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How to Build a Wood Toy Car

Natural wooden toys are becoming more and more popular, especially with the concerns of toxic materials in toys made overseas.  Here’s a neat video on how Sherman Francisco builds a toy car that he and his club donates to Toys For Tots.  He’s using the Ripsnorter pattern from Toymaker Press.  Be sure to check Toymaker Press out.  They have a lot of great desigs and even a couple free patterns you can try out.

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Toymakers: Sign of Relief

photo by ehsan namavar

photo by Ehsan Namavar

I’m not a political person in general. But there was one issue that was close to my heart. I’ve written several articles (Good News For Handmade Toys, Save Hand Made Toys, and No More Handmade Toys) about the CPSIA and their new rule to require expensive 3rd party testing on products intended for children. This ruling would force thousands of crafters and cottage industries out of business. But we can now breath a sigh of relief, at least for the time being. The CPSIA has issued a 1 year suspension of the rule so they can further explore concerns  and look for possible options. has a great article about the 1 year suspension that you can read here.   You can continue to keep up to date and see what you can do to help by visiting the Hand Made Toy Alliance.

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Good News For Handmade Toys

handmadetoyallianceAwhile back, I wrote a couple articles (No More Handmade Toys, Save Hand Made Toys) about how handcrafted toys and products for children will be a thing of the past due to the new law that takes effect on Feb. 10, 2009.  Well, I’m happy to report a little good news.  The Handmade Toy Alliance was successful in raising enough votes with to be included in the discussion with the Obama administration.  On January 16, 2009, they expressed their concern and offered solutions to President Obama’s transition team. and the Handmade Toy Alliance will be working together to find assistance with an appropriate non-profit group to help further their cause.  They have also opened a forum where you can discuss, offer solutions and help further this cause to save handcrafted toys and children’s products.  You can find more information at or join in the discussion at

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Save Hand Made Toys

Last month, I wrote an article about how hand-made toys will soon become a thing of the past. Why? Because selling or donating handcrafted toys will be illegal without expensive certification. Thousands of small businesses will be closing their doors as of Feb. 10, 2009 simply because they cannot afford the 3rd party certification the ‘big boys’ do. From stay-at-home moms making dolls to sell at craft shows, to small cottage industries who sell online and to boutiques. Charities will be affected too. You can no longer donate handcrafted toys, a practice many crafting organizations take part in every Christmas.

The bill has already been passed and will go in effect on Feb. 10, 2009. But there’s still some hope. Ideas For Change In America will be presenting the top 10 ideas directly to President Elect Obama just before inauguration day. The Hand Made Toy Alliance has offered their ideas and are currently in 6th place. If you value hand made toys, or are a crafter who may be affected by this bill, please offer your support to the Hand Made Toy Alliance. You can do so by voting to include this bill in the discussion with President Elect Obama. The Vote Now button is in the upper left corner of the page next to the proposal.

You can read more about the Hand Made Toy Alliance on their official website. You can also refer to my previous article “No More Handmade Toys.” Be sure to sign their online petition on their website too. Every bit of support will help.

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No More Handmade Toys

We all remember the massive toy recalls back in 2007. Toys made in developing countries, namely China, contained dangerous amounts of lead and other chemicals. This brought a lot of fear and concern about regulations regarding toy manufacturing. As a result, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was passed in August 2008. This act requires third party testing and certification of all toys distributed in the US. This testing could cost up to $4,000 per toy. Large manufacturers could easily absorb this cost. Unfortunately, it will kill the handcrafted toy industry. Thousands of home crafters who make toys to supplement their income will have close up shop because they can’t afford to have their toys certified. Parents who want a natural alternative to Mattel products will no longer have that option. Can you imagine a world without handcrafted toys? No more wooden cars and trucks. No more plush teddy bears or dollies.

The Handmade Toy Alliance has a website that explains the details of the CPSIA and how it will affect crafters. I urge you to send a letter to your Senator and Congressperson and request changes to the CPSIA so we can save handcrafted toys. You can find a sample letter and the name and address of your representatives on the Handmade Toy Alliance website.

You can also sign an online petition here.

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Hugs for Hope

Rick (aka Scrollzlilla) from Spitting Image WoodWoodworking is running a charity drive on behalf of Make A Wish Foundation. His daughter’s Senior class is raising money for Make A Wish Foundation by giving Hugs for Hope. In the spirit of giving, Rick is donating all proceeds from pattern sales between March 12-18 will be donated to this worthy cause.

Make A Wish Foundation is a very special charity that has made wishes come true for thousands of children with a life threatening illness. They help make a wish come true for a child in need every 41 minutes! My neighbor’s daughter had a wish come true by this fantastic group of people. Its amazing how a little thing like this makes such a big difference.

You can read more about this charity drive from his website. While you’re there, buy a few of those patterns you’ve had your eye on. The proceeds will help make a wish come true for a very deserving child.

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Last SSG Toy Drive Update for 2007

Here’s the last SSG Toy Drive update for 2007. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as well as planned. We had plenty of curiosity with about 30 click-throughs. But no purchases. The plan was using any commissions earned through the Amazon ads to buy toys for children that wouldn’t otherwise have a Christmas. Although we did not earn any commissions this year, I went out and bought a couple board games anyway and donated them to Toys For Tots on behalf of SSG.

Although the toy drive didn’t work in our favor this year, I think I’ll do it again next year. Perhaps with a wider readership we’ll be able to buy a lot of goodies for the little ones next year.

Thank you all for your interest and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

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