Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baking Crayons

Before we proceed, we'll need to clear something up. How do you'ns pronounce "crayons"? It might seem like a moot point, but apparently, around these parts, it is not.

Case in point:
Me: Honey, when you were a little boy, what did you use to color with?
Cory: Crans.
Me: As in, cranberries?
Cory: No, crans. Like... crans!
Me: Uh-uh.

Case in point numero dos:
Me: Keish, when you were a little girl, what did you use to color in my coloring books with?
Keisha: Crowns.
Me: As in, the Queen of England?
Keisha: No, crowns. Crowwwns. Right? Crowns!
Me: Nope.

Call me old school, but I prefer the two-syllable pronunciation. Cray-ons. It's phonics, people!


I found the best craft idea from "Whatever", a blog that is near and dear to my heart. This craft just spoke to me, for some reason. I decided that Calvin's upcoming birthday was the perfect reason to try it. I had the epiphany that I might as well start early, while it was cold and grey and I was spending countless evenings decaying on the couch. It's a good thing I started early, because it ended up being quite a task. A fun one, but a task all the same.

First, I went to Walgreens and bought the gigantic box of cray-ons that has the built-in sharpener. It harkened me right back to being a 7 year old and yearning for such a box, although I was also partial to K-Mart brand cray-ons, because they rendered a darker, waxier color.

So beautiful! It tore me up inside to think about what I was about to do to them. It just felt wrong.

But I overcame, and began stripping them down. I swear to you, I ended up with a battle wound from peeling so many cray-ons. I cut my thumb under the edge of my fingernail. Yeow.

Oooh, naked cray-ons. So much prettier without those Pale Gail wrappers. Is that Carnation Pink I spy?

Now, I have no pictures of this next and most important step. But here's what I did: I broke these bad boys up, put them in ABC sillicon molds, then baked them until they melted at 300 degrees.

I let them harden for an hour or two then I started peeling/popping them out of the molds. So fun! Until I got to M. And N. And S. And K. Some letters were just not designed to be melted into molds and then popped out in one piece. The problem was, I planned to make a set of these for each of Calvin's class mates, spelling his/her name. And there is a Macy and a Markuz. And a JerraN. And an Aaron. And Saige. And Sophie. You get my drift. The most popular letters were also the most impossible to forge.

At the same time, it seemed silly to scrap the whole plan. I was bound and determined to make a stinking M! I even consulted Meg over at Whatever. She said she had the same problem, although she was probably just trying to make me feel better.

I labored on. I think I finally did get a solid M and one, lone S.

For the others, I called in my favorite handy man, and he welded them back together for me. My motto is always that imperfections add character, so why the heck not? Plus, hello, they are 3 and 4 year olds.

Finally, it was time to pack them up.

The girls got lavender ribbons. This looks like...Sophie. Hi! Ha.

The boys got green. Kaiden, is that you? I took these pics at midnight, the night before the party. So, no natural light and lots of glare, instead.

This artsy shot is courtesy of Cory and his new monstrous, fancy camera.

The party was a success, though the teachers seemed more excited about the cray-ons than the kids. They are probably all lost or broken up by now. Or their little sisters have stolen them. But it was a fun project and it gave purpose to roughly 158 hours of my cold, Winter nights.


  1. love the nice new fancy camera shot!! that looks like a lot of work but sooooo cute!! it would break my heart too, to do that to brand new cra-yawns : )

  2. I keep looking at the naked crayons thinkin' it's naughty. ;) Too funny.

  3. Love this! You do have great shots. Funny you didn't get any of the molds. Sounds like something I would do.

    I've seen these on Etsy. People selling them. Doesn't look too difficult to do. Might have to try.

    My girlfriend said she made crayon necklaces out of her old broken crayons for the kids in her child's class. Not sure exactly what she did, but I liked that idea too.

    Thanks for sharing. Cute idea with the names, but don't fret, your end result is beautiful!


  4. I saw that project too and immediately put those molds on Lily's birthday wish list. The possibilities for silicon alphabet molds are endless, are they not?? It makes me giddy.

  5. What a cute idea! With those CRANS. (Sorry, the other way bugs me as much as this way bugs you!!!) (And I love that Whatever blog too..just discovered it!)

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  7. Wow! I am so impressed...what a talented daughter-in-law I have been blessed with! Calvin and Ruby are so blessed to have you as their mom too.

  8. I love that you removed Gary's post. It must have been should put him in the corner. Ask me sometime, but I think I pronounce it the proper way. What a fun idea. I loved the good old box of 64 Crayolas. I'm not sure I'm aware of the Kmart brand. Please do a post on trapperkeepers.

  9. I am in awe and I fear you! This type of post scares the idea of motherhood right out of me.


  10. i have to agree with cory, it's "crans" shanny :)


  11. I LOVE this idea!!! I need to look into getting a silicone mold!

  12. I'm with you's cray-ons! 100% And...I also agree with the K-Mart brand. Those were my favs growing up too. Much better...much waxier!

  13. I am beaming with pride. When you all come out my way...the crayola museum/factory is minutes from my house. For the kids at their age it is a must see. Also Just Born where peeps are made is just a couple minutes more.

  14. Whoa! You have blown me away! This is too adorable for words.

  15. Very cute project for a crafty mom - too bad I am not one of those. And for the record, I use cray-ons. My mom - being from PA - uses crowns! But she also eats ar-anges instead of the oar-anges that I enjoy! And when I visited California, she was in Califarnia. I truly thing she failed phonics - but she's my mom and I am not telling her!

  16. I got the molds yesterday!!! I can't wait to try this! I'm not sure yet what occasion I will attempt this for, but rest assured, the day will come!!! I'm sure I'll try it out for the boys first, so this weekend we will be buying crayons! Thanks so much!!!

  17. as for the kids with the letter S and whatever others you had trouble with, you could have told the kids you had a better way to spell their name
    (just feeling a bit mischievious)
    and crayons--you are right

  18. Shannan - I'm with you - Cray-ons!! I can't believe you saw this project through to such picture-perfect results! Amazing! And I love your slightly sleep-deprived humorous commentary on the packages. Here's to all of us who bite off more than we can chew, but always get it done!!

    Kris Connell