Sunday, May 11, 2014

Crazy Crafty: Mama's Macaroni Magic

Call it stunted growth.  Call it arrested development.  There are certain rites of passage that, gone un-passed, result in an inhibited, regressive, emotionally-hobbled, curiously-craft-obsessed man-boy.

One day, while wandering around our favorite Italian market, Claro's, I was
overjoyed to spy this GIANT pasta (I had to include a standard-sized penne
noodle for comparison purposes) - that's-a big-a pasta!!!

I knew from the combination of the proprietoress' exhortations and the $1.76 price
tag that the universe was granting me the chance to recreate a sorely-missed opportunity.

Would you believe me if I told you that I had never dyed macaroni for Mother's Day jewelry making?  Never.  Not ever.  How does one rebound from bypassing such a fundamental step in childhood development?  I didn't know where to begin.  It was clear that recovery would be a process requiring professional help - not from a therapist, rather from my dear friend, a preschool teacher.  Her counsel left me confident that my crafting skills were on par with those of her four-year-old students.

Following instructions, I added the pasta, a few drops of food coloring,
and one-quarter cup hand sanitizer to sealable plastic bags.  I then
removed the pasta and allowed it dry on layers of paper toweling; the
alcohol in the sanitizer allows the color to dry lickety-split, meaning the
Mother's Day macaroni magic can commence within minutes!

All that was left to do was string the pasta with coordinating yarn and make my mom promise to wear her Mother's Day present all day, in public, sight unseen (insert sinister laughter here).  I, of course, was quick to remedy the simplicity of brightly-colored, oversized, tube pasta with what is quickly becoming my signature adornment, the yarn pom pom!

"Just what I've always wanted!!!"....
is what I imagined her saying as I placed the necklace around
her neck with all the reverence of a purple heart presentation.

Except for the fact that it is quite a bit of necklace on a petite frame (seriously,
how does a woman who measures under 5'5" have 5 such giant children?),
I think the scale and the bright hues of the pasta elevate it to something
bordering on the downright chic - or maybe just one of those saran-wrap-
and-candy leis handed out so freely to high school grads.

The best thing about my mom is that she keeps her promises!
She wore the necklace to church with Grandma and actually
got many compliments on it.  The only embarrassing moments
came when she had to explain that her grown son made it for her!

Even after all of that necklace, I still ended up with a few rogue pieces of pigmented pasta.  Hating to waste, I decided to incorporate them into the design of our Mother's Day table.

Recognize that napkin ring née noodle?
To further the traditional elementary-school, Mother's Day, crafty-
gifty theme, I created bowers and bowers of tissue-paper flowers.
I told myself, "take a picture, it'll last longer," but I'm pretty sure these
paper peonies will last a good long time as well!

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful Mom!  Among many other gifts, she has bestowed upon me the opportunity to right a wrong that has hounded me for a lifetime.  Making a dyed-macaroni necklace takes me one step closer to developmental equality with my peers and endows me with a greater appreciation for pre-kindergarten craftiness.  Thanks, Mom!

Here's hoping that your Mother's Day is blessed with a bit of Macaroni Magic!


Mr. Tiny


  1. I know some 5 year olds who would be envious of your dye job! Well done my friend!

    1. Thank you for all the counsel and advice!! You made Mother's Day!

  2. Grandma is looking secretly reliieved that you didn't make her one too. Although I'm sure you could hav done a chic black and white on to match her outfit - squid ink and hand sanitizer?

    1. Hahaha!!! I think grandma would've fallen over from the weight of the pasta!

  3. You must have felt like child while offering this cute present to your mum! Nice job!!!
    I have 2 more weeks to think about my present because mothers day is the 25th in France...

    1. So you still have time to dye some pasta!! Sometimes it's fun to relive childhood...okay, all of the time!

  4. the necklace is brilliant and it was so lovely that your mum wore it all day! but ive got to say I think using it as napkin rings is genius! it looks really chic!

    1. Thanks a million! I told her she didn't have to wear it all day but she called my bluff! Sometimes cheapness is the mother of invention!

  5. Hole mole that is huge penne pasta! I love the bright colors you got.

    1. Thanks! I couldn't believe it when I saw it, I knew I had to buy that humongous pasta!

  6. Honestly, I think the necklace looks fabulous - that is bold, statement jewellery right there. The addition of the pompoms may be a step too far though... :)

    1. Hahaha!!! Are you kidding? The pompoms make it...make it even more embarrassing!!!