Category Archives: crafts (recycled materials)

Robot Costume For Children: Eco-Friendly Fun

friendly robot costume

My daughter and I had a lot of fun making this goofy robot costume. I did all the cutting and she thought of all the embellishments. I love it when she comes up with great ideas on her own. At our robot party, we made sure we took photos of all the kids wearing the costume. The videos were even better.

Here is a cute/ funny video. Someday I hope to do a little video editing to change the sound track to something a robot would dance to.
To make this costume, we took two boxes and cut a hole for the face and another hole for a child’s head to go up into the head box.
This costume was made entirely with recycled items: cardboard boxes, broken calculator (very cool don’t you think?!), bottle tops (make good knobs), broken watch, previously used but clean aluminum foil, antennas (from broken radios)… even the arms were made from a salvaged piece of dryer vent. So many possibilities.
This project took very little time to complete.
We made this costume for a robot party but you can make one for a Halloween costume or anytime the kids have some free time.
You may want to check out our robot building game that doubles as a party favor.

Build a Bot: Robot Building Party Favor Game

MYO robot party bots

Gossiping robots -These were made by two guests at party.

I designed this game because I wanted the kids to have something fun to do at my daughter’s 9th birthday party. In addition, I wanted to give out party favors but wanted to avoid the usual candy and plastic stuff.

Even the girls loved this robot building game. It generated lots of laughs and the kids liked that they could take their creation home.
Game rules
Using one dice, roll to see what number you get. Start with the birthday boy or girl and then continue around the table.
If you roll a one, pick out a body and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a two, pick out eyes and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a three, pick out a nose and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a four, pick out a head and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a five, pick out a mouth and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a six, pick out arms and pass the dice to the next player.
Bonus: If you roll the same number as the previous player, pick out an extra part. You might want to find something to be the ears, hair, eye brows…
Note: If you roll a two and you already have a set of eyes just pass on the die. There is no limit to the number of extras you can choose; as long as you are lucky enough to roll the same number as the previous player’s roll.
Game set up:
You will need to set up 7 trays; one for each number plus one more for extras. Find “trash” for the parts. Get enough for each player plus a few (for variety sake).
Body (one): olive oil cans, large cans…
Eyes (two): bottle caps, nuts, bolts, misc…
Nose (three): misc…
Head (four): cat food or tuna cans…
Mouth (five): misc.
Arms (six): thrift store silverware, electrical wire…
Extras: electronic wires,…

robot parts

Robot Part Trays
Children have artistic freedom. If they want the eyes to be on the side of the head, they should put them there. These robots develop a personality of their own. Make up a name for each. The first person to finish gets a small prize. The game continues until all the guests finish their robot. Some of the bots look like robot people and some resemble animals, some are clown-like and others are aliens.
After the children have designed their robot, you will need to glue on the parts while the kids move on to another activity. I used a glue gun which worked with most of the parts (avoid really heavy items). I also used magnets to hold some of the pieces. (The head attaches well to the olive can with a magnet.)
If you want to restrict your pieces to things that a magnet will stick to, you can make a Mr. Potato Head -like toy (We named it Mr. Bolt or Mrs. Washer.)The fun being that you can rearrange the pieces to make different faces. Just glue a magnet to the back of each piece.

More robot fun coming soon.

Handmade Butterfly Fairy Wings Made From Recycled Materials: On Every Girl’s Dress-up Wish List

fairy with butterfly wings
They will flutter into another world of their imagination. What will they discover in this world?

purple butterfly wings

Butterfly wings- food for the imagination

how to make butterfly wings

How to tips:
I used salvaged wire coat hangers (5) and bent them to form the frame for the wings. When I got a shape I liked, I made matching wings for the other side. I connected the wire pieces with some duct tape. (I sketched over the photo so you could see where I placed the wires. Next, I stretched an old pair of nylon tights (cream colored) across the frame. This is one good use for tights that have a hole in them or otherwise need to be thrown out. I first pinned the nylon in place, stretching it as I went around. I cut off the extra material and hand sewed in place, rolling the edge around the wire to cover it. I also sewed the top wings to the bottom wings. I only sewed half way because I wanted the wings to spread apart a little. After making some sketches of butterfly wings, I painted them. I embellished the wings with a small piece of a black boa (found at a craft store) and some ribbon.
I made these wings 7 or so years ago and they still look good despite all the use.

butterfly fairy girl

Sweet Little Table and Stools Made From Logs: A Home-made Children’s Toy

lion and rabbit's tea party

Lion invites Rabbit over for tea to apologize for his behavior the previous day. All is forgiven as they enjoy the beautiful day, the smell of the Lilly-of-the-Valleys, and the delicious tea.

The log tabletop in the pictures is about 10 inches across. I got the idea for this project when my husband was recently chain sawing a tree that had fallen during a storm. I asked him to cut me a thin slice of a branch. I used smaller branches and my sliding miter saw to cut the stool tops and bottoms, as well as, the table bottom. I used a product called liquid nails (left over from a home-improvement project) to glue the top and bottom together. It was so simple to make.

log table children's toy

 

I’m going to make a few extra table and chairs sets to give away as gifts. I love toys that really spark the imagination.

tea for two stuffed animals

 

Not long after Rabbit left, Bee stopped by.

Save Money And Time: Make Your Own Vintage Inspired Apron From Second-hand Dress

green crafter hester jane in recycled dress apron

vintage inspired dress apron - back view

Altering a dress into an apron requires less work than making an apron from scratch. If you shop wisely, you can easily spend less for the dress than you would pay for new fabric. That isn’t even the best part. The best part is all the really unique styles you could work with. You can be really creative with these. Start looking at second-hand dresses in a new way. The result: a one-of-a-kind apron.
I love vintage clothing and aprons are no exception. I designed this apron to look like an apron from the 1930′s. After removing a stain, I transformed this simple dress into a vintage looking full bib over the head apron.
How to:
MYO dress apron step 1

Find a dress that inspires you. Search yard sales, thrift stores or even your own closet. You don’t even need to find your own size; it just needs to be big enough to do the job. Keep in mind that you will be wearing your apron on top of your regular clothing. Picking a dress with a print rather than a solid color fabric has the benefit of hiding stains better. The first thing you will probably want to do is wash the dress and iron it. Next, cut up the back of the dress. Remove the zipper (if there is one) and save for another project.

dressapronbo

Cut strips from the back center of the dress to use as the apron ties. I cut my strips 3 ½ inches wide which resulted in 1 ½ inch wide ties. (Sometimes it is better and/or necessary to cut a strip of fabric off the bottom of the dress to make the ties.)
Fold each strip with right sides facing and sew along two sides leaving one end open. Turn the resulting tube right side out.

MYO dress apron image C

Use scrap cardboard such as from a cereal box or brown paper bag to trace the shape of the top of the dress. Cut out this shape.

MYO dress apron image D

Now put the cardboard on top of the dress and sketch on it the desired shape you want the apron. This is your chance to be creative. When you have the shape drawn out the way you want it, cut out the shape. Trace the stencil you have just made. Flip the stencil over and trace on the other side of the dress. Remember to make it ¼ inch larger (for a seam allowance).

MYO dress apron image F

Turn inside out (if the dress you are using has a liner) and sew the back edges. If there is no liner you can turn over the raw edges and machine sew.

MYO dress apron image G

With the apron right side out, top stitch along the edges; stitch the apron ties on as you go.
Embellish with buttons from your salvaged button jar. If you don’t have one, start one today. Whenever you have a piece of clothing that is ready for the rag pile, remove the buttons. Store all these salvaged buttons in a jar or other designated spot.
On the top of the back of the apron, I attached the sides together by sewing on buttons. If you want, you can make button holes- so the buttons really work. Make sure that your head can get in and out of the apron before permanently attaching.
Sweet!
Now you are ready to go bake something.

My daughter came up with the idea to use a dress to make an apron first. If you would like to see her handy work click here.