Hardware store crafts: Celebrating function and form
Glenview mom Beth Engelman makes a catch-all using a recycled can and sisal rope. Engelman demonstrates back-to-school crafts that can be done with hardware store finds. | Alyssa Schueneman~Sun-Times Media
Free hands-on projects for kids with Lowe’s and Home Depot
Did you know that Home Depot and Lowe’s offer free project-making clinics for kids? Each store offers workshops where attendees make toys, games and more using real tools and materials. Recently my 6-year-old attended a clinic where he made a wooden racecar and spinning top. I was impressed with the caliber of the project as well as the opportunity these workshops afford kids as they learn about tools, safety and construction. For more information including August’s upcoming schedule visit Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics (www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx) and Home Depot’s Kids Workshops. (www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=HT_WS_KidsWorkshops).
Updated: August 20, 2012 11:42AM
Ease your way back into “school mode” with hardware store-inspired projects that pay homage to both function and form.
Sisal rope bowl
Turn some rope and an old coffee can into a rustic, yet elegant bowl. Best of all, it’s the perfect depot for storing pens, pencils and other items that are often needed once homework time begins.
Recycled coffee can or jar
Sisal rope (1/2- to 3/4-inch thick)
Strong adhesive (such as Gorilla Glue)
Use a paintbrush to cover can with a thin layer of adhesive.
Starting at the bottom, carefully wrap the can with rope. Be sure to pull the rope tightly so as to avoid any gaps.
Wait several hours for it to dry before using.
Personalized light switch plate
How’s this for a bright idea? Replace the light switch plates in your kids’ rooms with ones they create themselves. It’s the perfect project for tweens, teens and even college-age students.
Wooden switch plate (available at most hardware stores)
Non-toxic acrylic paint
Magazines, comic books, assorted pictures, etc.
Paint and decorate light switch plate as desired.
Seal design with 1-2 coats of Mod Podge.
Wait several hours until dry.
Mount to wall.
Paint chip book marks
A fun, colorful and inexpensive way to mark your words (or at least your page) while learning about the various shades of blue, green, yellow or orange.
Paint chips (available at most hardware stores and paint stores)
Cut paint chip to desired size.
Punch hole at the top and add ribbon.
This craft comes straight from my days as a kindergarten teacher as it’s an excellent way to reinforce sound/symbol correspondence through multi-sensory learning.
Alphabet stencils (or print out letters A through Z on your printer using a 175-200 point font)
Dark cardstock or cardboard
Trace the letters on the back of the sandpaper, making sure the letters appear right-side up on the sandpaper side.
Glue letters to cardstock or cardboard.
Have child trace letter with finger while saying the letter sound aloud. For example trace the letter B while saying the “b” sound.