Backyard Bike Wash

AP Photo/The Enquirer/Ernest Coleman

This photo of a DIY bike wash at A Child’s Garden pre-school in Covedale, Ohio, has been posted and reposted across the internet - folks just love this cool idea! But how would you MAKE it?

Okay, kid-makers, get started on your own Backyard Bike Wash with this basic Instructable for a “KidWash” sprinkler arch. For a second, more advanced version that uses misters, click here. This project costs less than $10 to build.

Once you’ve built the basic arch, it’s time to get creative! Imagine the familiar elements of a car wash – sponges, hanging strips and water coming from different angles. You can use sponges from home or pick up some at your local dollar store. For strips, we recommend flagging tape (which you can find in different colors at any hardware store) because it is waterproof and will hang softly for riding through. But you could also use wrapping paper ribbon, jump ropes or cut strips from an old tarp.

Put the finishing touch on your Backyard Bike Wash with an official sign at the entrance and invite your friends over for hours of clean, cool fun! Check out our other fun ideas for backyard summer fun: Water Bottle Sprinkler and Homemade Water Slide.

*SAFETY NOTE: An adult helper is important for this project because of some of the tools involved (a saw and a power drill) and for safety supervision of your build. Protect the grass with tarps or build your bike wash on a patio to prevent a mud puddle beneath …. unless that’s exactly what you want! (Oh, we know you, kid-makers!)

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Hula Hoop Rag Rug

Hula Hoop Rag Rug. Click here to learn how to make one from Disney FamilyFun!

Here at THE MAKESHOP SHOW™, kid-makers are always telling us how much they love making things out of simple stuff they already have at home. So we couldn’t wait to show share this great project for you to try!

Create your own giant rug out of old t-shirts and your favorite hula hoop with these simple instructions from Disney’s FamilyFun Magazine. Click here to learn how.

We found other ideas for this project over at the blog Sisters Guild, like stitching multiple rugs together, or using a rectangular frame for a rectangular rug! They suggest using hula hoop rag rugs for easy picnics, play mats or spots to kneel on while gardening. Click here to read more. We also think a rug could be a great gift for a birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day!

Get weaving, kid-makers, and don’t forget that we love to see what you’ve made. Send us notes and photos at Stay calm and make on!

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Calling All Kid-Makers!

Check out the new video call for makers for Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire. It’ll give you a sneak peek at the Faire coming this fall on Sept. 22nd and hopefully inspire YOU to apply to show off your maker skills! The deadline for Round I ends June 30th, so click here to learn more about being an exhibiting maker.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Upcycled Necktie Father’s Day Gifts

Necktie Wallet – Click here to learn how!

The old joke is that all dads get neckties for Father’s Day. But not your dad – YOUR dad is lucky enough to have a kid-maker! Makers love using old things in surprising new ways – its earth-friendly and, in the case of Father’s Day, can put a hip new spin on familiar gifts.

So we hunted the internet for the greatest gifts for dad made from old neckties:

Read more of this post

Call for Makers!

Kid-makers in Southwestern PA, Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire is looking for you! Click the image below to learn how YOU could show off your maker skills at a totally awesome fair for over a thousand excited people who love making things. The Faire is for makers of all ages and really wants more kids in the ranks this year.

PLUS, check out THE MAKESHOP SHOW’s behind-the-scenes interviews with makers at last year’s Faire!

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Water Bottle Sprinkler

Kid-makers, we know you just can’t wait to run into the sunshine this summer break to play. This cool project idea can quickly turn your backyard into a DIY water park!

Click the photo for project instructions from

Click here for instructions from on how to make your own backyard sprinkler out of an empty water bottle, old ball point pens and a garden hose. You do need 2 things you won’t have lying around the house but together they cost less than your $5 allowance.

And why stop at one? Add a garden hose splitter . . . Read more of this post

Hardware Jewelry

Kid-makers, do you want to make an awesome gift for a girl or boy you know? Something that looks tough (but is really kind of easy)? Our newest video will show YOU have to make one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, keychains and more from things you have in your garage, basement or toolbox.

Find some hex nuts, washers or any other hardware with a hole in the center. Find some string, twine, rope or ribbon. Then watch this video to learn how to braid it all together into seriously tough jewelry you made yourself. Maker Rebecca shows you how!

Stay calm and make on.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


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