Fun Friday – Crayon and Sandpaper Iron-On Transfers

I am notoriously bad at crafts.  I think Pinterest is the devil because my crafts NEVER turn out the way they should, regardless of how easy someone claims the project is.  As such, I have just about given up trying homemade things lately.pinterest 2

However, I discovered a website (The Crafty Collaborative) that features several daring women who try out various crafts and recipes and then let you know the honest scoop on how “easy” they really are!  You get pros and cons from multiple ladies who are testing out the same craft so you know if it really is something worth trying!  I appreciate this on so many levels!

Their most recent art project was making a homemade iron-on design using only sandpaper and crayons!  This looked like a legitimate project to me and the ladies all testified that it was, so my kids and I sat down to attempt it too.

*To try this yourself, you will need the following items:

  • Crayons (old crayons would work great because they will get worn down on the sandpaper)
  • Sandpaper
  • An Iron
  • Paper Towels
  • A plain t-shirt, tote bag, pillowcase, etc. that you can put a decal on

I love that the materials for this project are all things that you probably have just lying around the house!  Cheap and easy? YES, PLEASE!

The kids sat down and colored a design on their individual sheets of sandpaper (we used the thin grit so it was easier to color on).

I forgot to take a picture of their pictures before I ironed, but you can see how well the sandpaper held on the colors even after transferring

I forgot to take a picture of their pictures before I ironed, but you can see how well the sandpaper held on the colors even after transferring

When they were finished, I flipped the paper over, lined it up on an old white t-shirt, and ironed it on.  It only took about 5 seconds to get the picture on the t-shirt!  Then, I put a paper towel over the t-shirt picture and ironed a few times to get the excess wax off.

A specially designed t-shirt in just 5 seconds!

A specially designed t-shirt in just 5 seconds!

Voila; new art shirts for school (we purposely tested this out on daddy’s old t-shirts because they would be used for messy art projects anyway and I was still a little skeptical of the outcome, given my history of crafting).

showing off their shirts

showing off their shirts

You do have to push down on the crayons a little harder than usual to make sure that the picture is really bright on the sandpaper or the picture will be faint (notice that my son’s shirt is not nearly as bright in certain spots because he didn’t color as hard).

And, if you want to put any words or numbers in the picture, you have to remember to write them backwards on the paper or they will show up backwards on the shirt.  My son forgot that rule and had to adjust his picture accordingly (BUT MOM, HOW DO YOU DRAW A FOOTBALL PLAYER WITHOUT THEIR NAME AND JERSEY NUMBER?! – a question that should have been asked before he started drawing seeing as though I only had 2 pieces of sandpaper at that time), which is why his looks a little wonky – he tried to turn the numbers/letters he drew into helmets on a football field, but he gets his artistic ability from his mama so it is what it is.

The whole point of my rambling is that the project was SO simple and required very little preparation, no specialty tools, little to no money, and very little work on my part – HOORAY!  pinterest 1It is definitely something that I would recommend trying with your kids the next time they get “bored” or if you need a cute gift for a grandparent or family member.

Thanks The Crafty Collaborative for reviewing this fun idea so that I was brave enough to try it myself!

Summer Camp Recycled Crafts – Part 2

As promised in Part 1, I’ve got a few more “green” crafts from Summer Camp to share with you and here they are!

  • Fabric CD Coasters – At the same local shop we found the old VHS cases (The fantastic Sharing Tree if you live in the Tallahassee area – you can fill a huge tote bag full of scrap/recycled materials for only $5!), we also found bulk used CDs and Fabric Sample booklets.  We used these materials to create fun coasters for the kids to give as gifts.  You simply trace the CD onto the fabric with chalk or a pencil, cut it out, glue it on one side of the CD and cover the fabric with Mod Podge to seal it.  We used small pieces of Duct Tape to cover the hole in the back just to guarantee the liquid wouldn’t seep through there and we placed little foam pieces on the back to raise the coasters off of the table a little.  So easy and with so many fabric choices available (even from old shower curtains, drapes, towels, etc., that you have lying around the house), the possibilities are endless if you want to match them to your home decor or create as a gift!
We used all different types of material (from thin satin and gingham to very thick, almost carpet-like fabric)

We used all different types of material (from thin satin and gingham to very thick, almost carpet-like fabric)  These were still wet with glue, but they dried solid and work GREAT!

  • Cereal Box Collages – We cut the front and back cardboard pieces from recycled cereal boxes to use as a mat for creating a collage.  We then let the kids create a theme by using old magazines as inspiration.  The children used animals, fun shaped letters, and other things to create theirs.  This could be a totally free craft to create on a rainy day if you have old magazines, a cereal box (or even a shoe box or mailing box or the back of an old book that is falling apart) and some glue!

    My son decided to go through the magazines and find ads from different products that he recognized and creating a collage of those.

    My son decided to go through the magazines and find ads from different products that he recognized and create a collage of those – ANY theme would work.

  • Cupcake Liner and Egg Carton “Flower Garden” – For the end of the week luncheon centerpieces the second week of camp, we let the younger kids make “flowers” out of cupcake liners, popsicle sticks, and other tiny odds and ends.  We then placed their flowers into egg cartons which they painted green to resemble a patch of grass.  It was really interesting to watch some kids really decorate the inside of their flowers, while others were content to just glue a single button or pom-pom inside and call it a day.  In the end, it was a simple project but also a colorful one that the kids enjoyed.

    Our little "gardens"

    Our little “gardens”

  •  Crystal Light Find-It Game –  I have done this craft with my own kids (as seen in this post) and they had a blast so when we realized that we had enough random materials to let the pre-K and Kindergarten kids make this, we ran with this adapted version.  Instead of soda bottles, we used empty Crystal Light containers that were donated to our class.  We also had a small package of birdseed so we used that instead of rice.  Turns out, both containers and both “filler” items work just fine.  You simply fill the container 3/4 of the way with whatever filler you choose, add random “treasures” (such as lego pieces, foam cutouts, buttons, beads, Barbie shoes, etc. – whatever items will fit in the container) to the top of the filler, seal it with either glue or duct tape, as shown in the picture below, and shake it up good so that the items are mixed into the filler.  *Remember to make a list of the items you will be searching for, just so you don’t forget!*  Now the kids have a game for the house or on the go!
    The birdseed and items to find (pre-shaking)

    The birdseed and items to find (pre-shaking) 

    find it 2

    Our finished product (minus the clue card)

Pet Rocks – As an extra time filler, we brought back the 70’s fad, pet rocks!  All you need is paint, little googly eyes, yarn or confetti and rocks from your yard or garden.  Surprisingly, even the older kids seemed to like this.

I was told that these pet rocks were modeled after the monsters in "Monsters Inc." :)  Very creative.

I was told that these pet rocks were modeled after the monsters in “Monsters Inc.” 🙂 Very creative.

During the camp we also used the fabric samples to create bookmarks and decorative binder clips (although I failed to get a shot of those).  We really enjoyed finding new ways to use left over materials and recycled materials.  Not only did it make crafting less expensive, it allowed us to repurpose items that you might not think could be repurposed.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me with ideas in my original post and I hope you are inspired to try a few of these projects yourself!

Summer Camp Recycled Crafts – Part I

I have been MIA for the last two weeks or so thanks to my exhausting job as an assistant arts and crafts teacher at a local camp.

I’m happy to report that the kids, including older boys, loved the crafts – many of which came from the ideas y’all sent me earlier this year – and I really wanted to share them with you because if I was able to help kids accomplish these projects (in the midst of dealing with inept babysitters for Big Trouble), ANYONE can do it and it might give you some cool projects to attempt during the long Summer months when moms can start going crazy!

Get ready for a huge photo dump (which is why this will be in 2 parts).  Disclaimer – the photos aren’t fantastic because I was frantically trying to remember to catch the finished projects with my lousy phone in between cleaning up and helping kids, but you’ll still get the gist.

  • Button Bowls (I did a separate post about these when I was testing it out at home if you want directions, but it’s super easy, only slightly messy – unless you are doing it with 10 kids at camp – and only involves a balloon, buttons and glue/mod podge)!
button bowls!

button bowls!

  • Yarn Wine Bottle Vase – We used empty wine bottles, a bit of yarn, and glue to create beautifully unique vases which were used as centerpieces for a luncheon on the last day of camp.  (We also had the kids make tissue paper flowers to put in them but of course I forgot to take a picture of those).  This was a great project for the older kids, 3rd grade and up, because after we tied the top part of the ribbon onto the lip of the bottle, they just painted small portions with glue and started wrapping the yarn.  Occasionally, the yarn would slide down, but it was very easy to just push it back up tightly, even if you decided to use different color yarns and had to tie on another piece.
I actually made this one myself out of one roll of green yarn that changed shades every few feet.

I actually made this one myself out of one roll of green yarn that changed shades every few feet.

  • Toilet Paper Roll Owl – Since owls have been on trend recently, we made cute owls out of toilet paper rolls, leaves, feathers, markers, googly eyes and a few other crafty odds and ends.
This little guy lost a feather wing on the way home, but he still has his leaf wing and nose.

This little guy lost a feather wing on the way home, but he still has his leaf wing and nose.

  • VHS Pencil/Treasure Boxes – When looking around for “green” art supplies, we came across a small store that had a stash of old, clear VHS tape boxes.  We thought they would be perfect and easy for the kids to decorate as a “if I finish early” project.
Each kid used Sharpies to decorate their box however they wished

Each kid used Sharpies to decorate their box however they wished

  • Matisse-inspired Name Art In my original recycled crafts blog, one of my art teacher friends offered this idea as she had done it with some of her older students in her class this year.  We loved this inspiration, but some of the kids were too small to be able to cut cool letters out of paper so we tweaked the idea a little and wrote each kid’s name on a thick mat board and gave them numerous craft supplies (such as broken crayons, pom poms, buttons, beads, feathers, googly eyes, tissue paper, confetti, etc.) to be used to create their own special work of art.
some turned out better than others, but each kid LOVED this project.

some turned out better than others, but each kid LOVED this project.

  • Tile Trivets – This was another time filler project, but the kids really enjoyed it and many of them made them as gifts for Father’s Day.  We just purchased tiles in bulk from Home Depot and let the kids decorate them with Sharpies.  Then, when they were finished, we applied a light sealant over them so that the artwork won’t come off if they have to wash them.  We also added a few small squares of foam squares to the bottom to make sure they wouldn’t scratch any tables or countertops.
If you look closely, you will see a few with hands on them as we traced the hands of the Pre-K and K kids for their parents because you know they have such cute and tiny hands right now!

If you look closely, you will see a few tiles with decorated hands on them.  We traced the hands of the Pre-K and K kids for their parents because you know they have such cute and tiny hands right now!

some of the kids took the "art" part very seriously and came up with some really cool drawings and ideas.

some of the kids took the “art” part very seriously and came up with some really cool drawings and ideas.

  • Potholders – This craft should look very familiar to most of you because it has been around for a long time.  We purchased some inexpensive plastic looms from Hobby Lobby and ordered the already cut pieces of stretchy fabric for the kids to weave potholders out of.  This wasn’t particularly “green” but the original idea was to use old tshirts and socks, cut in the same fashion as the strips we bought, to create the potholders.  We ran out of prep time, but that is definitely a way to create a “green” potholder!
not fancy, but does the job

not fancy, but does the job

These are just a few of the crafts that we did over the past 2 weeks and I will have a few more to share later on in the week.  I hope you are inspired by these projects enough to want to try creating your own masterpieces with your kids! 🙂

Button Bowl (Pinterest DIY Semi-Success)

This past weekend, the kids and I decided to try out one of the crafts that I posted about on my recycled crafts blog party post to see if it was really doable for the Summer Camp crowd.  I had all of the supplies on hand (or at least worthy enough versions of the supplies) so we got them all out and sat down to create our masterpiece.

As it turns out, this is a pretty easy craft to make (I am about to share the instructions for you to try); but, having said that, please know that I had four extra “helping” hands and a toddler who was doing his best to steal the buttons and roll in the glue every 10 seconds so our final outcome wasn’t as pristine as I had hoped.  It did come out in one piece though and after so many epic failures from Pinterest, I have to mark this one in the “success” column.

Anyhow, here’s what we did!  Hope you get a chance to try it yourself (I’m sure yours will turn out much better).  These actually could make really cute gifts.

what we were aiming for

This was the example bowl – ours does not look like this

First, we gathered up the necessary supplies: a balloon, buttons, white glue, a paintbrush and a bowl.

the goods

the goods

Next, we blew the balloon up to a reasonable size, tied it and placed it in the bowl so that it would be balanced.

The balloon "bowl form"

The balloon “bowl form”

You’ll notice that I drew a line on it with a sharpie so that the kids knew where they were supposed to stop with the balloons (or start, however you want to look at it).

Then we used the paint brush to cover the part of the balloon that was above the line with glue.  APPLY LIBERALLY.  I cannot emphasize enough that the more glue, the better.  I actually took a picture of what the balloon looked like after we added the first layer of glue, but then quickly realized that you couldn’t see it in a picture because I used a white balloon like the genius that I am.  I recommend using a darker color so you can see how exactly where the glue is going.

Let that glue dry for 15-30 minutes, depending on how much glue you used.  As long as it is dry to the touch, you’re good.  Then add another layer of glue on top of the first layer.  This creates the base of your bowl and is what ultimately will help hold everything together.

Next, we started the fun part: adding the buttons!

buttons, buttons everywhere!

buttons, buttons everywhere!

As you can see, the kids chose buttons of different sizes (which will still work if that’s what you have laying around the house, but it’s not as easy to keep them in a straight line for purposes of the top of the bowl) and they didn’t plan any kind of color pattern but hey, they did it themselves and that’s what counts, right?  Just make sure that all of the buttons are touching for a more even look (and because it helps the glue adhere better – we had issues so learn from us).

We let these buttons dry overnight just to make sure they were on there good, but a few hours should do the trick if you have the time to glue them on and then come back.  Once the buttons are tightly glued on, you use the glue to paint over the buttons.  Again, the more glue, the better.  We used a sponge brush and found it somewhat difficult to get the glue in the spaces between the buttons so when we do this at the Summer Camp, we will be using regular paint brushes.  It is really important that the glue covers EVERYTHING including those spaces or the bowl will fall apart.

glue on top of the buttons

glue on top of the buttons

Once that glue dries, you repeat the “glue-over” process 1-2 more times, just to add those necessary extra layers of protection for the buttons.  Yes, this is a drawn out process because of the drying time, but it is very simple and the gluing only takes a few minutes each time so it’s a project you can do in between other tasks because you can walk away from it if you need to.

Finally, once all of the glue is dry, we sliced a small hole where the balloon was tied.  This slowly let the air out of the balloon without popping it, which allows the balloon to slowly pull itself away from the glue of the bowl without breaking the bowl.  You don’t have to do a thing until the balloon is completely peeled off.  You may have some jagged glue edges at the top if you weren’t careful about the glue around the base/where the buttons stop (my kids weren’t – SHOCKER) but I had no problem just slicing it off with some sharp scissors or exacto knife.

Our button bowl

Our button bowl

And there you have it.  A bowl made out of nothing but buttons and glue.  Obviously, the bowl isn’t made to be used for anything edible or heavy, but is sturdy enough to hold light things or for decorative use.  We loved this fun way to use old buttons (and some new ones because we didn’t quite have enough just from my sewing kit) and I hope you are inspired to create an even better version of this “green” craft!


Blog Party – Recycled Crafts For Older Kids and Teens

party-clip-art-10I want to say a special thank you to everyone who contributed to this blog “party”!  I got some wonderful ideas and can’t wait to share them all with the head art teacher!  Kick back and get ready to be inspired by all of these great recycled crafts!

First up we have Valerie from Atlanta Mom of Three who shared several ideas ranging from cardboard box bookmarks to clothespin magnets and more!

Atlanta Mom of Three

Atlanta Mom of Three

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Next, we have Lauren and Tami from Side By Side Design who offered some neat ways for the kids to recreate famous works of art using recycled household materials such as cereal boxes and soda bottles!sunflowers

Side By Side Design

Side By Side Design

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Sarah at My Beautiful, Magic, Sometimes Dramatic – Life  shared her idea for an easy homemade bird feeder made with items from nature.

My BMSD Life

My BMSD Life

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Here’s a cool idea from James at Dad’s Round Table on how to create your own comic book!  This would be great for the budding artists out there, especially the boys, who seem to be a tougher sell when it comes to arts and crafts!

James

James Hudyma

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Motherhood Is An Art, aka the very artistic Melissa, offered new and fun ways to repurpose old furniture such as drawers, tables and a even a piece of wainscot left over from a remodel.

Motherhood is an Art

Motherhood is an Art

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Amber, an actual Elementary art teacher, suggested using ideas from famous artists (such as Matisse) and making them your own.

Matisse inspired name panels

Matisse inspired name panels

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Finally, here’s a sampling of some of the projects I found.

Look at this cute way to turn old dvds and cds into coasters.cds

You can also repurpose old, plain mugs or tea cups using only a Sharpie and the oven!mug

Think old wine bottles are trash?  Try this instead!chalkboard wine bottles

Have a ton of old buttons laying around the house?  Turn them into a bowl!bowl

Need a new, uniquely designed clock? Try making one from an old record and some magazines!clock

These are just a few of the ideas I found on the internet.  For a larger list of projects and websites with more ideas, please check out my Recycled Crafts Board on Pinterest.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this party!  Be sure to click on the links to check out everyone’s official blog posts for more ideas and instructions!

I Need Your Help! (Can I Call This A Blog Party?)

recycleHello, friends!  This Summer, I am going to be an assistant art teacher at a 2-week day camp that my children attend (they get to go free because I am sacrificing what was supposed to be my peaceful time – I am pretty awesome, right? Or insane – we’ll see).

While I like to consider myself to be a “creative” person, I am by no means “artistic”.  So, when asked to try and find some fun “green” projects for the older kids, I felt a little panicked.  Of course I went trolling on Pinterest (BLERG) because where better to find a ton of ideas, but we all know how my Pinterest ideas usually turn out so I thought I would try to enlist your help, too!

Does anyone have any recycled/green projects that tweens and younger teens might enjoy doing?  This is a harder age than younger kids because most kids in this age bracket are over arts and crafts because they are so cool and totally grown (hey, I was young once, about a million years ago, so I still kind of remember that feeling). So, it can actually be a more sophisticated project, but has to use at least some recycled materials.

There are a few ideas that I have found so far and I will be sharing soon, but I am completely open (and slightly desperate) for some more, so please bring on the help!! Seriously. Please. Help. Me!

Here’s what to do (special thanks to the lovely Valerie at Atlanta Mom of Three because I am totally stealing borrowing her blog party outline here):

  • Write a new post (or use one of your old posts if you have one), about a recycled craft idea;
  • Email the post’s permalink, and any additional information you want to share, to doubledootydiapers@comcast.net.
  • The deadline for submissions will be Friday, April 5th.

Once I collect all of the ideas, I will do a final post with everyone’s ideas (and links to their pages) which will also serve as a list of possibilities for me to present to the real teacher that I will be assisting!

Thank you in advance to everyone who is willing to help a sister out! Even if it is just by submitting a Pinterest idea, sigh. 🙂

Warning: Pinterest Can Be Hazardous To Your Mental Health

pinterestI’m not an artistic person.  I like to do arts and crafts but my skill level is comparable to my 3 kids (ages 7, 5 and 2).  When Pinterest first came out, I was in awe of all of the cool craft ideas for gifts and holidays and basically just everyday life.  Many of the crafts that had been pinned were done by normal people, not Martha Stewart, so this made me feel quite confident that I could also accomplish everything that I repinned to my boards.  Confidence was mine and everyone I knew was on a list to become a recipient of my great creations.

A few months in and many attempts later, I quickly realized that these projects really were not meant for me.  I managed to get a few things done and blamed the technique on my kids so people forgave the catastrophes.  But the more things I tried, the more frustrated I became because I finally became privy to the knowledge that the I am NOT Martha Stewart; I am not a member of her staff; I am not even on the same level as her beloved dogs – this was a tough thing to admit, but it had to happen eventually.  As such, I can’t even accomplish what the normal people on Pinterest can. Great.

As Valentine’s Day was approaching, I found myself being tugged back in the direction of Pinterest in search of the perfect homemade Valentine project to do with my kids.  I just knew that no other mother would buy Valentines this year, solely because Pinterest exists.  I found so many cute ideas and even made a board for them.  Then I had a PTSD flashback to last Valentine’s Day when “we” made little inchworm Valentines from a “simple” printable that I found where?  You guessed it, Pinterest.

It was a much bigger pain than I thought and I almost broke my hand (not joking, ripped a tendon in my wrist) punching a billion holes in cardstock.  What was I thinking when I even considered homemade valentines this year?!  Oh, I know; I saw all of the posts from all of my friends and their friends about the cute things they were making with their kids and of course I felt the pressure to “be a good mom” and keep up with the fantastic gifts that everyone else was making.  It’s so easy to feel that pressure, isn’t it?! Especially with wretched Pinterest making me feel so inferior.  Curse you, Pinterest!

Well, about the time that I would have started the process of making Valentines, everyone got sick and after that week-long germ fest, I just didn’t have it in me to do homemade.  So, I cautiously asked my kids if they would be ok with just buying cards this year (meanwhile I was praying fervently for the answer that I wanted).  They both quickly agreed to just give me ideas and let me find the closest thing while they were at school.  SERIOUSLY?!  I hit the jackpot!  That meant that I could just run in and run out (albeit with my 2-year-old in tow) and not have to wait 3 hours while they carefully examined every possible option 30 times.  My son wanted sports – DONE; my daughter wanted Barbie – DONE; and my baby immediately picked out the Muppets as soon as he laid eyes on the box.  Perfect.  I bought a bag of valentine-colored sixlets to add to their cards and we were set.

money well spent!

money well spent!

Naturally, the morning of Valentine’s Day, my son woke up sick – even more stress!!  So, his sister took his cards to his class and picked up his bag at the end of the day so he wouldn’t miss out completely.  As they sat down at our table that night to show me all of their cards, I held my breath.  I was positive that there would be so many cute homemade cards that other kids had made with their moms and I would feel that horrible wave of guilt, even though I knew the choice was right this year.  To my great surprise, the only people who made their Valentines were the teachers!  Sigh of relief!  I guess all of the other moms came to the same realization this year!

I will most likely try to make something next year (probably something “easy” from horrid Pinterest – ugh), but for now, I am very happy that this year, both my tendons and my sanity are still in tact!  Success!  Happy Valentine’s Day to ME!!!  (And to you too – hope yours was a little less stressful than mine!) 🙂pinterest 2

Operation Smile, Valentine’s Edition

I am reposting the link to our charitable blog below as we have updated our Operation Smile list to include several more sick children who would love to receive Valentine’s from you!  Please help us shower each one with cheerful cards! (If you have already started, please check the updated list for the new names and addresses!)

Thank you so much to everyone who has already said they will be participating!

Mikey’s Helping Place: Operation Smile, Valentine’s Edition

DIY Ice House

A few weeks ago, my son brought home an assignment to create an “ice house” that could keep ice from melting.  He could use any materials he wanted as long as they weren’t toxic (don’t you love that teachers have to actually spell that out for the few idiots out there that would try to make a 2nd grade science project out of something toxic?!) and as long as the measurements weren’t bigger than 8x8x8.

Sounds easy enough…until you sit down to hear your 7-year-old’s suggestions, which leads you to thinking about how his skill level, and yours for that matter, don’t quite mesh with his brilliant ideas.  Then, the easy 2nd grade project turns into a mad dash to figure out what in the world you can do without spending a ton of money and without you having to do most of the work.  Ooh the crazy world of elementary science!

After discussing several possibilities with my son (including his pitch of just buying a small cooler – duh), we decided that we should use either an aluminum can or a styrofoam cup to hold the actual ice cube and then house that inside of a bigger, more insulated box of some sort.  We did a quick experiment on our own to see whether the can or the cup would hold the ice the best by just setting them on the counter with one ice cube in each and leaving them for an hour.  At the end of the hour, the styrofoam cup ice cube had barely melted at all and the aluminum can ice cube was a huge puddle of water; we decided to go with the styrofoam cup.

We were originally going to use a shoe box to hold the cup, but then I came across an old baby wipes box with the perfect sized opening in the top to place the ice cube and my son chose to use that instead so that we could have the ice cube enclosed as much as possible.

winnie the pooh box, ready to become an ice house

winnie the pooh box, ready to become an ice house

He knew he was going to use the styrofoam cup, but we needed to add more to the inside of the box to make sure that the cup didn’t move and to help insulate it more.  We found several different materials around the house that seemed like they would help insulate the cup so we cut up a foam noodle into many pieces and wrapped everything in aluminum foil. (FYI, we did do some internet research regarding these materials and their ability to insulate prior to using them so they weren’t random choices).

very high-tech indeed

very high-tech indeed

Once we had everything in place inside of the box, we wrapped the outside in a cooling bag we had.  You know those bags you find at the grocery store that say they can keep things frozen for 2 hours in case you can’t go directly home from the grocery store?  Yeah, we’re geniuses (or really just grasping for straws here).  Originally, I had asked my son if he wanted to paint the outside of the box with chalkboard paint and then try to decorate it to look like an igloo of some sort (or just decorate it at all) but he was less about the decorating than finding the right materials so we just wrapped it up and called it a day.

Creativity at its finest

Creativity at its finest

We didn’t cover the lid entirely so that when the time came to pop the ice cube in, he could just push the button, insert the ice cube and then shut the lid again, hopefully keeping the cold air inside longer.

our tricky trap door

our tricky trap door

Yeah, we are clearly headed down the path toward the next big invention with our high tech ways.

His ‘ice house’ kept 2 ice cubes from melting for 3 hours.  Not too shabby considering that we didn’t freeze it beforehand or stick an ice pack in it that morning or turn in a tiny, decorated styrofoam cooler like some other kids did (sidenote – I guess my son’s original pitch to turn in a cooler wasn’t that far removed from the ideas of other people in his class, but doesn’t it kind of defeat the purpose of the experiment if you are just going to hand in a cooler or something already frozen?  seriously, come on!)

Anyhow, after  our my original freak-out about how we were going to handle this experiment together, we ended up having fun creating it and I think it worked pretty well.  Of course, now the box is back home and has been disassembled so that it can serve as a container for other things, so it has been retired from its freezer status.  Talk about multi-functional!

Now, I am just praying that the next school project comes directly from PINTEREST!!! 🙂