The Frugal Café | Photo credit: 

Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com

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Chic 'n Cheap: Unique Kitchen Crafts Made with Legos

By Vicki McClure Davidson

 

Is there a growing collection of brightly colored Lego building bricks lurking in every nook and cranny of your child's bedroom? As well as under the refrigerator, behind the stereo unit, buried beneath the sofa cushions, and on the floor of the hall closet? Have you ever stepped on one in the middle of the night with bare feet, swear loudly you'd rid your house of them, but didn't?

Worse still, has your son or daughter grown tired of or outgrown playing with their zillion Lego pieces, no longer having an interest in building castles and tiny horse corrals and forts?

Before you begin attacking and pitching the mess of hard-plastic clutter, here's a photo collage of chic 'n cheap crafts you and your children can do together to make attractive, no-cost kitchen items. All Lego kitchen creations and photos are credited to L. Marie; (click this link to see her other photos posted on Flickr.com, Creative Commons license).

We loved all of these kitchen pieces, and felt that after seeing these, with your imagination, you could devise other innovative, functional craft projects for the kitchen or other rooms of your house.

 

A charming black and white kitchen tool/wooden spoon caddy made of Legos A charming black and white kitchen tool/wooden spoon caddy made of Legos
A simple yellow napkin holder made of Legos, perfect for outdoor use during family BBQs or on the breakfast counter A simple yellow napkin holder made of Legos, perfect for outdoor use during family BBQs or on the breakfast counter
A unique yellow and blue (the blue is difficult to see, it forms the base) Lego fruit basket A unique yellow and blue (the blue is difficult to see, it forms the base) Lego fruit basket
A sophisticated blue and white spiral-patterned flower vase cover; just insert a vertical jar or narrow vase filled with water inside it A sophisticated blue and white spiral-patterned flower vase cover; just insert a vertical jar or narrow vase filled with water inside it
A striking, bold pattern of black and tan Legos creates a handsome, square candy dish A striking, bold pattern of black and tan Legos creates a handsome, square candy dish

 

Brief History of Legos

There is a rich history behind the company that makes "America's favorite toy." Begun in 1932 in Denmark, Ole Kirk Christiansen, a master carpenter and joiner, opened his business in the village of Billund. His small company manufactured stools, stepladders, ironing boards, and quality wooden toys. His 12-year-old son, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, also worked in the family business. The company and all its products were named LEGO® in 1934, which was formed from the Danish words "LEg GOdt" (translation: "play well"). Some time later, Ole discovered that in Latin, the word they coined means, "I put together."

The company continued to make their popular wooden toys for nearly two decades before manufacturing the distinctive plastic brick until the late 1940s. It was called LEGO Automatic Binding Brick and had either four or eight studs. Plastic was new as a production material, and the Lego Group was the first in Denmark to buy an expensive plastic injection-moulding machine for its toy production. The first ancillary Lego items were a plastic fish and a plastic sailor. The design of the Lego brick was modified until it now looks like it does today.

As the years passed, the company kept growing and expanding its line of toys and Lego components. Ole Kirk Christiansen passed away in 1958, and his son Godtfred became the head of the company. Expansion to other countries boomed. By 1971, Legos were being exported to the Far East and in 1978, mini figures with movable arms and legs were introduced. Sales continued to soar. By 1980, a survey revealed that 70 percent of all Western European families with kids under 14 now had Lego bricks in their home.

In 2000, the British Association of Toy Retailers named the Lego brick "Toy of the Century." Despite a gloomy economy and the brutal beating many other toy manufacturers took last year with plummeting sales, the company did very well in sales in 2008. The company has always tried to keep its product line fresh (Star Wars and super hero Lego sets became hugely popular) and its toys of the highest quality. In fact, back when Ole Christiansen first started his company, he placed the following motto on his workshop wall: "Only the best is good enough."

Lego building bricks are a toy classic and are sold all over the world. Per the company's website, throughout the world, children spend 5 billion hours a year playing with Lego bricks.

Visit the Lego company's site index to read about new products, game ideas, parenting tips, and Legoland amusement parks.

 

 

 

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Source: Lego company website, (www.lego.com).