What I made
1236
days ago

DIY tin can pen holder for the time pressed parent!

Psychedelic DIY tin can pen holder

1) How could something so warped and twisted…

Psychedelic DIY tin can pen holder - closeup

2) …be so cool?!

I love it when my boys draw, but I don’t love tidying up their felt-tip pens afterwards (most of which are normally on the floor). This week’s 5 minute craft project, a rather psychedelic looking DIY tin can pen holder, will hopefully encourage them to tidy up their own pens – I can live in hope!

As you can see, from the photos above, I was trying to give the impression that the bottom of the pens had warped and twisted. I’m not sure how obvious that illusion is, but I think the design is still striking in its own right. In fact, I like it so much I’ve been toying with idea of printing it onto a mug, stay tuned!

How to make your own psychedelic DIY tin can pen holder

If you’d like to make one, I have made the artwork available for download (link below). All you’ll need to do is print it out and wrap it around an old tin can. You may want to add a false bottom to lift the pens a little higher, it helps with the illusion, just follow the instructions below!

Easy to follow hand drawn instructions for making a DIY tin can pen holder

Download printables and instructions›

Includes:
1) Collectable instructions – useful and they look good
2) Colour artwork – just print it out and stick it on
543 downloads so far, thanks everyone!

[display_adsense ad_type="300x250"]

I’d like to say a big thank you to Sister Diane from Craftypod – she ran this very flattering post a few weeks ago. Diane has been a tremendous support over the years, a sort of blogging mentor. You must go check out her website, she offers awesome advice to crafty bloggers!

What I made
1265
days ago

Designer recycled plastic lamp shade and light (oven melted!)

Designer quality recycled plastic lamp shade and light - shown on a table

1) Turn a bottle of Coke Light into a… light!

I recently came across some nice examples of jewellery made by melting recycled plastic in the oven – they really sparked my interest in using plastic as part of one of my craft projects. After a bit of trial and error I managed to create the recycled plastic lamp shade (shown above) from plastic disposable party bowls, an empty bottle of Coke and a biscuit tin.

Although I was happy with the final result, I must confess, the plastic didn’t really behave like I was expecting. Instead of shrivelling and shrinking, the plastic bowls just went all limp and floppy – I think the plastic was too thick. In fact, I was so disappointed with the effect I nearly packed it in. However, after experimenting with the oven temperature I managed to get a bit of gentle twisting and warping, which I used to create a more subtle and elegant effect.

The biscuit tin was used to create the cover to the shade, and galvanised wire to create the light fitting support. Anyway, you’ll find fairly detailed instructions below – I had to gloss across some of the steps, but you should get the idea.

How to make your own designer recycled plastic lamp shade and light

Easy to follow hand drawn instructions for making a designer recycled plastic lamp shade and light

Please note: Because the light shade is made of plastic I’d advise using a low energy bulb – one that doesn’t get too hot. Also, be careful with the wiring – the stand is made of metal so everything needs to be well insulated (not one for the kids)!

Download project files›

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

[display_adsense ad_type="300x250"]

You’ll find another very cool recycled light project, the 1 Ton Lampshade, in my new book: Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints For Making Cool Stuff – go have a look inside!

1 ton lamp shade

Bye! Don’t forget to turn the lights off!

What I made
1283
days ago

Toast towers! A fun breakfast activity for sleepovers

A four storey tower of toast, a fun breakfast activity for sleepovers

1) Make breakfast fun, build a toast tower…

Close-up of wire and bead toast connectors

2) …using these wire ‘toast connectors’…

A wire and bead toast connector being pushed into the edge of a slice of toast

3) …just stick them in and start stacking!

This fun breakfast activity will make sleepover mornings even more fun (if that’s possible). Simply use these wire ‘toast connectors’ to construct huge towers of toast. Either surprise the kids by making your own toast tower centre piece, or let the kids have fun constructing their own.

And of course, it’s not just a fun breakfast activity for sleepovers, it would make any breakfast occasion fun. So how about surprising your kids with a toast tower on their birthday? That would give them something to talk about at school!

'Sliced bread needn't be boring' illustration

It all came about when I was attempting to design a toast rack that could arrange toast in interesting ways (rather than just lining the slices up side by side). Toast connectors was the result.

How to make your own toast connectors (it’s not a fun breakfast activity without them!)

These simple instructions will show you how to make your own toast connectors. But to be honest, there’s probably even easier ways of making them. So make use of the materials you have available, perhaps swapping wire for cocktail sticks, and using polymer clay instead of beads. Good luck and have fun!

Hand drawn instructions for making wire and bead toast stack connectors

Please note: You could use glue to attach the bead to the wire. However, I found the holes in the beads to be too large and decided to use silver Fimo (a polymer modelling clay) instead.

Download project files›

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

If you like this post please consider subscribing (you can choose between email and RRS options) or becoming a friend of ‘What I Made’ on Facebook. This way you can stay up to date with any future posts. Thanks for your support.

Dotted lines
Dotted lines