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Homemade Crayons (From Old or Broken Crayons)
Making something great from nothing special is a satisfying hobby… and one I’m oh so proud of. This time I decided to reuse old crayons to make marbled ones!
So forget buying a specialized crayon maker. Melt down your old crayons (even the cheap ones!) into beautiful, “new” coloring sticks.
Tips for Making Your Own Crayons
- To save time, remove all the wrappings before you lay all the crayons bare at once.
- If you have pets, make sure they are out of reach while you prepare the project – one swipe of a curious cat’s paw and you’ll end up with crayon shavings all over your carpet. (Trust me on this.)
- If you choose a silicone mold, be sure to use one for baking, not one for ice. Take it from me -- the crayons will come out, but not easily.
- Don't take a shortcut and leave some crayons pieces large. They won't melt at the same rate as the smaller ones, and even if you try poking them with toothpicks to break them up, they won't look nearly as nice.
- Do let them cool long enough; a quick stint in the freezer will help if you are feeling impatient. (I don't recommend using the ice trays, but even those will work if you don't try to pop the crayons out before they are fully cool. That's what I used in the video!)
Making Crayons from Broken Pieces
Gather materials. Locate all the unloved, broken crayons you can find. If you’re lucky, recruit a friend or two. They will be likely to donate to the cause… anything to rid their house of excess, unused stuff!
Remove the paper. Take the paper wrappings off all the crayons. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
if you are an adult and handy with a craft knife, slice through the paper vertically in one fell swoop and the paper will slide off easily;
or, if kids are involved, they can peel off the wrappings with their fingers. But it will take a lot of time and they may become restless. They will also end up with crayon under their nails and colors on their fingers, so if that bothers you, you should remove the papers yourself.
Clean the crayons. If your old crayons have seen better times or have been tossed around in a drawer for several years, now is the time to show them some care. You certainly don't want bits of fuzz, dust, or cat hair in your customized crayons!
Clean them by turning them on their sides and rubbing them against a clean sheet of paper (otherwise known as "coloring") until the discoloration is gone. If they are really dirty, use your craft knife to gently whittle the dirty bits away.
Removing Crayons from an Ice Cube Mold
Uses and Options for Homemade Crayons
- Use specialized molds and create them as party favors. Use the same colors from the party decoration to continue the scheme.
- Use bigger, rounded molds for little kids as they are easier for them to hold.
- Add mica or glitter for a sparkly touch.
- Keep like colors with like colors for an artsy look, or mix them up for crazy crayons.
- Name your crayons after your favorite things, or create a special one to name after yourself!
Break the crayons. Carefully, with a sharp knife, chop the crayons into similar sizes so they melt at approximately the same rate. Alternatively, avoid a knife completely and simply snap them with your hands.
It really depends what kind of look you’re going for with your crayons. If you want more swirls, cut the crayons into smaller pieces; conversely, larger crayon pieces will result in fewer swirls.
Preheat the oven. I like 175 to 200 degrees for this project. Don't go as high 250 degrees - your crayons will all melt in one color with very few swirls. Those are nice too, but it's not what we're going for with this project.
Add the crayons to your mold. Choose a metal or silicone mold. Keep in mind that you won't be able to bake food in the mold after you use it for melting crayons, so choose appropriately.
Molds come in all kinds of fun patterns, so go crazy! When you fill your molds, remember to think about air space... the melted crayons will settle after being exposed to the heat, so you may want to slightly "over-fill" them, but carefully.
Bake the crayons. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, and keep an eye on it. If you are afraid of spillage in your oven, place the mold on a baking sheet, and line the sheet with foil.
Let the crayons cool. After removing them from the oven, give your new custom crayons a rest. Don't touch them, or they will crack and be more difficult to get out of the mold. (Worst comes to worst, just re-melt them!)
Remove the crayons from the mold. After cooling, pop the crayons out of the mold. If you have used a silicone mold, you can push each mold piece in its opposite direction; if your mold was metal, they should pop right out.
Play! Color to your heart's content. Coloring is not just for kids, after all!
Name Your Crayons (Suggestions)
Variegated Crayon Color
Purples with a little silver
Light gray and silver
Gray, black, and white
Dark greens and browns
White and lightest blue
Greens and gold
Gray and light blues
Dark blues and white
Oranges and red
The first time I attempted to make my own pretty crayons from scratch was not exactly picture-perfect. Removing them from the mold was quite difficult, and I ended up with a crumbly mess.
But the second time was almost perfect. So if at first you don't succeed... melt, melt again!
Heart shaped molds are sweet and perfect for a Valentine's day party.
If you can't bear the thought of using your oven...
Or, esignate a "melting pot" and do it in the microwave, then pour the melted wax into your molds.