Recycled Book Art

book artIf you’re wondering what to do with some of your old (or just plain boring) books, there are lots of ways to recycle them into something else.  One way is by turning your book into a work of art. By cutting, folding and gluing pages, you can create a book mobile (not to be confused with a bookmobile), a decoration for a bookshelf or art to mount on a wall.

Keep in mind that older books may have more brittle paper and can be harder to curve and shape. You may also want to consider the thickness of the book pages — you can layer thin pages (like the ones you find in telephone books) to create see-through effects, while thick pages may be better to create pop-up scenes.

See some beautiful examples at this post on Krrb.

Or watch a video by Brusspup of how to create 3D Paper Steps.

Recycled Planter

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Using household recyclables to create a planter is a fun and simple way to make your home or classroom a  little “greener”, and does its own watering!  It’s perfect for starting seeds indoors and growing seedlings until they’re big enough to plant in your garden.

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Leaf Blower Hovercraft

Have you ever dreamed of building your own flying machine, kid makers?

Learn to make a leaf blower hovercraft with kid maker Ethan and his assistant, maker Matthew Beckler of Wayne and Layne. It’s cheap, SO EASY and can even lift the weight of an adult. We can’t wait for you to try it yourself.

Click here for full project instructions.

Let us know how your hovercraft flies at info@makeshopshow.com.

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Upcycled Books

Click here for this secret compartment idea from Better Homes & Gardens.

Look around your house, and you may be surprised to find books that you do not read anymore, or ones that are slightly damaged. As more people start using e-readers, makers are finding creative uses for beautiful old books as objects with new purposes. Grab some old books and try these projects:

  • Sew pages of books to create storage pockets with this easy step-by-step on S. C. Johnson Co.’s blog Family Economics. It’s a unique way to keep track of your favorite photos, movie tickets and valentines!
  • Hollow out a book to create a secret compartment like this one from Better Homes & Gardens’ project ideas site.  Another way to do this is to glue a bunch of book spines to a box and slide it onto your bookshelf between real books, like in this photo. Voila! Your treasures are now safe from your little brother.
  • Make hardcover books into shelves like these examples we found at realsimple.com. They give the term “book shelf” a whole new meaning!
  • Build furniture out of old bookswith simple brackets and hardware.

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School’s Out for Summer

Our friends at Make Magazine know that you are counting down the days until school’s out. Fear not, kid- makers, there’s plenty of fun to be had, not to mention free time to MAKE cool stuff soon!

In this special issue,  over 50 family friendly projects are highlighted that will guarantee an action packed and productive summer.  The magazine can be found on shelves May 29th, but for now click here to take a peek at some of the hottest projects that will  make your summer a memorable one.

Giant Wooden Xylophone

Kid makers, we know you love GIANT stuff! So we know you’ll get excited by this easy-to-build xylophone made from giant 2′x4′s. Click here for instructions. Hang it from a favorite tree or your bedroom door – we even built one into a bench here in the MAKESHOP™.  Special thanks to Chris Bandy of Bandy Woodworks and his co-hosts in this episode, Asher and Eden!

SAFETY NOTE: This project involves basic hand tools for woodworking, like saws. Ask an adult to teach you as you build together and always be very careful when using tools of any kind. 

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Young Makers

Guess what? Kids are making all over the country. A lot of them are in Young Makers clubs, showing off what they make at Maker Faire and generally having a great time making together! The Young Makers Blog will keep you updated on happenings around the country - February’s blog has a photo of  President Obama admiring a kid’s marshmallow cannon. Can you believe it?

Watch this to get inspired by young makers … AND a homemade hovercraft! (You can learn how to make your own hovercraft with our MAKESHOP Show original video Leaf Blower Hovercraft.)

Stay calm and make on – and remember, you’re part of a movement!

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

PBS News: A Glimpse at Maker Culture in 10 minutes

Source: youtube.com via Don on Pinterest

Maker Interview: Wooden Toymaking

Watch this maker interview with woodworker Chris Bandy of Bandy Woodworks! Chris visited The MAKESHOP™ with his collection of handmade wooden toys and woodworking tools. Kid makers helped him sand, saw and stain to create tic-tac-toe boards, puzzles, trucks and more. Bandy Woodworks uses local, sustainable wood, so Chris also brought rough logs and photos to show kids where he gathers fallen trees for the wood to make his toys.

  • See Chris’s handmade wooden toys at Bandy Woodworks website!
  • Click here for a slideshow of Chris’s visit to the MAKESHOP and blog post about it by MAKESHOP teaching artist, Kevin.

 

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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