Make a Valentine’s Day Wreath with Pom Poms

We seem to have gone, um, a little pom pom mad over here! I know it’s a weird thing to become obsessed with but there you go. First, we made a Christmas kissing ball with pom poms made solely with our big and little fair hands. Then my mother-in-law picked me up a couple of pom pom makers! Some time drooling over Pinterest (I’ve actually set up a pom pom inspiration Board!) and more had to be made. The day of love is next week so let’s get a little heart happy.

First off, how to make the pom poms. I thought this video was great for explaining how to use a Clover pom pom maker.

Pom poms made, we next needed a frame. I took an old wire hanger and twisted it into the shape of a heart.

Twist coat hanger for wreath shape

In retrospect, what I should have done was wrap old fabric scraps around it to bulk it out and create a bigger surface area for gluing on our pom poms. Instead we stuck the pom poms directly onto the wire which made it a little more tricky.

Twist ribbon around to hold everything in place

I ended up needing to wrap a ribbon around the whole thing to secure the pom poms a bit more. Not such a bad move, actually. I decided the use the Bostik all-purpose glue I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in my Valentine’s crafts with a toddler post, mainly because I wanted to see if it would work. It does.

Then I added a red ribbon to tie in the look and to save us from pinkness overwhelm.

Valentine's Day wreath

It’s simple but sweet. I like having different wreaths for our doorway and creating all these little celebratory rituals with my daughter throughout the year. She loves pointing it out as we come and go.

Valentine’s Day Crafts with a Two-Year-Old

Talitha and I have taken up a fun Bostik challenge to make something with products they send us each month. In this case, it turned into a few things!

Bostik Valentine's Day

In this lot we were sent Bostik Glu & Fix all purpose clear glue and Blu Tack foam pads.

Bostik foam pads and all purpose glue

Talitha is a bit obsessed with cutting at the moment and has become wildly independent about what she wants to add to things.

Toddler Valentine's crafting

For me, it isn’t easy to let go of how I think she should do something or how I think something should look.

Toddler sticking with Bostik foam pads

I’m trying my best to let go of my silly rules and keep my mouth shut, though, because I remember falling out of love with art as a child because nothing turned out the way I wanted it to. I really don’t want this to happen to her.

Toddler cut out heart

At any rate, her ideas are often more creative than mine! I drew some bits for her to trace on one of the cards. She sensibly ignored them and drew Peppa Pig’s family instead.

Toddler drawing on Bostik Valentine's card

So a lot of what we did here was being led by what she wanted to do in a kind of a collaborative way. I suggested some things, she considered them and then decided what to do.

Valentine's Day Lantern with Bostik

She also, naturally, did all the cutting and sticking herself. I just helped with applying the all purpose glue because it’s potentially messy stuff and the sticky pads because they’re a bit fiddly.

Making pom poms for Bostik Valentine's craft

I may have had a hand in the pom pom making. She enjoys it for a bit then gets bored.

Valentine's Day pom pom flower

Doesn’t she look bored?

Make a Valentine's flower with a pom pom

It was a real lesson to me in choosing process over product, though I think the end result is pretty cool too!

Make a Valentine's Day lantern

Make Heart-Shaped Crayons

Back in December, Talitha and I made these sweet little heart-shaped crayons for her cousin as a wee Christmas gift. I figured, with Valentine’s Day next month, this might be inspiring for anyone looking for someone heart-y to do with their toddler in the lead-up. We’ve found a few broken crayon odds and ends (and a general excess of crayons!) so we’ll be making more.

Make heart-shaped crayons

We used a silicone baking tray, normally used for chocolate making. We gathered some crayons and some lovely, super-fine iridescent glitter to add another bit of fun to the finished product.

Make heart-shaped crayons - materials

Then we both smashed the heck out of the crayons using dinner knives. Talitha sort of took little bits of them and I did the heavier work.

Make heart-shaped crayons - break them up

We laid them all out by colour, just for fun.

Make heart-shaped crayons - lay your colours out

And she filled the tray. She sprinkled some glitter in beforehand and every few pieces she added I’d suggest she shake in some more to get the glitter all the way through.

Make heart-shaped crayons - fill the tray

The tray went into the oven at 100C for 10 minutes. We left them to cool, then popped them out. Magic.

Make heart-shaped crayons - melt and cool

Make a Christmas Wreath from Natural Objects

Sadly, I didn’t have my camera with me when we made this. Alas! We were at my in-laws for the weekend and we swapped this craft into Talitha’s Advent Calendar activity for the day for convenience. I’m so in love with it, though, I need to share it.

Make a wreath from natural objects

We started off with a metal hanger and stretched the body of it into an “O”. The hook broke off, otherwise that would have been useful to leave for hanging. The neck of the hook has been useful in its stead though.

We’d collected holly, ivy and some other fun bits of brush on a walk out in the countryside. These were attached using green floral wire, adding bits until it all looked nice and bushy.

Make a wreath - add some colour

We slotted in this cute decoration my mother-in-law wasn’t using to add some detail and Talitha painted some of the berries with red nail varnish.

Then I made a big bow using a length of ribbon triple folded then tied into a bow. I then flared out all three of the bows it formed and cut the loops on the ends.

Make a wreath - the bow

We created a loop with some more floral wire in order to hang it and, there we go, Christmas wreath!

Making Christmas Crackers With a Foreign Language Twist

Rosetta Stone sent us a cracker-making pack and we had so much fun putting them together. For Talitha, it’s all new. She keeps noticing all these images of paper crowns and wants to know what it’s all about. I’ve told her you get them in crackers at dinner time on Christmas Day. Of course, she’s thought I meant crackers you eat so it was fun actually putting some together with her so she has another little thing to anticipate.

Crown from our Christmas crackers

Of course they included your standard cracker jokes. But as a twist, the pack included a set of obscure foreign language words which we’re to guess the meaning of, as pictured above.

Your standard cracker joke

For me, it’s been a reminder that I want learning languages to become a part of our family life. It would be more obvious as to how to do this if one of us natively spoke another language but we don’t. I’ve no doubt that some exposure is better than none, though, so I’m looking forward to taking up Spanish again as a first step. I studied it to A-level but really don’t remember much. Rosetta Stone have given me a six-month trial of a Spanish course, which should get us on our way. I always think experiences trump products when it comes to Christmas gifts so this would make a great gift for someone who wanted to do as I’m doing.

Making foreign language crackers with Rosetta Stone

Making heart ornaments – Crafternoon Tea with Shloer

Did you see that episode of Dragon’s Den where the charming people from The Makery were seeking investment? I fell in love with their craft business and wanted to go visit it in Bath but never got around to it. What a treat, then, to be invited to a crafting session with them at a “crafternoon” tea organised by Shloer yesterday.

The Greenway Hotel and Spa
Can you spot the bloggers’ children? Talitha and Purple Mum‘s Wonder Girl pose without us even asking.

Bloggers and children gathered at The Greenway Hotel and Spa for an afternoon of making, munching and Shloer tasting. I’m pretty pleased simply to have found a festive non-alcoholic drink that won’t make me feel like I’m missing out over the holiday season. The Shloer Celebration White Bubbly is the first cold beverage I’ve had since falling pregnant that’s felt like a grown-up drink. I didn’t grow up in a drinking house so I’m well acquainted with sparkling juice drinks and have generally found them wanting (to put it mildly) but I would honestly, happily, recommend this one.

Schloer Celebrations

When The Makery revealed the materials we’d be working with – quirky patterns, stylish ribbons, cheerful buttons – audible delight lilted through the room. We were going to make heart ornaments.

Fabrics from The Makery

Ribbons from The Makery

First we traced heart shapes onto the fabrics.

Make a heart ornament - trace the shape

Talitha joined in where she could and found other ways of entertaining herself for the grown-up bits.

His name is Fred
The children were given these dolls. Hers is called Fred. She insisted that he’s a baby and that he be tucked into bed with her last night.

Having gathered materials and planned the ornament, it was sewing time.

Materials for making a heart ornament

Notches needed to be cut going around the heart to ensure a smoother shape.

Cut notches into hearts

Talitha enjoyed stuffing it. It’s now hanging in our kitchen. I kind of wish I’d made it more festive but she still claims “It’s Christmas!” So who am I to disagree?

Stuffing the heart

We also blind tasted four of the options for next season’s limited edition Shloer flavours. I was pretty awful at guessing what any of them were. Maybe I’m just not a creature of change but I much prefer the flavours I’m already familiar with.

Crafternoon Tea with Schloer

I’m just stoked to have found Shloer Celebrations, particularly the White Bubbly. I was given a bottle to take away so I’ll be sinking that when everyone else is hitting the booze this Christmas. At £2.99 a bottle, I won’t mind buying me some more.

Make a Christmas Kissing Ball with Homemade Pom Poms

Mistletoe doesn’t grow in the Caribbean so it’s curious that it’s part of our Christmas iconography, along with snowflakes and “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly”. In fact, I’d never seen real mistletoe until the first Christmas I spent with Laurence’s family. While we grew up with Mistletoe in our storybooks and cartoons, kissing balls were more appropriate and accessible in reality. I remember the year my mother made one with sweet little rosettes. And now it’s my turn to make one for our home. So I made this festive kissing ball with homemade pom poms. Well, my toddler helped too.

Make a kissing ball with homemade pom poms

First there were reels of yarn she insisted were hippos, though why she’d stand on hippos I never got out of her.

Yarn for our pom poms

Following this technique for making pom poms, I wound the yarn around three fingers 100 times before cutting it.

Making the pom poms

Then I tied the yarn together with another bit of yarn.

Tie round the middle to make pom poms

I snipped all the loops and there we go. Delightfully messy pom poms.

Snip loops to make pom poms

Talitha wanted to have a go too but I had to do it really quickly so she wouldn’t get bored.

Wrap around child's hand to make pom poms

We even mixed the colours. Two bits of yarn at once wrapped for 50 instead of 100.

Mix colours to make pom poms

I crumpled a piece of newspaper and taped it into the shape of a ball and tied a ribbon around it.

Skeleton for kissing ball

And stuck the pom poms around it with a hot glue gun.

Hang the creation and there we go… Christmas Kissing Ball!

toddler beneath a kissing ball