Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to make a Woodmouse

I am dedicating this craft to our friend Amber woodmouse, who was one of the original founders of the Etsy NaturalKids Team. Hopefully she will see this post and be proud of our efforts to keep the Naturalkids Team going strong!

I realize that not everybody may own some of the tools used , (vice) but maybe you could pay a visit to grandpa's or an uncle's house and have them do this project with your child. =)

scraps of wood, fir or pine wood left over from dad’s projects…
nails with wide heads
pieces of leather
a few drops of wood glue

a small handsaw
kidsize hammer
drill or awl
wood rasp

My son has loved working with wood since he’s been a little fellow, 3 and 4 years old. My husband and I have always encouraged him to work on his little wood projects in the basement. But please, keep in mind that this craft needs quite a bit of adult supervision! You should stay right by your child’s side and help them every step of the way, especially if they are younger! You know your child best! The amount of supervision depends on your child’s skill level and personality. I recommend it for kids 6 and up who like to swing a hammer and have an interest in wood work.

1.Take your piece of scrap wood and put in the vice. You will need rectangular pieces of wood cut into about 3-4 inches long sections. We used some old pieces of pine wood from a yard project. They were slats measuring 1.5x1x10 inches. This great for teaching your child about measuring. You can have them mark off the length off several pieces. Have them draw straight lines across the wood piece and cut along the lines.

2. Since mice have a pointy nose, the front of the mouse body needs to be shaped with two angular cuts. Again, have your child mark off the cuts with a pencil. Just tell them they need to cut off two triangular pieces at the tip and have them cut along these lines. ( Great for learning about geometry. =)

3. With the wood piece mounted in the vice, have your child use a wood rasp to smooth out all the edges. The head section needs to be flattened and shaped into a nice pointy nose. The back end can just be slightly rounded off. Don’t forget the sides!

4. Mark off the position of the eyes, ears, and tail with pencil. Then have your child hammer two nails all the way into the wood piece where you marked the eyes. They should be a closer together than the ears!

5. The next step is probably best done by an adult. Drill three holes in the spot where you marked the ears, and the tail.

6. Cut out ears and long thing piece of leather for the tail. Use a few drops of wood glue and glue the leather pieces onto the mouse body.

7. Finally use small pieces of sandpaper and sand off the rough or marked places. You can make your mouse as smooth and soft as you like. If you want to protect the the body from stains and water you could rub on some mineral oil or beeswax finish with a piece of cloth. We decided we liked the more roughhewn look of our new pets. =)


Amber Dusick said...

Oh, so cute! Thanks for mentioning me & sharing it. I'm so glad the NaturalKids team is going strong!

Chloe' said...

Aww how sweet! I love the little leather ears :o) hmm.. you could paint them too!

Thanks for a great tutorial (^_^)

Chloe x

Karen W. said...

What a cute idea. Thanks for the tutorial!

germandolls said...

So glad you stopped by, Amber!
If anyone makes these, please send me a picture and I will post it here!