How to make a 3-tier cupcake cake stand

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Cake. Mmm… Eddie loves the stuff and if it was up to him it would be all he eats.
In the absence of the real deal, he decided to make cupcakes out of junk and a few craft supplies. His beloved cousin Connie helped out.

What we used
3 paper plates
1 wrapping paper tube
Strong glue
For cupcakes, use whatever suitable junk you have.
For inspiration, we used:
Bottle lids (from orange juice and milk)
Yoghurt and chocolate mousse pots
Brown pipe-cleaners (for chocolate nests)
Foam eggs
Foam stickers
Pompoms
Yellow tissue paper, scrunched up
Cupcake cases

How we made it
For the columns, we used a wrapping paper tube, rather than toilet rolls, as it has thicker walls so more surface area to glue it to the paper plates. We cut the tube into two even lengths, using a bread knife (probably not good for the knife, but it made an excellent saw).
We used a strong glue to fix the three paper plates to the tubes, trying to line everything up as evenly as possible.
Once dry, we decorated the column by gluing on a ribbon.
We then had lots of fun making cupcakes out of any pieces of junk that looked vaguely cake-like!

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How to make a toy camera

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Bad Mummy wouldn’t let Eddie take his camera into school to play with at break time. So he decided to make one instead. It was to be police camera to take photos of “bad guys” for the wanted list. He drew pictures of his friends who will apparently be happy to play the baddies.

What we used

  • Small box
  • Bottle lid for lens
  • Clear plastic from food packaging
  • Coloured card
  • Optional: Duct tape to decorate
  • Scissors and craft knife

How we made it

  1. Before you tape down the open top of the box, cut a rectangular hole in the back for the view finder, place clear plastic over it and secure with sticky tape.
  2. Draw round the lid you are using for the lens. Pierce the centre of the circle and cut to form flaps. Push the lid in (we fixed it in place with sticky tape – inside and outside the box).
  3. Now you can tape shut the opened end of the box. Using a craft knife, a slit in the top of the box, towards the back. Cut pieces of coloured card to fit, with tabs on the top so they can be easily pulled out. Draw pictures.
  4. We decorated the box with Duct tape and added a foam button. As Eddie’s is a police camera, he added black and white checks with coloured tape.

Spin art party in action

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I recently blogged about an unusual children’s party – one that I can genuinely say I enjoyed as much as the kids. For those who want to see the spin machine in action, here is link to a video of our experience – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3uC1K8QIAA&feature=youtu.be

Our visit to Mini-Scrapbox

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Who knew a place like this existed? Mini-Scrapbox in Reepham is a junk-modeller’s heaven. Eddie certainly thought so when we visited today, having been invited by owner Jim Elliot who spotted the kindred spirit on Mustard TV.

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Jim gave us a warm and cheery welcome and introduced us to Delia the Crocodile, made from bubble wrap and yoghurt pots, and the Mighty Klang the dragon, with its shiny scales made from CDs.

Clearly as crazy about craft as Eddie, Jim gave us a guided tour of shelf after shelf packed with “waste” products just begging to be transformed. One of roughly 100 scrapstores in the country, Mini-Scrapbox relieves landfill space, which is running out in Norfolk, by collecting and storing a wide variety of materials, mainly donated by companies. There is card, fabrics, zips, wool, foam, plastic cartons, bottle tops, paint brushes, tubing, balloons, sticky backed plastic, springs, mini torches… Jim has been collecting for the past 19 years!

Materials are bought at affordable prices by community groups and organisations as well as individuals. There is an annual membership fee of £8 for a family, then the only limit is your imagination.

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If you are stuck for inspiration, there are junk creations dotted about made by local schools and Jim and his team of volunteers. There is even a book called Funky Junk, featuring some imaginative creations made with materials from Mini-Scrapbox.

Eddie left a very happy boy with a basket full of goodies and a mind full of craft projects. Watch this space…

Mini-Scrapbox, 6 Collers Way, Norwich, NR10 4SW, 01603 873128. Open Wednesday 3pm-7pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. Closed August. http://www.mini-scrapbox.co.uk/

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How to make a mountain rescue truck

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This is rather more involved than our previous creations, but it has been a big hit with Eddie and his brother Oscar, who have put it into action rescuing action figures from dangerous kitchen worktops.

What we used

  • Small child’s shoebox
  • Strong sticky tape (we used electrical tape)
  • Four milk carton lids (wheels)
  • Two pencils (wheel axle)
  • Clear plastic food tray (can’t remember what its former life was – sorry!)
  • Coloured paper and, if you have it, foam and felt
  • Cotton reel
  • String
  • Wire

How we made it

  1. Choose a clear plastic food tray that fits across the shoebox’s width. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, but if you do it makes a good windscreen and windows. Eddie wanted this to lift up so that he could put the driver and his team inside the truck. The bonnet and boot of the car were made by attaching a cardboard panel over the front and rear of the truck, cut to size so that the plastic tray fits neatly between them. Attach the pieces of cardboard with strong sticky tape (we used green electrical tape). We fixed a frame for the windscreen, cut from food packaging, to the bonnet and attached the plastic tray to it with sticky tape. Eddie added a foam roof, which we glued on. Phew!
  2. We cut side doors and a boot into the shoebox using a craft knife.
  3. Wheel axles were made by first marking on the box where you want the centre of wheels/milk lids to be, making sure that they are all at equal height. Pierce to create a hole big enough to slide a pencil through. Make a hole in the milk lids with a craft knife, post the pencil ends through and secure with strong sticky tape wrapped round the visible end of the pencil.
  4. The winch was made by winding string around a cotton reel which was attached to the truck using gardener’s wire. Then we decorated the truck with mountain rescue badges and strips of yellow felt.

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Colour makes people happy

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Colour Makes People Happy… and it certainly makes them messy too. We visited a quirky paint shop in South London this weekend for a 5-year-old’s birthday party (Eddie’s cousin Lloydy, no less). A strange venue for a children’s party, you might think, but walk through the wonderful world of colour and clogs to the very back of the shop and you’ll discover a crazy spinning painting machine.

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Parents watched with envy as their children drizzled cups of juicy-coloured paints onto paper clipped on a large fast-spinning platform. It was made all the more daft and enjoyable by the owner of the shop, Simon, who is bonkers about colour and paint.

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The shop, which is a homage to Holland, sells his own brand of Dutch paint. The tongue-in-cheek paint names would put those who name lipsticks to shame: “Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl”. 

We can’t wait to frame our creations.

Colour Makes People Happy, 56 Grove Vale, London SE22 8EQ, 020 7207 1120

 www.sieclecolours.com

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    By Buzzy
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    By Lloyd

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    By Eddie

 

By Oscar
By Oscar

 

How to make a working traffic light

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One of Eddie’s teachers handed him a wrapping-paper tube with the challenge “see what you can make out of this”. By the time we arrived home, he had planned a traffic light, made by attaching a shoebox to the tube and “putting electricity in it so it changes colour”. After debating many options, we decided that a rotating Pringles tube would do the job.

What we used

  • Wrapping-paper tube
  • Small shoebox (lid removed)
  • Pringles tube or similar
  • Dark-coloured paper
  • Red, yellow and green paper (or felt-tips to colour white paper)
  • Strong sticky tape
  • Scissors and craft knife

How we made it

  1. At one end of the shoebox, draw around the Pringles tube and then cut out the circle using a craft knife to create a hole to slide the tube into. At the opposite end of the shoebox, draw around the wrapping-paper tube then pierce the centre and cut into quarters to create flaps. Slide wrapping paper tube just inside and attach by fixing the flaps to the tube with strong sticky tape.
  2. Wrap the Pringles tube in dark-coloured paper. Insert the tube, open-end first, into the shoebox (our shoebox was small enough that the tube stuck out the top enabling you grip it to twist it round). The open end will rest over the top of the wrapping paper tube.
  3. Cut three holes for the traffic lights in the front of the shoebox using a craft knife.
  4. Cut a circle out of red, green and yellow paper (make these slightly bigger than the holes cut in the shoebox).
  5. So that you know where to stick the coloured circles, mark with a pencil through the top hole on the shoebox, then rotate the tube and mark through the middle hole and then rotate once more and mark through the bottom hole. Stick the coloured circles in order – red, amber, green.

Local TV fame for Eddie and the blog!

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Earlier this week Norwich television company, Mustard TV, came over to film Eddie in action and chat about the blog. The programme went live earlier this evening and can be viewed on the website (see link below).

Eddie was full of confidence and really enjoyed being on camera. The same can’t be said for his mother – cringe! Craft is a very serious business, judging by my expression.

Eddie was too busy working on a petrol pump to spare the time to view it, but he had a good giggle watching the recording.

To view Eddie’s TV debut, click this link – Turning trash into toys on Mustard TV

Our blog is featured in the local press!

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Eddie really enjoyed showing off his craft skills and junk collection for the photographer and journalist who visited us at the weekend. Yesterday he was featured in Norwich Evening News and today the story can be found on four websites. He’s not letting all the fame go to his head. Yet.

If you’d like to check out the web version of the story, with a gallery of images of Eddie’s creations, here’s the link:

Eddie the little toymaker with big ideas on EDP24 website

How to make a toy food mixer

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I’ve always wanted a swanky food mixer and now we’ve got one thanks to Eddie’s imagination. What’s more, the spoon rotates and the arm of the mixer lifts up. Plastic vegetable soup, anyone?

What we used

  • Shoebox lid for base
  • Random box for body of mixer
  • Cereal-bar box for arm of mixer
  • Wooden spoon
  • Coloured paper
  • Two elastic bands
  • Plastic bowl
  • Foam stickers
  • Sticky tape, glue, and silver electrical tape or duct tape (not essential
  • How we made it
  • Cover boxes with coloured paper, using separate bit of paper for the hinge (lid of cereal-bar box) so that it lifts up easily.
  • Attach boxes together by taping the lid/hinge of the cereal-bar box to the larger box.
  • Glue the large box to the underside of the shoebox lid.
  • Cut a hole through the cereal-bar box (we used craft knife) and slide handle of wooden spoon in. We wrapped two elastic bands round the handle, one either side of cereal-bar box, to help keep it in place.
  • We wrapped the wooden spoon in silver tape to give it a metal look.
  • Decorate the boxes with foam stickers for buttons.