My first DIY: making my own toys for lack of funds

As a child, we were very poor. My dad followed construction jobs so we were always moving. Our little car could only hold so much so toys did not make the trip. I learned to make doll furniture from small match boxes and colored pieces of paper. I made sailing ships with walnut shell halves. My mom would fix me a small place in the apartment where I could keep my creations. She would try to buy second hand McCalls magazines so I would have the paper dolls and I would make clothes out of the colored pages of the magazine. That creative ability stayed with me everywhere we went and is still something I do at the age of 72. I have taught craft classes and art classes in shops and in adult education. Some of my best memories are about the things I created as a child.

What are your best DIY memories?
  3 answers
  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jan 29, 2017
    This is so inspiring; I relate to difficulties as a child becoming a blessing in one's life. Thank you so much for sharing

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jan 30, 2017
    Wow, you're an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing and continuing to inspire. The most wonderful gift of DIYing is ridding ourselves of budget limitations and allowing creativity to flow.

  • Penny Wears Mowery Penny Wears Mowery on Feb 01, 2017
    Mama made us dolls out of sticks and used hollyhock flowers for beautiful dresses for them. There was some plant the grew with perfect heart shaped leaves. She would overlap the edges of those leaves and run the leaf stem twice (as with a sewing pin) to make a chain of the leaves that would fit around our heads or waists. Mama taught us what wild plans were edible. Sis and I often pretended we were wild horses and ate our fill of sheep sour, sassafrass, wild garlic, etc., and topped that off with water from the spring we used to carry drinking water to the house. We got 2nd hand Sears and Penneys catalogs and would cut out a girl in a swim suit or bra and panties and would use that for our "girl" and find outfits worn by girls in similar poses to have paper dolls clothed. My sister and I had a brother and two step brothers. We often used scraps of wood to be our cars outdoors with them and made elaborate roads with crossroads in the dirt. We used sticks for stop signs and we used boxes for homes and grocery stores, etc. We really had no idea how very poor we were!!

    • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Feb 02, 2017
      You were rich, because your mother loved you enough to show you how to make things. She spent time with you. Many children who had everything did not have what you had. You were lucky.