Introduction: ReUse ReMake Crayons

Picture of ReUse ReMake Crayons

We are working on Valentines gifts for my daughters pre-school class. Last week when I was cleaning I found about 100 broken crayons and I decided it was time to remake them into cute gifts. I also asked her teacher if she had any broken crayons she would like to see recycled, she has a huge bucket full.

To complete this project you will need:
Aluminum Cans
Wooden sticks or dowel rods
Candy mold or ice cube trays
Large Pan

This project is fairly easy but involves hot wax (melted Crayons) and it takes a bit of time.

Step 1: Making Melting Pots

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I use aluminum cans to melt the crayons in. The first thing I do is cut off the tops. You need enough so that they are packed tightly enough in the pot that they will not fall over, I used 8. The top cuts will be sharp.

Step 2: Sort the Crayons

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This is the only step kids can help with. I tend to add a bit of color theory into this step. Asking questions like:
What 2 color crayons will mix together to make green?
If we mix red with white what color will we get?

You may want to remove the wrappers. I did not, so I had to fish them out of the melted wax. It is kinda six of one. If your helpers are game, I would remove the wrappers as you sort.

Step 3: Water Bath

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Place the aluminum cans full of crayons into an old pan that has about an inch of water in it. If the cans do not have very much in them, they will float. This is a bit of a pain but the crayons inside will still melt.

The wax will get very hot, you never heat wax directly on the stove.

Step 4: Waiting

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The crayons will melt at different rates, the yellow and brown melted first. Some of the inexpensive crayons never melted. You just have o fish them out or work around them.

Step 5: Ready to Pour

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Before you pour the new crayons you need to remove most of the wrappers. I slide the dowel rod into the wrapper (it maintains it shape) and pull it out. I keep a piece of paper under the wrapper as I move it to the trash, this catches the drips. The drips are a pain to clean up.

Step 6: Pour

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Lay out some paper and put your mold on top of the paper. Pinch a pour spout into the top of the can, use your dowel rod or stir stick to hold back any clumps of unmelted crayons. Carefully pour into the candy molds. The cans are not hot at all, but the wax it.

Step 7: Pretty Messy

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The wax drips so be make sure you covered your work space.

Step 8: Freeze Me

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If you need the molds fast to do you next batch put them in the freezer for about 5 minutes. The new crayons will pop right out.

Step 9: Extra Extra

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If I have some extra color after I finish the pretty molds, I put in into the ice cube tray. I use these with my children to make texture rubbings or I save them for our next melt and pour.

Step 10: All Done

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Your pretty little crayons are now ready for packaging. I often enclose instructions for use like this:

Happy Valentine's Day
These cute shapes are really crayons , SO DON"T EAT THEM!
It is time for an adventure in texture.
Ask an adult for some paper.
Take your paper and your new crayons outside and look for something with texture in it.
What is texture? Something you can feel! Something bumpy or lumpy.
Lay your paper down on the texture and rub the flat side of your new crayon over it.
Magic, the texture appears on your piece of paper.
Once you have collected a couple of textures you can take them inside and create a new artwork with them. Have fun.

Comments (author)2014-10-28

I bought silicon ice cube trays in various shapes to make these. I can't seem to get the molds clean now. I've tried "warming" them in the oven face down on paper towels, Boiling in soapy water and spraying "goo gone" on them. Nothing is dissolving the crayons. I won't be using these for food, but want them clean for next time. Any other suggestions?

DDUDE15 (author)cathleen.fish2016-04-01

Well from what I have read washing them out with hot water and baking soda gets it out, but don't use your food pans for this project that's all I can say

topazcat (author)2009-04-22

This is a very cute idea, thank you for posting. If one had small kids (mine are "too big"), these new crayon shapes would be great as goodies in a birthday treat bag.

hey hey hey, nobody is to big for cute crayons! my daughter is 10 and loves these kinds of things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!0_0

BrendanTheSequeira (author)2014-11-06

But isn't it too hard to use these? The shape will end up messing up the user's hands.

Superboy Prime (author)2014-07-19

your right very messy but the crayons was easy to clean

zamrin (author)2013-08-06

Hey you can make multi color crayons like blurple (bluepurple)

HedgieMamaJuniper (author)zamrin2014-02-05

And Porange! (Pink+Orange)

liverichandfree (author)2011-10-08

I think this is a great idea and would make an adorable gift. I've linked to you in my post on the 101 coolest reusable craft ideas. Nice work!

Post is here, if you want to read:

sniffydogs (author)2009-01-24

I split the wrappers with a razor or Exacto knife. You can also use muffin tins and avoid the mess entirely by putting the broken crayons in the muffin cups in a warm oven preheated to 350 for about 15 minutes, then turn it off. Pouring hot wax is dangerous. The larger cupcakes are great for making rubbings of grave stones, etc.

topazcat (author)sniffydogs2009-04-22

I'd be careful using crayons for grave rubbings - many older stones are too fragile for that. Chalk is usually what is recommended. If you want it to be a permanent rubbing, there are spray fixatives on the market so the chalk doesn't smudge.

hammer9876 (author)topazcat2011-09-11

Some older grave markers have been loved/rubbed to death. If you did not pay for the grave marker or are not willing to pay to replace it, you shouldn't be doing anything to it other than photograph it.

chuckr44 (author)2011-07-19

When making candles, I also noticed the crayons from China did not melt. I wonder why. Maybe they are not paraffin but a different type of wax with a higher melting point.

xavec (author)2011-07-19

love this! Thanks for sharing.

ramhardikar (author)2011-07-18

Good one..

jsmith125 (author)2011-07-14

We use silicone ice trays to make crayons in the oven. You can also use mini-muffin pans, but then you don't get heart shapes. I LOVE this project.

javajunkie1976 (author)2011-06-24

Crayola puts out this little light-bulb powered device that does essentially the same thing. But I like your's better as you can mold into different shapes.

love2die100 (author)2011-03-25

Great idea,thx4sharing.

evaramos89 (author)2011-03-08

im like a geiuns today hahahahahhaahhahhaahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahah and you to were geinuses

alexandraw99 (author)2010-12-23

i love this idea this what im giving my 4 yr old sis but i was just wondering did u put the cans in hot water or does it matter

Alinora (author)2010-09-02

AHHHH! It hurts when the wax falls on your foot T_T. I don't have any candy Molds AT ALL, so I tried Micheals and found some. Expensive, but worth it^^.

vegansweetie (author)2009-11-04

i love this to death! I'm gunna make some for my newborn neice!

Shane1163 (author)2009-01-15

I have a crayon recycler the one with the metal tray and the light bulb and u pour it into the mold to make new crayons

firefliie (author)Shane11632009-08-14

mine didnt work :(

fordman15243 (author)Shane11632009-06-21

Haha, I remember those! They even had ones that made little wax figurines! Never had one myself, but always thought about making one! =D

reeta (author)2009-06-01

this is great! thanks for the great idea :)

JamesFXR (author)2009-03-20

you can use a standard can opener to get the top off a can and it leaves the lip on the can so it isnt sharp

lyraleperformer (author)2009-02-16

love this! i'm making some right now. but before i ruin a perfectly good candy would i wash the crayon wax out of the moulds so they are good for candy once again?

I have never reused them for candy but the crayon pops right out and mine have no residue in them.

riku-riku-chan (author)2009-01-12

can i still make candy in the molds after making these (and washing them out, of course!)?

I don't really know, crayons are non toxic but I have never used my molds for anything other than crayons.

thanks for the reply... i'm just worried about any waxy residue!...

well, consider that a good majority of candies(i know of some chocolate dip recipes for pastries and such) are containing a fairly large percentage of wax.

Do you think that wax is something not natural? Crayons could have paraffin.

entirely not what i was getting at, but no. crayons are not made with paraffin wax. wax is in itself, digestible, but just because we have the ability to eat something does not mean we should. leaves for example :) the one reason i do not like chocolate is because of its waxy-ness. except +60% dark. no amount of wax could ruin that :)

Same here, I love dark chocolates.

RidoKilos (author)riku-riku-chan2009-01-23

Most chocolate actually has wax in it anyways... Keeps it from melting as fast when it gets warm. American Chocolate probably has the most.

DrCoolSanta (author)SomArtMama2009-01-27

Also no matter how much you clean, it is likely that some residue is left. It won't be very nice to even try that.

Ward_Nox (author)SomArtMama2009-01-14

Crayons are non toxic and it would give your chocolate a shine

Strawberryholt (author)Ward_Nox2009-01-14

only American crayons are guaranteed non toxic. don't trust crayons made in China they have been know to put lead in the ink that is on the papers and if you are melting the crayon with the label on then the lead will leach.


Crayola and Roseart are safe this is why they are the brands preferred by most schools

Ward_Nox (author)Strawberryholt2009-01-17

sorry i meant crayola

dancingcub (author)2009-01-21

This is a great project, I have done it in the past with my after school program. I just want to note that not all crayons are made of wax, some are plastic, which could be why you had some that didn't melt. Good instructions!

DrCoolSanta (author)dancingcub2009-01-27

You can make out whether they are plastic by scraping them and colouring with them. Also they are oil pastels which are also similar. They would cumbust and expand.

Lance Mt. (author)2009-01-18

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!

Solderguy (author)Lance Mt.2009-01-21

Well I'm 17 and I love this idea. But you might not want to leave the crayon wrapper in the can.

Lance Mt. (author)Solderguy2009-01-25

Cheers, i didn't think it was from the start, so i didn't. My old ones didn't have em on to start with!

Radioactv Biohazard (author)2009-01-24

I'ma draw with a reused crayon!

typedink (author)2009-01-22

Why would you not take the wrappers off before melting them? I'm confused. But great idea! I might give it a go sometime.

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