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By Scott Bedford
The Snail Soup Can Decoy to keep the candy stash safe. The Customizable “Keep Out” Sign to deter meddlesome siblings and parents. A Bunk Bed Communicator made from cardboard tubes (“Psst! Can you keep the snoring down?”). Clever, whimsical, and kind of genius, here are 67 unique projects that will turn any dad with DIY leanings into a mad scientist hero that his kid(s) will adore.
No screens, no hi-tech gadgetry. Made by Dad combines the rough-edged, handmade ethos of a Boy Scout manual or The Dangerous Book for Boys with a sly sense of humor that kids love. Scott Bedford, a creative director by day and Webby Award–winning blogger by nights and weekends, wields an X-ACTO knife, magic marker, and prodigious imagination to create endlessly delightful projects for his two sons. He knows that kids like contraptions and gadgets, things that are surprising—a chair that appears to be balanced on eggshells. Things that are complex—a multilevel city, with buildings, tunnels, and roads, built from old boxes around the legs of a table. And especially things with humor—the Snappy Toast Rack, made to resemble a crocodile’s gaping mouth.
The projects are shown in full-color photographs, and the instructions are illustrated in detailed line drawings that exude personality. Some are quick and simple enough to be done in a coffee shop; others are more of an afternoon project— yielding hours and hours of rich, imaginative playtime.