Ideas and inspiration for young crafters!

Category Archives: Books

One of the many crafts we love looking at on Pinterest, are painted rocks and pebbles. We’re always on the lookout for flat or oddly shaped stones to decorate. You can paint pictures on them as if they were a tiny canvas, make creatures or even paint them as trees, houses, cars and people for a tiny rock town. We also seem to have amassed a collection of Altoid tins, so after a little brainstorming to combine the two we present…

Pet Rocks

Pet Rocks

You will need:

1 or 2 pebbles, small enough to fit in the tin with the lid closed

An Altoids (or similar) tin

Googly eyes


Paints and brushes

A scrap of fabric

Fimo or air drying clay

  • First, paint your rocks. You can add detail with a pen when the paint is dry if you like. We kept our rock pets quite simple, but for some more detailed inspiration, check out these amazing creatures!

(From the book: Painting Stones by Doris Epple and G. Verdant.)

  • You can paint or draw the eyes on, but we stuck googly eyes on ours. You can get bags of assorted sizes in most craft shops quite cheaply. You don’t have to stick to two eyes either, maybe your creature has three eyes, eyes in the back of it’s head, it could even be a cyclops!

Our rock pets

  • Next, decorate your tin. We painted the inside of ours – it helps to line it with paper or a thin fabric like calico first. Then used scrapbooking paper and a sparkly decal and glitter glue to decorate the lid.

Outside     Inside

  • We then cut a little blanket from a scrap of fleecy fabric and made a plate, mug and food from polymer clay. We used white clay and painted the details on after it had been baked.

Picnic time!

And you’re done! If you make your own pet rocks, leave us a link in the comments section – we’d love to see your creations!

Our next make, later this week, will be a Valentine’s Day gift, so stay tuned…


Today we were looking through an awesome old book, who’s brilliant illustrations inspired this spooky make. The book is called Witches and is written and illustrated by Colin Hawkins. Ruby’s Grandad bought it for me when I was Ruby’s age!

We have been wanting to show you how to make box cards for a while, they are simple to put together, but  look very impressive. So when we saw this fantastic witch’s house in our book we instantly thought – aha! Haunted house box cards. You could send them as invites to a Halloween party, or simply as a monstrous message to a friend 😀

You will need:

Card (black or white)



A pencil or a silver pen or coloured pens/paints.

  • Firstly take a rectangle of card (fig. 1)
  • Fold it in half (so you have a square shape) and cut two slits in to the folded edge (fig. 2)
  • Bend the flap up and crease it (fig. 3)
  • Then open the card out and push the flap through (you will need to crease it in the opposite direction) so when you stand the card up it has a 3D box in the front  (fig. 4 and 5)

  • If you would like two or even three tiers, follow the instructions in the diagram below.

  • Now you are ready to design your house. On a separate piece of card (we had some left over after we cut our rectangle out) draw a haunted, creepy looking house. If you have more than one tier on your card, do the house in separate bits to add to the pop up, 3D effect. We drew ours in pencil on black card, a silver pen would also look awesome. You may want to decorate the box card background, or use white card or paint the whole card in colour – feel free to put your own spin on it.
  • Cut out your house parts, glue to the front of each tier and you’re done!

A haunted house is just one idea, maybe you could try making Dracula’s castle, a graveyard full of dancing skeletons, Frankenstein’s lab…whatever you decide, we’d love to see what you made 🙂

Our creepy make for today is an awesome idea from our lovely cousins, Faith and Maisy. Faith showed us how to make these fantastic biting bookmarks, so we could share the tutorial with you.

You will need:

Coloured or patterned paper or card (either is fine, card will probably last a bit longer)

A piece of white paper

A black pen



  • Start with a square of paper, 13cm by 13cm.
  • Fold it in half to make a rectangle, then fold in half again so you have a small square. Crease well.
  • Open the paper back out and cut out one of the squares.

  • Next fold the two end squares in half to make triangles. Crease well.
  • Cut the outer half of the triangle off.
  • Fold one triangle over so that it covers the top half of your remaining square.
  • Put some glue on it and then fold the other triangle over on top of it. Leave to dry.
  • Place the bookmark over a corner of your white paper and draw some fangs (on the white paper), then cut them out and stick to your bookmark.

  • With your black pen, draw some fierce eyes on the white paper and cut these out and stick to your bookmark.
  • Leave it to dry and it’s ready to use! Attach it to the corner of your page to mark your place.

It’s such a simple idea and you could go as crazy and spooky with it as you like. Make your bookmark into a werewolf by using brown paper and attaching ears, or maybe a vampire with white paper, black hair and red inside the mouth. We’d love to see what you make!


We’ve been gathering supplies to make our doll’s house residents, but in the meantime Ruby created a fun little project with endless possibilities.

There are always a lot of supplements from the Sunday papers lying around our house at the weekend. All of us at Ruby Makes love a bit of cutting and sticking, so it’s only ever scraps and skeletons of these magazines that end up in the recycling bin. One of Ruby’s favourite interests is fashion, so yesterday she made a mini look book from pictures that she either found or created as a collage:

You can easily make your own zine this way using pictures from catalogues, magazines, papers or comics. You could make it a fanzine, where you showcase a band you love, or maybe a football team or a tv show. You could create one for your favourite hobby or about something you collect. You don’t need to cut and stick either, you could illustrate yours by hand or using the computer. Maybe you could print a few copies off for your friends – or have them contribute articles so you have your own newspaper or newsletter. It may even be something your teacher would be interested in as a class project.

Ruby’s magazine is made from folded sheets of paper, which we think is the simplest method, if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, here are a couple of other techniques we like:

Folded Paper Mini Album by Papervine

Click here for the excellent tutorial.


Mini Book Tutorial by Ruth Bleakley

Also a great tutorial which you can find here.

What did you make?

…making t shirt yarn that is. We were chopping up old t shirts like there was no tomorrow, without a thought in the world to what we would actually do with the stuff. Then, in to a bag it all went and there it’s stayed…until now!

One of Ruby’s brilliant Aunties, from the Rustic Kitsch blog, lent us some fab craft books and in Knit It, Stitch It! (by Jane Bull) we found a tutorial for rag mats. You can use strips of any fabric, even though we made ours entirely out of t shirt yarn. Here’s how…

Rag Weaving

You will need:

Strips of fabric

A sturdy piece of cardboard


  • Cut a rectangle (for a place mat, or a square for a coaster) out of your cardboard. Make it slightly larger than you would like your finished piece to be. You could go HUGE and make a rag rug!
  • Cut an even number of slits (to about a centimetre and a half down) on each end.

  • Tie lots of strips of fabric together, this will be for your basic frame that you weave the rest of your fabric on to. It will mostly show up as the tassles at the end of your mat/coaster/rug.
  • Wedge a piece of your fabric in the first slot (leaving just over an inch poking loose out of the back of the slit) and wrap around the length of the board through all the slits. When you’re at the last slit, again leave about an inch just poking out – no need to tie it up.
  • Now, tie more strips together to start weaving. You simply go under and over, under and over, through the lines of fabric on your board, pulling your line of fabric right through each time. You will have a loose end that you can just weave in to stop it from coming undone. Take a look at the pictures to see what we mean…

  • Lots of our yarn was the same colour, but you can tie any strips you like together. Anytime you start to run out simply tie more pieces on.
  • Every now and then you may need to push your woven lines a bit closer together to close up any gaps and make your finished piece a bit stronger.
  • Once you are done you can tie your loose end in a knot to anchor it to one of the bits of fabric on the cardboard and trim off the excess.

  • Then flip the cardboard over and cut right down the middle of the strips…go on, we double dare you!
  • There will be an even number of loose strips at each end. Tie two together in a knot (we knotted ours twice to be safe) and you have a tassle. When you’ve tied them all you can trim your tassles to the length you think looks best.
  • On our first attempt the cardboard we used was too bendy, so our placemat didn’t stay the same shape all the way down. We made another one using some really, REALLY tough cardboard and the result was much better!

This was great fun, we also found these awesome ideas for using up your t shirt yarn stash (it’s not just us…right?)

Halloween Spider

At Taming The Goblin, this is also a tutorial for t shirt yarn pom poms which you could make in to all sorts of crafty treasures!

Macramé Bracelet

The folks at  Minieco are so creative! T Shirt yarn is a bit too chunky to add washers, but we made a bracelet from it using this method and sewed the ends together.

5 Strand Braided Headband

If you are good at braiding you might like to try this awesome headband from Make It and Love It.

If you have any t shirt yarn projects, we’d love to see them!

We can’t believe the summer holidays are flying by so quickly! But we shall craft on, regardless of school looming on the horizon, and to enable you to join us we are proud to present our first Ruby Makes… giveaway!

We love Usborne books, they are packed with arty and crafty ideas and projects, so we’re giving away a copy of the Big Book Of Holiday Things To Make And Do – international readers are more than welcome to join in.

The giveaway closes on Friday 24th August at midnight GMT. To enter, simply like and leave a comment on this post and follow us on Twitter here.

Good luck!