As a child, some of the very best camping trips that I went on were ones which didn't even take me beyond my front door. Two clothes rails, a draped sheet and some contraband snacks, and I was in heaven. No checking the weather and no chance of being stuck in traffic. In fact, I'm not sure why I don't do that now I'm grown up. It sounds wonderful!
My two boys share my love of indoor hideouts and are forever asking to eat and sleep in their den. It's been one of my best buys and has saved countless sheets and blankets from their sticky fingerprints. But one thing which I've not been able to find is a little toy camping stove for them to take with them on their 'holidays' to cook all of their meals on. So, we decided to make our very own.
If you'd like to make one similar, here's what you need:
Cardboard box - I used one 43cm x 33cm x 17cm
Crepe paper in red, orange and yellow
Clear plastic wallet
Silver tea light holder
Grey paint (or another colour of your choice)
Silver pen (optional but pretty cool if you have one)
Step 1: Firstly, draw around a small side plate in the centre of the box, then cut it out and paint the whole box black.
Step 2: Spread glue in the area directly below the circle that you've just cut out. Tear the crepe paper in to strips; scrunch it up in to flame-like shapes, and then place on the glue. Of all the steps to make the camping stove, this was my four year old's favourite part. Ripping, scrunching and glueing seem to be the way to a child's heart.
Step 3: Tape the plastic wallet inside the box on the side above the flames. It needs to be securely taped as this is what the saucepan sits on. Next, glue or tape up the box to completely seal it.
Step 4: Paint your paper plate grey (or whatever colour you prefer) and using the washi tape, tape it on in a hinge-like way (front and back) to the box. You want your child to be able to lift it up and down without their being a chance of it coming unstuck.
Step 5: The finishing touches! Glue on your silver tea light holder upside down in the bottom right hand corner of the box to act as an on/off button.
And using the silver pen, give your camping stove a name and model number in the bottom left hand corner.
Finally, all you have to do is leave the glue to dry and then the stove is ready to be taken to the campsite of your child's choice.
For any type of craft involving paint and glue, I'd suggest putting a protective sheet down on the floor beforehand, especially if you're doing it in the living room like we were. If you do end up with any spills or splatters, clean them up as soon as possible before they get a chance to dry. Damp kitchen roll is great for absorbing/blotting water-based children's paint. You don't need to scrub, just dab the spot repeatedly until the paint has disappeared. And, if you happen to get any marks on your sofa too, Harveys has a great care guide.
If you're interested in creating more fun and lovely things, you can see all of the Harveys craft projects here, but do take a look at the Easter tree that Emma from Life at the Little Wood made with her gorgeous children or the super cool rocket pack that Becky and her cute kiddos made at Spirited Puddle Jumper. They're both amazing. If you decide to make either of these, or indeed get involved in any craft projects over the holidays, take a snap and share with Harveys on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #HarveysHandmade and you could be in with a chance of winning a fab indoor/outdoor den. You can find all the information here.
Disclaimer: The post was written in collaboration with Harveys and was so much fun to do.