Introduction: 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:
Crayons
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 8: Freeze Me

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

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

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
cathleen.fish made it!(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?

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DDUDE15 made it!(author)2016-04-01

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

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topazcat made it!(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.

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barkingdogbraclets made it!(author)2015-07-18

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

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BrendanTheSequeira made it!(author)2014-11-06

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

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Superboy+Prime made it!(author)2014-07-19

your right very messy but the crayons was easy to clean

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zamrin made it!(author)2013-08-06

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

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HedgieMamaJuniper made it!(author)2014-02-05

And Porange! (Pink+Orange)

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liverichandfree made it!(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: http://liverichandfree.blogspot.com/2011/10/101-coolest-reuseable-craft-projects.html

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sniffydogs made it!(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.

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topazcat made it!(author)2009-04-22

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.

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hammer9876 made it!(author)2011-09-11

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.

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chuckr44 made it!(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.

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xavec made it!(author)2011-07-19

love this! Thanks for sharing.

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ramhardikar made it!(author)2011-07-18

Good one..

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jsmith125 made it!(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.

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javajunkie1976 made it!(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.

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love2die100 made it!(author)2011-03-25

Great idea,thx4sharing.

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evaramos89 made it!(author)2011-03-08

im like a geiuns today hahahahahhaahhahhaahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahah and you to were geinuses

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alexandraw99 made it!(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

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Alinora made it!(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^^.

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vegansweetie made it!(author)2009-11-04

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

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Shane1163 made it!(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

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firefliie made it!(author)2009-08-14

mine didnt work :(

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fordman15243 made it!(author)2009-06-21

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

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reeta made it!(author)2009-06-01

this is great! thanks for the great idea :)

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JamesFXR made it!(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

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lyraleperformer made it!(author)2009-02-16

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

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SomArtMama made it!(author)2009-02-20

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

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riku-riku-chan made it!(author)2009-01-12

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

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SomArtMama made it!(author)2009-01-12

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

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riku-riku-chan made it!(author)2009-01-13

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

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Father+Christmas made it!(author)2009-01-14

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.

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DrCoolSanta made it!(author)2009-01-27

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

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Father+Christmas made it!(author)2009-01-27

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 :)

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DrCoolSanta made it!(author)2009-01-28

Same here, I love dark chocolates.

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RidoKilos made it!(author)2009-01-23

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

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DrCoolSanta made it!(author)2009-01-27

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.

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Ward_Nox made it!(author)2009-01-14

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

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Strawberryholt made it!(author)2009-01-14

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.

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SomArtMama made it!(author)2009-01-15

Yikes!

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Strawberryholt made it!(author)2009-01-17

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

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Ward_Nox made it!(author)2009-01-17

sorry i meant crayola

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dancingcub made it!(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!

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DrCoolSanta made it!(author)2009-01-27

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.

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Lance+Mt. made it!(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!

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Solderguy made it!(author)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.

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Lance+Mt. made it!(author)2009-01-25

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!

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Radioactv+Biohazard made it!(author)2009-01-24

I'ma draw with a reused crayon!

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typedink made it!(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.