Crafts for Older Kids – Handmade Magic The Gathering Tokens

Our kids are getting older! The twins are now 11, and our youngest is 6. I haven’t posted here in quite awhile, but we’ve actually been as busy as ever creating all kinds of projects. Along with art, one of our favorite family activities is playing games. We love Catan, Sushi Go, and No Thanks, but our favorite by far is Magic the Gathering, …

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 …

Little Bird Friend

Last night I made this little mixed media bird with various scraps from my art studio – wood, feathers, wire, and fabric scraps by the awesome people at Umbrella Prints. Not sure what I’ll do with him yet. Maybe a stop-motion animation skit would be fun.

DIY Wooden Paper Slingshot

In the last week of summer break, my son told me one morning that he was bored. So I asked him if he’d like to make a slingshot. He definitely said yes! I’d actually been thinking about this project for awhile, and I believe the design ended up having the perfect balance of safety and excitement. Lightweight paper arrows, gentle elastic …

DIY Baby Toy Slot Box

Baby E has been having a lot of fun with a vintage cash register toy, but it’s too hard for her to get the coins into the small slots. So I made some round circles out of scrap wood, sanded them, and cut a few slots into a shoe box. Then the kids and I painted the coins with some non-toxic paints. She really loves putting the coins in, then opening …

Prepare for Launch!

My five year old daughter has recently discovered the fun of catapulting things with her spoon. To bring the action a bit further away from the table, I decided to make some very simple catapults out of scrap wood. After dinner we spent the entire evening catapulting Star Wars Lego figures outdoors. It was super funny, and I was surprised at how high …

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, …

Baby Bouncy Seat Mobile Stand

Our new baby girl loves looking at the Modern Paper Mobile for Babies that I made awhile back, but her favorite place to relax is in her bouncy seat. So I made this simple stand with some scrap wood and wire. It’s very lightweight and sturdy, so I can carry it around the house along with her bouncy seat. She’s really liking it so far! If …

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 …

Branch Trees

We’ve been having some more windy days with small sticks falling into our yard. So I took a piece of scrap board and drilled some holes into it and made a little forest building toy. It was fun sticking the branches in to build the forest, but it was even more exciting when my son turned it into a scene for his Lego figures. It might also be a …

City Block

I recently scored a free box of wood scraps and in it was this fabulous old cedar block.  I decided to paint it and turn it into a “city block”.  I think it might be a good block for the Vintage Wood Figures to hang out with.

Outdoor Summer Fun

Here are a few things we’ve been enjoying in the great weather we’ve had this month: The kids really love riding their bicycles on our driveway.  Last week we spiced things up by drawing a track with some sidewalk chalk.  They love practicing their turns while trying to stay in the lines.  I was impressed with how well they did. A few …

Vintage Wood Figures

I was digging around in my box of vintage wood scraps, and decided to make some little figures with a few of the small colorful pieces.  We used paint pens to draw on them, so it was an easy way to make a fun set of dolls to play with. And look at this great set that my son made.  He colored them with regular makers, then wanted to make playground …

Toddler Stilts

I was talking about stilts with a friend the other day, and remembered the old coffee can stilts that were popular when I was a kid.  For Jack and Tess, I thought the tall coffee cans would make me a little too nervous, so I used some pieces of 2×4 wood instead.  They were a huge hit.  It was so funny to watch them in action.  And when they …

Wooden Sand Combs

We just got back from the beach today, and had a great time.  Before leaving, I quickly made a couple of sand combs for the kids to play with.  They added a nice and relaxing element to our sand playing.

Doll House Furniture

I’ve started to make some doll house furniture.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a few months now.  My kids love playing with doll houses.  I bent a little chair out of wire, and finally found a use for the awesome hand printed fabric scraps I got from Umbrella Prints.  Got out the hot glue gun, cut some wood scraps and found a tree …

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.