Raincoast Books – “Maker Dad” & “DIY Dollhouse”!

I don’t know about, but some day I wanna crack out my DIY apron and start makin’ stuff! So far, my apron is hiding somewhere, my motivation has crashed and burned and my skills are extremely rusty! However, that doesn’t stop a girl from wishing, right!? All the things I wanted to make my kids when they were small……….okay, so they didn’t happen. But I have a few years yet!

Raincoast Books sent me two books to check out that run along this DIY thought. One takes all the pressure off me because it’s called “Maker Dad”! The rest of the words on the cover of this book are; “Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects”. Now doesn’t that just sounds like fun? This book is written by Mark Frauenfelder who is not only a Dad but also the founder of Boing Boing and is also the editor in chief of the Make Magazine. He got tired of not being able to find tech-savvy projects to do with his two daughters so figured why not just make them up!? And so he did! The 24 projects in this book are all marked with an E, M or C – Easy & Quick, Moderately Challenging, and Challenging – a Real Skill-Builder! It’s a great way of seeing with a glance at the table of contents whether you might need a lot of time or not. I’d like to include a portion of the Introduction to this book as I think it will strike a chord with lots of you, it sure did with me! “I wasn’t always an eager maker of things……I learned that these “alpha makers” weren’t perfect…….

One of the main reasons I didn’t like to make things was because mistakes made me feel like a failure…..When I finally learned to embrace mistakes, the world of making opened up to me…….They (mistakes) sparked our imagination.” Now, that’s taking a full page and pulling it down to one paragraph – but I love it – embrace our mistakes and appreciate the imagination and possibilities that can emerge from those mistakes.

The projects in this book range from making an AntiGravity jar to trick your friends to making a DrawBot that uses a motor and makes spirograph-style abstract art. Prefer working with wood? Then why not make the Longboard or the Mid-Century Rocking Chair? Or maybe you just want to get outside and make some Giant Bubbles!? Maybe you’re more into electronics? Then the Friendstrument might be right up your alley! It’s a great way to learn to solder! Or maybe you’d like to make a video game? This book can teach you how to do that as well! One that I think would be fun to make, since we’re a bit of a musical household, is the Lunchbox Guitar! I really think it’s kind of cool that I could actually make a guitar that the kids could learn to play! Oh, and there’s even a recipe for Astro Ice Cream included! The instructions in this book are clear and methodical and there are plenty of pictures to guide you. This book is a great way to do projects with your kids – to teach them skills, to spend quality time together, to learn how to overcome frustrations and mistakes together – and hey, you end up with something cool! If you’re looking for a copy and your nearest bookstore doesn’t have it, check out Amazon!

The other one is called “DIY Dollhouse”! I was never into dolls as a kid – I was much more interested in being a tomboy and running around the farm with my Dad and Grandpa! And, somehow, my girls aren’t big on dolls either. They do play with them some, but definitely not weekly! However, that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about building them a play kitchen or such like. A dollhouse wasn’t so much in my brainwaves, though I had seen handmade ones before that were super cute and had so many tiny details they were incredible! Well, Alexia Henrion is opening the door to the possibility, if anyone is interested! I love what it also says on the cover – “Build and Decorate a Toy House Using Everyday Materials”. See! No need to go buy more craft stuff – just use stuff you already have!

This book is quite simply broken down by rooms – after you have your instructions for building the house down pat, that is. There are instructions on how to build things for the Living Room, Bathroom, Teenager’s Bedroom, Children’s Bedroom, Kitchen, Bedroom, and Patio! Inside those rooms, you’ll find instructions for making things like the Stove and Oven, a Bunk Bed, a Cradle, a Toilet, an Armchair and so many more things! In total, there are 33 items to fill your house!

Over and above that, if you spend a bit of time looking at the photos included in this book, you will be inspired to create even more items for in the dollhouse! The instructions in this book are all hand drawn and are quite concise. Check out this fancy Daybed!

I love how Alexia takes normal, every day items like straws, plastic bottles, and popsicle sticks and transforms them into items for a dollhouse! Have some scrap fabric around? Cover a mini couch! That last lone mini muffin liner that never got used with the last batch of muffins? It’s now a lampshade! It’s genius, I tell you! This book just came out in October, so you should be able to find it at your local bookstore. Or maybe at Chapters?

Thanks again to Raincoast for inspiring the DIY’ers in our world. Thanks for encouraging us all to do the things that bring us joy. For helping us teach our children to create things that give us a sense of pride!

**Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full Terms of use.


  1. It is fun to start and finish a DIY project. It does bring joy for me.

  2. kristen visser says:

    I love Raincoast books. They also have such clever books. The DIY Dollhouse looks very interesting

  3. Tammy Dalley says:

    We love DIY projects! This dollhouse looks so adorable I wish i had girls too lol

  4. I am going to find that Make Mag now.

  5. kathy downey says:

    Thanks for the post another great Raincoast book

  6. What a great resource of project ideas for parents to to do with their kids!

  7. DIY projects are always fun and they are ones that give us the best memories.

  8. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    What wonderful books. Love this “One takes all the pressure off me because it’s called “Maker Dad”! ” I was the DIY person to go to in our household, perhaps because my dad was good at it and I inherited it from him.

  9. Lynda Cook says:

    These look great! I haven’t done any diy’s in such a long time!

  10. now this is a book to have!

  11. kathy downey says:

    I love DIY projects

  12. Shirley OFlynn says:

    Looks like a great book. I love crafting.

  13. I love doing DIY project. I have been sewing barbies and doll clothes for my granddaughters.

  14. Jamie hall says:

    This is so cute love DIY projects

  15. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    It’s time I started on some DIY, it’s been a while, sigh.

  16. I’m really interested in the Maker Dad book…would be so fun to do this with my daughter!

  17. My hubby os very DIY-handy. Building a dollhouse with our girls sounds like something he would enjoy doing.

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