Saturday, December 15, 2007

Games Galore - Homemade games

Do you like to play games. No, I don't mean those PC and Xbox games. The old fashioned but always fun games such as PAIRS and OLD MAID etc. Well, wouldn't it be cooler if you made your own personalised game cards. There are easy to make and yet gives you hours of fun!


Cut out 36 rectangles ( 60cm X 80cm ) from a drawing board.
From scrapes of paper (Now is the time to use all your gift wrappers from birthday and Christmas presents) cut out 4 similar patterns of 60cm X 80cm from nine different papers.
Glue them onto the cardboard.
Once they have dried you can play so many different games!

These are just some of the games that you can try out

PAIRS (2 or more players)

Place all cards facedown on the table. Select 2 cards, if they are a pair, you get to keep the cards and continue with your turn.
If not, it is the next player's turn. The player with the most PAIRS win.

SNAP (2 or more players)

Deal the cards between the players. The first player, opens 1 card and places it in the centre. The next player does the same with his pile of card. when 2 matching cards are on the pile, the person who places his hand on the pile and shouts "SNAP" gets to keep the cards. The player with the most card at the end of the game wins.

OLD MAID (3 or more player)

Take out 1 card from the deck and put it aside. Now deal the cards.
Each player matches the cards that he is dealt and puts them down. The first player then takes a card from the player on his right. If the cards match, he puts them down. The next player continues.
The aim of the game is that the player with the odd card at the end of the game is the "Old Maid"

FASTER BLURTER (3 or more players)

Each player gets to choose an "Animal". The more complicated and longer the name the better. (Don't choose simple animals such as cats, dogs, fox etc - Try Rhinoceros, hippopotamus etc)
Once the card is dealt,(No one is allowed to peek at the deck), each player opens a card and places it in front of them. If 2 player cards are the same - the player who "Blurts" the other player's animal gets to give his cards over. The player who gives away all his cards win.


Have any of you played Happy Family. Its a card game consisting of 36 cars that has different occupations. I think they are 1.Weeder 2. stone 3.plod 4.dauber 5.dose 6.bun 7.fillet 8.bone 9.tack
Each family comprises of a Father, mother, brother and a sister.

Well why don't you create a Happy Family with a modern twist. Lets say you choose a medical profession. Then you could create cards with - G.P, Dentist, Surgeon, Optician (etc)

Create cards for nine professions which have 4 sub division. Create the cards as for "PAIRS" (as above) You could draw or print out pictures from the computer and paste it onto the cards with the subdivision and profession clearly written.

Happy Family can be played when there are at least 3 players (The more the merrier). Deal the cards between the players. Check your cards to group similar "Family"/Profession together. The player at the right of the person who dealt the cards starts first (or the youngest or oldest - there not set rule)

Choose whom you think has the other subdivision of your profession and say - "May I have the G.P. Please"

If the player has it, he will give it up to you and you continue to ask for more professions/subdivisions.
If he does not have the card, he will say "Sorry, not at home". Now, its his turn.

Once 4 cards(subdivision) of a profession has been collected a family is made. When all your cards are a family, you then ask the players for families, for e.g. "May I have the medical family, the architect family,etc."

Do try this out, I'm sure you'll have fun thinking up of the different professions, subdivision and making the cards as well as hours of fun playing this game.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Creative and fun ways to recycle your cards

During Christmas you don't just get lots of presents, you will get lots of cards too. There are many fun and creative ways to reuse these cards too. So don't throw away all your lovely cards.

For those of us who celebrate other occasions like Chinese New Year, Deepavalli(Indians), Aidul Fitri(Muslims)etc, do try out these activities as well with the cards you receive!

Greeting Card Box

What You Need:
An old greeting card -- or two or three.
A ruler or straight edge.
A pencil.
A pair of scissors.
Crayons or markers for decorating.

What You Do:
First, get an old greeting card.

Next, rip it in half at the fold.

Using your ruler, make an "X" on the card by drawing two lines that cross at the center of the card.

Fold the edges of all four sides of the paper over to the middle of the cross.

Cut the red lines as shown in the diagram.

Fold the tabs in to create a box and tape the box together.

To create a lid for the box, do the same as above, only instead of folding the edges to the point of the cross, fold them slightly outward so the lid will be larger than the bottom.

Homemade decorations or baby mobile

Cut shapes out of the cards in matching pairs. Hearts work nicely, as do simple Christmas tree shapes and even plain squares and circles. Stick the cards back to back and laminate them, then punch a hole in them and use to make a colourful and child-friendly mobile or “string” to decorate next year. You could add to this every year. As a variation, you could back each shape with a plain-coloured piece of card or construction paper and write on it the date and name of the person who sent the card.


Make some Christmas confetti to use next year. Use either a plain hole punch or a special Christmas one (both together look great) and choose the most colourful areas from each card to cut. Gold and silver looks very effective, especially mixed in with red and green. Small scraps of left-over wrapping paper can be used too. You can keep the children busy with this for hours!

Gift Bags

Make gift bags for next year by saving smart paper bags. Cut a nice shape out of each card and stick it to the front of the bag (covering any shop labels if necessary). Add a little ribbon bow just above the card and wrap your present in tissue paper before putting it into the bag. This looks lovely with brown paper bags and tartan ribbons.

Small Cards

Some designs can be cut and folded into miniature Christmas cards for the kids to give next year, or for decorating the dolls house.

Greeting Card Bookmark

What You Need:

Used Greeting Cards
Posterboard or Cardboard
Crayons, Markers, or Paint

What You Do:

Cut a strip from the posterboard or thin cardboard, about 8-inches x 2-inches. Cut out the picture on the front of a greeting card. Glue the picture at the top of the strip. Allow the glue to dry.

Write an message on the strip if you want. If the bookmark is a gift, you can simply write "to:" and "From:". If your picture is a Christmasy picture, write a Christmas message on your strip.

To make your bookmark more durable, cover it with clear contact paper or laminate it.

Gift Tags

A traditional activity, but one which never fails to amuse the kids, is making gift tags for next year's presents. Use pinking sheers, a hole punch, and leftover ribbon. (Similar to making book marks)

Greeting Card Placemat

What You Need:

Large Sheet of Construction Paper
Used Greeting Cards
Clear Contact Paper or Laminate

What You Do:

greeting cards. You can also cut out specific shapes such as all circles, stars, etc. Arrange your cut-outs on the paper in whatever arrangement you want, and glue them into place. Allow the glue to dry.

Cover both sides of your placemat with clear contact paper, or laminate it. Trim around your placemat and you are all done!

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Monday, December 3, 2007

How to recycle wrapping papers into crafts and other great ideas

This article is part of How2Blogger’s Super Sexy Holiday ‘How To’ Contest which you can see at How2Blogger’s ‘How To’ site.

As Christmas is round the corner and for those who receive lots of gifts - Don't tear the wrapper to get at the present. Unwrap your presents neatly so that you can recycle the wrapper for these excellent craft ideas and other great stuffs. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun.

1. Pringles canister pencil case
Materials Needed:

Potato Chip Canister with Cover (Pringles)
Wrapping paper

Wash out the can using soap and water; dry completely.
Now, make a personalized pencil carrier by covering the canister with special wrapping paper that you like.
You can decorate even more - just use your imagination.
decorate it with stickers, rubber stamps, etc.
Embellish your canister with fabric scraps, ribbon, buttons, beads, and anything else you can think of!

2. Keepsake Container

What you need:

Metal tins: Like fruit cake candy, or cookie tins, with lids; glue;wrapping paper;felt in bright colors which match the wrapping paper

What to do:

1. Clean the tins out and dry thoroughly.

2. Line the inside of the tin with glued on felt. (optional)

3. Completely cover the lid of the tin using the wrapping paper and glue.

4. If you chose to paint the lid, you may use stencils, decals or just paint a design on the top. If you are going to give the tin as a gift, you can also paint the persons name on it.

3. Cards
You can make a variety of cards using left over wrapping papers. Here are some ideas

a. Weave them up - Use two contrasting coloured wrappers and make a weave pattern. Then stick it on the fornt of a different coloured card.

b. Mosaic Art - Tear up the wrapping paper and stick them onto the front of another blank card. You can make messages such as DAD, MOM, LOVE, THANKS etc with the torn up paper.

c. Stripes - Similar to weave. But this time use the contrasting wrappers to form stripes. Use more than 2 papers and cut them out at different width.

d. Layered - Cut out papers from contrasting colours/ complimenting colours in different sizes so that there's a layer of 1-2 inch border. On the smallest box, write a message using a glitter pen.

e. Use your imagination and come up other great card ideas. HAVE FUN WITH THESE WRAPPERS!

4. Homemade Notebooks
Get unused paper from old school exercise books. Arrange them neatly. Use a card board for the front and back page. Decorate the front and back pages by wrapping them with the wrappers. Punch two hole through the card and papers. Then use a striking lace or ribbon to tie it all up with a neat bow.
P.S. To make this lovely Note Book into a gift - Write the name and Message on the top cover piece using a glitter pen and decorate with stickers etc.

5. Kids crafts Dolls house

Materials Needed

2 large cardboard boxes
Poster paint
Masking tape
Sharp scissors and craft knife
Scrap material
Wallpaper, wrapping paper any paper that you wish to use
Thin cardboard boxes


For a full-size dolls house, use a large strong cardboard box for the main structure and build a removable roof out of the top flaps and triangular bits cut from other boxes. Stick together with masking tape then paint it your desired colour and leave to dry.

To make a two storey house divide the house using a piece of card support by brackets made from very thin tubes glued to the side of the box then glue the divider on top of it. If you want you can add as many rooms by doing the same thing just length ways instead.

Cut out some window and doors. To decorate the window make some curtains out of scrap bits of material and hang them on cocktail sticks used as curtain poles (see below). To make the out side of the house look more attractive paint some window boxes with flowers and a bush or two near the door.

Using scrap bits of wallpaper, wrapping paper, tissue paper or paint begin to decorate the walls. If you are having more then one room decorate them individually to make the house real looking.
For the floors you can use either scrap material and just glue them down or you can paint them. If you have any scrap bits of carpet lying about the house this will be even better.

P.S - My husband mad a beautiful doll house when my elderest daughter was 7 years old. Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures of it and threw it away when we moved house last year.

6. Reuse the Wrapper for other presents.
Please make sure that there are no crinkles or markings or wording written on the paper.
P.S - Try to remember whom gave you the present as you wouldn't want to wrap up your gift and return it to the same person:)

IF you come up with more ideas on how to have fun and recyle the gift wrappers do comment and I'll include your ideas in this post.