Archive for the ‘Arts & Crafts’ Category

Time to get Spooooooooky!

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

The leaves are orange and gold and the weather has turned, school is back in and it can only mean one thing….Halloween and Bonfire night are just around the corner.  Aside from a fantastic excuse for children to get some imaginative dressing up in and munch lots of sweets and chocolate (as if they, or I for that matter, need an excuse!) , it’s also a pretty good time to enjoy some  good ol’ crafting. With a half term approaching, we have a lovely selection of Halloween and Remember, Remember inspired toys and crafts to fill the days.

Budkins Gwen the Witch

Djeco craft kits are among the most fantastically unique and imaginative, so it’s of no surprise that they have some super kits inspired by this season.  The kits I have been most impressed by are the Djeco stitching cards. Far from being simple lacing card type kits, they combine simple stitching techniques with quality threads, sequins and sturdy card to give satisfyingly gorgeous textile art end results.  The Witches Stitching Cards kit is a great example of this.

Djeco Witches Stitching Art Kit

For a fireworks fiesta you need look no further than the Djeco Chalk Markers City Lights Kit or just the Chalk Markers themselves for those who prefer to work without a template. These unique markers can be used again and again on the background paper, which can be wiped clean. Vibrant bright colours on a black background are perfect for those firework night pictures.

For those who enjoy some quiet Hama-time, there is the incredibly popular Midi Hama Glow in the Dark kit and also the wonderful Midi Hama Beads Small Gift Box – 3D Spooky for some fantastic 3D ghosts and ghouls to put beside your pumpkin.

Midi Hama Beads Small Gift Box - 3D Spooky

For a less messy pumpkin craft, pop over to Craft Merrily for some of the Tulip pens in glow. Use these pens to create an intricate and unusual design on the outside of the pumpkin and avoid the gunky mess (and foul burning smell!) of a traditional carved pumpkin. The Sculpey Glow in the Dark kit is another great alternative for Halloween decorating.

Budkins - Bones the Skeleton

The lovable Le Toy Van Budkins have their own spooky range of characters from crafty Gwen the Witch to Dracula to Bones the Skeleton. Turn your Dolls House into a spooky haunted house with the help of these wooden figures.

Baby Stella fans will be pleased to know that we have a new outfit for Baby Stella so that she can join in on the trick or treating fun. The Baby Stella Dress Up Kitty Outfit is purrrrfect for turning Baby Stella into a witches cat.






Get creative with a great 10% saving on Tulip Paints at CraftMerrily in August

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Tulip Paint has been hugely popular since we started stocking it here at CraftMerrily. This fantastic fabric paint comes in 3 main styles; 3D, metallic 3D and Slick 3D  in a rainbow of colours and shades including glitter and glow. Select individual colours or a great value starter set and decorate and personalise fabric items such as bags and footwear. You could even design a brooch as a gift using the plain Tulip flower brooches and your preference for Tulip paint colour to match an existing outfit or coat.

Tulip Glitter 3D Fabric Paint Starter Set

Tulip Glitter 3D Fabric Paint Starter Set

Take advantage of the special offer on this product to put together a craft pack for a teenager to get busy with on those boring rainy days through the holidays, it’s great for encouraging a bit of designer flare and you may even get them to clear through their wardrobes looking for old clothes to revamp! We even have a bit of bling with the Tulip See-Thru Stones in star or round shapes that can be used plain or placed over a small amount of tulip paint to allow the colour to shine through for really exciting and unique results!

Fantastic Value Summer Holiday Craft Kit!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The summer holidays are upon us and the weather does not seem to be on our side. For those rainy, cloudy, generally uninspiring days, it’s great to be able to whip out a craft activity that, firstly is easy enough to do and will result in a beautiful and functional end product, and secondly does not create too much mess. This Ruffle Rug from Alex Toys fits the bill exactly.

Alex Toys - Make a Ruffle Rug Kit

Alex Toys - Make a Ruffle Rug Kit

Alex toys craft kits are always exceptional quality offering a high standard of materials and a well thought out design. The Ruffle Rug itself is large enough (39cm x 62cm) that two (or more) children can work on it together, at opposite ends without being on top of each other and the kit comes with 3 sturdy plastic needles.  Included are lots of strips of different coloured t-shirt material fabric which is easily threaded through the large needle provided. The idea is simple, just thread the strip of material under the beige rug weave, creating a loop of about 2 child sized fingers. Keep weaving and creating loops until the strip of material has all been woven in and then snip the loops, creating a ruffle look.

Alex Toys - Make a Ruffle Rug Kit

Alex Toys - Make a Ruffle Rug Kit

The instructions give loads of design ideas, stripes, checkerboard, even hearts or initials. The design can be as simple or complicated as your child would like or is suitable for their age and ability, why not encourage older children to choose to re-create an existing famous peice of art on their rug or use the colours and textures to create a unique memory of a loved one or happy experience. Plus, a great way to get your children to clear out their wardrobes and put those tatty old t-shirts to good use, cut them into strips to make extra strips for their rug!

Alex Toys - Make a Ruffle Rug Kit

Alex Toys - Make a Ruffle Rug Kit

What I really like about this kit is it can be worked on, put away and then worked on again without it falling apart, which encourages taking a little more time and putting some thought into the design and process. It also makes a fantastic kit for taking on holiday or leaving at a grandparents or childminders house, taking up little room and providing a great short term project. This fantastic kit is now only £19.95 at PlayMerrily.

Great Savings on Djeco Toys & Craft Kits in May

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Djeco 15% off in May

Djeco is one of our absolute favourite ranges and in the year since we started stocking it, our house has filled up with their craft kits and kitchen toys. To celebrate our one year anniversary with them, we’re offering 15% off the whole range through May.

Djeco Crafts are truly wonderful, kits which are absolutely filled with things to do and the finished product is always wonderful. We recently entertained 30 children with the amazing Foam Mosaic Kits, which are wonderfully easy to use, with fantastic colours and designs, while the Sand Art kits have been a massive success.

Djeco History Jigsaw

Djeco History Jigsaw

In the Jigsaws and Games section, there is something for everyone from Chess and Ludo to simple and more complex, educational jigsaws. The History Spiral has been very popular with our eldest daughter, who loves not only the challenge of a circular jigsaw but still really enjoys picking out the different eras.

Djeco Cubanimo

While there are sadly no toddlers or babies in the house any more, we did recently give the Cubanimo set to our little nephew – at 9 months old, he is apparently really loving it and it was out for playing with when we went to visit this weekend :)

Daisy's Toy Market Stall

Daisy's Toy Market Stall

Back at our house, 6 year old Josie was lucky enough to get Daisy’s Play Kitchen and Toy Market Stall for Christmas; a perfect addition to any wooden play food collection. She has really loved all the imaginative games she has played with them.

I really can’t fault the Djeco range at all; beautifully made, well thought out and great value at the best of times, we really hope you’ll enjoy making the most of the special offer.

Art Project based on Kandinsky

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

We home educate our 4 daughters and having an artist materials shop at our disposal, does mean we get to try out some great stuff. We thought you might enjoy some of what we’ve been doing recently.

We decided to explore the artist Kandinsky with the help of a rather fab book from Usborne which looks at an artist and then gives a project to do, inspired by one of the works of art. We hooked up a laptop to one side too which meant we could flick through various others of his pieces. I hope the children were inspired; my friend and I certainly were!

Zoe read to them first and then I had printed out some worksheets on the colour wheel and primary, secondary and tertiary colours. We got them to colour these in first, looking at how it worked (brainstretch alert!) and then talked about contrasting and complementary colours and groups of shades and tones. We touched on light having different primary colours and used the keyboard to try playing notes and seeing what colour they made us think of. (This worked better with the younger ones).

Once they’d got their brains thinking in colour, we set about three versions of the Concentric Circle Picture.

Firstly, we folded paper so it was in 6 squares and got them to decorate each box differently, thinking about the colours. We used my much beloved gel pens for this, which have been worth their weight in gold. We’ve had masses of use out of them over the last few weeks.


Once they’d done this, we got them to do a larger version using poster paints, mainly for the fun of splodgy paint, which we don’t use nearly enough. (Poor Josie!) This went down very well. Liked those pots of paint very much; quite dinky, so seemed to inspire them to be neat but covered the paper very well. We did both of these on coloured sugar paper.



Lastly, we used proper oil pastels and drew a final set of circles and then washed over them with water colours. Loved the effect of this; very clean and different to the other looks.

Special Offers from Melissa & Doug

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

We’re delighted to offer some great special offers from Melissa & Doug, all specially created by PlayMerrily to give our customers great value for money on their top items.

First up is our wonderful Melissa & Doug Art Easel Pack.

Art Easel Special Offer

Art Easel Special Offer

Fabulous two sided easel with blackboard and white board, combined in our offer with a paints, chalks, paint pot (and more!) art accessory pack and an easel paper pad. A brilliant bundled art deal, perfect for summer outdoor painting, for a playgroup or as a present. A snip at £69.95, saving over 10%

We’ve continued our very popular Wooden Bead Set Offer with Buy 2, Get 1 Free on these lovely Melissa & Doug Wooden Jewellery Making Sets.

Wooden Bead Sets

Wooden Bead Sets

Buy two Bead Boxes and get a 3rd box free. Spend £19.95 and you save £7.95 on the 3rd box.

Melissa & Doug Princess Castle offer

Melissa & Doug Princess Castle Offer

This bundled deal is ideal as a birthday gift or buy it early for Christmas. Buy the Melissa & Doug Folding Princess Castle and the Princess Toy Furniture and get a Toy Castle family completely free. Save £14.95!

Melissa & Doug Monster Puppet & Skittles Offer

Melissa & Doug Monster Puppet & Skittles Offer

We also love these 2 great Monster games by Melissa & Doug, the highly popular Monster Puppet & Monster Skittles Sets – buy the two together and save £5!

Melissa & Doug Play Food Special Offer

Melissa & Doug Play Food Special Offer

This offer has been highly popular all year and we’re going to keep it running while our remaining stocks last. 3 popular Melissa & Doug Wooden Food Sets, the Ice Creams, Cookies and Birthday Cake Set. Save over 25%!

Melissa & Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Offer

Melissa & Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Offer

Finally, we are still offering our Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Special Offer. Buy 4 Jigsaws and get a free Deluxe Wire Storage Rack to keep them all neat and tidy!

Melissa and Doug Wooden Toys and Craft Kits

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

At PlayMerrily we try to only sell toys that our (extensive collection of!) children enjoy. We’ve been buying Melissa & Doug Toys for 8 years now, from the time when they could only be shipped in from America. We have toys in our cupboard from this range which have been there for all of those 8 years and unlike many toys are not only lasting well but some of the most loved and enduring play things in the house.

We were delighted last year when Melissa & Doug decided to expand the range of toys directly available in the UK and we’re pleased to be one of the leading UK suppliers of the brand. We stock nearly 200 separate items from Melissa & Doug and having had a look around our competitors, we think that makes our stocks some of the best in the United Kingdom. We work hard to keep the prices good and we have some fabulous special offers available too.

Melissa & Doug Art Supplies are really great painting and drawing materials, easy to use, great value and satisfying for kids as they work on their artistic skills. We love the spill proof paint pots; perfect for the home or a playgroup.

Melissa & Doug Paint PotsThe Easy Grip Triangular Crayons are also very popular, making drawing and colouring much more manageable for young artists.

Melissa & Doug also do wonderful Wooden Castles & Dolls Houses, beautifully made and with masses of play value at an exceptional price. We love the Castle People Set, chivalry and Military Style all rolled into one!

Melissa & Doug Toy Castle People

Melissa & Doug Toy Castle People

We’ve added the brilliant selection of Crafts for Kids to both PlayMerrily & CraftMerrily – the craft kits are wonderful, easy to use and produce a great finished result. Our 10 and 8 year olds really enjoy all the paint and decorate range and the Cosy Cottage has been very popular with the 8 year old this week.

Melissa & Doug Cosy Cottage

Melissa & Doug Cosy Cottage

Our 10 year old daughter (normally very anti-pink!) has loved the Princess Castle Shadow Box Set and both our 12 and 5 year old girls have been having loads of fun with the Animal Stamp Kit.

Over the last year the wonderful Magnetic Dress Up Dolls Sets have been amazingly popular and there are now 5 different versions of these dressing up sets, with a Prince one due shortly. We love the Best Friends Forever Set, which fits beautifully into our Magnetic Play Set Collection.

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Dolls

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Dolls

The new Magic Trick Sets and Travel Games have also been popular and we will shortly be introducing the newly arrived Melissa & Doug Dressing Up Outfits.

Many of our persona household favourites are from Melissa & Doug’s  Jigsaw Puzzle range. Long standing beloved puzzles, now being used by our 5 year old are the Rainforest and Under the Sea jigsaws.

Melissa & Doug Under the Sea Jigsaw

Melissa & Doug Under the Sea Jigsaw

There is also a wide variety of wooden peg puzzles and sensory puzzles in a range of sizes and levels of difficulty.

The preschool wooden and plush toy range are very popular on our website. In particular the shape sorters, wooden stackers and other baby toys which are brightly coloured, tactile and extremely inviting.

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube

Finally, our amazing Wooden Toy Food section, which boasts play food from Djeco, Bigjigs, Haba & Wonderworld, is hugely enhanced by  Melissa & Doug Play Food toys.

Melissa & Doug Slice & Bake Cookie Set

Melissa & Doug Slice & Bake Cookie Set

Take a look at all these wonderful toys; nestled in among them you will find some wonderful special offers, including money off and buy 2 get 1 free offers. It’s well worth taking the time to put away some early Birthday or Christmas gifts!

Djeco arrives at PlayMerrily & CraftMerrily

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

We’re delighted to welcome the Djeco range to PlayMerrily Toys, a brand we’ve been looking forward to stocking for quite some time! We’ve indulged in quite a lot of their toys, crafts & jigsaws right from the start and we plan to be adding more with every Djeco order we place!

Djeco is well known for the beautiful wooden toys in their catalogue and the Daisy range is very popular. We really love the Pink Wooden Tea Set too and we know lots of little girls in our house who would rather like to own one!

From the Djeco Baby Toys range, I have fallen particularly in love with the Topanimo Stacking Blocks and Animals.

From the Djeco Jigsaws and Games range, we have selected lots of educational jigsaws, fun games for younger children and some really beautiful gift puzzles.We will be stocking the Djeco Craft Kits on both PlayMerrily & CraftMerrily (but so far we have got organised with them on CraftMerrily!) Djeco Crafts has to be divided into lots of different sections. The kits are beautiful, designed by artists who are keen to share their talents and skills.

The painting kits in the Djeco Workshop range give children and adults the opportunity to explore important styles of art using easy formats and quality materials that produce good results. We love them all but our current favourites are  the Gouache Painting Set

and the Watercolour Workshop Set.

There are also wonderful Mosaics For Kids, incredible Sand Art Kits and beautiful Sewing, Stitching and Lacing Sets.

Our four girls (aged 12, 10, 8 and 5) have particularly loved the Tibetan Mandala Sand Art Pictures

and the amazing Foam Mosaic sets, which got a huge thumbs up because the backs of the sticky mosaic pieces are realy easy to peel off!

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