Category Archives: crafts (recycled materials)

Don’t Have A Sled: Make Your Own!

Home-Made Sled

Home-made ski sled ready to go!

Isn’t this sled fantastic? Patrick King of Southern Maryland made it himself from a pair of skis he said were slated for the dump. It worked really well too! They looked like they were having a blast.

Why not make your own?

Use a pair of old skis, scrap 2 x 4’s, a scrap piece of plywood and a bit of rope. Plus, padding for the seat would be a good idea.

He said he just screwed the skis to the wood from the bottom. The rest looks pretty straight forward.

I love this kind of clever thinking.

Make Learning Letter Sounds Fun By Using Home-made Letter Jars

Letter Jar Game used to learn letter sounds

Using letter jars will help children with early reading skills. It’s easy to make and fun to play. Perfect for home-school-ers / or preschoolers.

 

Letter Jar objects A,B,C,D,E,F

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F.

Letter Jar Objects G,H,I,J,K

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters G, H, I, J, and K.

Letter Jar Objects L,M,N,O,

 Ideas for objects beginning with the letters L, M, N, and O.

letter jar objects P, Q, R, and S

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters P, Q, R, and S.

 Add a picture of your child. They love to be included.

Letter Jar Objects T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z.

Introduce one jar at a time: naming the objects and pointing out the beginning sound. Explain that all the objects that start with that sounds should go together in a jar. Some of the sounds will be easy for them to learn, others more difficult. Some of the letters conveniently say their sound: like D. Some letters are harder like G because they don’t say their sound.

When he or she seems to be able to name the objects, let children test themselves by getting out two jars at a time and mixing the objects. Then they have to sort them back out. If two jars is too easy, use three.

More advanced activities:

Letter Jar Objects Ch, Th, Wh, and Sh Sounds

Some letters can make more than one sound so you can use separate jars for these if you like. Also, it can be very helpful to have a F jar and a Ph jar. It’s also helpful to have a jar for wh, sh, ch, th and other common combination sounds. Some children learn better using this kind of hands-on game.

My Children loved these jars. They would ask to use them. The little nick-knacks are so interesting.

Hot to:

Find baby food jars or plastic containers from your recycle bin. Label each container with a letter or letter combination.

Fill the containers with whatever you can find. Hunt for little things such as might be in a Piñata, given in a party favor bag, or found at the bottom of a toy box. If you have kids, chances are, you have junk toys.

*Please be aware that I’m not suggesting that you should use these with children that still put things in their mouth.

Convert a Quad Chair Carrying Sack Into A Fun Doll Sleeping Bag

MYO Doll Sleeping bag

I had a quad chair bag that I wanted to get rid of but I don’t like to just throw things away. As I was looking it over I thought of the sleeping bag idea. It turned out to be the perfect size for my daughter’s 18inch dolls.

Quad Chair Carry Sack Before Converting to Sleeping Bag

 

Here is a quad chair carrying sack before being transformed into a cozy doll sleeping bag.

How to:

To Make the sleeping bag shell

1. You will notice that the chair carrying sack has a shoulder strap. Keep this strap attached at the top but cut it off near the bottom. I left the strap attached to the sleeping bag and used it as a feature of the finished sleeping bag.

Make your own doll sleeping Bag- rolled up

2. Next measure 22.5 inches from the top. Cut a straight line across the bag. You are cutting the bottom of the sack off; save it for making the sleeping bag stuff sack.

Make your own doll Sleeping Bag- the Shell

3. Turn inside out and stitch along the bottom edge. Use a half inch seam allowance.

4. Turn right side out.

 

 To make the sleeping bag lining and the padding layer

5. Cut a soft piece of fabric (for the lining) and a piece of on old blanket (for the padding). The pieces should measure 23 x 22 inches.

6. Put the lining on top of the blanket piece and fold in half. Folded size= 23 x 11 inches. Also, make sure the lining’s pretty side is facing inside. In other words, if you were to open the sleeping bag and look in, you should see the good side of the lining.

Make your own SleepingBag- child Sewing

My daughter did all the sewing and I did the design work.

7. Sew along two sides; the long side and the bottom. Use a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

8. Slip the lining into the shell. Make sure the seam edge is on the seam side of the shell. You will need to un-sew the bit where the slit is in the shell. See picture.

Make your own Sleeping Bag- the lining

9. Fold under raw edge and pin in place.

10. Hand or machine sew the lining to the shell all along the edge. Hand sewing a whip stitch is easier then machine sewing if you used a thick blanket for padding.

Make your own doll sleeping bag with stuff sack

To make the stuff sack for the doll sleeping bag:

1. Use the bottom piece of your chair carrying sack. Only the bottom 10 inches are needed so cut off the extra.

Make your own doll Sleeping Bag- the drawstring

2. Fold over the top edge about two inches and sew creating a channel about 3/8th of a inch wide. Leave a one inch gap in your stitch line as seen in picture B.

3. Find an old shoelace or cord. Using an awl or even a sharp pencil, poke two holes for the drawstring (shoelace or cord) to come out. It works best if you poke the hole from the back. The arrow in picture A indicates putting the awl up under there.

4. Attach a large safety pin onto one end of your shoe lace. Go under the flap in picture A and like a caterpillar, inch the safety pin all the way around and back out. Remove the safety pin.

5. Stick the ends of the shoe lace through the holes you made. One should come out each hole. Tie the ends of the shoe lace together. Pull the ends of the string to cinch the bag closed.

 

Doll in home-made sleeping bag

This sleeping bag fits American Girl dolls. I have no affiliation with American Girl.

Like Two Peas In A Pot Valentine Craft: A Plant Your Own Peas Kit

Two Peas Valentine Gift Craft

Make one for mom/ Dad/ Grandparents … My daughter gave out one for each of her classmates one year.

Two Peas In A Pot Valentive Gift

[This is a craft project that I developed a few years ago and I’m just now getting around to sharing –Best, Hester Jane]

Here is a child’s Valentine gift that does not include candy.

How To:

Collect empty milk or juice cartons; the kind kids get at school with their lunches. Then wash them out.

Cut out pictures of pea plants from old seed catalogs and paste them onto the outside of the milk carton/pot.

Add dry potting soil and drop in two pea seeds. Alternatively you can place the pea seeds in a mini envelope/ Valentine card.

Staple the top closed.

Save straws (optional) if doing this project for home. Don’t waste a new straw; reuse a straw that would otherwise be on its way to a landfill. The straw becomes a support as the pea plant grows taller.

Print Valentines or design your own.

Valentines for juice cartons

Valentines for milk cartons or seed envelopes

Make Your Own Christmas Dove Ornaments

lovely beaded Christmas dove ornament

Have a pleasant afternoon making lovely dove ornaments with your family. When provided with the supplies, even kids have fabulous results. I have a shoe box full of salvaged beads from unwanted necklaces etc. and this is a perfect time to make use of those little treasures.

This dove ornament was designed and made by my nine year old daughter. All I did was supply her with a pattern, scrap felt, and a box or salvaged beads. The gold beads came off a retired Christmas sweater and some of the others came from unwanted necklaces.

How To:

Print out and use the dove stencil provided in the make your own dove card post (see link below).

Trace and cut out two doves (one for the front and one for the back). It doesn’t take much fabric/felt to make so check your supply for scraps. Use felt or fabric that doesn’t fray very easily.

Sew on any embellishments (beads) before sewing the dove halves together. (This is a good idea but not absolutly necessary.)

Start sewing around the dove near the edge. When you are nearly done sewing all the way around, add a bit of stuffing. Then sew the hole closed.

Optional, add a string of beads to dangle below.

You will also need a bit of ribbon or a metal hook for hanging up.

If you like doves, you may also like this post on MYO dove cards.