Gumball Machine Fish Tank

No, your eyes are not deceiving you:  that is a goldfish swimming in a gumball machine.

Click here for steps to make this from Instructables.com.

Here at The MAKESHOP Show, we love creative ideas for reusing old things and we know kids do, too. So we’re sharing this project idea for transforming an old gumball machine into a real, usable fish tank! PLUS, these instructions will also teach you the basics for turning other vessels into comfy fish homes.

Click here for the how-to on Instructables.com by maker wold630.

Some important notes on this project:

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Doily Lamp

Click here to learn how to make your own doily lamp.

We love this idea of creating a lampshade out of a balloon, doilies and lots of glue! The simple steps with awesome results make this project perfect even for young kid makers.

Doilies are decorative lace shapes that people put under collectibles and plants to make them look prettier. Lots of people have extra doilies stashed away at home or you can find them easily at thrift stores or yard sales. The design of doilies makes this project more interesting because once the glue sets and the balloon is popped, your lampshade is full of lovely holes for the light to shine through. The light casts designs on your ceiling and walls (making it a cool night light, too). This project is a creative reuse of an existing material, making the best of its design for a new function.

Click here or on the photo for the full instructions for Doily Lamp at the Dose Family blog. Interestingly, though, the instructions aren’t the only thing we love about this post …

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Warm Fuzzies Hand Warmers

By Guest Maker Theresa Baughmanfinale

These rice filled heating pads are great for colds, toothaches, muscle aches, cold winter days, glove warmers, heating pads, headaches and more. They are a simple sewing project perfect for young makers or those new to sewing technique. Plus, there’s tons of room to be creative! Don’t miss
our inventive suggestions at the end.

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Sweater Sleeve Slippers

Kid makers, you are growing all the time, growing right out of last year’s winter sweaters. Transform those old sweaters into cool new slippers – maker style!

Click here for instructions from the Organized Everyday blog.

Sweater sleeves are a great beginning to make other things (like one of our favorite projects, Sweater Sleeve Leg Warmers). By using the existing cuff and sleeve in your design, it only takes a few adaptations to make something new.

That’s what maker mom Jena did to make darling rainbow striped sweater sleeve slippers. She teaches you how to do it, too, over at her blog, Organized Everyday. Click here or on the photo for full instructions and pictures of each step.

You’ll need these materials:

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T-shirt Bags

Click here to make this no-sew fringe bag from Tealou and Sweetpea.

On a rainy weekend, nothing is more comfortable  than sitting around at home in your favorite T-shirt and jeans. If you’re like us, kid makers,  you may have a whole collection of clothes that you don’t wear but dont’ want to throw out … especially favorite t-shirts. Whether you outgrew it, it’s stained or it’s just last year’s style, we have the perfect upcycling fix: BAGS!

We all carry a lot of things this time of year, like a book bags for school, grocery bags for apple picking, and of course, trick-or-treat bags for Halloween! Grab your oldest summer tee and start making.

T-shirt Bag Project Ideas:

T-shirt bags are a great example of one of kid-makers favorite types of making: UPCYCLING! What is “upcycling”?

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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 info@makeshopshow.com. Stay calm and make on!

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Upcycled T-shirt Mother’s Day Gifts

T-shirt Flower Ring – Click here to learn how from Homemade Ginger!

Somewhere in the back of your drawers, kid-makers, is an old t-shirt just waiting for you to make an awesome Mother’s Day gift out of it. Surprised? Makers enjoy upcycling tees because the jersey knit doesn’t need to be hemmed, so you can make tons of projects without even needing to sew!

We hunted the internet to find the greatest wearable gifts for mom out of old t-shirts:

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Ribbon Roses

Ribbon roses are a project we just know you’ll find lots of uses for, kid makers. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be attaching them to pencils, headbands, bike handles and wrapped presents  in no time. They also make great GIFTS for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and birthdays! Special thanks to maker Christina and kid makers Amberly and Melvay!

MAKER TIP: Try folding these  roses out of paper or fabric to find even more uses and styles for folding flowers.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Plastic Fusion

“Plastic Fusion” creates a colorful new material by ironing plastic grocery bags between protective layers. You can use this process to make all sorts of things like hats, purses, ponchos, bags, belts, bracelets and more. “Fusion” is melting something by applying heat to it. In our newest video, kid makers Amberly and Melvay teach YOU how to fuse plastic with a warm iron to make cool projects.

Download the instructions for this project here: Plastic Fusion Instructions. Send us photos of what you make at info@makeshopshow.com. And remember, stay calm and make on!

*SAFETY NOTE: Kid makers, this projects involves an iron. Ask an adult for permission or help with that part of Plastic Fusion.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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