Travel Progeny

By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

Archive for the 'Made' Category

13 March

How we made an earring hanger

Earring HangerES has pierced ears so ES has ear­rings.  When you have more than a few pieces there is always that prob­lem of what to do with them so that they can be both orga­nized and eas­ily found.  I wanted some­thing that would secure ear­rings indi­vid­u­ally so that they would stay orga­nized if it fell or was moved. I wanted to be able to hang it and most impor­tantly I wanted to make it with stuff I had at home.  This is what I came up with:

Total work time: about an hour  (if kids help)


  • (1) Wooden child’s hanger with hanger grooves and a bot­tom bar.  You can also use an adult hanger if you want some­thing big­ger.  I would stay away from plas­tic but a sturdy metal would work.  If you choose to use the wire hang­ers from the drycleaner I would use 2 or 3 together and wrap them in strips of cloth or ribbon.
  • (1) Sheet of plas­tic mesh at least the width of your hanger
  • Rib­bon or cord­ing at least 10 times the length of your plas­tic mesh
  • Beads with holes that can fit onto your cord or ribbon
  • Scis­sors

What to do:

  1. If you have not already cut the plas­tic mesh to the width of the hanger do that now.
  2. Cut your cording/ rib­bon in to  (4) lengths equal to 8.5 times the length of your plas­tic mesh
  3. Weave the cording/ribbon through the plas­tic mesh leav­ing about a quar­ter length at the bot­tom.  Along the side go up theclose-up view row clos­est to the edge the entire length of the mesh, over the bot­tom bar, over the groove notch and back down again.  Cross the cord­ing before you get to the bot­tom bar then take it the oppo­site way over the bot­tom bar than you went on the way. Make it tight so the mesh doesn’t slide back and forth.  Weave the rib­bon back down the plas­tic mesh in the row right next to the row you used before.  If you want to use beads slide them onto both strands of the cord.  Knot. Repeat on other edge.
  4. Divide the remain­der of the mesh into at least thirds.  I used fifths. Use the remain­der of the ribbon/cording to go up and down those lines loop­ing it around the bot­tom bar of the hanger, knot­ting, then con­tin­u­ing the weave down the next line.  Add the beads to the bot­tom (or not)and knot.

Done.  Or…

I added ES’s name to the top of hers with stick­ers since I also made one for each of my nieces.  At the time ES was too lit­tle with too short of an atten­tion span to do all of the weav­ing but beads on a string she could do.   I used rain­bow col­ored beads at the bot­tom because I was look­ing for a way to include ES and work on her col­ors.  We sorted our pony beads by color then ES strung them on.  When we put her ear­rings on we sorted them by color to match the beads.  The lit­tle mesh bag in the pic­ture is where we keep extra ear­ring backs.

We’ve used it for years and it works great– ear­rings stay put and there is room for a few neck­laces, bracelets, a watch and even a few rings.

10 February

Bobbleheads in transit

We’re dri­ving to NOLA tomor­row– it’s 10 hours in the car.  The kids always have a note­book and crayons to keep them busy. But, besides the old stan­dards, the kids get a some­thing new for the trip– it makes all the difference.

Some­times they get to buy some­thing.  About a week before depar­ture we all head to the store and they get to spend around five bucks on some­thing that can fit into their back­pack. They know they won’t see it again until we are on the plane or in the car.  ES always picks a Lit­tlest Pet­shop Pet. We call them Bob­ble­heads.  I’m not a fan of those trashy Bratz that are sup­pose to be thir own­ers– they are not now nor will they ever be wel­come in my home. These pets of theirs though I have come to love. They are travel size, can go to the pool or beach or tub and are per­fectly happy in what­ever imag­i­nary world ES can think up.  Even G likes them– although he gen­er­ally chooses cars.  If I can remem­ber to plan far enough ahead the old Bob­ble­heads or select favorite cars dis­ap­pear so that they get to be redis­cov­ered on the trip.


Other times we’ll make an activ­ity book together. ES gets a lot more out of this on the road than G does, but the assem­bly at home is half the fun any­way.  Both G and ES like to sort through all of the print­able pos­si­bil­i­ties on the inter­net.  The kids have small back­packs so stan­dard size paper is too big. Instead of print­ing our finds I save the images, then reduce and arrange them so that I can posi­tion 2 on each side of a page.  I started with a small 3 ring binder but that takes up too much space in their back­pack so instead they just have a clip­board.  The pages need to be together in some way– loose sheets are ask­ing for a mess. Now we either cut the pages in half and sta­ple them together or fold the pages in half, punch a cou­ple of holes in the spine and weave some rib­bon or string though those holes.

Get­ting some­thing at the air­port just has not worked as well. Not only do they think that buy­ing stuff at the air­port is part of trav­el­ing, they also just seem to get bored of it sooner, totally defeat­ing the pur­pose of schleping it in the first place.  Ulti­mately, for my chil­dren, what it is isn’t so impor­tant as the antic­i­pa­tion, the pride of cre­ation or the joy of a favorite found.

Bob­ble­heads and bags are packed– just hop­ing for an ice free 55.

27 January

Our Rolling Bugs

G and his Rolling Bug

Decem­ber 2008 I took the kids up to NYC for a week.  Until this trip I had always packed a large rolling duf­fel for the whole fam­ily. Now, though,  Amer­i­can had begun charg­ing for checked bags and I felt like the kids were both big enough to han­dle their own bags.  G was only 2.5 then, just about 3′ tall so I knew I would have to choose wisely.    I always head to the store with a pretty defined idea of what I’m look­ing for.  In this case: 4 wheels, about 20″, durable, good pock­ets, adjustable han­dle, fun.  I couldn’t find what I was look­ing for, so I made it.  Okay, so I bought some­thing close and embell­ished it.  It turned out to be a really good project for my niece, A, and I who was then 10.

What we did:

The Sup­plies:

  1. I Bought 2 Sam­sonite Sahora, 20″ Suit­cases.  One Red, One Blue.  Any­thing in a solid color could work as long as it has pock­ets and attach­ments that you could work into a design.
  2. The biggest googlie eyes I could find, I think 1.5″ or 2″
  3. Felt squares. Stay away from col­ors that would show dirt.
  4. Cord­ing, or rib­bon.  about 3′ or 4′  You’re going to use this to cre­ate a pull that is attached to the side han­dle of your bag.
  5. Hot glue sticks for Fab­ric and Hot Glue Gun.  You can also use fab­ric glue  Note:  Some bags are made of nylon or other syn­thet­ics that melt.  If that is your bag plan accordingly.
  6. Sharp Scis­sors

The Steps:

Alexis and I decided that we would make the red one into a lady­bug for Ella Sophia and the blue one into a bee­tle for Grif­fin so we found pic­tures on the inter­net to work from.

Next, using our pic­tures and our imag­i­na­tion we cut felt out into the appro­pri­ate shapes and placed them onto the bags.  Once you’re happy with the place­ment glue the felt to the bag. Pay spe­cial atten­tion to the edges.  If there are any loose edges they might get caught on stuff.  The long, thin lines on the bee­tle have come loose and have had to be reglued.  The dots on the lady­bug have had no prob­lems.  Also, be care­ful when glu­ing on the googlie eyes if you use hot glue.  They are plas­tic and can melt fus­ing the google to the eye.

Finally, Iat­tach the cord­ing or rib­bon to the side han­dle.  I attached it to the metal rings that were vis­i­ble when the han­dle was extended so that the loop would not spin around. Also, make sure that the loop you cre­ate does not extend past the bot­tom of the bag when it is not being used.

The Rolling Bugs

Once the bag was done I made lug­gage tags with their pic­tures and my mobile num­ber and attached those as well.   I never put my children’s names on the out­side of any­thing where strangers could use that infor­ma­tion to pre­tend to be friends.

That’s it!  The kids love them because they are proud to pull their own bag and because of all of atten­tion it gets them at the air­port.  I love them because the kids man­age their own stuff.  I love them because they are gen­uinely easy enough to push or pull, even when fully packed, through the air­port or down the street.