Category Archives: Free Printable

Christmas Wrapping


I don’t know about you, but I am not in love with wrapping Christmas presents.  Wrestling acres of paper and finding the often invisible end of the sticky tape annoys me greatly.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I love more than the look of nicely wrapped presents below the Christmas tree, but because wrapping seems like such a chore, my gifts often lack the wrapped prettiness that I appreciate so much on others’ gifts to me.

This year I have decided to put a little more thought into gift wrapping.  I have come up with a theme, nothing too fancy or difficult, because my aim is to not become too flustered with the wrapping but to still love the look of my finished gifts.

Christmas Wrapping

I chose textured brown paper for my wrapping this year.  At risk of sounding like a bad presenter on Better Homes and Gardens, I am in love with this organic look. I was going to tie each present with some simple brown twine but the boys convinced me to go with ‘fancy’ red and white twine.


To keep things feeling rustic, I found some chalkboard gift tags online and printed these off on card. There are a heap of free printable chalkboard Christmas gift tags online if you wanted to get some for yourself. Take a look here and here for some cute ones. For the adults I used real Chalkboard tags I picked up from a variety store.

Christmas Wrapping

So in less time than it has ever taken me before, I wrapped all my Christmas presents. While I am no master wrapper, they look good under the tree because they match….no higgledy piggledy looking display this year!

Christmas Wrapping

 Do you have a Christmas wrapping theme?

The Softest Playdough and Printable Playdough Fun


I started my Christmas holidays today and have been craving some Mummy and sons time, so I thought we would do some fun play.  As it is terribly overcast and humid here in Brisbane, we opted for some indoor fun in the air-conditioning.

'Just think...summer's coming, and  everyday will be like Saturday morning!'

Both my boys love playdough.  Recently I saw a recipe for the easiest, softest, most beautifully smelling playdough.  It only has 2 ingredients, one of which you would never guess, and takes only a few minutes to make. You must give it a go….

Soft Playdough

Mix 2 parts cornflour (corn starch) to 1 part hair conditioner.

Knead until it comes together in a soft dough. At this point you can colour it with food dye.


Soft Playdough Recipe and Playdough Printables

It really is that simple.  I picked up a cheap conditioner at the shops that had a lovely smell and pink colour, so I didn’t have to dye the dough myself. Obviously, this isn’t a playdough for little ones who might be tempted to taste their dough creations.

The boys have spent the morning playing with this as well as some free playdough printables I found on the net.  I printed and laminated them so they will survive the holiday season.

Soft Playdough Recipe and Playdough Printables

You can find these playdough mats at Tot Schooling .  Another place to look is Busy Little Bugs.

Soft Playdough Recipe and Playdough Printables


The Playdough puppets are found at the Nuture Store.

What a lovely, simple activity for us to start the Christmas holidays with.



Free Printable Children’s Activities


A while back I showed you a few educational and fun activity packs I made up for my boy’s to play with.

Activity Packs - Sight Words

Activity Packs - Fine Motor Skills

They have been such a hit, I thought I would trawl the net for some more ideas.  I hit the jackpot when I came across these three sites with amazing children’s prinatables, lots of them free.

They were so amazing, the printer went into overdrive.  The laminator was fired up and I stayed up late making a lot of fun activity that the kids LOVE.

So what sort of activities did I find? Here are just a few…..

The cutest puppets and song sets. These are 5 Little Ducks and 5 Green and Speckled Frogs .

Kid's Printables

Kid's Printables

Colour Match Games.

Kid's Printables

Shadow Match Games.

Kid's Printables

Sequencing Games.

Kid's Printables

Threading and shoe tying help.

Kid's Printables

And lots of shape, reading and writing skills games.

I now have about 20 activity packs all made up.  I have got into the habit of grabbing one or two of them before I leave the house with the boys. They keep the boys well entertained while waiting for the doctor or for the meal to arrive at the cafe. A lifesaver in many ways!

Stop by the following amazing sites to print out your own activities…..

Picklebums, Busy Little Bugs, The Measured Mom.

Homework / School Paperwork Drop Zone


As Kindergarten approaches last term and primary school starts next year for my eldest, we know our relatively ‘carefree’ parenting days are over.  Around the corner looms homework, permission slips and assignments, just to name a few.

At the moment, most of the paperwork that comes into the home from school is managed at the fridge – with magnets, or worse, is kept in the car glovebox!  It is beginning to look messy and things are being forgotten.  Increasingly the tasks sent home require some action from my son and I wanted these pieces to be more accessible to him.

So I set out to create a drop zone for all this ‘stuff’. I decided the best place to keep this was on the back of his bedroom door. That way it wasn’t taking up precious space in our living areas and it was accessible for my son.

Here is what the completed zone looks like.

Homework / School Paperwork Drop Zone

The zone is made up of …..

  • My After School Routine printable,  downloaded from Living Locurto.  We have had it pinned around the house for over a year now, so it makes sense for it to be placed in this zone now
  • A magnetic white board calendar (Quartet). Perfect for recording all those easily forgotten datesHomework / School Paperwork Drop Zone
  • Different sized plastic organisers (Ikea Pluggis).  These provide spots for holding pens for signing paperwork, writing on the calendar and Sharpies for labeling items heading to school.  Small containers for holding bits and bobs like ID cards and badges. Finally, a file to hold items like signed permission slips that need to be returned to school    Homewoork / School Paperwork Drop Zone
  • Plastic file holders (Martha Stewart Large Vertical Plastic Pocket) . One to hold general school paperwork like newsletters and tuckshop menus, the other for classroom paperwork like homework.Homewoork / School Paperwork Drop Zone

I have started to transfer the paperwork from my various ‘filing’ areas into this zone – a useful project as I found out that I am meant to be a fundraiser this weekend!  I am looking forward to testing its full usefulness beginning next week.

Carnival Party Decorations


Yesterday, I shared with you the carnival party I threw for my two little boys.  You can read about it here.  Today, I thought I would share some of the decorations I used to create the carnival atmosphere and point you in the direction of some great online resources for your carnival/circus themed events.

I first got the idea for a carnival party from the Klapper Cirkus range of kid’s toys at Ikea.  We had the circus tent set up in the front yard.


And I had a selection of ringmaster and jester hats and  clown hand puppets for the kids to play with. You can view these online here.


I also had a selection of different sized Ikea Nyttja  frames which I filled with free, carnival-inspired printables from Pink Zebra Lounge.  There were some great food ones.  I loved the hot dogs one for our food buffet and the lemonade one for our drinks table.


Ikea also inspired me with their candy striped Christmas wrapping paper.  I used it most importantly as an easy clean tablecloth for the kid’s table.  To add a bit of height and interest to the dessert table’s focal point, the ferris wheel cupcake holder, I covered a box in this wrapping paper for the wheel to sit on.  You can see I also did this for the water urn in the picture above.

I used cardboard bunting to decorate the front fence and above the food table.  I printed the boy’s names on some of the bunting in a carnival style font.  You can download a gazillion different carnival font for free to make your signs and invitations.  One of the better sites is Font Space.

If you are in Australia, you can pick up this bunting in most variety shops these days, along with a whole host of matching decorations and tableware for your carnival parties.

I created my own backdrop for the dessert table with some fabric I bought on sale at my local haberdashery.  I just bought a length of light, narrow timber from my local hardware, luckily it was the same length as my table.  I used a staple gun to attach the material along the length and fishing line to hang it from my window that sat behind the table.  You could create your own backdrop in a similar manner, or try covering a painting canvas or foam sheets which you can then prop up on the table.  I was happy to buy material as I have a use for it after the event, but for a less expensive option, buy some wrapping paper to do this.

I purchased invitations, gift boxes and the like before I came across a fantastic site for free printables.  Catch My Party has a whole range of circus party printables including banners, water bottle and chocolate bar wrappers.  I printed this great sign and my food labels for the table.


Pumpkin Petunia also has a range of cute free circus printables.  I am thinking that this thank you card will get used by me.


There is a massive range of carnival/circus printables available for purchase online on sites like Etsy.  Most are affordable and adorable, giving your party a real cohesive feel.  Some of my favourites you can find here and here.

I had such fun putting together this party.  If you take the time to do a little internet surfing, you will fall in love with the idea of a carnival/circus party just like I did.  The inspiration out there is endless and I wish I could have jammed more ideas into this little party.



Christmas Planner


3 months until Christmas!!!!!!

I love the Christmas season.  What I love just as much, is planing  for our Christmas. 

School returning in September marked the start of my Christmas planning.  Each year I would fill dozens of pages with doodles of craft projects, shopping lists, food ideas and promptly lose them, re-draft them, lose them, etcetera, etcetera.   While I had fun daydreaming  and bouncing around with ideas, it mostly ended up being a waste of time.

I contemplated using a planner last year as I followed various bloggers who swore by them,  but pregnancy and a newborn put a stop to that. 

Flash forward to this year and I read Cassadiva’s post on her Christmas planner.  Immediately, organisation and stationery envy was awakened.  Then I saw  Lovely Living’s  free Christmas Planner Printable with the cute owl motif and I was sunk. 

The pages were printed and the planner compiled before I even had time to think about what I was doing.

I love that the whole thing is only A5  size.  It is far from overwhelming and I can easily slip it into my bag when I am out and about over the holiday season.

It has templates for card and gift giving, crafting, baking, menus, traditions and calendars,  just to name a few. Everything to keep me organised!

My hope is that this makes my Christmas  planning more streamlined but keeps the process fun and un-chore like.  I would love to hear  about your experiences of using a Christmas Planner.  Do you find them helpful?

Free Printable – Days of the Week Clothes Tags

Free Printable – Days of the Week Clothes Tags

Having a newborn makes leaving the house on time, and without stress, difficult.  One of the things I tripped up on was clothing.  I have never been one to do ironing or choose an outfit in advance and this has meant many a morning running frantically between cupboards and the laundry to prepare outfits for the me and the kids.

In the last few months I have endeavoured to iron all the kids clothes in advance and hang coordinated outfits in their cupboards ready to go.  Ever the teacher, I looked for a way to  turn this organisational task into a learning experience for my 3-year-old.   He is very interested in the days of the week so I created clothes tags that had his name and the days of the week printed on them.

After my ironing on a Monday I choose the boys’ outfits for the week and slip on a tag.

Every morning I see if Master O knows what day it is and we find the appropriate tag and outfit.  He is already beginning to recognise the written words.

 The whole process has sped up the morning routine and I am loving having one less thing to worry about come time to leave the house.


If you would like a digital copy of these clothes tags which you can then customise for your family, here is what you do…..

1. Either ‘like’ There Was a Crooked House on Facebook or subscribe to updates via email on the blog’s sidebar

2. Drop a quick email to to say you have done this and I will send you a return email with the free printable attached. Easy!