Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recycled Crayons

We didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up, so my parents were always looking for creative, thrifty ways to keep my sister and I entertained. One such idea was to take all of our broken, worn down crayons and melt them to make new ones!

This idea has been around for a long time and I know it's nothing new to some of you, but I thought a certain Australian might find it interesting (Hi, D!) so I had to post it. :) Plus, James will get a kick out of them, too. No pics of him enjoying them just yet - I'm saving these for his Christmas stocking!

If you want to do this yourself, here's what you need to do:
  • Painstakingly remove the paper from each crayon (this is best done in front of the telly with a glass of wine).
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Break up the crayons and group them into your preferred color combination in a muffin tin.
  • Turn off the oven and place the tin on the middle rack. After about 10 minutes or so you'll see the wax melt and pool.
  • Carefully remove the muffin tin from the oven - try not to jostle it too much or the colors will run together and make an ugly blob. (unless that's what you're going for, of course!) :)
  • Let them cool completely. You can put them in the freezer to speed up the cooling process.
That's it! Now you have new, funky, chunky crayons!

A couple of helpful tips:
  • DO NOT use washable crayons - they'll leave a layer of clear wax along the top resulting in useless coloring.
  • DO NOT use those jumbo crayons. Here I was thinking, oh yeah I'll get more wax from these bad boys, but nope. They refused to melt completely no matter how long I left them in the oven. Also, a few cracks occurred right where the jumbo crayons were... coincidence? I think not.
  • If you decide to use the freezer, DO NOT plop them out of the tin onto a countertop or other hard surface (use a towel). Breakage will occur. :(


sbswtp said...

We used to a version of these growing up too. :) I really like the muffin tin way though and I love the idea of them as stocking stuffers:) Thanks for writing down the directions - as well as some hints!! I have a bunch of crayons from restaurants that would work great!

Lisa said...

What a great idea!!! I'm going to make some tonight!

Jessie said...

it never occured to me to use a muffin tin thanks for your posts and tips =D The kids helped me crack jumbo crayons into peices with a nut cracker over some paper plates they were then easier to melt

leslie said...

I have a tip you might like for the next time you make these--forget the tedious label peeling! Simply put the crayons in a bowl of warm water for just few minutes and the labels slip right off!

Hope you don't mind me including a link to my new website. :)

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Unknown said...

This also works great with candy makes smaller crayons and my girls love swirling the colors to make rainbow crayons. :-)


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