Pretending to be crafty + Giveaway!

In collaboration with Kids Business & Spotlight

A couple of weeks ago I made my first big trip post-surgery and headed from Newcastle to Sydney to attend the Spotlight Make it Merry Christmas craft event, hosted by Kids Business.

You may be wondering why a decidedly non-crafty blogger like myself made the effort to attend a clearly crafty event. And I get your puzzlement, indeed I do.

Well, I needed an outing after many weeks confined to the house post-surgery. And the prospect of meeting some of my blogging buddies again was also a huge draw card.

But there was another reason I decided to go.

I must confess that I’m a Spotlight VIP member. A member of MANY years standing.

Now that you are back on your chair, let me explain this anomaly.

In my pre-kids/pre-blogging days, my hobby of choice was cross-stitching. I spent many, many years rhythmically moving my needle through aida cloth in order to make quite a few different creations.

Birth Cross stitch -

Delilah’s birth cross-stitch – finally completed a mere 3 years after her birth!!!

Apart from my kids’ birth cross-stitches (which took me some years to complete once I discovered blogging…oops…) I also completed pictures for my Nan and my Mum and Mother-in-law. Not to mention the quick little creations that I used to love producing for other family and friends.

It seems a lifetime ago now but I really did enjoy the art of cross-stitching and I hope to rediscover it again sometime in future. It was something I was at least semi-decent at doing.

Alas, my cross-stitching ability has never translated into other forms of craft, as became VERY apparent at the VIP day:

Angel craft -

I was really proud of these angels for my daughters until my husband pointed out their resemblance to the weeping angels from Doctor Who.

Doctor Who Weeping Angels gif

image source

Some of my so called “friends” agreed. Then, sadly, I then couldn’t unsee the resemblance…

Angel Craft w Comments -

To be honest, if I couldn’t even make something beautiful out of cardboard and stickers, maybe there really was no hope for me…

Nevertheless I persevered. Next I ended up at the cake decorating table and learned a few things about fondant (again, very badly). Having said that, Gilbert gobbled up the fondant covered biscuit when I got home so maybe it wasn’t so bad???

Christmas fondant covered biscuit -

If you look closely you’ll see where I had to stick an extra red candy cane decoration to hide a gaping hole I made in the fondant…

After my struggles with food decoration, I had a brainwave and decided to play to my strengths.

So I headed to the kids colouring table.

Now you’d think I’d be able to show off my awesome colouring in skills. (I’ve been practicing, you know).

Sadly, I still managed to make a mull of things and actually made a jolly bauble look downright evil…

Evil looking christmas bauble -

He looks like he has angry holly eyes. Or the moustache of Dr Eggman from Sonic…

So my bid to pretend to be crafty didn’t exactly turn out as planned. But the day out was not a complete waste. I was able to see some beautiful items that Spotlight have ready and waiting for you, more crafty types, as we enter the silly season…

Spotlight Collage -

There were some gorgeous fabrics, a range of wooden crafts, cardmaking and scrapbooking supplies as well as crafty decorating ideas on display. There really was so much to see and do.

The star of the show had to be the new MINC machine. Now, I didn’t even know what this machine was until I went along to the #makeitmerry event. But even non-crafty me wanted one of these babies after I saw it in action.

It turns black toner into gold – literally. The foil sticks to the black toner parts of an image, making them literally shine:

MINC Collage -

Despite my non-craftiness I did have a great time on the day and I want to thank Kids Business and Spotlight for the chance to do some dodgy craft. It reaffirms, yet again, that I’m much better at writing than crafting!


I was lucky enough to receive a $50 voucher from Spotlight and I would love to give it to one of my amazing readers (that’s you, by the way!). Because, let’s face it, I was only pretending to be crafty – I think the voucher would be best served by someone who could truly use it.

For your chance to win, leave a comment below and share a christmas craft idea. It could be something you plan to make or have already made. It could be Pinterest worthy or preschool worthy. It doesn’t matter.

What matters, is the most creative idea will win the voucher!

The competition is open to Australia residents only and ends 6pm AEDST Friday 6th November.

Good luck to you all – now go on and get crafty!

Disclaimer: I received craft goods to the value of $200 plus the $50 voucher from Spotlight as part of the #makeitmerry event. As always, my thoughts and views are completely my own – besides, who else would own up to so many craft fails???

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53 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    When my niece was little my mother and I used to make her an advent calendar… it basically involved a little tokenistic gift in the lead up to Christmas. The idea is to include vouchers for hugs etc… but we ended up buying little cute things like christmas decorations and knick knacks. We’d put them in a little Christmas bag (my mother made with Christmas material) and tied them up and then they’re attached to a long string and she would open one each morning. I wrote about it on my blog (but won’t do the self-promotion thing here).

    I’m not very crafty myself but loved the idea.
    Deborah recently posted..A Game of Thrones Colouring Book

    • Kirsty says:

      That is a great idea and such a nice change from the commercial chocolate filled advent calendars. Feel free to post a link to your blog post about it – I’d love to know more!

  2. Maxabella says:

    Craft is hard work! I used to be very uncrafty – I’m a creative soul and have always been into art, but craft just requires a level of attention to detail and finickyness (is that a word?) that I just don’ t have. That said, practise makes perfect and these days I’m right there crafting my little heart out. My girls have MADE me be a crafter. For Christmas this year we will be away, but that hasn’t stopped us from making a mini Christmas village out of polymer clay… stand by! x
    Maxabella recently posted..Permission to do nothing

    • Kirsty says:

      Standing at the ready Bron – you are such a good mum!

      Maybe there’s hope that I too can traverse the great craft divide one day….maybe…

  3. Vanessa says:

    Evil Baubles!! I love that!
    Vanessa recently posted..I Don’t Know What Fancy Food Is

  4. ann says:

    Ooh standby I actually have some easy ideas, will put them in a blog post!!
    ann recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Halloween funnies 2015

  5. I do love craft, though sadly never enough time these days. Am thinking for Christmas this year to make monoprint star cards. Will have to see how we go.
    stephanie@stephsjoy recently posted..Taipei breakfast

    • Kirsty says:

      Star cards sound really pretty Steph – fingers crossed you find the time, inspiration and opportunity to bring them to life!

  6. Gayle Richardson says:

    I am the least crafty person around, so to be honest I google – EASY CHRISTMAS CRAFTS – but importantly you read the reviews to see if it really is easy! Luckily my daughter enjoys the crafting and not the outcome!

    • Kirsty says:

      Gayle, we could be twins. Except you’re a better mother than me and will actually consider doing craft AND even go so far as to google it. Sadly, I’m not that proactive…!

  7. Trish says:

    i am about as crafty as you – but i’d like to make hand print wreaths and hand print Chrsitmas tree – on a tea towel or something .
    Trish recently posted..Wordless Wednesday : Lifou ~ Loyalty Islands

  8. karina l says:

    I make my own snowmen out of marshmallows. Great easy craft idea for the kids to do too!

    • Kirsty says:

      That sounds like something I could possibly do Karina. But I couldn’t do it with the kids – my girls LOVE marshmallows and I can tell you now, there would be no marshmallows left to make snowmen with if they got their hands on them!!!

  9. Annie says:

    I would like to make my own Christmas Stockings for everyone in my family.

  10. Amanda says:

    I like to incorporate crafts into my decorations. I have some reliable favourites that are recurring each year like bon-bons, confectionery tree (using Styrofoam, toothpicks and lollies), paper lanterns and decorated baubles; But each year I like to try my hand at something new and different. This year I aim to do a xmas wreath and a gingerbread house.

    • Kirsty says:

      A gingerbread house – good luck with that Amanda! I love the look of them – they really do add something a little bit more special to christmas x

  11. Ern says:

    At first glance I thought your Christmas Angels were ‘Dalek Angels’ for the Dr Who fan(s) in your family!!

    Home made bon bons. You can get the cracker bit that goes bang at Spotlight, each cracker can be personalised, contain a home made hat/crown made to suit the recipient, along with a little toy or nick knack that the cracker puller will use or enjoy, NOT to forget home made bon bons contain super funny jokes that the immediate family get to contribute to, so that the extended family laugh and laugh.

    • Kirsty says:

      God, yes, the Doctor Who resemblances do continue, don’t they? Love the homemade bon bon idea too. I love bon bons but end up buying them every time and always get the same lame jokes and crappy, already broken token gifts! A homemade version sounds like a brilliant idea!

  12. Di says:

    I love craft, especially Christmas craft because you can go all out. If you’ve got time, and I mean plenty of it to dedicate, then make life-size statues of Father Christmas, Mrs Clause and perhaps even an Elf. A few years ago I did all three, and set up by the Chrissy tree they look amazing. The whole family expect them to be there when they arrive on Christmas Eve for dinner now. A bit pricey too when you add it all up at the end, but they last and everyone loves them so why not! Even passers by the window have knocked on the front door to comment on them (yes I spin them around the look out the window during the day). Anyway, to start you have to build a skeleton out of wood or chicken wire, then bubblewrap for shape, then let the paper mache (using plaster and segments of fabric) begin. Once done, paint the bits that won’t be hidden behind clothing, keeping a steady hand for the eyes. Once dried it’s time to dress them. I purchased off cuts of fabric and sewed garments directly, by hand, onto each figure. For hair, wigs from Spotlight or you can get this awesome hair like, curly fabric that you glue gun onto the heads, piece by piece until it looks like a real head of hair. Add gloves, shoes from the op-shop or your own wardrobe, and old belt, earrings for Mrs Clause. Soz, probably to much detail but you do need a glue gun, lots of glue sticks, and I forgot, a sturdy square base made out of wood so they don’t topple over on completion. Have had people ask me to make them one or a whole set, but the time it takes is just out of control. A definite labour of love, but do it!!!! So worth it, for the smiles on everyone’s faces.

    • Kirsty says:

      WOW! You certainly went above and beyond with that project Di. But it does sound like it was worth it and it’s given many people much joy over the years. Too big a project for a non-crafty person like me but well done you for putting in the time and effort and making something truly magical!

  13. Mrs B says:

    I love to make Christmas cards and baubles fr the tree. With the baubles, I pop a photo in of my child so that way we know what they looked like in that year.

    • Kirsty says:

      That’s awesome Mrs B – wish i had’ve thought of that when my kids were younger. What a fab way to celebrate xmas as well as making beautiful memories x

  14. Karen Edwards says:

    This year my daughter and I are going to make our own teachers Christmas gifts so we’re going to make our own clay earrings Spotlight have a great range of clay and tools the hardest part will be picking the colors we might even make some for ourselves πŸ˜‰ lots of FUN.

    • Kirsty says:

      That sounds like a fab idea. I was taken by a beautiful turquoise on the day – definitely a colour to consider. And you have to make some for yourselves too!

  15. claire evans says:

    stain glass snowflakes. These can be stuck on the windows. all you need is cellophane and clear contact. cut out colourful snowflakes shapes and place the contact that is sticky side up. Once finished it will stick to the window ad all the colours will flood ion, in the sunshine

  16. Mary Preston says:

    My craft level is pretty Pre-School worthy as indicated.

    I like to make bonbons, but I no longer use used toilet rolls as the family flatly refused to eat the chocolates I stuffed down the middle. I save us kitchen wrap rolls now.

    I like to recycle so the bonbons are decorated with the previous years used gift wrap & ribbon. The family do their best to ignore the scrunch-worthiness.

    I’m of the opinion that when it comes to Christmas decorations MORE is a must. I go to town on the bonbon decorating. As my sister pointed out one year it looked like an elf AND a reindeer had thrown up all over them. Christmassy to the max!!

    • Kirsty says:

      This comment rocks Mary – I would love to compare preschool craft tips with you over a toilet roll bon-bon filled with chocolates!

  17. carly says:

    my kids are always drawing so we turn their artwork into christmas wrapping paper πŸ™‚

  18. At least you’re getting your craft out there, mine is still in my head, it’s all a matter of time and changing things up a bit. I love that your embroidery took 3 years, sounds just like me. Hello crafty. Zoe xx
    Zoe | A Quirky Bird recently posted..Weekend Rewind | A Matter Of Time

  19. Jane says:

    Last year my husband, children and I made three reindeer out of wooden logs, twigs etc. We’d seen them being made on a tv show and thought it would be a fun project to do together. The reindeer tuned out well and we placed them on our front lawn as our Christmas decoration. Unfortunately not everyone had the Christmas spirit and the reindeer were stolen one night just before Christmas. We had so much fun making the reindeer, but were so saddened when they were stolen πŸ™

  20. Jennifer B. says:

    We have a home-made CHRISTMAS WREATH for our front door… A metal ring ~25cm in diameter filled with strips of fabric tied around it and bunched tight. Nothing tricky… single knots, mixed green/red/white patterned cotton fabrics torn into strips ~2x12cm. The haphazardness of it all give a great rustic appeal!

  21. Kasey Evans says:

    Homemade BonBons indivually made with a personal message inside, homemade gift and paper hats.

    • Kirsty says:

      I do like that idea. I always buy the dodgy cheap bon bons from the shops with the same old dodgy “gifts” and the same old dodgy jokes inside. Making your own would certainly be an improvement and a personal touch too!

  22. Hannah says:

    For my wedding this year instead of traditional bouquets (I’m allergic to most flowers) my bridesmaids and I filled giant glass baubles with some dried flowers, fake flowers, and ribbon. Everybody loves the idea and thought they were really sweet – but the best part about it was us five girls all being together the night before the big day, making our own baubles. It was a really special night, and I absolutely loved the baubles!

    Anyway, I’d love to make this a theme – this will be my husband and my first Christmas alone together, so we were planning on purchasing some more smaller baubles, filling them with some different things – some trinkets from the wedding, and a few with more Christmassy fillings. Our plan is to make a few every year for the rest of our lives πŸ™‚

    • Kirsty says:

      Congratulations on your wedding and well done on the truly imaginative way to avoid using fresh flowers for your bouquet! I think this is idea is so sweet and fun. Perfect for making lasting memories x

  23. sarah mary says:

    I like step by step tutorials so I was happy to find a video online showing me how to make personalized stockings to hang up. I’m not exceptionally DAY savvy but I’ll give it a go.

  24. Janine Gardiner says:

    We love to change our colour decor each Christmas, so we buy different coloured fabric and ribbons and wrap blank canvases in different sizes and hang them on our walls like giant presents. The kids love it, they are so easy to make, just staple the fabric tightly to the frame, and they look totally amazing.

  25. Renee says:

    make your own Christmas balls for the tree with foam and some great materials from Spotlight

    • Kirsty says:

      That sounds easy enough that even I could try that – no doubt my christmas balls would look a little creepy though…. πŸ˜‰

  26. Kathy Bowdlert says:

    Last Christmas I revisited a craft project I did with my kids some 25 years ago, re-crafted with my Grandchildren. I’d collected wooden curtain rings from op shops to get the project started. The wooden curtain rings come with a round eye hook already screwed in the top for hanging on the Christmas tree. We collected gum nuts from under some big gum trees on one of our nature walks, the gum nuts were then glued using wood glue(PVA) to the curtain ring, sprinkled with glitter and left to dry. Once the gumnut ring was dry, carefully cut pictures of Grandkids or other chistmasy pictures small enough to fit and glue to the back of the gum nut ring, leaving the picture able to be seen from the front and leave to dry. Some rings I left without the picture so it’s just a sparkley gum nut ring. Thread red, green gold or silver ribbon through the top hanging hook and tie in a loopy bow, then when decorating the Christmas tree get the kids to hag there own gumnut ring on the tree.

    • Kirsty says:

      What a lovely way to bridge the generations by going back to such a simple yet effective craft project. We have the same wooden hooks in our daughter’s room but I’d never considered them in such a way before. What an awesome idea Kathy!

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