Monday, December 17, 2007

Drawers cum gift boxes.

Would you like to create this gift box to fit the "Chest of Drawers"?

1) Cut the bottom off the tissue box. The bottom will form the cover of the box.

2) Place the cover on the opening, as shown below, to get it to fit before stapling the sides of the cover up to hold it in shape.

3) Add thin cardboard to fit the sides and bottom of the box to reinforce it. Staple them to the box.

Here is a picture of the cover beside the box.

Place the cover on the box and this is how it will look.

Paper mache it with 1 layer of white paper to colour it or wrap it up with wrapping paper.

Here is another modified version of the "Chest of Drawers" earlier posted. This one has legs.

The legs are made of leftover strips of cardboard placed laterally to level with that of the extended end on both sides of the chest.

Monday, December 10, 2007

X'mas? A time to be merry recycling.

Christmas is around the corner. With feasting and gifts exchanging I see lots of used cards, wrapping papers and packagings, that come with the gifts we received, to recycle. Recycling is about making use of waste as raw material to make another product. So, what can we create with these if we are not sending them to the recycling centre?

How about a "Chest of Drawers" to keep all the new stuff you have received? I learned how to make one from helping out at the Holiday Camp organised by the Sungai Long Buddhist Society recently.

Here is my modified version.

Material Required

1) Cardboard from boxes
2) Used wrapping paper
3) Old newspaper
4) Used enveloped; white ones if you like to paint it, coloured if you like it as is.
5) Greeting cards
6) 3 Empty boxes. Each box should be able to fit within the width size of 22.5cm, height of 10cm and depth of 12cm. A very good example of one will be your regular tissue boxes.

1) Ruler
2) Blade
3) Scissors
4) Glue (Make your own starch with tapioca or corn flour)


Step 1

Prepare templates in the following sizes:
A) 22.5x10cm
B) 12x10cm
C) 12x22.5cm

You can use these templates to source boxes that you need for the project.

Use templates to cut out the following:

Size A - 3 pieces to form back of slot for drawers
Size B - 6 pieces to form sides of slot for drawers
Size C - 6 pieces to form top and bottom of slots for drawers

I was able to create the above pieces with a box I picked up from my fruit supplier.

Step 2
To create slots for drawers.

Each slot requires 1 piece of A, 2 of B and 2 of C. Place them in this configuration:

C directly above A
B beside (A in the centre) B beside
C directly below A

as seen in the picture below:

Step 3

Place 2 masking tapes on one side of A, as shown in the following example.

Hold it at right angle to C before pressing down the masking tape to hold them together. Do the same for the other side of A.

Place masking tapes on sides of A to join B to it. This is how it should look like.

Place 1 piece of B directly on top of sides of A and C. Place masking tapes along the sides to hold them together.

Now join the 2nd piece of B to the other side of A and place masking tapes along the sides to hold them together. This is your first slot for your drawer. Create two more of the same slots.

Now place 1 slot over the top of the other until you have all slots sitting neatly on top of the other. Place masking tapes to hold each slot to the other at the sides and back.

Step 4

If you have more cardboard to spare, even if they are thinner, you can paste them to the sides, top, bottom and back of the box to give it a smoother finish. To get the measurement right, place the box on its back to outline it size on the cupboard before cutting it out. Then place the box on its side on another piece of cupboard to outline its size before cutting it out. Do the same for the other side and the top and bottom of box. If not proceed with the paper mache.

We are going to paper mache (papier-mâché) the box with the old newspaper to give it a smoother finish. To prepare newspaper, fold 1 piece in half and half again to cut them up in strips. Divide these strips in half and half again to cut into sizes. My cut strips turn out to be about 4.5x7.5cm.

Step 5

Paste a layer of the cut newspaper strips over the box. Make sure that each strip overlaps the other slightly and covers the areas where the joints meet neatly. Dry 1st layer before adding a 2nd layer. If you are still not happy with the shape of the box, you can add another layer of newspaper strips till you are happy with its form.

Step 6

If you intend to paint your creation, use the white envelopes to form the 3rd and 4th layer of paper mache. If you do not have enough envelopes, you can use any printed white paper that is blank on 1 side. To prepare the envelope, cut along its fold to open it up. Cut out any printing or writings or plastic on the envelope. Fold each piece in half and half again and cut it up. If you are using white paper, just fold it in half and half again then cut. Fold it in half and cut till you get the size you are happy with. I used A4 size paper, and my strips turn out to be about 5.5x7.5cm.

Paste the 3rd layer first, dry it and add the 4th layer. Once it is dry, place the boxes you have collected to create the drawers into the slots to see if they fit.

To create drawers:
Cut the top of the box off to form opening at the top. Paper mache the box with coloured envelope and decorate it with cut outs from the greeting cards or used wrapping paper. Look out for instruction for drawers cum gift boxes in my next posting.

Teach your children to create their own "Chest of Drawers" and encourage them to paint them. If they create them before Christmas, you will have an insight into what they are hopping to receive and store in their "Chest of Drawers".

What better way to reduce waste than to get them what they want.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Need some beats in your life? Try this.

The music from this video is very inspiring.

Here is music creator, Jamilgiudice from Brazil, showing us how he created his musical instrument.

Discovered from his collection of videos, a new kind of music. Check out some hydraulic musical instruments installed in Ontario Science Centre.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blue Lantern Free Tutorial

I felt very bad because some of the children have brought the blue packaging board for packing fruits but I did not have time to teach them how to create lanterns with them.

So, here is the pictorial tutorial for an easier to create design.

You will need:

1) 1 piece blue packaging for packing fruits
2) Scissors
3) Stapler
4) A piece of raffia string or 2 plastic strips cut off plastic bag
5) A stick to hold lantern
6) 1 egg carton

Do not cut the packaging in half. Look at the circled indentations and find the centre point to cut through width wise. After cutting through, you will see that one of the sides will be longer than the other.

From the edge, cut out to follow the shape of the indentations as shown.

You can cut the shape rounded or pointed but be consistent.

Do the same for the other piece.

Place the packaging, smooth sides facing upwards, one indented edge overlapping the other.

Staple the sides together.

Pull the other ends together to form a circle, one indented side overlapping the other in the similar fashion as instructed above and staple them together.

Cut a strip of egg carton long enough to form the base of the lantern. Place it to sit across the base and staple the edge of the egg carton to the edge of the packaging where both sides touched.

To form the candle holder, cut out a strip from the egg carton and cut in half again to form 2 strips with 3 cups protrusions. Cut a slit in the 2nd protrusion of both the strips. Push the base of the candle into the slit to ensure that it will sit tight into these slits.

Overlap the strips to form a cross.

Staple to hold both strips in place at both sides where one cup sits on the other.

This is how it should look with the candle pushed into the slit.

Place it to sit across the base, cup on cup, before lighting candle.

Cut a slit in the centre of the packaging large enough to push a raffia string in to tie up. The string should be long enough to form a handle for the lantern. If plastic bag strips are used, see pictures below on how to string it in.

Do the same for the other side then tie both ends of the plastic strips together to form a loop. Ensure that there is a balance when the lantern is held up.

In this design the slits are cut right in the front facing centre.

Be creative. You can cut holes at the top where the protrusions are on both sides, to form eyes. Cut out slits in the centre protrusion at the bottom to form teeth.

Hidden lesson? Discovered in 3Rs!

I was asked if I will be talking about the basics of 3Rs, that is, "Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle", when I teach the children how to create lanterns out of egg cartons.

It then dawned on me that the lanterns will not be used just to enlighten their forthcoming mid-autumn festive night walk-about. As I teach them to create, I will take this opportunity to impress upon them that I enjoy working with my imagination to "create something out of nothing". To be able to do the same, all they have to do is develop a habit of looking at the things they have around them with 3Rs in mind and with the knowledge they have already acquired, see how they could make use of them.

With this impressed upon their young minds, I hope that when they start blaming their parents or others for the things they lack, they will remember this lantern making lesson and figure out other ways to attain what they want.

So, did they create anything usable? See for yourself.

A very handy piece for decorating lanterns?

Want to see more pictures? Check out the comments posted on the blog of one of the mothers who have participated with her children.

Look out for my free tutorials in the next posting.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A woven romantic night.

Want to take your love one for a romantic night out but can't afford it at the moment? Bring your sweetheart home for a home cook candle light dinner then. But before you switch off the lights, make sure that you have a lamp ready.

Like to make your own? Go to your fruit suppliers at the market and ask them nicely for a box and at least 2 plastic bags in different colours.

Can't get hold of these big plastic bags? Newspapers work just as well.

Want a clearer view?

Be adventuress. Play with colours.

What are you supposed to do with the box you have collected?

Cut out its bottom and create the weaving tool. The lamp picture posted here was created with the smaller weaving kit.

Oops! Burnt the dishes? Cover up the taste with this love token.

Weaving techniques and what you can use to make small weaving tools can be read off the following link:

Stick to your budget? OK, no problem.