Week 8 - Knitting

Our Craft of the Week this time is knitting. This is not a skill I ever managed to master myself but a child with good fine motor skills and a reasonable attention span may get a lot of pleasure from learning to knit. It is generally recommended that children of 8 years or older should be able to learn fairly easily but you may have a keen 6 or 7 year old whose manual dexterity is sufficiently well developed to enable them to do so too.

Wool or a wool/acrylic blend is the best kind of yarn to use as it is soft and easy to work with and feels nice on the hands. If you choose a light colour it can make it easier to see the stitches although if your needles are a light colour then darker yarn might be easier to see. Needles are normally metal although you can also get bamboo ones which are warmer to the touch. The needles should be straight and not too long so that they are not too awkward for little hands to manipulate.

Knitting has many benefits for children as it teaches fine motor skills, helps with counting and basic maths and also teaches focus and coping with frustration! Many online tutorials are available.

If you fancy finger knitting rather than using needles then www.redtedart.com have some lovely projects you could have a go at, just put knitting in to the search bar.

We will leave you with a couple of photos of entries in the knitting class at previous Shows.


Week 7 - Decorating Cupcakes

Last year for the first time we held a class for decorated cupcakes. It was a great success and, ahead of this year's online Show, we asked cupcake judge Rachel Gerrish (from Rachel's Creative Cooking) to give us her top tips so that we could use them for Craft of the Week.

Cupcakes can be decorated in many different ways from buttercream to fondant to a little runny white icing or chocolate ganache. Then there’s colour and flavour too! Why not try something creative that you haven’t seen before? Or a new flavour combination and decorations to match?

When you’ve chosen your icing, why not try using a piping bag to decorate your cupcakes? Use a piping nozzle of choice if you’re using buttercream and swirl from the inside or outside - be generous with it! If using white icing (or coloured), just cut the very end off of the piping bag and use to drizzle in a pretty pattern. Ask someone to help you fill your piping bag by folding the top third of the bag over their hand so that they can hold it securely whilst you spoon your icing inside - if you’ve cut the end, make sure you pinch it to prevent the icing from leaking!

If using fondant, roll it nice and thin, decorate it on your work surface, brush your cupcake with a little bit of water and stick the icing on top. If the tops are very risen, you can slice them off to make the icing sit nicely.

Decorations are endless on cupcakes... be creative. Cover them in sprinkles, neatly place small decorations all over or one in the middle, spray with glitter, drizzle with chocolate or writing icing. The choice is yours!

Below you can see some photos of last year's entries. This year of course we will not be able to see the actual cakes themselves because the Show is running online. When photographing your cakes for entry in the Show, make sure you use natural lighting to show off your cupcakes in their best light and place them on something to make them stand out. If just one photo will not truly do them justice then you may prefer to take a very short (10 seconds) video clip instead to give us that all round view. This can be uploaded to YouTube free of charge, you can make it unlisted so that the public cannot access is and you can attach the link for it to your Google Form so that the judge will be able to see it. We can’t wait to see the wonderful designs you come up with!


Week 6 - Painting

For Craft of the Week number 6 we are thinking about drawing and painting. At a basic level all you need to start is a sheet of paper and a pencil but of course you could also use crayons, pens, charcoal (I get in a mess with that one!), pastels or any type of paint that you have to hand. You don’t even have to paint with a brush, you can use other implements such as straws, cotton buds, sponges, bubble wrap, even fruit and veg – remember doing potato or apple prints when you were little? Or what about painting on to a pebble or tile instead of on paper?

You can choose to do a picture of anything; it might be a portrait of a person or animal, it might be the view from your window or from a favourite spot outside, perhaps a scene purely from your imagination or a picture of an object, it could be a series of geometric shapes, a pattern or something totally abstract.

For more inspiration have a look at these video clips kindly provided by Nick Cooke of Nickart fame and see the photos of some previous Show entries. Have fun creating!





Week 5 - Photography

Now that school is definitely out for summer and the weather has turned glorious again it’s a good time to get out and about with the camera. It doesn’t have to be a fancy camera, nothing is more portable than a mobile phone and the cameras on these don’t require any complicated set up!

If you are out and about you may able to take some photos of the scenery, buildings or wildlife. You might get a close up of an insect or a really beautiful flower. At home your pet may prove a willing subject or other family members may be happy to be photographed. Perhaps you have an interesting or unusual object that you could take a photo of – again, you might take a close up of some intricate detail.

In due course you will be able to enter your photos in Bourne End Junior Craft Show which is running entirely online this year. We will be accepting entries throughout September but there is no reason you can’t get snapping now in readiness!

Here are just a few of the entries from previous shows to give you some ideas.


Week 4 - Junk Modelling

This week we’ve chosen junk modelling for our craft of the week. Junk modelling is great because you can use anything, from old toilet roll tubes to pine cones, so you always have the materials you need! It’s also a fantastic way to recycle and give old packaging or clothes a new lease of  life.

Modelling is a great way to develop creativity and design skills as you can make anything; and it can be surprisingly mess free with a little bit of tape and a few staples! 

Maybe you could go on a nature walk and create a model of some of the wildlife you see? Or you could do a model of the landscape or a building in your favourite book. Robots, vehicles, dragons and other creatures are often popular choices. You could even use your imagination to come up with something entirely abstract - there are no rules! Check out some of the pictures of previous entries for inspiration, we’d love to see your creations!


Week 3 - Collage

Collage is great fun and you can do it with materials that you already have to hand, you just need some glue to stick them on with. You can use paper cut or torn from magazines, newspapers or holiday brochures, even from brightly coloured envelopes! Maybe you have some tissue paper, cotton wool or scraps of fabric. You can add silver foil, bubble wrap or even sandpaper to give some texture. If you are going to stick on lots of fairly heavy things then it is a good idea to use a sturdy piece of card as your background or base board. However, if you are only sticking on light scraps of paper then a normal piece of paper will do just fine as your canvas.

Landscapes or scenery work particularly well with collage, something with fields or mountains or the seaside, but you can also collage portraits of people or animals or even do a completely abstract design, just for the fun of it!

Have a look at some of the photos of collage entries from previous Shows and if you do have a go we would love to see the results- please post in the comments on our Facebook.



Week 2 - Embroidery

This week's craft is embroidery. We had some stunning entries in this class at last year's Show (see photos) and if it's something that you and your children would like to have a go at then this article gives some very helpful tips for getting started (with apologies for the American spellings!) 

Please note that while the kits and books they talk about also look good we haven't actually tried any of them out ourselves so we are not endorsing them.


Also other helpful videos can be found on the Red Ted Art YouTube channel.



Week 1 - Origami

This week we are focusing on Origami, great fun for young and old, something the whole family can get involved in, all you need is a square of paper!

There are many educational benefits to Origami too. Check out this article from Red Ted Art to find out what they are and for some ideas of simple projects to start you off.