Re-creating crayons

Kids love their crayons — until they break.Crayola Crayon Maker -- what to do with old crayons

As a parent, I pick up those broken pieces and place them back in the box or bag with the unbroken pieces waiting for that day my children realize those bits are just as good as before they split in two. It will never happen unless they’re desperate, but I can hope.

Now, there’s a better way. I just came across the fab Crayola Crayon Maker. Add the bits into the machine (kaleidoscope of colors welcome), melt them down, pour them into a mold and let them harden. Voila! New funky crayons.

I have a feeling kids will be breaking their crayons on purpose from now on. For ages 8+. Available at Toys R Us, $33.

DIY Delight

Book Review: DIY Furniture by Christopher Stewart I just received a copy of DIY Furniture: A step-by-step guide by Christopher Stuart from Raincoast Books.  I remain in awe of people who see potential and beauty in the oddest things, like black plastic water pipe (newspaper table), rubber doormats (poltrona armchair) and styrofoam (sedia e sgabello chair).

While all the projects are worth a mention for their creativity, three really stand out: the oddstock floored wardrobe is quite lovely with its zigzagged-pattern doors made from clearance flooring; the split box shelves (see image below), which marries art and functionality by assembling logs and strips of plywood into an array of boxes; and the simply perfect writing desk, inspired by furniture of the 1950s and 1960s but suitable for any corner in need of a table, especially in a child’s room.

The 30 projects are divided into 7 sections, namely tables and desks, storage, lighting, seating, bedroom, outdoor and miscellaneous. Along with the step-by-step instructions, each is also accompanied by hand-drawn plans  and a list of materials and tools that you can pick up at your local hardware store.

Follow along or be inspired…a one-of-a-kind, made-by-you piece is  easier than you think.

DIY Furniture: a step-by-step guide, by Christopher Stuart. Published by Laurence King Publishing, 2011.