I had originally intended to make mobiles with the coat hangers, but when I started gathering supplies, I thought “What else can the ubiquitous white hanger become?” I dug around in our recycling bin, found some small containers. When we added a bit of yarn and paper clips and, voila! We had a simple scale! This is an easy project for younger children to enjoy. Gather a bunch of small, light objects and let your little ones weigh away!


Wire coat hanger

2 small plastic containers (of similar size & weight)

Yarn, string or ribbon; scissors

A chopstick or pencil

1 tack and 2 paper clips

Ages: Children 3+ can make this on their own. Younger children will need help but once it’s made, they can use it on their own.

Time: 5-10 minutes to make

Project Steps:

For our scale baskets, we used individual cereal containers, but you can use anything from your recycling bin. Use the tack to make a small hole at each corner. Now, let your child measure out the yarn by holding it finger-tip to should. Cut 4 pieces this long (about 18-20 inches). Cut each piece in half so that you have 8 pieces of equal length. Thread a piece of yarn through each hole and tie to secure. Tie the pieces of yarn together at the top so that the basket hangs evenly. Push a paper clip up through the knot and hang it from one end of the coat hanger. Do the same with the other basket. A square of paper or tape can be used to keep the baskets from sliding. Now tape a chopstick or pencil to the edge of a table and hang your scale!

momfilter curious jane tack

momfilter curious jane scale thread

momfilter curious jane scale basket

momfilter curious jane paperclip

momfilter curious jane scale sign

momfilter curious jane scale pins

Have on hand for next Friday’s project:

White paper, pencil and eraser – our young designers will show how to draw funky, quirky characters, step-by-step.

Curious Jane, founded by contributor Samantha Razook Murphy, offers project-based after-school programs and summer camps, revolving around creativity in the arts and sciences.


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