Posted in Christmas Activites

Christmas Wreath Making

Making my own Christmas wreath has been on the list of things I want to do for a long time. At weekend I finally got myself on a wreath making afternoon and now proudly hanging on my door is a home made wreath.

Whilst I could of had a go at home going on a course was nice as it definitely gets you in that Christmas spirit. Woolly Willow Creations ran my course… if your in Cheshire I could definitely recommend them. They supplied everything you needed, super friendly tuition, Christmas music and refreshments. It was £20 which was very competitively priced in comparison to other wreath courses I sourced.

The afternoon began with a clear demonstration. We were to make our wreaths in two parts… building up the greenery and then embellishing.

You see on the tables here moss rings which we started with for ease. However you could get your own wreath ring and build up adding the moss as you go securing with reel wire.

One of the benefits of coming on a course is everything is supplied (not to mention the mega mess wreath making creates… not having to clean up is an added bonus!) The right greenery can be tricky to find and quite expensive to buy. But here’s a list of what to look out for –

  • Ivy
  • Holly
  • Conifer
  • Hebe
  • Spruce
  • Cedar
  • Eleagnus
  • Yew
  • Cornush twigs
  • Just make sure whatever you use it’s ever green. Once the demonstration was over we set to on our own wreaths. First off you use some stubb wire to create a ring to hang your wreath eventually.
  • With the ring in place this will be the top of your wreath. Adding foliage to it will now build it up. Choose a good mixed selection to create what you call a unit. It’s several of these that cover round your ring eventually.

    Secure the reel wire to your moss ring and then hold the unit in position. Wrap around the reel wire twice to secure the unit to the wreath… you must pull it tight. It is essentially this technique you use all the way around. Each time you place the next unit overlapping the last to hide your wire work.

    It was easy to build it up. The thing that took longest was selecting which foliage would go in each unit.

    Once you think your wreath is complete hold it up as you may have areas now as full. But this is no problem… you simply use the stub wire to make an anchor and and then wrap it around the bunch of foliage you want to add in. Poke the wire into the area of the wreath that’s lacking.

    The second demonstration showed us how to embellish our wreath. This is where you can get creative! Again using the stubb wire you can attach embellishments such as baubles, berry’s, pine cones, dried fruit, dog wood sticks and bows.

    I wanted quiet a traditional looking one so I added a more rustic style bow, pine cones, berries and cedar wood sticks which are a lovely red colour.

    A few tweaks here and there and we were finished! It was lovely to see although we all started out with the same stuff everybody’s wreaths came out different.

    I was pretty pleased with how mine turned out, I think maybe it could of see a little more embellishments though. The whole afternoon was really lovely and I will definitely be doing a wreath next year. I might even attempt drying some fruit to add. It got me thinking though that maybe I could do an Easter one next!

    Why not have a go at wreath making? I’m obviously no expert but I thought this post may help to guide you a bit and inspire you.

    Rachael 🙂 x

    Woolly Willow creations do many other crafty courses, go check them out here – https://m.facebook.com/groups/305417686849882

    Posted in Winning at Parenting

    Harry Potter Potion Class!

    When my dance school closes for the summer holidays or any other holidays for that matter… what am I to do with my time?! As much as I love the dance and it is nice to have a break the inner child in me just can’t resist putting on school holiday fun as well. So every time school breaks up I run Legends fun days or summer school and I love it!

    Constantly racking my brains for new ways to entertain the children (and myself! ha ha!) I first thought of a Harry Potter potion class whilst lying in bed. I mean as a child myself there was something very satisfying about perfuming making… please tell me you can relate?! This was an activity which consisted of getting water, lots of petals off plants in the garden and stirring them in a bowl, swishing them into the sides and then putting them into jam jars to store. This would create hours of fun trying to create different smells.

    So when potion making sprang to mind and was a similar concept I knew this would go down a storm at summer school. A quick google told me actually I wasn’t a genius and indeed other people had done similar before which basically made my job easier. I still thought it worth sharing my tips and experience of the doing it with a big group!

    Firstly I realised I needed to collect bottles and jars of different shapes and sizes. Now my intention was to do this myself and ask other people but I kinda forgot and a trip to ikea came to my rescue. In there I managed to get all kinds of potion bottles much to my delight and I only spent around fifteen pounds.

    I was ready to create labels when I checked on eBay and saw actually I could just buy those ready done too for a couple of pounds. I also came across a few links to print them yourself but as my printer is not great this was the best option for me. Once they arrived I thought carefully about which bottles to stick them on.

    The labels gave little explanations under them so I was careful to put some on jars and others on bottles.

    How did I decide what to put in each?! Well I just winged it. But the most important ingredients needed is washing up liquid (I used red as unicorn blood), white vinegar (which I added glitter too) and bicarbonate of soda. These three things react and foam when added together.

    I added cut up feathers to one jar, lots of little leaves in one and glitter in another. I put water in all the other jars and added food colouring to change it to different colours.

    I gathered a group of five children and started potion class by showing them my potion (that was with the three reactive ingredients I mention above) I did this in a jar so I used less ingredients and it would rise fast, I stood the jar in a bowl to save mess. The children were delighted when it bubbles over.

    Then they sat at the table with a mini bowl each (sat in a larger one – again to catch the mess) and were left to mix there own potions. Some had obviously listened as they went straight for the same concoction as me. Some of the younger ones (I have children 3-11 years) relished in pouring in lots of glitter. I had given them all a wooden spoon each to mix their potion as well.

    Now this activity was loved by all… a lot hadn’t seen Harry Potter but potion making was exciting none the less. Surprisingly this appealed as much to the older kids as it did to the younger ones. The trickiest part was after each group the bottles and jars needed refilling, table wiping etc and bowls washing and resetting up for the next lot. This was difficult to do quick enough with several children bursting with excitement for their turn!! We had other activities going on along side but none quite as exciting as this! We had to do this for five groups in total. That was a lot of cleaning up! But it was totally worth it… the children loved every second. I would do it again but I did think this would be lovely maybe as part of a smaller party.

    Have you ever tried a potion making class? How did it go? I would love to hear!

    Rachael 🙂 x