Monday, February 16, 2015

DIY Pin Board with Scotch® Expressions Tape

For my last project as part of the Scotch® Expressions Tape 'Back to School' campaign I was asked to come up with a tutorial for making a school pin board using Scotch® Expressions Tapes.  I loved doing this as I think pin boards are a great addition to a child's bedroom for their treasures and keepsakes, and to keep them organised and tidy as well! I remembered this noticeboard tutorial I wrote a few years ago now with the plastic pocket along the bottom of the noticeboard and it made me think I could do the same thing, but much easier and quicker, with the Scotch® Expressions Tapes, in particular the Scotch® Expressions Duct Tape. So here is a tutorial for how to make this colourful and practical pin board for your child, or even for yourself- a bigger one would be great as a family organiser with a calendar, household essentials, and a place for invitations, cards, school notices etc…

DIY Pin Board with Scotch® Expressions Tape Tutorial

You will need:
*a pin board - this square one is from Warehouse Stationery- you can also find them at Spotlight, or office supply stores, or go to Bunnings and get a sheet of Pinex and cut it the size you want.
*Scotch® Expressions Duct Tape- I used their cute red and white polka dot one- you can find all the Scotch® Expressions Tapes at Warehouse Stationery
*Scotch® Expressions masking tape - I used this lovely coral red coloured one
* Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape- I used their bright neon pink washi tape
* Scotch® Expressions Magic Tape in multicoloured polka dots
* bulldog clip
*hook push pins (I got these from Bunnings in the picture hook aisle)
*push pins
*PVC clear tablecloth plastic for the pocket- enough to cover the width of your noticeboard plus enough to go around the back of the board, and height of around 10cm plus enough to go around the bottom of the board

1. Cover your pin board with the Scotch® Expressions Duct Tape

2. Lay your piece of tablecloth plastic across the bottom of your board

3. Flip your board over and use pieces of Scotch® Expressions Duct Tape to attach the plastic to the board- don't pull it too tight as that will make it tricky to get things in and out of the pocket.

4. Flip your board back over and tape a stripe or two of Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape across the top of the pocket.

5. Use your Scotch® Expressions masking tape and Scotch® Expressions Magic tape to make some dividers on your board (I layered the magic tape on top of the masking tape).

6. Use a push pin to attach your bulldog clip to the pin board.
7. Choose where you would like to put the push pin hooks on the board.
8. Pop some things in the pocket that your child uses regularly, and let them choose a few things they would like to put on the board- certificates, photos, a timetable….anything goes!

And this week is the last week of the Scotch® Expressions Tape 'Back to School' campaign so head on over to the Scotch Australia and New Zealand Facebook Page and click on the 'Back to School' link to see lots more awesome tutorials, plus the chance to win a $100 prezzy card by sharing your own creations! I hope you've enjoyed seeing my three tutorials, including my 

You can also follow Scotch® Australia and New Zealand on Instagram
and on Pinterest

Happy crafting!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

DIY Homework Clock with Scotch® Expressions Tapes

For my second blog post as part of the Scotch® Expressions Tape 'Back to School' promotion I was asked to come up with some crafty ideas for a DIY homework clock. This was a fun thing to do as it is really easy to change a store bought clock to one that suits you or your child's style using the Scotch® Expressions Tapes. And each of the clocks I decorated took less than 5 minutes to make! Scotch® has a huge range of gorgeous tapes now- I love the bright colours of their new masking tapes and their washi tapes and Duct Craft tapes range mean there are endless colourful possibilities for your decorating projects.

For this project I bought this 'Route 66' clock from The Warehouse. (It was on sale so was only $10). If you are wanting to do this project just look for a frameless clock like the one I bought, or find one where you can easily remove the clock face from the frame. 
Then all you need to do is go to Warehouse Stationery or any other store that sells Scotch® Expressions Tapes, choose your favourites and away you go!

Idea one- Colourful Striped Clock

This colourful clock which would look great in a child's bedroom or even in a classroom.  
I used a mix of 
* Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape (the green and yellow ones)
*Scotch® Expressions Magic Tape (the blue and polka dot ones)
Starting at the top or the bottom of the clock, simply tape strips along the clock, taping the ends of the clock around the sides and onto the back of the clock. Repeat using different tapes and colours in your desired pattern.

Idea Two: Modern Spots Clock

This stylish clock would also look great in a child's room as well, but would look equally cute somewhere else in your home, especially if you have a nook or a place designated to homework!
For this clock I simply taped strips of this gorgeous patterned blue Scotch® Expressions Masking Tape. Then I had the idea to use some bright pink spot stickers to make the 'numbers' of the clock. 

Idea Three: Super Hero Clock
For this fun clock perfect for any superhero loving children I used two of the Scotch® Expressions Duct Craft Tapes- the Batman tape and the Superman tape,  and the fun Scotch® Expressions 'POW' washi tape. I taped the top half of the clock with the Batman tape, the bottom half with the Superman tape, and then ran two pieces of the 'Pow' tape across the middle of the clock.
And here are some more fun ideas for more clock decorating with Scotch® Expressions Tapes- I love the top left one in particular!
Top left:
Top right:
Bottom left:
Bottom right:

So there you go, are you looking at your clock now and wishing you had a roll or two of washi tape….?!

And if you would like to make your own clock, or any other project using Scotch® Expressions Tapes then why not take part in the Scotch®  Tape Promotion ' Back to School' by submitting your own Tape creations (you'll be in to win a $100 Prezzy card if you do!) -  head over to the Scotch Australia and New Zealand Facebook page where you can enter via the Facebook app. There are loads more tape ideas and tutorials on the Scotch Australia and New Zealand Facebook page.

Thanks for reading and happy crafting :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

DIY Chore Charts with Scotch® Expressions Tape

Last year I shared a '30 day Organised Home Challenge' on my Facebook page.  One of the challenges I shared was making a chore chart to help with morning routines and getting jobs done around the house. A friend Rae shared her cool chore charts she made that she uses with her three children. Here are a couple of pics of them…

So when I was contacted to take part in another Scotch® Expressions  Tape Promotion ' Back to School' and asked to share a chore chart DIY I knew just what to do thanks Rae! These chore charts are super easy and quick to make, and by using pegs you can easily update or change jobs for each child. And kids will really like using them as anything tactile always appeals (pegs are great for little one's fine motor skills too). And it's easy for parents/caregivers to see which jobs still need to be done...

DIY Chore Chart

You will need

* one wooden board per child- these boards were at Spotlight and were only $2 each on sale when I bought mine! 
Scotch® Expressions Duct Tape or Scotch® Expressions Masking Tape tape 
Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape or Scotch® Expressions Magic™Tape- all from Warehouse Stationery
*wooden pegs- you can find these at Spotlight, Warehouse Stationery or Dollar Value type stores
*alphabet stickers- again you can find these at the above stores
*marker pens

Step one: using either the Scotch® Expressions Duct Tape or Scotch® Expressions Masking Tape tape  (I used the Scotch® Expressions Masking Tapes), cover your board as in picture below

Step two: using either the Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape or Scotch® Expressions Magic™Tape (I used a Scotch® Expressions magic tape) tape a horizontal line across the top of the board (leaving enough room for your childs name above). Then tape a vertical line from the horizontal tape down the middle of the board to the bottom.
Then if you would like to divide your board into 'am' and 'pm', tape another horizontal line of tape roughly half way down the vertical line. 
Using your alphabet stickers stick the letters of your child's name up the top, and then stick on 'TO DO' and DONE' under the top line. I just used a black marker pen to write 'am' and 'pm' in each section of the board.

Now using a marker pen write the chores you would like your children to do each morning. 
Here are some of the chores I thought of for my three children aged 3, 5 and 7 (some are just for the older two kids). Each day I will aim to put 3-4 chores on each section of the board.

am jobs
Brush teeth
Brush hair
Make bed
Pack lunch and drink bottle
Pack swim bag
Tidy bedroom
Empty dishwasher
Wipe table
Tidy bedroom

pm jobs
Unpack school bag
Set table
Clear and wipe table
Sweep floor
Fold washing
Put away washing
Tidy lounge

The rest of the pegs I'm storing in an old sifter I've got in our kitchen- easy access to the pegs, and I've put some blank ones in as well so I can write new chores when I think of them, or as school sports and after school activities change each day/term.

And Rachael from 'A Snapshot of Life' shared a pic of her chore chart she made after seeing mine when I was working on them on my Instagram page- I like how she typed up the chores and stuck them on pegs- much tidier than mine! She used the same Scotch® Expressions Duct tape that I used to cover some of Amelie's school books the other day- love it!

And if you would like to make some of these yourself, or take part in the Scotch®  Tape Promotion ' Back to School' by submitting your own Tape creations (you'll be in to win a $100 Prezzy card if you do!) then head over to the Scotch Australia and New Zealand Facebook page where you can enter via the Facebook app!

I’m also giving away a bag of Scotch® Expressions Shipping Tape, Scotch® Expressions Masking Tape, Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape plus some other Scotch® Expressions goodies this week on my Facebook page- to enter leave a comment on the post about these chore charts on my page. 
I hope you enjoyed reading these ideas for a DIY chore chart-I have two more blog posts to share as part of the promotion so stay tuned! 
Thanks for reading, 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mousehouse Advent Cards

Hi all, I hope you're all having a good week and not feeling too frazzled in the lead up to Christmas! Just writing a quick blog post to share these advent cards I made this week to go with the pocket bunting I made a few years ago. I've been meaning to make the cards since I first saw them on Pinterest a few years ago so I'm very happy to have finally finished them! I used ideas from lots of blog posts I've read and lots of ideas on Pinterest too

I've come up with a list of my favourite family Christmas traditions such as having a Christmas movie night or getting new Christmas books, ideas for fun Christmas experiences such as going to see the Christmas lights or getting a photo with Santa, and ideas for small Christmas treats as well. The cards are $30 + $6 courier (NZ), printed on nice heavy 240GSM card and matte laminated, all on a handy ring to keep them together. They are 65mm x 65mm so should fit in most pocket/bag/envelope style advent calendars. There are 40 cards so you can choose which cards suit your family, including about 8 cards that say 'here is a little treat for you today' for those busy days! I've also included a list of treat ideas to go with the 'Christmas experience' cards.

If you would like to order a set of cards you can email me or message me via my Mousehouse Facebook page

I have already sold the sets I made in time for December 1st delivery but I will be doing another limited number of sets if you are happy to receive them in a week or two. Or you could always order a set for next year! 


And if you are wanting more advent inspiration I've pinned lots of lovely handmade Advent calendars to my 'Christmas' Board if you want to take a look…

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some favourite toys for independent and open-ended play

The toys that my children love playing with are also the toys that I love because of their timeless appeal and also because they encourage creative and/or independent, open ended play- for example if they are playing 'babies' this game can go on for a very decent amount of time depending on the age of your children! So I thought I'd share my favourite and my children's favourite toys with you- nearly all of these have been brought from a second hand kids shop nearby or from Trade me-I rarely buy toys brand new, and I love buying things to add to a collection e.g: duplo, toy cars or Fisher Price Little People. These are also the toys that both Jack and Stella love playing with so they appeal to both boys and girls. I've written them in order of what they play with the most...

1. Cars
Definitely the most popular toy in our house, both Stella and Jack love playing with our collection of cars, buses, motorbikes and the like- most of them were bought in a bulk lot of trademe for about $15 all up, with a few extra cars and things coming from christmas and birthday presents. I bought the car mat from Payless Plastics- it comes on a roll so you can choose how much you want. They don't use the car mat all that much though, just the lounge floor and couches are enough most of the time! A friend had this cool car ramp at her place so I did buy this new- it was $10 from K Mart in the toy section with the Matchbox car range.
2. Babies
I bought my first toy baby when I was pregnant with Stella so Amelie would have a baby to play with which was great advice. This is a really popular game to play when they have friends over but they also love playing with them when they're on their own at home too. We have about 4 now I think, 3 from the second hand shop and one was a birthday gift (handy when there are a few kids over -they can all have a baby each.) I got the little cot from Trade Me, the buggy and the high chair were birthday gifts from family, and the bath and baby accessories were also from the second hand shop. 
3. Puzzles
Puzzles are really popular with all 3 of my children, they all loved the wooden ones with the little pegs in them when they were around 2 years and now they are loving the alphabet cardboard ones and some easyish jig saw puzzles as well. I love them playing with puzzles- lots of learning, fine motor skills, problem solving etc and they get a great sense of achievement when they complete one.  Dollar value type shops have heaps of really budget friendly puzzles and again Zero to Five has heaps as well. Also lots on Trade Me.
4. Duplo
Duplo is a fantastic thing to start collecting if you have little ones- I bought a bulk bag for $40 from Zero to Five which was a great starting point to our collection, and then every Christmas my dad has bought them a set which is a great tradition. It's a great open ended imaginative toy and my 7 year old still enjoys playing with it. Lego is great too but we've found it better for older children say 5+ years at least (but that's just our kids, some I know starting playing with lego younger)

5. Fisher Price Little People and Fisher Price Toys
I have a bit of an obsession with vintage Fisher Price toys and have started a little collection of them, nearly all from Trade Me. The kids also got a few Fisher Price Little People Sets for birthdays or Christmas so we have a good little collection of that- the bus is by far the most popular toy, Jack would play with that nearly every day putting his little 'persons' in and out of the bus.  Again on trade me there are quite a few bulk lots of Fisher Price Little People if you were wanting to start a collection.

6. Doctors/Vets
All you need for this is lots of soft toys and a doctors play kit. And plenty of wrap around bandages!

7. Farm animals
I made this reversible playmate last year and the kids love getting out the animals and playing farms with it. If you can find a collection of animals on trademe try and find one that has fences too so they can create their own farm paddocks.
8. Playdough
I've included playdough as the kids love it but it's not exactly independent play compared with the other toys, and the mess afterwards.... well lets just say I'm pretty happy I have very old carpet at the moment! I pick up quite a few playdough 'tools' from op shops- look out for anything in the kitchen wares like plastic knives, pastry cutters, old muffin trays etc. 

There are loads more great imaginative toys out there, tea sets for tea parties, dinosaurs, trains, dress-ups are another one of my favourites…would love to hear of your favourite toys :)


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