NaBloPoMo has introduced me to a whole new world of blogging – the community, the etiquette, the diversity and the opportunities available to those of us who wish to partake in them.
When @MerrilyMe put the word out on Twitter that she was looking for some bloggers to review Fimo for her I jumped at the chance. Fimo was such a favourite of my childhood – to the extent that we’d just rediscovered the brooch of a piano keyboard I’d made and treasured – the chance to share this enjoyment with the Cheetah Keeper and his sister was too good to miss.
My, how the range has grown over the years! There’s now Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft and a whole host of kits, tools and accessories. Have a look on the CraftMerrily.co.uk fimo section to see what’s on offer.
So first of all, the Cheetah Keeper (who’s 4 and a half) had a go with the Make Your Own Space Aliens Set. The kit is aimed at the over 8’s market, however, I’m not sure how many 8 year olds would have thought making these aliens particularly cool. He’s a pretty dexterous little chap and will happily make the tiniest things out of playdough or plasticine. He soon got the idea of how it worked but wasn’t keen on making the aliens as shown – he wanted to do his own thing. So he did.
In the end we made these:
The Cheetah Keeper’s sister is 6 and a half. She loves all make & do stuff but struggles with some of her fine motor skills. Fimo’s flexible enough to sculpt quite big pieces so I didn’t think it would frustrate her.
This Jewellery Moulds Gift Set is her idea of girly heaven – flowers, dolphins, teddies, necklaces, rings, key-rings – she nearly burst just seeing the box!
The instructions weren’t as comprehensive as they were in the Alien set – and essentially with a mould you expect to fill it and then push the finished article out. She lovingly created a multi-colour flower and then we couldn’t get it out the mould. I don’t know if we were doing something wrong (no clues from the instructions) but the pressure required to push the Fimo out means that it doesn’t hold its shape. We managed – but not with the results you see on the box.
Here she is doing her stuff
She can’t wait to have another go – eventually she got so tired (this was after school and she’d been at breakfast club from 7.50am) that she couldn’t manage the fiddly stuff but she’s ever so enthusiastic. She wore her flower brooch on her Rainbows tabard last night and wanted to tell everyone how much she’d enjoyed making it in our ‘news’ chat. We also made a starfish and a dolphin from the moulds.
Baking them was dead easy (foil on the baking tray first!) and although the oven smelt a bit afterwards it didn’t taint whatever I cooked in there next. I’m really impressed by how robust it all is after you’ve baked them – the Cheetah Keeper is not necessarily known for his delicate touch but everything is holding up!
So, the plus sides – Fimo + a bit of creativity = endless opportunities. Have a look at the lovely models on their Patch Of Muddy Puddles blog to see how it’s done properly! The children enjoyed it and I would have absolutely no hesitation in buying some of the smaller kits for 7th birthday presents. I can also see
us using biscuit cutters and icing tools to make more effects – that will be fun.
The downsides – the moulds were hard to use which is really frustrating (and disappointing!) Most significantly, the Fimo stained our hands – and transferred the colour to the next colour we wanted to work with. Which isn’t good if you want to go from black to yellow. Hands were easily cleaned with a baby-wipe or hand-wash but that was learned with experience. It doesn’t make beautiful stuff easy as once the colour is transferred we couldn’t get it off the other Fimo.
Overall – I think the family affinity with Fimo will be continuing. I mourn the fact our local independent toyshop is no more and we won’t be able to go and choose our next colour in person – but with a website like Craft Merrily – I think there’s a very good substitute!
We’ve been provided with the two kits mentioned in order to review them. I hope that I’ve given a balanced view from the point of view of the Cheetah Keeper, his sister and me (in that I’m the one who would make the purchasing decision). We’ve tried to cover as many angles as possible to help you make an informed choice when deciding whether this product would meet your needs.