Scraps of soft wood from cabinet shops, lumber yards or manual training shops; old boxes and sticks of all kinds offer a wide opportunity for creative expression. Wood is constantly being used in the making of toys, in block printing and furniture building, it can be made into many more attractive things if children are allowed to experiment with it as they have with other materials.

Bird And Animal Toys

Use scraps of wood from a cabinet or manual training shop. Use them just as they are and nail on pieces where tails, heads and wings are desired. Paint using colored calcimine or house paint. Suitable for lower grades.

Block Toys

Boats, trains, automobiles and other toys may be made by nailing small blocks of wood, spools and other scraps together to make the object. These may be painted with enamel or house paint. Suitable for lower grades.

Toy birds and animals

Toy birds and animals made from scraps of wood. Toy boats and train made from small blocks of wood.

A toy telephone

A toy telephone and candlesticks made from scraps of wood. Drawing of front, side and back views of a totem pole and pole carved from soft wood.

Toy Telephone

Cut a piece of broom stick about the height of a desk telephone, nail this firmly to a piece of wood for the base. Cut the top of the broom stick at a slant and nail the cover of a tin can on it. Nail spool on for the mouthpiece. The receiver may be a film spool attached by a piece of string and hung up on two nails driven into the broom stick. Paint with house paint or enamel. Suitable for lower grades.

Candle Sticks

Nail a small block of wood to a flat piece for the base. Bore or carve a hole in the small block into which the candle will fit. A handle of another piece of wood may be nailed on as shown on page 138 Paint with enamel, house or watercolor paint. Suitable for lower and middle grades.

Totem Poles

Draw a design with chalk on wrapping paper showing side, front and back view of pole. Use a soft stick of wood, draw on the design and carve away parts as indicated in the design. Wings may be nailed on if desired. Paint with water color, calcimine or enamel paint or color with crayons. Katcina dolls may be made in the same way using rather large pieces of soft wood. The totem poles may be carved from laundry soap. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Garden sticks

Garden sticks made from cardboard and sticks. A butterfly made from berry box wood for the flower pot. a basket made from a berry box.

Garden Sticks

Draw a bird, preferably imaginary, on wrapping paper with white chalk, trace to heavy cardboard and cut out. Color with crayon or paint with enamel or house paint. Tack the bird to a thin, long stick of wood. Birds may be cut from thin wood if desired. Vegetables or flowers with faces may be used instead of birds. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Flower Pot Sticks

Draw butterfly on wrapping paper. Trace the wings to a piece of wood from a berry box and cut out with a pair of scissors. Color with crayon. Whittle the body from a small piece of soft wood, cut slits on either side and glue in the wings. Twist a piece of wire around the neck of the butterfly and let it extend down into the earth in the flower pot or box. Suitable for middle and upper grades.

Easter Baskets

Use berry baskets, cut wall paper or colored paper as shown on page 140. Be sure that there are an uneven number of strips around the edge. Cut strips of paper from colored magazine advertisements and weave in as shown. Let the strips of wall paper extend well down into the basket where they may be glued in place. Make a handle of paper, yarn or string, braided or knotted as shown on page 104. Beads may be added to make the basket more attractive. Suitable for lower grades.

A lamp with a base

A lamp with a base made from blocks of wood, a frame from a tin can and a shade from wrapping paper decorated with crayons. A sewing box made of a cigar box covered with bits of magazine advertisements.


Use any blocks and flat pieces of wood for the base. Nail them together and paint with enamel or house paint. Make the shade frame from a tin can cut and bent as shown on page 142. Make the shade from a part of a circle of heavy wrapping paper and decorate with a crayon design. Make a mixture of shaved crayons dissolved in cleaning fluid and added to an equal amount of salad or linseed oil and rub into wrong side of shade with a rag. Glue shade into cone shape, shellac and fit down over the frame. Suitable for upper grades.

Sewing Box

Use a wooden cigar box, cover with bits from colored magazine advertisements or envelope linings as described for the waste paper basket on page 94. These boxes are also useful for other things than sewing. Suitable for lower or middle grades.

A sewing kit

A sewing kit with a cork pin cushion. How to carve book ends with a paring knife, cover the bottom with felt and the completed book ends.

Sewing Kit

Cut a square of wood from the end of an apple or orange box, sandpaper and put in nails to hold thread, and a cork for the pin cushion. Paint with enamel or watercolor paint or color with crayon. Suitable for lower or middle grades.