Friday, February 05, 2010

Melt My Heart

Since Friday is the only day right now that I have both boys at home, it's become craft day. I need something, anything to do with Griffin to keep him busy, otherwise he's climbing the walls or driving me crazy, or a combination of both.

We got our monthly letter from the preschool on Monday. In it, it mentioned "if you were planning on sending valentines to school..." Valentines? Seriously? I thought I had a few years grace on these sort of things. And "if you were planning?" How many people do this? Am I going to look like the classic over-achieving Mom, being the only one who sends my kid with valentines, or am I going to look like the classic "I don't give a shit" slacker Mom, if I send my kid to school empty handed? Oh, the stress!

So I took the high road (that'd be the overachieving one) and hit the internets for some crafty ideas.

Most popular valentines craft on the internet is by far the heart shaped crayon melty goodness.

This is easy, and fun, and I'd highly suggest it, because not only is making them fun, but taking pictures of all those colours is TOTALLY fun.

The instructions suggest collecting all those busted crayon pieces from your kids. Not many of those around here so we headed to the big W (that'd be Walmart, duh) and for five bucks, bought a big box of smiles.

They say money can't buy you happiness, but when five bucks gets you 96 crayons, I'd say they're WRONG!

Take a moment to weed out the dark coloured crayons from your pile - you'll thank me later. The bright colours look SO much better than the dark ones, just toss those dark ones aside.

Now if the thought of peeling paper off of 96 crayons makes you want to throw up in your mouth a bit, fear not. I have the solution! A big bowl, some lukewarm water, and everybody in the pool for a swim! The water kills the glue that holds the paper wrappers together, and they (mostly) all just fall off.
Leaving you with a pile of naked crayons, and their discarded clothing:
Next up: demolition! Bust up them crayons into little wee pieces. This can be done with or without your child helper. I was selfish, and did it all on my own.
Next, find yourself a cute baby, put him in a cute outfit in a bouncy chair next to your craft table, and bounce him to la-la land. Stop occasionally to admire him, and how well he clashes with his chair.When you're done admiring your baby (feel free to admire mine if you don't have one,) it's time to bust out the baking tray! These silicone ones work best, especially when it comes time to pop your crayons out. However, I suppose you could use muffin cups in regular old baking tins too. Now, depending where you want to sit on the over-achiever scale, you can either a) toss colours haphazardly into tray or b) colour coordinate your crayon pieces in varying shades and hues. Wishy washy as ever, we did a bit of both.
Pause to take a few pictures of your tiny helper. Take a moment to explain the difference between "smile" and "stick your tongue out."
And now, we bake. Having found a few variations on time and temperature, we chose the middle road and went with 10 minutes at 350, which was more than enough. Put your mold on a baking sheet, to catch any wayward drippy waxy bits.

A tip: when your melty hearts come out of the oven, do give the tray a little tap-tap-tap to make any air bubbles rise too the top. Do NOT tap them so hard that the hot melty wax leaps out of the tray and all over your stove. You're welcome.

When your hearts cool a bit, you may find them with a weird, almost fatty looking layer of off-white stuff on the top. Trim that stuff off with a nice sharp knife, preferably while the crayons are still slightly warm. Take a picture of the cool trimmings, and don't forget to wash the knife!Next up, we created some cards. (OK, really I created and printed the cards the night before.) I found a version of this tutorial on The Long Thread, and there is a PDF of some cute cards there that you can attach your hearts too. I chose to do up my own, based on the ones at The Long Thread, simply because I wanted to fit six on a page rather than four. There is no cool PDF of mine that you can download, because sadly, I'm just not that cool.

I splurged an extra 5 bucks, and bought some fancy scrapbooking double sided sticky squares to attach our crayons with...an excellent decision, considering Griffin spent a good amount of time carefully and meticulously sticking 27 squares to 27 cards, easily his favourite part.
Speaking of colourful, lets take a close up look at that aforementioned cute baby, and his fantastic slippers! I think these came from Julia, and we love them. They were very fitting for today's activities.
Back to our task at hand...et volia! A pile of fancy, overachieving crayon hearts for your kid to cart to preschool next week. Sonny better come home with some other fancy-assed valentines, or Mama is gonna feel like a fool!

7 comments:

Lara said...

Dude! Those are gorgeous and amazing and totally over achieving ;) I'm very impressed!

Kater said...

Nice work! Here at babymakes we were thinking of this: http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/valentines-day-projects-for-kids#slide_23
Similar materials! But we're undecided as of yet since the Backyardigans seem to be the ever present obsession...

oma said...

Awesome!!!

Sarah said...

where did you get the heart shaped tray - I saw this over at the long thread too and was planning on making some. But I can't find the silicone kind.

They turned out really well!

ss

Laura Lee said...

those are beautiful! You may have just single-handedly restored the fun factor in Valentines Day for me (and you know how difficult that is by my recent post...)
thank you! and your little cheeky helper, too!

Angella said...

These are great!

(Finally writing that article about easy crafts.)

:)

Sherrye Hudson said...

I will give a tip - use Crayola crayons because they melt wonderfully. I found out the hard way this past fall with a craft that the cheaper crayons do not melt as easily. Crayola does a wonderful job in the melting department. :)