Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Tutorial: Recycled Crayons

Right before we moved here (Georgia) from Seattle, we bought our daughter a massive, mega-box of Crayola crayons. I think it had 200 crayons or something. I'm not sure but it was A LOT. Hey, 200 crayons are highly essential when your four-year-old is going to be spending six days crammed into the backseat of a MINI Cooper, you know?

So, anyway, it's been about eight months since then and those crayons got TONS of use. They were whittled down to nubs and broken pieces, but still had plenty of life in them. I remembered that my sister once recycled her children's crayons and I figured that Roo and I could do the same thing. 

We started off by purchasing a silicone baking pan with small compartments.

I used silicone because I wasn't sure how we would get the crayons out of a metal pan. The pan was $10.99, but we used a 40% off coupon so we got it for $6.60-(about $4 less than what we paid for the crayons.) She wanted star shaped crayons but that wasn't one of our choices at the store. I imagine you could easily find them online or perhaps at a different store, like Michael's. Whatever you choose, just make sure they won't be too large. 

First, peel the paper off the crayons:

And arrange them into like-colored groups:

Cover a cutting board with foil, paper towels or an old kitchen towel (to avoid getting wax in the knife marks of your board):

Chop the crayons into smaller-than-an-inch pieces and have your child place them into the baking mold:

We discovered that we could fit about three chopped up crayons into each cavity.

Set your oven to 170°, lay foil on the bottom of a baking sheet (to protect the bottom of the pan from crayon meltage) and set the baking mold on the sheet.

Bake the crayons for about 30 minutes:

Carefully transfer the pan to cool. This will take about two hours. 

We were impatient, of course, so we placed ours in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before we popped them out.

That's pretty much it! It took us about an hour and a half to peel, chop and arrange the crayons. It was fun for her to draw with her "new" crayons because she got to make them herself. 

Some hints:
-don't use Washable Crayons, they have a special kind of wax that floats up to the melted surface that doesn't work as well as the regular crayons.
-melt the crayons between 150°-175° for best results.
-even though crayons are non-toxic, I still don't recommend using the baking mold for food once you've used it for this project.
-recycled crayons are fun and easy and make great classroom/friend birthday gifts, treats at Halloween or accompaniments to Valentine's Day cards instead of candy.

Happy Creating!

1 comment:

  1. What a brilliant idea. YOu have no idea how many stubs of crayons I have thrown out over the years. It's almost worth going out and buying some new ones just to play. You know I think I just might xx