Book Advent 2014

My children take a real pleasure from books and I love that they are excited by our Book Advent. A Book Advent is a Christmas themed book-a-day during December, much better for you than chocolate! This year we’ve had a whopping 29 books, so nearly 1 for every day of December. We’ve taken out some from last year and passed them to our local charity shop. We’ve also picked up a few more along the way.

This year we have stored our Advent books in a Children’s Cardboard Bedside Table Kit from The Cardboard Man. It comes as flatpack but there are only 4 pieces which slot together so it takes seconds to assemble. Their range of kids craft cardboard furniture is made of recycled, water resistant, export quality cardboard. They can be painted, drawn or collaged on so you can really let your children use their imagination.

cardboard book shelf

So far we’ve added colourful washi tape to the straight edges and made a washi tape road on the top. The children have been enjoying playing with it and it’s strong enough to hold some really heavy books. They’re itching to decorate it though so I know I will have to let them loose with their crayons and stickers on once we’ve put our Advent books away and taken it upstairs to their bedroom.

cardboard book shelf

Here’s this years’ list for my book-loving 3 and 4 year old:

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
Jingle Bell Reindeer
Mater Saves Christmas
The Elf on the Shelf a Christmas Tradition by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell
Santa Claus has a busy night
Santa needs a wee by Nicholas Allan
Mrs Christmas by Penny Ives
Christmas Stories for Little Children
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Night Before Christmas a pop-up picture story
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Santa’s Christmas with flaps and a sparkly surprise ending
The Last Snowball (Everything’s Rosie)
Mr Christmas by Roger Hargreaves
A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
Little Robin’s Christmas by Jan Fearnley
The Night before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson
Miffy in the snow by Dick Bruna
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
The Christmas Bear, A Christmas Pop Up Book, by Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler
Bless You, Santa by Julie Sykes
Aliens Love Panta Claus by Claire Freeman and Ben Cort
Little Grey Rabbit’s Christmas by Alison Uttley
Mr Men Meet Father Christmas by Roger Hargreaves
The Gingerbread Man
Dear Santa by Rod Campbell
Christmas at the North Pole (Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom)
The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg


The Children’s Cardboard Bedside Table Kit by Cardboard Man costs £14 and they also make a Children’s Cardboard Bookcase Kit too.  Both are available through their NotOnTheHighStreet shop. We were kindly sent one to review.

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No sew Christmas pudding ornament

Earlier this month I made some no sew Christmas pudding decorations to sell at the school Christmas Fayre. They were quick and easy to make and look great on a Christmas tree so I thought I’d share a little tutorial with you.

Equipment needed to make no sew Christmas pudding ornament:
ping pong balls
silicone glue
brown wool
green and white felt
red sequins

How to make no sew Christmas pudding ornament:

No sew Christmas pudding ornamentsWrap your ping pong ball completely with brown wool, make sure there are no gaps. When you’ve finished leave a small loop to hang your ornament and tuck the end in. Use a dab of silicone glue to keep it in place if necessary.

No sew Christmas pudding ornamentsCut a small circle from the white felt and cut freehand to look like dripping icing. Snip a small hole in the centre and pull the hanging loop through. Glue the white felt down with silicone glue.

No sew Christmas pudding Freehand cut two small leaves from the green felt, glue near the hanging loop and add two red sequins for the holly leaves and berries.

No sew Christmas pudding ornamentsThere you go, an easy no sew Christmas pudding ornament.


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Easy personalised clay tags

As we’re hosting a family Christmas I really wanted to add as many handmade touches as I could. This year I’ve made some super sweet clay tags to hang on everyone’s cracker. When they’ve finished with the cracker they can remove and keep their tag and hang it on the tree.

clay gift tags

Equipment needed to make easy personalised clay tags:
Sculpey oven-bake clay
Small cookie cutters
Acrylic paint and brush
Small letter stamps

How to make easy personalised clay tags:

Roll out your Sculpey clay until it is 2-3mm thick. I rolled it between two sheets of greaseproof paper so it didn’t damage my rolling pin.

Cut out your shapes! I chose small stars for my gift tags and a tree and deer for the larger ones. Stamp your letter, date or phrase.

easy personalised clay tags

Make a small hole at the top of each shape if you want to hang them. Place on a baking sheet on a baking tray and bake for the required length of time.

The tags are not hard until they’ve completely dried so make sure you leave them to cool down properly.

I wanted to make sure the letter stood out so painted each letter with a small amount of acrylic paint. Leave to dry.

easy personalised clay tags

This year we made our own crackers from kits so we able to choose the gifts inside them. The personalised tags are a great way of remembering each person’s cracker. Hopefully they will be a lovely keepsake too.

handmade clay tags

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