02/01/2011 at 05:00 PM EST
We're all aware that crayons come in 64 vivid colors. But who knew that they're also available in so many different shapes and sizes? Lil Doodlers
, an Etsy shop that specializes in custom crayons, features 44 different animal-shaped implements. The critter-inspired creations are the brainchild of Barry Pippin.
An Indiana-based father of two young children, Pippin was constantly finding broken crayons around his house. "I felt bad just throwing them away and cluttering up the landfills," he tells PEOPLEPets.com. "I thought I would try to melt them into something useful."
So Pippin liquefied the pieces and poured them into kid-friendly molds, fashioning lady bugs
, owls, dinosaurs
and other creatures. The reshaped crayons, which are made from new, 100% non-toxic Crayolas, are both environmentally friendly and impossibly cute. They're also perfectly shaped for little hands.
Pippin has a strict screening committee for his new creations. "My kids and their friends" must give their seal of approval, he says, noting that "all of my new designs are kid-tested and approved." His testers provide Pippin with a treasure trove of new ideas.
Got an idea for a shape you want, but don't see it Pippin's
shop? Contact him directly – and let your imagination run wild. He welcomes custom orders and can modify the colors and amount of any item to create individualized favors for birthday parties, weddings or holidays. Thanks to these adorable doo-dads, doodling will never be the same!See something on Etsy that you'd like us to profile in this weekly column? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Read our last edition of Etsy Fave here.