What I made
1305
days ago

4 bugs made from recycled materials found in the ‘man drawer’!

Pencil and paper clip caterpillar. One of four yucky bugs made from recycled materials.

1) Emperor moth caterpillar – Saturnia pavonia

Pencil and paper clip wasp. One of four yucky bugs made from recycled materials.

2) Common wasp – Vespula Vulgaris

Pencil and paper clip fly. One of four yucky bugs made from recycled materials.

3) Common house fly – Musca domestica

Pencil and paper clip worm. One of four yucky bugs made from recycled materials.

4) Earthworm – Ocypus olens

These ‘four yucky bugs made from recycled materials’ were designed to enhance the rustic twig and wire fruit bowl I made last week – I thought a few creepy crawlies resting on the fruit would create the ultimate woodland experience!

Originally, I wanted to make them from the left-over twigs, in the end I opted for pencils and paper clips I found in the ‘man drawer‘ (you know, the one that fills up with old batteries, keys and fuses).

Although primarily designed for the fruit bowl, these bugs would also make great table decorations, especially for Halloween parties (although, I guess, I’m missing the spider!).

Learn how to make bugs made from recycled materials

I’ve included a detailed tutorial on how to make your own bugs below. Have fun and if you have any questions just leave me a comment.

Easy to follow hand drawn instructions for making four bugs made from recycled materials

Please note: I was asked about the glue I used. Well, I used a two-part epoxy adhesive called ‘Araldite’. It comes with two tubes, you mix equal amounts, and when it dries it is very strong. The other good thing is that it’s ‘thick’ and it can be dabbed between the segments to create a thick seal/spacer.

Download easy to follow instructions›

Includes:
1) Collectable instructions – they are useful and they look good
344 downloads so far, thanks everyone!

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I thought I’d stick with the pencil theme and bring your attention to the amazing pencil tip sculptures of Dalton Ghetti.

What I made
1319
days ago

Cool woodland craft idea: a fruit bowl made from fallen twigs

Rustic twig bowl with fruit inside - a charming woodland craft idea!

Step 1: Walk the dog, but don’t throw him/her sticks, keep them.

Rustic twig bowl- a charming woodland craft idea!

Step 2: Cut to length, drill and add some wire, easy!

Rustic twig bowl base - a charming woodland craft idea!

Step 3: Finally, empty the biscuit tin (yummy) and fashion a base.

Last week I used an empty baked beans tin, this week I thought I’d be even thriftier and use twigs! It’s the perfect woodland craft idea, a rustic fruit bowl constructed from good ‘ol twigs, as found on the ground under trees. Actually that’s the best thing about this project, not that it’s made from a free resource, but that the first step involves getting off your sofa and into the countryside.

On top of this, my fruit bowl has an added claim to fame – the twigs were gathered from Burnham Beeches, an ancient English woodland that has been featured in many movies including ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’, ‘Princess Bride’ and ‘Harry Potter’! And no, I didn’t make a special pilgrimage, I happen to live nearby – it’s where I walk the dog and kids.

How to make your own charming woodland craft idea fruit bowl

Why not give it a go? You’ll find details on how to make your own bowl below – if you have any questions, just leave me a comment.

Twig bowl - how to diagram

Please note: You will also, most likely, need to sand the ‘biscuit tin’ base to remove the printed surface. I’d also suggest spending some time, after steps 8 and 9, shaping the bowl by bending the twigs and tweaking the wire with pliers.

Download instructions and measuring guide›

Includes:
1) Measuring guide – print out at 100%
2) Collectable instructions – they are useful and they look good
259 downloads so far, thanks everyone!

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Have a look at Robin Wood’s blog, he’s a wood turner that uses a foot-powered lathe to make traditional bowls and plates from local timber. He’s also passionate about preserving heritage crafts.

What I made
1324
days ago

Easy to make cardboard box fort with escape chute

Lego sharkLego Atlantis character standing on a cardboard box fort with escape chuteIllustration showing how to construct a cardboard box fort with escape chute

This cardboard box fort was a bit impromptu. I started off working on next week’s craft project – next minute I was rescuing toilet rolls and old boxes and creating my son an ‘underwater’ fort to accompany his new Lego ‘Atlantis’ set!

The fort is quite simple, but it does have an escape chute – this is important, it means when the Lego Shark attacks, the little Lego diver can escape by jumping down the tower and sliding out of the secret side exit!

How to make your own cardboard box fort with escape chute

I’m not going to provide step by step instructions, it’s too simple for that. But I’ve added a little illustration above, it shows how the chute needs to run from underneath a tower (made from a toilet roll) to a hole in the side of the box. You’ll need to ensure the angle is steep enough for the Lego character to slide down without getting stuck.

Update: Fiona from Neverending Lists had a crack at this project (which according to her four year old is a “farmhouse not a fort”) she added some nice modifications, have a look.

If you are using recycled cardboard boxes why not cut down one side and reverse fold them so the unprinted cardboard is on the outside. It’s a much easier surface to decorate or paint, you can even use felt-tip pens. One last thing, for more cardboard inspiration check out these beautiful castles created by Anne Wood.

Dotted lines
Dotted lines