Kids Crafts with Maker Dad


Kids Crafts with Maker Dad


Lesson Info

Other Polymer Clay Projects

So now that we've put together these cookies, I thought it might be fun to just just sit down and try to make some other things with paula mcclain. Just make you have fun making stuff and tell if you want to try making a robot that would be awesome. Free, hard. I love to see your your robot and they're different kinds of texture and let's have a look at some of the products we don't hear cow, why don't you hold up for the camera? What? You may tell you what you did the triangle. How did you find that was out quite easy for you. Um, yeah, quite good. On what other things would you think you could use this playful? Have a think about that and maybe hold up what you may cause you make this sort of media like an ex, almost really stylish, stylish cookie that's nice reserve cutter in that shape. Oh, yeah, I like that kind of a mid century modern fights, he write nice round corners. Yeah, you can't use the small hearts it really cool, but can't I noticed earlier you have, like, a twist? Um, ...

like that sort of very soft candy the of the white when I think when you just working yeah, yeah, yeah, it remind me of where is that saltwater taffy is that would be I was trying to think what it's actually called you also get the twister ice cream like that said that the rest of us can look like the ball of ice cream when you're finished they got so count any cool ideas and what we could do well with all this great material um they're playing about yeah health in can you get this material before it's uh it starts getting brittle in the oven I guess yeah, you know, I think about the finished I've ever taken it down as is like god that cookie uh with so was said like about an eighth of an inch or so I think you probably go even thinner than that I've tried anything. Yeah, I wanted to show some samples of things that jane and I have made in the past here's an example of cain ing uh your clay you can see it is like an orange slice and there are the little white lines inside and what it's like it would be really hard to make something this tiny of course, but what you do is it's really cool you start out with a much larger diameter like, you know, the size of a silver dollar and then you make it that way, so what I did was I just cut little wedges little orange wedges and then puts strips of white in between those wedges using the cards in the roller and and then wrapped another strip of orange around. And then when you have that disk, you just kind of compress it, compress it and you just roll it with your hands until it's like a long snake or air cylinder and cut many of them out. Yeah, and then you can slice it. And so what? What we did was after baking it for like about five minutes or so, so it was kind of hard but not too hard that's the time to slice it into the slices that long that tube into slices and then make them for the additional ten minutes so that they get hard. So there are really elaborate kinds of cain clay things that people have done you could do smiley faces you could do really anything that you want inside. People do like elaborate images that are beautiful. You could I mean, if you really were I wanted to take your time, you could do the mona lisa inside one of these things and make a tiny is really cool is the way they like miniaturize things it's a lot of fun other thing is fun textures here you find what I do is I collect things that have interesting textures this is ah medallion that someone gave me that had an interesting pattern on it and so I use that to press into the clay to get a kind of a texture I'll show you here you can get a neat texture like that or like you used a lot of different things to make it yeah, I did let me see here um here's uh you can you can kind of, uh end up having almost an assembly line these little guys here um I used uh a plug from a new electrical component was a little fan and these are the peons and was just a little rectangular thing and I just pushed it into the clay the eyes are the end of a ball point pen cap that had a hole in it and so it makes the eyes the people stick out because it's the negative of whatever you impress onto it and then these ridges I can't remember what the ridges where it was something with the texture um oh yeah it was this little lego piece that had it has an ex cross section and so by pressing it in like that into the forehead of this little guy he has makes a little brow so I made a bunch of different colors I have like red blue and so if you come up with a little pattern you like you could make a whole bunch of them pretty quickly there's another one that did did I make this or I think my I think my sixteen year old daughter serena made this skull here and uh yeah it's got a couple of little red beads and in it and uh and the the eye sockets were painted blacks of makes it look like the eyes are actually illuminated now come with comedy gumball machine is on line with a great name that is on there saying they used to make pastries and cookies and stuff for their barbie doll very cool in the same way but that maybe that's where they added the sanders because you might need that for the bread would oh yeah that's great I can do all sorts of different things I'm excited to experiment with these different materials here's another have you ever seen this I think I mean I know you have taffy here in the u s but in the uk they have I think all rock which breaks your teeth actually but it's but it's made exactly the same way but barbie by stretching it so when you when you cut it it has the same word written all the way through our cool can you really can eat that but is is this a principle that's cool it's called rock so it's just this is this hard as a rock and then it really is yeah I think dentists all over the world would be horrified or or they like it and they subsidized well here's another example of using I use the same a cross sectional lego piece here to make these eyes and I actually just pushed all the way through and then that this little skull has kind of x shaped eyes I can't remember what I used for the knows about freezing swing this little guy uh I used uh I use this a socket wrench I think are a little hex uh uh like a key tea poke the hexagonal shaped eyeballs and then something else for the teeth. I can't remember what I used for that guy there's another one that I used that various patterns to make this little face it's too so you can see this there's tons of different ways you can use uh, tools and uh pocket combs, forks, lego pieces, coins, buttons, pans, tools just start looking at things that will make you kind of look at the world in a different way and say, oh, that would be a cool thing to use is a pattern maker for my polymer clay there's one of jane's very early experiments. How old was attic this's? Probably when you you know, eight or nine when you very first started using polymer clay quite a elaborate little heart pendant I like it has got a lot of character so how are you guys doing? And have you've made anything cool while I've been chatting away working school. So actually something to do that sounds good. Are your grand kids into skulls? Uh, they will be ok if you have anything to do with that. After today. That's how good. How old are your eye? But I was, like, ten and between thirteen point. Okay? Yeah, actually know exactly. Yeah. That's cool. So that's. Great. So you're going to come back, uh, well equipped to do some fun weekend projects with them. Indeed, that sounds great. You do a lot of projects would count. I do. We we build a lot in the backyard and, uh, we, uh I have a lot of tool, a tool shed set up back there profound. And that a little clubhouse everything happens in the backyard. It seems a lot of nailing and sawing and gluing. Yeah, what kind of stuff do you guys making your shock? But we've been making mostly the wood things you like making your we made a nice a birthday present for me. He made a nice little little city out of scraps of wood. Cool. It was the only thing you made birdhouses love bird houses the bird fears, bird feeders boats bloomed stuff china just making a mess back there find just experimenting I think it's really important like for young people to familiarize themselves with tools and find out what they're capable of doing just an understanding of like what materials are and cutting wood with the grain or against the grain even if you're not like making anything specific just just kind of tinkering with those things is like amazing you learn so much from just dealing that self I really encourage that just kind of even going in there without a goal and just trying things out is a tremendous benefit staff remember with my nephews actually I fall on that one of them just got obsessed at one point with just soaring and cutting and stuff we just bits of wood but eventually developed into he was able to then start doing projects that's good that's all he really wanted to do it beginning yeah, I was horrified because I could see things going but he actually never had an excellent year that's good I think managed risk is is kind of an important thing with kids you know, supervise them, let them try things you know, if they start doing something that's potentially dangerous be right there but really giving them the chance that's I mean jane loved to when I was working like making a tree house or something she always wanted to saw nail drill things and she was just like attaching pieces of wood together and you know she said I will look at the iphone I made but it was just like I made a fake wouldn't really you know I found you still have fun I don't know I think look somewhere yeah what's really need I think she likes screwed a metal plate onto it and drew a sharpie treat the little icons on it and everything but that's I think you know it's great if you are an adult maker uh don't go hide yourself in in your workshop invite the kids in or do stuff on the kitchen table so they see what you're doing they're going to ask all can I try can I do that? Can I do that and always say yes you know and don't worry they're going to make a mess or going to break things are going scratch things but it's like such a great way for them to get introduced to that stuff and it could lead them onto a path of becoming a maker and enjoying all that kind of stuff as much as you do so I having encouraged doing that we have a question coming in from line how young is too young or do you think really any ages kate do you let the kids take the lead or should you push him a bit what's your from I think that there are certain uh there's there's a multi part answer if they're really little just letting them familiarize themselves with polymer clay and playing with it you can suggest things, but if you give them too much direction is not going to be this much fun a cz they get a little bit older and you know certain skills like making the canes or something and you have a child who's of the age that they would be able to do that it requires a little bit of fine motor skills they're going to need to have you explained how to do this? This is something that you can't really I do by trial and error there are specific instructions, so I would say like uh around nine or ten is when you can start saying, ok, this is how to accomplish this, you know, this is laying the playing cards down gaming flat younger than that just let them have fun with it, you know, smash things together makes up the colors and, you know, it's just kind of this heart is an example kind of jane was just experimenting, seeing what could happen when she makes his different colors and, you know, made a little decoration around it and things like that it's not refined or anything, but she was learning about the way that things stick together and basic shapes and you know that smiley face like if she did it now she'd probably make those that smile piece a lot thinner but that's that's all part of the learning process. Yeah, my dad was a maker, he was a maker end up he was an electrical engineer and he really enjoyed uh re finishing old radios like bringing old to radios back up to snuff, made his own leather jewelry he would take like buffalo head nickels and turned them into buttons by rounding them out he still makes stained glass he really did a lot of stuff and I think just being around him was a huge inspiration, you know, why do you think this is so important for kids on some of that you really encourage maker obviously, but your own daughters and in your own family with your real father, et cetera what's your philosophy behind this, I think it's really important for kids to make things for a number of reasons. One reason is if you make something, it makes you more observant and appreciative of the world around you for example say you you make a chair and you it's the first chair that you ever make you probably aren't it's not going to be a very good share it might even break when you sit down on it the first time but you put that chair together its search making looking other chairs in the world around you how how is that share put together? What kind of glue zehr screws that they used to do it? Did they? How did they attach the back to it? You become observant and aware and you also become more appreciative, like, well, there people out there who could make some really awesome furniture? So we're just seeing that world another example of what we just did now with a polymer clay with the different patterns punching into the clay, you start looking around things oh, how could they use that? Being able to see the world with new eyes to see the world in a different way? I think it's like one of the greatest things about making it in a great way for kids to become more, uh, engaged with the rial physical world rather than just always being in front of a computer screen there like feeling like they're an active participant with the human design world around them. And so, you know, and being able to make modify and repair the things that you own is a really cool thing to to have that kind of sense of power over your environment is like such a great thing to have and, uh, you know, so so much of the time we just accept what's what's given to us from from organizations and systems and companies we just buy the off the shelf solution and we just take it and we say, ok, this is this is what they're offering me and you know, I don't have much of a choice I'm just going to buy it, but if you can modify and change it around you stop becoming a consumer and you become a creative collaborator and have more of a say in the human made world around you and what you use and how you use it and I think that's like really a tremendously empowering for young people and for people of all ages as well, how are lawmakers doing you still on the cookies or you're actually bob, what are you doing here? Doodling with a, uh an ice cream city that's cool little ice cream house on do you are you have your ice cream colors so that's uh, kind of what you're you're dealing with and how about you calvin's that's going to be an ice cream machine? Always good machine there. Hold that up, let's. See what that looks like? Looks like this helicopter is no. Is that an ice cream making? Yeah, it kind of looks like an elephant a little bit from here. I do like an x ray elephant here is something jane I found the little ring that just has like amount and so she made a little polymer clay jewel for it and I don't know what I did are you starting to make a cane here? Yeah that's really cool so any other activity any other questions in the interesting what people are saying because clay twisters online now she says yes yes yes he said I play with my kids a lot with clay now I have three grandchildren they making all sorts of stuff in there grandma studio they're having a lot of fun with clay that's good really cool and you have a granddad studio can't uh we're separated by some distance but really lucky thing is my mom at ninety four is a very creative artist and she has my youngest granddaughter over there once a week and she is now working with clay by the way the youngest granddaughter and she has a great mentor in life my own mother so there is a maker spot in the my own bedroom at my mom's house. So if you want to take your clay enthusiasm to the next level there's something that's called precious metal clay that I have had very limited experience with but it seems really promising it's cool stuff that was developed in japan I don't know it might have been a decade or so ago but what it is is it's a clay that you can mold and it is more like thie kind of artists, clay, that is water based that you have to keep wet, otherwise it dries up and it's not, uh you can't you can't reconstitute it, but anyway, it comes in small packages and you shape it anyway. You want you, khun typically make jewelry with it rings, earrings, pendants and things like that. And then the cool thing is, is that you can and fire it either in a killed or with a like a creme brule a torch. And when you do that, the clay uh, melts away, it just kind of, uh, incinerates and goes away and what remains is the precious metal. It could be silver, it can be even gold, typically silver or less precious copper, and so once you not burn that stuff away, you end up with a beautiful piece of jewelry that's made from really gold or real silver and it's incredible way to make jewelry, because typically, if you're going to do that, what you would do is something that's called the the lost wax process, where you make your jewelry through a process that ultimately ends up in a sunny day, that one piece of wax. I don't think we've done lost wax, but we did something with blacks we may have no remember with the bronze oh yes we did yes we did actually do the lost wax with bronze you're right jane jane and I made some bronze sculptures at a workshop and so you meet you have a piece of wax then you make a mold out of it and then you uh you fire it up melted wax and pouring the medal in spin it in a centrifuge it's it's ah pretty involved process and it can be kind of costly how all that equipment the centrifuge and and all that kind of stuff but the precious metal clay is much more inexpensive that clay itself can be quite expensive though especially if you're getting something like gold I mean it's really super expensive but I would recommend trying it with copper first and seeing if that works for you but it's a pretty cool thing and if if this kind of molding and and stuff appeals to you of making small pieces and I recommend that you give precious metal clay of trying something that I'm going to try more iive I've made just a uh a couple of things with it and what I did was I got some little gumball machine trinkets little plastic toy trinkets and press them into silicone rubber and made a mold out of it and the press that clay into it and then fired it up by the creme brulee torch in you end up with like a little medal rub replica of the plastic toy. What did you make here, jane? Uh, I don't know. It looks kind of like some kind of a piece of fruit, like a pink grapefruit or something like watermelons. Yeah, that's cool thing is this you did it. So this is kind of an example, jane data. I came here and, uh, and I took a half from the other one. Oh, cool exam together. This should make a cool bead, actually, something like this. So you can see this stuff really just lends itself really well. Teo, playing around and experimenting.

Class Description

Make your weekends more awesome with activities you and your kids can get their hands on. Join Make Magazine editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder — and his daughter Jane — for a class on cool, simple projects you can do with your kids.

In Kids Crafts with Maker Dad, you’ll get the blueprints you need to complete projects with the whole family. You’ll learn how to whip up a mixture that makes enormous bubbles, and how to get started with polymer clay — a medium you can use to create custom toys, shapes, and figurines. You’ll engage in a little trial and error learning by creating your own simple board and dice games. You’ll also learn the more advanced magic of constructing a Drawbot – a simple robot that can make abstract art all by itself.

This course will have even your most reluctant kid excited to get their hands dirty and experimenting, making, and creating, together.