52 Create – Craftvent Calendar, Day 5

52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011.  Continuing along with my “Craftvent” calendar for my 2 year old daughter.  Simply put, it’s an advent calendar filled with crafts, all home made, many will be joint projects so she gets some fun of making stuff as well.

Day 5 – Today I made some origami boxes.  Each box is slightly smaller making them able to stack inside of each other.  On the backs I wrote the numbers 1-7 to help my daughter learn her numbers (she knows them, just not the order…).  Done in Christmas colours, I finally broke down and bought some paper as I was getting tired of using advertisements.  So far the boxes have been well received, being made of paper they won’t last long, but she’ll enjoy them while they last.


My other Craftvent Calendar Crafts

52 Create – Sandbox

52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011.  This week, for something completely different, I present to you, a sandbox.  I was off visiting friends and it came up that the kids wanted a sandbox and that their neighbour had just replaced an old fence and donated all the old boards, so this project would be essentially free!

The donated wood consisted of some 4×4 cedar posts and a whole pile of 2×6 “Trex“.  I’d never used Trex before, it’s basically a plastic composite wood.  It lasts forever, cuts perfectly smooth and even has some fake wood grain on it.  On the minus side, it weighs a ton, and apparently is fairly expensive, but like I said ours was donated!  Another little bonus was that boards that we thought were warped (being used to wood), could easily be bent back straight!  The sandbox took us one long day to build, but that included a trip to get beer and sand to fill it up.  The real shocker was that this box which had an inside dimension of roughly 5×6′ needed $150 worth of sand to fill it up (in fact it needed another $75, but we figured it could wait a while at that price).

My other 52 Create Projects.



52 Create – Router Boxes

52 Create, my attempt to make one creative project per week for the entire year of 2011.  So far the bulk of the projects have been wooden, and this week certainly continues the trend.  I’ve never worked with Walnut before, but I saw this board lying against the wall at Black Forest, and I simply couldn’t resist taking it home.  I brought the 6 foot long 8 inch wide board to the cash and when the chatty owner asked what I was going to do with that great big slab, I replied with a perfectly straight face “salad tongs”…  Now honestly, I am planning on making some salad tongs at some point, and obviously there will be much wood left over for other projects, but I just couldn’t resist the joke.

Anyways, back to the project.  I made a square template out of some scrap 1/8″ plywood and used a router with a straight bit to cut the hollows of the two boxes.  I did this on the full board and then cut the outside shape afterwards as this seemed much simpler.  All sides were rounded with a 1/4″ round over bit.  The outsides were coated in shellac (roughly 2 lb. cut), and then I painted the insides bright yellow. Tops are made out of some scrap Maple I had lying around.

I was a little disappointed in the cut out.  I think it was a combination of a crappy router bit, which was also dull, and I may have tried to take too much wood off at each pass.  The inside was quite rough and I ended up having to use some filler (after lots of sanding).  I had always wanted to try the painted interior, but the only thick glossy and durable paint I could find was some no-name tremclad paint which took about 24 hrs to dry between coats.  Both boxes need 1-2 more coats of yellow, and there are a couple of places where I’d like to touch up the shellac.  A fun project, and the cutouts could really be just about any shape you could dream of.

My other 52 Create Projects.