Fans of Little House on the Prairie often talk about the fun times the Ingalls family had together. We’ve captured that spirit of creativity and connection by sharing some of our favorite old-fashioned crafts that you can do together as a family! Celebrate your pioneering spirit with these fun activities.
Braided Rug Crafts
In the book The Long Winter several people worked together to create a large braided fabric rug with one person braiding the strips of fabric and another sewing them together into a large rug. Here are some favorite braided rug inspired crafts.
Basket Weaving Fun
Speaking of baskets, pioneers could weave dried grasses to create their own baskets. In Little House in the Big Woods there’s a lovely description of Ma weaving straw hats for her family. If you want to try your hand we’ve gathered some fun tutorials inspired by this old-fashioned art.
- Check out this beautiful basket weaving tutorial by Design Sponge which uses strips of cane to create the baskets.
- And if you want to embrace the repurposing and reusing spirit of the Ingalls family, here’s a fun tutorial by Rad Megan that uses plastic grocery bags to create the woven baskets.
The Ingalls family used aprons to protect their clothing while cooking and doing chores, so it only made sense that one of our first DIYs is this cute upcycling tutorial for a Homemade Mommy & Me apron set. Another variation of the apron is this harvesting apron for gardeners by Delia Creates.
In Little House in the Big Woods Laura’s Aunt wore a beautiful, homemade pin to a Christmas party. By making your own jewelry and pins you can customize the colors and styles that work best for you. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to make! Here are some favorites.
- This homemade necklace with pretty woven flowers by The Purl Bee could be beautifully personalized in any color scheme.
- One of our most popular pins on Pinterest is this painted wooden bead necklace tutorial by Lovely Indeed, perfect for little hands that want to make something lovely.
- Hey Wanderer has a fun friendship bracelet tutorial that is something the entire family can do together as well.
Homemade Toys and Games
Some of our favorite articles on the site are homemade toys and old-fashioned games. These corn cob dolls and corn cob super heroes are exactly the kind of homemade toy Laura and Mary made for themselves as children, and now your family can enjoy the same. If you want to make fun homemade toys like the Ingalls children did, you’ll love these DIYs.
- If you prefer checkers, this lovely canvas checkerboard tutorial by Martha Stewart is pretty and this variation by Little Miss Momma with a wooden board, and button checkers, is super fun!
- This old-fashioned ring-toss game by Two Shades of Pink is great for the whole family.
- For a quieter game that can be played indoors, try this magnetic tic-tac-toe game by The Idea Room.
Wood Crafts and Home Décor
Pa made wooden furniture pieces for his home that usually included an artistic element. For example, in Little House in the Big Woods, Pa made a bracket with carved out stars and circles for Ma’s little china shepherdess. Just because something is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t also be beautiful. That’s what we love about these simple and creative homemade crafts and decorations for the home.
- This pretty coat and scarf rack is made from found branches trimmed to size and framed.
- Who doesn’t love a good wood palette upcycling project? This over-sized chair project on Hometalk can be done in a single afternoon!
- In this tutorial by Young House Love, scrap wood pieces are used to create a rustic picture frame.
Which of these old-fashioned activities will you try first? Subscribe to our Little House on the Prairie newsletter for monthly craft updates and activities.
Mother of five living in rural Oklahoma with her husband and children, Angela is the Founder of Untrained Housewife, co-founder of the Homestead Bloggers Network and Organic Gardening expert at About.com. She is the author of Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less), as well as several other books, all with the common theme of helping people embrace the journey towards self-sufficiency.