3 simple projects for sweet dreams
Brighten up bedtime with these delightful projects from Joanna Gosling’s Home Made Simple For Kids.
HANGING POM POM BRANCH
Whenever we go out for a walk, the girls and I always come back with a haul of treasures – pine cones, shells, stones and sticks. Mostly the sticks are put on the fire, but occasionally we’ll find one that’s just too beautiful to destroy, so we have to keep it. This project offers a gorgeous way of breathing new life into an old, gnarled and stunning branch. You could hang this as a permanent fixture in a child’s room, or put one up as a party decoration.
you will need:
• Two hook eyes
• Branch or stick
• Toy birds, butterflies, stars, dinosaurs, planes, pompoms or other decoration
• Garden wire, clear thread, wool, tape or Blu Tack
1. Fix the hook eyes into the ceiling to suspend the branch from, placing them about the length of the branch apart. Screwing into a ceiling may require a bit of trial and error, so I’m afraid this is the hardest part. Poke a bradawl into the spot at which you would like to fix a hook and make a small hole. Push the hook into it and screw it in. If you’re lucky, it will get a good fix. If not, try again in a different spot. The worst that can happen is that you will end with a series of small error holes that can quickly be fixed with a blob of filler and a brush of paint. If you’re not confident about the strength of your hooks, it’s probably a good idea to hang up a light branch!
2. Tie the end of one piece of string onto one end of the branch, knotting it tightly. Hold up the branch at the height at which you want your branch to be suspended. Thread the string through one of the ceiling hooks and secure. Repeat at the other end.
3. Now decorate the branch with hanging pompoms, flowers, birds, butterflies, velociraptors, stars, planets or anything else you like. Fix your decorations onto the branch with garden wire, tape or Blu Tack, or suspend them using clear thread or colourful wool. Fairy lights twisted around the branch also look stunning.
COAT HANGER DREAM CATCHER
Most children have bad dreams from time to time. It’s comforting for children to talk through them, as together you work out a little snippet of conversation, or the brief image in a movie, or barely noticed picture that hooked their unconscious mind in the daytime and allowed their imagination to go into overdrive while they slept. If a child keeps having bad dreams, these sweet dream catchers are a good thing to make together. Simple to do, pretty to look at and comforting for little ones.
you will need:
• Wire coat hanger
• Double-sided tape
• Torn strips of various fabrics
• Strings or ribbons
• One screw hook
1. First of all, stretch out the hanger and shape it into a circle. Stick a strip of double-sided tape around the tip of the hanging hook. Fix the end of a strip of fabric or ribbon around the tape, then twist the fabric around the metal repeatedly. When you come to the end of a strip, fix it to the wire with double-sided tape. Repeat until the entire circle is covered.
2. Tie the end of a strip of fabric or ribbon to the frame. Criss-cross it across the frame, winding it around as you go to keep it in place. When you’ve criss-crossed it as many times as it will go, secure the end with a knot around the frame. Repeat to create a web.
3. Tie several lengths of fabric to hang down from the bottom of the dream catcher. Tie feathers onto the strings.
4. Fix a screw hook into the ceiling above the child’s bed by making a small hole with a bradawl and screwing the hook into it. Hang up the dream catcher.
Note: A dream catcher makes a great present for other children, especially if your own children help to make it. You could package it up with a copy of The BFG, the tale of the friendly dream-catching giant created by legendary children’s author Roald Dahl.
JAM JAR NIGHT-LIGHT
This cute little night-light gives out just enough of a glow to provide comfort without disrupting sleep.
you will need:
• Old jar
• Star-shaped stickers (you can buy these very easily from any stationery store)
• Spray paint
• Battery operated tea light
1. First, ensure the jar is completely clean or the paint might not stick properly. To remove any sticky residue, either use a special sticky stuff remover, or try white spirit or nail varnish remover.
2. Remove the lid and dot the little star-shaped stickers all over the jar.
3. Lay out some newspaper and put something on it (like a block of wood – anything that you don’t mind getting covered in paint) to stand your jar on for painting. Position the jar upside-down on the block. Spray paint the glass, building up an opaque covering with several thin coats, letting it dry between applications.
4. When the paint is completely dry, carefully peel away the stickers.
5. Put the jam jar upside-down over a battery operated tea light. Turn it on at bedtime.
Extract from Home Made Simple For Kids, by Joanna Gosling, Kyle Books, RRP $39.99
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 27 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW