Flying Australian birds

Flying Australian birds cockatoo

All these cute Australian birds need to fly is a couple of straws.  Watch the video below to see how they work.

To make them you will need:

  • My Flying Australian Bird Template
  • Scissors
  • Light-weight A4 card (200gsm)
  • Sticky tape
  • Glue
  • Colouring pencils, felt pens or paints to decorate them
  • Two straws, one slightly smaller than the other.  I used a paper straw and an Ikea plastic straw.
  • Books or images from the internet of Australian birds

Flying Australian birds galah

There are four different templates which can be turned into many Australian birds.

Template 1 can become a cockatoo, galah, cockatiel, black or red cockatoo.
Template 2 can be a budgie, parrot, rainbow lorikeet or rosella.
Template 3 can be a magpie or kingfisher.
Template 4 can be smaller birds like a zebra finch or Gouldian finch. 

Flying Australian birds rainbow lorikeet


  1.  Print the templates onto lightweight cardboard (I used 200gsm).
  2. Research the birds that you would like to draw. Study their markings and colours and draw and/or paint your own onto the template.
  3. Cut out the pieces.
  4. Fold the wings in half.  Then fold each side down along the second lines.
  5. If you want your bird to be double-sided, glue the two decorated bodies together. Glue the wings onto the bird body.
  6. Cut a slit in the small straw and glue it onto the middle of the birds body. 
  7. Cut one third of the large straw off.  Cut a notch into one end of both sides of the straw, about one third of the length. 
  8. Feed the large straw over the small straw. Slide it up to the top of the notch.  Tape the ends of the straw onto the wings. 
  9. Now when you hold the small straw and pull the large straw down, the wings will flap and the bird will fly.


Find more great crafts in my magazine (click the covers below).  There’s more Australian animal crafts for Australia Day here.

Lotta Magazine | Magazine for kids

Paper plate koalas

Lotta paper plate koalas

Inspired by all the native mothers and babies  I have seen around my house this Spring, I made this koala craft for Australia Day.  This cute koala and her joey are made from paper plates. It’s a fun little craft that you can use for Australia Day decorations too. Why not replace your Christmas wreath with these guys?  Here’s how to make them…

Things you need

Two or three large paper plates, one small paper plate, grey, pink, black and white paint, paint tray, paint brush, craft glue, four googly eyes (two small, two larger), scissors, masking tape, printout of template (Lotta paper plate koala temp).

How to make them

  1.  Print out the template which shows you how to cut your paper plates. Tape them onto the plates and cut out all the pieces. You can cut out the ears, noses and arms from the leftovers of the koala body plates. You will also need a whole small paper plate for the mother koala’s head.
  2. Paint all the pieces and plates and allow them to dry.
  3. Assemble your koalas with craft glue.
  4. Decorate them as desired.  I added some gum leafs and added a pattern to one of the koalas to differentiate them. You could add indigenous dot patterns, sponged textures or a Happy Australia Day banner.

Now you have the paper plates out, what else could you make?  You could whip up a Bleeding Crepe Paper Unicorn or a No Drama Llama puppet.

Looking for more Australia Day crafts?  We also have a Jumping Kangaroo and some beautiful Australian Paper Flowers.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids

Lotta Fun With Puppets eBook

Lotta fun with puppets ebook for kids

Puppets are a great way to entertain the kids — get crafty making your puppets then get imaginative telling stories and putting on shows. My new eBook, Lotta Fun With Puppets includes 16 puppet projects, over 100 pages including detailed instructions with photos, templates and materials lists for each project. This eBook features the best puppet projects from Lotta Magazine with brand new puppet crafts. There’s finger puppets, hand puppets, shadow puppets, pop up puppets, marionettes, glove puppets and more. There’s even a no-sew doorway puppet theatre so you can put on a real show.

Lotta fun with Puppets gives you clear, step-by-step instructions, templates and material lists for each project. These crafts are doable (even for the least crafty parent) and mostly made from recycled items and stuff around the house. Some are designed to be made with your kids and some are so simple they can do it themselves.  Some of the projects would make brilliant handmade gifts for kids.

Lotta fun with puppets has over 40 different puppets to makeincluding crocodiles, dragons, giraffes, a fantastic fox, no drama llamas, a scarecrow, tinman, lion, dorothy and a witch, a bear, tiger, hippo, dog, a chicken, dinosaurs, unicorns, the three little pigs and a big bad wolf, monsters, rabbits, Santa, elves, nutcracker, leprechaun, werewolf, vampire, Frankenstein, robots, a dancing Christmas tree and a haunted house filled with ghosts.

There’s projects for Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Book Week and St Patrick’s Day.  A puppet for all seasons.

Lotta halloween and christmas puppets

Why an ebook?

  1. Everything you need is all in one place — one download from your inbox and you’re good to go.
  2. It’s perfectly formatted for you to print it at home. All the instructions are on one or two pages — not 22 like a blog post.  It’s more convenient and saves printer ink (just skip the big photo pages). I’ve even designed it so you can even print it as thumbnails (two pages one one) and it can still be read.
  3. Unlike the A5 sized magazine, there’s lots of room to give very detailed instructions with photos.  I can also include all the templates right there without need for extra visits to the website and further downloads.
  4. Sure… you could figure out how to make them from the pictures but I have already done all the trial and error and for the price of a coffee, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

You can buy a copy right now for just AU$5 (that’s just US$3). Click here or the cover pic below to go to my store and purchase a copy.

This is a digital product. You will receive a PDF file that you can download straight from your email inbox.  It couldn’t be easier!

Lotta Fun With Puppets ebook cover

Lotta fun with puppets pin

Bleeding crepe paper unicorn

I know that unicorns are supposed to be white, but I thought a little process art would make this paper plate unicorn more fun and magical.  You may have heard of bleeding crepe paper art  — that’s what I’ve used to create some beautiful patterns on this project. This craft is very easy but turns out so good you might need to find a place for him on the wall.


Paper plate, brightly coloured crepe paper, spray bottle with water, paper towel, scissors, glue, tape, glittery gold cardboard, thin gold cord, iridescent foil backdrop or shredded paper (from Kmart Australia), Lotta’s template

You don’t need the special bleeding crepe paper for this project.  I just used to cheapest dollar store variety, in nice bright colours, and it worked brilliantly.  There isn’t enough ink to leach out of pastel colours so don’t bother with those.


1.  Put some paper towel down on the table and place a paper plate, white side up, on top.

2.  Cut small pieces of crepe paper and place them all over the paper plate. Spray the crepe paper with water until it’s quite damp, but not soggy.  The crepe paper may move when you spray it. If you need to move it or press it down flat against the plate, use another piece of paper towel or wear gloves. If you touch it, you will dye your hands too.

3.  Remove the crepe paper to reveal the printed paper plate underneath.  You can create different effects by adding more or less crepe paper and the time they are in contact (i.e. removing when damp or waiting until it dries). Experiment a little until you get the perfect unicorn texture or make a whole blessing (that’s the collective noun) of paper plate unicorns.

Bleeding crepe paper on plate

4.  Print out our template and use it to cut the paper plate into a unicorn shape. From the unused half of the plate cut some more details like ears, nose and even eyelashes. (See the photo below).  Roughly cut out the eye and glue it onto a scrap of paper plate. Once dry, carefully cut it out.

5.   Cut a horn from some glittery gold cardboard. I wrapped some thin gold cord around to add some detail. Just glue one end on the back, wrap the cord around the notches then secure the other end on the back. (See the photo below.)

6.  I had an Iridescent Foil Backdrop from Kmart leftover from a party. It made a magnificent unicorn main. I held some together with masking tape and trimmed it off above the tape. You can repeat the process to create a thicker mane.

Of course, you can use some shredded paper or coloured wool to create a mane.

7.  Put everything together, using glue and/or tape, and you have a magnificent unicorn.

Looking for more art and craft projects for kids, check out my magazine.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids






Jumping kangaroo

Australia Day is coming and what is more Australian than a kangaroo?  This one jumps almost as well as the real thing with the help of some elastic bands. Quick and easy to make, fun to play with and a great way to celebrate Australia.


Two paper cups, two elastic bands, scissors, glue stick, bamboo skewer, colouring pencils, A4 card, printout of the template (you can download it here: Lotta jumping kangaroo)


  1.  Print out our template. If you can, print it on A4 card so your kangaroo will last a little longer.
  2. Colour in and decorate your kangaroo.  You could  make him even more Australian by adding some Aboriginal art inspired dots.

3.  Cut out the cup wrapper and glue it onto one of the paper cups.

4.  Poke four holes in your wrapped paper cup, at opposite points (like a cross).  An adult can use the pointy end of your scissors to get the holes started, then the kids can open them up with a bamboo skewer.

5.  Cut your rubber bands (so they aren’t circles anymore).  Feed one rubber band through the opposite holes, allowing a little slack, then tie a knot in both ends.  You can use your bamboo skewer to help poke the rubber band through the holes.

6.  Repeat with the other rubber band.

7.  Now your kangaroo is ready to jump. Place the kangaroo cup on top of another paper cup, pull down and launch.  Visit my Instagram profile to see a video of him jumping.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids

You’ll find more great art and craft projects for kids in my magazine. Click above to see all the issues.

Stained glass butterflies

These stained glass butterflies, made with tissue paper and Mod Podge,  are based  on
 something you have a constant supply of… toilet rolls.  Toilet rolls never looked so pretty!  Make a kaleidoscope of butterflies (isn’t that a brilliant collective noun) and you can turn them into a mobile, a wall hanging or a garland.


Toilet rolls, paint, paint brush and tray, ruler, pencil, scissors, PVA or craft glue, pegs, tissue paper (different colours), Glad Go-Between (or similar), Mod Podge, clean paintbrush to Mod Podge with.


  1.  Paint the inside and outside of your toilet roll.
  2. Measure and mark even segments on your toilet roll — mine were 2cm wide.  Squash your toilet roll so you can cut it more easily. Try to cut the segments as straight as possible.
  3. Shape the toilet roll segments into butterfly wings.
  4. Glue the segments together to make a butterfly shape.  Lay them flat on the table so they line up to create a flat surface for the stained glass to attach to. Hold them together with pegs until the glue dries.
  5. If you want to make a mobile out of your butterflies, put a piece of string in the middle when you are gluing the wings together.

6.  Cut a square of Glad Go-Between (or similar), slightly larger than your butterfly.

7.  Cut your tissue paper into little pieces and make piles of the different colours.

8.  Paint some Mod Podge onto the square of Go-Between. Now place the pieces of tissue paper on top, adding more Mod Podge over them as you go. Try not to touch the Mod Podge too much or you will end up decorated as well.  With little kids, it might be easier to use plastic tweezers or mini plastic tongs (from the dollar store party section).

9.  Paint another layer of Mod Podge over the whole thing then press a toilet roll butterfly on top (flat side down). Turn the whole thing over and make sure that the wing edges are attached to the stained glass sheet and that it is taut inside the wing shapes. Set it aside to dry. Resist the urge to touch it again until it’s completely dry. No really… it’s tempting but don’t touch!

10. Once they are completely dry, you can carefully peel off the Go-Between.

11.  Now you can trim off the overhanging ‘stained glass’

12.  Cut another piece of toilet roll for the antenna and glue it into position.

     Lotta Magazine | Magazine for kidsYou’ll find more great art and craft projects for kids in my magazine.