Friday, October 6, 2017

Fidget Cube

It's time to make Christmas presents for the Primary children in our ward.  I found this idea as I searched for simple crafts to make for my grandchildren.  My first warning is that though these become easy to make.  They are not easy at first. Secondly, they take me about 25 minutes to make one so if you have a large primary, this might not be the ideal gift for you to make. They are fairly cheap.  Not including taxes, I paid approximately $.90 each.

Here is the fidget cube...

It is fun to play with and to put together.
I first saw these at this website. I couldn't quite understand by looking at her pictures so I went to this youtube video and was able to figure it out.

I did some things differently.

Materials needed:
72 pack small Wooden cubes (available at Hobby Lobby for $2.99)
6 rolls Duct tape (decorative and/or plain colors) (makes about 60 fidget cubes)
Xyron sticker maker loaded with permanent adhesive
CTR stickers  available here.  resized to fit
Utility knife with break-off razor blades
Scissors (Titanium blades are preferable but not necessary)*

*The scissors shown here are titanium blade scissors.  I used them because the adhesive on the duct tape does not stick to the scissors.  If you use other scissors, you will need to plan on cleaning them often.  I used Dawn liquid dish detergent on some normal scissors and that worked well.

Hopefully, I can make it clear how to make the fidget cube from still pictures in poor lighting. For each fidget cube, you'll need 8 cubes. I used colored cubes for this demonstration, but I did find that the natural colored cubes were actually more uniform in size.

I cut 4 pieces of duct tape approximately 3/4" wide.

I then laid 2 cubes that were together tightly on each piece of duct tape. Notice how close I put the duct tape to one edge of the tape. If you do that, you can use the leftover piece later on another cube.

If you cut the tape with the wood on top and the duct tape on the bottom, you can get a much closer cut.

If you look carefully at the purple cubes, you will see what I will call a hinge.

I am going to try to describe the next step with words.  Cut another 4 strips of duct tape.  You are now going to reinforce those hinges.  Fold the cubes.  Now place a strip of tape across the two cubes on  the sticky side of the hinge.
This is what you get... Reinforced, strong hinges (don't pay attention to the fact that the cubes have changed colors.)
We now lay our cubes in this formation with the original (floral) duct tape on top.
Using another duct tape piece, place a piece of tape as shown on this picture. You will do this on the outside of each set of four cubes.
Take the set of 8 cubes shown above and turn them over with that original (floral) duct tape on the bottom and no duct tape showing on the top.
Place duct tape across the top and bottom of the set of 8 cubes.  You are now joining the 2 sets of 4 together.
This next step is hard to describe. You are now folding the cube lengthwise and you're going to reinforce those two hinges that you just made.
Folded. You can see the unreinforced hinges on the top and bottom of the 8 squares.
Place duct tapes over the cubes to reinforce those hinges.
You are now going to reinforce the hinges that you made on the outside of the 8 cubes (in my pictures, it is the pink duct tape with white polka dots).  You do this by folding the cube so it makes a square. The duct tape that you just applied will be at the bottom on the side. You can see those unreinforced hinges in the center.
Here it is folded in the cube and you can see the unreinforced hinges really well. They seem so flimsy when they are unreinforced!
I have now put duct tape across those two cubes.
Here I am opening out the cube and refolding and having fun. You will still have uncovered pieces of wood.  At this point, use your leftover pieces to finish covering the cubes. You will no longer be covering two cubes at a time.  You will cover each individual cube.  If you do like I did, you will cover it so that whenever you turn the cubes so that all 8 lay flat, they will be covered with the same color/style of duct tape.
After all the individual cubes are covered with duct tape, you will be done.  Yay!!!
If you'd like to include a sticker on one side, choose an area that, when folded into a square, has each cube covered singly.  There will only be two sides that meet that criteria.
Cut out your stickers that you have sized and printed.  I used Microsoft Word to do this but you can use whatever program you are familiar with. Now run it through your Xyron machine.  It makes the sticker ever bit as sticky as the duct tape.
Center the sticker over the 4 cubes and press down.
Using the knife, carefully cut between each single cube.  You can clean it up a little with scissors if it gets a bit of a jagged edge.
There it is all cut and it looks great!

Now doesn't that look great!

Some notes:
**These cubes are a little sticky.  There is no way I've found to totally get rid of the stickiness that is left on the edges by the duct tape.  I figure that it is for kids and they'll only be using them for a while so it won't matter.
**I tried washi tape and it didn't have enough stickiness to hold together for more than a few minutes.
**I made some with and/or for my grandkids and I had 5 year olds ranging up to 15 year olds who all enjoyed them. My 15 year old figured out how to make it without me showing him anything but the cube.  I think that he's extremely smart, but maybe it's just that easy.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Minion Stuffed Critters

I made many things for Christmas, but most I found on Pinterest.  I looked for, but couldn't find a good stuffed Minion (from Despicable Me) so I had to design it myself.  Say hello to my family of Minions.
Each has different hair and eye combinations and the initials were the first initial of each child's name.
"K" has what I lovingly call hair plugs.  The stiff spiky hair was plastic lacing and I used fabric glue to sandwich it between bias tape.  The plugs were then stuck through the fabric from the wrong side of the fabric and glued in place.
 "M" has yarn hair. The glasses were made from sale "Halloween" fabric from Joanne's.  They were holographic circles.
"H" had the easiest hair.  It was also plastic lacing but I just stitched it into the seam.
"R" had spiky hair again.  The eyes themselves were made of brown felt with a black circle for the center.  I took some caramel colored pearl cotton and sewed from the black circle to the outside of the brown felt.  I took a couple of stitches in the center with white pearl cotton.

I would love to do a tutorial, but I have very poor communication skills when I try to explain what I did.  These little critters took about 1 1/2 days each to complete with normal duties stuffed in the middle of the days.  They sure were fun, though.  Goodbye little fellas!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Felt Campfire and Food

It has been close to a year since I posted but I am awfully proud of my latest creation and wanted to showcase it.  The idea came from Pinterest (of course) and I used several different posts for inspiration.  Lindsay and Drew had a great tutorial that I used and then I found that Etsy had lots of felt food and campfire stuff to buy and I drew on them for some ideas.  This will not be a tutorial.  I tried to make notes for myself so I could do it again, but I couldn't come up with the right words that clarified what I did.  So here are a few pictures and a few explanations.

This is the final kit that I sewed up.

I first tackled the fire pit itself. It required a big circle of gray. Everything was done with the circle.  No additional felt required.

 Here is where I sewed it.  It is the backside.

Next I tried the logs.  I basically did them like Lindsay and Drew described.  I did sew some details on them with the sewing machine and I found the birch fabric at Joanne's and thought I would use that.

The wood needed a fire so I turned to that next.  It is 3 sided and has an opening in the bottom.

I did the sticks next and did them basically like Lindsay and Drew except I used a magnetic purse snap.  Turning them was a real trick and I soon realized that I needed to sew the sticks to the joint of the twig and install the snap and start the turning process before I sewed the rest of it. I tried to do it without the suggested dowel, but it needed the stiffening that the dowel provided.

It was time to turn my attention to the food.  I sewed the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars exactly like Lindsay and Drew.  I used magnets in the ends of the marshmallows. I had to be careful to check the polarity of the purse snaps and make sure the marshmallows would stick to the end of the stick.  I also used the smaller measurements suggested for the marshmallows.  I didn't want to make marshmallow blobs for the s'mores so I only lightly stuffed the marshmallows so they could be smashed down for the s'mores.

Of course, Lindsay and Drew did not have hot dogs and buns and condiments so I had to figure them out by myself.  I could find no tutorial.  I must say that the hot dog was the easiest thing I did once I figured out how to do it.

The condiments were fun and easy to figure out.

The hot dog bun was not as easy.  It involved two different sized pieces of fabric.  The larger was gathered to fit the smaller.

I sewed a zigzag stitch at the joint and then a straight stitch. I also made a stitch through all materials at the "v" point which served to make the bun keep a cupping position for the hot dog.

This took a little while to sew and a lot longer to figure out.  It was purely a labor of love for the grandchildren I am going to visit.  One last look!

Oh and did you notice that orange plastic piece?  It is a Halloween strobe light that I bought at Dollar Tree.  It makes the fire flicker in the dark  It is placed in an opening that I left in the bottom of the fire.

Last of all I made a big canvas bag to put every thing in so it wouldn't get lost.  Thanks Ash and Andrew for the idea!