Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Before you get started, make sure the box you have chosen to use is a good height for your little one. And make sure it will hold up to mini Iron Chef-ing. It would be very sad if the kitchenette fell apart after just a few months.
Step one: tape your box completely closed on all sides. Make it secure. Then measure where you want your sink, faucet, stove top, oven door, and cupboard doors to be stationed. Mark all areas with your pen.
Step two: Use your knife to cut open the oven door, cupboard doors, sink area and faucet area. When cutting the oven and cupboard doors open, be sure to only cut 3 edges, and score the remaining edge so that it will open smoothly. Also, to cut the sink space, place your bowl open side down on the box. Trace it, and then cut it a bit smaller than the lip on the bowl. Cut the hole for the faucet exactly the same size as the paper towel tube. Err on the smaller side, not the bigger.
Step 3: Create the faucet out of the paper towel tube. Mine is not a super clean job, but it works. I cut two wedges out of my paper towel role so that it would curve over the sink. I angled the paper towel tube and taped it back together. The end of the paper towel tube that is going to be inserted in the cardboard box needs to be clipped about 1/4 of an inch in, perpendicular to the open edge. Insert the clipped edge into the faucet hole. Under the "counter top," bend out the edges of the paper towel role to secure the faucet in place. Glue and let dry. Then tape like crazy to reinforce it.
Step 4: Install Sink. Literally plug the bowl in and move on.
Step 5: Get creative and paint away. I removed my bowl so I didn't accidentally get paint on it.
Step 6: Gather your odds and ends and paint them (if you need to) to turn them into cupboard handles, oven handles, towel racks, hot/cold faucet knobs, element knobs, oven temperature knob, etc.
Step 7: Now, what to do about those elements. There are so many ways you could make cool stove-top elements. Mine are not that complex. 4 circles of felt glued with Elmer's Glue to the "stove top." I also decided to reinforce the felt elements with large stitches of fun colored yarn sewn through small holes I made in a spiral pattern in the cardboard top. This is really helpful to prevent kids ripping the elements off of the stove.
Step 8: Install your hardware any way you like. I used hemp-like string and looped it through small holes I made in the cardboard cupboard and oven doors. I used a pretty small phillips head screwdriver to push through the cardboard. It worked really well.
Step 9: Add a little costume apron and giggle as you watch your little chef host her own cooking show: "And then, stir for two minutes....And then taste it....And then...."
Thursday, July 12, 2012
This was a simple project that took about 24 hours to complete because of drying time. I made six of these bags, well, not the bags themselves, but the printing on them. I bought the bags at a craft store for $2 a bag. I used alphabet fabric stamps that I bought at a school supply store for $20. I used my thumb and fore finger for the balloons. I used fabric paint for the ink on the letters and the balloons. I used a sharpie marker and a ruler to draw the strings on the balloons to the letters. Slide a piece of cardboard into the bag before you start so no paint leaks through. Wait for one side to dry completely before stamping the other side. Then after the paint is dry, cover the image with a thin cotton cloth (I used a thin cloth diaper) and iron it, hot and with steam to set the paint. Any image you can manage to draw with a sharpie or paint could easily be put on the bags. Fun little gifts for teachers, friends, sisters, thank you's, or hello's. Happy printing!