Showing posts with label handmade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label handmade. Show all posts

Monday, May 12, 2014

Toilet Roll Helicopter Craft

Chuck loves his vehicles.  Thus far we've built a toilet roll airplane, a cardboard roll space shuttle,  a shampoo bottle boat, styrofoam gliders, and a tin can car.  (Wow.  That's a lot of transportation crafts!) Since we live near the river, helicopters fly over our building on a daily basis.  So we recently added this toilet roll helicopter to our collection of recycled transportation crafts.   (Can you tell that he's modeled after Harold the Helicopter from Thomas?)


Toilet Roll Helicopter Craft 

(*Note:  This post includes affiliate links which means that I earn a small commission for every purchase made at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for your support.)    

make a cardboard roll helicopter



Monday, May 5, 2014

Brooklyn Flea Adventure

This weekend my sister took me out to city to celebrate my birthday.  We passed the time thrifting, eating, walking, and chatting.  It was a really perfect day.  I loved hanging out with my sister and I felt so inspired seeing all the colorful street art and lovely handmade items.

Here are some photos from our adventures in Brooklyn...
The colors and smiling children made me so happy
To see more photos, keep on reading!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Build a toy car that moves

I love painting things with Chuck, but sometimes I yearn to make things that actually move or do things.  So when a mommy friend suggested that we build cardboard toy cars that actually move, wowzers, I had to say yes.  She found the directions in an old kids' science book (that I don't remember the name of... sorry).  And that's how we spent an awesome play date with five kids- eating pizza and then building and racing some cardboard racing cars

Kid Science: Let's Build a Car that Moves!

how to build a cardboard car that moves
Today's craft is awesome for 2 reasons:

1.  The cars really move.  Really.  You just twist the tin can and then let go.  Bam.  The rubber bands store the potential energy and then once released, they turn the can... and your car moves by itself!

2.  You don't need any expensive materials.  In fact, you probably have most of the items already at home.  

Have I whet your appetite enough?  Ok.  Let's build! Vroooom!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to do Flower Pounding

Happy Earth Day everyone!  How's the weather where you are?  It's slowly getting warmer and sunnier over here, so Chuck and I have been taking nature walks around our neighborhood.  I was surprised to see so many tiny flowers blooming.  (Nature is so resilient, isn't she?)  Chuck really loved seeing the colorful blossoms too.  We ended up picking quite a few and bringing them back to do some flower pounding. 

How to do Flower Pounding With Kids

How to do Flower Pounding


This craft basically involves hitting flowers (or grass or leaves) with a hammer or rock to release their pigment.  As you can probably guess, it was a big hit with the little guy.  (Sorry downstairs neighbors!)  Keep reading to see how we pounded our flowers!


Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY Magnetic Fishing Game

Currently, one of Chuck's favorite books is 10 Little Fish by Audrey and Bruce Wood.  It's a cute book about subtraction.  Kids count colorful fish on each page as they leave one by one.  And (my favorite part), it has a fishy romance at the end (What can I say?  I'm a closet romantic... tee heee hee.)  To accompany his love for fish, we recently made this DIY Magnetic Fishing Game

DIY Magnetic Fishing Game


Make Easy DIY Fishing Game
It's cute and colorful and really fun to make and easy to play.  Want to make your own fishing game?  Keep reading to see how we made ours! 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Make a simple paper kite

Spring is here!  Let's go outside!  Let's go fly a kite!  What?  You don't own a kite?  No worries, we can  make one!  Today I'll share with you this really simple DIY paper kite.   It's easy to make, fun to play with, and my young son loved decorating his very own kite.  

Spring, spring, la la la!  (Can you tell that I have a bad case of spring fever?  *Twirls around and leaps*)


Make a Simple Paper Kite

Make Simple Paper Kites

Now the only warning I have about this craft is that you have to make more than one paper kite.    Seriously.  Each kid should get have his own.  And, be prepared for kites to break or float away.  (One of our floated away.) 

Alright, let's make some paper kites!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

DIY Flying Whirly Copter Toy

Lately Chuck and I have been infatuated with things that fly. That's why we made our cardboard space shuttle a couple of days ago.  So today I took things one step further to create a handmade toy that actually did fly.  Modeled  after a plastic toy that hubby brought back from one of his trips, here's our version of a DIY Flying Whirly Copter Toy.

DIY Flying Whirly Copter Toy

DIY Flying Whirly Copter Toy


It's pretty neat that the toy actually does fly.  You simply spin it between both hands and the copter flies out and floats to the ground.  Keep reading to see how we made it (and a video of it flying!)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Plastic Bottle Sumo Wrestler Bowling Pins

About a year ago I had the great opportunity to be a guest craft poster at Sugar and Dots (Now Hello M{ess}).   My first craft on her blog was this set of cute and quirky sumo wrestler bowling pins.  It's still one of my most popular (and favorite) craft posts, so today I thought I'd re-share my sumo wrestler pins over here.

Plastic Bottle Sumo Wrestler Bowling Pins

Sumo Wrestler Plastic Bottle Bowling Pins
Ack!  Too cute....








Keep reading to see how these cute guys were made:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Make a Cardboard Bridge for Trains and Cars

We bought an Ikea train set awhile back and Chuck loves it.  The only problem is that our poor Thomas train is too big and doesn't fit under the train set's tunnel.  So I poked through my trusty cardboard stash and made him a cardboard mountain bridge.  

Cardboard Bridge for Trains and Cars

Aha!  Problem solved.
cardboard bridge for trains and cars

Now all the trains can fit underneath the mountain while his cars drive over the train track.  Yay! 

Wanna make a bridge too?  Well then keep on reading! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Make Toilet Roll Airplanes (template included)

Make Toilet Paper Roll Airplanes

Initially, I titled this post "Bad Mamas make toilet roll airplanes" because I wanted to admit something to you.

I'm a baaaad mama.

Yup, you read that right.  I'm a bad mama... a really bad mama...  why?  Well, the other day we were playing around with Chuck and we started humming different songs for him to guess.  At first we hummed his favorite song ("Life is a Highway" from the movie Cars) and he guessed it!  Intrigued, we kept humming other songs from Cars 1, Cars 2, and Planes (his faves.)  He couldn't name the songs specifically, but he could identify the movie that each song came from. 

And then I started humming "ABC" to him, thinking that it would be a breeze for him to guess.   I got through the entire song and then my son... my dear, sweet, transportation-loving child, looked up at me and said "Me no know mama."

What?! "Me no know?"  He knows songs from movie soundtracks... but can't recognize ABC?  We sing ABC to him at least twice a day when we brush his teeth.  Oof.  Double oof.

I guess we're not as entertaining as talking vehicles...

So... this reeeeeeaaaaally long intro was just my way of saying that my son loves cars, planes, trucks, trains... erm... basically anything that moves.  So I thought I'd try to foster his love with a toilet paper airplane craft.  These planes were inspired by the characters Dusty Crophopper and Skipper from the movie "Planes."  


Toilet paper Roll Planes Skipper and Dusty Crophopper




(This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.)

Keep reading to see how we made these planes ( plane template included!)...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Four Winter Toddler Crafts and Activities

Looking for some easy toddler winter crafts and activities?

I'm officially over winter.  Buh-bye shortened days!  Buh-bye cold weather!  Buy-bye staying inside!  Oh, how I wish it were already spring.  But, until warmer, sunnier days come, Chuck and I are going to persevere and have fun indoors.  Here are four crafts and activities that have kept us busy, happy, and sane for the past couple of weeks. 



1.  Cereal Box Gingerbread Men



Cereal Box Gingerbread men
I cut out a whole bunch of gingerbread men from my empty cereal box stash.  (Yes, I'm a proud cardboard hoarder!)  Then, I brought them to the library and let the kids decorate them with googly eyes and foam stickers.  The older 2-year olds had fun making funny men and the babies just watched their moms do the craft. 

Chuck's attention span:  He probably spent about 5-10 minutes on this activity before he lost interest.



2.  Hand and Foot Reindeer Wreath

 hand and foot print reindeer wreath Christmas
I've seen versions of this craft all over the internet... and thought they were so cute and perfect for the holidays.  I traced Chuck's hand once to make a template for the wreath and horns.  I also traced Chuck's foot to make the reindeer's head.  Then, I glued everything together and he helped me add foam shapes and googly eyes.

Here are the different components of the wreath:

parts needed to make handprint and reindeer wreath craft
Chuck's attention span:  He probably spent about 10 minutes on this activity before he lost interest.



3.  Homemade Play Dough


child playing with homemade playdough
I followed this craft clay recipe and we had tons of fun rolling, cutting, and shaping our clay.  Unfortunately, our ornaments cracked when they dried.  Boo.  But, we had such fun manipulating the stuff that I kept leftovers in a sealed bag in the fridge.  It didn't dry out and we got to play with it another day. (Right now the "play dough" is still in our fridge... so we'll try it out again this week.)

He used a blunt plastic knife, measuring spoons, measuring cup, and an olive jar (our makeshift rolling pin) to play with the dough. 

boy using a plastic knife to cut homemade playdough

Chuck's attention span:  This activity was a hit!  We spent about 30-45 minutes on two separate days playing with our "play dough."



4.  Water Bead Play


water bead play
Again, I saw a ton of other mommies raving about these beads so I had to give them a try.  I found mine at Michaels in the flower section.  The beads are made of a special polymer that expands in water.  The resulting beads look a bit like boba balls and are slippery and firm.  They also bounce a bit if dropped.

Here's what the water beads initially looked like ...
what do water beads look like- explanation

After a couple of hours, our beads grew and Chuck had a blast scooping them from container to container.

Warning:  Yes, they can be a choking hazard.  I repeatedly told him that the beads weren't food and I made sure to watch him while he played.  Once we were done with the beads, I threw them away in the garbage can.  (You can't pour them down the drain because they can clog your pipes.)

toddler playing with water beads
Chuck's attention span:  This activity was a hit!  He spent about an hour just scooping the beads from container to container.


So, for all you mamas out there who are also stuck at home with young ones... stay strong!  We can make it through winter!  Hopefully one of these ideas will help keep you sane this week.

Happy crafting, friends!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Super easy DIY Toddler Dominos

Do you love dominos?  With the daylight hours getting shorter, sometimes Chuck and I find ourselves twiddling our thumbs, wondering what to do to pass the time.  Lately I've been making him new playthings out of random stuff that's lying around the apartment.  Here's one super easy toy that was made using mini craft sticks and Sharpie markers.  

Super Easy DIY Toddler Dominos


super easy popsicle stick toddler dominos

 

Materials Needed to make DIY Dominos Game:

  • Mini Craft Sticks (I used 21)
  • Distinctly Different Colored Sharpie Markers (I used 6 colors)
  • Plastic Sandwich bag
  • Scrap paper

Directions to Make DIY Dominos Game


DIY Sharpie and Popsicle Stick Dominos
1.  Cover your work area with a piece of scrap paper so the Sharpie markers won't stain it.

2.  Color the ends of your craft sticks different colors.  (I used 6 different markers to color 21 craft sticks.  I tried to make sure that each color was used the same number of times.  So, each marker colored one end of 5 mini craft sticks and both ends of 1 craft stick.  Does that make sense?  Erm... there must be a mathematical equation to explain that....)

3.  Place your sticks in a plastic bag until you're ready to play!

Yurp.  Suuuuuper easie peasie.

Make your own set of popsicle stick dominos

To make it easier for my 2 year old, I first placed the sticks in rows, colored sides up.  I wanted him to be able to see all of his choices as we played.  Once I explained the game, I had to do quite a bit of prompting to get him to find matching colors.

At first he didn't seem to understand that we had to place our sticks a certain way.  But once I told him that the two matching colors had to "kiss" each other, he got it.  (Not sure why, but he got a big kick out of making his two sticks "kiss.")

Overall, our game lasted a couple of minutes... and then he ended up using the sticks to make a house for... you guessed it, one of his beloved cars.     

Happy toddler toy crafting!
how to play with DIY toddler popsicle stick dominos kids craft


Thursday, November 7, 2013

DIY Kids' Portable Stove top

Sometimes when I'm cooking in the kitchen, Chuck pretends to cook alongside me.  It's pretty cute.  I'll give him one of my unused pots and a large plastic spoon, and he'll whip up something for me to try.

Lately he's been cooking for his toy cars.  With this new interest in entertaining, I thought it was high time he got his own stove.  Taking inspiration from this Pack-n-Go Kids Play Stove, I made him a mini portable stove top.

DIY Portable Kids Stove Top Toy


DIY Kids' Portable Stove Top

Since we live in a small apartment, I'm always hesitant to purchase large toys for Chuck.   I loved this simple DIY toy because it supports his imaginative play and doesn't take up too much space!  The storage container's lid becomes the "stove top" and all his cooking toys are stored inside.



Materials:
  • Plastic storage container
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Scissors
  • Contact Paper

Directions:
1.  Doodle some burners and knobs onto your contact paper using your Sharpie marker.
2.  Cut out your doodles.
3.  Stick them onto your plastic storage container.

That's it!  Now you've got an easy-peasie DIY stove for cooking.  Pretty awesome!

How to make a toy stove top for kids


Happy crafting!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Make your own glow in the dark chalk

A couple of weeks ago Chuck and I were perusing the Halloween aisles at Target (for the bajillionth time... what can I say?  It's my favorite holiday!) and I spotted a pack of glow in the dark chalk.

Then a light bulb went off in my head.  I could buy the chalk... but it'd be more fun to try making my own.  So after tinkering around for a bit.... I came up with this result. 

Ooh!  It glows!


What what?  Yup.  They glow after you "charge" them with light.  Just doodle a design at night, shine a light on them to "charge" them, and then turn off your light.  Your doodles should glow for a bit and then you'll need to charge them again.  

To make this novelty chalk, I simply modified this homemade chalk recipe.  Instead of tempera paint, I added 3 T of glow in the dark paint to the mixture.  Here's what my chalk looked like setting up:


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Make Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

I'd been meaning to try my hand at making homemade sidewalk chalk out of plaster of paris for awhile now.  But I never got up the nerve to try it out until this past weekend.   As I stared at my craft cabinet filled with dozens of empty toilet paper rolls, I felt the crafting itch take over.

Armed with my Michaels coupons, I took the plunge and bought myself some plaster of paris.  Then, a day later, Chuck and I made these:

Like the two colors?  Me too.  Now we get both pink and blue all in one piece of chalk.  Whoa.  Mind blowing.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Make a hockey stick hobby horse and dragon

Did I make a hobby horse from a hockey stick?

Yup.

And why stop there?  Why not make a hobby dragon too?

Rawr.









Sunday, June 30, 2013

Paint your own galaxy umbrella

Inspired by Carl Sagan's quote, "We are made of star-stuff," I painted this galaxy umbrella:


On the outside the umbrella is black. But open the umbrella up and wow, you're now standing under a galaxy full of twinkling stars.  Let's get crafting!

Materials Needed to Paint Umbrella:

(*Note:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means I earn a small commission for every purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.)  
 
- Black Umbrella
- Painter's tape
- Craft Paint (I used black, red, yellow, blue, and white)
- White fabric paint (I used the bottle because it had a nice tip to draw stars)
- Fabric Medium
- Cups
- Sponge
- Stick for stirring
- Palette (or crapty styrofoam plate)
- Paper towel
- Inspiring photo of the universe


Steps to Make Galaxy Umbrella:

1.  Cover the umbrella's ribs with painter's tape.

2.   Make your fabric paint.  Not sure if you have this problem, but I own a ton of craft paint and very little fabric paint.  So instead of buying different bottles of fabric paint, I bought one bottle of fabric medium to turn my craft paint into fabric paint.  (Wow, right? Oh Martha, you crafty minx!  What will you think of next?) Following the bottle's directions, I mixed the fabric medium and the craft paint together to make black, blue, purple, red, yellow, and white fabric paint.  

3.  Use a dry sponge and a piece of paper towel to dab the different colors on.  (I tried starting with my darker colors first and then adding on my lighter colors... but then ended up using darker colors again.... so just play around and have fun with it.)



4.  Once you're satisfied with how your background looks, use your white fabric paint to paint stars.  (I liked using the bottle because it had a nice neat tip.  But, you could also just  use the white fabric paint that you previously made and apply it on with a paint brush.)

5.  Make some stars cross shaped to look like they're twinkling.  Remove painter's tape. Then, let your masterpiece dry overnight.

Voila!  Now you've got your very own galaxy.  Open this baby up on an icky rainy day and you're guaranteed to feel better.



(Psst- Wanna see another painted umbrella?  Check out my "rain, rain, go away" umbrella.)

Have fun creating your own galaxy!


UPDATE 8/26/13- I've now taken this umbrella out a couple of times and the paint is fine.  Phew.  The only problem that I have with this umbrella is that the insides are now a bit sticky, so the umbrella is a bit more difficult to open.

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