Instructables

How-to recycle those crayon stubs into a swell homemade gift

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Picture of How-to recycle those crayon stubs into a swell homemade gift
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It's recession time. You want to save money while trying to be "green" and you like the idea of your kids making some homemade gifts. Plus you're the not-so proud owner of a ginormous stubby crayon collection comprised of every crayon your kid has received from the time he was able to grasp objects and half of which is made up of those barely used restaurant crayons you felt so bad leaving on the table all those times you've dinned out with the kids. Why not recycle those babies into some cool, fun-shaped new crayons that scream "look at how cool I am being all green and spending special parent and me time with my kid and stuff." You'll make your mother-in law smile and your sister-in law green with envy seeing how you truly are the better parent.
 
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Step 1: Gather necessary materials

Picture of Gather necessary materials
To turn ugly broken crayon pieces into beautiful, fresh, shiny new fun-shaped crayons you'll need:

Crayons and crayon pieces of all sizes and colors

A plastic candy mold (yes, fully aware this purchase is not so "green" but remember you're trying to achieve an "eco-friendly" gift that's also something a kid would actually want to use so you can justify the purchasing this piece of cheap plastic knowing that you'll love this project so much you'll want to do it often)


Extra Items include:

Old cups to melt your crayon pieces into

Spoon

Microwave


Pretty Packaging Items:

Clean cereal box

small plastic treat bags (again not so green--still thinking of a way to package the crayons using a recycled material)

holiday stamp

ink stamp pad

stapler


Step 2: A crayon hunting you will go

Picture of A crayon hunting you will go
Take those hands and dive right in to your crayon graveyard. Search for colors that you have a lot of and that compliment each other.
WUVIE1 year ago
Oh, what a cute idea! Thanks for sharing! My little ones are grown now, but this would have been fabulous not so long ago. Neat!
wmkcross2 years ago
use a razor blade to cut off crayon labels
Tyreesa2 years ago
You could always reconstruct your cereal boxes into smaller crayon boxes, instead of just tags. I'd put the brown, papery side out and decorate it to give a fully recycled gift. Old string or yarn would work great to keep the box closed and make a pretty bow.
Was there a lot of wax left over in the molds?
Plo Koon3 years ago
What if u put the crayons u wanted 2 melt 2gether in mugs, put them in the microwave, and used that? OK, it's not very "green", but at least it's more efficient (is that spelled right?).
you could package the crayons in newspaper :) just an idea
bekahbv3 years ago
I used a box cutter to cut along the wrapper then let the kids peel them. It took way less time and helped a lot.
patrisse3 years ago
Great idea!!! (Funny comments, VERY fun to read :)). I was thinking what to get for my kid´s classmates that was unexpensive yet attractive, and now I know. By the way, the idea about using the ceral box is of great help.... thank you!!!!

im glad to see other people do this as well. we used to have our class do this and sell them to kids at lunch and help keep it going. another fun thing to do is dip crayons in melted crayons of another colore and possibly repeat theyre really fun to use.

jacq01uk4 years ago
 I often keep little plastic trays from sweet or easter type treats for use as moulds for plaster of paris  & candle crafts, they would also suit this crayon project!  
Nice inst' ;o)
worddork4 years ago
If you don't want to microwave the crayons you could try putting the molds in your car for the day. I know as a child many of my crayons were melted this way.
rkhrkh worddork4 years ago
You could create a mini-greenhouse to make the sun thing work. I would put the molds on a cookie sheet & put some clear plastic on top.  That, and a nice sunny day in July, should melt them nicely.
woowho4 years ago
oh good idea about the sun. we've tried pouring melted crayons into candy molds without much success. i like this idea!
This is adorable. I think I'm going to try it on monday. Candy molds can be really expensive, though, so I probably will try the dollar store. Do you think it would work to pour them into paper cups and make disc crayons?
Yeah, there's an Instructable with muffin tins.
Metrychick4 years ago
My daughter was peeling and complaining a little and we filled up a container with hot water and some dish soap and soaked the crayons in the water for about 20 minutes, then you can just start to pick out the crayons. The wrappers fall right off.
Gage9874 years ago
i'm thinking of selling these in my yard sale more recycling
Vindiciti5 years ago
If you get the candy molds from thrift stores or after-holiday sales, it's almost like recycling. :D
otterhopdotcom (author)  Vindiciti5 years ago
That's a good point!
Those are so cute it makes me want to break all my kids crayons so I can try this!
b_a_b_e5 years ago
this is realy gd i like
blackturtle5 years ago
NOW I have a reason to hang onto all those little crayon packs that restaurants seem more than happy to dump on my 2 year old. Thanks!
i always grab a pack of crayons and the kiddie menu for myself to doodle on. and i don't have any kids yet. (that'll change in april.) crayons are such a great invention.
mi so glad im not the only one lol
Congrats!
agis685 years ago
COOL.......5/5
snotty5 years ago
To melt crayons using the sun I suggest placing them in a solar box cooker for a few minutes. Solar cookers are quite interesting in themselves. Here is a simple one: http://www.i4at.org/surv/solarbox.htm
And here are more solar cooker designs: http://solarcooking.org/plans
This one worked well for me: http://solarcooking.org/plans/DATS.htm

But this one is rumored to be the most proven design: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html
You could also just put the molds in a dark pot with a glass lid. That should work too.

The principles for this process are:
reflection (bouncing light into a box),
concentration (focusing lots of light into a small area),
transformation (from light energy to heat energy),
radiation (heat energy won't radiate though glass much),
conduction (insulation won't conduct heat away much),
and convection (a sealed container won't let hot air out).
With these principles you can accumulate heat in a cardboard box. You concentrate energy by reflecting light into an enclosure with a clear window. If the light hits something black, the light will transform into heat. So paint the inside of the enclosure black. Heat (infrared radiation) won't radiate through the window very well so it will stay inside with your crayons. To store heat inside the box even if you open it briefly, you can use something dense and heavy like rocks painted black. And to keep heat from leaking out the sides use insulation like layers of cardboard. Also seal the whole box tight to keep hot air from leaking out by convection.

You can put your box cooker out in the sun before you start. The sun will heat up the black rocks in the black box. And when you have your crayons broken up and placed in the molds you will have a nice hot rocks keeping your oven hot to melt your creations quickly.

Or if you want to try something quick and easy, just put the mold and crayons in a ziplock bag in the sun and lay the bag on top of a mirror. This will reflect some extra light back and the ziplock will keep the wind from blowing away all your heat. That might work too.
thepelton5 years ago
I bet a sunny day in the back window of a car in summer would make those crayons melt.
PetaPie5 years ago
I still have an empty advent-calendar. (you know: a flat cardboard box with a plastic inside, where chocolates go). May be I can use the plastic insite as a mould for making swell new crayons! Thanks for the idea. I love it!
If your really worried about the plastic bags. you could try using scrap bags from old children toys, Their are lots of things that come in similar clear bags that could simply be re-used Me and my mom make candy with those molds all the time and you can pop them in the microwave as well just only do it at 1 min increments. then check on it.
Mantyke5 years ago
WICKED AMAZING THANK YOU!!! :D
Batryn5 years ago
Are you sure the sun will work? Maybe with some foil to reflect sunlight???
Lance Mt.5 years ago
Ok i'd just like to make it clear that, I'm 13 (14 in a month or so) and i'm LOVING this idea, I'm waiting for my tank/rocket/aeroplane/spaceship/ships (withguns and stuff) to set. THANKY YOU!
Shane11635 years ago
use a light bulb.. I have one of those crayon recyclers with the bulb under the metal tray and then u pour it into the molds.. but if u want to use the sun.. use a fresnel lens! but u have 2 be careful with those cuz they can start fires pretty fast and can burn your skin!
le-Sid5 years ago
Really nice one! Gotta try it with my kids too this summer _ 4.0 stars
stinkymum5 years ago
Really clever idea
goaskmom5 years ago
Another way to concentrate the sun's heat might be to put the bucket in a hot car. I mean, how many times have you found melted crayons on the back seat?

You probably shouldn't drive anywhere, though.

Kayla
http://www.24hourscienceprojects.com
luckymini5 years ago
i loved the instructable. for having that swirly pattern in the crayons but not having enough sunlight,i was wondering if a magnifying glass could be used to focus the sunlight on to the moulds? kids could do this and it would be fun for them to watch!
jacobzman5 years ago
where did you get the molds ?????????? you rook !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
vary smart idea. I might do it my self. and kids WILL enjoy them
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