Transform Your Kids' Broken Crayons Into Candles




If you've got kids, then chances are, you've got crayons coming out of your ears. From kindergarten up through middle school, every new school year comes with a supply list that inevitably includes a brand new box of crayons. I have three kids, which means that on the last day of school, my kids bring a lot of broken, shabby crayons home. They get tossed into a big plastic bin and get used for home projects. But a family only needs so many crayons. This project is a nice way to recycle some of those extra crayons into something beautiful.

This project costs about $10 for three medium-sized candles in containers.

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Step 1: Materials

You will need:

- Broken crayons
- Assorted jars. For this project, I used a jelly jar, a small pickle jar, and the remnant of an old Christmas candle whose wick had burned out.
- 1 lb bag of soy wax (makes three small to medium candles)
- Candle wicks
- Clothes pins
- Hot glue gun
- Double burner (or two pots and one metal cookie cutter)
- Newspaper
- Scissors

Step 2: Prepare the Wick Bottom

Add a dab of hot glue to the metal bottom of the wick.

Step 3: Fix the Wick to the Bottom of the Jar

Push the wick's metal button to the center of the jar. Use a clothespin to hold the wick in a vertical position.

For the red Christmas candle, I glued the wick in the center of the wax that remained in the old candle.

Step 4: Peel the Paper Off the Crayons

This is a good job for the kids.

Step 5: Fill the Jars With Crayons

I tend to like keeping similar colors together -- say, all reds and oranges -- but feel free to mix and match as you like.

Pretty, eh? Like old-fashioned candy jars.

Step 6: Make a Double Boiler

If you don't have a double boiler, you can make one by putting a metal cookie cutter in the bottom of a large pot. Fill the pot with water just to the top of the cookie cutter. Then place the smaller pot inside the larger one, so that its bottom rests atop the cookie cutter. Bring the water to a nice simmer.

Step 7: Melt the Wax

Do not leave melting wax unattended. Wax tends to go from solid to liquid very quickly. When the last flakes have melted, take the small pot off the heat right away.

Step 8: Pour the Wax

Carefully pour the wax to about an inch from the top of the wick. Alternatively, you can pour the wax until it comes 3/4 of the way up the jar. I did one candle this way, and it is my personal favorite.

Step 9: Trim the Wick

When the candles have cooled for about a half an hour, trim the wick to 1/4 inches. Longer wicks can produce a flame that's too big.

Step 10: Let the Candles Cool

Now you wait....

Step 11: Admire Your Work

This one turned out to be my favorite. I love how the different colors show through the glass, and how the unmelted crayons sit at the top.

Step 12: Ta-Da!

Enjoy your candles.

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    12 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Don't waste your time and money, this doesn't work. The color pigment in kids crayons has a fire retardant added to it so that it the crayon won't be flammable like 'normal' wax.

    If you want it to work to any degree, you'd have to use *lots* of normal wax, much more than the mass of the crayons. Though at that point you're better off using a normal candle. At least it won't smell of burning dye pigment.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    What kind of wicks did you use? I purchased just basic wicks at Hobby Lobby and when I light the candles, they burn for a moment and go out. I tried burning off some of the wax but they still won't light. The crayon wax doesn't seem to burn as easily as regular candle wax and I think that might be my problem. Any suggestions? I was super excited to have a way to use our broken crayons but now I'm sad that they won't burn.

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Step 12

    Wow thanks, what a wonderful way to recycle crayons. I think I will use your idea to teach tech to my class. =)

    Me and my mom made this, they both turned out great but for some reason whenever we light them they go out within a minute or two. They're great as decorations, though.

    1 reply

    Try letting some of the melted wax run off so the wick has more space. Should do the trick. And yes, they are great to just look at, too. :-)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe they have chemical smells that they aren't good for body. But I'm not sure.
    Anyway they are funny candles!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    They smell a bit like crayons :-)

    If you like, you can add candle scent (available at craft stores like AC Moore) to make them smell like vanilla, spiced apple, or whatever you like.

    I've done this and they smell alot like crayons. I suggest if you add scents, to add a bit more than normal to help cover the crayon smell. Nice Ible by the way.