LiEr is a wife to Dave and mom to three little girls Emily (7), Jenna (almost 5) and Kate (3). She used to be a high-school physics teacher and sometime school counselor and now gratefully stays home and sleeps in. She likes making things and divides her crafting time between sewing (too much) and cardboard (nowhere near enough). She blogs at ikatbag where she writes tutorials because she hasn’t quite managed to beat the teacher part of her into retirement. She also has a small nutella problem.

Cardboard Easel With Chalkboard On One Side And Dry-Erase Board On The Other Made Out Of A Pizza Box And That Folds Shut And Has A Bonus Homemade Eraser

Hello everyone! My oldest daughter Emily is having a birthday party in September and one of the crafts are these cardboard easels made from pizza boxes. Long ago, I made largish tabletop easels, inspired by Maya’s easels. My girls loved them – we taped paper to them and they went wild with their paint brushes. For the party, I thought mini-easels would be the perfect size for the guests to make and decorate.

This being a school-themed party, we’re making them two-in-one: chalkboard on one side, and dry-erase board on the other. We’re also throwing in a homemade eraser and some dry-erase markers and chalk that store inside the easel when it’s closed.

Because I couldn’t find 14 small pizza boxes, I had to cut and assemble my own boxes. Obviously, you don’t have to make yours from scratch – it should be easy enough to save one pizza box from a meal!

You will need:

  • One small pizza box (ours was a 10″)
  • Extra piece of corrugated cardboard the same size as the top of the pizza box
  • One milk (or juice) jug cap
  • One small piece of foam (we used high-density)
  • Chalkboard contact paper
  • Dry-erase contact paper
  • The usual suspects: craft knife, scissors, hot glue gun

Note: You can buy chalkboard contact paper and dry-erase contact paper online (try amazon) and at some craft stores. An alternative is to use chalkboard paint and regular clear contact paper over white card stock.

Step 1: Glue down the center flaps of the pizza box so the four shallow walls of the board are upright.

Step 2: Cut a piece of corrugated cardboard the same size as the top of the pizza box. Hot-glue this to the front flap (the one that tucks into the front of the box). This is the finished bare easel, with its flap tucked into the base.

Step 3: Cut a piece of dry-erase contact paper to size, peel and stick it onto one side of the open easel. Repeat for the chalkboard contact paper, sticking that to the opposite side of the open easel. The easel is completed!

Step 4: Cut a piece of foam so that it is bigger than the milk jug cap. This piece will fit nicely inside the cap, but it will be too tall. You can trim yours to the right height, and to a more aesthetically pleasing shape if you like.

Step 5: Hot glue the foam piece to the inside of the cap, squeezing it in so that it expands and fits snugly inside the cap. This works really well with the dry-erase side of the easel but we found that we had to dampen it a little to get the chalkboard absolutely clean. Add chalk, dry-erase markers and play school! Or write silly messages to no one in particular.

When you’re done playing, store everything inside the easel, fold and shut the lid, and put it away for another day.


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

[via design sponge] this Moravian star printable.


Pop-Up Design and Paper Mechanics: How to Make Folding Paper Sculpture by Duncan Birmingham. Guild of Master Craftsman (2010)

Duncan Birmingham explains how to create pop-up mechanisms in a clear and precise way. The colourful diagrams and interesting projects will inspire you to get making immediately. There is no complicated measuring, just really sound basic techniques which are built on throughout the book. It takes you from simple techniques and projects that children will be able to happily make to complex designs for adults and advanced paper players.

Bonus templates at the back add to the excellence of this book. I envision quite a few family round table making sessions with this book as our guide and inspiration.

[ps. This book is not yet available in the US but you can get it from UK Amazon already. And if you are in the UK Duncan runs pop-up workshops – see his website for more information]


Printed Pattern: Printing by Hand from Potato Prints to Silkscreen by Rebecca Drury. A & C Black Publishers Ltd (2010)

Mother and daughter team, Yvonne and Rebecca Drury, produce their own wallpaper range, inspired by midcentury design, they first draw their designs by hand and touch them up with Illustrator, before they are printed on low-impact paper with non-toxic dyes. They have simplified their process for the home print-maker, and take the reader through step-by-step showing how to create the design through to various printing techniques and running repeats.

This book is beautifully laid out, photographed and written, with inspiring simple designs, interesting ideas and fun techniques. Print onto ribbon with your own hand-made rubber stamps, print a border design on your pants with a lino-print, make your own wall-paper with vintage wood-block prints, or screen-print your own fabric to create unique upholstery covers for your couch!

With some beautiful templates in the back of the book, this book is not only a great resource of printing techniques, but a lovely design source as well!

[PS. this book is not yet available in the US, however you can purchase it online from Amazon UK, and in Australian it is distributed through Allen and Unwin You can get more a glimpse inside this book here. The authors Yvonne and Rebecca Drury are a mother and daughter team you can find out more from their website MissPrint. ]


make this modern paper ornament from how about orange

make this paper bird decoration

Make these cheery paper angels

I love this folded german paper bell

Make some paper heart ornaments

Or this paper flower ornament

An orange paper ornament

How about this paper bauble garland

Make a paper pinecone ornament

I love these paper ornaments (and will be making a few of these this year) [see image above]

For something for your kids to do – try our Paper and Beeswax Action Pack e-magazine