Sabrina’s Top Twelve Ways to Save Money, Spend Less and Use Less Energy Around the Home

Welcome to todays lifestyle blogging article “Sabrina’s Top Twelve Ways to Save Money, Spend Less on Electric and Use Less Energy Around the Home”. With the rising cost of living and lots of other prices changing, I figured I would share the ways in which I, Sabrina, a single parent, save money on a daily basis. And by drilling some of these into your head and completing them daily, you will soon see how great they are and hopefully I can help save you some money! Lets begin!

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Close Your Curtains – either to keep the heat inside during colder months or to keep the heat out and keep your home cool during hot days. I often see people not closing their curtains in an evening and I wonder if they know how much energy they’re losing. As for the summer it works the same way, don’t open them in a morning to let the heat in, just leave them shut and return to a much cooler room than if you had opened them.

Time your Showers – We can all be guilty of letting the hot water run over us and our minds drift off into a tangent of thoughts and procrastinations. However by either setting alarms or by playing a timed playlist on your phone while you shower, you will be saving yourself water and electricity and even time! I personally have a selection of 30 minute music playlists, and I know that when I reach the final song my half an hour of bathroom ablutions time is up! Give it a go yourself and see how you get on.

Close Your Doors – even by pushing your doors within an inch or twos gap of the frame will prevent lots of heat escaping in the winter. I usually pop a door stopper on the other side of said door once we are in (for example) the lounge with no intention of moving for an hour or two. This stops children or pets pushing the door open too far and letting your heat escape into a hallway for example.

Invest in some USB Chargeable Lights – So I have several of these around my home and various types. I have bars in the hallways so I don’t have to bother turning any lights on, they have sensors so when you walk within range they just pop on. Useful for saving money on electricity! Also great if you forget to turn lights off because these USB ones turn off after 30 seconds to 1 minute (depending on brand). Other chargeable lights include ones that are freestanding and you simply charge them up and then turn them on and let them drain down. One that I have takes about an hour to charge but lasts up to six hours – great in an evening if I don’t need much light.

USB Chargeable Motion Sensor Light Bars

Light Bulbs – one weekend or day off pop around your home with another person. One goes up a ladder and checks bulbs and the other writes down on a piece of paper what types and if they are energy saving and how many watts are the maximum. Then, next time you’re out shopping go and buy the bulbs that are energy saving and cost less to run. These bulbs usually last for ten years or up to 10,000 hours – whichever comes first!

Watering a Garden – if you spend water from inside your home to water your garden it will slowly start to become a lot of expense. Instead buy one or two black dustbin type plastic barrels (roughly £14 each) and they come with a lid too! Use a watering can to dip into them and remove water as and when you need it. Set them up in a part of your garden where rain water can easily fill them up. You’ll be surprised how fast they fill on a rainy day! Use the water from the butts for your garden plants before turning your home taps on! It will save you money on your water bill especially if you’re on a meter.

Buy or Make Draught Excluders – I have one on the inside of each door of my home, they keep draughts out and stop your heat escaping through holes under doors. If you cannot afford one because they often retail at around £15 these days, and you are good at seeing! Then you could always try and make one out of some old clothes and some stuffing. Might be fun to do with your children!

Draught Excluders for Doors

Buy Thicker Curtains or Lined Curtains ready for Winter – I bought lined curtains for £15 in the fabulous Dunelm sale last year. And I also built a pole above my front door and put two curtains up there as well. One reason was to keep the heat inside during the winter because doors easily let your heat escape. Two is also from a security aspect, if you have a window next to your front door then people may be able to look inside easily, a curtain across prevents them from seeing anything.

Invest in Fleece Throws – I love a nice comfortable throw, but by putting a couple where you frequently sit down will also save you money. I have one folded up across the bottom of my bed, I have two on my sofa. If I’m cold in an evening I will put that over me or around me and not touch the thermostat on the heating. Maintaining an optimum temperature for your heating is also a great start, then use other things such as wearing another layer of clothing or by covering yourself up with a throw while sitting down to help save the pennies. Fleece Throws can start from as little as £4 each in places like Tesco and Dunelm, I bought 3 at £6 each last year. They are large ones and one covers both mine and my sons legs when we sit and watch television in an evening. Fleece throws are also easy to wash and fast to dry due to the material.

Clothes Airers and Camping Pegs – no I’m not mad! I’m letting you in on my clothes drying secrets! So for £20 or less you can buy a large freestanding clothing airer at a supermarket and a packet of camping peg hooks from a local do it all shop. You’ll be able to dry more clothes outside this way and in more weather types simply by pinning the airer down to your lawn with the pegs. This way it doesn’t blow over, but you can easily pull up the pegs and pick up the whole thing to move it indoors if the weather takes a turn. I regularly do this with small thinner items all year round if it’s windy and the sunshine is out. Any reason to not use the tumble drier I will surely take it! You can save lots of money by drying even half a load of washing outdoors.

Turning it OFF! – I’m a big believer in “if you aren’t using it then turn it off” and this goes for lights, appliances and electronics. There are only 6 things that are always on, either because they are constantly running or on standby in my home, they are the Broadband Box, the Sky TV Box, the Boiler, the Washing Machine, my electronic Doorbell and the Fridge/Freezer. Everything else is off, I only put the oven or microwave or drier on when they are actually going to be used. It saves me a ton of electricity by turning things off at the socket and not leaving them standing idle – plus with a small child you don’t want them turning on appliances that might get hot! So there are double reasons for clicking that off switch on the wall. It’s the same with main lights, if you leave a room just turn it off. Finished cooking dinner and done with that Oven? Just turn it off.

Grow Your Own – Every year I try and grow things but this year I am pulling out all the stops to try and grow more fruit and vegetables. Combining my rain catching water tubs with a watering can, I can easily water the tubs I have created. Follow me on my social media for updates on this because I will be documenting photographically just how well we do through the Summer and into the Autumn. Even if you have a balcony not a garden, you can get vertical planters nowadays where you can grow things such as herbs, raspberries or strawberries, tomatoes and chill peppers. I don’t have a patch that I am able to dig up, so I am simply using pots to grow everything. Check out my Instagram for more photographs on how I am managing to do this. Also, teaching your children (if you have any) about the importance of nurturing something while it grows is an excellent life lesson.

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Thanks for reading this blog post today. I would love it if you would get in touch, write a comment below if you found any of this useful or you liked some of my ideas. Do you have any awesome ideas yourself for saving money?

If you implement any of my hacks yourself I would love to hear from you on here or on social media. You can tag me #SevernSabrina if you want me to see it too.

Have a great remainder of June!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Sabrina’s Easter Craft Ideas 2022

Happy Easter! I hope you’re having a wonderful long weekend!

If you’ve already been out and about and are now looking for something to do within your home to keep the children entertained, then why not check out all my craft pieces below, show your children and they might want to give them a go! They are all really easy and just need a few minutes of your time as the adult to deal with some scissor cutting and poking holes, and then they can begin! You won’t need any fancy craft equipment for any of these either, just gather the following items on my list below and you’re good to go!

If you were wondering what it cost me to make all of the craft items I have done in recent posts it was about £15. That includes all of the double sided tape, various packs of white and coloured card, good quality colouring pens, craft balls and pipe cleaners among other things. But I have lots of them left over from these purchases too for use in future craft projects. I actually have more crafty items in the works and I’m still using up the same items and haven’t needed to buy any additional ones.

Sabrina’s TOP TIP: Making up a Craft box is a great idea, it will keep everything neat and tidy. Throw in left over pieces of card, toilet rolls and crafting left overs. I recommend a Really Useful Box or a similar one which has a tight fitting lid. These are also really strong and stackable for easy storing away.

✩✩✩ What Will We Need for all these Projects ✩✩✩

Toilet Rolls
Cereal Box Cards
Pens to Decorate
Scissors
A Pen or Pencil
A Ruler
Pipe Cleaners
Fluffy Craft Balls
Coloured Card
Googly Eyes
Double Sided Tape
Pritt Stick or PVA used sparingly

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How to Make Sabrina’s Fluffy Craft Easter Animals

These cute and fluffy animals were made using cereal box card, double sided tape and a bag of craft balls! In all it cost me about £2! And we have a ton of balls left over which we can use as flower middles and things like that – I use them in other projects too. This one is easy for little children, you do the templates and then add the glue on and then they can go to town with all the sticking!

Step 1. Draw on a cereal box, inside on the flat side piece, whatever shape you like, a Rabbit, a Chick, an Easter Egg, whatever you like or your children want.
Step 2. Cut out your templates, make them as big or as small as you like.
Step 3. Use PVA or Pritt Stick or Doubled Sided Tape to coat your template with glue.
Step 4. Provide a clean and flat surface for your little ones to sit and stick the fluffy craft balls to their card template.
Step 5. Add googly eyes or card beaks or any other items you want to finish them off.
Step 6. Let them dry overnight, place a piece of kitchen roll or newspaper on a flat surface, add the template, add another layer of tissue or newspaper, and then place a heavy book on top overnight to flatten them down and help the balls to stick.
Step 7. Next day you can display them around your home.

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How to Make Sabrina’s Toilet Roll Flowers

My easy toilet roll flowers are so simple to do! They only take about ten minutes to make once your toilet roll is decorated and dry. You could make a load of these, if you have a kitchen roll tube you may even get 3 flowers worth of petals from one tube! I would like to try and make a Rainbow of these!

Step 1. Let the Children decorate their toilet rolls and let them dry.
Step 2. An adult then cuts the toilet rolls into equal width pieces to make the petals.
Step 3. An adult also then uses the pointy end of their open scissors to poke holes that are 1cm up from the end and through both sides of each petal. (See my photo).
Step 4. The petals can now be opened out and gently threaded on to a pipe cleaner through the holes made with the scissors. Push them on until they hit the middle of the pipe and keep adding round.
Step 5. Curve the Pipe Cleaner round as you go, after each petal, and then after the final one is added you push the ends of the pipe back through the final petal holes to neaten it up. Line it up spaced between the petals while it is flat on a table and then push a fluffy craft ball into the middle.
Step 6. Hang your flowers up around your home on ribbon or string for a nice decoration.

Step 3 – 1 cm in from the petal end
Step 3 – making holes through the petals
Step 4.
Step 4 to 5.
Step 5.
Step 6.

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Step 2 – Cut the Decorated Roll into 5 Pieces

How to Make Sabrina’s Toilet Roll Easter Bunny

My cute toilet roll bunny’s are great for the Easter break! And they should stand up all by themselves! They are a little trickier than the flowers, but lots of fun still! They all start with a decorated toilet roll anyway so make sure you just save them up and get little ones to colour them in.

Step 1. Children decorate toilet rolls and let them dry.
Step 2. An adult cuts the toilet rolls into 5 pieces, a base, two ears, a middle and a head. (See Photo).
Step 3. An adult uses the pointy end of scissors to poke holes in the pieces, each one is specific. So…
Base is one hole, central on one side. Middle piece is two holes, one top one bottom just push the card flat together and the scissor end straight through. The Head piece needs one hole in the base at the centre, and off centre at the top it needs two holes. Each ear needs two holes, both on the same side at either end before the point. (See My Photo).
Step 4. Using a Pipe Cleaner push it on to the base and bend the end, attach the fluffy tail.
Step 5. Add the Middle to the pipe cleaner, push it down until it is flush and flat against the base.
Step 6. Take the Head piece, thread it on through the single hole, make it flush on the Middle piece of roll and then push another fluffy ball down the pipe cleaner until it sits in the middle of the roll.
Step 7. Push the pipe cleaner up through one of the holes in the top, and curve the pipe cleaner round, make sure the bunny parts are all flush and together for the body.
Step 8. Add each ear by pushing the pipe cleaner up through one side with the holes on, in through the bottom hole and out of the top hole, bend the pipe cleaner round and then through the top hole of the final ear and down through the bottom hole.
Step 9. The final step is to push the rest of the pipe cleaner down through the second hole on the bunny head, if you have more than 1cm of pipe left cut it off, then push the last 1cm into the fluffy ball within the roll bunny head, this neatens it up and gets the pointy end of the pipe cleaner hidden away.
Step 10. Adjust your bunny feet base and middle parts so that the bunny is aligned and he should stand up all by himself!

Step 3 – use my guide to make the necessary holes
Step 4 – Base and Tail
Step 7 and Step 8 – Threading the Ears

My bunny making video tutorial can be found on my Facebook page if you get stuck which is right here

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How to Make Sabrina’s Circle Petal Flower Card

This one is nice and easy and once all the cutting out is done, children can stick them down however they like to design their own flowers.

Step 1. Fold a Piece of Card in half for your card base.
Step 2. Draw around a circular object many many times on some different pieces of coloured card.
Step 3. Cut out these circles carefully and assemble flat.
Step 4. Every circle needs to be folded in half.
Step 5. Assemble your Flower by arranging the petals with one side sticking up to make it 3D.
Step 6. Cut out a small circle in a bright colour for the centre of each flower.
Step 7. Once happy with the design either pritt stick or double sided tape each petal down to the card.
Step 8. Make leaves or stems from card, or use pens to decorate your card.

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Thank you for reading this (long) Craft related blog post today, I always showing you my latest “Sabrina’s How To Make’s”! And if you have any questions for me about how to do something you’ve seen on my blog then please comment below on this post and I will happily answer them for you. I hope that you have seen something you would like to try and make yourself!

If you do make any of my craft items please tag me on social media using the hashtag #SabrinasHowToMake I really look forward to seeing them!

✩ Sabrina 

Check out my previous How to Make Craft posts for these beautiful 3D paper flowers!

Sabrina’s Kitchen Storage and Tidying Hacks and How to Make your own Labelled Storage Boxes

✩ Sabrina’s Kitchen Storage and Tidying Hacks ✩

My blog post today is all about Kitchen Hacks for Tidying and Storage! I hope you are excited! I love helping people to get the most out of their homes!

Have you ever seen those awesome flat pack storage ideas? IKEA sell a load of them, but you can also get them from good homeware stores too. Well I have a few awesome life hacks for you for the kitchen, using this type of storage essential! They are normally designed for clothing but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in other rooms.

For Example. I use a Sock Storage for the kitchen drawer! I use mine for my Tea Towels and cloths! You can also use this style of storage for your bedroom drawers for a variety of items, not just socks, but anything that is around that size.

I use a large coffee jar as a vase, and I also use a large coffee jar and its lid for cosmetic pad storage.

Just because an item used to have one purpose, does not mean you can’t then use it for something entirely different. I am always reusing items around my home to suit my needs at that moment in time. Let us take a look at some of my hacks now.

I use a sock organiser for tea towels in the kitchen drawer.

✩ Other Kitchen Hacks ✩

Reusing and Repurposing Glass Jars

An empty Herb Jar makes a great kitchen pen pot, stick 2 magnets on the back and it will be attachable to your fridge! I use mine for pens and fridge magnets!

Do you drink Coffee? Some large coffee jars are made of very sturdy and strong glass, not only that but they are often nice shapes too. You can reuse these as Pasta Jars, Vases for Flowers, Cosmetics Storage and so much more. Do you have a use I’ve not thought of that you love or already do at home? Please leave me a comment I would love to hear your ideas too.

Small Fat Jars from such things as Salsa, Jam, Apple Sauce and Chutney etc are a great size for when you make your own Chutney or Jam at home. If you don’t do a lot of cooking you could repurpose these jars as kitchen storage, one for loose buttons, elastic bands and the like. One could be for chewing gum and mints, or even sauce sachets and seasonings when you get spare from a takeaway say. Reusing glass is very economical, especially now that places have started to do “fill your own” with refillable food items.

Kitchen Storage Hacks – Labelled Boxes

So since I moved house I wanted to create some labelled storage boxes for my kitchen cupboards, but I was shocked to see online retailers offering just the labels at £2 plus each! Boxes that had names printed on for you started at around £15 a single box! Then you had to pay postage! Queue me putting my face in my hands… On a visit to B&M in my nearby town I saw a sheet with some lovely swirled writing silver stickers on which said Laundry, Cleaning, Cloths etc. I bought one for £2 and got inspired to make tidying up boxes to go under my sink. But I wanted to do the whole kitchen at this point too!


I looked at my budget which was £20 and I figured out that I needed at least 8 boxes for my cupboard, if not more. I shopped around and found some fantastic letters on Amazon, a pack of 8 alphabet stick on glittery letters that would only cost me £4 with free Prime delivery. Get in! Yes! I ordered them and then went on the hunt for boxes. Having purchased Curver and Wham boxes in the past and being happy with their quality, I thought I wanted something similar. I used google to find that Wham were the only ones who did solid sided boxes that came in a range of sizes.

Once I knew what I wanted I matched their size to the width of my cupboards and searched for who was doing them on any deals. I managed to get them for just £1 a box while they were on offer online, and although I ended up having to pay for delivery it arrived in two days and I had just what I needed. I ordered 8 boxes of one size, 4 White and 4 Grey. Then I ordered 3 larger White boxes for my “Laundry / Cleaning” cupboard. I only have my kitchen and no utility or storage area, so every inch of space matters a great deal to me.

It took me 3 hours to stick down all of the lettering on to my boxes, working out which colour went well on each box so it stood out, and carefully making sure they were also in a straight line across the boxes. Then it took another hour sorting my cupboard out and placing the corresponding products into their labelled boxes. Overall I am really happy with how it has turned out, and I saved myself a ton of money in the process!

BEFORE
AFTER

Here are my before and after pictures for my kitchen cupboard, I can now see exactly what I have got and also when I am running low on something. As a single mother on a strict budget each month I find it very important to be able to do this effectively, meaning I don’t waste time looking through things every week. By having these organised boxes I can simply look at what remains in each one when writing out my shopping list.

When I finally got all the boxes into place I had wished I had found the time to do this sooner. It has made my cleaning and shopping life ten times easier.

Wow! Don’t they look great! I’m really happy with how they turned out!

I purchased the Wham Boxes online and the Letter Stickers I found came from Amazon UK.

I give the Quality of the Wham Boxes 5 and would buy them again.

Thank you for reading this blog post today and I hope I have inspired you to make some changes for the better, in your own home. It’s easy when you know how! Any questions just pop me a comment and I will happily get back to you.

✩ Sabrina ✩

The Transition of moving my son from a Cot to a Toddler Bed, my Tips and First Hand Experiences plus Reviews of the Purchases I made.

If you’re reading my blog today you might be in the same boat that I was last summer, which is wondering if it were time to make the move for your little one. The transition to a toddler bed is not one to be taken lightly, it is a huge step for our little person, and they deserve lots of time, patience and assistance from us (as their parent/s) to help them feel safe and secure in their new upgraded space.

Hopefully this article that I have combined with my review of the toddler bed that I bought, can help you to make informed decisions on what is best for you and your child/ren. Is it time? Only you will know by the actions and dependence your child currently has.

When the bed was finally in place…

When my son turned two I wanted him to start using a toddler bed and there were several reasons why I thought this needed to happen now. The first reason was that it was difficult to lower him inside his cot when he had fallen asleep in my arms, and he was now tall enough to consider trying to climb over. I didn’t want that to happen, so I purchased his first toddler bed after measuring up the space that I had in his bedroom.

I bought the Argos “Ellis Toddler Bed” in Grey, to match my sons furniture, and then bought a mattress online. I had chosen this bed for three reasons, the first being its height from the floor, the second was that it came with a drawer for under bed storage, and the final reason was because of the three quarter sides.

My son moves frequently in his sleep and I knew that it would be quite a while before he could sleep safely without any sides to his bed. This bed was a great size for the price and I would hope it to last him two years at least due to the length. The handy draw keeps tidy all of the towels and bedding I use for my sons room and it is easy enough to slide in and out on its rolling caster wheels.

Bed Frame size L144, W75, H57cm.
Required Mattress size L140, W70cm.
Clearance between floor and underside of bed 19.5cm.
Drawer size H18.5, W139, D73.5cm.

There are now limited stock on this bed but it does also come in different colours. Here is what I would give it on my review scores having used it now for a whole year.


Quality of Paintwork 4✩
Quality of Manufacturing 4✩
Quality of Finished Product 5✩
Correct Specifications 5✩
Product Design 5✩



Overall this product is excellent quality and although it was difficult to put together, overall we have been very happy with it. A fantastic size for toddlers and small children and my son hasn’t fallen out of it due to the great design with those side bars. Although he is average height for his age (at 3) he still has plenty of room left to grow into this bed.

The Transition from a Cot to a Bed – My Tips and Tricks

The biggest thing about change for toddlers is that it can be unnerving to them. They get anxious and have to get used to something over time, so don’t worry if this alteration in routine and sleeping area takes a few weeks for them to get used to. The best thing that you can do for the first few nights is to keep the routine the same, but just place them in the new bed. If you have a routine that ends with them being placed into bed keep doing that.
Then on the second week add one new thing now that the child is older such as, can they now get into bed themselves because they are old enough to do so? It will make them feel bigger if they do it themselves and gives them confidence, but only when they are willing to get into bed on their own.
Don’t forget to use positive reinforcement when they are on the bed or in the bed so that the praise gives them positive ideals of being in the furniture.
Saying things as “What a lovely new bed you have!” and “Now that you are two/three you can sleep in this special big kids bed” and remember to let them know that this is a good thing, a positive step and not one away from you. Definitely praise little one when they get into bed without you having to prompt them too!

Getting the child to stay in bed is another matter though. Don’t worry if they frequently get out of bed or even tumble out of bed half asleep for the first few weeks, wondering where you are (especially if you have had them sleeping in your room up until this point). And the beauty of the toddler bed is its distance to the floor. They usually are only between 15 and 20cm from the floor.
Make sure to implement rules in their new bedroom, such as no toys after bed time. The child is not too young at this age to be putting their own toys back into a box or tub or basket, so why not start them off if you haven’t already done so (good practice for preschool).
I have found that it’s also a good idea to introduce a clock or show the time to a child at this age, and tell them that at “7 o’clock” (or whatever your bedtime is) their toys are put away and your bedtime routine begins.
Personally we are in the room for 7.30pm but it can take up to an hour to settle my three year old, some nights a story or two is enough and other nights I’m still reading at the hour mark. But it’s just imperative that you keep the routine the same, even if the time differs slightly, it’s still the act of doing things in the order that they are used to, and the act of then getting them into their own bed.


Talk About Their Safe Space

I tell my son every single night that he is “safe in his bed” and he is “safe at home with mummy” and this has reinforced him to stay in his bed. For the first few weeks if he woke in the night he would come and find me because he wasn’t sure on things. Now he’s more than happy to climb into his bed and choose the stories he wants at bedtime. He knows that I’m never far away now, but his bedroom is a safe place for him to be. He doesn’t always come and find me now that he is older either. He often wakes (and I hear him) but he presses his singing toy and lays back down or he will have a sip of water from his bottle and then turn over and go back to sleep.
Again positive reinforcement is key when organising their safe space. When little one wakes up they want to recognise where they are and that it is home or safe, favourite toys or items around the room will help.

If you find your little one is struggling initially with the bed transition then you could choose to sleep on the floor in their room for a few nights. Whenever they wake up in the night make sure they know that you aren’t far away and they are safe. It is totally normal for most children to find their new surroundings daunting, but remember to just keep praising and comforting, they will soon get there. All children are different and it could take a few weeks of patience to achieve the end goal, but everyone should sleep better once that is over with.


Ensure Comfort

Make sure that they are comfortable on a firm but soft mattress and that the room is an optimum temperature. I still use our Gro-Egg from when he was a baby to tell me the room temp! My son had sleeping bags until he was two and a half, he was happy to sleep in them until he got older then he kept trying to take them off. I gave him his own thin pillow at three years of age, and I now put him in Pyjamas and a blanket over him. I have bought a toddler duvet this summer ready for the colder winter months, now that he is old enough to be able to push it away from his own face.


Keep Stories Gentle at Bedtime

I have found that stories that talk about bedtime or going to sleep are best at bedtime, other books can just excite little ones too much. My son has an absolute favourite book about a bear and a baby bear and he’s on his way to going to sleep, and we read it every night. I can now recite it from memory while he falls asleep in my arms (that is how many hundreds of times I have read it). But it’s such a lovely and gentle book that talks about how much mummy bear loves little bear and she is never far away no matter what he is getting up to. Consider what you are doing during your bedtime routine and make sure that there is nothing that is causing your little one to become more awake as opposed to be falling asleep. The best books we have found come from The Works.

My sons favourite book that I highly recommend, we found it at The Works.

Thank you so much for reading this blog post that I have written today, I do hope that you have found it informative and if my lifestyle experience with my son can help you in some way then I am more than happy to share it.

✩ Sabrina ✩

How I Made a Fun Craft Caterpillar to Teach my Child about Colours

My Fun Craft Caterpillar is an easy to make craft project, that can help you to teach your toddler about colours and counting. You can make it any size you like and with only a few simple and non expensive items. Ideal for children aged two plus with good fine motor skills.

Designed for Age Group – 2 Years Plus (Supervised)
Parent Difficulty to Make – 3/5
Time it takes to Make – 4 – 6 Hours
Cost to Make – £10
Reasons to Make – Learning about Colours and Counting
. Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills.

When my son began having issues with delayed speech I came up with several things to aid him in his communication. One of which was a Caterpillar friend that I made into several different items. Today I’m going to be showing you how I made my Fun Craft Colours Caterpillar! He is cute and great for helping little ones learn about colours, counting out and developing fine motor skills.

TOP TIP I wanted to help my son develop his fine motor skills as well as improve him saying different colours, picking up the Pom Poms and getting them to drop inside the correct tube does take some skills for little ones, so don’t worry if they have to learn how to do it. My son got the hang of it really quickly and was soon getting faster at doing it. One Tip is to show your little one what you want them to do, and then let them figure it out on their own a bit too. Always supervise but encourage and praise when they succeed.

What You Will Need

Toilet Roll Tubes – You can use toilet rolls and kitchen rolls and just trim them so they are a similar height. Order your card and Pom Poms and work out how many rolls you will need, you require one roll per colour.

A Thick Cardboard Base – Do you have a sturdy box after going shopping or have had something delivered? You need a piece of strong thick cardboard either a Square or a Rectangle for your Base that the Caterpillar will stand on.

Coloured Card – You need to try and match the coloured card with the Pom Poms you are ordering. If you want to do a simple Caterpillar just go for a pack with Red, Yellow, Green and Blue mix, sometimes you get an Orange or a Pink in those packs. I bought two packs to ensure I got black, white, purple, pink and orange for my more complex Caterpillar.

Coloured Pom Poms – A toilet roll tube is a certain width across, so make sure you only order Pom Poms that are less than this. My tubes are 4cm wide so I purchased a bag of mixed coloured 2cm Pom Poms. This means they are easy enough to tip back out after every use. Also ensure you get non toxic child friendly craft items from reputable companies.

Double Sided Tape – You need this tape for cleanly applying your Card to your Rolls, this is the most time consuming of the craft build but it’s easier and less messy than waiting for lots of paint to dry. (See my How To below).

Paint for the Base – I chose to just paint my base Green, as if the Caterpillar were on a leaf or some grass. You can be as creative as you like! You only need to paint the base, once you have fixed on all your tubes (see my How To below for more clarity).

Stationery and Craft Extras – You may want to stick on googly eyes and feelers, or draw them on, it’s totally up to you, your Caterpillar, your choice! 🙂 You will also need a Pencil and a pair of Scissors.

Where I Got My Craft Items

Coloured Card Packs – Hobbycraft Online
Pom Poms – Hobbycraft Online
Goggly Eyes and Pipe Cleaners – Craft Bundle from The Works
Double Sided Tape – Tesco Store
Green Paint and Brush – The Works

How To Make Colour Caterpillar – Sabrina’s Step by Step Guide

Step 1. Assemble all of your items as described above and ensure you have enough of what you need. Place a tube, a piece of coloured card and your desired amount of Pom Poms (I used 4 per colour) into individual piles. See what you have and how many tubes with the right colours and Pom Pom matches.

Step 2. Arrange the plain tubes on your base, and see how you would like them arranged. You need a one centimetre gap between each roll where it will be attached to the base. Bearing this in mind, arrange your tubes and mark with a pencil on the base where you would like them to go.

Step 3. Satisfied that you have all the pieces you need you can begin the card craft. Start by marking the pieces of coloured card for your tubes. For example mine were 15cm high, so I marked the card at 16cm with a pencil leaving the gap of one additional centimetre. Then cut all the card pieces to size ready for wrapping around the tube.
TOP TIP ensure you leave enough card to wrap all the way around a tube with the extra at the bottom. You need at least a one centimetre section of card at the bottom of every tube for attaching it to the base.

SABRINA’S TOP TIPS: Don’t throw away pieces of card that you have left over from this make, I have plenty of Craft and Art ideas on my blog that you could use these bits for 🙂

Step 5. Cut strips of double sided tape, align them along the top and edges of the coloured card and down the centre, ensure there is enough at the edges. At what will be the base of the tube stack the pieces vertically, using a small gap between them, this will be cut in Step 7 to ensure an easy attachment to the cardboard base. Make sure you put tape on all of the coloured card pieces. TOP TIP Make sure to do this Step and on to Steps 6 to 7 at the same time and don’t leave the craft part way finished, otherwise the double sided tape will dry out before you can affix it to the base.

Step 6. Time to roll the card on to the tubes. Remove all of the double sided tape strips. Line up the top section of the cardboard with the edge of the tube, on a flat surface like a table, gently roll the tube along the card. The tape will stick well to the thin tube, using your thumb and first fingers you can smooth out the card as it sticks. Try keeping it in line at the top. Once you come to the end of the coloured card make sure the final line of it is secure to its tube, smooth with your fingers and hold the edge in place for a minute per tube making sure that its firmly stuck in place. Repeat this per tube, laying them down on their sides once you are finished.

Step 7. You now need to be cutting the base of each tube so that they can be attached to the base. Take the first coloured tube you want to attach to the base (I did a Rainbow so mine was Red) and using sharp scissors cut a one centimetre slice up into the card at the tube base. Rotate the tube around cutting vertical slices as you go. Then once cut all the way around, gently peel back the slices and make a base for your tube. Affix it into place on your cardboard base because they should already have the double sided tape attached. Press down firmly and hold for one minute. Repeat this action with all of the coloured tubes until they are all attached to the base. (See images above and below).

TOP TIP Painting the base last ensures the tubes stay in place after the double sided tape has helped stick them down on the base. It also neatens up any edges that may have tape sticking out or tubes that weren’t quite level.

Step 8. With all your coloured tubes attached to the base you can now consider adding anything else to your caterpillar, and also paint the base with whatever paint you choose. I added googly eyes and some pipe cleaners as my Caterpillar feelers.

Step 9. Leave your Caterpillar to dry overnight before showing it to your little one. Ensure that you only play with it supervised either by you or another adult. The Pom Poms should be stored inside something that little ones can’t get into unless you are doing the toy together. Most children wouldn’t eat them at this age but better safe than sorry. I recommend a small plastic box like the really useful ones with the clip over lid handles.

TOP TIP Your Caterpillar friend can now be used to teach colours and numbers! Ask your child to count how many body parts the Caterpillar has, how many Pom Poms fit in each tube, can they separate the colours correctly and add them to the correct tube? This craft project can be used for play and learning and will keep your child occupied for hours.


Have you enjoyed this Craft Project? I would love to know what you think!
Please leave me comments on the blog section below or on social media.
Please tag me if you make a Caterpillar of your own!
Use the hashtag #SabrinasCraftCreations

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope I see you again soon!

Best Wishes for a happy week ahead!

✩ Sabrina ✩

How to Make Pretty Mother’s Day Cards For Your Loved Ones and How to Create Beautiful Paper Flowers

With much of the United Kingdom still in lockdown and people unable to purchase their usual items for loved ones, I have decided to write this blog post to help people out. Mother’s Day is a special day for everyone who is classed as a Mummy, whether that is to furry children, human children, step children or children who may still reside inside us. It’s for Grandmothers, Nan’s and Great Grandparents too don’t forget, so why not make a loved one a card and let them know you’re thinking of them.

I have several ideas that should suit most people, because Mother’s Day Cards are usually floral or feminine, but you can personalise your design to fit the people in your life. If you can draw then even better! I’m not very good at drawing so I prefer to use paper and card to create pretty cards instead. This blog post is all about how I make cards using coloured card and paper.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Coloured Paper and Coloured Card
A Pencil
Items to Draw Around – to make the Circles for the Flowers
Scissors
Coloured Pencils or Crayons if you are Drawing
Pens – Mixed Colours and Thickness
Glue or Sticky Tape
Ruler
Coloured Tissue Paper
Pipe Cleaners

HOW TO MAKE YOUR CARD – 3D FLOWERS

Step 1. Take a piece of pale coloured card and fold it in half to get your card shape. Decide if your design is going to be a landscape or portrait style.


TOP TIP 1. When you come to make your shapes maximise the paper by doing them close to one another and along one edge. It makes it easier to cut them out but also and more importantly you’re not wasting any of the paper, and the leftovers can be used on your next awesome project!

Step 2. Draw around circular items in order to make your petals. Carefully cut them out and then fold them in half to create your three dimensional petals.


TOP TIP 2. The ideal size for the petals for an A4 Card design (an A5 when it is folded) are the size of a Nail Varnish bottle. Draw around the base of the bottle when it is stood up on the card. Another tip is to cut out one shape and use that as a guide to cut out the other petals so you get them the same size.

Step 3. Arrange your design on the Card first before gluing anything down, so as to make sure it all fits nicely.


Step 4. Glue or Stick the Card pieces down and finish decorating with any details or wording that you choose.

HOW TO MAKE A TISSUE PAPER FLOWER

You Will Need;
A Coloured Pipe Cleaner
Sheets of Coloured Tissue Paper

Step 1.
Lay out your tissue paper flat, you want to cut it into equal rectangles. Once cut you stack them one on top of the other.

Step 2. Fold the tissue paper stack into a concertina, like a fan, until it is all folded and flatten it down. Stick the pipe cleaner in the middle, folding it over and under the stack, then wrap the remainder of it around.

Step 3. Next you need to trim the edges of the tissue paper, you can round them off or make them pointed, it depends on how you would like your flower to look like at the end. This determines the shape of the petals of your flower.

Step 4. Once the ends are trimmed lay the flower concertina across your hand with the pipe cleaner part pointing down. You want to gently and carefully tease the layers of the flower up and out. Once they are all up spread them out and make it look like the petal layers of a real flower.

(There is a video tutorial on this on my Facebook page as well).

Check out my images below!

My Tips for Opening your Flower: Open the tissue paper out gently and carefully, you should start to see a fan shape at first, and then you can raise the inner layers of the flower, just start by pulling upwards towards the middle part where the pipe cleaner is so as to make the flower look three dimensional.

Step 5. When you are finished it should look like my images below. Bend the pipe cleaner a little to make it look like a flower. Fan the petals out gently to make it three dimensional.

Paper Flower Dimensions

It depends upon how much you trim on the ends to create the petal shapes of your flower, but here are some rough dimensions of the size that your flowers will be. The larger the flower the easier it is to fluff up. Why don’t you experiment like I have below with different shaped petals and layering different colours of tissue paper too!

Rectangle Size 20cm equals a 17cm flower
Rectangle Size 15cm equals a 12cm flower
Rectangle Size 7.5cm equals at 7cm flower

HOW TO MAKE YOUR CARD – Happy Mother’s Day – Their Favourite Flower or Favourite Item

Step 1.
Work out what your loved ones favourite thing is, then you want to write the words Happy Mother’s Day either vertical or horizontal on the folded A5 card. You incorporate those words into the item, such as the stem of the flower, or the base of an item like a slice of cake. (See my photo below for inspiration).

Step 2. To make a flower you need to cut twelve identical coloured card petals. Layer them up on the card to make the flower, don’t forget the middle bit either.

TOP TIP 3. If you want the petals to all be the same cut one and then use that one to draw around to make the additional ones.

Step 3. Other things you could do include a slice of cake with a triangle piece of card decorated with smaller shaped pieces. Or draw an outline and let smaller children colour them in.

Another easy thing to do is a card of family hand prints.

Other Card Designs that are Easy to Achieve are…

Flat Flowers
Three Dimensional Flowers
Drawing Bouquet of Flowers
Family Hand Prints
Cake Slice Drawing
Favourite Animal

Use a Ruler and Pen to make the stem lines and the bow, colour them in with pens and draw little flowers on the end of the stems. I did daisy like shapes, but if you can draw better then me be creative with it! Do any colour combination that you like. Add some wording around your design like “Happy Mother’s Day”.

I really hope that you have enjoyed this blog post and find it beneficial. If you do make some cards I would love to see them! Please tag me on any of my social media using the hashtag #SabrinasArtandCrafts

Thank you and I wish you all a lovely Mother’s Day.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Introducing Children to Nature with Fun and Games

There are many ways to introduce toddlers and young children to nature. No matter where you live there will always be something to see. So here are my top tips on how you can start showing off the nature where you live, to your children. It’s never too early to start learning!

And I am sure that David Attenborough would agree with me when I say that “You’re never too young or too old to learn about the world around you”.

By making things fun children are more likely to learn and remember the information you are portraying. You can still stay safe at home but enjoy nature around where you live by keeping to social distancing guidelines.

Here are my Top 5 things to do at Home but Outside! Be it in your Garden or if you don’t have one you could just go on a Walk around your village or town or park. It may be lockdown but that doesn’t stop you walking socially distanced from other families.

Children are more likely to learn and listen if you turn things into fun and a game. So why not make your own games up, or take a look at my ideas below.

1. Bird Spotting
2. Bug Finding
3. Pick a Creature – Try To Find It
4. What Is That I See? What Is Around My Home
5. Eye Spy Lockdown Edition

1. Bird Spotting is easy enough to do, take a notepad and pen with you and write everyone’s names at the top. Make columns down the page and write down every different sort of bird that you spot. The person who spots the most species of birds is the winner!

2. Bug Finding is great fun in a small space, depending on how old your children are you could just spot basic bugs and say things like “Beetle” or “Spider” or you can go into what type of bug you are looking at such as “Stag Beetle” etc. You could even ask little ones to draw what they saw on the walk from their memory when you get back home.

3. Pick a Creature is a great game to play with children who already know what certain animals are. Take a walk and get everyone to pick something, one person might count Crows, the other Cats, another Pigeons, but whatever it is they have to keep score of their creature until you get home.

4. What is that I see? Use your knowledge of things around where you live and discuss things with your children like the seasons, if there are evergreen trees, what colour the flowers are you can find, any buildings and their purpose etc.

5. Eye Spy Lockdown Edition is literally eye spy but your children are only allowed to pick one type of thing during your walk. You could say just birds, or just objects, whatever is best for your children’s age.

Books I Recommend

I recently invested in several books for my son who is two and a half. He is interested in matching things up lately so I thought books with pictures of things to spot when we go out for a walk are ideal. I also have a number of nature books I have collected over my lifetime, anything with large pictures and easy to see nature depicting scenes are engaging for most children.

“Usborne Minis” are Great little books ideal to carry with you on a walk, and they have a range so you could pick which is most relevant to you and where you live, for example Birds, Trees or Bugs. There are always National Trust books and also RSPB for birds. Another great book I own is the DK Pocket Nature Wildlife of Britain book, it’s a few years old now but has excellent photography and information about British wildlife.

Of course you can always use a search engine on your phone to find out what you’ve seen, but the joy of these sorts of books is being able to mark things off when you have spotted them. The Usborne Mini book set have stickers for you to place on a grid inside the book in order to tick them off. This is great because you also have to identify the sticker as well as the creature or tree for example. Simple but it’s still learning at its best.

Thank you for reading this post today, I hope I have inspired you to get out and about in your area with your children (or just your other half). I have many more lockdown friendly ideas coming up over the next few weeks, so please check back another time if you enjoyed this post.

Have a lovely week!

✩ Sabrina ✩

A Week of Positive Things – Sabrina’s Tips for having a more Positive 7 Days at Home

A Week of Positive Things

Sabrina’s Top Tips for having a more Positive 7 Days

Everyone seems to be feeling a bit low lately, it’s bound to be the Winter Blues mixed in with everything to do with the Pandemic. There are so many people who have found themselves working from home again, and many young people who are studying at home again too. With all this time stuck at home there are lots of anxious feelings and negativity, so I’m here with some suggestions to try and put a positive spin back into your home environment!

So here is my solution to tackle the blues, try to take half an hour out of your day as a family unit, every afternoon for the next week, after work is over and after the schooling is done for the day. Pick one of these ideas of mine to do together, a different one every day in any order you like.

I guarantee they will have you feeling more positive by the end of day 7! You can do them in any order you like! Or do one of them twice if it’s a hit! If you play along please comment on this post or on my socials at the end of the week and tell me which activity your family preferred and whether these activities did in fact work for you and increase your family’s positive attitudes.

  1. Go for a Walk (Weather Dependent) and play a game as you go! Ideal for parents with younger children who are still enthralled by the nature of “eye spy”. But the fresh air and endorphins combined should make all of you feel better too. Older children may want to go for a jog or a bike ride if that’s more your thing, so long as it’s half an hour outdoors with your family, all together.

  2. Watch a Funny TV Show or Cartoon. Laugher really can help you to feel better, even for a brief moment, so why not stick on a tv show or a favourite cartoon that never failed to make you laugh and giggle together. Tom and Jerry is a good one!

  3. Bake or Make Something Delicious! I have a ton of recipes on my blog and some don’t even take that long to do. So why not make some chocolate crispy cakes or even some rocky road, something simple and even something that doesn’t require baking to save you time! Then you’ll have a tasty treat for a few afternoons to come! See what you’ve got in the cupboard! Here is my baking section HERE.

  4. Get Creative. You can do one of two things with this creative activity depending upon the age of the people in your household. Either, do a rotating draw-off where by you each start with a piece of A4 paper and one coloured pen (all varying colours) and you keep rotating the papers every minute, do this until 4 minutes is up. Everyone should’ve drawn on each of the pieces of paper. No talking! See what you’ve come up with! Share them with me on social media! #SabrinasCreativeCrafts
    OR
    You can play the Sentences Game. The idea is to make up a creative story, it should be funny, and you once again rotate the papers. This time you want long strips and not A4. Cut a vertical A4 in half twice or get your strips. Once the first minute is up and the first sentence has been written, you all fold over the section and pass it on. When the time is up you each open up the papers to find a story.

    For example;
    There once was a man who couldn’t find his shoes.
    I think I want some KFC he thought.
    He headed off in the direction of the sunset.
    In the end his dog ran away and joined the circus.

    If you have teenagers then you could play the game another way, this is called CONSEQUENCES, you start by writing on each of the papers the following things, add extra if you have a large family so that everyone will get a go at each section when the papers are passed on. They usually go like this…
    ___
    Met
    ___
    At
    ___
    They said ___
    What happened next was ___ OR The Consequence was ___

    Then unroll it after everyone has had their turn and the sections are completed, then take turns in reading them out. See my photo below this list for an idea of what it would look like when you finished! Warning my examples may cause laughter!

  5. Photos! Another fun thing that would brighten your spirits is to look back at any photo albums that you have or digital slideshows. You could even play a game while you look through them. Every time that your mum is seen with sunglasses on she gets a point, each time someone hasn’t got their hat on when they should you lose a point! First person to spot the water in the photos gets a point. Etc etc! Make up some rules before you start and say that the first person to 10 points gets out of doing the washing up tonight! Or the winner chooses what’s for dinner the next night! Involve one another in every day things.

  6. Write a List of Goals and Aspirations for 2021 – but only write the do-able ones! For example, I want to bake a cake for mums birthday. OR I would like to walk a mile on the next weekend that is dry and sunny. When you achieve something, even if it’s a little thing, you feel so much better about having accomplished it. Setting some realistic goals now for the year might seem silly when we don’t know what’s around the corner, however even if the goals are just for the people in your bubble, it’s still doable. Put them up on your fridge or board and tick yours off when you have completed it.

  7. Make a Meal Together. No matter how old you all are there is something fun about making dinner together. May I suggest something that everyone can get stuck into such as Fajitas, Curry, Sausages and Mash or Lasagne (dietary requirements permitting). I have tons of recipes on my blog if you need inspiring! But making and preparing food together before you eat it can be a real bonding experience, and it can also be important for teaching younger children where foods come from or that by mixing this with that you achieve this outcome. Food is something that has been so important during the first lockdowns so I thought I would continue on with that and try and get you back into your kitchen to make something you love together. Check out my Recipes HERE.
Why Not Try And Make My Delicious Cookies? Click the link in section 3 for the recipe!
The Consequences Game – Imaginative Fun for the older children in your family.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog post and that you would like to participate in my week of positivity. If you do participate in any of them or attempt to get those in your bubble to do so, then please let me know how you got on! I can’t wait to see if you make anything as well 🙂 tag me online! And thanks for joining me!

✩ Sabrina ✩

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Sabrina’s How To Make Your Own Unique Gift Tags This Festive Season

I have always had some creative flare, but one thing I had never done before was to make my own Christmas Present Tags! I came up with lots of ideas while spending time at home.

I took the plunge this November and ordered the things I would need to design them. I already had two awesome sets of Staedtler Pens in both fine line and bold. I also had various sequins. But I needed the tags and the string. I tried my best to use natural string and cardboard that was made from recycled materials.

What you could do if you can’t get any of these brown tags, is to cut up some old Christmas Cards and make them into similar shapes like these, add things like sequins in order to sparkle them up.

String Christmas Lights

The easiest of all my tag designs to make, you will need both thicker pens and fine pens of the same colour. The trick is to create the light shape with the finer pen and then colour it in with the same thicker style pen after. Make sure you leave the small crescent shape on one side of each light bulb so it looks three dimensional.

Begin by drawing the lines and bulb attachments with one pen, dark colours work best for this part. Then choose the pen colours you want for your bulbs. Ensure you don’t put the same shades next to one another and alternate colours like Red and Green for a Christmas look.

The size of your bulbs will depend on how many you want to do across your tag. If it’s just lights and no writing then you can fill up the space. If you plan to write “Merry Christmas” for example then perhaps do the lights top and bottom of the tag and leave the middle area blank.

Check out my images for some inspiration. Give it a go on a piece of plain paper and decide which way to do your bulbs, before doing them on to a tag.

Snow Scene with Tree

If you aren’t very good at drawing then you can still achieve something like this tag, just take your time and follow my instructions.
Check out my videos on my Facebook Page too!

You need a brown pen, the finer the tip the better, and you want to start by drawing the outline of your tree. Fill in the branches afterwards, getting smaller to the ends. Next to add a 3D aspect to your tree draw circles for holes and darken undersides of larger branches and the trunk to add shadows. Use a silver, white or light blue mixture of pens now to create the snow. You could do a snow scene or just do the tree. Be creative and have fun! Look at mine below for some inspiration.

The Christmas Tree

I quite like the abstract or deconstructed Christmas Tree type of tags. Mainly because when I try to draw symmetrical and lifelike trees they never look quite right. If you’re good at drawing trees however, then putting one in the centre of a tag would look really great!


Use a nice dark green pen for your tree. Add either stick on crafty bits and pieces or draw on some festive decorations, or do a bit of both! PVA glue is best because it will dry clear! If you want to do a more 3D tag then glue dots or adhesive squares also work well too.

Me on the other hand, I prefer to do the continuous line and have a sequin star on the top, kind of a tree!

Christmas Sparkle

If you have various diamanté, sequins or sparkles you want to use on your tags then you need to come up with designs that suit them. Check out my tags below for some ideas. Hanging decorations or bauble type designs work best for rounded craft items.
Think about when items hang on a tree, what they look like. Window decorations like a line of hanging stars or snowflakes are also very nice.

Sequins can be used on their own or accompanying pen lines.
Use your imagination and design your thoughts on a piece of plain paper first using a pencil, once happy with it, you can then transfer the ideas to a tag.

You can purchase the brown tags in most craft shops, online at places like The Works, Hobbycraft and Amazon. Try and pick ones that are already made from recyclable material.

I had previously bought my pens online from Amazon, Sequins from The Works and my Glue is also from The Works too. Other crafty items have been purchased by me over the years from various shops and also Tesco superamrket, they had a nice range of sequins this year too.

Other fun tags include, “Merry Christmas”, Holly, Baubles, Rudolph, Robin, Christmas Trees, Christmas Lights, Snowflakes, Snowmen, Santa Claus, Snowy Scenes, Penguins, Stars and things such as “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and “Let It Snow”.

Thank you for reading this post today, if you do give making Christmas tags a go then I would love to see them! Tag me on social media using the hashtag #SabrinasChristmasCrafts

Have a great Christmas!

✩ Sabrina ✩

You can see my tutorial videos on my Facebook page here…

The Three Additions To Your Wardrobe You Never Realised You Needed, Until Now! Since I Bought Mine I Cannot Do Without Them!

Sabrina’s “How To Get More Space In Your Wardrobe” Post.

Most of us have far too many of something in our homes, be it clothing, shoes, bags or other items that take up space. Usually hidden away in our wardrobes or cupboards… Personally I am a Boots and Dresses kind of woman! And why shouldn’t I be able to enjoy my nice items. After all, I worked hard for them… So if you’re like me and you haven’t had the pleasure of knowing any of these items in your home as yet, then check out the rest of my post below. One of these might just change your life!

Shoe Storage – Stackable Boxes with Mesh Fronts

I first bought these boxes when I was in university, so I could stack up my shoes against a wall. When you live out of one room space is definitely key! They were fabulous! Especially because I could fit a double shoe of anything flat into one box due to my little size 4 feet! Fast forward to the 32 year old me (covers eyes with hands) and I still use these, but now they go in the space underneath my ottoman bed. Out of sight but also neatly packed away. I even bought three different colours so I knew that Purple contained Boots, Teal contained flats and Black contained Shoes…

(Coloured ones are usually only available in store and do change every year). I love being organised! And I love tidy!

These boxes are wonderful! Mesh fronts allow the footwear to breathe, they have Velcro sides on the front panel for easy removal and they can even be stored flat when not in use. So many reasons to love them! Place them under beds, inside cupboards or wardrobes, the possibilities are endless. I have even stacked up to 6 boxes on top of one another with light shoes inside, they are sturdy too.

I bought mine from Ikea, they still do them. Currently you can get Grey or White, a set of 4 costs just £7. What a bargain! They measure 22cm x 34cm x 16cm, so it is worth measuring your footwear before purchasing. I think they are a great space saving alternative, especially because it stops you having shoes stacked up all over your hallway.

I do tend to wipe the bottoms of my shoes and let them dry fully especially if they were wet after use, before putting them away again inside the boxes. If you have a little space somewhere that you could convert to a shoe area these are definitely worth considering.

Wardrobe Storage Options

As someone who has quite a number of lightweight clothing items, I found that my wardrobe was quickly filling up every time I caught up on my washing. I began researching ways in which I could maximise my space.

There were two options I could use, the first were Hanger Space Saving Bars (aka Hanger Heroes or Magic Hangers) and the second were Coat Hanger Connectors. I decided to try both, I begun with the Connectors and then bought the Bars, and it has more than doubled my wardrobe space. You must make sure your wardrobe rail is suitable for additional weight though before buying these items.

Coat Hanger Connectors are wonderful small pieces of strong plastic, you slide the one end (the loop) on to the top of a hanger and the longer section hangs down so you can push a second coat hanger through it. I used them for lightweight t-shirts and cardigans. I have managed to hang 6 items in a vertical row, long term, and none of them have broken as yet.

Depending upon the height or your wardrobe or your freestanding pole, you can figure out what would work for you. They are ideal for lightweight t-shirts and shirts and can save you lots of space. They range in price from around £4 for a bunch of 20 of them.

The final items that I want to review are the wardrobe bars, or hanger heroes as they are also known as. You can purchase these on Amazon and from Must Have Ideas. I have bought from both companies, and they were both of equally strong metal and good quality materials. These range in price but you can get metal ones for around £12 and upwards for 6 or more.

I kept seeing these advertised and I really needed the extra room when I moved house. I went from built in wardrobes to zero wardrobes! Having borrowed a metal freestanding pole and rail from a family friend, until I can go wardrobe hunting! I found that these worked really well to give me much needed space!

Depending upon the weight of your clothes you can fit a minimum of 8 items per hanging bar. I have found I can place 14 lightweight items on one, including using the thinnest and most lightweight plastic hangers that I own too. As you can see in my images I have tried to use thin hangers and ensure I don’t place heavy items on the bars.

Once your bars are filled you gently remove one hook and lowed one side down. When the bars were all flat along the metal rail I had no space remaining for other clothes. When I have released one side of each bar, as you can see below, it has freed up a huge amount of much needed space.

I have no idea how I ever managed without these amazing inventions! I am so much more organised now too! I have long sleeve tops on one bar, short sleeve tops on another, cardigans and thin jumpers on a third one, the list goes on! You get the gist!

Obviously you need to judge how much weight your own wardrobe could take. I would be tempted to reinforce my wardrobe honestly if it were a plastic pole.

In this image below you can see my 6 bars in a row. The only irritating thing is that if you place more than 6 items on it, sometimes the hangers slip down out of the notches into the ones below. I think that’s because of the weight and angle that they are at with the more you put on. My suggestions are to play around with the weight and with what hangers fit on best. The far left are rubber coated metal hangers and the rest of them are thin lightweight plastic ones.

I give every item I have mentioned in this blog post a 5 star rating, they have allowed me to live a more organised life and make my bedroom tidier too. I think it’s important that the space that we sleep in isn’t too cluttered. I am working on trying to get myself some furniture in order to make that a reality. Until I am finished with my renovations though, these pieces will help me to keep at least some areas of it tidy!

Thank you for reading this Review today, I hope you have found this post interesting. If you would like to ask me any questions about the items I will do my best to answer them for you. Until the next time, thank you for reading and see you on my website again soon!

✩ Sabrina ✩

If you like the look of these items then make sure you’re following me on my social media channels because some of them will be featuring in my Christmas giveaway in December!