We picked our first blackberries last weekend and we could almost see those cool, sunshiny autumn days peering over the horizon. I love autumn with its tumbling colours, harvest fruits, crisp mornings, welly boots and gusty wind. It’s time for me to do some jamming (as in sugary spread rather than dodgy musical outpourings) and to break out the autumn crafts.

If you’re feeling crafty I have news, below, of a fantastic eBay crafty competition to keep little hands busy over this last bit of the summer holidays (or to fill an autumn term weekend if you’re in Scotland!)

Let’s Go Fly A Kite!

It’s time to make a kite! We have made many, many kites over the years but this method produces the best fliers and the happiest faces!

To Make A Homemade Kite You Will Need:

2 sticks (those green garden sticks are ideal, Mr Thinly Spread and Bonus Boy preferred wooden barbecue skewers!)

Thin string

A plastic bag

Sellotape and Scissors

Tissue Paper

A craft knife, hacksaw or file

A stick from the woods/garden

Method

Cut notches in both ends of both sticks. This is to hold the string firmly later on. Bonus Boy has used a hacksaw but he’s not quite ready for fine work on the ends of thin sticks so he let Dad do this bit (with some persuasion!) You can use a craft knife or file to do this instead of a saw.

Tie the two sticks together firmly to form a cross (Bonus Boy wanted a ‘proper diamond shape with a long bit’ so they used a longer stick with a smaller one tied across it)

Tie a piece of string around the outside of the cross, slotting it into the notches as you go

Place your frame onto a plastic bag, we used a bin bag because Bonus Boy found the idea of a bin bag kite absolutely hilarious but any lightweight plastic bag will do the trick. Sellotape the outer guide strings onto the bag.

Neaten it up with a pair of scissors (you don’t have to open your mouth and stick your tongue out but it helps!)

Working on the horizontal stick, tie string halfway across each strut and then half way along the lower half of the vertical…it sounds complicated as most things with my husband and knots do but it really isn’t! Basically you are tying a loose V shape (You can see it clearly in the sellotaping picture up above). This stabilises the kite in a way a single string doesn’t, if you find your kite is still a bit badly behaved try adjusting the strings a bit.

Then tie another V onto that (the bit going up and out of the picture) onto which you can tie your flight string! Simple!

Now, every self-respecting kite needs a tail. Long strips of plastic bag work well but we fancied something more traditional. These tissue paper bows won’t last long in the wind but we can replace them and they are SO beautiful!

Of course making them involved a bit more open mouthed concentration!

Twist rectangles of tissue paper into a bow and tie them onto a long piece of string and onto the kite. You will need metres and metres of string which we wrapped round and round a nice Bonus Boy hand sized stick.

Take it outside and fly!

Now it’s your turn to get crafty!

eBay is helping parents to get ready for the back to school rush, while making those final weeks of the summer holidays fun. They are challenging families to show their creative flair to be in with a chance of winning up to £200 PayPal credit. From August 16th to August 30th, they’re sharing fun, creative and crafty activity ideas for parents to do with their kids. To bag one of  ten £60 PayPal credit prizes or one of four £200 Paypal credit grand prizes, simply upload a picture of your children’s crafty creation into their Facebook competition app.

I am delighted to have been asked to be a guest judge for this competition so get those entries flooding in, it’s a great prize, what would you spend £60 or even £200 of Paypal credit on?!

 

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