Getting creative with Minions at Tesco

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

One of the brilliant things about being a mum is being able to suggest random activities when they take your fancy. No-one blinks an eyelid when you suggest making fun stuff if you say you’re doing it with your kids. If I’m honest, I was always making fun stuff even before the children arrived but lets keep that quiet, eh?

Its fair to say Minions are BIG NEWS in our house – There’s so much Minion stuff around in the shops that we seldom come back without a Minion themed item. Even better are the after school trips to our local Tesco, purely to buy fun Minion stuff.

We were recently asked to show off our favourite supermarket and undertake a ‘fun shop’. No problem! Our Tesco is HUGE! I think it was the largest in Europe when it opened about 5 years ago. There’s so much variety and tons of special offers. We were actually in there last week and Tara asked about buying all the Minion stuff in the world so I promised her we would go back in a couple of days …Here’s what we found:

Minion Tins Tesco

We bought some really cute Minion Tins and filled them with Minion Eyes (also known as Sultanas & White Chocolate Chips). Love this cheap after-school snack that the girls just devour!

Minion Eye Balls After School Snack

We also hit the Minion stationery and party aisle…

Minion Stationery Party Aisle

and made Minion Cup Holders!

Minion Cup Holders

But as with any fun project, there must always be food involved. So we made some Easy-Assemble Minion Cookies:

Easy Assemble Minion Cookies

What you need:

  • 1 packet of round Shortbread Cookies
  • 1 pack of yellow fondant icing
  • 1 pack of black fondant icing
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Cool boiled water
  • Equipment: Rolling Pin, paintbrush, straw, kitchen knife ( a child’s one will do if kids are making these), scissors


  • Roll out the yellow icing and cut out into circles
  • Paint the back of the icing with the cool boiled water and attach to the top of the cookie
  • Roll out a pea sized amount of black icing into a circle & stick to the yellow icing
  • Roll out a small amount of black icing and cut into thin strips – attach either side of the black circle
  • Insert one white chocolate chip into the black dot
  • Cut the end of the straw in half to make a smile shape and insert into the yellow icing

Minion Biscuits

As you can see, we had a ball. We loved getting creative and having fun and obviously eating what we had made afterwards. Who knows, our Minion tablecloth might still be on when we eat Christmas Dinner!


Interplay Snow Flake Charm Jewellery Review and Giveaway

Interplay Snow Flake Jewellery Craft Set Giveaway

Where did my baby go? One minute she was a pre-schooler depending on me for everything, the next she is sat making jewellery and doing a pretty good job of it!

Its always a gamble trying toy sets – particularly ones that could result in a lot of hard work like jewellery making – We were really pleased with the Interplay Snow Flake Jewellery Craft Set though. It comes in quite a small box that seemed quite underwhelming – I have to admit the box was hanging around for a few days before I had chance to get Tara organised with it. I suggested that Millie (age 13) might like to open it and help Tara out and luckily she agreed.

They set to work opening the box – First impressions? Wow, there are so many beads and trinkets. The box says there is enough to make 10 pieces of enchanted jewellery but there seems so much more. The quality of the snow flake charms is great – they are really pretty and seem less tacky than other children’s jewellery sets we have had.

Children's Jewellery Making Set

Millie had to help Tara with cutting the elastic for her bracelets and tying a knot in the end but after that, she was all systems go! Its her first real time of doing grown up crafts on her own and she loved it. She’s happily modelling her bracelet and went straight on to make more.

jewellery craft set bracelet

The Interplay Jewellery Craft Set has a RRP of £7.99 which is incredible value – I’ll definitely be stocking up on a few of these for Christmas presents. Don’t be fooled by the small box – this is a set that can provide many happy hours of play. (For ages 4-7 years)

Jewellery making set

I’m very happy to be able to offer a Snow Flake Jewellery Craft Set to the one lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions – Please leave your comment at the end of this post rather than on the Rafflecopter widget to be a valid entry. Open to UK entries only – The giveaway will end at 11.59PM on Tuesday 20th October. After this time, a winner will be selected at random then informed as soon as possible – The winner will be asked to give contact details for Interplay to be able to send their prize. Best of luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We were sent an Interplay Snow Flake Jewellery Set for the purpose of this review – All opinions are Tara’s & Mine (Millie said the set was exquisite – She may have been having a teenage moment!)

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Fudging It #Weekendcreations

#Weekend Creations Linky Food & Crafts - No Theme

I should be bringing you luscious pictures of pale, summery lemon fudge today. I should be regretting nibbling on fudge all day. I should be panicking about fitting into my dress for Violet’s First Holy Communion next Saturday. But I’m not. (Well, actually I am wondering if it might be wise not to eat between now and next weekend)

Why no fudge?

Let me explain …

I wait for Dermot to get home so I can pop to the supermarket in peace.
I trek around the supermarket with one child in tow.
I put the shopping away.
I weigh all the ingredients out.
I pop the milk, sugar and salt in a pan.
I bring it to the boil.
I stand there staring at it, wondering why there are worryingly brown flecks.
I stand there for a further 8 minutes, convincing myself all will be well.

I throw it away.
Wash an incredibly burnt pan.
Search the cupboards to find no evaporated milk.
Go back out to the supermarket.
Wash one child.
Put 2 children to bed.
Start again with the evaporate milk.
Stand there for 13 minutes wondering why the fudge is boiling but getting no thicker.
Think maybe it will work anyway.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in.
Place fudge in the fridge.
Watch half an hour of Election night disaster.
Go to bed.

Wake up.
Pack children off to school.
Occupy Tara.
Mop up blood for an hour after Tara busts my lip.
Check the fridge.

Throw fudge away and give up.

I blame David Cameron.

(I know none of this is earth shattering – Just a tiny bit frustrating)

And so there is my #WeekendCreation for this week. The whole week has not be a complete write off – You may have seen a rather successful Baileys Chococcino Cake and some super quick Maple Oat Pecan Scones.

I have managed to pick up my crochet hook this week though – I am decorating these pretty little IKEA pots with their very own crochet jackets a la Attic 24 style. There’s still a way to go but once you start on the pot jackets they come together quite fast so I hope to have some finished articles to show you next week – complete with herbs on my kitchen window sill!

crochet herb pot

Thanks to everyone who joined in with the last #weekendcreations. I’m so pleased that for the first week we had some lovely entries.

My first foodie featured post for #weekendcreations is this magnificent Sprouted Mung Bean Salad from Herbs Spices & Tradition. This is so pretty – how can it be good for you too?! Even I’m tempted to have a go – and I’m NEVER tempted by Mung Beans!

Sprouted Mung Bean Salad

I’m so impressed with my featured Craft entry from Red Rose Mummy – Pippa is making her very own creation due in just a few weeks and has still managed to produce some toddler craft. I’m planning on doing so much craft stuff with Tara before she starts school – When I can get her away from wanting to write everyone’s name that is! I love Pippa’s Paper Plate Rock Pool – It has inspired me to do so many crafts with paper plates.

Paper Plate Rock Pool

The linky is now open for next week’s #weekendcreations – I hope you have had a much more successful week than I have! All food or crafts posts are welcome – there is no theme. All entries will be commented on, tweeted, pinned & shared on Google+. If you have chance, please visit at least one other entry and please pop the badge in your post to spread the word about #weekendcreations.

The linky will remain open until Monday at 10PM and I’ll be back next Friday with a sparkling new roundup (and no failed fudge!)

Casa Costello
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I’ve popped another badge here – If you like reading Casa Costello & would consider nomination me for a Blog Award, I would be so chuffed! Thank you!

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Fairy Garden Review – Interplay Craft Set

Interplay Fairy Garden finished product

We are massive craft fans in our house (as our spare room will testify!) I’ve always allowed my girls to use materials that they find around the house and encourage them to be as creative as possible. On the whole, they are fantastic at coming up with ideas and love making projects.

There are times though when they need a little stimulation or a project to work on. I’m very conscious that having Tara at home with me until she starts school, she needs a wide variety of toys and crafts to play with.

We were recently invited to review the Interplay Fairy Garden Craft set suitable for ages 4+. I thought at least one of my girls would enjoy it – I am so lucky that all 3 love making and creating.

All 3 girls were suitably interested when the Fairy Garden arrived – Violet did lose interest though when she found out we had to actually go and get our own soil from the garden.

So … into the garden we went. A sunny (if a little blustery) day was just the job to get Tara, Me & Nanna out into the garden. We collected the soil from the borders in a matter of seconds – then spent a while choosing the perfect pebbles that we wanted to put in the garden. You don’t have to include pebbles but by now we were well into it!

The whole point of the Fairy Garden is to plant the grass seeds and wait a week for the grass to grow. There was no way Tara at 4 was up for this waiting but she was more than happy with our cheat plants that we inserted in the meantime. (as you can tell from the picture)

Interplay Fairy Garden

There are loads of parts to the Fairy Garden and you can put as many or as few as you like in it. As you can see from the completed Fairy Garden above, we went the whole hog and put everything in. We even sprinkled the little glittery stars in the Fairy’s water bath to attract more fairies. The washing is a little bit fiddly but very cute as are the toadstools.

inside the fairy garden

Tara could be really hands on with this toy – there were no sharp edges. The actual bowl is silicone so it really didn’t matter if she dropped it. We do recommend making the Fairy Garden outside just in case soil spills but if its a rainy day, its not the messiest craft activity ever anyway. There are lots of little pieces – like the glittery stars and the teeny pebbles for the footpath but these add to the charm for a 4 year old. The picture below is Tara actually laying the pebble path to the Fairy house. The Fairy house was the only bit we had trouble with – Made out of foam, it blows away if the wind even thinks about blowing. We did laugh as it blew about the garden on more than one occasion! We ended up weighing it down with a big stone through the window to solve the problem.

building a Fairy Garden

We love our Fairy Garden – the grass is starting to grow. Its definitely more suitable for younger children – especially those that like to get stuck in building it. We have a Fairy door at the bottom of the tree in our garden – I like to think now the Fairies have their own garden to play in!

Disclosure: We were sent an Interplay Fairy Garden for the purpose of this review. RRP £14.99

Mini Marzipan Birds’ Nests Tutorial – Center Parcs Family Blogger April Challenge

how to make mini marzipan birds' nests

Even I think these are cute! Tiny mouthfuls of marzipan with a mini egg all disguised as Birds’ Nests. For people that are rather fond of grammar, I’ve had massive arguments with myself about where the apostrophe goes!

I’ve was set the task of designing (and making) a Bird’s Nest as part of my involvement with the Center Parcs Family Blogger club. There’s all sorts of tips for having a go and making your own on their website – why not have a go? CP suggested using liquorice laces which gave me the inspiration to use marzipan strands – and I could nibble it as I went along!

Here’s how to make your own Mini Marzipan Easter Birds’ Nests:

how to make edible bird's nests

You will need:

  • Marzipan (about 100g makes loads!)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Knife
  • Small Mould/Mini cake tins – I used a tray for making chocolates
  • Petit Four cases
  • Brown Food Colouring
  • Sugar Glue (or cooled boiled water)
  • Mini Eggs

1. Colour most of your marzipan brown leaving a small amount for making the ‘straw’

2. Line the tray/mould with the cases shaping them to fit – mine were rectangles

3. Place a small flattened circle of brown marzipan in the base of each case

  how to roll out marzipan

4. Glue around the edge of the circle with the sugar glue (try not to touch the cases with the glue but its not the end of the world if you do)

5. Roll out the brown marzipan until quite thin and cut into thin strips

6. Wrap the strips inside the petit four cases, building up and sometimes overlapping the edges

7. Leave to dry/harden for approx 2 hours

8. Roll tiny sausages of natural marzipan to look like straw and drop into the nests

9. Unpeel the cases away from the nests and plop in a mini egg (or a furry chicken)


edible bird's nests tutorial

‘I’m a Center Parcs Family Blogger and visited Whinfell village with my family. If you want to enter to win a place as a wildcard winner just go to the challenge page to find out how’

Celebration Popcorn & Some Foodie Resolutions

white chocolate marshmallow pecan nuts sweet popcorn

I’m having the most perfect New Year’s Eve tonight. We went to the Pantomime at the Liverpool Empire earlier with the girls, been for a delicious Italian meal at Il Forno in Liverpool, had drinks at our friends for a few hours afterwards and are now back home with the girls snugged up in bed. I’m not spending the whole of my NYE on the computer but wanted to share one of my favourite recipes with you. Tonight I will be drinking Prosecco (Yep, I’ve still got some left from Christmas) and nibbling on my favourite way to eat popcorn, Celebration Popcorn. So called because I did out the recipe near enough every time there is a celebration.

If you got some popping corn in the house, you still have time to make it before the clock strikes twelve. Here’s how:


  • Around 75g of unpopped popcorn (available in most supermarkets – I got mine from the Asian aisle in Tesco – not sure why it was there!)
  • 50g Mini Marshmallows – plus extra for sprinkling on later
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 50g Pecan Nuts (or whatever your favourite nuts are)
  • Vegetable oil for spreading around the base & sides of the pan
  • Popping Candy for extra explosive fun (optional)


  • In a large pan, drizzle about 1tbsp oil and brush around the sides and all over the botton
  • Pour in the popping corn and turn on the heat – MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE LID ON
  • After 2 or so minutes the corn should start popping (Its fun to watch if you have see through lids on your pans) – Carry on with the heat until the corn pops start slowly down and there are several seconds between each ‘pop’
  • While this is happening, place the marshmallows and white chocolate (chopped finely if not already in small pieces) into the microwave and heat on high at 30 seconds intervals. It should take between 4-6 shots until you have a ‘bloop’ consistency. It will never go that runny.
  • Transfer the choc/marshmallow mix into a large bowl and add the corn. Mix thoroughly until well combined. Some corn chunks may break down. The bloop will turn into a crumb like consistency – most odd but great to eat.
  • Break up the pecans and mix well into the corn mix.
  • Just before serving, add a sprinkle of popping candy if you are using it – I also added extra marshmallows for extra chewiness.
  • get your glass and enjoy your celebration!

For 2014, I have made some Foodie plans/resolutions: During this year, I am going to try to:

  • Eat 5-a-day (or more) – Don’t gasp, I know I should have been doing this already.
  • Drink more (Not alcohol!) My water intake has dropped a lot – I’m going to experiment with different flavours of cordials and non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Continue experimenting with different foods – 2013 was quite a good year for this -I’m going to keep up the good work and use some of this stuff in my cupboards.
  • Have a supply of homemade frozen meals in the freezer – Around 2-3 times per week, Millie and I have to eat our evening meal in the car or at a leisure centre for her swimming training. We give Meals on Wheels a whole new meaning.
  • Dermot has put us on a ban of buying any alcohol during January (We may even see how we go through to February). We’ve gained quite a stash over the past month so we need to economise. Watch out for some odd combinations – I’m still not sure we’ll drink my mum’s massive bottle of Lambrini or that really old bottle of Cherry Liquor though.
  • I’m all about Food Bargains at the minute – I’m not about to start queuing with the masses at the fridges while the shop assistant puts the ‘Whoops’ stickers on but I’m really going to cut down on our food bill. 2014 is the year of Frugal Eating for us!
  • We are going to experiment with different cuts of meat and types of fish.
  • Buy Less shop made cakes & biscuits – It annoys me every time I see the cupboard full of pre-made cakes – Surely I should be able to have a house full of homemade goodies?!
  • I’m getting back to sugarcraft – I lost the joy of doing it for a hobby but now there has been a while since my last wedding cake went out, I can start to experiment again.
  • Join in with linkies – I love discovering new blogs and recipes. I also love being part of the foodie community. Long may it continue!
  • And a biggie … I’m aiming for AT LEAST 200 FOOD BLOG POSTS. (If I type it in capitals, it has to happen doesn’t it?)

I also have a few other resolutions:

  • To continue with my reading challenge of reading 500 books by the time I’m 50 – considering I’m only 3 books in and I only have 9 years and 8 months to go – I’ve got some work to do this year.
  • This year is all about crafts for me too – I’ve sorted the craft room (at last!) and I’m ploughing on with my WIP’s. I’m taking part in the Granny Square Crochet Blanket – I’m aiming for 2 squares per week and am motoring on with our plan to crochet bunting to be displayed at the St Helens 10K in March in aid of raising money for the Steve Prescott Foundation
  • My inbox WILL be clear *cough*
  • I’m going to walk to school more – This is probably the last year I’ll ever have a pram with me *weeps* so I’m going to make the most of it.

Have you made any resolutions/plans/goals – whatever the trendy term is this year? I’d love to hear them. Don’t forget, while your working them out, enjoy a bowl of Celebration Popcorn! Happy New Year!

The Big Draw 2013 – Imperial War Museum Manchester

Big Draw Imperial War Museum half term activities

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to take part in a preview of The Big Draw 2013 at The Imperial War Museum in Manchester. This event is inviting families to take part in the world’s largest drawing festival. The people at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) say it doesn’t matter what age you are or how good you are at art – that was enough for me, off we went.

Soldier's boots

Our preview day started with storytime in the Open Studio which was suitable for very young children. There were quite a few tots there on the day that could happily potter around the room, dressing up in the war inspired outfits if they wished.

We then moved on to the actual drawings. This was a brilliant way of introducing wartime objects to children. We could explain to the kids what things were (such as gas masks and powdered egg tins) whilst they were drawing. The team from IWM were very welcoming and friendly to us all, allowing us time to chat and draw – they also managed to make us feel like our drawings were fantastic somehow – true people skills! For children of Millie’s age (11) it was a chance to cement what she had already learnt from school and for Violet (7) it was a brilliant introduction to how things used to be.

ration books

What we drew

We spent absolutely ages going around the Main Exhibition Space. We highly recommend the Big Picture Show from Horrible Histories on Rotten Rationing which is shown on all walls in the Exhibition area. It lasts around 10 mins and keeps the kids enthralled. A must to see and hilarious!

There are plenty of Handling areas that kids can get their hands on. I spent so much of the day marvelling at the fact that the IWM has been open for just over 11 years and I had never visited before. We will definitely be going again. What realised surprised us was how spacious and clean the whole building was. The extra space ensured that littlies such as Tara had the freedom to roam whilst we were looking at exhibits. You also appreciated just how big some of the exhibition pieces are too.

Large War exhibits

The highlight of our day was a chance to go up the Air Shard – the lift is truly terrifying and fantastic all in one go. I’m not great with heights but loved getting out of the lift at the top, being able to see the ground through the grilled floor and then seeing the whole of Manchester from above. I cannot praise the security guards and in fact, everyone that we met at the IWM enough. They couldn’t do enough to help us (they didn’t know we were there for review purposes – I got the sense that they just love their job).

Our view of Manchester from the top of the Air Shard

Our view of Manchester from the top of the Air Shard

There are just a couple of points I do feel I need to point out for first time visitors with children:
* On the way into the Cafe (which served a lovely soup and again had very friendly staff) are images from the Iraq war. Some of them show some injuries and children being rescued. My Violet at 7 was very intrigued but also a little alarmed – If you go up in the lift with young children, you can avoid these picture if you need to.
* One of the small rooms was set out like a living room which was very appealing to the girls after walking around. This room was showing a video of the Vietnam war and the famous image of the naked child running to safety.

I know that these areas are not particularly suitable for my children at the moment so next time we go, I will avoid these.
I would definitely recommend reading any literature you get when you visit. There is so much to see that you can easily walk past something and not realise its significance – The mangled wreckage from the World Trade Centre was just chilling when we realised what it was.

Guess the trench stench activity - Stinks but great for the kids!

Guess the trench stench activity – Stinks but great for the kids!

Half Term events for The Big Draw run from Saturday 26 October – SUnday 3rd November.
Admission to the IWM is free – Donations are welcome. Tickets to the Air Shard are an amazing £1.60 (80 pence for concessions).
Opening times 10am-5pm.

For more information visit
Any Big Draw sketches can be shared on the IWM’s Facebook page here

Learning to Crochet with Black Sheep Wools

black sheep wools

I’ve mentioned on here before about wanting to learn to crochet properly. I’ve had a stab at it on a couple of occasions but I never seemed to get any better. I’m not the sort to want to be just ok at something. I have endless patience with other people learning but when it comes to myself, I want to be excellent straightaway. Maybe that competitive streak I thought I never had, has arrived at the age of 40?

learning to crochet

I was talking to the ladies from Black Sheep Wools when I met them at Blogon Manchester in July. I have been to their shop a couple of times for a browse (not only do I want to be the best, I also want to own EVERYTHING when I start something new) but I didn’t know anything about their courses.

When I was invited to learn to crochet at Black Sheep Wools, I jumped at the chance. There were 3 other bloggers there on the day. Heather from Not from Lapland, Emma from Mum Mum Heart and Ang from This Is Life.
We had a lovely afternoon. Our teachers made it so relaxed. We laughed, we ate cake but most incredibly we actually learnt a lot too. For some reason, just being in the training room helped the crochet to stick.

crochet know how sheet

Black Sheep Wools is a haven for anyone into knitting, crochet or needlecrafts. Based in Culcheth, Warrington it is ideal for a short visit from many places in the North-West or even a longer visit. Even when I didn’t have my obsession with yarn, I enjoyed pottering around the shop. There are always members of staff on hand to help with any queries and the cafe is fab too! I know because we ate huge chunks of cake during our afternoon course! They have several different types of workshop – all of which can be accessed through their website – I defy you not to spend hours searching through this website! Its gorgeous!

crochet work in progress

Since visiting Black Sheep Wools, I’ve been crocheting away and have made huge progress on my pram blanket. I started this last year and if I’m honest my Mum had done most of it. Up until now! I’m doing line after line and loving it. I’ve even become confident enough to change colours myself.

We have been invited back to Black Sheep at the end of November, so watch this space what I create after that! I just need to get to grips with the good old elusive Granny Square next.

Scotch Super Glue Precision Applicators – A new breed of glue

new style scotch super glue

Scotch Super Glue has had a revamp. Its more than a revamp, its completely changed since my childhood memories of a teeny tube that only my Mum and Dad were allowed to use. I remember that they had to use the tube really quickly otherwise it would clog up and no matter how hard they tried, one of them ALWAYS managed to get some stuck on their fingers.

I was sent some packs of Scotch Super Glue to review a few weeks ago. The teeny tubes are no more – in their place are some funky plastic holders with applicators to allow the glue to come out in tiny amounts. The applicators have a lid which stops the glue drying up and guess what? After the glue being open for 3 weeks, its still going strong!

sticking buttons on glass

I was asked by Scotch if I would try out the glue on a craft project of my choice. How hard is it to think of a suitable craft project off the top of your head? Well, on Sunday I went to the first Blog On Conference in Manchester. We all got given mega goodie bags and in mine was a really cute old fashioned milk bottle from Handpicked Media. Straightaway I wanted to fill it with buttons. I have a ‘thing’ about buttons – cannot throw away anything without taking the buttons off it. The milk bottle needed a bit of tarting up so me and the Super Glue set about attaching buttons in the shape of a ‘B’.

Extra strong craft glue with precision applicator

I used tiny buttons so needed on a miniscule amount of glue on each one. I know this sounds daft but I was amazed how quickly the glue set but yet seemed safe. Those buttons certainly weren’t moving off that milk bottle!

sticking onto glass

My button bottle is now sitting on my craft drawers and I’m feeling very organised that I have somewhere to put them.

I have to also add that over the past 3 weeks, I’ve fixed a lot of items using the Super Glue. From broken sandals to garden ornaments that my baby nephew broke. I love not having to save up all the breakages and fix them all at once. And there have been no fingers stuck together either!

hair accessories

Violet rocking the sparkly bow look

I have also fixed the girl’s sparkly bows. I’m wondering whether these are a St Helens’ thing or whether they pop up in other towns? We have a shop in St H, Bowtique that basically sells sparkly bows for hair. For the most part, they look hideous but young girls love them!

how to fix hair slides

They frequently break so out comes the Scotch Super Glue once more. I couldn’t fix the slide but instead attached a bobble. Ta-da! It works!

uses for super glue

Disclosure: I was sent Scotch Super Glue for review purposes. Scotch Super Glue is available in the new applicators for £3.48 from many retailers.

Homemade Thrifty Party Bags and Tatty Teddy/Me to You Gift Tag Printable

Thrifty Party Bag and Homemade Me to You cookie

For years now, I’ve been promising myself that I would do more homemade stuff for the girl’s parties. Every year I run out of time but this year I was determined.

I know I’ve harped on about Violet’s Tatty Teddy Cake on a previous post – the next step was party bags. I cannot abide the plastic tat that our house gets filled with, every time one of the girls comes home from a party. I feel so sad and rude, throwing away the plastic whistles, the bangles, you know the like. After all, someone has paid good money for all of it.

We were expecting an enormous 48 kids to the party, so I knew I would have to be thrifty about what I included. I wanted useful, and if not useful, then tasty.

Here’s what I came up with for the thrifty party bags:

* Homemade Tatty Teddy Cookie – I knew I wouldn’t have time nor the inclination to start cutting the cake up at the party so a cookie was a substitute. I already had cellophane bags and tons of ribbon scraps to decorate them with. Tutorial on How to make a Tatty Teddy Cookie/Cupcake coming soon.

* Chocolate/Strawberry straw – 5 for 39p from B&M. Stick the straw in a glass of milk, suck up and ta-da! You have chocolate or strawberry flavoured milk.

* Fun sized bars of chocolate – Bargain at B&M

* Haribo – Mega packs from the Pound Shop – bought a few weeks earlier when I had time to shop around.

* Glitter pencil – so cheap on Ebay

* Sherbert Straw – Again, miles cheaper on Ebay than in the shops.

There was supposed to be an eraser in the bag too, however these didn’t arrive until the day after the party and were microscopic in size. Anyone want 50 teeny rubbers?

Brown paper party bags

For the bags themselves, I used brown paper bags with a handle. They did need some tarting up though, so I got creative. I’m no IT wizard but I am determined to get better. My Pinterest addiction is getting a tad out of control but it was the first place I went to for inspiration. I wanted a gift tag with a Tatty Teddy/Me to You theme but couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. So I made one!

I pasted a pic of a Tatty Teddy onto a white background and added to PicMonkey (another obsession!) I then added lettering at the bottom, thanking everyone for coming to Violet’s party. With there being so many kids coming, I had to let go of my dreams of making everything personalised. Then I sent the collage over to Costco after resizing to A4 size and asked for it to be printed as a matt photograph.

Tatty Teddy final

The next day, I picked up my gift tags. Chopped them with the guillotine and hole punched the corner. I cut 4 inch lengths of sparkly ribbon and attached around the bag handles.

If you are thinking of doing a Tatty Teddy gift tag, save yourself some work and download this one.