DIY Ukulele

Inspired by our trips to Hawaii, the sisters team decided to make their own working ukulele. We ended up making a whole lot of them because it is a good way to practice some woodworking skills. We advise using wood that isn’t to hard for the sides, because that makes drilling the center hole a lot easier.Supplies for a DIY Ukulele

We are missing some photos between the required supplies and the final clamping- sorry.


DIY Ukulele- clamping the front and back
Clamping the front and back together

After lots of cutting and drilling, we clamped the front and back together. We used a big drill bit to drill the center hole after measuring for the right spot. Make sure that you don’t put two keyholes directly on top of each other, leave room for the strings to go down.  

DIY Ukulele
Ready for painting

We put the keys in and glued the bridge on. We double-checked out measurements a lot so the strings would all align. We also made sure to sand it a lot, you don’t want to get a splinter while playing music. 

DIY Ukulele
Top View
DIY Ukulele
Close up of the end with the bridge

(The keys and bridge came from a set ordered online) 

DIY Ukulele
Painted in a color scheme with sparkly paint 


Here is an indestructible ukulele capable of fending off a troll. Made from poplar and bound together with the magic of the ages, its music will impress even fairies.

Color Splash Collection


Embracing  color  and elegance our necklaces will  bring  joy to those who wear them. 

Wooden Jewelry, Necklaces, Color Splash
Color Splash Collection

Our collection of Color Splash necklaces are made from poplar wood, painted in pastel and with silver chain and pendants.  


Wooden Jewelry, Necklaces, Color Splash
Ocean Color
Wooden Jewelry, Necklaces, Color Splash
Ocean Color

This necklace is called Ocean Color.


Wooden Jewelry, Necklaces, Color Splash
Midday Sun
Wooden Jewelry, Necklaces, Color Splash
Midday Sun


This necklace is Midday Sun


Puzzle Boxes

This puzzle box was inspired by Roy Underhill’s Woodwright Shop. Based on an early American grease pot design it is crafted out of poplar. It measures 8 inches by 3 inches, just big enough to hide special jewels or a secret treasure.


Handcraft Wooden Puzzle box DYI
Puzzle Box

The clean dove tail is essential to making this puzzle box work.  Ideally you want to use a harder would that you used for the box. 


Handcraft Wooden Puzzle box DYI
Dovetail close up


Starting a dovetail for a puzzle box
Measuring a dovetail

Use a chisel to measure the width of a dovetail.  Cut two sets of parallel line and remove the outer edges,


DIY wooden puzzel box
Cutting the lid and lock.

Make use to secure the wood and cut very slowly to get a clean cut. If using a Japanese saw let the weight of the saw do the cutting,


DIY wodden puzzle box
Drill a hole after cutting off the lid to help align the pieces better.

We tried drilling the hole before cutting and found out the pieces did not align tightly.  Even a thin blade takes a lot of material from a piece of wood.

DIY wodden puzzle box
Finished box


Remember to carve out the dovetail before cutting the lid and lock.  Be prepared to make mistakes- that is all part of the process.  For the locking slider make sure it is angled to secure the lid.  We made that mistake more than once.  We used the mistake in other projects.

Handcraft Wooden Puzzle box DYI
Fully opened


To make the dove tail pop we typically use a darker stain.  It make it harder to unlock, you can painted the whole piece to hide the locking mechanism.

Happy crafting!




Shape Shifting Toy Robots

When the sisters team discovered Transform comics (Go WindBlade!) they wanted a whole city of Transformers to play with.  While that was way too expensive they could build their own ShapeShifting Robots out of wood.

Supplies for a hand crafted DIY robot that transforms
Getting Started

Borrowing for wooden dolls we settled on a design with rubber bands attaching the arms and head to the body and a bolt to attached the legs enabling the robot to shift forms.


Making DIY wooden transfromjng robots
Drilling to holes

First we cut and drilled all the wood based on a working design.


Assembling a hand crafted DIY robot that transforms
Assembling Begins!

We used lego wheels for the robots that transformed into cars.

Fitting rubberband a hand crafted DIY robot that transforms
Fitting the rubber bands

Attaching the rubber bands proved difficult.  We used a jewelry tool to thread the rubber bands through the holes in the wood (many broke in the process).


Assembling a hand crafted DIY robot that transforms
Final Touches

A few more adjustments.

A hand crafted DIY robot that transforms
The Robot is complete!

By using springs in the legs the robot can hold a standing position.


DIY wooden transfroming robots
The assembly line

After we perfect a design it was just a matter of creating a assembly line to crank out droids!


DIY Wooden Transfroming Robots.

The robots in alt form.

DIY Wooden Transfroming Robots.
Robot form

The robots transformed!

Happy making!


Monsters know their food and the best way to spice up good cooking is using herbs straight from your own garden. From our hidden garden in the city the HipMonsters sister team will bring you tips on growing herbs in a city, how best to preserve and prepare your herbs and  how to have fun!  

Our Herb Garden
Our flower garden.
Our Flower Garden

We take special care to dry and preserve out herbs and flowers. 

Potions Cabinate
Potion collection

 And when they are perfect we grind them up to make out own special blends!

mortar and pestle grinding Herbs
Our well used mortar and pestle

Preping some ingredients

Bottles of Herbs and Flowers
Herb concoctions are ready to go!

Bottled up and ready to be delivered

Our Monster Family

The Hip Monsters team does not like trees going to waste so whenever we stumble upon a piece of wood too rotten or misshapen to be used for out projects we create a monster!

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft


Born from a dead branch of a juniper bush this monster is built to protect a child’s room.  It is very possessive and will only allow one monster in the room at a time. Perfect for making sure human children have a restful nighttime sleep.

Allie was one of our first monsters and is at the front of our house very Halloween! 


 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Coming through your window!

We call this one the Anteater.  The Anteater creature was a wonderful branch that was too split to make a good wand or use in other projects.  After we stabilized the splitting and cut out all the rotted wood, we coated her heavily in bees wax.

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Side view

At first we thought of mounting Anteater as if she was a trophy but then the Sister’s team thought of having her appear to climb out from the wall.  We then used a picture frame we were working on and created a fake window for her to climb out of. With a window as a mount, she made a great addition to our living room.


 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Humming Bird

The humming bird monster was a branch too weak to be used for other projects.  After trimming and tons of bees wax we added felt wings.

 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Bottom view

hung from the ceiling the humming bird monster comes to life.


 steampunk, monster, woodcraft
Shui the Dragon

Born from one of our favorite bushes and a failed custom, Shui the dragon was out most complex monster at that time.

Steampunk wooden monster
Flying free!

Shui has posable legs, tail and wings. The legs barely can support her so we decided to hang her from the ceiling to watch over us as we craft.

Steampunk wooden monster
Side view

 The wings are from a dragon custom we were building that proved to be too heavy. The tail is made by repeatedly cutting the log and threading a steal wire to through to secure it.

Happy Making!

Staff- Twisting Wave

Monster staffs are typically made from found wood that calls to us. Designed to aid travelers and repel the occasional Coyota (although, they are seriously misunderstood creatures!)

Twisting Wave is made from a fallen eucalyptus branch, smoothed with monster care, and dye using our special herbs! She is ready for a twisted journey along the coast.

Crimson Lava


 Crimson Lava


The wand Crimson Lava pulls in the magic of volcanos so needs an especially strong witch or wizard to wield its power.  It is said to have been crafted on the Big Island of Hawaii during a large eruption.

Special Spell

Accive Sassa Liquefacta (Summon Lava)

It is 13 1/2 inches long. Made of poplar grown in the Hip Monster’s realm. The wood was spoke shaven straight, soaked in oil with a red clay then polished with bee’s wax.

Every wand comes with its lore and a special spell that is made especially for it.

Happy Casting!