A while back I posted about this great etsy shop full of fun homemade crayons, and making crayons has been on my mental to-do list since. I figured since it's supposed to be so hot and sunny today, at least here in Minneapolis, I'd post this one today. Here's how we did it...
Gather supplies: Old crayons, candy mold, knife, cutting board, scrap of cardboard
I went to Michael's and used a 50% off coupon for a whopping $2 candy mold, shaped like stars. I picked up a jar of beat up old crayons at a garage sale for $0.10 cents. So, the whole project cost me $1.10...
Remove Labels: Here's a little tip I learned the hard way...tearing off old wrappers can take forever as they continuously rip into tiny pieces. While you may want to let your kids help tear off the paper, while they have fun doing that, try taking a knife and slicing the length of the wrapper.
It'll be much easier to pop off all in one piece. Just be very careful not to let the knife slip and cut yourself!! I also read online that someone else tried soaking them in water to soften them up for easier removal.
Chop chop: Chop up the crayons, or make shavings, with a knife.
Tip: Put a piece of scrap cardboard over your cutting board to cut on, unless you'd like a rainbow colored cutting board.
Another tip: If you fold the cardboard in half
, it's easier to dump your shavings into little containers:
Fill the Mold: This is another step your kids can do. I wasn't sure mine would have the steady hands to do this at age two, but he did a great job filling each star with a color.
We made one with mixed colors too.
Nice job, huh?! (If you're a parent you probably recognize that brown stuff in the corners of his mouth as being the Oreo cookie goo that somehow continues to ooze out of a child's mouth for hours after lunch, no matter how many times you wipe their face.)
Melt: To make it easy to transport, I set our mold on a small cookie sheet. I put a piece of black construction paper on the bottom. Not sure if that helps at all, but I know black absorbs the heat in the sun, so I thought I'd give it a try.
Now set it in the sun! As you can see, Sammy opted to take the extra cautious route and put on his safety goggles. Such a responsible young man!
Wait....while you're waiting, since it's a sunny day, why not try playing in the sprinkler, painting with water, making dandelion curls, or making a nature collage! Who needs ovens and microwaves when you have plenty of other fun things to do while you wait?! Tip: Don't get impatient chasing the sun across the yard and stick it in the microwave after your kid goes down for a nap...you'll warp your mold.
Eventually my shady yard won, and they didn't finish melting...I moved them from the back to front yard to get them back in the sun but by then it was too late in the day. The next day I tried another idea...I took this clear plastic lid from a takeout meal and set it over the crayons. This really helped speed things up! The clear plastic still let the sunlight in, but helped to build up and trap more heat over the crayons. I bet you could put some plastic wrap over it too, if you put them in a deeper pan, box, or food container. Maybe even try lining it with some tin foil to help bounce more sun around. Now you can learn from my trial and error and probably have a set of crayons done in a day!
I'm not sure why ours ended up with this weird top layer of clear wax...somehow they separated I guess. Maybe because we took SO long to melt them on multiple attempts. Or maybe these were cheap knockoffs of the "real" Crayolas.
Cool: Let them cool in the shade, in the house, or in the frig until fully set.
Remove: Pop 'em out of the mold!
Create: You just made your own new art supplies! Now go make some art! (Or, wrap them up...they'd make a fun gift or party favor too!)