Spool Yarn Unicorn

IMG_4319Spool yarn crafts bring back memories of years ago with my grandmother.  It was incredibly fun to see our 9 year old just as enthusiastic about making the long spool braids as I once did as a kid.  She had the idea to make a unicorn by wrapping her braid around styrofoam eggs.  Sewing the head and body together gives extra support and durability.  The legs and arms were made by placing pipe cleaners inside the braids to give some support.  Making the pipe cleaner a little longer than the braid help secure it by pushing it into the styrofoam egg.  Faux fur for the mane and tail, felt ears, goggly eyes and a pipe cleaner for the horn brought the unicorn to life.

A tip for anyone interested in making this project, make a longer braid than you think.  If possible wrap it around your object before removing it from your spool to make sure it is long enough.  Additionally craft styrofoam glue worked much better than regular old Elmer’s.  Happy Spooling!


Girl-Made American Girl Doll Bunk Beds

These bunk beds were made out of a recycled pallet and some fence posts, by our then 8 and 12 year old girls.  They even sewed bedding for them and made trinkets for the shelves they installed.  Learning to use the jigsaw was a highlight as well as the belt sander.  They thought they were going to paint it originally, but the natural wood looked so pretty they went for the more rustic look. 100_2708 100_2714

Pallet Bike Rack


Inspired by the clutter of bikes in our garage, our (at the time) 12 year old made this durable bike rack out of a recycled pallet and some scraps.  Cut and sanded, with a simple stand that holds it upright, it has been truly appreciated and holds 6 bikes.   It’s hard to believe we allowed the bikes to be stored any other way.

Got branches?

This monstrous thing is built to carry branches that have been trimmed along the mountainside above our home.  We have been actively mitigating and looking for a way to make the hauling/loading and reloading easier.  Made with old bike parts and some 1x1s.

Our 13 year old and his grandpa had the idea to then make a “hitch” for it to be pulled behind the Honda Odyssey that we have.  This makes the hauling and unloading so much more fun!


Pottery Wheel Now Complete

A project that has been long in the works is our pottery wheel.  The idea started years ago (maybe more than 10?).  The making started at least a year ago, probably more.  Now it is finished, up and running, and well worth the wait.  Seeing the delight in the eyes of those who squished their fingers, in the moist clay as it spun around and around was a magnificent site to see.  Within the first day we had a shelf full of wonders, to be turned into something, once trimmed and fired.

Coloring Marker Bot

We finally made a simple Coloring Marker Bot with our youngest, and it was all joy!  We originally saw this idea at the NoCo Mini Maker Faire and had to try it at home.

Materials: Plastic cup, duct tape, some markers, a motor, 1 AA battery, some wires to connect the motor and battery, and a hot glue stick.

Marker BotHow to make a Coloring Marker Bot:

1. Connect wires to your motor (ours was an up cycled motor that already had wires attached).

2. Cut about 1/3 of a hot glue stick and push it firmly onto the motor shaft, so it is off center–this is what causes the vibration that moves the bot.

3. Tape your motor to the bottom of the cup (top of Marker Bot), using duct tape.

4. Arrange and tape desired markers around the outside of the cup making sure not to interfere with hot glue stick as the motor turns. Also be sure the marker tips are evenly aligned so all colors actually mark the paper as the bot moves.

5. Tape the battery to the cup anywhere it won’t interfere with the motor, but so it can be connected properly.

6. Tape one wire from the motor to one end of the battery.  If you connect both it will start running, so be sure you are ready for that.

7. Connect the second wire to the battery once you are ready to see the bot in action.  Make sure your fingers are not near the motor.  We used duct tape but made it so the connection could easily be removed to stop the bot.

8. Put your bot on some paper and watch it go!  We used an old drawer from our pantry to help contain the bot from going off the paper.

9. Experiment with taping different things to weight the bot in certain ways and observe its movement.  Can you get it to go straight or in circles?

10. Have fun!



Snow Sculptures

A family of snow creatures created by our girls.  They include a deer (antlers and all), an owl with green eyes and a turtle with pinecone legs.  There is also a dog that is not pictured, but was quite cute.  All you need is some packing snow, sticks, rocks, leaves, pinecones, and a little imagination!  A perfect activity for a sun filled snowy day…IMG_0622IMG_0623IMG_0625turtle