Everything I’m not sure I needed to know I learned in grade school.

Make your own Rorschach
Get a length of string and dip it into
a watercolor solution. Place it on a sheet of paper, fold half of the paper over
it, press down and pull the string. Voila! Your own psych test.

Make eggshell
First, though, you had to eat a lot of
hardboiled eggs. Then you crushed the shells into little “tiles,” which you then
glued onto oslo paper (which, like manila envelopes, most likely do not come
from Oslo) in various formations, usually petals or vague approximations of
cars. Then you painted them happy

Make houses out of
popsicle sticks.
First, though, you had to eat a
lot of popsicles. No, not really. Sets of colored popsicle sticks are still sold
in bookstores for the edification of our young. After you recovered from the
aroma of Elmer’s glue, you were the proud owner of a popsicle stick house. Other
kids went all out and made fences, lawns and garages to go with their house.
These kids are probably art directors by now. Or those guys who make MMDA

Make baskets out of
Newspaper strips, cloth strips
stiffened with glue, salvaged telephone wire, drinking straws (which could also
be made into beads), pages from old telephone directories, tin foil – anything
that could be made into strips was fair game for baskets. I could probably make
a basket from cigarette

Make giftwrap from
Or okra. These were highly favored for
making stamps. You would carve out a pattern on a slice of potato, dip that in
watercolor or ink, and stamp away on your choice of paper. Okras were popular
because they came with a built-in pattern. You could also carve a stamp out of a
rubber eraser, but it wasn’t as much fun as a

I can also crochet, embroider
and replace the blade on a coping saw. I might be able to remember how to rig
that button-and-wire-and-light bulb thing screwed onto wood, or that exposed
“circuit” on scrap wood that several sari-sari stores still have in place of a
disposable lighter taped to a string.

still don’t know how I managed to make it to high school. And that was a whole
new other set of tiny craft horrors.