Category Archives: projects

Projects that re-purpose materials

I have done a lot of cardboard work which is a great way to repurpose shipping boxes. And….

And I have a friend who has sent me pics and information about a project he just completed.

He took Milk Jugs and used the plastic to make a pen blank. A pen blank is the body of a pen. You insert the inky part into it. It’s a fun project and something like this is done all the time with woodturning tools.

People like to turn exotic woods into a pen blank. And those projects are great. You end up with a custom made pen.

But this re-use of milk jug plastic is just terrific because it reuses those milk jugs. You literally have a whole lot of raw material that you don’t have to buy.

Here is the pen that he made:

Great looking pen made from Milk Jug plastic

It doesn’t take a lot. 350 degrees F in the oven and the plastic from milk jugs is workable and moldable.

The softened plastic.

He made a wooden jig to press the plastic into.

Plastic in the mold.

Now you can see how this plastic has a whole lot of potential for many different types of projects.

Well, I think it is a really fun, and really interesting process and project and if you want to see the complete tutorial it’s right here on my website: Recycling milk jugs to make pen blanks.

Make a puzzle out of cardboard

I really have a fascination with what you can do with cardboard.

I don’t think I ever mentioned it but when I was a kid growing up my dad spent his whole working career at a cardboard box factory. Yup. He operated the corrugator that put the wrinkled layer in the middle of cardboard.

So, It is understandable why I have always been fascinated with cardboard. Well, I do have a book of cardboard projects coming out…. and here is my latest project. It’s a fun and easy puzzle you can make.

With the big thing being that you can use your own picture to personalize the puzzle.

The tutorial, with video, is here. Make a puzzle on cardboard

cardboard puzzle

Make a waterfall with a soda bottle and caulk

My most popular tutorial with over 4 million views on youtube

I came up with this tutorial years ago and it has proven to be a perennial favorite of web visitors. I would imagine that there are lots of dioramas out there with this waterfall.

It’s a clever idea where you cut a strip from a soda bottle and use that as the base to make the waterfall.

simple idea for a great waterfall

If you enjoy making dioramas and want to add a nice waterfall effect I have the tutorials for you in two different ways. The website tutorial is right here: Make a waterfall

And if you like video tutorials I have the tutorial on my youtube channel right here

Paper Castle and More Paper Castles

I have had an obsession with castles for a long time.

And this obsession took a peculiar turn when I got a Christmas present from a family member.

I had never thought about the possibilities of paper castles until I got the christmas present of a cut and make paper castle (Caernarvon Castle).

My first paper castle

And I was hooked! I absolutely love this kind of project. And since that first paper castle I have made quite a few more of them. But I also have expanded my love of paper castles into the realm of designing and printing my own paper castles. Yup… and they are all available for free right here on my website. So, if you want to make a paper castle but don’t want to spend any money feel free to either follow my tutorials on how to do it or even download one of my free packets that you can print up and make.

I promise lots of free fun.

Here are my paper (and cardboard) castle making projects for you:

Easy Paper castle for kids to make

Some paper, some glue and four bathroom tissue tubes is all you need to make this castle It’s very popular with kids and I have hundreds of pictures sent in from people who have made this project. You can do this project right here: Make a Paper and Cardboard Castle

Merry Mead Paper Castle

This is a pdf that you download, cut out and glue together. It includes everything you need. And it comes with all the instructions on how to make it. Download this free pdf right here: Merry Mead Paper Castle

Castle – in a box

This is a fun little project. You download it, print it up, and put it together. It is inspired by the Japanese art of Tatebanko which is a scene box. In this scene is a castle. Castle in a box

My latest project is a castle made out of a single cardboard box. It is a fun and easy box project. And the kids will love it. There are two benefits to this project. First you have the fun of making the castle; and second you and the kids have the fun of using the castle for play! I love it.

You can watch the video tutorial on my youtube channel right here: Make a castle out of a cardboard box.

Lockdown project: Don’t throw out those boxes of soap!

You can make a fun little diorama out of an empty box of soap.

I make a nice little spring scene in my box and I show you how to do this with some paint, paper and clay. But, this is project that lends itself to a lot of imagination. You could make almost anything. My tutorial for this is right here: Make a tiny diorama in a bar of soap box

You can also watch the video tutorial below.

Lockdown Project: Plague Mask

A fun Medieval Plague Mask the kids can make with cereal box cardboard and duct tape.

The Plague mask we make

This is a fun and easy tutorial that comes from a video game. It is a medieval plague mask . You just need a few basic supplies like cereal box cardboard and duct tape. The eye lenses are cut from simple plastic containers. I give you the template and show you how to make it step by step.