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 …

Pop-Up Puppets

The kids and I just made some pop-up puppets this morning.  We had a great time picking out the fabrics and drilling holes for the dowel sticks.  When we were done, the kids were pretty surprised at how they came to life.  Below you can see a quick video.  (Including another one of my old songs.)

Marionette

A couple of days ago we took another short trip out to the countryside to visit my wife’s grandparents.  The kids love visiting their great-grandparents, and so do I, because they always seem to have some vintage gifts for me.  This time it was an old box of wooden odds and ends that they thought I’d like.  Looking inside that box I started …

Tin Can Telephones

Last weekend we got a large tin of Tinker Toys at a yard sale.  The kids really enjoyed talking into the empty can, which gave me the idea that we should make tin can telephones.  Yet another thing I remember doing as a kid.  It’s so fast and easy too.  Just open a can of food. (I really recommend a smooth-edge can opener of some sort, so …

May Day Flower Baskets

I had vague memories of weaving paper baskets for May Day as a kid, but when I started making these, the memories came flooding back. I love it when that happens. Making them is easy. Take a square piece of paper (I used some old magazine covers), and fold it into 9 equal parts (just draw a tic-tac-toe game and fold on the lines).  Cut out the corners …

Yo-Yo Ball

My kids each have a yo-yo but they’re not able to work them yet.  So I tried to think of something that could provide a more toddler friendly yo-yo experience.  I used some Paul Smith sock material scraps and some cotton canvas to sew a ball.  Then attached a length of elastic string.  So far, the kids are loving them! I’ve never sewn a …

Simple Handmade Books

I’ve seen little books like this all around, but now that I have a sewing machine I finally got to make some. I made the covers from thick art magazine covers, and then used a paper cutter to cut the pages. Then just fold the papers in half, and sew a line down the middle. Simple and very satisfying! It’s going to really be fun when the kids get …