Crafty Ways to Dump the Narcissists in Your Life

March 12, 2010

Back in 2006, Leah Kramer of Craftster published this book:

“I have two serious addictions – rummaging through thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales: and making stuff. In my rummaging escapades I’m always attracted to any artifact from the 1950s. There’s this certain je ne sais quoi about things from that era – the furniture, appliances, and dishware with a space-age modern, yet retro, look; the graphics and ads dripping with treacle and saccharine turns of phrase; the depictions of an ideal home where strappingly handsome Dad sits in his armchair smoking a pipe and reading the paper while rosy-cheeked Mom, with perfectly coiffed hair, bakes a cake, an apron tied around her 20-inch waist; the humor of the cookbooks, with their supersaturated photos of glistening creamed corn casseroles and hot dogs wrapped in cheese and then wrapped in bacon, and of course the liberal interpretation of the word “salad” to include a multitude of savory or sweet morsels suspended in molded gelatin … I could go on forever”. 

I’ve got this book out on loan from the library, where it was featured in the New Acquisitions section and it is an absolute hoot.  As I have a tidy cache of cigar boxes, I was pleased to find several ideas to turn them into gifts of – well – questionable taste.  

When I was in Primary School, I loved making the craft projects that were featured in The English Women’s Weekly of the 60s.  However, I erred badly on the side of birthday gift-giving etiquette, when I made a soft-sculpture fairy castle out of velvet and beads to give to my best friend on the occasion of her 10th birthday.   Sadly, childhood friendships just don’t survive that sort of faux pas.

Then there was the Elizabeth I doll that I made from a Palmolive dishwashing liquid bottle, numerous dolls and sculptures made from scallop shells and the ubiquitous clothes-peg dollies.  I could knit by the time I was 5, was a valued customer of the local haberdashery stores by the time I was 12, and a few years later learned that knitting a jumper for my boyfriends was the equivalent of the Kiss of Death for the relationship.

I have never made anything using pasta though.  Romantic tradition has it that Marco Polo brought pasta back with him to Italy in 1295 after 12 years of adventuring in Asia. For centuries, Italian kitchens simmered and stewed pasta to the highest peaks of culinary ecstasy. Some 650 years later, pasta took on a new life – as an art form to be glued onto ordinary objects and painted gold. Dried pasta comes in all kinds of interesting shapes, and it’s cheap. The possibilities for macaroni-adorned objets d’art are endless. Coordinate a gift set for a retro-loving friend, or bedeck all the objects in a room for an unforgettably kitschy look.

In the spirit of those Bucket Lists – 1000 things to do/see/read/visit before one dies – I have complied a list of 1000 Daggy Things To Make Before My Eyesight Goes, and this Mac and Gold Jewel Box is first cab off the rank ……… for my crystals!

A jewel box worthy of the Queen of Sheba


Standard white craft glue

Dried pasta in various shapes

1 empty cardboard cigar box

Stack of newspapers

Gold spray paint

Small plastic pearls, beads, and other decorations.


1. Glue various shapes of pasta to the top and sides of the cigar box in a symmetrical or free-form pattern.

2. When the glue has thoroughly dried, about 30 minutes (or see instructions of glue bottle), lay the box on the stack of newspapers, either outside or in a well-ventilated room, and spray it with the gold paint. You may have to spray one side at a time and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before painting the next side.

3. Afer the paint has dried completely, add more sparkle and beauty by gluing on small plastic pearls, beads, and other decorations.




  1. Hilarious! And tacky! I had a toilet roll poodle once.

    Why does that egg carton lantern remind me of Diana of Ephesus?

    Hee hee!

  2. “100 Daggy Things to Make” – AHAHAHAHAAAA!! I seriously choked a little when read this 😀 “Daggy” is such a brilliant Aussie word; you can _hear_ what it means, no explanation necessary.

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