Ideas and inspiration for young crafters!

Brain Food!

Wow, is it nearly Halloween already?! Today’s make would be a terrifyingly tasty party treat, or just something to sink your teeth into if you’re feeling a bit…bitey!!



You Will Need:

Brownie Batter

(250g chocolate

200g butter

200g caster sugar

3 eggs

125g plain flour – or bread flour for a chewy texture

50g cocoa powder

  • Preheat oven to 160 c /gas 3
  • Melt butter and chocolate in a microwave
  • In a different bowl cream the eggs and sugar
  • Combine both mixtures and stir well
  • Sift in flour and cocoa, mix completely)


(1 pack cream cheese

Ready made custard

Icing sugar

Green food colouring

  • Mix the cream cheese with around half a cup of icing sugar
  • Add 4 or 5 tablespoons of custard – taste to get the flavour you want, but don’t let the mixture get too sloppy
  • Mix in food colouring to the shade you desire)

Cupcake cases

Decorations – we used glace cherries, rainbow drops and candy floss

  • Spoon your brownie batter in to the cases.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for twenty minutes. The brownies will still be gooey in the middle, this is just how you want them!
  • While your cupcakes are cooling, mix up your frosting then chill it until the cakes are ready.
  • Decorate your zombie!!

Eeek!  Urrrgh!

Then tuck in to your victim!



Stay tuned for more gruesome fun!



A Bit Of A Jam!

We could apologise for disappearing, we could grovel and beg you to forgive us…

…or, we could give you jam!

The hedgerows are bursting with blackberries which we usually turn into a crumble or blackberry and apple pie. We’ve always fancied ourselves as jam makers, but were put off by mention of thermometers and sterilizing equipment. But after some experimentation we bring you a quick and easy jam recipe, that makes small amounts in mere minutes!


You will need:



A lemon or lime

A microwave proof jug

A spoon


  • Pick some blackberries, a bowlful is perfect.
  • Wash them – a good way is to fill the bowl of berries with water, swirl, rinse and repeat 2 or 3 times.
  • Weigh the berries, then weigh out the same amount of sugar. Granulated sugar is fine for this recipe.
  • Tip the berries in to a microwave proof jug.


  • Squeeze in a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice.
  •  Microwave the berries for about 2 to 3 minutes (depending on how powerful your microwave is).


  • The berries should be all hot and squishy, now stir in your sugar until it is completely dissolved.


  • Put the jam mixture back in the microwave and keep cooking (for bursts of a minute to a minute and a half) and then stirring.
  • Do this 4 or 5 times, keep an eye on it as it can bubble over and make quite a mess otherwise!
  • Please remember, the jam is VERY hot, take care when stirring.


  • Pour the jam in to a small tub or bowl and leave to set. As this recipe contains little pectin (an ingredient that helps jam set, it naturally occurs in citrus fruits – hence the lemon or lime juice), it will be quite runny. If you can bear to leave it over night it will set to a more syrupy, sticky consistency – perfect on toast for your breakfast!


We hope you enjoy this delicious jam! This makes a fairly small amount that should last you a couple of days. Stay tuned for our next crafty make 😀

Ship Ahoy!

Forget the parrots and the eyepatches, you know what every sea faring pirate really needs? A telescope! How else will he spot his treasure island from afar?!

This make is super quick and easy and uses our favourite household craft item, the cardboard loo roll tube. We’ve previously shown you how you can use them to make a racetrack game and a cardboard critter, so now prepare for the next item in your repertoire…

You will need:

3 loo roll tubes


masking tape


brown and gold paint

a paintbrush

felt tip pens

white tissue or tracing paper

  • Cut a tube all the way down lengthways and roll it back up so that it fits into one of the other tubes.
  • Tape the overlapping sides together so it remains it’s new, smaller size.
  • Then take the remaining tube and repeat the steps, so that it fits inside the smaller tube you just made.



  • Glue each roll in place, one inside the other, so you have your basic telescope model.
  • On your tissue/tracing paper, draw a circle by measuring around the biggest end of the telescope.
  • Paint the whole telescope brown and leave to dry.
  • While this is drying, draw a desert island scene in the circle on your paper. Cut out 1cm around the circle and then cut little darts in the excess paper so that you can tape it to the base of the telescope.
  • Put another piece of tape around the smaller end of the telescope and paint both pieces of tape gold.

And you’re done! Arrrrr!! You will see why we used thin paper for the island picture when you hold your telescope up to the light and look through it 😉

Be My Valentine!

Check us out! It’s a week to go until Valentine’s Day and we have our make all ready – we’re getting quite good at this deadline business.

Valentine’s cards are lovely, but you know what’s even lovelier? Chocolate. So, we have combined a heartfelt message with chocolate to bring you our…


The Box ~ You will need:

An empty paracetamol box (or anything around that size)

Heart shaped cookie cutter or template (but you can always draw by hand)


Craft knife or scissors

PVA glue




Step one

  • Place your heart in the centre of the box and draw around it with a marker pen.
  • Using your craft knife or scissors, cut the shape out.

Step two

  • Tear your newspaper in to strips and, using glue mixed with a little water, coat each strip with the mixture and cover the box. You can cover over the join at the bottom of the box, but make sure you can still open and close it at the top.
  • When this is dry (you will need to leave it overnight) give your box a few base coats of white paint – then you may decorate it however you like (paints, pens, stickers, glitter).

Chocolate Bark ~ You will need:

A bar of milk chocolate

A packet of white chocolate buttons

Loveheart sweets



  • Shape the foil round your box, so that you have a mold the same size and shape.
  • Break up the milk chocolate and carefully melt it in the microwave. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time and keep checking and stirring until its just melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate in to your mold.
  • Break up some of the white chocolate buttons and scatter them over your milk chocolate.
  • Then pick the Loveheart who’s message you like the most and stick this in the centre of the bark.
  • Leave to set in the fridge until completely solid.

The finished product!

  • Remove the bark from the foil and pop it inside the box. You’re done! 😀

Just incase you were worrying we’d gone totally girly on you, we have a more boy/tomboy orientated make coming up next…stay tuned!…






Get Your Rocks Off…

One of the many crafts we love looking at on Pinterest, are painted rocks and pebbles. We’re always on the lookout for flat or oddly shaped stones to decorate. You can paint pictures on them as if they were a tiny canvas, make creatures or even paint them as trees, houses, cars and people for a tiny rock town. We also seem to have amassed a collection of Altoid tins, so after a little brainstorming to combine the two we present…

Pet Rocks

Pet Rocks

You will need:

1 or 2 pebbles, small enough to fit in the tin with the lid closed

An Altoids (or similar) tin

Googly eyes


Paints and brushes

A scrap of fabric

Fimo or air drying clay

  • First, paint your rocks. You can add detail with a pen when the paint is dry if you like. We kept our rock pets quite simple, but for some more detailed inspiration, check out these amazing creatures!

(From the book: Painting Stones by Doris Epple and G. Verdant.)

  • You can paint or draw the eyes on, but we stuck googly eyes on ours. You can get bags of assorted sizes in most craft shops quite cheaply. You don’t have to stick to two eyes either, maybe your creature has three eyes, eyes in the back of it’s head, it could even be a cyclops!

Our rock pets

  • Next, decorate your tin. We painted the inside of ours – it helps to line it with paper or a thin fabric like calico first. Then used scrapbooking paper and a sparkly decal and glitter glue to decorate the lid.

Outside     Inside

  • We then cut a little blanket from a scrap of fleecy fabric and made a plate, mug and food from polymer clay. We used white clay and painted the details on after it had been baked.

Picnic time!

And you’re done! If you make your own pet rocks, leave us a link in the comments section – we’d love to see your creations!

Our next make, later this week, will be a Valentine’s Day gift, so stay tuned…

With Love From Me To You…

Well! That was a rather unexpected hiatus. First of all we were without internet for nearly two months, then snow arrived and all indoor activities were suspended until the snow had gone 😀

So, meanwhile, Max and Ruby both had birthdays, there was of course Christmas, our new dog sitting arrangements, guitar lessons and snow days. Ruby has been learning guitar at school and is in to her second term now. Here’s a little clip of her playing the Wallace and Gromit theme in her first term:

Our cat, George, sadly passed away last year and has since caused much debate in our household over whether we were ready for another cat. Then, by chance, we started dog sitting and have been totally converted! Having a dog is a HUGE responsibility, so we think we’ve got the best of both worlds being dog sitters. We take them for walks and get to play whenever we like, we have sleepovers when their owners are away, it’s great fun.

The dogs we look after are both cocker spaniels.


Callie is a working cocker spaniel. She is a little slimmer and taller than a normal cocker and has more energy than you would believe!! She is very loving and wants to go on walks all day long. Callie loves exploring in hedgerows and splashing about in any water she can find.


Paddy is a cocker spaniel. He is much more relaxed and sensible than Callie, although he loves to go on walks with her (and roll his eyes at her antics from a distance!) Paddy loves being made a fuss of, his comfy basket and treats.

The first day the snow fell, none of the teachers at Ruby’s school could drive through the narrow country lanes to get to work, so it was declared a snow day. We all dressed up warm and hiked to the sledging hills. There were sledgers, snowboarders – some people even went down the hill in a canoe!

snow day

Afterwards we went home for hot chocolate and marshmallows, which has got to be one of the best things about snowy weather 😀

Did you guys all have a good Christmas? Normal service will resume later in the week with our first make of 2013. Happy New Year everyone!

The Dog Ate My Homework…

Soooo, maybe we mentioned something about a step-by-step costume post, maybe. But at the start of the week, good intentions firing on all cylinders,  we got asked to look after a friend’s dog and had a school trip and suddenly realised…we just didn’t have enough time to fit it all in. So here’s the deal. We took some photos and you can see them, and we won’t tell anyone about the whole tutorial thing…right?

Ruby wanted to be a Catrina this year, a Dia Des Los Muertos lady replete with sugar skull make up, a veil, flowers and beautiful dress. We started with the make up which was way easier to do with face paints:

For her costume she wore an old prom dress of mine which was black and quite gothic, and we made a veil from an old net curtain. We had made red paper flowers to use as a headband, but it was pouring down with rain outside, so we made some waterproof black roses from bin bags – really easy – just twisted and scrunched into rose shapes then taped in place.

Max wanted to be a zombie biker. He wore a t shirt, jeans and a leather jacket (which he already owned, because he’s a dude!) We borrowed a skate boarder’s helmet off a neighbour, found a pair of old sunglasses in a drawer and used big bro’s scarf. Add a bit of facepaint (he was still slightly green this morning and tried to fake a day off school saying “But I look really sick!”) and we were done:

Then some of our cousins arrived and we were off!

We were cold and soaked through when we got back, but the main thing was – the candy buckets were full! Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween. Next up on the Ruby Makes calendar is Bonfire Night, with a firework themed fashion makeover…stay tuned!