Ever made a stick man?

Decorate the wood pile with stick men (well ladies and lasses) kindling.

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post looks at how to turn a stick into a gift. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting click here.

Two family birthdays are fast approaching, and not far behind these is Christmas. I’ll never be as organised as the people who shop for Xmas 2012 in the January 2012 sales, but I normally have stockpiled a few gifts by now. But not this year. Instead I’m hoping to pull lovely things out of the metaphorical bag without having to spend hours at the sewing machine (or equivalent, ie shops) in December.

I love the idea of giving new life to ordinary objects.

Forks are dull, but I love a collection of cutlery fringing a lamp shade. Old penny coins are just about worthless, but drill a hole in them, polish up and turn them into a necklace and they are become a fab piece of jewellery.

Clearly Nell, 11, has slotted into this way of thinking as she’s determined I should write up about her current passion for stick decoration. In previous blogs I’ve shared tips on how to make a wand and dye it with squashed blackberry juice. See here.   But if it’s rainy outside and you just want to settle down by the fire or woodburner it can be fun to draw on bits of kindling. Real sticks can be whittled while you watch re-runs of the Great British Bake-off, or use skinny pine off-cuts  to fashion extra large matchstick men and women (see pic above).

Younger children can be given a felt tip (or fat crayon) and put by a pile of logs – hopefully you will soon see smiley faces emerge. Nell says she likes the way it could be a toy, you can play with it and it has a nice woody feel.

Over to you
What would you draw on a skinny bit of kindling? Could it be made into a gift? I thought maybe they could be good dinner place holders, a crowd could be used for piling into towers, or 10 bunched together could make good seed row markers…

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2 Comments on “Ever made a stick man?”


  1. For younger children, they could be good for a little impromptu puppet show, popping them up from behind a table. Or you could specifically create ones that look like characters from books and then use them to help bring a story to life when reading the book.

    I like your idea of using them as seed markers, or similarly, if you’re ever giving a plant as a gift to someone, it would add a nice personal touch to put one of those in, especially if it was one that had been made to look a bit like the person you were giving it to!

    • nicola baird Says:

      Vanessa – making the stick man like the person you are giving the seed row markets to is a fantastic suggestion! I’ll pass this on to Nell and I think that’s sorted her xmas gift list out. Although it may also reduce the kindling pile shockingly… Nicola


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