Gumball Machine Fish Tank

No, your eyes are not deceiving you:  that is a goldfish swimming in a gumball machine.

Click here for steps to make this from

Here at The MAKESHOP Show, we love creative ideas for reusing old things and we know kids do, too. So we’re sharing this project idea for transforming an old gumball machine into a real, usable fish tank! PLUS, these instructions will also teach you the basics for turning other vessels into comfy fish homes.

Click here for the how-to on by maker wold630.

Some important notes on this project:

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Part 2: Sock Stuffed Animals …. That Make Noise!

In this set of 2 posts, we guide you to the info you’ll need to make your own sock animal that actually talks, beeps or sings!  Click here to read Part 1. Now that you have your homemade sock stuffed animal, it’s time for the noisy part!

Make your sock dog honk with circuit bending!

Circuit bending is a popular hack in maker culture. Circuit benders remove the noise-making parts of existing things – like toys – and use them to make their own sounds. Some circuit benders are musicians who use the toy parts like instruments. Others are just interested in repurposing the noises into funny new toys.

Click below to learn how to circuit bend. Keep in mind that you can also simply reuse the sound-maker inside your animal without any changes, if you’d like. Circuit bending is a whole realm of making, so start simple and experiment with more advanced projects as you learn. It’s a good idea to have an adult helper with you for safety when circuit bending.

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Part I: Sock Stuffed Animals …. That Make Noise!

Click here to learn to make a sock dog from Create Studio

Making your own sock stuffed animal is fun and creative. But as kid-makers, we know you like to do things that are SUPER fun and creative! In this set of 2 posts, we’ll guide you to the info you’ll need to make your own sockanimal that actually talks, beeps or sings.

Check out Part II of this project to learn about how to make your sock animal beep, honk or speak using the maker technique of circuit bending …

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Monkey Cupcakes (with DIY Icing Bag)

Learn to make a cake decorator’s icing bag with simple things from home, then join kid-maker Kristin and baker Chris to decorate monkey cupcakes with all kinds of silly, creative toppings!

As always, we don’t just inspire you to make – we give you the tips you need to do it yourself, kid-makers!

Click below for instructions and recipes …

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Computer Monitor Cat Bed

Click here to see computer monitor cat beds by AtomicAttic on

Did you just do a double-take, kid makers? It’s an old computer monitor, emptied of its parts and filled instead with a pillow and cat!

This cool reuse idea is catching on in the blogosphere and we found several examples. The coolest are for sale at the Atomic Attic Etsy Store (Etsy is an online marketplace for makers and crafters.)

But it’s always more fun to make one yourself, so click here for instructions!  If you don’t have an old computer monitor or TV at your house, check a nearby thrift store. As CRT monitors are being replaced with newer, slimmer LCD screens, this is a great way to upcycle something old into something useful.

One of the most fun parts of this project … Read more of this post

Glove Stuffed Animal

Click here for instructions to make your own glove stuffed animal.

This glove chipmunk is a great way to upcycle an extra glove that has lost its match. He would make a fun toy for you, your kid brother OR your favorite pet!

Click here for project instructions by maker Miyako Kanamori, including a link to her book full of instructions on how to make things with old gloves.

Finger puppets are also an easy way project to make from old gloves. Click here for a basic tutorial and fun inspiration ideas from

We wonder what other creatures you could make out of a lost glove …. what about a mitten fish? Or sock earthworm? What would you make? Tell us at

SAFETY NOTE: Hand sewing projects are great ways to learn basic maker skills but maker sure an adult helper is nearby to teach and supervise you. Always be careful with sharp tools like needles and scissors, kid makers.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


Light Up Wristbands

These light up wristbands are an awesome intro to adding lights to your clothes! We’re thinking about all the things to do with these, lighting up socks, shoes, shirts, headbands … Don’t worry about finding the special supplies for this project. Click here for the soft circuit sewing kit.

Download the instructions for this project here: Light Up Wristband Instructions.