Ideas and inspiration for young crafters!

Tag Archives: Tutorial

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 😉


Check us out! It’s a week to go until Valentine’s Day and we have our make all ready – we’re getting quite good at this deadline business.

Valentine’s cards are lovely, but you know what’s even lovelier? Chocolate. So, we have combined a heartfelt message with chocolate to bring you our…


The Box ~ You will need:

An empty paracetamol box (or anything around that size)

Heart shaped cookie cutter or template (but you can always draw by hand)


Craft knife or scissors

PVA glue




Step one

  • Place your heart in the centre of the box and draw around it with a marker pen.
  • Using your craft knife or scissors, cut the shape out.

Step two

  • Tear your newspaper in to strips and, using glue mixed with a little water, coat each strip with the mixture and cover the box. You can cover over the join at the bottom of the box, but make sure you can still open and close it at the top.
  • When this is dry (you will need to leave it overnight) give your box a few base coats of white paint – then you may decorate it however you like (paints, pens, stickers, glitter).

Chocolate Bark ~ You will need:

A bar of milk chocolate

A packet of white chocolate buttons

Loveheart sweets



  • Shape the foil round your box, so that you have a mold the same size and shape.
  • Break up the milk chocolate and carefully melt it in the microwave. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time and keep checking and stirring until its just melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate in to your mold.
  • Break up some of the white chocolate buttons and scatter them over your milk chocolate.
  • Then pick the Loveheart who’s message you like the most and stick this in the centre of the bark.
  • Leave to set in the fridge until completely solid.

The finished product!

  • Remove the bark from the foil and pop it inside the box. You’re done! 😀

Just incase you were worrying we’d gone totally girly on you, we have a more boy/tomboy orientated make coming up next…stay tuned!…






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…

We’re so fly here at Ruby Makes, that Ruby has emailed in this week’s make from her half term break with her cousins! So, staying on topic with our Halloween themed month, we present…

Ruby and Amy used a pumpkin carving kit, that came with carving tools and templates for pumpkin faces. If you can’t get hold of one of these, fret not,

You Will Need:

A pumpkin

A pen

A knife

A spoon

A tealight or small candle

  • First cut a lid out of the top part of your pumpkin and put it to one side.
  • Scoop out the seeds and flesh with a spoon.

  • If you are using a template, secure it firmly to the pumpkin and use a tool or skewer or the tip of a knife to prick along the lines of the template. If you are going free hand, simply draw your design directly on to the pumpkin with a pen.
  • Then, again using a tool or a knife, cut out your shapes.

  • When you’ve finished carving, put your lit candle or tealight inside and replace the lid. Congratulations, you’re done!

As a rule, we only trick or treat on people who have pumpkins or Halloween decorations on display. Carved pumpkins were originally used for Harvest celebrations before they became a Halloween icon. In England, Scotland and Ireland vegetables like turnips and swedes were used, but immigrants to North America found the pumpkin more suitable and available.  The first recorded use of a carved pumpkin lantern for Halloween is 1866.

We’d love to see how your pumpkins turn out!

It’s not reaaally that we’ve been slacking, honest! Just with the whole back to school thing and then trying to cram weekends with fun stuff (sorry school, but we’re just not that in to you!) the project got a little neglected.

But fear not! Ruby has spent the past few evenings making with a vengeance, so whilst we have yet to make our dolls, we have enough furniture to give you some inspiration.

Making Furniture

You Will Need:

Small cardboard boxes, eggboxes etc


PVA glue






Pipe cleaners

Pictures from magazines etc

We love recycling and junk modelling really is the way forward here. Experiment, get creative – here’s what Ruby has come up with plus some other ideas from the ‘net 🙂


  • The cooker is a small box (that contained stock cubes) painted, details added with pens and paint.
  • The kettle is a section cut from a cardboard roll (clingfilm, much thinner than the ones they use for loo rolls), with a handle from card/ paper and a spout and cord from pipe cleaners.
  • The mirror and framed picture are made from cardboard frames (cut from cereal packets) that were then painted. For the mirror we used foil and for the picture you could use a photo (passport photos of your family would be awesome!), pictures from a magazine or your own artwork. Glue on to the card, or for a more 3D feel, glue to the back of the frame.
  • The chair is made from another section of cardboard roll that’s been cut to make a back for the chair and then painted. The bed is the top section of a box that contained tea bags. It’s been painted and we are also planning on cutting some fabric up for a blanket to go inside it.


  • The garden table and umbrella are made from cereal packet cardboard, with rolled up, sellotaped paper for the umbrella pole. The chairs are cut from an eggbox and painted.  We plan to get some greengrocer’s grass to use as a garden for the house, that it can just stand on when you’re playing – or you could even line the inside of the lid of the house (the front of the house) with it and use that, face down, as your garden.

Here are some more ideas we found…

  • For wall art you could use hama/perler beads, like these cute creations from the Happy Doodle Land blog.


  • The Martha Stewart site has a tutorial for a popsicle (ice lolly) stick house, we think this would also be a great idea for furniture like a sofa, a table or a bed.


  • They also have a blog post about rock/pebble crafts, we thought you could paint a cat or a dog on a pebble to be your dollhouse pet.


  • We love these Matchbox Monsters from Chez Beeper Bebe, which is another great idea for dollhouse beds.


The dolls are up next, so see you soon!

This is quite a big make, so we’re going to post it up in three stages:

  • Making the house
  • Decorating the house
  • Furnishing the house

Everything in the house will be handmade, including the dolls. We’ve had lots of fun designing and brainstorming for this project, so we hope you will enjoy making along with us!

Making The House

You will need:

2 cardboard shoe boxes with removable lids




pva glue


white paint

a pen or pencil

  • First, select which box you are going to use for your main house – the largest box is best – and put it to one side (fig. 1)
  • We’re going to start by making a roof, which will also provide a third/attic floor for the house. Take the lid off your spare box and put to one side. Cut one end off the box (fig. 2)
  • Now cut right down the sides stopping at the other end (fig. 3)
  • Flatten the box out so it looks like the picture in fig. 4
  • If your boxes are the same size you can skip to the next photo diagram. If, like us, your spare box is smaller you will need to place the house box on your flattened card and mark where the edges are (fig.5 & 6)


  • All of the area between the lines will be the floor, press hard over the lines (using a ruler) with your pen or pencil so that you can fold up the sides to form a triangle roof shape, trim it if you need to and tape this in place (fig. 1)
  • Now, using the natural crease of the box, fold the triangle back on to the card and draw around the triangle, to form the back wall of the attic (fig. 2)
  • Cut it out and tape it in place (fig. 3)
  • Take your roof and tape it firmly to the top of your house box (fig. 4 & 5)


  • To make the second floor we just need to divide the main box using card from the spare box (you might need to use the lid for this) Measure a piece of card and make sure it fits, it should be tight rather than loose (fig. 1)
  • Roll up a piece of newspaper in to a tight tube and tape it so it doesn’t unroll. Cut it in to two pieces and tape them to either side of the box, these will be our supports (like on a shelf) to slide the floor in and keep it in place (fig. 2)
  • Insert the floor and tape firmly in place to the supports (fig. 3) We put tape on the top and underneath.


  • Next we need to make sure the lid of our house box (which will be the front of our house) fits around the roof. So, start by cutting slits down each end and measuring it against the roof. Mark where the triangle of the roof starts and trim these bits off your lid (fig.1 & 2)
  • Then using a bit of card from your spare box, mark out the rest of the triangle and tape it to the lid so it matches the shape of the house and roof (fig. 3)
  • Now you need to make sides so that it fits like a proper lid on to the main house. We used the sides from the lid of the spare box, which we trimmed to fit (fig. 4)
  • Tape the sides firmly on, use as much tape as you need so it’s sturdy, taping the apex together aswell. Check it fits your house box and that’s the main construction done! (fig. 5 & 6)


  • With all that tape everywhere it’s going to be hard to get your paint to stick, so we’re going to give the outside of the house a layer of paper mache. Mix some pva glue with a little water and use this to glue strips of newspaper all over the outside of the lid and box.
  • The next day, when it’s completely dry, you can give your paper mache a few coats of white paint.

Ok, that’s all for today. Check back on Sunday for the next step in our dollhouse DIY…interior and exterior decorating!