Carving pumpkins is a seasonal project that serves as a great excuse for creative bonding time with families. We are feeling inspired to enjoy the fall festivities with DIY projects. We pulled a handy guide off the bookshelf to share some fun crafty projects with you for autumn.

DIY Projects for Families

Tackling projects with youngsters creates quality time that is fun and teaches new skills. The effects are lasting. When a child takes the lead to measure, paint, or design the DIY project they feel a sense of pride and independence. Once you finish the project, you have many more hours of fun playing with or admiring your DIY creations!  For additional DIY family projects, you can check out the Pinterest Board shared by 3 Bossy Bees for more ideas.

Afternoon Projects

The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area is filled with fun activities for families. While there are many engaging activities in the Triangle, sometimes, just sticking around the house is the best way to spend an afternoon. Here are a few DIY projects your crew can tackle together:


You can make a wooden sword with leftover woods slats and sandpaper. Another fun and a softer option is a pool noodle sword! All you need is duct tape and an old broomstick or PVC pipe to fashion some fun.

Made in the Kitchen

DIY Crafts with kids in the kitchen - baking

Eggshell Cupcakes: If you have an oven and an appetite, this is the afternoon craft for you. Enjoy the surprise you’ll give to children and adults when they realize a cupcake is inside the shell of an egg. Make sure you bookmark this for the Easter season!

Slimy Goo: This sensory DIY project has three ingredients:  glue, borax, and water.You can get wild with glitter, food coloring, and fun glues from a local craft store like Bull City Craft. Children enjoy the funny sensation of making something slimy into a more solid texture.

Dad saves the day and makes Play Dough with the kids

Play Dough: Homemade  playdough is a family favorite for many reasons:

  • It doesn’t stick
  • It smells amazing when made with coconut oil
  • And you can create any different color combinations.

Garden Projects

  • Fairy Garden: Functional meets fun when you get herbs and flowers in your fairy gardens. Children and adult enjoy the outcome of this project. Kids spend hours playing and imagining the lives of fairies while adult cultivates herbs to use in their culinary dishes. Here are 40 ideas to inspire your next garden or planter.
  • Garden Train: Introducing a playful element into your garden is a great way to get children involved in an outdoor activity.  Take wooden crates, wine boxes, or pallets and upcycle them to make a garden train where you can plant flowers, herbs or showcase a collection of pumpkins.


A Family DIY Project for the Weekend

DIY Crafts with Kids in the workshopThese DIY projects are best reserved for the weekend since they may take a more time to complete. We have picked 3 projects that vary depending on tools needed. These family projects have a longer shelf life to enjoy:

  • Birdhouse: Having a birdhouse around close to home is tremendously beneficial. Birds naturally eat away a variety of pests, such as caterpillars, aphids, and mosquitoes. With 53 birdhouse plans, we know you will find one that the whole family will love. Building the birdhouse is one part of the DIY project that allows for math and engineering skills and decorating allows for the artistic side to be engaged.
  • Terrarium: You can make a terrarium in just about anything. From lightbulbs to mason jars, all you need is some light and this handy guide from the University of Illinois for some basic tips on plant care.
  • Pennants and Banners: Pennant Banners are an inexpensive way to decorate your home for the seasons or special occasions. You can make your own Fabric Pennant or to engage more children at once you can create banners out of cardstock or scrapbook paper. Dip into the craft cupboard and use many different decorating materials from glitter glue to sequins to make the more temporary paper banner.


The Neighborhood Kids Will Love You Project

build a swing set with your kids

The following DIY projects may be best reserved for school breaks. It is helpful to have a Safe Woodshop setup, but not required. When your family completes these projects, you will have hours of fun to share with the kids in the neighborhood:

  • Bicycle Jump: When you roll this bicycle ramp out on the driveway or cul de sac, your kids will feel a great sense of pride from their workmanship and from their daring jumps. Use with caution and supervision, also don’t forget the bike helmets!
  • Backyard swing set: A wooden swing set is classic and perfect for any yard. You can keep a rustic look by staining the wood or make it more contemporary it with paint and landscaping. Both options are great for the kids and the and parents will love the joy and entertainment it brings.
  • Seesaw: We liked this particular seesaw because it has the charm of a ship and it comes with detailed instructions from the DIY Network. If you can, recycle by using wooden pallets!

Local Resources to Satisfy Your Project Cravings

When the kids catch the craft and construction fever you will need to uplevel your skills or just find a new DIY project to try. Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and their neighboring towns have the resources you need.

  • Museum of Life and Science in Durham offers camps and workshops for learners of all ages. They have many offerings for tinkering, crafts, and construction.
  • This summer camp hosted the Boys and Girls Club in Raleigh with a focus on construction skills.
  • The Scrap Exchange is a favorite for many around Durham and the surrounding area. They offer affordable rates for drop-in craft building at $5 for 90 minutes of crafts from their large selection of goods.
  • Cely’s House in Chapel Hill has a variety of classes including pottery.
  • Carrboro Arts Center is focused on visual and performing arts. They have a rich offering of camps, workshops, and classes for all ages.
  • The STEM for Kids branch in Morrisville is gaining great reviews. They offer track-out camps, classes on weekdays and weekends, and a special program for toddlers and younger children.
  • Larger retailers such as Home Depot and Michaels offers craft and building workshops for kids. Keep an eye on their calendars for a DIY project your kids might enjoy!


Co-authored by 3 Bossy Bees