Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Homemade Crayons, Recycle and Re-use!

When Vivian Grace was going through her "everything goes in the mouth" phase, I got pretty frustrated with the constant attempted ingestion of crayons.  The options in the store were limited and I figured (as I usually do) that there had to be a better way!  Guess what?  There was!



There are many different "formulas" for what I call, "Toddler Crayons".  There are small ones, big ones, multi-colored ones and single colored ones.  You can add glitter, you can add branding, and you can play around with lots of different ways.  Here are the basics:

Supplies needed:
  • Crayons.  NOT the washable kind.  If you have other children, chances are that you have a bucket of old crayons lying around...if you are in your first go around on the kiddie wagon, I suggest buying crayons whenever you find them cheap or on sale.  Again, may I stress, don't use washable crayons when doing this.
  • Muffin pans - For my examples, I used small muffin pans, regular muffin pans, mini-loaf pans and doughnut pans.
  • An oven
  • An exacto knife
  • A good movie or distraction while peeling crayons

First...peel the crayons.  If your child is older, this is a good activity for them to help with; however, if they are young or impatient I would pop in a good movie and take care of this with sharp objects.  I have found that, in general, crayons are a pain to peel.  I tried soaking them, etc. and it basically comes down to sharp things.  I will also speak from experience when I say BE CAREFUL!  If you have limited experience with exacto knives, go with something else!



I have found that, in order to keep from going over my work more than once, the deeper the better as far as slicing into the crayons.

Once your crayons are peeled, go ahead and preheat your oven to 275 (on most digital ovens you actually have to arrow down to get to that).



Here's the rub...how long you keep your crayon creations in the oven depends on the size of your vessel.  If you are using mini muffin pan (my preferred method), it's approximately 10 minutes.  Remember, there are lots of variables in ovens, a safe bet is to just set your timer to check on them every 5 minutes.

Your crayon creations are done when the tins are "chunk free".  Also, at least on my old beast of an oven, I have found that the outer tins melt quicker, so I tend to put more volume in them.

Once you remove the pan from the oven, let it cool completely and then I recommend throwing the whole pan into the freezer for about 5 minutes.  Once they are cool, they will pop out like magic.




Some variations:
  • since the cooking temp is pretty low, you can safely put a string into the wax once it has started to melt.
  • I thought the round ones would be really cute as wreaths for ornaments that can be used as crayons...and they really are, but they also break easier than the solid ones so you can either melt two of them together or just be somewhat careful.  Vivian doesn't really care if they are broken, even when they are broken in half, they still make great crayons.
These also make a GREAT and classy gift.  I put some assorted sizes into a basic organza bag (which you can get at the craft store OR the "wedding" section at Dollar Tree - Bag of 5 is $1!)




2 comments:

  1. This is a great idea! Just popped into your blog as I was browsing around the web. My son is 3 and he has a drawer-full of broken crayons - this will be our weekend craft.

    Cheers.
    Tracy
    http://scribblesaurus.blogspot.com/

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  2. enjoy! the really neat thing about doing it now is that there's all kinds of holiday cookie molds out...but i will say from experience, just go with the muffin pans :)

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