Arts and crafts activities are great for children to partake in. Not just because it's fun, but because it improves their coordination as they often have to use both hands. It also helps them solve problems, practice patience, tolerance and persistence. Most importantly, it helps them release their creativity and express themselves. Allowing them to get creative can get pricey when you need to buy paintbrushes, clay, glue, glitter, tape, pencils, crayons, ribbons and everything else. And kids are notorious for giving up their old hobbies and replacing them with something new in a blink of an eye. So, affordable arts and crafts are something every parent needs. These crafts will give them all the benefits of arts and crafts without the massive price tag.
Paper mâché is the art of mixing together some gloopy stuff, dipping strips of newspaper in it and using the soggy paper to build something interesting. When dry, the final product can be quite pliable. If you want the result to be more rigid, simply add a tablespoon or two of wood glue to the gloopy mix. Remember that paper mâché needs a long time to dry, so start your project a few days before you need it completed.
What you need: 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons wood glue (optional), a base and strips of newspaper.
Method: Mix the water and flour, add glue if using. Mix until it is mostly lump free. Make a base shape. Dip the newspaper strips in the gloopy mix and attach to the base. Continue until you are happy with the project. Allow to dry. Decorate as desired.
Check out this page for some paper mâché ideas to try out.
Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into various shapes, objects and forms. This can be used to make anything from extravagant animals to simple book marks. Younger kids and beginners can start with the easier projects while older kids and adults can do something a little more complex.
What you need: Sheets of multi-coloured paper
Easy, Peasy and Fun has some great origami templates.
Clay is a fun way for kids (and adults) to have a lot of squishy fun. They can spend hours building whatever they want and if they are not happy with it they can just tear is apart and start again. Clay can get quite expensive, so we have found this home-made recipe that can be made in all the colours of the rainbow. This clay will also dry hard so you can keep your children's works of art for years to come.
What you need: 1 cup corn flour, 2 cups bicarbonate of soda, 1 1/4 cups water, food colouring
Method: Mix a few drops of food colouring with the water. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Cover with a cloth. Allow the mixture to cool. Knead and use.
Recipe sourced from Education.com
This colourful string is an easy way to keep your kids busy for hours and to teach them patience and resilience. Trust us, there is nothing that can be quite as frustrating as a wild ball of yarn that won't behave. But once this string as been tamed, it can create beautiful crafted pieces.
What you need: yarn, wool or string, glue, other; depending on project.
Find some fun yarn projects here.
Decoupage is similar to paper mâché as it also involves a glue-like substance and paper to make a project. However, decoupage glues paper onto objects for decoration. This is a lovely way for kids to personalise some of their belongings or to make extra special gifts and cards for others. The kids will be busy for hours, combing through newspapers and magazines looking for pictures for their decoupaging.
What you need: 1 cup white craft glue and 1 cup water for the glue as well as pictures; cut out from magazines or newspapers, stickers, photos etc.
Method: Mix the water and glue. Brush this mixture on the back of the pictures. Stick the pictures onto your surface of choice. Seal the front of the photo and object with more of the glue mixture. Allow to dry.
Look at Crafts By Amanda for some cute decoupage ideas.
Sorbet Makeup Galore
We all know and love Sorbet skincare products and pampering treatments, so of course, we're going to love their brand-new Sorbet Makeup range that's been created especially for the women of South Africa. The one thing that stood out the most for me was their wide range of foundation shades. No matter what your skin tone, they're bound to have the perfect foundation for you. I was blown away by the many different shades and honestly, I cannot remember the last time I've seen such a variety of foundations. This range is definitely catering to the diversity that South Africa is renowned for.
Now onto my favourite part of makeup - lipstick. From what I saw, there were four lip liners, 12 gloss lipsticks, 12 matte lippies and eight lip glosses. I totally love my nudes and soft pink lipstick shades which is why I was instantly drawn to the shades XOXO, Bliss, Perky, Love and Glitz, Power and Kind. These lipstick are pigmented, apply like a dream and are so creamy.
But that's not all. You can also take your pick from a variety of other makeup bag must-haves, including brow products, eyeliners, mascaras, face powders, eyeshadows, beauty sponges, makeup brushes and even cosmetic bags for when you want to take your goodies on the go. As for price range, it's affordable. You can get your hands on matte lippies at R149,95 per tube, R139.95 for a gloss lipsticks, between R199.95 and R299.95 on foundations (depending on the type of foundation you choose), and R149.95 for a duo eyebrow pencil.
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Choose A Stunner From Bride&co's Hire Collection
No matter what you taste, style, preference or budget, Bride&co's Hire Collection will certainly have something that'll make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world on your wedding day. There are a number of different styles to choose from including a wide variety of silhouettes including ballroom, mermaid, A-line, trumpet and so much more in lace, organza, chiffon and satin. Talk about being spoilt for choice! And let's not forget the rouging, embellishments, beadwork and intricate lace designs.
And, on top of that, if you hire your dream wedding dress with Bride&co, you'll also get a free hire veil and petticoat. Now, if this amazing deal doesn't catch your attention, then nothing will. Not only will you get to wear a stunning dress at an affordable price but you'll also get to save lots of bucks that you can spend on far more important things, like that expensive wedding cake that you've been dreaming about since your wedding cake tasting.
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We love the fact that owner-manager Heather Lund Truter gave up a ten-year career as a private banker in order to start this amazing store in Kramerville. In a nutshell, Exquisite Cuts offers hand-picked short-ends – remnants and end of range fabrics from local and international décor houses. This means that YOU get the best fabrics, but for so much less!
The range is constantly evolving and changing as new fabrics become available. I opted for some ready-made cushions to refresh my living room. I was spoilt for choice with a wide range of phenomenal fabrics from which to choose. But it doesn’t stop there – you can also buy discounted upholstery and curtaining fabric at a variety of price points. All of this just makes redecorating so much more affordable and FUN!
What impressed me most about the store is the passionate and insightful team that does so much more than just sell fabric. They are quick to offer advice, insight, suggestions and creative ideas to help you transform a tired room into something that reflects your family. You can bring photos with you and ask for advice. The team will then help you come up with an action plan that suits your time and budget. I prefer using very inexpensive fabric for curtaining and then ramping up the look with stunning accent cushions – that way, I get a brand new look for a fraction of the price (and yes, I have both “summer” and “winter” cushions – you will too when you visit this amazing shop!)
Another bonus is that Exquisite Cuts also offers ready-made curtains (an absolute win for those looking for instant gratification). They have a team of tried-and-tested curtain-makers if you’d like something made to spec.
Follow the store on Facebook to keep updated with new fabric lines that become available. In brief, I would highly recommend popping in for a browse and to treat yourself to new cushions for your Master Bedroom or living room. Take photos before you go – you’ll be amazed at what the team suggests and the difference it will make to your space, without breaking the bank.
PLUS you get to #SupportLocal!
Do YOU have an owner-managed business that you would like us to feature? COMMENT BELOW and we’ll look into it!
Address: 4D Appel Road, Kramerville, Sandton, Johannesburg
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +27 11 262 6771
Web: Exquisite Cuts
Somewhere between Fairlands and Weltevredenpark there is a shopping complex called Hillfox Value Centre. Here, you will find everything from the last Look & Listen in the country to fashion and footwear, DIY, specialist hobby stores and home services. On Sundays, there's a massive flea market in the underground parking area.
But we're not here to talk about the above-ground stuff. If you head to the right of the parking lot, past the Food Lover's Market and big orange and black building that used to be a Trade Centre, you will find China World. In this building, with its fascia board divided shops, the number of stores head well into the hundreds. The majority of shop owners are from mainland China and they brought with them all the cheap stuff we like so much. There are quite a few stores selling phone and tablet accessories such as cables, chargers and covers. Most of them do basic repairs — such as cracked screens, etc. Moving on, there are tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of toy stores. Pretty much all of them sell fairly dangerous weapons, such as knives and crossbows — interesting and quite scary all at once! Further down the line, there are shops that sell weird and wonderful stuff. Here you can buy everything from new rims for your VW Golf to uh, uhm, stuff for the bedroom.
There are quite a few shops that sell handbags, clothing and makeup. A word of warning: it may be cheap and pretty but one shouldn't expect quality. When you buy imitation products for 90% off the original's price, don't expect it to last. And returning goods for a refund is not going to work - none of the stores here care much about the Consumer Protection Act.
All in all, there's a lot of amazing stuff at China World. Most places only accept cash so be sure to pop by the FNB ATM at the entrance.
Have you been to China World? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments section below. Planning on a trip to the cheap cheap shops? Then share this on social media.