Passing On My Competitive Streak…

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Remember the butterfly garden Easter bonnet I posted about making the other day?

Well today was the school nursery Easter parade, which saw G marching and singing with her classmates, and…winning the Easter bonnet competition!

Now I don’t like to admit to being competitive, but, well, who isn’t just a little bit? So I did feel a little vindicated in spending most of Saturday afternoon making those darned flowers, and cajoling G into designing and making it with me.

The kids (and parents) had clearly put lots of effort in, and I should add that there were actually three winners, one for each group. I had a big grin on my face watching my biggest girl sing, dance, and flap her arms like a chicken with all her friends as they sang their way through such classics as ‘chick chick chicken’.

And so begins the Easter holidays – the first time I’ll actually have to fully entertain two children for a whole week on my own, before we go off on a little holiday next week. Eek!

Any tips welcome, otherwise come this time next week you’ll find me cowering in the corner clutching the gin…

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Craft: How To Make A Butterfly Garden Easter Bonnet

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“Over the next week we’d like you to make an Easter bonnet with your child for our Easter parade, which all parents are invited to attend.”

Wah! It’s enough to strike fear into any parent, even an avid crafter like me. Why? Well firstly there’s a time constraint – any craft project I undertake these days takes at least three times longer than it’s supposed to. Secondly it needs to be something G can help me with – no getting carried away looking at ridiculously extravagant bonnet ideas on Pinterest, and definitely no sewing or crochet allowed. And thirdly, other parents will be watching! Can I stick to number 2 without losing my crafty credentials?! No offence to my incredibly creative daughter, but she is only 4 after all, and her attention span is not exactly infinite.

When asked, G insisted she wanted pretty much everything on her bonnet, but we compromised on flowers and butterflies, as long as there was some pink and glitter in there. A quick trip to the pound shop gave us some basic materials – a plain bonnet (a little on the small side but nothing a bit of ribbon wouldn’t help with), some crepe paper in Easter colours and fake grass. We already had at home some pipe cleaners, green card, glitter and some sticky foam butterflies.

We started by making the flowers. To do this you need about 3-5 layers of crepe paper, measuring around about 4″ wide and 12″ long and laid on top of each other. We varied the size of our rectangles to make different sized flowers.

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Starting with the short side, fold the paper in a concertina style, with the folds about half an inch wide – don’t make the folds any wider or it’ll be hard to open up the flower later. Secure in the middle with a pipe cleaner and then trim the ends into either a rounded or pointed shape.

To turn these into flowers you first fan out your paper on either side of the pipe cleaner and them very carefully separate the layers from each other and fluff up into a flower shape. We made about 15 flowers in a variety of colours and sizes. This is by far the most time consuming bit (I never said it was a quick project!), and I have to confess G got bored halfway through and left me to finish the flowers on my own.

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Next you need to attach your flowers to the bonnet. Staring at the top, use a small pair of scissors to cut a little hole in the hat which you can then poke the pipe cleaner stems through. Do the same for a second flower next to your first, then turn the hat over to secure the two pipe cleaners to each other, holding the flowers in place. Continue until you’ve covered the whole top of the hat.

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Take the fake grass and tease it out into a strip. This then wraps around the brim of the hat, tucking underneath the flowers. We added some little foam flowers we had around the side to secure the grass in place.

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Next the leaves. Using green card, draw and cut out your leaf shapes. Then cover them with glue (both sides) and sprinkle with glitter. Take 2-3 leaves at a time, poke a hole in the bottom and attach to the hat with pipe cleaners.

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Pipe cleaners again for our sticky foam butterflies and dragonflies. We fixed them so they were flying above the flowers and would move a little as she walked. If you don’t have sticky foam ones like us (or wanted some slightly classier ones!) you could make them out of card and colour them in, or even use felt to cut them out of.

Last but not least, we attached some ribbon to either side of the hat for it to be tied onto G’s head neatly with a bow.

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You’ll have to wait until next week to see the bonnet in action at the Easter parade. In the meantime I’d love to see your creations or Easter bonnet plans!