New Craft for LMNOP Magazine – Box Pull Toys

My first craft column appeared in the new issue of LMNOP magazine today.  Pull toys have been making a come-back in our house, so I decided to make some box pull toys that slide across the floor.  They turned out to be really fun and very easy to make.  There are full instructions in the LMNOP issue, and their layout and photos look awesome too. …

Painted Puzzle

This puzzle is over a year old, but we just got it out again.  My son has been a big puzzle fan since age two.  This was a wooden one that I had, but the design on it was all green leaves, which made it very difficult to solve, even for me.  So I painted a little safari painting on the wood back of the puzzle and gave every object a unique color, …

Paper Clip Puppets

A few days ago I made these little puppets with paper clips and cardboard.  The kids were really coming up with some entertaining stories for them.  If you want to try it out, they’re very simple to make.  First, bend the middle of a paper clip so it stands up.  Then cut out the puppets, making sure the corrugated cardboard holes are vertical. …

Sgraffito with Crayons

A couple of years ago we bought some Stockmar Beeswax Crayons, and they came with a little plastic tool for doing Sgraffito.  Sgraffito comes from the Italian word sgraffiare (“to scratch”), and the technique works great with crayons.  All you do is make a light color background, then color a dark layer (black is best) over the top. …

Catfish for Leo

My nephew Leo is turning four.  Last year I made him a trumpet.  This year he has developed a fascination for catfish, so a few days ago I decided to try and make him one.  We just gave it to him today at the party.  He liked it!

Wooden Slot Animals Set

Yesterday I made some more wooden animals so there would be a complete set.  The parts are interchangeable, so it’s possible to make many different creatures.  I had a lot of fun trying them out before the kids got up from their nap. Also, a lot of people have asked what I finish my wooden pieces with.  I use a food grade bees wax polish by …

Wooden Slot Animal

I’ve always liked the simplicity of things that fit together with slots. Yesterday I made this little wooden toy. I think I should make more animals with interchangeable pieces so people could make their own creations. My son had fun playing with this one though. He especially liked peeping through the eye hole.

Wall Hanging Box Aquarium

I really like using boxes we get in the mail for other things before recycling them, so I made this small aquarium toy.  Instead of taping the fish to the top of the box, I decided to make it more interactive by cutting slits in the top and tying buttons to the threads.  This way the fish can be moved around like puppets.  It’s actually really …

Zipper Pouch

I’ve never made anything with a zipper, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I just did a very simple pouch and then drew a cat on it with a fabric pen.  I like zippers!

Little Sheep

I made a little sheep this morning out of wire and scrap material.  It’s simple, but it feels good, and it seems to like standing on my Olle Eksell book.  I’ll let the kids play with it when they get up from their naps.

Paper Chicken Animation

I used to do this all the time when I was a kid, but forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when drawing with Jack and Tess.  It’s a great trick, and you can do all kinds of animations.  We did a chicken first.  If you want to try something like this, here are a couple of tips. Draw your design on the bottom first, so you can trace over …

Finger Puppets!

The kids got some new construction paper for a Christmas gift last night, so we made finger puppets this morning. You can see on their faces the excitement and wonder they had for the tiny puppets. They had a great time acting out really funny scenes and stories. A super fast craft with fun results!

Holiday Shirts!

8 cousins = 8 hand embroidered holiday shirts! I asked all the parents what they thought their kids would like, and then went to work. I might have to make an R2-D2 for myself! I put them in my bird boxes and made little circle collages for decoration.

Another Embroidered Bird Shirt

A friend of mine has been wanting me to make a bird shirt for her, so she finally came to my house with a blank shirt and made me make her one. Here is a little video that she took of the process. You can see my other shirts here and here if you’d like.

Zoo Blanket

I’ve been tackling some larger projects, so I haven’t posted in awhile. One of them is this zoo blanket. Jack and Tess love to get out all of their animals and arrange them on the floor to “make a zoo”. I thought it would be fun to design a blanket or play mat that had some fun shapes and colors on it where we could put the different animals. …

More Stuffed Animals

I just made some more stuffed animals for the kids. Simple natural canvas fabric, and the I drew on them with some non-toxic fabric pens. They’re really liking them so far!

Paper Animals

Yesterday my son and I had fun cutting out some scrap paper and turning them into little animals. It was really a fun way to use old paper. We kept making more and more animals until we had a full zoo. Here are a few of them.

Wood & Wire Toys

I’ve been wanting to make some wire animal sculptures for awhile, and finally got around to it. I thought it would be fun to make the heads out of wood and paint them. They’re definitely Alexander Calder and Joan Miró inspired. Also below is a quick video of me making one, if you want to see.