52 Create – Craftvent Calendar, Day 24

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 24 – When I was a kid, I distinctly remember the chocolate on the 24th of the Advent Calendar was about 4 times the size as the others.  This made you long for Christmas even more.  The only problem was my brother and I would share advent calendars, so whoever got the odd days lost out big time.  Probably why we only got the one with the large chocolate on the 24th once…  Anyways, I thought I’d go out with a bang on this one.  For the last day of my Craftvent Calendar, I made my daughter a simple dutch style doll house out of cardboard for her “little babies“.  She was pretty blown away when she came home to find her house.  Sadly we’re moving in a month and there definitely won’t be room for the house in our bags, I’m sure I’ll make her another one whenever we finally settle down somewhere…

My other Craftvent Calendar Crafts

52 Create – Cowboy Hat

52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011…  My little turkey, also known as AK around these parts, has become absolutely enamoured with a french cartoon called “Chloe Magique“.  It’s about a girl who has a magic closet that is full of dress up clothes. Each episode she and her friends make believe some fantastic adventure.  Where am I going with all of this? Well last week she was a cowboy, and wore a cowboy hat.  Since that morning, my daughter talks about cowboy hats all day everyday.  I felt I needed to make one…

I’m pretty sure they use a similar design at the Calgary stampede, but made out of foam. In all honesty, foam would likely be a better material to work with, but when I was at Rouge et Ple (an awesome art supply store, which being French doesn’t have a website of course…), I saw some card stock that was the right thickness and not too pricey.  It’s likely not going to last forever, but the smile you see above stayed on her face till bed time, so mission accomplished.


My other 52 Create projects.


52 Create – Cardboard Doll Crib





52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011…  Decided to take it up a notch after last week’s binoculars.  I’m trying to keep the projects simple enough that I don’t need to go buy tools, yet at least interesting and challenging at the same time.  The one thing you can count on in Paris is free cardboard.  You can almost always find some good quality cardboard lying against buildings or on top of garbage cans, and while it’s not as nice to work with as say plywood, it is free!  There’s also always lots of chip board, but since I only have an exacto knife, it isn’t really practical to use.

My daughter has been the proud owner of a doll for almost a month now.  Her Grandma made her doll some clothes, and so I felt I should step up and make her a little crib.  It’s made of double thick cardboard and fits together with slots (ie. no glue or tape).  It is easy to take apart and pack flat should we need to move, and it’s light enough that she can easily move it around our tiny apartment.  So far it’s been a hit, with “baby” often getting rocked to sleep.

My other 52 Create projects.

DIY Shoe box Castle

Shortly after our daughter arrived a year ago, I decided that I wanted to pass my love of craft down to her.  While we can’t chose what our kids like or don’t like, we do have some influences, so I thought that I would always make my daughter gifts for her birthdays and Christmas. I wanted her to see that toys don’t have to be bought, and for her to understand the time and effort that goes into making toys at home.  I realize at one year of age, this is not very relevant to her, but you might as well start off on the right foot.

Unfortunately when I made this decision, I was enjoying my full workshop and house full of crafty tools.  Move ahead one year and I am in Paris in an apartment that is less than 300 sq/ft and my tools consist of a leatherman and duct tape…  Being in Europe, I felt a castle was appropriate, while I figured she’d be just as happy with an empty box, I did really enjoy the project.

A shoe box was quickly turned into a castle using the leatherman and a small amount of clear duct tape.  Next a toilet paper roll was attached as a turret, with a pointed roof coming from a paper shopping bag.  I decorated the outside walls of the castle with some permanent markers, drawing a dragon, a moat, some trees, and even some ivy growing up the sides.

The castle needed a kind and queen of course, and what better thing to use than some empty film cans.  My daughter already loves playing with the film cans, and adding a face to each and throwing a few pennies inside made them all the more fun.

She loved it. And although the turret was pulled off in the first 5 minutes of play, she is still enjoying her castle several days later.  I’ve been reading a lot of made by joel lately, and I hope to be the same with my kids as he is with his.  I found it fitting that after making the project, I saw he had done a post on doll houses