Monday, May 3, 2010

an old school birthday gift: tin can telephone and a chalkboard

my good friend's son turned 3 this weekend and i wanted to give him a little "old school" fun for his birthday.  what better way to give a bit of the past than a tin-can telephone and a handmade chalkboard and eraser, right?

 tin-can telephone supplies

after gathering the above supplies, use a hammer and nail to make a small hole in the center at the bottom of 2 tin cans.  

be sure to use a smooth-edge can opener that way you can avoid any potentially dangerous sharp edges on your cans.  seriously, this is a great investment as you can now re-purpose your tin cans for a multitude of uses: baking pans, knick-knack containers, gift name it. 

then, cut two strips of fabric that will cover the can from top-bottom and all the way around. trim off any frays and secure it to your can with matte mod podge.

allow to try.  while waiting, cut out your recipient's first initial from a corresponding fabric (like the above A's, for example). then, mod podge the initials onto the center of your cans. 

while drying, cut your string.  i didn't measure it, but you want two kiddos to be able to use the phones from the top of the slide to the bottom or from the top of the staircase to the get the idea.  then, tie each end of the string into a knot at the bottom of your cans.

the last step is to cover the entire can with matte mod podge and allow it to dry.
now you can have a fun, echo-y conversation with an excited, chatty kiddo.

to make a handmade laptop chalkboard, i used one 11 x 14 canvas (pre-primed and purchased from Michael's) and rustoleum chalkboard paint.  i just have to say that chalkboard paint is really cool.  use it with a foam roller to get the best results.  

i use three coats of paint for a thick, durable finish.  allow to dry for three days, then cure your canvas by rubbing chalk all over and erasing it.  after curing, your chalkboard canvas is ready for any kiddo's creativity. 

for fun, i stitched a little matching eraser out of the tin-can fabric and some scrap terrycloth; i folded it and inserted a couple of pieces of chalk.  

i paired these two handmade items with a fun magnetic puzzle to add to the old school flair. 

I noticed that Ohdeedoh posted about tin-can telephones last week.  Check it out.

Parties I'm Linking To Today:
Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative
Making the World Cuter Monday at Making the World Cuter
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple

*Don't forget to enter to win this week's giveaway: 2 Free Trials of the entire HAPPYBABY organic foods product line + more! Entries close Tuesday night at 11:59pm!*


kecia said...

so darling and i love that you gave handmade versus the token plastic toy!

Kaysi said...

What a fun idea! I love how you did the can, it's so cute!

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