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Children / Creative Corner / Humor

Literally chalking up yet another crafting failure

The kids and I recently made sidewalk chalk.

I know. Such ambition chalks shocks even me.

You see, I hate crafts. Always have. And despite my best efforts to be THAT mom, I always will.

I grew up with a domestic goddess mother so renowned that she opened the most acclaimed English tea rooms and gift shops in the city. Such domesticity must have skipped a generation because my daughter Hadley shares my mom’s talent. In an effort to support her ambitions, I recently sent her to art camp.

You know. So I wouldn’t have to do it with her.

Hadley had her birthday late-May and when people asked me what to buy, I cheerfully replied, “Get her anything to do with crafts.” This plan completely flopped because I forgot to include the important provision that “No parental involvement should be required.”

Every single one of her projects requires major supervision.

I’m ashamed to admit her beloved presents have sat all summer until one morning, I waxed ambitious. “Let’s make sidewalk chalk!” I proclaimed, pointing to her kit. “Really?” Hadley suspiciously queried, looking like the world must be coming to an end for me to be volunteering my services.

How tough could it be? The kit contained colorful powders and all we had to do was add water, shake the bottle and pour it into some cute butterfly-shaped molds.

Evidently, I can’t even handle just-add-water directions.

Part of the problem is Hadley, being an artist, wanted to have a kaleidoscope of colors within each mold. This would have been fine except the solution was fast-drying and if not poured immediately, it would become lumpy.

We found that out the hard way with Yellow.

That was the beginning of the end.

I suggested she add some more water to the bottle, put the lid on it and shake it up again. This may have been a seamless solution if she had adequately screwed the lid on.

Yellow paint shot all over the table, Hadley’s face and the ground.

I rushed her inside to cleanup but by the time she had returned, the other bottles had dried up and we were in the same predicament as before. A frenzy followed as we tried to revive the other colors.

In the end, we looked like a rainbow threw up on us but miraculously, THE END RESULT WAS ACTUAL SIDEWALK CHALK.

You know. The same stuff we could have bought at the Dollar Store.

Are you a craft lover or hater? If you love crafts, what have you been working on this summer? Be sure to try our projects in Creative Corner.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.


  1. If anyone gave her glitter in any form they should be banned from ALL future birthday parties! Naughty glitter givers.

  2. I used to be a craft lover. My daughter is a craft lover. I don’t even mind doing crafts with her. But when you throw in 2 little brothers things get REALLY messy. And I can’t seeem to want to deal with that.

  3. Crafting with kids adds a whole new element to it. Mind you, the same could be said for cooking with kids. I LOVE to cook and so does my daughter. It has been a real test of patience to let her cook with me but it is starting to pay off because she is getting really good. The same could be said about doing creative activities like crafts.

    Or I could just hire someone to do it for me. 🙂

  4. Ha, I think I better just say “no comment” – however, I will say that I usually avoid any “kits” – they’re more of a pain than fun! (pssst, buy them at the dollar store!)

  5. I just broke out in hives from reading this.

    I guess you know which side of the chalk line I’m on.

  6. I love crafts and trying new ones.

  7. Maybe chalk actually causes hives? 🙂

    Yes, I think I’ll put a ban on all future kits!

  8. Hey those kits can be a real pitb sometimes! I don’t do great with directions myself. I’m much more of a free crafter.

  9. I always have great ideas and even go as far as getting the supplies. Then I don’t have the nerve to actually do them. Hmmm…ever notice that “nerve” and “never” contain all of the same letters. I wonder if there is a correlation there????

  10. “Free crafter” is equal unto death for me. My domestic goddess mother is a free crafter and is so inspiring!

    Rhonda–Nerve and Never. Perfect!

  11. Well, let’s just say I’m known at my church’s enrichment craft nights as the SLOWEST. I guess that’s better than being the worst though, eh?

  12. I went to a scrapbooking convention in seattle and it almost gave me a nervous breakdown. So many stickers……

  13. I AM a really crafty person. I’ve made hypertufa, paper, everything you can think of. But. Those kits, are so stupid. Not because of the potential for mishaps, but because they package $1 worth of materials in a $15-$20 box. Drives me nuts. Save your money, parents, google the instructions, get gift certificates for birthdays (at AC Moore for the crafty kids) and enjoy the process of the mess. We made horrible crystals this week with Borax, really horrible. But it was fun. And they still learn something.

  14. I feel validated that even the really crafty people warn against those kits. 🙂

    And a scrapbooking convention would give me a nervous breakdown!

  15. I used to make fun things with my kids, like play dough and edible finger paints, and stuff like that. We had a blast. There’s nothing like watching a 2 or 3 years old finger paint to make you laugh. I personally love all crafts, but don’t have time to do them anymore. That’s sad….

  16. Well, like I said on Twitter…I don’t think you’re a crafting failure. I think you’re just REALLY GOOD at finding things that DON’T WORK. 😉

  17. You amaze me–I wouldn’t have even made the attempt. Your kids are going to have such great memories of adventures with their mom.

  18. I’m a craft hater – and both girls are lovers – I feel your pain!!!

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