Summertime Crafts with PVC!

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this summer? A simple trip to the hardware store and some affordable PVC pipe can make hours of fun for your kids. Here are four craft projects to try that use little more than PVC pipe.

Credit: http://www.happinessishomemade.net/2011/05/26/marshmallow-shooters/

1. PVC Marshmallow Shooters

Nothing is quite as much fun as shooting at your friends with soft and edible ammo. PVC marshmallow shooters are simple to make and provide hours of fun for your kids. Here’s what you need to do:

To make a marshmallow shooter, start with a 1/2-inch piece of PVC pipe. Cut four 4-inch sections and one 6-inch section out of the pipe. Using tees, elbows and caps, fashion your shooter with a mouthpiece end, a shooting end and a handle. Place mini marshmallows inside the shooter and give it a good puff of breath. You will be amazed to see the marshmallow shoot out!

2. PVC Pipe Fort

Kids love having their own play house, and you can craft one out of PVC and some fabric quite affordably. Sketch out your design before you head to the hardware store, then buy the necessary tees, elbows and pipes to build it.

Now this sounds simple, but the design can be quite complex. You will need to make sure there are enough supports to keep the fort upright and make sure it’s not wobbly. As you are making your design, remember to build a door and maybe a window or two.

3. PVC Summer Camp Chairs

Are you planning to spend your summer evenings in the yard around the fire pit? Then let your kids help you build some PVC summer camp chairs. Lightweight and cheap, these chairs are not difficult to make. Start by cutting a piece of one-inch PVC pipe into four 15-inch pieces, two 10-inch pieces and two 7-inch pieces. You will also need eight elbows and 3-inch bolts and a 7-inch by 18-inch piece of canvas or rip stop nylon with a 2.5-inch casing sewn on the two long sides.

Next, find the middle of the long pieces and drill a hole in the exact center. Then place elbows on the end of one of the 7-inch and one of the 10-inch pieces. Slide these into the two casings. Attach the 15-inch pieces to these elbows.

Using the remaining elbows, attach the remaining 10 and 7-inch pieces. You should have two rectangles, one with a 10-inch top and bottom and one with a 7-inch top and bottom, that are connected at the top with the fabric. Fit these together so the holes you drilled line up and the chair makes an “x” shape. Secure it with the bolts, and you have a solid, durable camp chair for your kids.

Credit: http://livingonloveandcents.com/2014/01/28/diy-kids-pvc-periscope/

4. PVC Periscope

What kid doesn’t have a great time pretending to be a spy? Equip your spy with a super secret periscope, which is made easily with PVC and a couple of small craft mirrors.

First, you will need two 2-inch mirrors, a 16-inch piece of 2-inch PVC, two elbows and two 3-inch by 2 1/4-inch pieces of cardboard. Some glue and a paint brush will finish out your periscope.

Apply glue to the cardboard and fasten a mirror to each of the pieces. Then fit one into each of the elbows, forcing it into the corner so it sits at a 45-degree angle, or as close as possible. Finally, fit the elbows to the pipe in the periscope design so that the mirrors reflect onto each other. Let your child decorate with paint and you are ready to go!

Credit: http://mykidcraft.com/pvc-people/

5. PVC People

What’s cuter than a personalized PVC family? Not much! For this craft, grab a length of 1 1/4-inch PVC pipe and enough 1 1/4-inch PVC slip caps for your people, some acrylic paint, yarn and glue. Cut the pipe to the desired length — 8 inches for adult figures and 4 inches for children works quite well. Smooth off the ends if you need to and put a cap on one end.

Now comes the fun part. Using the caps as the heads and the pipe as the body, paint the PVC people however you see fit. You can use a marker to mark off what you are going to paint first, and use the end of a paper clip for detailed spots. Glue on some yarn hair and you have your own PVC family.

Amanda Hill is the Content and Creative Manager for CIS. She is affectionately known by her coworkers and friends as the “Queen of PVC,” due to her love and ability to make anything out of PVC – everything from a laptop stand, to a survival kit, to a trendy house accessory.