Simple, cheap, and fun projects

Hello all, I’m working on a project at school, and I would like to find a collection (or compile my own) of simple projects that
can be used to help teach a person a new skill while also giving them something practical that they might get some use out
of as well. I like the learn to soldier kits we had, but I’m also looking for stuff that can be good for ages 8-18.
So to recap, if it’s informative, educational, practical, or just incredibly neat, leave me a link or tell me about it.

Any links or advice is appreciated. Thank you!

When I’ve begun to show people how to sew, I have them make a simple drawstring bag, I think walking away from your first experience with something in your hands that you can use Is a big reinforcment. You learn making a seam, straight stitch, turning a corner, using straight pins, and making a channel and threading a drawstring through it,

Aside from the resulting injuries after from ‘testing’, making a slingshot might be a good beginners woodworking project (cut a fairly simple shape, round/sand the edges) or maybe a bottle opener with penny like the 3d printed one I’ve seen around the Hive in the past?

I have a simple knitting loom design you can do with a couple 2x2s *(or similar size) some dowel rods, a few nuts, 2 bolts and wingnuts. It would involve some cuts, drilling some holes, and sanding.

with a couple smaller dowels, and lots of sanding and some small rasps for shaping you can make hair sticks, or you can add some wire and add a bead or two .

I made my own hair comb out of a scrap of plastic and the bandsaw (the first thing I made at the Hive) (the teeth broke out too easily because I made them too narrow, still, I liked making it)

A cutting board for home use might be an idea… cut the basic shape, sand/finish the edges… treat with butcherblock stuff (it’s in the paint aisle at the hardware store. you could do the handle design (moreof a breadboard?) or the square with the handle cutout.

Good Ideas, Nancy.

We’re working on a makercamp for the Kenton County Library (Covington branch). Any project ideas are appreciated. Or help promoting.



I remember enjoying building one of these as a teenager:

I’d say it’s a medium difficulty project. Gluing the balsa and tissue paper took some patience but seeing it fly was fun. If $13/kit is too expensive there are very similar open-source plans such as the “freebird”.


In 4-H electric the beginner projects were building two circuits consisting of a knife switch, battery holder, two incandescent lamps (miniature) and some wire to solder them together. The first circuit was a “series” circuit and the second was a “parallel” circuit. Essentially wiring up the lamps to be directly in line with each other coming off of the battery and then going to the switch and back to the battery for the Series circuit. For the parallel, the lamps each had a wire coming off of the battery pack, and another wire going to the knife switch. Very simple, very functional, and it taught us to solder wire to solder tabs. Knife switches were used because they showed the physical action of the switches.

I also remember an early project in Home Economics for sewing, which was a holiday themed project. We sewed together three tubes of Christmas themed fabric, then filled them with stuffing, and braided the tubes together, and sewed the ends together in such a way as to end up with a wreath. It’s really neat to see that on the door or wall every Christmas.

And as a child, I learned needlepoint and counted cross stitch from kits. Those skills even allowed me to make embroidery a few years ago from a similar kit.