Thursday, February 18, 2010

milk jug helmet

Time needed: 10 minutes plus 15 minutes optional paint time
Skills needed: scissor skills
Materials needed:
  • milk jug
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
So, this started when we had over this little friend who is all boy! He loves star wars most of all. Anyway, after we'd played with toys for an hour or two, I asked if they all wanted to do a craft together. Of course, he denied liking any sort of craft. Then, when I said we were making helmets, he got more excited than anyone! He specifically asked that his helmet look "Jango Fett" who apparently is the coolest star wars character even though I've never heard of him. So, we googled him and came up with this super sweet helmet (That my little friend adores!).

Super easy: Cut off the handle side of the milk jug. We had a hard time cutting it so it would fit over their heads even though the book I followed had a photo with kids heads fitting easily. In one of the helmets, I cut a curved slit in the back to make it more roomy.

Paint the helmet to any look you want. My daughter did a "princess" helmet. You could do camo, Army, NASA, etc.

Have fun!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

milk jug "scoops" catch game

Time needed: 15 minutes
Skills needed: cutting
Materials needed:
  • 2 clean used plastic milk jugs
  • scissors
  • tennis ball, bean bag, or wrap up old tape, rubber bands etc. to make your own ball

This idea is one we found in this wonderful book, EcoArt Earth-Friendly Art and Craft Experiences for 3 to 9 year-olds. This book is full of great recycled toy ideas!

1. Trace the shape of how much you want to cut off. We found it best to cut it starting an inch or two below the handle, with a oval that extended until the tip of the corner. (You may need to play with it. If you leave just a little lift at the end, it helps the ball or bean bag lift into the air, but if you leave too much on the end, it will hinder the ball from coming out!)2. Start your cutting hole right in the center of the piece you will discard. Cut along your line.

To play, Use like mini underhand lacross sticks. Play catch and have fun trying to catch your ball in the scoop!

tuna can bean bag juggler

Time required: 15 minutes
Skills needed: screwing
Materials needed:
  • one piece of scrap wood- 1" x 2", about a foot long
  • 2 empty, cleaned tuna cans
  • 2 short screws (or you could use nails if you have very short ones with a big head)
  • screwdriver
  • one homemade beanbag or small ball

1. Using an awl or a hammer and nail, make a small hole in the center of each of the cans. Now make a similar starter hole in each of the boards, about an inch from the end.

2. Screw the screw through the hole in the can and into the board.

3. Enjoy!

How to play:
Put the bean bag in one of the cans and then throw it into the air. While the beanbag is midair, try to flip the stick over so you can catch it in the other can. Repeat!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

bottle cap felt cupcakes

Difficulty Level - Challenging
Skills Required - Sewing
Materials Required -
  • One used cap from a 2 liter bottle
  • scraps of felt
  • needle
  • thread
  • sprinkle-colored embroidery thread or seed beads
  • scissors
  • marking pencil or pen
  • ruler
  • polyester fiberfill or cotton balls or whatever soft, fluffy thing you have around
Finished Product

Last week, I went to a craft night at the local library where they were making "Pretty little pin cushions." After making it, I realized that it looked like a cupcake and was made of re-purposed trash so it had a perfect venue here on the Recycled toys blog! This project is more for the sewing type. I'd imagine that if you are terrified of sewing, you could make something similar using hot glue. I just think that sewing it will hold it together a little better and it looks cute!

The re-purposed item is a bottle cap from a typical 2 liter soda bottle. You'll also need scraps of fabric. Felt works best because it doesn't unravel.

    Trace the top of the bottle cap onto the felt and cut it out.

      Measure the hieght of the bottle cap and make a stip that height that is long enough the circle the cap.

      wrap the strip around the cap.
      starting at the open side of the cap, sew the overlapping seam together using a simple whip stitch/ applique stitch.
      Put the circle on top and continue sewing around the circle. Tie off a knot when you finish and hide the string tail by poking it back through the felt.
      Make a 3 inch diameter circle using a ruler, compass, circle cutter, etc. Trace it onto your cake colored felt.
      Sew basting stitches around the edge of the circle.
      Pull the thread till it your cupcake top looks like a bowl.

      Now, fill the circle with your stuffing. I used cotton balls for it. Fluff them out a little first, it will make them a little easier to work with. I used about 1 1/2 cotton balls per cupcake. (If you decide that you'd really like this to be your pin cushion instead of a kids cupcake, I recommend using the polyester fiber fill beacuse the pins don't go through the cotton very easily.)

      Tighten the string the rest of the way.

      Fit the circle cupcake top into the bottle cap base. Sew it together along the seam.

      Now, you have a delicious looking, ready to decorate cupcake.

      Using Pink felt, I made a wobbley little circle of frosting. I tried two different methods for sprinkles. First, I sewed on assorted colored seed beads. You might be able to tell from the pictures that this morning, before I even got a chance to take photos, my dear 21 month old girl tried to pull off the sprinkles. So, I recommend french knot seeds. I chose red thread to make the cupcakes in the spirit of Valentine's Day. (If you don't know how to tie a french knot, try looking it up on U-tube).

      The finished product looked so delicious, Little Mousey couldn't help but admire them!

      TP roll binoculars

      Time needed: 5 minutes
      Skills needed: cutting and taping
      Materials needed:
      • 2 toilet paper rolls or 1 paper towel holder cut in 2.
      • scissors
      • tape
      • yarn/string
      We first saw these cute, easy binoculars at our church nursery. The kids love looking through them and they are SUPER easy! Tape together 2 TP rolls of the same size.
      Cut a piece of yarn or string to about 18 inches or 2 feet. Tape it on opposite sides of the rolls.

      Measure the length of the rolls on the paper of your choice and cut off enough that it will wrap around it. (11 or 12 inches is plenty)
      Tape on the paper down on the inside so it won't slide off.
      Then tape it on the outside.
      Enjoy exploring!