Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be invited to a craft event organised by DryNites. It was hosted by Tamara Melvin (from the Great British Sewing Bee) and was at Tea & Crafting’s beautiful studio in Camden.
The event was organised to bring Mums together to discuss potty training particularly at night. Psychologist Emma Kenny was on hand with the DryNites team to provide a whole range of advice throughout the day (though not on the craft front as she was quick to point out!)
So to the craft bit! Tamara had come up with a couple of projects we could make to help our children feel safe and reassured during the night. First up was a lamp for their room. We’d all brought along some old plastic toys – in my case chickens (Pip is a little bit obsessed with farm animals at the moment). Using Annie Sloan chalk paint (which comes in a fantastic range of colours) we painted the lamp base and toys.
The paint went on brilliantly and only took a couple of coats (we sanded the lamp first to help it stick better). While they were drying we started on our lampshades – made of card and which Tamara had helpfully cut to size in advance! Using a star template we drew stars along the length of the card, then cut them out with a craft knife, keeping the cut outs as some were used later. After they were cut out we used pretty coloured paper behind some of the holes, and then glued the card to the lampshade that came with the lamp. A slightly tricky process but rolling and sticking as you went seemed t work well.
We then folded some of the cut out stars in half and glued them on, giving a nice 3D effect, and added some trim to the top and bottom of the shade. We then glued our painted toys onto the lamp base and ta-dah!
After lunch when we had a good chance to chat to the other mums, it was back to Tea & Crafting for the afternoon session, where we made beautiful pinboards for our child’s room. We’d all brought in an old sheet/pillowcase to use, and by layering two layers of wadding onto a canvas frame, followed by our fabric, we could use a staple gun to quickly and effectively secure them to the back.
Then we positioned pretty elastic diagonally across and used the staple gun to fix in place. We used butterfly pins to poke though where the lines of elastic met, and glued some buttons on top. Using some ribbon we then made a cute bow to use to hang it and voila – a fantastic, quick and easy project to make at home.
It was a fantastic day out and a great opportunity to meet some fellow mums. Pippa is still a bit young for potty training but she is starting to tell me when she’s done a number 2, so it was really helpful to get some advice on how and when to start. My NCT mum friends and I are all equally clueless as we’re on our first children so it was great to hear from people who are tackling this currently or who had advice to share. I wasn’t even aware of DryNites pads for the bed, for when they are transitioning to making it through the night without accidents – such a good idea! It was very much a case of you don’t know what you don’t know, but I now feel pretty confident we’ll manage ok when we start potty training, and we’ve introduced a potty in the bathroom for pre-bathtime (when she’s running around in the nude!). We’ve also been and got some stickers to decorate it with as a little activity to do together.
All in all a brilliant event. It’s also got me thinking about ideas for what else I can upcycle for Pip’s room. I’ve kept some of our favourite baby clothes and I’m planning on turning these into a quilt, and I might use some old fabric to make a reading cushion as well (a cushion with a pocket on the front for a book). So many ideas so little time!…..
Big thanks to the DryNites team, Tamara, Jane from Tea & Crafting and Emma Kenny.