As a father of two girls, I know an awful lot more about princesses, fairies, and ponies than I ever thought possible. My girls love wearing pink dresses, headbands, and sparkly shoes every day. I want to honor who they are, but I had envisioned my fatherhood would involve making mud pies, digging up worms, rough housing, and full days exploring in the wilderness.
My oldest daughter is taking a real interest in her mother’s crafts. She is learning to knit, experimenting with felting, and anything else she can get her little hands on. I watch this special connection between mother and daughter and it makes we want to work that much harder to develop the father daughter connection.
Naturally the kids see me as the silly and rough parent. They call me the tickle monster and always want to run around with me chasing them. I truly love this time playing with them and treasure the deep laughter we all enjoy together, but there must be a way to connect with my daughters doing something creative and inspirational.
In an effort to foster a creative relationship we recently started working on hand cut wood crafts together, and discovered that we all enjoy this time together. These crafts allows me to get my little princesses out in the garage to make some noise, get a little dirty, and create something special.
This project is for a simple crayon holder. We chose to make it a dinosaur but you can make it any shape you would like. I used a scrap piece of 2”x4” wood leftover from a previous project. This is not necessarily just a father daughter project; it is basic enough for anyone with the correct tools.
Scrap piece of wood
Dremel Tool or Sander
Drill and ½” drill bit
First I drew the shape of a dinosaur with a pencil on the block of wood. Then I used a Jig Saw to cut out the shape. Next I used a Dremel Tool to round out some of the rough spots. The Dremel allows you to give the nice shapes and curves that the Jig saw just can’t do. You could choose to hand sand with sand paper or leave the rough cut of the jig saw depending on your taste.
Although the kids were thoroughly thrilled by the dinosaur shape, I wanted to make it useful. With this in mind I took a drill with a ½” drill bit and drilled small holes about ¾” deep. The ½” drill bit was perfect for the Stockmar Wax Crayons we planned to keep on our dinosaur but be sure to consider a different sized bit if you intend to hold colored pencils or something else. Plan out the number of holes and where they will be placed. I chose to do 12 holes and spaced them from head to tail.
The project was finished and I had two little girls smiling from ear to ear. Even though I had to do the cutting and sanding the girls chose the design, planned out the placement of crayon holes, helped with set up and clean up which lead to a fun afternoon with dad in the garage. To finish the project and to allow them to make it their own, I allowed them to paint the dinosaur on their own. If you are using a nice piece of pine, oak, or other quality wood you may choose to keep the crayon holder in its natural wood state. I used a scrap piece of commercial grade wood so the coat of paint added a nice touch and gave my daughters a sense of ownership and accomplishment.
Andy Hawbaker enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and camping in the Colorado Rockies as well as gardening, living simply, and being involved in his community. He is co-owner of Hip Mountain Mama and is a regular contributor to The Hip Mountain Mama Blog.