Festival of Firsts amazing children’s display


This year Hours of Fun headed into the third year of working with the Festival of Firsts and we were determined to make it bigger and better than previous years.

Partnering up with Regan Shaw from Kaleidoscope Magazine and Pam Sullivan from The Williamson Art Gallery, we worked with the festival to plan how to spend a grant the Festival was successful in securing from the Liverpool One Foundation.

The aim of the project was to get children involved in crafting and raise awareness of the Festival as we travelled around the Wirral working with different groups and running drop in creative sessions.

We worked with some fabulous groups including Hoylake Sea Cadets, Hoylake 1st Guides, Priory Parish Primary, Woodchurch after school club Whizzkids, Wirral Methodist Housing and lots more.  Each group designed and created their own sun catcher windows using craft supplies and sharpie pens.  They decorated a clear transparency sheet which was then fixed into a frame ready for hanging.

We encouraged them to do some creative writing, telling us funny stories or about their favourite day or thing to do.  We had some amazing creations and the children all really enjoyed making them.  We even got them to make two so they could take one home and we could keep one for the display.


We had over 150 frames made which we hung from hula hoops, which were then hung them from the rafters at St John The Baptist Church, Great Meols, from a feature beam at Hoylake Parade Community Centre, in the windows at West Kirby Library and it is currently on display at The Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead.  The display creates a visual spectacle, reflecting light and colours as it dances around in the sunshine.




Cupcake decorating at the Wallasey Village Royal Summer Fete


The Hours of Fun stall headed to Wallasey Village Library for the village Royal Summer Fete.  The village had bouncy castles, a fun fair, lots of stalls and street entertainment and then we were located up at the library.  We were a little out the way of the main activities which was a shame really as the main street was really busy.  We had a steady trickle of people coming in, to wander around the stalls and the kids completed the treasure hunt around the library.

The Hours of Fun cupcake stall was visited by lots of families and some fantastic cupcakes were made.  We had red (or slightly pink!), blue and white buttercream, with lots of different sprinkles and as a finishing touch there were crowns and Union Jack flags.  The children had lots of fun and the adults took photos and treated themselves to an already decorated cupcake – choosing between Chocolate Orange and Salted Caramel.

The cupcake stall was only open from 1-3pm as I had to head off to another workshop starting at 4pm.  Wish I could have stayed longer – hope the rest of the day went well for the other stall holders.


If you want the Hours of Fun cupcake stall to head to your event or party – get in touch.  We can theme it to anything from a Superhero children’s party to a Vintage style Hen party.



Royal summer fete cupcakes (1)

Royal summer fete cupcakes (3)

Royal summer fete cupcakes (2)

Cupcake decorating at Oakmere Community College

I first met Rachel from Oakmere Community College back in August at the Liverpool Loves Business network event and we got talking about the college and we agreed I would get in touch to see if there were any workshops I could offer the college as part of their enrichment studies.

I headed down to the college and met with Rachel and Andy and had a little tour around.  The college feels really welcoming and everyone I met was lovely, it gave me a fantastic feeling about the place and the work they do for their students and I was keen to get involved.

The first workshop was cupcake decorating and we set up in the canteen which was perfectally placed next to the kitchen.  The room and facilities were fantastic.

The course ran for the catering and hair and beauty groups, so this was something a little different to compliment and widen their studying experience.

The theme was Halloween and each student was shown how to make 4 different designs.

ghost cupcake witches hat cupcake Pumpkin cupcake Spiders web cupcake

They all got stuck in and created some fantastic cupcakes, helping each other out, asking questions and resisting eating any of them for as long as they possibly could!

Sadly I didnt get chance to take any photos, but head over to the college website and check out the pictures they took Oakmere Community College News


Minion party madness

Hours of Fun headed to Formby recently for a 7th birthday party for Olivia, with a full on Minion theme.

After decorating the venue with lots of yellow and blue balloons and bunting, and some super cute Minion helium balloons, we then started the birthday party off with some badge making, then straight onto cupcake box decorating, where the children made some fantastic Minion boxes all ready for when they decorated their cupcakes.

This was the first time I had the pleasure of working alongside Jumping Jacks and they were fantastic.  They kept the kids entertained, lots of games and dancing and Minion Dave made a special appearence to dance with the birthday group.

Hours of Fun ran a Minion cupcake decorating session, where each of the children decorated 4 cupcakes, creating their own Minions with ready roll icing and buttercream.  Learning some different techniques and how to use a piping bag.

It was a fun packed Minion day and Olivia seemed to enjoy every minute of it.

We stuck around to help clear up, making sure Olivia got her handmade, personalised bunting to take home, then headed home ready to unpack and put our feet up after a Minion jam packed party.

The party was held at the Harington Centre in Formby which was the perfect venue for a party.  The hall is a good size, with kitchen facilities and lots of tables and chairs available.


Hoylake Community Centre Easter Party

Hours of Fun stall headed to the Easter party taking place at the Hoylake Community Centre the other Saturday to set up a table making lanterns from milk bottles.

The party was a first for the centre as they normally do a Halloween party and after receiving lots of enquiries they decided to run an Easter one too and it was a fantastic success with a great turn out.  There was a disco, face painting, tattoos, tuck shop and lots more.  For the adults there was wine, tea, coffee and cake and of course available to the children was the Hours of Fun make and take stall.

As part of the Easter Party the Festival of Firsts was putting on a lantern parade.  Over the last few weeks people have been busy making lanterns at Whizz Kids out of school club, Williamson Art Gallery and St Johns Church Meols.  For those people coming to the party without a lantern they could sit down at the Hours of Fun table and get crafting.

The lanterns are made from empty plastic milk bottles, covered in tissue paper.  We then popped a glow stick inside and hey presto – a lantern was created!

The table did not stop all night and was busy as bees making lots of fantastic lanterns.  Sadly as I was so busy at the table I didn’t managed to get many photos of the lanterns so I have included in the gallery below some photos from the lantern making session at the Whizz Kids out of school club and included some of the photos from the Williamson Art Gallery of the amazing willow lanterns made.  I have also included some photos I took of the view from the centre during the day as it is a beautiful location.


Easter fun crafting session at West Kirby Library

As part of the Festival of Firsts the Hours of Fun workshop headed down to West Kirby Library to run an Easter hat making make and take stall.

The hats were made from paper plates and bowls, with recycled cardboard pieces available to use to add to the design and create masterpieces!

The children got busy making the hats, coming up with lots of different designs and decorating them in a variety of ways.  They used shredded tissue paper to create birds nests which they then stuck little fluffy chickens in.  They used tissue paper to cover the plates and bowls creating bright and colourful hats.  They used beads, feathers and gems to add bling, more colour and style, finishing them off with a piece of ribbon they could tie under the chin to keep the hats on their heads.

It was a fantastic venue for the craft session and I really enjoyed being in the library.  The staff were very friendly and even brought me cups of tea which was very much appreciated.  I was lucky to have two volunteers work with me for some of the session too.  Adam and Wayne are both completing their Duke of Edinburg Award and have been spending some time at the library helping out.  They were both fantastic, assisting children with their hats, making sure the table was kept stocked with supplies and chatting with the parents too.

I had a lovely day and look forward to future opportunities to craft there.


Easter egg fun making egg characters

Hours of Fun headed down to the Wirral Arts Centre in West Kirby last weekend to do an Easter craft workshop as part of their fantastic Easter egg hunt day.  Their theme was Easter and Alice in Wonderland.

The day started out with an Easter egg hunt which was enthusiastically embraced even through the rain.  The hunt finished up at the Arts Centre where there was face painting, food, tea and coffee, some fantastic stalls and the Hours of Fun craft table.

Alongside all of this was a performance of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party which was brilliant, with lots of thought to the props and script and the costumes were perfect.

The craft table was busy throughout the afternoon making Easter egg characters.  The children painted their polystyrene eggs then decorated them with pipe cleaners, feathers, pom poms, googly eyes and foam shapes to create fabulous characters they could then take home with them.

We had so much fun and everyone loved the eggs they made.  It was the first time Hours of Fun had run a drop in workshop using paint – this could have got very messy!  The mess was kept under control though, lots of wet wipes were used and everyone popped on an apron and rolled up their sleeves before they got crafting.

Thanks to everyone who came to the workshop and a big thank you to the Wirral Arts Centre for inviting me along.  The venue is beautiful and quirky and they run all sorts of events there.  Check out their website for more information.


Chinese New Year celebrations at Williamson Art Gallery

Throughout February I headed to the Williamson Art Gallery to help out at some of their workshops.  They run a free drop in craft workshop every Saturday and do some amazing and fun activities which all ages can get involved in.  To celebrate the Chinese New Year they did shadow puppets and Chinese dragons.  Both groups I went to have a fantastic time and made some fabulous creations.

The shadow puppets were made using black card, scissors and a craft knife.  The designs were drawn on to the card then cut out, some with amazing detail.  Once ready we attached sticks to them and used pins to secure any sections that would be moving, acting as a pivot.  We then headed behind the screen and put on a fantastic shadow puppet play.


The Chinese dragons were so much fun to do, the group I helped out with got really involved and made so many different colours and sizes of dragons.  The dragon heads and tails were covered using colouring pens, card, shiny paper and tissue paper.  The bodies were created by folding two pieces of card together as a concertina then attached to the finished head and body.  A couple of sticks were attached and a Chinese dragon was created.  The group then paraded around the art gallery displaying their creations for all to see.

Distressed ink and paper crafts

Whilst at the stiching, sewing and hobbycraft event at Event City we tried out hand at the distressed ink technique. We had already visited the stall MDFMan earlier in the day and bought some fab hearts, stars and other shapes that I was going to cover using decopatch. The stall had been so busy at the time we hadn’t even spotted the table across the way running mini workshops. One our second time round we spotted the table and booked on to the next session.
We were given a wooden heart which we covered in PVA glue then stuck a piece of printed paper on top and smoothed it out. We then trimmed the edges leaving approximately 5mm edge of paper sticking out. Using a sandpaper block we sanded around the edge of the heart which sealed the paper onto the heart and removed the excess paper, leaving a smooth, slightly distressed edge.
We were then given sponges and picked out the colour of distressed ink we wanted to use and gently brushed the sponge around the edge of the heart which added a smudge of ink. This effect was fantastic, giving the heart an aged look. It was an amazing transformation that took no longer than ten minutes to do.
You can buy distressed ink and we checked with the workshop organiser as to how long it lasts etc as it isn’t cheap. She advised that it does last well and when it has run out you can buy replacement ink which will give up to three refills and it not as expensive as the pads. However you can use any ink pads. I tried it at home with some black ink I had for using with my stamps. It worked well although you have to be very gently with the application as I found the colour to be stronger.
Instead of buying specialist pads you can use the packs of makeup sponges you can buy at the pound shops etc. You can use any paper you want and decorate any surface you want too as long as the surface will allow the PVA glue to stick the paper firmly in place. You can again buy specialist sandpaper pads however you can use any sandpaper pieces. Just make sure you test your equipment and supplies out before using on your final piece.





One of my amazing friends Karen took me to the stiching, sewing and hobbycraft show at Event City this month and our ticket included access to Cake International.
When we walked through the door we were straight into the craft section with lots of stalls selling lots of wonderful crafty things along with mini workshops at some of the stalls where you can take part in a craft. We came across the Zentangle stall just as people were sitting down, so we decided to join them. It is advisable to book on these sessions ahead of the day, we were super lucky as they had two spaces free for the first session.
We then ventured into the world of Zentangle which neither of us had heard of before. In summary we best described it as professional doodling! We were given an overview of the craft and it was explained that a couple in America had come up with the concept and you can now by books and specific equipment for it.
We were all given a square piece of paper and asked to split the paper into four by drawing lines across it. We were then taken through four different designs including a quilted pattern, a spider’s web design, wiggly lines and straight lines. Once we had drawn these we were then shown how to shade them to create shadows and optical illusions using a pencil and smudging tool.

Zentangle and the stitch and hobbycraft show
We all felt very relaxed from the session and some of the designs and art work that was on display on the stall were fantastic. There was a gorgeous map of the UK split into counties with each county having a different design. There were Christmas cards, a motorcycle helmet, pictures and photo frames all looking fantastic simply by decorating them using the Zentangle technique. With the right pen anybody can have a go and it’s a fantastic technique you can use to jazz up a plain object or create the perfect hand drawn picture for your wall.

Check out the Zentangle website for more information – zentangle.com


Zentangle and the stitch and hobbycraft show

Zentangle and the stitch and hobbycraft show