Kids Beginner Embroidery Pillow Project

My daughter has been doing a little stitching at school, so I asked her if she’d like to do some embroidery at home. (I’ve been meaning to do this with her for months.) She was very excited and wanted to get started right then. For this first project, I told her to stitch wherever she wanted to create an abstract design. I also used felt, …

Modern Mini Cats | Printable Paper Toy for Kids

I had so much fun making the Travel Sized Paper City Paris, and couldn’t wait to make more mini toys for on the go. I was getting ready to miniaturize the Dressy Cats, but decided that I was in the mood to create something a little different. So here are the Modern Mini Cats! (I’ll still make travel sized Dressy Cats too.) For the Mini Cats, …

Paper Circus Rider Toy

I thought of this little circus unicycle rider awhile back. It’s easy to make, but requires pretty good motor control to wheel around, which is great for kids. If you want to try it out, watch the one minute video to see how to make them. There’s also a template below, but I encourage you and your kids to try drawing your own figures as …

Wood Burned Doll Blocks

Today it was decided that we needed more people for the dollhouse, so I got out some scrap wood and had the kids draw figures on the pieces. Then I took my woodburner and traced over their drawings and made some “doll blocks”. It was so fast and fun that I had to try making a drawing, too. The dolls really helped spice up the doll house, …

Fun Evening of Collage Art with the Kids

Last night I got out my paper scraps and glue to make a collage gift card for my friend’s birthday party. (He loves Datsun 510 wagons.) And once my kids saw what I was doing, they wanted to join in, too. So I gave them a piece of paper and let them dig through my box of scraps. They were so focussed: searching through the scraps, cutting pieces …

Dinosaur Kid Crafts and Activities

My son is really enjoying dinosaurs these days, so in case you have any dino-fans around, I thought I’d share some of the activities we’ve been doing – paper clip cutout toys, building dino skeletons in the yard, a pretty awesome interactive dinosaur book on the iPad, and jurassic artwork. This first one is some simple paper clip cutout …

Holiday Gift Tag Templates

My kids love wrapping and decorating presents. So in preparation for the winter holidays, I thought it would be fun to make some gift tags that they could cut out or color. I also teamed up with Lisa Mundorff, who is a children’s book illustrator and very clever holiday card creator over at Dear Ida. She made some sweet tags that my kids wish …

Guest Post | How To Make Hand-Printed Wrapping Paper With Your Kids

Hi Made By Joel readers! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here. My name is Phoebe and I’m a printmaking artist over at elSage Designs. Like Joel my boys and I like to create things. It’s pretty rad when the things we create can become useful beyond the project itself, like wrapping paper for birthdays and the holidays. We’ve …

Fun Techniques for Teaching Your Kids to Read

Come join a pretty great discussion, here on the Facebook Page, for some wonderful methods and ideas on teaching your kids to read. There are some really great comments coming in, and we’d love to hear any of your ideas, too. Happy reading!

Paper City Paris!

Voilà, Paper City Paris! I’ve been working on this for a very long time now and had so much fun creating it. My kids have been watching me draw and sketch for two months, and they’re now huge fans of the city. They kept asking me, “When are the buildings going to stand up, Daddy?” And now every time they see a radio tower while …

Community & Parents for Public Schools Coloring Sheet

I just created this coloring sheet for a wonder project, Community & Parents for Public Schools, a national organization with a portland chapter. They’ve been working to make schools better for over 10 years. Every year they hold an annual Parent Leadership & Engagement Conference ( Oct. 22nd, 2011) . This coloring sheet will be part of …

Guest Post | The Joy of Creative Collaboration Between Adults and Their Children

By Jo Pollitt and Lilly Blue of BIG Kids Magazine The BIG collaborative ocean project The ocean is both wide enough for us to frolic at the edges and vast enough to get lost in. A meeting point of world continents and cultures, such seas invite the possibility of adventure, travel and messages in windswept bottles. The main thing separating kids from …

Easy DIY Modern Platform Dollhouse

I came up with some simple modern dollhouse designs for my book, Made to Play. This is one design that didn’t make it in the book, so I thought I’d share it here. It’s very fast and easy to make. All you need is a board, (any length is fine) and two small strips of wood for the feet. Then glue or nail the feet to the main board. It …

Doctor’s Office Match Game

I’ve made a couple of match games in the past, but now that my kids are getting a little older, I’m having to come up with slightly more difficult versions. Here is a doctor’s office theme, where you have to draw a line to connect the medical tools on the top row to their related parts of the body below. The kids really had looks of …

Poetry River Craft

Here is a simple poetry river craft that I made for the newest Issue of LMNOP Magazine, which is all about books. We’ve been enjoying the book, A River of Words, which is a brilliant introduction to the poet William Carlos Williams. This book contains many of his wonderful poems and talks about beautiful things that are part of everyday life. …

4th of July Fireworks Coloring Sheet

I made a fireworks coloring sheet last night, in case you want to get in the mood for 4th of July! I haven’t had a chance to color it in yet, but it looks like it could be a tricky one. Click on the image below, then print.

Beach Crafts and Activities

Many people have been asking me about crafts and activities for the beach, so I thought I’d do a little beach roundup post. Below are three crafts, as well as a couple of beach inspired coloring sheets. And we would love to hear about your favorite beach activities too, so feel free to share them in the comments! Click on the links or photos below. …

Duck and Goat Coloring Sheets

Here are the Duck and Goat coloring sheets that go along with the chicken! Also, many of you have have been turning Made by Joel coloring sheets into wonderful embroidery stitchings. I’d love to do a post to display them.  So if you’d like to contribute, send me a photo of your stitching to joel (at) madebyjoel (dot) com. Thanks! Click …