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Four Fun Projects for the Family

Apr 9, 2008
With the help of a responsible adult, any young child can have a lot of fun completing these simple woodcraft projects.

Toy Field Radio

A toy field radio is a very simple and enjoyable project because it gives the child an opportunity to exercise his ingenuity by devising his own dials, buttons, switches, and the like to operate the radio.

The "radio" is simply a block of wood of any convenient size to which various odds and ends have been attached. An aerial can be made from a piece of coat hanger or other heavy wire which is stapled to one side of the block. Bottle caps or jar tops may be used to represent ear- and mouthpieces. A strip of leather or plastic linoleum binding material may be nailed to the top and bottom edges of the block for a hand strap. Small bottle caps, upholstery tacks, or buttons may then be added to represent the controls.

Autograph Book

The cover of the autograph book may be made from a divided piece of 1/4-inch plywood. There is a small 2inch strip along the shorter side which is provided with two holes spaced two inches apart. The title "Autographs" may be applied with a wood burner or outlined with paint or a dark crayon. A leather hinge, with holes punched in the positions marked on the pattern, joins the two parts of the cover together. Glue or small tacks may be used to fasten the hinge in place.

The back of the autograph book is a single piece of 1/4-inch plywood with holes corresponding to those in the front cover. Both front and back cover should be given a coat of shellac or clear varnish and allowed to dry thoroughly before the book is assembled.

This autograph book is designed for a small tablet of note paper which may be purchased in any variety store. The "Rainbow" tablets are particularly suited to this purpose. Two holes are punched at the top of the tablet spaced two inches apart.

The book is fastened together with a strip of leather or a length of cord which is threaded through the two holes in the front cover, tablet, and back cover, and then tied at the back.

Beach Sandals

Beach sandals may be cut from 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch white pine or other soft wood. In order to obtain an accurate fit, it is best to use the sole of a tennis shoe.

The strap may be cut from a piece of thin leather or canvas. The foot should be placed on the wooden sandal, and the strap positioned with the concave edge toward the toe. When the proper length and placement of the strap has been determined, the strip is trimmed to size and fastened to the edges of the sandal with tacks.

Rope Printing Stamp

A rope printing stamp may be made by fastening a piece of clothesline to a wooden block with wire staples. The clothesline may be formed into an initial (which must be reversed if it is to print correctly) or any simple design.

A handle is cut from a length of 1-inch dowel, and the block is fastened to the handle with a long finishing nail through the center.

A thin cellulose sponge or a sheet of foam rubber saturated with tempera paint provides a suitable stamp pad. The rope printing stamp may be used to decorate paper place mats, design original wrapping paper, or print Christmas cards.

Your child will have fun with any one of these projects.
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