DIY: Turn a vinyl record into a decorative bowl

Today I made an old vinyl album into a trinket bowl.   Important: if you make one for yourself or as a gift, NEVER put food inside these bowls.  Unless it’s like food like oranges which you’ll peel.

First I had to find a vinyl record to use.   Of course, I don’t have any so I went to a local Kringloopwinkel and picked one out.  But I wanted it to be special, so I spent quite a bit of time looking at them.   Clearly, I looked like a vinyl aficionado inspecting each cover record.  I ended up with this one from the group De Damrakkertjes – only because it says HOLLAND so it’s perfect!   I paid €1. but it’s online value is €4.50 so I don’t have to worry about discovering I melted down a high valuable item.    Do check before you melt down yours!


There are many ways to do it and you can search online to see how others do it.  This is what I did for my bowl.

Turn oven on 100 c. (no higher!!)

Line a baking tray aluminium foil.

Put my record in on top of a pot so it starts to bend downwards.


With pot holders, I took out my warm, pliable record and put it into a bowl and quickly moved it around into the ruffle shaped edges  I wanted.  At first I didn’t like it so I put it back inside the oven, it re-melted down quite quickly did it again using a larger, flatter bowl until I got the shape I wanted.

The sizes of your bowls depend on the look you’re going for. If you want a more upright bowl that resembles a slightly bucket-like shape then you should use a smaller bowl with slightly upright sides (for the shaping bowl). If you want a more low slung, fruit bowl style bowl then use a bowl with more relaxed, wider sides.


Overall I am very happy with my bowl and the text “Holland” makes it extra special to me.

A simple search on and you can find loads of different ideas of things you can do with vinyl records.   I’m not really into anything else like book ends, vase or even wall hangings, but wanted to try a doing a bowl.



REVIEW: 3Doodler Start Kit – 3D Pen

Maebh loves arts & crafts,  so was VERY happy “Santa” brought her the 3Doodler kit.  This one is the best quality ones.  This is the better quality one at €50 vs the cheap one that can be bought for €12.

I later picked up a second on for €1.25 at thé kringloopwinkel!!


With the new 3Doodler Start your creative kids can finally bring all of their wonderful and imaginative ideas to life in 3D. The 3Doodler Start 3D printing pen extrudes an eco-friendly plastic that cools and hardens rapidly, allowing kids to literally draw in the air!

It uses an Eco-Plastic that’s made entirely from food grade materials, so it’s completely biodegradable, non-toxic and BPA-free!

The 3Doodler Start is seriously easy to use too, there’s only one speed and one temperature and no software or technical knowledge required – just turn it on, insert a strand and start Doodling in 3D. It can either be used while plugged in, or charge it up and Doodle wirelessly, anywhere for up to one hour.

There are over 200 free stencils and projects available online!   So we’re going to check the site out ASAP!  Extra plastic is going to be what Maebh spends her allowance money on!  At €6 for a set of 24 strands – it’s not cheap.   Allowance money is being introduced after the New Year.



While I think it’s aimed for 8+, kids like Maebh 6, enjoy it and kids like Soren nearly 9 find it hard.

While there is no battery, it comes with a micro-USB Charging Cable whch doesn’t have to be plugged into mains all the time unlike other 3D pens – so that is GREAT!  Also the tip doesn’t get super hot like some other pens so it’s IDEAL for kids!

Loads of wasted wax but still fun!  Extra wax kits are perfect birthday presents!

More about the product line including a newsletter, ideas and ways to buy can be found on their website here:

Disclosure:   I have purchased the 3Doodle Start myself and was not given the item for free for my review.  This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

Do It Yourself: Nail & String Art

Yesterday I tried a project, which I had been wanting to do for a while now – string art.  I think it came out great, but the wood was not the best – old shelf from a broken bookshelf – so instead of tossing it out, I recycled it, but it’s not “real” wood.  Also the nails were too short, so must keep that in mind when I buy more nails – longer are better.

First you put in the nails, then wrap the string…. this can be done in different patters and colors, but for the first one I didn’t fuss much.

Final item.  I think it’s cute and I have it in Soren’s room.

Maebh wants one so will do one for her possibly on the last shelf thing I have but what I really want to do is Massachusetts.    There are a few examples out there which I like so will do something similar but not exact.

If I ever get around to doing more, I’ll update.

DIY: Santa & Christmas Cookie Plates

Last year at the kids’ school’s Winter Fair, I made some cute Santa shell Christmas Tree ornaments from the shells we collected up at Portrane Beach in Donabate.

This year, I agreed to make something else for the same Adult/Holiday Gifts table.  I am going to be doing up some Santa & Rudolph Cookie plates.   I bought a few 1.00 plates at Ikea the other day, but I need to get the ones with flat rim edges as I think they’ll look cuter.  Some people make these type plates with Sharpie markers, but I have a whole kit of brilliant porcelain paint markers from Ross Baker, which will set better.   After you draw on the porcelain, you set by putting in the oven on 160 c for 90 minutes!   It says safe to eat off, but I’m still hesitant on that… so best use for “Santa’s Cookies and Ruldolph’s Carrot”.

Anyway, here are a few plates I did up  – some are cuter than others but all in all are pretty decent for my first try.   The ones with the rims will help prevent the paint from running down and allow for them to be personalized, if requested.

Happy to report they sold at the Winter Fair and we kept the perosnalized one for future visits from Santa!

National Trust: Acorns – Don’t Worry BEE Happy at Sheringham Park

Today Maebh & I attended Don’t Worry BEE Happy session put on by the Acorns Toddler Group from Sheringham Park – National Trust.  

As I posted before, it is the outdoor learning group for kids 2-4. Same as those who organized the Animal Adventure Adventure Soren & I attended back in February Half Term.  As well as the two events we did with  Godelieve & Harvey – It’s A Shore Thing & most recently Magnificent Moths.

We started off doing a little search for stickers with photos of various bees, hives & insects (some of which we saw today) scattered all around before heading outside into The Bower section.

We started off in the Wild Flower field looking at different bees.  We were to look at their bottoms – some were white, others were orange.  While I know there are many different types of bees, I never took note of the different color bottoms. 


We then went just behind the pond and were each given a little bug jar, heavy duty net catcher and a pad to dump our findings.  Rob showed us how to maneuver the heavy duty nets though the bushes to capture as many bugs as possible.   Maebh and I caught a large amount of common green capsid bugs.  When you put them in the little jar, they were all over each other and another little bug – as if they were attacking each other.  Rob says they are vegetarians, but they really did look like they were killing the other buggy, so we released them quickly.  

We then walked over to the large field where we played a game.  Jenny had a beehive and the kids had to run off like bees and buzz around finding the yellow pollen and return it to the beehive.  We then played a game with a bear in the middle who fell asleep (eyes closed) and a person would come to steal the honey when the bear woke up, she/he had to guess who is hiding the honey behind their back.  Like last time, only a few of the older kids played. Perhaps next session, Maebh will get in there, now that at least two of the older more aggressive assertive kids will be gone. 

After our bug adventure, we went inside for tea, biscuit & craft.  We made these cute little pine cone bees, which now live in our flowers on the mantel in the dining area. 

After we had a story about bees and a song before saying goodbye.  Then Maebh and I walked around a bit.  We checked out the wildflower section again, stick art, the new insect hotel, and at the pond where she spotted many tadpoles but still not a single frog.  She also spotted a Pond Snail and then ran over to the sign and pointed at it. 




She also pointed at the Crayfish photo and said, “We got that at the market.”.   I think she means the lobsters we have had back in Boston. 


And finished off the fun with a ride on William’s Postman Pat scooter.

This was the last session of Little Acorns, but while Maebh will be in a Nursery school in the Fall, but I’ll just book her in for 5 days so the school gets the funding but will take her out of school every other week to attend this session, as we really like it.
Plus I heard today that I got the part-time Visitor Services & Admin. Assistant role at Sheringham Park, so I’m very psyched!!