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! …

Dinosaur Music Video Paper City

I thought it would be fun to make a Paper City Dinosaur set using the designs from the music video I just made for my sister Lori. You can print all of the templates out below. And feel free to encourage your kids to draw their own favorite dinosaurs to add to the set! If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can watch it below. It basically shows …

Dinosaur Music Video for Kids

I just finished shooting this music video for my sister Lori’s new Dinosaur song. Feel free to watch it with your kids! It was really fun to make! And I’m also finishing up a Dinosaur Paper City set to go with it. Should be done in a day or two! You can see my wild setup in the photo below. I had to rig up a big roll of paper on a pole so …

Embroidered Vintage Fabric Doll

When the twins were younger, I made these vintage fabric dolls. They still sleep with them almost four years later. Yesterday I decided little E and I better make one for her to sleep with too. It was very cute working together. She chose some vintage necktie fabric I had lying around, and then we got to sewing. It’s a very simple pillow shape, …

Owls Coloring Sheet

The trees are turning beautiful colors here in Portland, and I was inspired to make an owl coloring sheet for fall. It might be a fun one for all you embroidery fans out there too. Hope you all enjoy it! Click here or on the image below to print.

Miniature Kitchen Set

Our youngest daughter LOVES anything that involves cooking, and she’s also enchanted by tiny objects. So I decided to paint the top of an old mint tin to resemble a stove, then I created some cooking objects that could be stowed away inside for a miniature kitchen set. So far, it’s been a huge amount of fun for her. And the twins are swooping …

Bee and Flowers Coloring Sheet

I hope you’ve all been having a great summer! We’ve been spending a lot of time outside playing and enjoying simple pleasures. Here’s a summery coloring sheet for you to print out if you’re in the mood! Click here or on the image below to print.

Building Fun with Nuts and Bolts

I was cleaning up my shop corner in the garage today and decided to select a few nuts, bolts, and other odds and ends for the kids to play around with. They’re always fascinated with screws and tools. Then I gave them some wrenches and screwdrivers and let them build. It reminded me of the erector sets I had as a kid. It kept us busy for quite …

Oscillating Bird Science Toy For Kids

I recently made a new oscillating bird design for a magazine, so I thought I’d share it here too. After finding this toy idea on the brilliant Science Toy Maker site a couple of years ago, I made this woodpecker. It’s based off of an old folk toy, and is a great way to teach kids about the science of potential energy. It’s easy to …

DIY Baby Doll Diaper (with fabric poo)

Our daughter just turned 2 yesterday, and she loves taking care of her dolls. And like many other kids her age, she’s also pretty fascinated with poo. So when I was at the sewing machine a few days ago, I couldn’t resist making some doll diapers with detachable velcro poo. Yesterday morning I gave her the present. She was very delighted …

Creatures From the Dark – Paper Craft for BIG Magazine

BIG Kids Magazine asked me to create a paper craft for their new “Into the Dark” issue. While I was working on it, my 6 year old son came over and wanted to join in. We had a great time collaborating! The template is below if you’d like to try it out. We also put a small light behind it, then turned off the room lights for full effect. …