Karin and Freja run the Swedish blog Pysselbolaget.se (“the Craft Company” in english), where their aim is to show fun and easy crafts for parents and kids that don’t require too much knowledge, equipment or time. Karin is a freelance graphic designer. Freja is 8 years old and makes sure the crafts aren’t too difficult for children to keep up with. They live on a beautiful island outside Stockholm.

DIY Circle Punch Portrait.

  DIY Circle Punch Portraits at http://www.thesoutherninstitute.com

We long planed to do something pretty to hang on the kids walls. We wanted to use old photos of them but we didn’t want a regular collage. The inspiration was found, as so many times before, on Pinterest. Inspired by Mermag’s Circle Punch Art we made our very own circle punch portraits.

We used a circle punch, photos of the kids, patterned paper and pretty magazine pictures. We also used a white sheet of paper and glue.

1. We begun by punching out photos of the kids. To make sure we got their faces punched out we had to turn our circle punch up side down.


2. We wanted the finished picture to have certain colors. To get a good mix of color we also punched out circles of pretty paper and magazines pictures.

3. Freja placed out the circles on a sheet of paper. It took a while before she was completely satisfied. Then we glued the circles on to the paper. Our punch is well used and it gets a bit unsharp from time to time. To sharpen it we punch holes in aluminum foil. Works like a charm!

Our portraits are up on the wall and we’re very pleased with them! They will be framed eventually, but we find them adorable to look at even now.


This is unfortunately our last post on the Southern Institute. We’ll continue to post tutorials for kids and parents on Pysselbolaget.se from time to time, but we need to cut back on the time spent on blogging. Thank you so much, Jenny, for giving us the opportunity to share our crafts and ideas on you blog. We have enjoyed it a lot!

Colorful Braided Bracelets.

Freja loves to braid. She braids fabric scraps, yarn and ribbons and she loves to give them to me as gifts. I, on the other hand, love it when I can turn her pretty crafts into something I can use. I have long wanted to make something out of all her wonderful braids, something I can use or wear, like bracelets.


We used colorful ribbons, glue and end caps in silver.


1. I was given this lovely bunch of braids for my birthday. Freja works hard to keep her mother happy. They are pretty, don’t you agree!

2. To make the bracelets, put three braids together, and tighten them together with a piece of thread. Make sure to tie the thread tight and hard. You don’t want the braids to come loose. Trim the the top of the ribbons and glue the end cap over the ends.


Frejas colorful ribbon braids are ready to be worn. Her beautiful braids are now saved from the dark drawers it might have ended up in. We made one bracelet each and I wear mine with happiness.

Papier Mache Piggies

Papier Mache is really easy to do, not very expensive – but a bit messy. Way back when I went to school we did piggy banks using a large balloon as moulds. I remember loving to mess with glue and paper scraps. As an adult I’m not too keen on the messy part but I had to let my daughter try it. Check out our mini piggies!


You need a small balloon, corks from wine and plastic bottles, newspaper scraps and wallpaper glue. If you have small children you might want to make your own papier mache paste, in case they put their fingers in their mouths. There are several recipes on the net.


1. First turn the balloon into a piggy mould. Cut the wine corks to the size of your choice and attach them as legs to the bottom of the balloon. We used double-sided tape to attach ours. Also tape the plastic cork on to the front as a snout. It’s already cute, isn’t it!


2. Make sure you cover your work surface, this is going to be messy! Then tear the newspaper into strips and dip them in glue. Place the stripes one at a time over the balloon and corks. The piggy should be covered. Make sure to remove air bubbles as you go along.

3. Make the first layer thin and let it dry completely. Then add another layer and let it dry. Our piggies have three layers but you can add as many layers as you like. When all the layers have dried, we painted our piggies using hobby paint.


This one got a heart as well! The ears are made of a bit of felt and it also got a twisted little tail.


Our piggies are too small to be piggy banks but we cherish them never the less. They where messy to make but we had a lot of fun. And in the end it’s all that counts, don’t you think!