My kids love to break crayons. I think it is the “snap” sound that does it for them. Between the three of them, we have accumulated a lot of little (useless) crayon stumps. I hate to throw them out, because really–it wasn’t the crayons fault! So, I set out to find a way to put the nubs to good use. Viola: repurposed crayon disks. They are pretty easy to make, great fun for the kids, and filled with endless possibilities. Here are the easy steps to making your own crayons at home.
- Pick a Mold: You are going to bake the crayons in your oven, so you need to decide what shape you would like them to be. We used a regular muffin pan, but the possibilities are endless. You can find lots of different silicone molds nowadays, with shapes and sizes aplenty. Just be sure that your molds are oven safe!
- Gather Your Crayons: We keep all of our “in-use” crayons in a big plastic fish bowl. I have to keep them out of reach, or little hands will write all over my furniture, walls, pets, etc. I enlisted the kids’ help with this step. We gathered all the broken bits, and began to unwrap them all. One by one. That was the biggest pain-in-the-butt part. Be prepared to have crayon bits under your fingernails. But, in the grand scheme of messes made while doing projects with the kids, this is a tiny one. (It is here that you will want to preheat your oven to 250*)
- Fill Your Molds: This is where the fun and creativity come in. You can mix and match the pieces in any color combination you wish. The colors do mix a little, but mostly the colors maintain their integrity when melted. And, the new crayons look super cool & stratified on the sides when you use different colors in each mold.
- Bake: You will bake the crayons in the oven for around 15 minutes at 250*. I used regular muffin tins, and 15 minutes was the perfect amount of time for the bits to completely melt. Depending on the size of your mold, you may need to adjust the time in the oven. All you need to do is melt the crayons, so just keep an eye out for when that happens. Then you are good to go.
- Cool the Mold: You will need to let the mold cool almost completely. The wax needs to go back into solid form from the melted liquid. For us, it took about 20 minutes, though with the number of times that the kids asked “Are they done yet?”, if felt like hours. Once almost cool, pop your mold into the freezer for 3-5 minutes. This will completely set the crayons, and make removal easy. All you will need to do is pop them out of the mold!
- Let Your Imagination Run Wild!: These would make amazing party favors for a kid’s birthday party, a great addition to a kid’s table at a holiday meal, or just in your own art box. My kids have been having a great time coloring with ours, watching for the colors to change as the crayons wear down in places.
With a little imagination, and some tedious work in peeling crayons, you too can create some awesome personalized crayons. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the shape, size, and color of your project. Let your imagination guide you, and don’t be scared to mix it up! Those happy mistakes sometimes make the best result!