Embroidery Project for Kids

Last week my 7 year old daughter asked me if she could do some embroidery. She made this pillow a couple of years ago, but hadn’t done much since. Sounded like fun to me! She does a lot of drawing, so I got out a disappearing fabric pen and let her create a design on some fabric. Then I set her up with some embroidery floss and a needle, and took …

Printable Placemat For Giving Thanks

Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friend gives the perfect opportunity to reflect on the things that we love and appreciate. This Thanksgiving, I decided to create an “I’m Thankful For…” coloring sheet that doubles as a placemat for the kids table. My kids felt really good about putting their appreciations down on paper and I was happy …

Paper Puppet Music Video

I just finished the music video for my sister’s (Lori Henriques) new album. The jazz style music reminded me of the Sesame Street videos I used to watch as a kid. I pictured having geometrical shapes dancing around to the song, but rather than animating them, I created simple paper puppets. The only materials needed were paper, scissors, and tape. …

DIY Halloween Puppet Theater

Finger puppets have always been a favorite craft with my family. The kids love using their creativity to design new puppets, but they also get to continue using their imaginations as they act out stories with each character. We can spend hours around the table crafting, acting and entertaining each other for some fun family time! For this set of puppets, …

Harry Potter’s Getaway Treehouse

Over the summer the kids have enjoyed making dozens of fairy houses with flowers and objects around the yard. But yesterday my son and I decided to make a mini treehouse. I used a design in my friend Derek’s book. (He’s a master of DIY mini houses and forts. I’ll post info for the book below.) We cut the walls out with my scroll saw, …

Paper City Paris Kits are in the Shop!

Hey everyone. I’m super excited to announce my first ever toy to hit the shops! Collaborating with The Saturday Market Project is wonderful, and the Paper City Paris Kits are fantastic. The templates are printed in the USA on sturdy paper which takes color very well, and also folds great. I designed a Champ de Mars scene inside the carrying case …

Paper City Camping Scene!

Hope you’re all having a great summer! Here is the other project I just finished for Pottery Barn Kids. A little camping scene in the woods. I hope it gives you a small taste of the great outdoors! (Template is below!) Template: Click on the image below, then print!

Vegetable Garden Coloring Sheet!

I’m creating three projects for Pottery Barn Kids this month! The first one is this garden coloring sheet. You can download it below, or read the whole post here if you’d like.) Hope you’re having a great summer! Click here or on the image below to print.

Help vote for the next Paper City!

Hi everyone. I would love to hear your opinion on choices for the next Paper City! A vote has started on the Facebook Page, but you can vote here in the comments as well! So far the top cities are: London – 45 votes Barcelona – 40 Rome – 26 Amsterdam – 14 San Francisco – 14 New York – 11 Sydney – 10 Tokyo – …

Flapping Paper Bird Toy

I used to make birds like this when I was a kid, flying them all around the house and yard. Usually we just run around and they flap through the air like a wild kite. But if you’re in the mood, you can try to flap the wings and glide them around too. I also made a quick video you can show to your kids to get them excited about the craft! Happy …

Made by Joel Shop

Exciting news! I’ve been working on a Made by Joel Shop where you can easily get the materials you need to make craft and toy projects at home. I always try to use simple things around the house. However, if you happen to need something, it’ll be a convenient, time-saving one-stop shop. To help make this happen, I’ve teamed up with …

Easter Egg Felt Boards!

I’ve been thinking about making some sort of Easter felt board, then yesterday I had the idea to make egg shaped boards for the kids to decorate. Our 2.5 year old really enjoyed helping me, and was so excited to play when they were done! After she finishes creating a design, we put them up on the mantel with the other Easter decor. I always love …

Aladdin Paper City Craft Project!

I recently got the fun job of designing a Paper City toy set for the Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg. They used it in the programs for their Aladdin production so kids could take it home and cut it out. This set is based on the original (pre-Disney) story in the Tales from the Arabian Nights, so there’s a genie of the lamp and a genie of …

DIY Shoebox Pizza Oven Toy

Cooking is still one of little E’s favorite things to do. We’ve been getting so much milage out of the miniature kitchen set, that I decided to make a little pizza oven for her. In the last 24 hours I’ve “eaten” about 50 pizzas. After she puts the pizza in the oven and closes the door, she sometimes turns to me and says, …

Holiday Poster for Pearl District in Portland + Coloring Sheet

This year I was commissioned by the Pearl District to come up with a design for their holiday poster and material. I also made them a coloring sheet for all the restaurants, so I thought I’d share it here too. You can print it out below! Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays! Coloring sheet below. Click on the image, then print.

Paper Snowflake Holiday Music Video!

The kids and I just put our paper snowflakes into action for a new holiday jazz song that my sister just recorded. We dangled the snowflakes from some thread and slowly danced and drifted them around. It’s pretty soothing to watch! If your kids feel like crafting some snowflakes of their own, here’s the paper snowflake how-to I made last …

Travel Size Paper City Nativity Scene!

Need a holiday traveling project for the kids? Here is a travel size Paper City Nativity Scene! The tiny pieces turned out rather cute, and it’s also quite convenient being able to print everything on one sheet of paper. Especially great for large groups of kids. And after they’re done building it, you can stow the whole scene inside a mint …

Paper City Nativity Scene (Joyfully Expanded!)

After making the Paper City Nativity Scene last year, I received many requests for additions. So without further ado, here is the new version which includes two shepherds, a standing angel, three chickens, two lambs, one extra sheep, and an ox. I hope you and your kids have fun with it! Share with as many people as you’d like! Happy Holidays! …