Sunday, 14 October 2012

DIY Tutorial: Child safe pencil and crayon tin cans.

We had started to use old tin cans to store the babies pencils and crayons a long time ago, but as I could not work out a way to safety them up they were always kept out of reach. I wanted to start leaving them out during the day so they could colour and draw whenever the mood took them so I had to get cracking with this safetying. I pondered methods for many a while then one day I spotted the foam sheets and inspiration struck. I have always wondered what these sheets were for, now I know. Mine were a massive pack of sheets from Tiger, but they have been stocked in poundland in the past, if you wanted it even cheaper. I figured the foam would be a good idea as the squidgyness of it could easily mould over the sharp edge.

Here's how you can make your own, very quick and basic: 
(Apologies if you wish to bang your head against the wall for the sheer obviousness of the following)

1: Gather up your materials. 
2: A tin that opens with an inside lip is essential, opposed to those which open from the top, leaving a rough exposed top edge.

3: Roll one foam sheet and pop into the tin, pushing down to the base. 
4: Draw a line onto the foam indicating the very top of the tin, then cut at line.

5: If there is an overlap, mark where the edge meets and cut.
6: Apply an even amount of glue, in particular fully covering the top where the sharp lip will be covered.

7: On larger tins, if the foam does not quite meet, cut an extra slice at required width and height and glue into place covering over the gap.
8: Finally cut a little slice the length of the full diameter of the  tin and pop between the foam and outer tin, i,e on top of the little sharp lip. It will look as if there are two sheets of foam  inside.

Casually hanging about:

Please note: I previously sanded down the lips on all tins, to see if that would make it safe, that alone would not be enough, but I do recommend to do this before applying the foam. I also suggest checking that the foam is still intact and covering the lip from time to time just to be safe.
This project can be made with children, but mine are a little bit too small, which will be why I sat on the kitchen floor in my pyjamas making these whilst they ate their breakfast.

Colouring fun:

Cost: Foam sheets pack £2 from Tiger, I used 3 sheets.
Supplies: Clean de-labelled tins, foam sheets, heavy duty glue, scissors and a pen.
Time taken: One baby breakfast time = approximately 20 minutes.

Have you used old tins for projects and found an alternative method to safety the tins up? and any ideas for what we can do with the rest of this giant pack of foam sheets would be most welcome.

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