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It seems like summertime is the season of the birthday party in my circle of friends, at least as far as the kids are concerned. So I thought I’d come up with a quick craft to make for the children in my life that would be both inexpensive to create and easy to personalize. Something that encourages their creativity is a must, so I decided on making these DIY Crayon & Sketchbook Kits. These gifts are cute, useful, and will hopefully result in more artwork for me to hang on the fridge. Read on to find out how to make your own!


First, let’s make our crayons!
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Materials

Crayons Ask your pals for their unwanted broken stubs and nubs.
Non-stick muffin tin
Oven
Step 1: Peel off paper wrappers and break or chop the crayons into evenly sized bits.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 200°. Fill each cup of the muffin tin with broken crayon bits. I chose to use an assortment of colors in each cup for a tie-dye/confetti effect, but you can choose whatever combination of colors you prefer.
Step 3: Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven (make sure your oven rack is in the center position) and let the crayons melt for 10-15 minutes. Since every oven is different, the amount of time it takes your crayons to melt may vary. Mine were liquefied in about 12 minutes.
Step 4: Remove the muffin tin from the oven (keeping it as still as possible), and place on a rack to cool. After about 10 minutes, put the tin in the freezer to finish cooling. Within 20 minutes or so, you should be able to pop out your new crayons! Try to hold the tin over a kitchen towel when removing the crayons so they don’t crack on the countertop when they fall out.
Now time to tackle the sketchbook!
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Materials

Blank sketchbooks I used the 5"×8¼" kraft paper Cahier notebooks by Moleskine.
HeatnBond Lite Iron-on Adhesive or similar product
Fabric scraps
Buttons and/or ribbon trim
Thread
Iron
Step 1: Iron some HeatnBond to the back of your chosen fabric, and either hand-draw or trace the recipient’s initial onto the front (as seen in the second photo of this project). Cut out using scissors or a very sharp craft knife.
Step 2: Peel off the HeatnBond’s paper backing and fuse the initial onto the front of the notebook using a hot, dry iron.
Step 3: Sew around all edges of the initial to secure. Be sure to use a sharp, new needle in your machine and to set the stitch length long enough that you don’t just perforate and rip the paper. Remember too that when sewing on paper, you can’t backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching. It’s best to pull the top and bobbin threads towards the wrong side of the paper and tie in a knot to secure.
Step 4: If desired, add extra embellishments such as buttons or ribbon. These elements can be hand-stitched to the sketchbook cover or glued into place.
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You can give the crayons and sketchbook to the recipient as-is (or in a pretty gift box), but an especially nice way to package this set is in a fabric drawstring bag. The bag will serve as a handy carrying case for the sketchbook and crayons, and will also keep being useful long after the goodies inside have been used up. I like the drawstring bag tutorial at Happy Things.


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