Ideas and inspiration for young crafters!

Tag Archives: crafts

Forget the parrots and the eyepatches, you know what every sea faring pirate really needs? A telescope! How else will he spot his treasure island from afar?!

This make is super quick and easy and uses our favourite household craft item, the cardboard loo roll tube. We’ve previously shown you how you can use them to make a racetrack game and a cardboard critter, so now prepare for the next item in your repertoire…

You will need:

3 loo roll tubes


masking tape


brown and gold paint

a paintbrush

felt tip pens

white tissue or tracing paper

  • Cut a tube all the way down lengthways and roll it back up so that it fits into one of the other tubes.
  • Tape the overlapping sides together so it remains it’s new, smaller size.
  • Then take the remaining tube and repeat the steps, so that it fits inside the smaller tube you just made.



  • Glue each roll in place, one inside the other, so you have your basic telescope model.
  • On your tissue/tracing paper, draw a circle by measuring around the biggest end of the telescope.
  • Paint the whole telescope brown and leave to dry.
  • While this is drying, draw a desert island scene in the circle on your paper. Cut out 1cm around the circle and then cut little darts in the excess paper so that you can tape it to the base of the telescope.
  • Put another piece of tape around the smaller end of the telescope and paint both pieces of tape gold.

And you’re done! Arrrrr!! You will see why we used thin paper for the island picture when you hold your telescope up to the light and look through it 😉


Drumroll please…we have finished the doll’s house project. Ain’t no procrastinators here!

So, unlike your headmaster at a school assembly, we shall waste no time with chit chat and get straight to the point…

You will need:

Wooden clothes pegs ( for as many people as you want to make)

A saw and sandpaper

An old magazine or some fabric



Paint and brushes

Sharpie markers

  • You need the one piece pegs, that don’t have springs. So they fit inside your house, you will need to saw off all or part of the prongs. Even if you are a pro at sawing, have a grown up with you just incase as it’s quite fiddly sawing small objects. We needed to sand the bottoms of ours afterwards to smooth them off.

  • Next choose some funky textures or patterns (photos of clothes or wallpaper are ideal) from a magazine, or use fabric scraps, to make your doll some clothes. The body part of our peg measured 2cm so we cut out strips this size and glued them around the body. Ruby then cut out little pictures to stick on for detail, you could also use stickers or glue on little gems, ric rac or ribbon – whatever you like!
  • When the glue was dry we painted on hair, then drew on faces with sharpie markers.

And you’re done!

Thanks for sticking with us for longer than anticipated 😀  We’re officially gearing up for Halloween now – we LOVE trick-or-treating! – so stay tuned for Halloween costume makes and ideas…

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!

Yes, we double checked, it IS the summer holidays, but the rain just doesn’t seem to want to stop. Playing in the rain is great fun, but there are only so many times your mum can bear to see you tromping in and out with wet, muddy clothes before she declares, “That’s it, you’re not allowed outside!”

We at Ruby Makes… are here to tell you, it’s all good! We have lots of indoor fun for you to get stuck in to.

The Really Easy Racetrack Game

Here’s another recycled loo roll make that’s super easy and lots of fun.

You will need LOTS of loo roll tubes, some scissors, some sellotape and some small toy cars. Cut all of your tubes in half, then tape the halves together like this:

We made two separate tracks, but you can make more depending on how many people want to play.  Make sure you overlap them all in the same way (ie, over or under the tube you’re taping to), so when you race you can have all the joins facing down and your car won’t get caught on any bits of card that may be sticking up:

Tape together as many rolls as you like. We only had enough tubes to get part way down the stairs today, but imagine a racetrack as long as your entire staircase!

Tape your separate tracks together, side by side, and check they are the same length. Now, you’re ready to race.

Prop your tracks on the stairs, hold your cars in place, count to three and GO!!

More indoor makes on their way, so stay tuned 🙂

The little cardboard tubes from toilet rolls are something just about everyone will have in their house. Start saving yours because we have found tons of awesome makes! We’ll post up the fantastic projects we’ve seen, and even thought up ourselves, as we make them.

Cardboard Critters

To get us started is a very basic but fun arty make, you will need a cardboard loo roll tube, glue, scissors, pens and any bits of paper, material, glitter, paints, stickers etc you may want to add. The aim is to transform your plain old cardboard tube into a person, an animal or even a crazy creature you’ve made up yourself! We decided to make a mouse and after we’ve shown you how, you can take a look at pictures of other awesome ideas we’ve seen to get your imagination whirling…

We at Ruby Makes… are real bookworms and one of the best arty books we’ve ever bought is 365 Things to do with Paper and Cardboard, by Usborne Activities.

Which is where we found the idea for our cardboard mouse:

Using a piece of card, or even a spare loo roll, you cut out ears, arms, feet, a tail and a nose which you glue on to the main tube. Once this is done you decorate your mouse by either painting or drawing on details, cutting and sticking from coloured paper (you could use pictures from magazines, sweet wrappers, wrapping paper, plain paper you’ve decorated, stickers – anything you like!) until you’re happy with your design.

If you have lots of toilet rolls, you could make a mouse family, a pirate crew, a mouse fashion show – or even use your mice as puppets and put on a play.

This is our finished mouse:

And here are some other fantastic ideas we’ve spotted on our internet travels:

Totem Pole from DLTK Kids

Owls from Decoideas

Bat from TPcraft

Snake from Preschool Crafts For Kids

What did you make?

Everyone loves weekends and school holidays, however, boredom is very sneaky and can set in unexpectedly at anytime. Once it has you in it’s clutches it can be hard to feel inspired, but never fear! This is where we aim to rescue you from that dull, deflating foe. We would like to share our boredom busting ideas so you need never despair again.

We like crafting, art, playing games inside and out, cooking, making music, dancing…you name it, we’ll give it a go! We like to try and use things that you would normally find at home or in your garden, although we sometimes need to buy extra materials for special projects. You don’t have to follow what we do to the letter, improvisation is a great thing. If you have an idea to do a project a different way, go for it! And please leave us a comment, picture or link to your own blog to let us know how you got on. If on the other hand you like to stick to the instructions, we try and make them as clear and simple as possible – again, please show us how your project turned out.

The basic supplies we always have in our house are; paper, scissors, pva glue, glue sticks and pens/pencils. You will need these for most of our arty craft projects.

We hope you will enjoy our blog, now, let’s get cracking!…