Making stuff


Another colours printable for you to download. Huzzah! By the way, there was no advertising intended in that title, I just thought it was funny, they’re not actually that green anyway, certainly not as green as a tree, or broccoli or for that matter an apple. I mean check it out, apples and brocoli are pretty green.


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June 3, 2013

In pictures: Busy wall in full effect. Yo!

Posted in: Making stuff
By: Peter Costello

Kids playing on the blackboard with mum

Last week, we made a busy wall. After a couple of hiccups with what we wanted it to be, we decided to make it half black board and half art gallery. All in all, we (The Good Lady Wife and I) were pretty happy with it. Now, we’re wrapped…


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May 31, 2013

Weekend project: Busy Wall

Posted in: Making stuff
By: Peter Costello


Last week I saw this post and thought it was an absolutely awesome idea. Our Very small unit is totally covered with the boys stuff and for some reason, I thought this might help it feel a little more organised. Turns out it’s really just another space for their stuff… Wait what?

In Raechel’s post, she used recycled pallets to create her wall. I thought this might be a bit too rustic for our place so thought I’d go for a more scandi plywood look. This, it turned out kinda looked like we were covering a hole in the wall, it was more “construction site chic” than the modernist picture I had in mind.


It kinda looked like we were covering a hole in the wall

Given that I’d already screwed the wood to the wall, there really wasn’t any turning back. We were committed so we kinda had to make it work.

Enter Blackboard paint. I’ve said before how blackboard paint makes everything better Well it so does! Now it’s gone from boarded up window to something really graphic. Check out that crisp black line! First go. Boom!


It’s made a really great place to hang the boys art as well as a few of our bits and pieces. You can’t really see it but we’re using a coat hanger to hang their larger paintings which is an idea we stole directly from Flutter Flutter which we thought was awesome. You should totally pop over there and check out the “Worms Ampersand”. So good!

Anyway, this was a project that literally came out of nowhere. Saw blog post on Friday night and turned it around over the weekend. Ace! (If only it had been on my to-do list). Now for the kids to start drawing all over.

Have Fun

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May 28, 2013

In Pictures: Toilet roll heroes

Posted in: Making stuff
By: Peter Costello

in Pictures

If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that we love cardboard. Recycling is cool, that goes without saying but it’s way more fun when you’ve made something with it first. You get new toys for free! Sometimes though, it can be hard to then go on to recycle them, but we’re getting through it:(

This one’s me, and this one’s T and this is…

The other day, I got home from work to find that The Good Lady Wife had replaced the most recently recycled friends with these guys. Not only are they rad with their real capes and masks (I mean check them out) but they are little versions of our people. “This one’s me, and this one’s T and this is…” Was excitedly explained to me when I got home.

The Good Lady Wife is awesome! So are our TP Heroes.

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May 20, 2013

Prototyping Kid’s Plushies

Posted in: Kids Stuff / Making stuff
By: Peter Costello


Look, look! Look what we’re making!!!

I’ve been illustrating a set of alphabet cards in between projects for a while now and have only just realised that at least half of them would make really cool kid’s plushies.


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April 6, 2013

Start your engines

Posted in: Making stuff
By: Peter Costello


We saw this pin on making a toilet paper roll car ages ago and have been meaning to make some with the lads ever since. Today, the good lady wife was at Finders Keepers helping out at Craft Schmaft and I had a day with two young lads to fill. Hey Presto, let’s make those cars. Boom.


They’re super easy, You need some toilet paper rolls, some paint, some scissors and some split pins to attach the wheels, oh, and a driver, you’ll definitely need a driver. I don’t think it needs more detail than that.

Have fun, we did!

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Marble run. Mark 2

Edit: This page is getting lots of traffic from Facebook. If you linked through from facey, could you please let me know where from in the comments so I can thank them? Ace!!! Read on:)

Marble runs are awesome. Not only are they lots of fun to make and play with but there’s a really nice cause and effect kinda learning thing going on too. We made one a while back that was a little half-baked and have been meaning to re-visit them ever since. Recently made that happen and below is a bit of a run down on how we went about it.

1. Gather your materials

stuff you'll need

We used:

  • A bunch of toilet paper rolls;
  • Some paper towel rolls;
  • 1/2 a soft drink bottle;
  • A butter container and;
  • A big cardboard box.

You can use whatever you like really but you’ll need tubes of some sort and something to catch your marble in at the end is also good Idea.

2. Work out the size you want it


We took a square box and created a triangle shape out of it which made for a really good support structure and also gave us a good facing side for the run.

3. Cut up your tubes

the cut

Cut your tubes in half. We actually didn’t go quite in half (See above) and found this gave the runs a little more support. You could go totally next level on this and leave your tubes hole and cut drop in points. We didn’t, but YOU could:)

4. Fix your tubes to your box

This is the fun part and requires a bit of trial and error. This, for us, is where the “Make-do” really came into its own. If you didn’t have make-do, you could use split pins or “brads” for this but you probably want to use some kind of cardboard punch (Like a pencil) to make the holes for them a little easier.

Tip: Fix one side of your tube to the wall so you can then easily work out your angles for optimum rolling.

5. Add in some cool extra bits

We cut the top off a bottle of soft drink which made an ace funnel, we get some good spiral action from it. You could go total next level here and add in items that make sounds as you go. The possibilities are endless (depending on imagination and scale of course)

6. Attach some kind of bucket / catcher at the bottom

This is definitely a good idea as otherwise, you will end up with marbles EVERYWHERE!


Our marble run doesn’t get a perfect run every time and this really bothered me at first because, of course, I wanted it to be perfect, but… It adds a level of skill / chance and it adds a bit of a game element to it. A reason to cheer when it makes it all the way through. Like this awesome example on vine. BTW, How much fun is Vineapp?!

Anyway… This has been a really fun cardboard project and has actually had quite a bit of longevity. Have you made a marble run, we’d love to see your pics.

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February 8, 2013

Making stuff with cardboard and Make-do. Fast!

Posted in: Making stuff
By: Peter Costello

make-do creations

I wrote, about make-do, the awesome cardboard creation toolkit, a while back. Well, we were lucky enough to get a set for Christmas and we’ve been going a little bit nuts with it ever since.

We’ve made a robot dog, an aeroplane and a fort/cubby house to start. Our cubby even got featured on Fort Friday. Yay!

The make-do kits make it super easy and fast to put cardboard projects together, which is great because as much fun as cardboard is, two and three year-old attention spans are still quite short and can grow weary of how long it takes Dad to make things.

Anyway, we’re loving it and have loads of other project ideas on the boil, Hopefully, we’ll be able to put up some step by step “how to” type stuff. In the mean time though, you should totally check out their website for some very rad ideas.

Important Notes.
This blog is in no way affiliated with make-do and this is not a sponsored post, I just think it’s a rad product and wanted to share. Also, you should totally check out All for the boys while we’re on the subject of making stuff.

Have Fun!

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Speeder bike

Speeder bike

We take loads of photos at ours though sadly mostly on the iPhones these days. I actually had the real camera out this week for something and the big man showed a *real* interest, not just a dad going “No, really, you’re totally into this” type interest. So we gave it a go.

He’s three so it was definitely a bit tricky for him as it’s quite an old and heavy dSLR but with a bit of help supporting the base, the little champ took a bunch of pics of his own choosing and they’re actually, pretty good.



It was so cool to see him actually looking through the view finder and working out what he wanted to take photos of. I’m thinking we should print them so we can hang them up and kinda make a big deal of him:)

We’ve spoken about getting him a little fisher price kids camera in the past but now im thinking we could probably get a cheap yet tough, point & shoot type of one on eBay for pretty cheap that he could maybe take better pics with.

His Comforter :)

His Comforter 🙂

Do your kids take photos? If so, what kinda rig (Sorry I couldn’t help it, I’m so lame) do they use?

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January 31, 2013

J is for Jellyfish

Posted in: Making stuff
By: Peter Costello

J is  for jellyfish

Another in the long-awaited, by my kids anyway, remaining 10 letters. J is for jellyfish. Wobbly, knobbly, gooey but still super cool. Jelly fish are awesome and totally deserve A place in our alphabet. They can glow in the dark, they can make you pee on yourself if they sting you (true story) and they swim surprisingly well for what is effectively a blob. Which just goes to show. You really can do anything you put your mind to.

Anyway. J is for jellyfish. Pop him between I and k
Have a whole bunch of fun.

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