homemade; crafts


A bit of Making

I am starting to get my creative mojo back after a nasty bout of Flu and Vertigo and it feels good.  No it actually feels great. Inspired by the signs of new shoots and Spring outside my front door I have made new cushion covers for both the sitting room and the conservatory/playroom. Simple envelope style, in the sitting room from some seconds Laura Ashley picked up last year. Something a little more funcky in the conservatiry, Pop Garden By Heather Baily. I have also been making birthday presents for Maxi’s friends.  Simple personalised purses filled with wooden beads. Sugar cubes, inspired by ……  I can not find the post, so more »


Giving and Receving

I have said it before and I will say it again. The Internet, the WWW, the blogosphere, it has been wonderful to me. It has kept me sane on the dark nights when sleep has refused to blanket me with it warming cocoon, it has kept me company whilst sitting in bed waiting for healing to start and it has made me giggle in my darkest moments.With this is mind, I am always more than happy to give when I can to fellow bloggers.   First off, a small piece of fabric for the lovely Mary Poppins, Mary is making a curtain and this will be used in it, Mary and more »


Learning to Set the Table 19

Manners, I like manners.  In fact I think that the boys can get away with most things, if they say please, thank you and have table manners. We are teaching the boys to help around the house, well they have been since they could walk really and lately they have been trying to set the table, but their constant “I cant remember which side the fork goes on mummy” has been driving me crackers, especially as I am in the kitchen preparing the dinner. So I put my thinking cap on and came up with these……. My first attempt at free form sewing.  I used some fabric I already had in more »


Reindeer Food, Hearts and Friends 14

I am a lucky lady you know.  I have made some wonderful friends over the internet.  I am blessed to have them and wanted to say thank you for all their support during this year. So, we make reindeer food as part of our annual christmas traditions, therefore, I made a little extra and have packaged it off to them and their little ones as a gesture of my feelings for them. Reindeer food I haven’t re-invented the wheel here, we basically use oats and glitter or coloured sugar. It is dead easy to colour sugar, pop it in a plastic bag, add food colour and shake!!  We use this as more »


TheMadHouse Advent Calendar 17

I have been a busy bee over the last week.  I have been making an advent calender for us, one that meets our needs and that I hope will be used for many, many years to come. I have been inspired by one I saw on Living with Kids, but of course my version is homemade and as inexpensive as possible.  I used a fleece from Ikea, little peg clips from poundland and everything else we already had in the house. I stitched 24 mini stockings, put some ribbon trim abound the top.  I then cut out 24 green felt stars which I stamped with the dates. I punched a tag out of more »


Easy Christmas Cards for Children 5

I think that Christmas cards that the children have made are a lovely thing to give, but often they can be messy, difficult, time consuming and complicated to make.  Not these easy stenciled christmas cards that are kid made. Firstly you need: Card Masking tape Green Paint Sponges Glue Sequins or stars Glitter You start by cutting a tree shaped template in a piece of card.  The easiest way to do this is fold it in half.  You can make it as simple or fancy as you like.  I am simple lady myself. Stick the template on to your card.  I also stick the card down to the table for minimad. You more »


Tea Cup Candles 28

Well I have been busy preparing for Christmas, we like to give homemade and  handcrafted presents and this year at TheMadHouse we are a little strapped for cash due to illness and other issues, so I am trying to make it a Thrifty Christmas. I have been collecting pretty tea cups, saucers and tea plates from charity shops since the summer to turn them into tea cup candles for Mini and Maxi Mads teachers, teaching assistants and also the lovely ladies that run the toddler group we attend. So  I thought I would do a quick tutorial and let you know just how easy and child friendly this is to do more »


A homemade Girls Present – Bag and Purse with Beads 7

MaxiMad was off to a birthday party on Saturday and we only got the invite on Tuesday.  With me being in hospital I have not had the chance to go out and find anything suitable and I only have presents suitable for boys in our stash at the moment. So I had a chat with Maxi Mad and we decided to make a small drawstring bag and a purse and fill it with lovely wooden beads and elastic for making bracelets and such. We also stamped her name on with permanent fabric ink, for the personal touch.  He came in to the study and picked which fabric he liked for her and helped more »


Homemade Hearts for the MiniMads 8

I finished the hearts for the minimads tonight.  These are made with inspiration from Amanda Blake-Soules Handmade Home. I made them from a baby blanket that MaxiMad was given from a dear friend (well the truth is we pinched it from her, as she had two and we liked it that much), who now is living back in her home country of South Africa. MiniMad used the blanket too, so it has lots of meaning for both the boys and me too and it is such a lovely soft brushed cotton. They are stuffed with scraps and dried lavender and have a pocket with a card in and a little message more »


Salt Dough Halloween Decorations 5

We love salt dough here in TheMadHouse.  It is an inexpensive and fun way of making and modeling.  I picked up a set of cookie cutters from tesco for 99p.  They are small, but they are fine until we fine some larger ones and have a few spare pennies. Basic recipe 2 cups of plain flour 1 cup of salt 1 cup of warm water I also add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make the final decoration harder. Mix the flour, salt and lemon juice adding water until you get a firm dough. Then knead the dough.  The more you kneed the more pliable the dough will become. We basically roll more »


An Apple for the Teacher, well a necklace 3

MaxiMad gets a weekend homework project each week, nothing hard, just a little something.  It has been to learn his address, draw his favorite hobby, write to 20 and last week it was to draw some number and colour patterns.  He gets his project on a Thursday and it is returned on a Tuesday, so this evening we got back from the park and checked out his book.  The comment from last weeks work was that his teacher liked his colour pattern and would love a necklace like that.  Well MaxiMad decided a necklace she should have (she wont make that mistake twice!!). I have lots of beads for the boys, more »


Making a start on the Christmas Presents 4

Look, my new to me sewing machine and my first project on it.  A new swimming bag for MaxiMad.  He picked out the fabric when we were in York a few weeks back from the Cath Kidston store (he has taste that young man)! Thing is once I had done one and mini mad saw it, I had to make another one this afternoon.  I also made these key rings as Christmas Presents and one for myself, as I always end up popping my car keys in my mouth to hold it I dont have any pockets on (so I can strap the children in their car seats). Do you like more »


Home Made Pasta Sauce 3

Cooking, baking, making, gardening, cleaning, well everything in TheMadHouse is a real family affair.  We tend to really enjoy doing things together.  Some may find that strange, but I love spending time with all the men in my life, including that very strange cat too.  Anyway I digress.  Remember all those green tomatoes from the garden, well some had ripened and we decided to make a sauce for pasta. So we set too, kind of in a production line way.  MadDad and I deskinned and deseed the tomatoes.  Maxi and MiniMad strained the seeds and juice. DadDad prepared the peppers and onions and MaxiMad chopped them.  I then cooked all the ingredients more »


Boo – our Halloween ghosts 9

You will have gathered by now that I like simple ideas, often the simpler the better and you dont get much more similar than ghostie paper chains. The only prep work required by me was to fold the roll of paper (ikea) and cut out the ghosts (I didn’t even need a template – smug).  I then drew the eyes and mouth on one and maximad did the rest.  Voila, effective, simple, inexpensive and family inclusive halloween decorations.  I saw this originally on Skip to my loo and she has templates there if you need them too. Keep an eye open for more easy and simple Halloween crafts you can do with children.


Shrinky Dinky Do, well do you? 6

I do, remember them I mean.  Shrinky dinks the fabulous shrinking plastic, that you pop in the oven for a minute and it twists, curls and then ends up 7 times smaller. MaxiMad was complaining that all the school book bags look the same and it is difficult to pick his out, so I decided we should make some shrinky dink name tags.  I went to our local craft store and bought a few A4 sheets and cut them into shapes.  I then wrote the boys names on the plastic and then gave them the pens to make some patterns on them. I then use a punch to cut a hole more »


Easy Homemade Cards 5

We have lots of birthdays to celebrate in September and we are big fans of homemade cards.  Now that MaxiMad is at school, time to make elaborate and complicated cards are a thing of the past.  We needed a quick, all inclusive idea. So we made …………………… Chicken cards, which are ever so easy and very effective. All you do is take a piece of card and trace round a plate, cut it out with pinking scissors, add a few feathers, a foam beak and a googly eye. The only part I do is the cutting, MaxiMad does the tracing and both the boys love gluing and sicking.  It makes for more »