Showing posts with label Craft Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Craft Projects. Show all posts

Monday, November 21, 2016

History Project: Building a Medieval Castle -COMPLETED

As a part of my son's history this year, I wanted to include some hands on projects and since he is learning about all things Medieval-why not build a castle?

So using my Michael's reward discounts/reg. coupons and teacher discount [be sure to sign up, you can get deals others cannot thru it, and be sure to show your teacher ID so you can get an additional 15% off every time you buy], I was able to get the brick sets much cheaper than the original $14.99 price.  I actually would use a 50% then after that is taken off they will discount it the 15% for being a teacher.  Sometimes, they have 20% off sales (for all) so you can save even more on those days-just don't worry about showing an ID b/cuz that coupon is obviously better.

This is a large project-we needed almost 5 boxes of bricks. 
 Four (about 1/2 of the fourth) of the tan and one of the red.
The bricks are by Createology.
Look in the kids' kits section by the miniature sets area.  

I bought a foam board at the Dollar Tree (Michael's has larger and more professional ones but they are not cheap) and the tacky glue can be found in almost any larger grocery store or at the craft stores. Look in the craft section of your store. I bought mine at Meijers for less than $2 for the smaller version-but after seeing how fast he was going thru it-I ended up getting the 16 oz size, which we needed two of!

The flat sticks are for soap making or general use.  Depends on the brand, but I found the both at our local Meijers (in the craft section) and at Michaels in the soap making area.  Popsicle sticks [for the drawbridge-which he hasn't started on yet] can be found at almost any store where there is a craft section.

My son is old enough to handle a knife so I didn't worry about the cutting and fitting that may need to take place.  I simply made sure he had a cutting board. :)  We dumped the blocks into a plastic container that was easier to get them out of.  The box was becoming cumbersome. It does help if the child has a plan.  Seriously.  And I highly recommend dry fitting at least the base to be sure that is where they want the blocks to go.  Once they get that going, it's all gluing and building.  We will also purchase a few trees and perhaps some fake grass to truly magnificent-ize the castle.  And yes-we did get a large dragon (after all what's a castle without a few dragon raids?) to torture our brave knights.

My son drew out a basic outline for his foundation
Getting the walls built up, with our General Manager-
 The Dragon monitoring things.
 The portcullis (gate) was made with the thinner sticks. 
 He is also lining his walk areas with them.


We have a video too!  Check it out!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Montessori Geography/Continent Box -so excited to share our homemade version

So back in September I posted that I wanted to make a Montessori Geography box (I had seen an awesome example on Pinterest).  I found an old, smelly and 'in great need of care' silverware box [the type that many a bride received for her wedding which was quite popular in the 1950s-70s] that would be perfect for the project.  It was marked $2 or $3 but I talked it down to a whopping dollar bill! My goal for this project was to spend as little as possible and I actually managed to do just that as the total overall cost was under $10!

SO I had the box and I knew what I wanted to do with it-but it took many steps to accomplish. That was September remember?  Due to some health issues, then the holidays then tucking it aside to then finding it and saying, "OH yeah-need to finish this!"-it took longer to get done than it should have.  So to start, I had to allow for at least a month of 'freshening' to get rid of the musty smells. That meant ripping out the gross felt and little doodads that were meant to hold the silverware. That helped eliminate some stench-but then I had to scrap off (as best as possible) the ugly glue, then rub the wood down with bleach water, then place the box in the sun to further the process. At night I placed a bowl of water with bleach in it inside the box, closed the lid and let it continue working on degrossifying it. I learned that trick from Martha Stewart many years ago.
Yes, it was that gross!

When it was finally ready for the box compartments, I sent the hubby and son on a search and find mission.  Thankfully we live in a sub that still has construction going on and since my hubby has spoken to several of the building crews before about scrap wood, it was not a problem finding some luan wood for this. Frankly, with the layering of that wood I can say it was a pain to work with. So if you decide to do something similar-look for a piece of wood that is one solid sheet and not layered together due to it's inherent need to split.  Anyway, I decided how I wanted the boxes to be and ordered my cut pieces from my handyman hubby.  Due to the glue issue (that was under the felt) I had two pieces of luan cut to lay down over them to give me a fresh look. Then he cut a few strips to build the boxes.  That was the hard part. We do not have a mini-Norm Abram workshop about the homestead.  But we made due and I am quite pleased with the results.

After the liquid nails (glue used to adhere it) dried we were ready for paint (I did sand down the wood to avoid splinters) and after several coats it is complete.

I found scrapbook paper I liked (at Hobby Lobby) and just cut it to fit.  
I took slightly watered down white glue (poor man's Mod Podge) to adhere 
it to the top, then coated the entire top/outside with a thick layer to protect it.  

Furthermore, I also have to print and laminate the maps I want to go on the interior lid of the box. I will put little Velcro dots on it to allow for easy map changes, which means all maps will have the dots as well so they will adhere to the main lid area.  This is key to multi-use flexibility.  If I just slapped a pre-school/K level map onto it, I could not use it for a variety of things I have in mind. Especially since I am using this with an older elementary student (right now) but want to be able to use it for future younger students as well.  Oh, and we need to put a hinge on the backside of the lid. Since the original hinges are small, are at least 40+ years old and with the additional weight from the the luan, it needs that additional hinge support.  I highly recommend doing that as well if you make your own.

I did paint the box sections to match the Montessori color code for learning the continents.  I also included a box for Antarctica!  This is important because several countries have territorial claims to it.  I therefore made 8 sections. One for each continent and one for what I am calling the control box. That is where the collection of items to be sorted go.  I will do a separate post on different things that I hope to do with our box as soon as I get all that done.  One step at a time-LOL.

Example using stamp cards for different continents.  Antarctica is not shown b/cuz I have not received the stamps yet but you get the general idea.  The map that would be used would be the general color-coded continent map for Montessori.  I will link all the sources in the post about how to use the box once I have that completed. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Creating Activity/Trinket Boxes out of Food Boxes (like for Montessori works) [cross-post from my What's in the Box? blog]

So what does one do with all those little pieces or parts that are a must when using Montessori works [aka: a specific activity meant to teach something], or some matching activity or whatever it is you have that will need to be contained?  What can you use that keeps them all nice and tidy and looks good too? 

Well, being frugal is always a great way to start. So you search your humble abode, and perhaps even ask friends/family for those particular boxes that once housed delicate chocolates or sugar packs. Then you scrounge thru your various scrapbooking paper, collect glue, scissors, a bowl and a brush and you get busy. And that is exactly what I have done lately.  Whenever we get (usually a gift) those nice quality chocolates, I always save the boxes.  My husband actually found one I tucked away and he had the nerve to pitch it.  I gasped in horror and immediately plucked it from its demise.  Thankfully there wasn't anything in the trash yet so it was safe from grossness, and I must say-he won't make that mistake again. The shocked look [from such outlandishness across my face] surely left a lasting impression on him. LOL

Anyhoo-the reason I am posting this because there are times folks need a box or something to hold those little goodies. So why pay a lot of cashola for something you can make?  I don't know why you would.  I try my best re-purpose things when I can; this is a fun, creative way to get a few storage boxes that are sturdy and useful for our schooling needs.

Now I do not have a canister of Modge Podge about the house, so I did what any frugal gal would-I made the 'poor man's version' of it using Elmer's Glue and water to thin it.  Worked like a charm!
Figured I would just do a picture tutorial (for those who have never tried such things) and put a wee comment under when necessary.  Hope this helps you out.

The Basics:
Find a piece of scrapbook paper that appeals to you. I recommend using the thinner style. Then figure out there the lid fits best-allowing for enough paper to cover up over the sides and slightly over into the inside edge.
 Cut to the area where the corners meet
-but not too far in as you can always fix as you go.
 Put a nice, but not too heavy layer of glue down on the
 lid then lay down in the center area of your paper.
 Flip over and use one of those handy-dandy Pampered Chef  
scrapers (or a soft edged tool) to get rid of any air bubbles.

 Glue, fold and press out any bubbles, along all sides.

 Trim off any excess and tuck the corners in nicely.  Try not to over do it on the inside because the extra bulk may prevent the lid from going over the bottom.
Coat the entire top/sides with thin layer of glue.
Let dry thoroughly. I actually did two coats.  
Very smooth and durable.

And there ya go-


Now I have a lovely box to contain language materials.  And hey, if it gets crushed-well I am out like 30 cents.  Not too shabby!  :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Candy Cane Deer project

I just posted the instructions and supplies for these cute reindeer candy canes, on my What's in the Box? blog.  Thought I would let ya know in case you are looking for a simple, fun project to do this season.