Making Our Own (Monster) Teddy

Making Our Own Monster Teddy

My son’s school has got a really sensible policy of not letting you send your child back to school until 48 hours after any sickness bug. I love this rule, it means that we have an extra day at home during term time when Theo doesn’t feel poorly any more, but he’s not allowed back to school. We had one of those today and he had the great idea of making a teddy.

He carefully designed his teddy and cut it out and went through my bag of scrap material to decide which body parts would be in which materials. The result is a slightly Frankenstein-esque teddy, but he’s certainly unique and Theo adores him. I have to say I’m quite surprised with how nice he turned out too, and it’s great to use that sewing machine that I went mad to have about 10 years ago and have only used once to make bunting last summer.  Continue reading


Dinovember Shenanigans


Watching Harry Potter, complete with popcorn

DINOvember has been in full swing in our house since we discovered it a few weeks ago. It must be getting tough for the Dinosaurs to keep coming up with new ideas, but our 7 year old’s reaction has been more than worth it. Only a few more days to go! Here are some of our favourites so far… Continue reading

Dinovember has started in our house…


Naughty naughty dinosaurs were on the rampage for food last night while we were sleeping. We found the evidence when we woke up this morning.

Are you SURE you didn’t do it mummy?

Do you think they’ll do something ELSE tonight or do you think they just do it on a Friday?

*excited face*


*Thank you so much* to Refe Tuma who invented Dinovember “A month-long imagination invasion” throught the month of November. I bow to your awesome childhood-enhancing skills.

Fairies in a Jar? More like Toxic Sludge…

Fairies in a Jar? More like toxic sludge...

You’ll know by now that I’m throwing a Harry Potter Party for Halloween next week. It’s getting to that stressful sage of pre-party planning where you’ve planned everything you can but it’s too early to actually DO anything yet! Well, too early to start cooking anyway! I’m feeling a bit stressed with the prospect of making chocolate wands, exploding chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties and death by chocolate-cake as well as lots of other things I’ve probably forgotten!

Anyway, I’ve made some garden lanterns to light my November barbecue but I suddenly thought how lovely it would be to have some ‘Fairies in a  Jar’ for the garden. Glowing, glittery pretty jars, “how magical” I (naively) thought…

So I had a good search around and there seemed to be two main ways of making Fairies in a Jar. One with glow-in-the-dark paint which you dab around the jar and then have to charge in sunlight, and the way I chose: with a glow stick and some glitter. Continue reading

Homemade Halloween Lanterns

Homemade halloween lanterns

Just a quickie today! I wanted to show you the Halloween lanterns I made last night. I’ve been collecting jam jars for a few months now so that I’ve got enough to light the garden. All I needed was jam jars, glass frosting spray and a star shape I cut out of paper and ta daaahh! I think they look great! I’ll put wire around the top of some of them so I can hang them up and they can light the garden for my Harry Potter party!

Homemade halloween lanterns

Harry Potter goody bags: The Standard Book of Spells and Bertie Botts every flavour beans

The Standard Book of Spells: (Printable) Harry Potter

It’s easy to get carried away when you’re planning a children’s party. Costs can escalate alarmingly as you just keep just adding that *one extra thing* and from my experience party bags are the main culprit.  I think most mums have a fear that children will judge the success of your party based purely on the contents of the party bag. Long gone are the days of just giving out a slice of birthday cake wrapped in a serviette, lots of mums seem to buy in party bags now which filled to the brim with sweets, toys and other rubbish which nobody really needs. It costs a fortune, but I guess it saves time and effort…

I’m trying to keep costs down for my Harry Potter party though, and what I love about this theme is that you can hand-make so many of the decorations and party treats!  For the kids party bags I decided I’d make each child a copy of The Standard Book of Spells, and give a packet of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. The cost of this? A few sheets of regular A4 paper, a couple of tea bags and some jelly beans!

The Bertie Botts Every Flavour beans are just repackaged jelly beans, but I figured the repackaging combined with the anticipation that they *could* taste like bogies or ear wax will be enough to keep the kids more than happy! You can download the labels here. To find instructions how to age your labels see below.

Bertie Bott's every flavour beans

How to make The Standard Book of Spells:

I found a great printable pdf at Dirt&Sunshine of The Standard Book of Spells, which prints on A4 and is nice and easy, but I wanted to make my spell books half that size (A5) so that they were more child-friendly. I also wanted to print on both sides and make it into a proper little book.

To do that I needed to re-arrange the pages in the pdf and print 2 sheets to a page, so I re-created the pdf to make an A5 book and you can download it here if you’d like to. The first page is blank, as it needs to be to print correctly, so don’t think the file is empty when you download it!

Please note that the original work is not my own and comes from here. Please check out their blog, not only out of politeness, but because they also have lots of other amazing Harry Potter printables for your party too!

How to print and assemble:

  • Print pages 1 and 2 on the same sheet of paper. Leave the other side blank. This will be your cover.
  • Print pages 3 and 4 (letters O and A) on one side of a sheet of paper, and print pages 5 and 6 (letters B and L) on the other side.
  • Print pages 7 and 8 (letters I and C) on one side of a sheet of paper, and print pages 9 and 10 (letters E and F) on the other side.
  • Once your pages are printed you can age them by dipping them in cold tea for a few seconds and drying them out in a medium oven for a few minutes (about 160 degrees C).
  • Then simply put into order, fold in half and staple into a book.
  • The pages tend to be a bit crinkled after the whole tea process so you might want to put some heavy books on top of them for a few hours to flatten them out.

The Standard Book of Spells: (Printable) Harry Potter

My Other Harry Potter Party posts:

Making a Harry Potter Marauder’s Map

Making a Harry Potter Marauder's Map

I’m a day late in posting this so I apologise. I was very proud of my  dinosaur footprint biscuits yesterday and couldn’t resist sharing those instead!

As you probably know by now, I’m throwing a Harry Potter party for Halloween this year. I’m a total HP geek and can’t wait to start making gruesome potion decorations and chocolate frogs!

I made a version of Harry Potter’s Marauder’s Map for the invitations, mostly because I thought the kids would love them, but also because I though it was such a great idea!

I found an amazing tutorial here which I thoroughly recommend. It provides you with the maps to print out and step by step instructions too.

Once you’ve printed the map pieces, you soak the paper in cold tea and while the paper is still wet sprinkle with instant coffee granules to create age spots (how genius is that idea?!) Then dry the paper out in an oven for a few minutes, press, trim and seal with wax and you have yourself some VERY impressive Harry Potter invitations.

What do you think?

Making a Harry Potter Marauder's Map Making a Harry Potter Marauder's Map

My Other Harry Potter Party posts: