Children's Broom and Mop... {Kid Stuff; Tutorial}

We are really happy with how these turned out, and even more happy with the cost - just $8. 

We made them for our niece for Christmas, and she loved them. She likes to clean like her mama. Originally, I looked online for children's cleaning supplies but the costs surpassed the agreed on spending limit (I like the challenge of a spending limit), so I ditched that idea and started to brainstorm how we could make our own. When it was all done, we couldn't wait to give them to her. 

Here's a quick tutorial: 

1. We picked up a 1 inch dowel, 4 feet in length from Home Depot. This cost about $4.

2. Next, we headed to Dollarama and bought the mop and broom heads. We matched them on purpose (the red accent) so they would like a pair when it was all done. This also came to around $4.  

3. At home, we cut the dowel in half with a hack saw and sanded our two halfs with fine sandpaper (320 grit). This made the dowel very soft and smooth.  

4. The dowel was a little too wide to slide into the openings of the broom and mop, which we were aware of and this was actually a good thing. So while the handyman held a belt sander I slowly rotated about 1 inch of the dowel against the sander. We checked to see if it would fit while we went, so that we wouldn't sand it down too far. 

Here's a sketch of what we were trying to achieve:

5. When it looked like it would fit, the handyman then screwed the end of the dowel into the mop (and the broom).. this took some elbow grease. Tip: He drilled out the grooves in the mop just slightly.. and when it came to the broom, he drilled a larger hole. For both, it was a snug fit so it didn't require glue, like we had thought it might. There was a slight gap in the broom head where the dowel met the broom, so I used wood glue to fill the gap and smoothed it out with my finger. (This sounds a bit more complicated then it really is... I hope it all makes sense). 

6. Lastly, we drilled a hole in the top and tied a string, so they could be neatly hung when the housework is done.

Time: About 2 hours
Cost: $8.00

My sister-in-law spreads buttons on the floor for our niece to mop and sweep into piles. So, you could always add to this little project with buttons and a dust pan... and have them practice cleaning while their young! 

I want to hear from you! How do you get creative with a spending limit? What was the limit, and what do you do/make? In addition to this gift for our niece/cousin, our son made her alphabet cards with words about her family (names, traditions, likes) which I then had laminated at Staples (laminating 26 cards cost us $15). They turned out great too.