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.