Chocolate Sand Casting

Chocolates made by sandcasting with brown sugar.

Chocolates made by sandcasting with brown sugar.

It won’t be long before we are knee deep in the traditions and events of  the holidays.  And as a maker, this means lots of opportunities for you to let your creativity and skills loose on special projects and making gifts for family and friends.

With chocolate sand casting, you can create edible items molded in unique shapes – shapes as varied and far out as your imagination will go.

In this project we’re going to follow the steps of sandcasting – molding metal objects by pouring molten metal into a mold made out of sand.  But since sand and molten metal are a little hard to digest, we’ll make chocolate objects using molds created with brown sugar.

Click here to download step-by-step instructions for Chocolate Sand Casting.

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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 Instructables.com.

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 Instructables.com by maker wold630.

Some important notes on this project:

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Doily Lamp

Click here to learn how to make your own doily lamp.

We love this idea of creating a lampshade out of a balloon, doilies and lots of glue! The simple steps with awesome results make this project perfect even for young kid makers.

Doilies are decorative lace shapes that people put under collectibles and plants to make them look prettier. Lots of people have extra doilies stashed away at home or you can find them easily at thrift stores or yard sales. The design of doilies makes this project more interesting because once the glue sets and the balloon is popped, your lampshade is full of lovely holes for the light to shine through. The light casts designs on your ceiling and walls (making it a cool night light, too). This project is a creative reuse of an existing material, making the best of its design for a new function.

Click here or on the photo for the full instructions for Doily Lamp at the Dose Family blog. Interestingly, though, the instructions aren’t the only thing we love about this post …

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Warm Fuzzies Hand Warmers

By Guest Maker Theresa Baughmanfinale

These rice filled heating pads are great for colds, toothaches, muscle aches, cold winter days, glove warmers, heating pads, headaches and more. They are a simple sewing project perfect for young makers or those new to sewing technique. Plus, there’s tons of room to be creative! Don’t miss
our inventive suggestions at the end.

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Party Pennants

Party pennants decorating the MAKESHOP

Today is the MAKESHOP’s First Birthday! We’ve made things with 250,000 kids, teens and adults this past year. To celebrate, the MAKESHOP™ team and kid makers decorated the shop with fun party pennants and soon we’ll blow out the candles on a giant, light up robot cake.

Party pennants are a simple sewing project perfect for makers just learning to sew. Click here to download our Party Pennant How To. Here’s our step by step instructions so that YOU can make party pennants for your next bash! . . .

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T-shirt Bags

Click here to make this no-sew fringe bag from Tealou and Sweetpea.

On a rainy weekend, nothing is more comfortable  than sitting around at home in your favorite T-shirt and jeans. If you’re like us, kid makers,  you may have a whole collection of clothes that you don’t wear but dont’ want to throw out … especially favorite t-shirts. Whether you outgrew it, it’s stained or it’s just last year’s style, we have the perfect upcycling fix: BAGS!

We all carry a lot of things this time of year, like a book bags for school, grocery bags for apple picking, and of course, trick-or-treat bags for Halloween! Grab your oldest summer tee and start making.

T-shirt Bag Project Ideas:

T-shirt bags are a great example of one of kid-makers favorite types of making: UPCYCLING! What is “upcycling”?

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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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