DIY: Making a Fiddle Board


DIY Fiddle Board blog header making a fiddle board for my son; a Montessori play idea. sayidoonabudget.com mumminonabudget

If you follow me on Facebook, Insta or Twitter you may have seen in my stories and on my wall, pictures of the fiddle board I’ve made for my son.

A few weeks ago I asked my husband to make one. We sat and looked at ideas online and I drew out what I would like to have on the board, but the husband said he had too many other projects on at the moment. So I asked my Dad, he also has a lot of projects on. So I decided I would make it myself!

Fiddle boards are based on the Montessori appraoch of giving babies and children real world items to play with and are ideal for babies once they are able to confidently sit unaided. R is 7 months, has been sitting unaided for 2 months and confidently pulls himself up to kneeling, meaning he is at the ideal developmental stage for an activity board.

I’m no stranger to be a bit of crafting and DIY as you will know if you’ve seen my posts on creating pom pom buttonholes or the time I created my own DIY wedding invitations. How hard could it be?

The first item I sourced was a board left over from when the husband built an under stair storage unit (which I may write about in a post soon), and then I took the little one to B&Q where I bought:

  • 1 wheel £2.90
  • 1 double light switch £3.47
  • 1 furniture pull handle £4.38
  • 1 plumbers T shape pipe £4.20
  • 1 door chain £5.12
  • 1 misc

At screwfix I picked up a pack of spring door stops for £5.49. My shopping finished on ebay with two chunky plastic zips for £1.99 per zip and a foam clock for £1.49.

I decided to use paint we already had from when we decorated our house in January 2019.

Total: £31.03

DIY home made Fiddle board in the planning stage sayidoonabudget.com

With all the items at home I started to plan out where I wanted to put each thing, then the DIY got under way!

The husband set me up in his workshop with the tools and PPE I would need and I set to work creating a cut out hole to recess the lightswitch into. That wasn’t the easiest of tasks as all I had to do it was a drill, enter me drilling a hole in each corner of the square I’d marked out, then drilling holes in the hope they’d join together. This worked better than I thought it would, meaning two taps with a hammer to break the small areas i couldn’t drill out and the recess hole was made.

I then used an electric sander to sand all edges and round off the corners. Two coats of paint took 3 days to dry out in the workshop due to the wet March weather we’ve had.

Attaching each item was fairly easy. Once I was satisfied the board was complete and safe for my son to play with it, I hooked it over the hand gap on the draw of our understair storage unit and sat my son in front of it. So far it has been complete for 5 days and both my 7mo son and 1 year old nephew have got enjoyment from it.

There is space to add extra items to it in future if I wish and I will happily remove items and replace with new things to keep the board fresh and interesting.

Tools and supplies I used:

  • Wood glue
  • Electric sander
  • Electric drill
  • Screw driver
  • Screws
  • Cable tie
  • Scissors
  • Face mask
  • Goggles
  • Pencil
  • Grinder (grinding off screw lengths that stuck out the back of the board)
  • Paint brush
  • Confidence

If you have made one I would love to see a picture of what you included on the board. How did you go about making yours? What toys or activities have you DIYd for your little one/s?

DIY fiddle board _ how I went about making a DIY fiddle board for my son. with costings. sayidoonabudget.com

Supplier Spotlight: An Interview with Kelly of Sparkle Vines


Sparkle Vines Supplier Spotlight blog

The lady I’m featuring today is someone I’ve known for years. I’ve known Kelly for years ever since we met working our first jobs in a supermarket. I’ve found in life, it’s rare to have a friendship survive the challenges Kelly’s and I’s has; and it gives me so much joy to interview Kelly about the wonderful business she set up earlier this year in this supplier spotlight feature.

The Interviewer: Hazel of SayIDoOnABudget
The Supplier:
Kelly Mills
Kelly is a Commercial Coordinator for Neptune by day and a creator of beautiful hair accessories by night
The Business: Sparkle Vines (est August 2018)
Location: Wiltshire, UK

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Hey Kelly, please can you tell everyone the story of how Sparkle Vines came to be?

I’m based in a small town in Wiltshire, called Calne. My day job is as a Commercial Projects Coordinator for Neptune, at their head office in Swindon. In basic terms I coordinate kitchens into building developments. Its very hands on with each day different to the last. I have always been creative, very hands on and enjoy making different things. I know how to croquet, how to sew and now I know how to make hair accessories!
Sparkle Vines started with my own wedding. Since before getting engaged when I looked through bridal magazines or scrolled through Pinterest, hopeful and dreaming of my big day, wondering if my man would ever pop the question, I always had a love for beaded hair vines and knew I wanted to make my own for my future wedding.
Kelly’s fiance whisked her away for a surprise weekend trip to Venice for the August bank holiday in 2016, and whilst they were there he popped the question!
After I got engaged I did a lot of research for

Supplier Spotlight_ An Interview with Kelly of Sparkle Vines on her beautiful hair accessories business

inspiration on what I’d like my own hair vine to look like, and I decided to hand make hair combs for my Bridesmaids too! I started with crafting hair combs for my two Bridesmaids using white, grey and pink fresh water pearls. I also used clear cracked quartz to give them a bit of a sparkle. Using just precious gemstones would have been expensive, so to save costs I padded the design out with white and grey beads with silver plated leaves to give them the finishing touch. I was really happy with how they turned out, and this gave me the confidence I needed to tackle my own hair piece using the same style and materials. I designed 2 just in case I preferred one to the other on my hair trial.
You got married in Venice on 9th June 2018 and created a lot of your own stationary for the big day; what were your favourite DIY crafts from your wedding?
I loved all the DIY’s I made for my wedding. I made everything from our save the dates & invitations to the place name cards and table plan. If I didn’t get married abroad I would have made a lot more, but I was restricted to what I could get into a suitcase! As it happens I had 4 massive suitcases to try and get to Venice, so I had to restrict myself with what I could make. The craft I found the hardest to make was the order of service.

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Real Budget Wedding: Chris and Emma’s 2k Purple July Wedding


Real Budget Wedding 2k Crafty

Bride and Groom: Chris & Emma.
Emma works as a teacher and artist and Chris is a Graphic Designer

Ceremony Venue: Ashton Memorial, Lancaster
Reception Venue: Ribble Cruising Club, Lytham

Wedding Date: 25th July 2015

Wedding Colour Scheme and Theme: Purple with the subtle inclusion of their love for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Total Wedding Budget: £2,200

How did you decide on your budget? We knew we wanted a small wedding and didn’t want to spend a fortune, but most importantly we wanted it to be very us. We were also moving in to our new home a few months before we were due to get married so we knew that the budget had to be small.
What elements of planning were the hardest with your budget? There were so many ‘extra’ things that we would have liked to have but just couldn’t afford within the budget. Though these really didn’t matter on the day.
Chris and Emma’s fabulous wedding suppliers:
The paper flowers and table décor were created by Emma herself.
For their catering they had Hot Pot and Cheese and Potato Pie from a local vendor.
Their wedding cake was a small white cake from Tesco which they added to with home made cupcakes.
As a way to cut costs Chris and Emma forewent a DJ and instead they made a playlist full of their favourite songs and songs from their guests suggestions and played these through the sound system at the venue.
Victoria was Emma’s MUA and nail tech and Emma’s aunt did her hair for her on the wedding say as her present to them

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The Wonders of Paper Flowers


The Wonders of paper flowers

I have a real soft spot for paper flowers. In fact I have a soft spot for anything “alternative” to flowers at weddings. There’s so many wonderfully creative and inspiring ideas for what you can use to make your bouquet, or decorations with, other than your standard blooms.

Over the years I have created a couple of alternative bouquets myself such as this bouquet made from woollen pom poms.   I also swoon over bouquets made using beads, feathers, buttons… or any other quirky and unique items.

For my own wedding in October 2016 I had an alternative bouquet made by Hazel of ‘Love to Marry‘ using feathers, gold beads, and acorns. You can see a picture of my alternative bouquet in a feature about my small budget wedding on another wedding blog here.

Although there’s an incredibly large amount of different ideas for what you can use instead of flowers in your wedding (pretty much all of which I am in massive favour of) in this blog post I will be concentrating on flowers made out of paper. 

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Autumnal Table Plan


tableplantree

Initially I didn’t plan on buying the tree. The plan was to put sticks/twigs into a pot filled with stones/sand to keep the twigs in place. I’m not sure why this plan didn’t happen and why we ended up buying the tree… 

But anyway, we did buy the tree, from Hobbycraft no less, although we did manage to get it imag2156for £25.00 which is probably no more than a nice pot and stones/sand to fill it would have cost us.

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My Budget Entertainment


My Budget Wedding  Entertainment  Wedding Guess Who Game

Many couples who know they are having a contingent of children at their wedding worry about how to keep the children entertained during the course of the wedding day.

My husband and I had 7 children under 6 (2 of them were under 1) and two autistic children 16 or under at our wedding and I really did not notice any of them in a negative way at any point during the day. Most children are able to sit still and quiet for 20-30 minutes, which is the average duration of a wedding ceremony, after which time they are able to walk about and play during the welcome drinks and the pictures being taken.

The wedding breakfast is then a great time for the children as they get their food and can play with their parents and the other guests, and you really will be surprised what simple and completely inexpensive things can keep children entertained during the wedding breakfast, which is when most people worry children may be the most disruptive out of boredom.

Here is what my husband and I did to help keep our child and adult guests alike entertained.

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