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...Something That Was Fun and Easy To Make!



Binoculars!  How cool are those?


I got the idea from Crafts by Amanda and I have to say that hers came out prettier than mine.  Not too surprising since her crafts are being featured in Parents magazine!  You should check out her site; it has an amazing array of easy crafts.  I'm going to make these Cardboard Bunnies for Em's birthday party on Easter!


So enough of the prelude; how do you make these awesome binoculars?  Easy.


You Will Need:

1 paper towel roll or 2 tp rolls

1 sheet of felt

     (Amanda used camoflauge felt and they looked awesome.  I couldn't find any so I used red)


Craft Glue

Craft Foam to match the felt

Rubber bands

twine or yarn

     (I used ribbon in a pinch until I got to my mother-in-law's house to steal some twine)

a pen




If you're using a paper towel roll, you'll need to cut it evenly in half.  Make sure you have a handy little helper nearby to assist in the measuring.



Our measurements were a wee bit off (who would have thought with such a handy helper?) so we had to cut a bit off one end until they were even.



Then you lay the felt down and place the two tubes on top.  Cut the felt evenly in half. 


Picture taken before felt cutting.  Obviously.


Now you roll the tube in the felt, gluing as you go, to create a cardboard burrito (sounds delicious).



Trim off the excess felt, but do your best to make it match up perfectly to the other side so that your tube is perfectly wrapped in felt and the edges line up.  Glue it as neatly as possible (aka maybe take the glue from your handy helper at this point).  You can keep him or her busy with



rubber bands!


Although it wasn't in the directions yet, I wrapped the felt in rubber bands early to keep the glued felt from coming loose.  Amanda didn't feel the need to do that, but she probably used better glue and actually measured things correctly.  Doesn't my felt look a little wonky?  Yeah, not too big on measuring over here.  We fly by the seat of our pants and cut where inspiration strikes.  "Measure twice, cut once?"  That's for wusses.



You know I'm kidding, right?  I wish I had diligence like that; I'm just more of a lazy crafter, as you know.  I do a lot of instructions skimming.


At this point, Jax thought it would be awesome to do some improvisation in the form of shape-making.  I turned my back for a second (never a good idea with toddles and glue), and heard a delighted little voice exclaim, "A heart!"  I turned around to see



a heart, certainly.  Of course.


Actually I thought it was pretty endearing.  See, not big rule-followers over here. 

Must run in the family.


So I de-smushed my tube as best I could (some of the damage could not be undone) and carried on.


Right.  Back to the instructions.

Now cut the craft foam into 2 strips that will encircle one end of the tube, about 3/4" wide. 

Do you think I measured?  Nope.  But it's Amanda's craft so I will try not to ruin it and will pass her specifications on to you.


Glue the foam strip to the end of the tube, lining up the seam of the foam with the seam of the felt.

Do you think I lined them up?  Nope. I don't even think I read that part of the instructions until right now.  Maybe that's why our binoculars look a little on the crazy goggles side.


Now cut 2 more strips of foam, these ones a little smaller (1/2" thick).  This is to give an impression of the front and back of the binoculars.  I'm not even going to ask if you think I did this.



Then, as you can see, wrap both the felt and foam in little rubber-band straight jackets to make them stick. 


At this point, handy helper got restless and took off with my role of ribbon.  "A rope, Mama!"





So lastly, you put the tubes side-by-side so that the seams face each other.  Interestingly enough, I actually made sure the seams were facing in (insert Ace Ventura quote here--"The laces were in!  They were in!") because my seams were looking a little questionable.  Just the seams looked questionable? you ask.  Okay, the whole darn thing looks a little questionable, but Jax thought it was super cool.  Probably because he still thinks they're red and not pink.  Sorry, kid.


Put a rubber band around both tubes to hold them in place.



Use a pen to poke holes about half an inch from the 1/2" thick foam.  Insert your twine, yarn, or ribbon as the case may be, into the tubes from the outside.  Then double knot the inside to keep it from slipping back out.  Trim any excess.  Repeat on the other side.


Put a generous amount of glue between the tubes on both sides and let it sit for a few hours (preferably overnight) to dry.  Once dry, remove the rubber bands and enjoy the world through rose-colored binoculars!


As an aside, it makes it even more fun if your little binocular-wearing loved one has a big binocular-wearing loved one to take in the sights together.



Jax's Papa is a bird-watching afficionado.  Jax was so excited to bring his binoculars to Nana and Papa's house to look at the birds with Papa.  They filled up the birdfeeder together with birdseed (Jax was wearing pants at the time, I promise) and then came in to watch for birds with their own binoculars.  It was too adorable for words.



And yes, you may notice our binoculars still have the rubber band on them.  Well, Jax likes to use his muscles! so we had to keep the rubber band on; otherwise he can't control his own strength and rips them apart into little telescopes.  Which I guess wouldn't be so bad, but not what I was going for.


I hope you and your little ones enjoy this rather painless craft!  If you decide to make some, please let me know how it goes!


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