Here Comes The Bride (And Groom Peg Dolls)

We stumbled across the idea of using this flat dolly peg in an 'inspiration trip' a year or so back, & what a fruitful trip it has turned out to be. Our peg dolls have become one of our most popular ranges here at Cotton Twist.

The superhero doll was our first born, then the fairy, the mermaid, the cowboy, the robot, the angel, the elf, & now (drumroll) the Mr & Mrs, or Bride & Groom.

We've known for a while that our activity packs have been super popular at weddings, so we've been wanting to create this wedding day activity for a while. This is definitely our deluxe version with the option to include the name & wedding date on the front of the instruction card. The sash & flowers, plus the hair colour for the bride can also be chosen from our array of colours for the ultimate in personalisation. Finally, we've included a mini pencil so children can draw faces onto the pegs straight away. No scrabbling around in mum's handbag required. All shapes are pre cut, & the mini glue dots provide all the adhesion required to keep your peg dolls dancing the night away.

Feedback on our peg doll range is two fold. Firstly, children love the process of making their little characters. Secondly, the dolls then become the heroes or heroines for various role plays.

So yes, we're trying to envisage where our Mr & Mrs Peg Doll might end up. Playing croquet, at the bar, spinning on the dance floor, on the top of the cake, straddling a champagne glass.

I'm heading to a couple of weddings this year (that's a bumper year for me these days) so I'll be armed with Mr & Mrs packs, & I'll see where they end up..!

Unicorn & Rainbow Frenzy

Two of my three children are girls, & they seem to be fully versed in unicorns. Marni, my two year old, will happily spot the 'uni' on the page of a story book.

It's a funny thing because I'm not convinced I knew what unicorns were at their age. The closest I came to unicorns would have been that 'my little pony' with a rainbow coloured mane that I yearned for.

But now that I'm fully versed, this rainbow unicorn theme is a bit addictive. Alexis & I recently went to a workshop with Bonbon Balloons & made tissue paper tassels. We couldn't help ourselves, & somewhat predictably came out with this rainbow coloured beauty.

So with this rapid education into all things rainbow, horns & sparkle behind us, we've fully embraced the unicorn & are pleased to announce our new Unicorn range!

unicorn with stickers-0002.jpg

First off the blocks, the Unicorn Wand....a perfect craft for those rainbow obsessed children out there. Sparkly glitter glue & ribbon are included to adorn the horned horse, what could possibly go wrong.? Perfect for party bags, stocking fillers & rainy days, this little pack is priced at £2.45.

Next up, we're introducing our personalised Unicorn Invitations with sticker activity. Customise this rainbow, clouds & unicorn with your child's party details on the stickers. It's a great activity to do with your child to drum up excitement for the big day. 

Finally, and just because I've also got a marginal addiction to Pinterest, if you're ever short on Unicorn ideas, head across to our Unicorn board to feast your ideas on all things ombre and sweet.

Happy Mother's Day

99% of our time is spent on creating gifts for children (which we love), but with Mother's Day on the horizon, we decided to focus on all of the mums out there for a change.

The idea here is for the child to make promises to their mum, or simply send them messages or memories to place into these dinky envelopes. The envelopes pin up into a banner to reveal the 'Happy Mother's Day' message.

I was hoping my children might send me one with the following messages: 'I promise not to give you anymore backchat this year', 'I promise to do my teeth when you ask me to', & 'I promise not to fight with my siblings', but I'll keep dreaming. Some simple affirmations and niceties will do just fine.

Happy Mother's Day for the 26th! 

NEW: Beading Kits in Mini Gift Tins

Our summer was spent on a quest to create the perfect stocking fillers... such is the life in retail - Christmas in July really is a thing. In fact, the idea for making tin versions of some of our favourite bead kits actually came to us during a rare work meeting out of the office back in April when we walked past a Biscuiteers shop and both Anne-Clare and I confessed our love for this brand and tins in general. Every girl in my primary school had a tin collection and I think I've had a thing for tins ever since. So after that lightbulb moment, we've been ever so slightly obsessed with tins so we are really pleased to have these bijoux tinned beading kits up on the site just in time for Christmas!

Our entire keyring and bracelet range is now available with sliding top tins, and we think they make perfect stocking fillers - something to keep kids busy between opening their stockings and getting stuck into their main presents maybe? They could also be the perfect light-weight gifts if you are sending to children further afield.

Like with all of our bead kits, they come with hard ended elastic for easy threading and beautiful wooden beads in our custom colours. Take a look at all our mini gift tins below.

An Advent Calendar with a Difference

November is the month I plan to get ahead for Christmas... and getting an advent calendar sorted for the children is one of the more pleasurable tasks on the list. This year we're keeping things nice and simple with our new Cotton Twist Make Your Own Advent Calendar.

The beauty of this make your own advent calendar is that you can decide what you'd like to put in the envelopes. Will it be crowd pleasing chocolate coins or mini experiences to get you and your children in the mood for Christmas?  I did my first 'experience' advent calendar for my children last year, and it was a great way for me to enjoy the run up & get excited about Christmas too, rather than racing around like a crazed woman in a panic (although I did my fair share of that too).

Our Make your own Advent Calendar comes in a pencil case sized tin with mini envelopes, graphic present stickers and the pegs and twine to hang your calendar up - you can choose to add some chocolate coins in too or print out our ideas for experiences below. Then when you hang your calendar you can get creative by adding baubles, foliage or simple snowflake & star cut outs like we did here.

There is so much going on in December that I'll fill up the days quite quickly - the headline grabbing events for my children being ice skating, pantomine, school Christmas lunch (they love that one as much as I do as it's zero effort from me!) and going out to buy the Christmas tree. Then there are the simple wins like 'watching a Christmas film,' 'making hot chocolate,' and 'writing Christmas cards.' And for the days that I can't think of anything, I'll just pop in a chocolate coin.

If you want some ideas of what to add - or have some similar things to us going on then here's a handy print out or all kinds of Christmas activities - if you print this out on an A4 sheet then each activity will fit neatly inside our advent calendar envelopes - there's even some spaces to add your own activities.

advent-experience-ideas.jpg

Get Ready for Fathers Day

Dads don't want much on Father's Day... just show them how much you love them; it's simple - and we've created a kit to help you do just that.

With a super-dad card, a promise of some perfect behaviour, and a celebration banner that is sure to make him smile, our instant Father's Day kit covers all the bases you'll need this Father's Day. As with all our kits, we've included everything you need so that your child can create these simple and satisfying crafts. It's all packed up in a silver tin - very easy to hide away from prying eyes prior to the big day (it's June 19th in case you don't know)!

Our Father's Day Kit is exclusive to our Not on The High Street store - so go over there to take a look

We really enjoyed putting this kit together, so look out for some more kits like this coming soon!

Cotton Twist Around the Web

We are lucky enough to have some lovely customers & friends who have written about our products on their blogs ... and we've also stumbled across a few new-to-us websites that have featured our party bag making kits; and as is the way of the internet, I've suddenly discovered a whole new host of creative businesses selling lovely stuff for children.
So if you've got a few minutes to look at pretty things on the internet - then may we suggest you start with some of these sites...?

Heather who writes the interiors & lifestyle blog Growing Spaces tried out a selection of our kits with her twins - they kept two six year olds busy while she had the chance to get on with some work during the holidays - read her review on her blog here.

Nell who writes the blog, On The First Day of Marriage, used our kits to carve out a bit of one-on-one time with her little girl Phiney. Having a craft activity to do together while Phiney's younger sister wasn't around to 'help' out meant they could have a bit of special time together. I love that Phiney's favourite activity was the football game - have a read of Nell's review here.

Mini's and More is a blog run by Georgie and Katie where they cover all sorts of motherly matters - from fashion for adults and kids, to beauty, and to toys. Georgie won our IG comp to try out some of our new activities and we were so thrilled when she decided to blog about them too.

Hannah over at the blog Seeds & Stitches gave her daughter's party guests some of our beading kits after her daughter tried one out when we met up. Her small guests loved making their own bracelets and keyrings at the party in the woods - how magical does this look?

Petit & Small have a feature of our products on their site - and we are in great company there with lots of beautiful and innovative children's brands - this is also the place to go if you're looking for kids bedroom inspiration - and we are slightly addicted to their Pinterest boards too!

Bambino Goodies - a lifestyle blog that "highlights cool stuff for kids under seven" is another great site dedicated to showcasing the best new products around (including ours! haha) we've featured on their site a few times and Lucy also bought some activities for the children to do at her parents' wedding anniversary party which went down a treat.

... and finally; Hello Wonderful is a US based website with loads of ideas of creative things to do with your children, among the arts and crafts projects, you'll also find kid friendly recipes and a few shopping ideas too (which is where we come in!) - go here for inspiration overload!