Thursday, October 30, 2014



70+ {Awesome} Homemade Toys You Can Make for Your Kids

Over 70 awesome toys that you can make for the kids in your life!

70+ Homemade Toys to Make for Kids

70+ Homemade Toys to Make for Kids

With Christmas approaching I’ve been busy, rounding up homemade gift ideas. Recently, I wrote this post, sharing a dozens of really awesome homemade gifts that kids can make for grown-ups, and then there’s this one – homemade gifts grown-ups can make for kids. I got a little carried away because, holy cow, there are a TON of homemade toy ideas floating around on the internet. Toys for babies, toddler toys, toys for preschool boys and girls. Toys made from old furniture or from items in your recycle bin, toys made from stuff you already have around the house, and toys made from inexpensive thrift shop finds.
All in all, I’ve rounded up over 70 homemade kids’ toys that you can totally make at home. Whether you’re looking for a toy you can sew, craft or build for the child in your life, you’re sure to find inspiration in this collection. Enjoy!
All of these toys are fairly easy and inexpensive to make.  Some are knock-offs of brand name toys, and some of these toy ideas are truly original.  One thing is certain – they’re all perfect if you like to give kids handmade gifts at Christmas, birthdays or any day!
homemade lacing activities to make for kidsjpg

 Homemade Lacing Toys:

These simple lacing frames are easy to make and great for helping little ones develop their fine motor skills.  - Babble Dabble Do
Shaped foam lacers are easy for little hands to grip and a fun way to practice threading skills.  - Powerful Mothering
I adore this all-natural, stick threading game by Mini Eco.
homemade felt toys to make for toddlers

Homemade Felt Toys for Toddlers:

Here’s a soft and colourful way for toddlers to explore the alphabet: stuffed, hand-sewn felt letters by Buggy and Buddy.
Make a no-sew, alphabet pocket chart to help little ones learn their letters. – Lalymom
I see countless hours of creating and re-creating here with this gorgeous potato head felt set. – jocelynandjasonblogspot
Sensory boards to make for the toddlers

DIY Activity boards for the playroom or classroom:

Babies and toddlers will LOVE exploring all the textures and gadgets on these awesome sensory boards by Fun at Home with Kids.
Make a latch board like Domesticesq did with random bits and bobs from the work shop or hardware store.
My boys would’ve LOVED a life-sized dashboard  like this one made from used parts. – And Next Comes L
easy dollhouses to make for kids

Upcycled Homemade Dollhouses:

Got cardboard? Handmade Charlotte shares 6 ways to make a dollhouse out of a cardboard box. 
Mama Papa Bubba shows you how she and her daughter made this simple but beautifuldollhouse from an inexpensive bookshelf. 
Check out how Roadkill Rescue turned an old dresser into a larger-than-life Barbie house. Handy storage drawer in the bottom!
Upcycle the drawers from an old bedside table into this adorably charming dollhouse by Semi Proper.
homemade stamps for kids

Homemade Stamps:

6 ways to make homemade stamps for toddlers using common household items. – Happy Hooligans
Help your little one learn to spell his name with this simple homemade name stamp by Mama Papa Bubba.
Decorate homemade cards, wrapping paper or fabric projects with this spring flower wine-cork stamp.  Happy Hooligans
Kids can make imprints in play dough with these rustic tree block stamps by Two-da-loo.
kids toys made from upcycled furniture

Toys from upcycled furniture:

I adore this workbench/tool station that The Frugal Granny made from an old bedside table.
How about this AMAZING upcycle?  A deluxe play kitchen made from an old tv/entertainment cabinet! – Giggleberry Creations
Fresh Crush transformed a night-stand into a play kitchen for about $30 using cast-offs and inexpensive accessories.
homemade toys to make for baby

Homemade toys for babies:

Turn your recyclables into a variety of colourful, fine-motor toys for babies and young toddlers. The Imagination Tree
Crafts on Sea has a homemade tag blanket that will delight babies with its crinkling sound and soft, satiny tags.
Childhood 101 shows you how to turn your family photos into a cloth baby book for your little one to enjoy.
homemade toys to make with socks

Homemade Sock Toys:

Attempting Aloha transforms a sock into a glamorous hobby-horse that any little rider would love.
Turn a sock into an adorable baby rattle with some stuffing and a few simple stitches. – Homemade by Jill
toys to make from your recycle bin

Toys from the Recycle Bin:

An empty plastic bottle + 3 basic kitchen ingredients = a mesmerizing “ocean in a bottle”. – Happy Hooligans
Kids who love to build will enjoy this homemade construction set made from a few pieces of sturdy cardboard – Happy Hooligans
Teach shapes, colours, letters and numbers with this cardboard box turned drop box.  The kids have been using ours for years.
Outdoor toys to make for kids

Homemade Toys for Outdoors:

It would be so dreamy to spend an afternoon reading in one of these Hula Hoop Hideouts. – Alanna George
Ok, I totally want to hang out on this DIY water blob by Homemade Toast.  Bonus:  It’s leak-proof!
Check out how Dyan turned a few dollar-store shower curtains into this awesome toddler parachute. – And Next Comes L
quiet books to make for kids

Homemade Quiet Books:

A quiet book is perfect for those times when you need to keep your kids busy… and quiet. I lovethis no-sew version by Powerful Mothering.
This busy book by Mouse House has “pages” of colourful quiet activities to keep little hands busy and learning.
homemade activity boards to make for kids

Homemade Activity Boards:

Turn an inexpensive oil-drip pan into a gigantic magnet board for the playroom or classroom. – Mama Miss
Make an outdoor easel for your kids to get artsy and creative with in the backyard. – Fantastic Fun and Learning
See how Mama Papa Bubba quickly turned an inexpensive frame into a homemade felt board.
*Want to know an easy way to cut your own felt pieces for your felt board?  Check out this awesome felt-cutting tutorial by Juggling with Kids.
homemade dolls toys to make for kids

Homemade Doll Toys:

Make a fabric doll sling for your little one to carry her babies around in. – Mama Smiles
Check out this whimsical family of wooden spoon dolls decorated by Jess Quinn.
Paint up a set of wooden alphabet dolls for play and learning. – No Time for Flashcards
homemade play doughs to make and give
This really is the best-ever play dough!  It keeps for months, so it’s perfect to make ahead and give as a gift.  - The Imagination Tree
Did you know you can make your own silly putty? - Coffee Cups and Crayons shows us how.

hopscotch toys to make for kidsHomemade Indoor Hopscotch:

I had fun making this homemade cardboard hopscotch.  Laying the tiles out helps the hooligans with their number recognition and ordering skills.
Make a new-sew hopscotch mat that you can roll up and tuck away when not in use.  There are games on the reverse side too!  - A girl with a Glue Gun
forts to make for kids

Homemade Forts and Tents:

Set up a 5-minute teepee in the backyard!  What a magical place for a little one to spend a summer afternoon. – Mama Papa Bubba
For those of you who like to sew, Cakies shows you how to make a simple A-frame tent for the kids to use indoors or out.

homemade puzzles to make for kidsHomemade Puzzles for Toddlers:

Adventure in a Box shows you how to make a wooden name puzzle for your child.  You’ll have this lovely keepsake for years.
Turn a set of wooden blocks and some family photos into these nifty, interchangeable people puzzles. – Meaningful Mama

gross motor toys to make for kids

Homemade Toys for Gross Motor Development:

See how Hello Wonderful turned a skateboard deck into homemade balance board to help develop core and large-motor strength.
Build a set of simple wood block stompers.  They can be used at two different heights depending on the age of your child. – I Can Teach My Child
This bucket and rope contraption was free to make, and it’s provided hundreds of hours of open-ended play here in our backyard.
colour and texture blocks to make for kids

Homemade Coloured and Textured Blocks:

Fun with Kids at Home shows us how to easily add a pop of vibrant colour to a set of plain wooden blocks.  So gorgeous!
Babies and toddlers will love exploring the colours and textures of these homemade sensory blocks. – Fireflies and Mudpies
$3 bucks, a trip to the dollar-store, and some hot-glue will get you this fab set of coloured light blocks. -And Next Comes L
homemade fine motor toys

Fine Motor Toys to Make for Kids:

colourful button snake is easy to make and helps little ones develop their fine motor and buttoning skills. – Happy Hooligans
Put together a sewing basket  filled with lots of goodies for a preschooler to explore and practice early sewing skills with.
I just love Crayon Box Chronicles’ homemade geo board.  Little ones can sharpen their fine motor skills while learning about shapes and geometry with rubber bands or fabric loops.
toys to make with stones for kids

Stones for Play:

Make an adorable stone tic-tac-toe game to match your child’s favourite colours, like this one from Eighteen 25.
Paint up a set of non-traditional, rock dominoes for the kids to play and learn with. – Childcareland Blog
Story Stones are fun and easy to make, and great for narrative play, and developing story-telling skills. – Happy Hooligans
Alphabet stones are perfect for a game of outdoor “hangman” or to simply teach your child their letters through open-ended play.
homemade roadway toys to make for  kids

Homemade Toys for Car-Loving Kids:

Turn your old jeans into fabric roads!  Easy to make, and to stash in the diaper bag when you’re going out. – Lil Mop Top
Visit Picklebums to get these free, printable roads.  Your kids can build a whole city!
Buggy and Buddy painted up a set of simple wooden roads and ramps for her son.  Think of the hours of fun these would provide.
If you love to sew, this amazing car mat would be a super project and keepsake to make for your child or grandchild. – Homemade by Jill
play kitchen toys2

Homemade Play Kitchen Toys:

And Next Comes L has some great felt food ideas that you can make for your child’s play kitchen.
Turn a package of inexpensive kitchen sponges into colourful foam cakes and cookies like the ones Inner Child Fun made.
LOVE this!  Turn a plastic storage container into a pretend cook-top.  Store the baking instruments inside! – And Next Comes L
homemade light tables to make for kids
Make an inexpensive, portable light box using a kitchen storage container and an LED light.  Store the toys inside!
And Next Comes L shows you how to turn a basic pegboard into a light bright game for your home or classroom.
Want a full-size light table for much less than it costs to buy one? Check out this step-by-step tutorial from And Next Comes L.
homemade blocks to make for kids

More homemade blocks to make:

I love these colourful magnetic blocks that You Clever Monkey made for their magnet board.
How inviting are these Waldorf-inspired nature blocks that Adventure in a Box made.  What a lovely way to build and create.
And last, but not least:  take your block building into a new dimension (literally) with a set of these homemade velcro blocks by Chasing Cheerios.

Want more homemade toy and game inspiration?

And there you have it!  No shortage of inspiration for your crafty-lovin’, toy-making heart!  If you are, however, looking for even MORE homemade toys and games to make, head on over to my Homemade Toys and Games Pinboard.  You’ll find loads of ideas there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crafty Wednesday ~ Paint Stick Basket

This beautiful (and inexpensive!) basket is made with a handful of paint stir sticks found at any homecenter, a square dowel, and some staples. Use it as a decorative centerpiece, or as stylish storage on a shelf. No matter the use, you’ll be amazed by how quick and easy it is to assemble!

Opener Photo Credit: Ashley Largesse Photography

Cost: $3
Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy. Just cut the paint sticks and dowel to size, and then assemble the parts with wood glue and staples.


1. Prep the Parts

Cut the paint sticks and square dowel to size using the cut list above. Apply paint or stain to each paint stick. Using a paint pen or marker, color the staples.
Tip: Since I chose a dark stain, I started with a coat of Minwax pre-stain to avoid blotches. I finished with Minwax wood stain in Walnut and a coat of polyurethane to amplify the stain color and protect the finish.

Blog-Step-by-Step-Line-2002. Attach the Paint Sticks to the Dowels

To create lapped corners, position the paint sticks so that one end overhangs the square dowels by 1/8 inch. Use the thickness of a scrap paint stick as a spacer. Alternate the overhanging edges as shown in the diagram below. Apply a dot of wood glue beneath the paint stick, and then secure it using a staple gun and 3/8 inch staples.
Build a Paint Stick Basket - Building Plans by @BuildBasic


3. Finish Assembling the Short Walls

Continue gluing and stapling each paint stick in place, allowing about ¼ inch spacing between the slats. The top and bottom paint sticks should be flush with the ends of the dowels


4. Add the Floor Cleats

To create a cleat for the floor slats to set on, position a square dowel along the inside of each assembled wall, flush with its bottom edge. Apply glue between the cleat and the slat, and then shoot a staple through the outside face of the paint stick and into the cleat to hold it in place, as shown.


5. Attach the Long Slats

Lay the long slats across the dowels, alternating their overhanging ends as shown in the diagram in step two. Apply glue, and then attach the paint sticks using a staple gun and 3/8 inch staples.


6. Insert the Floor Slats

To create the base of the basket, lay the 11¾ inch paint sticks onto the cleats. Space them evenly, apply a dot of glue beneath each end, and then staple them in place.


Monday, October 20, 2014



laundry tips
Doing laundry is quite a process, from gathering dirty clothes, towels and linens, sorting, washing, drying, folding and then starting the whole cycle over again!
The tips below are arranged in approximately that order, to help you with all the stages of the process. (Please note that this page is still, very much, a work in progress, and the individual articles are coming, but they haven't all been written yet!)
You can skip to a certain section of the page, depending on what type of information you're interested in:

How To Do Laundry (An Overview)

There are just a couple of steps in the laundry process, but each of them is important and has the ability to ruin an entire load if done wrong. Here are the steps (I am planning to expand this section with individual articles in the future, since this information is very elementary right now):
  • Sort - make sure to separate by color, type of fabric, and amount of dirt or soil on the clothing or other washables

  • Wash clothing - typically this is done in your washing machine, but certain items may need to be hand washed. It is important to choose the right cycle for washing, and also the right water temperature, which depends on the fabric, stains, and other variables.

  • Dry clothing - Obviously, after washing clothes the items will be wet and need to be dried. If you dry them in the dryer, you must choose the right temperature and setting. In addition, you can also line dry or lay clothes out to air dry.

  • Folding Clothes - Once your clothes are dry they need to be folded back up to be used again (or hung up on hangers). There are some rules for folding which can make the process easier, faster, and also keep your clothes from getting as wrinkled.

Symbols & Care Tags

To do your washing properly, and to make all the individual decisions necessary to make sure you get your clothes clean without harming them, you are typically guided by care tags on your clothes.
These can be difficult to decipher though, because they generally contain laundry symbols, little pictures which are supposed to convey a lot of information in a small space. Unfortunately, they aren't at all intuitive, and you typically need a chart to reference to help you decipher them properly.
I will be gathering resources for you to use to help you quickly and easily understand the instructions on your tags, so you can care for your clothes properly without a lot of headaches.

How To Sort

There are a couple of rules for sorting clothing properly, with the main criteria being to sort by color, fabric type, and the dirt or soil on the clothing itself. In fact, there are four questions to ask when sorting, and also a trick for how to get the sorting done more quickly.
Further, if you make a mistake and don't sort properly and have a laundry mishap, I've got tips for how to fix bleeding colors.
The articles listed below will help you with this step in the process in more detail.
sorting laundry
How To Sort Laundry
pink socks
How To Prevent Or Fix Dye Transfer Or Bleeding Dye Laundry Mishap
boy in laundry basket
Tips & Tricks For Sorting Laundry {From Readers}

Washing Clothes

When you wash your clothes and other laundry you need to first decide if you'll be hand washing, or using a washing machine.
In addition, you'll need to decide what type of detergents and other laundry productsto use on the clothing, and what water temperature to wash everything in.
Further, although most clothes, once properly sorted, can be washed in large loads with like items, there are some special rules for how to wash certain unusual items. I'll be discussing all these topics in this section.
towels in laundry basket
How To Test For Colorfastness
dirty socks
Laundry Stain Removal Tips & Techniques
Presoaking Laundry Stains: Great Technique!
pretreating laundry
Tips For Using A Pretreater For Stains
faded jeans
How To Prevent Fading Colors For Your Clothes

stuffed animals
Washing Stuffed Animals: How To Guide
volleyball knee pads and Tide with Febreze
How To Get Rid Of Stinky Smells In Washable Sports Equipment
washing machine
Cleaning Washing Machine To Sanitize & Remove Smells
measuring liquid laundry detergent
How To Keep Liquid Laundry Detergent Cap Clean
white dog
Removing Pet Hair From Clothes {Home Remedies & Tips}

Drying Clothes

After your clothing gets washed, it must be get dried. You can, of course, dry clothes in either a clothes dryer, or dry them in the air either by line drying, or some other method.
This section will discuss all types of laundry tips for drying fabric, and rules you need to know to make the process easy, and keep you from ruining clothing during this part of the cycle.

Folding Clothes

This part is generally pretty simple, but actually trips quite a few people up. It can be a lot easier to throw everything back in a laundry basket, out of the dryer, then actually take the time to fold everything.
This section will not only give some nitty gritty laundry tips and advice for how to fold various types of clothing and other fabric items, but also tips for how to get motivated to get the folding done in the first place.

Ironing Tips

While you may fold some clothes, you may hang others, and often those that are hung up may need to be ironed.
You may even iron some things before folding them, such as linens or sheets.
sheets on bed
Tips For Ironing Sheets

Frugal & Money Saving Tips & Tricks

frugal laundry tips for busy moms
Keeping your clothes, towels and linens clean can be expensive, what with all the detergents and other supplies to purchase, along with paying for resources such as water and electricity that are used in the process.
You can explore these frugal laundry ideas and tips you can use to save money while still keeping your clothes clean.

Keeping Up With Your Laundry Piles

Let's face it, washing clothing and other fabrics is basically a never ending process. Even if you've washed all the dirty clothes in the hamper, you and every other member of your household still have the clothes on you're wearing right now, which will soon get thrown into the basket for washing.
While keeping up with this process can seem like an impossible task, there are tips and tricks you can use to turn those laundry piles into laundry smiles, by following a tailor made schedule and routine which best suits your life and home.

Share Your Own Household Tips

laundry basket
I'm sure there are lots more laundry tips and tricks I haven't shared yet, and there is always more information to learn and cool ideas to discover.
If you haven't seen a great tip here already, I would love for you to share it with me now. You can share your household tips here.
In addition, I love to answer questions too! You can ask me your laundry questions here, or read other questions I've already answered.

Thanks For Visiting My Website

Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
I'd love for you to keep in touch with me, and I've created a couple offree resources for you when you do!
If you subscribe by email to get my weekly newsletter you will get afree laundry stain removal chart!
In addition, if you "like" the site on Facebook you'll receive a free 40 page housekeeping checklist e-book.
I hope you enjoy these gifts, and stop by again soon!