Monday, February 24, 2014

'Little Red' Matchbox Paper Dolls

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 So lately it seems I am a bit obsessed with re-purposing matchboxes into little worlds.
I have also always bit a bit obsessed with fairy tales, so what a perfect match this little project has made!
 Outside, the tiny box displays a deep forest and title, "Little Red", giving a clue 
to what is inside.
 Another forest scene with a path and tiny Little Red Riding Hood and one Big Bad Wolf paper dolls
to play with.

This was very simple to make.
  • one small matchbox
  • decorative tape
  • paper (or photos)
  • drawing items of choice if you choose to draw your own. Pen, marker,colored pencil, water color, etc.
  • glue
  • scissors
  • ruler
  1.  Just measure the cover and inside dimensions of matchbox to create the inside image and cover in these same dimensions. Use printed images, magazine cut outs, photos, or draw by hand as I did on paper.

2. I used decorative tape to cover the edges, inside and out.
3. The characters measure about 2" tall and were drawn on heavy card-stock.
4. You could glue your printed images or photos to card-stock to give the paper dolls more stability.
5. For the scalloped edge I just used scalloped edge scissors, and cut a thin trim.  Glue it to the top edges of the matchbox, finishing it off nicely.

This makes such a sweet gift, and fun, portable little toy for someone special.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Box of Pirates

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If you read this blog you will know that Corinne and I often make little toys and games. We also like to make cute containers to hold these toys so that they make nice gifts and also can be stored neatly. Recently, I repurposed an old cardboard pencil box using felt scraps and the Jolly Roger flag. This box is nice enough on its own for school supplies and as a keepsake box for your favorite wanna-be pirate, but I decided to make a little scene to fit inside and make it even more fun.This is a pretty easy project but it has a few parts so I will lay them out separately here. 
The pirates:  Use my tutorial for Ping Pong Ball Fairy Puppets and make
 pirates instead of fairies. I dressed mine in a variety of shabby fabric and felt scraps and added some messy hair and facial hair and a bandana for one and an eye patch for the other.  I did not want the pirates to be puppets but to be able to stand on their own. So, when everything is done you will want to insert a wooden craft clothespin under the clothing and up into the ping pong ball head where the finger holes are. You can then glue the clothespin into a wooden clothespin stand (they sell these in bags at craft stores) and your little figures will stand up nicely. I should also add that for some reason I gave my dark-haired pirate vertical stripes. It would look way more pirate-y if the stripes were to go across his outfit. But hopefully you can tell they are pirates.

Treasure Chest

I used a mini Altoids tin, some leather scraps, felt, and a little key and lock charm I got at a bead store. You could follow my example or come up with something different. If you don't have leather, felt will work fine. Glue the pieces on with craft glue. Inside the chest I glued in lots of beads and glitter and balls of tinfoil to represent the treasure.
The Trees

I made a banana tree and a coconut tree for my pirates. I painted craft sticks of different lengths brown then added felt leaves and either bananas or coconuts cut out from felt. I glued the craft sticks into a clothespin base so they will stand. I had to file them down a bit to get them to fit. I would also add that my banana tree is so tall it is a little off-balance and if I did it again I might make both trees shorter for better stability.
The swords are probably the least successful part of my little play scene. You can do better! I used gold and silver polymer (Fimo) clay and shaped these little weapons and baked them.

More...  there is plenty of room in the box for additional accessories. I found a cute little bird and added that to the collection. Ideally you would give this to a child and help them make more stuff like more maps, more weapons, more pirates. A mermaid would be cute, too!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Jolly Roger Pencil Holder

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I am making a little felt pirate play set. This first part of the post is where I show how easy it is to make a cute box to hold the pieces. The second part of the post shows how to make the pirates, trees and other accessories. The box is really nice on its own, though, and would just make a nice pencil box makeover without even putting the toys inside.

  • felt-  black, white, blue and colors of your choice
  • craft glue
  • plain pencil box
  • scissors

  1. Cut out the Jolly Roger pieces from white felt.
  2. Cover the top of the box with black felt
  3. Cover the sides with the colors of your choice. I added stripes to the front
  4. Line the inside of the box with ocean blue felt and add some waves if you want to
  5. Glue on the skull pieces and let it dry.