Harry and I have decided to take matters into our own hands and create our very own Olympic outfit and torch, ready for a ceremonial lap of the back garden….

For the Olympic tee you’ll need….

1. A plain white cotton tee shirt or vest, 2. Fabric paints in red, green, black, yellow and blue, 3. Ring-shaped objects for stamping; we used Play-Doh lids, but toilet rolls work well too, though they produce thinner rings.  Have a quick look in the kitchen cupboards and you’ll find all sorts of likely candidates! 4. Paintbrushes, to daub paint on your lids for a neat finish, and to fill in any gaps after stamping. Finally, a piece of card to place inside the shirt to keep the fabric flat and in position, and to stop paint leaking through to the back of the shirt. Oh, and wet wipes.  A mountain of them, if your toddler is as frisky as mine. Now you’re ready….

When you’ve finished, fill in any gaps with a dab of paint, using your paintbrush, then leave to dry before fixing the fabric paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually a quick iron under a protective piece of fabric) …and admire your handiwork!

For the Olympic torch you’ll need…

1. A sheet of gold card, any size you like, 2. A variety of brightly coloured tissue paper sheets 3. Paper fasteners or double-sided tape to hold your torch in place.  Simply cut out flame shapes from your tissue, twist them together and fluff them out, then tape to hold in place.  Roll your card into a cone shape and stick or hold with paper fasteners (I found these best as my sparkly card caused the tape to give up quickly).  Put a dab of glue or piece of tape on the bottom of your flame bouquet and push it down into your cone – voila!

This would be a great crafting project to do with older children, who possess the hand-eye co-ordination to have a good shot at positioning the rings in roughly the right place.  Whilst I made this vest and tee for Harry, he experimented flamboyantly with his own Olympic ring design using finger paints and toilet rolls, proving that there’s an Olympic craft for everyone. I expect his hands and face will still be stained lightly red,yellow,blue and green by the time the Opening Ceremony commences…