Monday, January 28, 2008

Making a Quiet Family

Quiet Family CraftI saw this idea at Simply Stork and instantly knew I had to do it too. She calls it a Quiet Family and it's a must-make. These little people come in their own house made from a wooden box--all tiny enough to store in a purse--and are made for keeping small hands quiet at the doctor's office or during the sermon.

For my own little version I bought a wooden box with a latch and handle ($2) and a set of wooden game pieces both small and large ($2.60 total). I lined the box with brightly colored felt glued in place with wood glue to keep the pieces from loudly knocking around inside the box.

On the front of the box I used my wood burning tool to make a simple decoration and the words "My Family" then made a little flannel blanket for putting the people to bed, making a tent or having a picnic. I bought tiny precut painted wood chips in the shape of a dog, cat and rabbit so the family can have their pets with them (another 75 cents for all three) and then I made up the family.

Fairy Tale CraftI gave the girls little felt aprons and pearl necklaces and the boys little felt pants. Since we're a family of blondies I went for yellow hair all around and I gave them the special touch by burning each person's name on the bottom of their piece: "Mom," "Dad," "Grace," "Spencer," "David" and "Lily."

Fairy Tale CraftIf you need more pictures, I've got several boxes made up and for sale in my Etsy shop--if you want one I will personalize the pieces with the names of your family members and give them any color of hair you specify. I can even make little babies in tiny felt blankets.

But I thought I'd take this one step further and make another kind of Quiet Family (also in my Etsy store) but this one with pieces for fairy tale play: a princess, a witch, a king and a prince. I used the same idea but customized the people suitable for your favorite fairy tales, decorating and lining the box, labeling the pieces and giving them a blanket.

I'm so in love with these little guys that even when Lillian's grown I'll probably still carry them around in my purse.

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Here are some other great craft ideas I've seen lately:
Cake in a Jar by Angry Chicken
A Blackboard Table Lamp by A Little Hut
Felted Take out Containers by Ric-Rac
Patchwork Sewing Basket Tutorial by Little Thing

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If you're up for a double dose Scribbit, I'm posting this week over at Design Mom--see you there!

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48 comments:

Erica Douglas said...

I love this set! If I were in the US I'd buy one (at least) right now. How can you make them so cheaply??

Jodie said...

What a super idea. Now my kids are almost grown but that would have been perfect for those times when a bit of quiet was needed.

ewe are here said...

Very clever.

Ashlyn said...

Very cute idea!

Jacki said...

This post had made me wish I were talented. These are so adorable! It is so tempting to buy....

Melissa Markham said...

Absolutely adorable! You are so talented!

Maddy said...

I'll have to pass on this one I'm afraid. I'd be too tempted to play exclusively with my new quiet family and ignore my own noisy one!
Cheers

Summer said...

That's so cute! I love it!

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

Oh I wish I had something like that for Lucy....oh wait...I do. Thanks Michelle...seriously I love it, even thought Lucy is still a little young I cant wait till she can play with it.

Irene said...

I really love this! I may have to pick a couple up! What a great idea!

Cocoa said...

Oh my goodness, this is brilliant, BRILLIANT!

Stephanie said...

Too cute. My SIL gave Lydia some dolls made from the non spring type clothes pins. They are so cute. Having them in a nice case like that is perfect!

Simply Stork said...

ohhh they are so cute...great job!

I just love the idea with the blanket...:o)

who'd-a-thought it would be such a good idea...I would have posted about it along time ago.

~simply~

Damselfly said...

What a cute idea!

Damselfly said...

Did you use a soldering instrument to burn the names in the wood?

JAM said...

My daughters both loved those little Polly Pocket things with miniature people, but this one is just as cool AND home made.

I'm a 45 year old man and I'd want one of these. To play with during boring sermons of course.

Scribbit said...

Questions:

Erica, you're right--I don't make much money on the crafts I sell, usually enough to just finance my habit. If I sold by volume then I could make something but it barely pays for time and materials. I'll make $9, maybe $8 on each Quiet Family sale but I do it mostly because I like to do crafty things and as a supplement to Scribbit, not as income.

Damselfly--I used a wood burning tool, just an all-purpose one that I recently bought with a half-off coupon at Joann's for $15. It will (it says) also stamp leather and solder but I haven't tried that yet. It comes with a couple different tips, the thin one I used on the bottom of the pegs, the thick one on the box itself.

chelle said...

GASP! I love it! Those are soooo cute. I am so putting on my to do craft list that is so ever growing. Must get crafting!

Heffalump said...

What a cool idea. I think I would paint clothes on them, and maybe (especially for the fairy tale ones) put a little felt backdrop in each side of the box to act out scenes against.
If I have a girl I will have to make a set of these to use during church.

Amy said...

Now those are adorable! You are such a crafty and fun mom! Can I be you for a day? Or better yet, can I be your kid? :)

Thank you for all of your inspiration!

Daisy said...

What fun! I would have played with these when I was little. My daughter would have, too.

modmom said...

those are adorable! most of my christmas ornaments this year were in that style. i love the clothespin doll look with round head, simple smiling face + home made clothes.

Peggy said...

oh my I love it. I immediately think I could make that, but for a time saver I may just order it from you.

Stacie.Make.Do. said...

I made something similar for my goddaughters for Christmas gifts. Mine were out of clothespins, in a cloth roll. I like yours very much. That "royal family"? Brilliant.

Simply Stork said...

oK SO I was showing my daughter(zana age 11) your version of the "quiet family" and she whipped hers out...

Hers is made with a little book box (found at the dollar store) and hers had the fairy tale folks in it...(princess, prince, king and queen...and an angel she doesn't go for witches...)she told me that it is in a book so you can "make the story"...boy you two think alike...I would have never thought of that one :o)

thought you would get a kick out of that...I sure did :o)

~simply stork~

tiff said...

That is an amazing idea!

as a time starved mother, I have two questions.
Do you do made to order families and do you post overseas?

Barb said...

I'm not sure those would be quiet with my kids. They'd have to pack in pretty tight not to turn into a large rattle. Darn, that wasn't meant to be critical of the idea (maybe just a little bit critical of my kids?)

Barb said...

I found you on Design Mom today before I came over to visit you on your own blog, btw. Nice going!

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

I really think I love each thing you show us more than the last one. You constantly trump yourself! Bean needs a Quiet Family - she would totally eat this idea right up! And I love that (assuming I can find those little game pieces somewhere) I could even make our family all the right colors with a little stain, so we really could all be US. Neato! You're the best, my dear.

Phyllis Sommer said...

so adorable. i'll have to try it...

Scribbit said...

Tiff--yes I make them to order, go to the link for my Etsy store either on my side bar or in the post. As for overseas shipping, I can, but it will cost $11 for me to send anything in one of those express envelopes. If that's okay with you, I'd be happy to supply you.

Barb--actually they do fit snuggly and don't rattle at all (hard to believe but true). Tested it with my own five year old :) And no criticism taken :)

tiff said...

Cool!
I am so there!

Julie Q. said...

How lovely that your little family is all wrapped up and felted and QUIET. If I were to make an authentic group representing my family, it would have to make lots of noise (explosions, gunfire, belching, etc.)

Elizabeth...mommy...etc said...

What a great idea! I'll have to consider doing this for my little one! Thanks for sharing!!!! *elizabeth

Sheila said...

I love it! That's the cutest thing I've seen in a while. I'm thinking about buying one from you.

I love Maddy's comment. Too true!

Jacki said...

Thank you for the list and where you bought it! I think I will head to the craft stores this weekend!!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Love. This. Idea!!

Now I need to decide whether to add it to my long To Be Made List, or just break down and buy one.

Leslie said...

This is just precious! I love it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your blog today, I'm in Anchorage too. Moved here last spring. These are adorable!!
Serena

Mrs. W said...

Now we don't have any kids, but these are so clever, and look like so much fun, that I think I want a set for me.

Maybe to keep me quiet & occupied during football?

Terri said...

Oh, I absolutely love this idea and I have two daughters that would eat these little people up. I'm going to have to make these, no doubt about it.

I have missed reading blog. I've been out of the blogosphere for a few weeks. I'm glad to be back and catching up on all of your great posts.

Jody said...

These are so very adorable! I am going out today and will hunt down some supplies to make a little set for my daughter.

Jody said...

These are so very adorable! I am going out today and will hunt down some supplies to make a little set for my daughter.

Jody said...

These are so very adorable! I am going out today and will hunt down some supplies to make a little set for my daughter.

Jody said...

Good gravy, sorry for the multiple comment......google had a glitch.

laughing mommy said...

Michelle,
The Quiet Family came in the mail on Friday and I snuck it into the church bag to use the next morning.

It was such a huge hit! I've never seen my daughter Tessa and her friend Sadie fight over a toy before.

Thank you so much! We just love it!
Staci

:: Suzanne :: said...

I got my Quiet Family -- Thank so much - they are darling.

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

I made one of these for my youngest niece for Christmas - you can see my version at my handmade Christmas post.

I ended up forgoing hair and faces, and just glued some fabric on for clothes. My brother's family is about to move into a new house, and since the only box I could find in the right size was divided, I opted to glue in fabric to make little rooms of their new house. I used clip art printed and cut out for the stove, fridge, couch, bed, and bathroom stuff. (She'll be potty training soon, I think, so I thought that was important!)

I was thsclse to trying to draw a swing set on the bottom of the box, but luckily realized I have no artistic ability before I ruined it. :>) Thanks for the inspiration!