ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Homemade Crayons (From Old or Broken Crayons)

Updated on March 01, 2013
Homemade star crayons look beautiful, and color like a dream.
Homemade star crayons look beautiful, and color like a dream. | Source


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.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Crayons, ripe for the picking.The mold used for crayon making.Test your colors so you can determine which you want to put together.Filling the mold.The finished crayons look great!The prettiest orange crayon ever.See the golds and greens? I call this crayon "moss."
Crayons, ripe for the picking.
Crayons, ripe for the picking. | Source
The mold used for crayon making.
The mold used for crayon making. | Source
Test your colors so you can determine which you want to put together.
Test your colors so you can determine which you want to put together. | Source
Filling the mold.
Filling the mold. | Source
The finished crayons look great!
The finished crayons look great! | Source
The prettiest orange crayon ever.
The prettiest orange crayon ever. | Source
See the golds and greens? I call this crayon "moss."
See the golds and greens? I call this crayon "moss." | Source

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)

Crayon Name
Variegated Crayon Color
Amethyst
Purples with a little silver
Coral
Different oranges
Crystal
Light gray and silver
Fog
Gray, black, and white
Forest Floor
Dark greens and browns
Ice
White and lightest blue
Moss
Greens and gold
Rain Sky
Gray and light blues
Pink Granite
Various pinks
Sea Blue
Dark blues and white
Sunny Day
Various yellows
Sunrise
Oranges and red
I went the organic route with these names, but why not have some silly fun? Bright red could be "sunburn" while gold could be "yellow snow" and green is "jealousy"?

Crayon Bloopers

Round one of the crayon-making escapade was not as successful as I had hoped.
Round one of the crayon-making escapade was not as successful as I had hoped. | Source
The colors may be beautiful, but the shapes are not!
The colors may be beautiful, but the shapes are not! | Source

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!

Molds!

Wilton 6-Cavity Silicone Heart Mold Pan
Wilton 6-Cavity Silicone Heart Mold Pan

Heart shaped molds are sweet and perfect for a Valentine's day party.

 
Freshware CB-115RD 24-Cavity Mini Silicone Mold for Homemade Soap, Cake, Chocolate, Candy, Cookie, and More
Freshware CB-115RD 24-Cavity Mini Silicone Mold for Homemade Soap, Cake, Chocolate, Candy, Cookie, and More

Now this is a nice one! Good corners for coloring sharp edges, not too big... definitely my next choice.

 

If you can't bear the thought of using your oven...

Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup
Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup

Or, esignate a "melting pot" and do it in the microwave, then pour the melted wax into your molds.

 
Crayola 120ct Original Crayons
Crayola 120ct Original Crayons

Less than seven bucks for 120 Crayolas? Wow!

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      WiccanSage, you are so welcome! I'm so glad you're able to use the info to clear out the closet. Thank you so much for the compliment! :-)

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Perfect, just what I was looking for as I cleaned out the craft cabinet today. I didn't even realize how many boxes of old broken crayons built up! Thanks for this, great hub.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much and Sherrye, I hope you do! The colors make truly realistic looking landscapes if you mix like colors. :)

    • Sherrye Barrow profile image

      Sherrye Barrow 3 years ago from Duncan, AZ

      Clever! I think I might give this one a try!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you, Millionaire Tips! I loved the idea of more than one point on a crayon, and that's how I came across the idea of using one of my star molds. :-) I appreciate the read and the vote.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      This is very clever - the crayon shapes look like they would be a lot of fun to use. It is good to know that they can be difficult to remove from the mold, so we know to be careful. Voted up.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Daisy! It's so much fun to make these and coloring with them is terrific, too. :^)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Rachel,

      What a clever idea! I wish I knew about when I was teaching art classes back in New Jersey.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great to see you, landscapeartist! I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. :-)

    • landscapeartist profile image

      Roberta McIlroy 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wonderful ideas. My boxes have probably got dozens of crayons cluttering them up. That is something we can do on a rainy day and it will surely keep young children facinated. Thankyou for posting this, and thankyou too for checking out my hubs.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wonderful Angela, I hope it all turns out well for you too. :^)

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Your welcome I enjoyed this and will definitely try it sometime with my daughters.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Angela! Ooh, you're right, great gift idea. Thanks for the suggestion and for stopping by!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      This would be an inexpensive gift idea coupled togather with a coloring book!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      What's up, Doc? Yes, gather up those "lost" crayons and save yourself from colors on your toes in the meantime... then melt them into something beautiful. The kids in your life will love them... and so will the adults. :^)

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Brilliant idea, beautifully illustrated with these photos. I always wonder what to do with all those broken crayons kids seem to pick up from everywhere and leave them lying around. This is an ace idea for recycling. Well done, you are indeed a 'clever' cat!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, ThePelton! Ahhhh, that might be a good bargain if one were to use it often enough. :-) Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • ThePelton profile image

      ThePelton 4 years ago from Martinsburg, WV USA

      As for the specialty crayon maker, I remember seeing one at a goodwill store when I was working a temporary job there. It went for much less than one that was new.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Butterfly! The way I came up with the names was through a BBC Planet Earth coloring book I found at a dollar store -- I wanted real-life colors in easily-at-hand crayons... so I made 'em. I know you'll have a blast too! :^)

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Awesome hub! I'm a realist when I color, but it would be great to have moss, and rainy skies in one crayon, rather than trying to mix the colors while coloring. I will definitely have to try this. I have over 300 crayons and I'm sure I can come up with enough broken and short ones to melt away. Voted up and shared! :)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much, teaches! I really appreciate the sweet words. And I love offering up suggestions to save resources, as you mention. :^)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, flashmakeit! I especially like that this project is fairly non-messy, especially if you do the prep work outside. :^)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, Alissa! Little boys love to break things, don't they? ;^) Good thing it's just crayons right now!

      I'm so glad you'll be able to reuse those broken bits. Thanks so much for the kind comment, votes, and shares! :^)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Mwilliams66, sounds like you're the perfect friend for craft lovers!!! :^D

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Your first photo is impressive! Great idea to name them and your suggestions are pretty cool ones. Thanks for the craft idea. Recyling crayons is always a good way to help children learn to practice saving resources.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

      Beautiful crayons and a useful idea for a child's craft project!

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Love this idea! My boys are the kings of breaking crayons for no reason. Going to have to get one of those pan molds to make us a batch of cool crayons! Great idea - voted up, over, and pinning :)

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      Thanks the clevercat. I LOVE this stuff. I have boxes and boxes of craft supplies in my garage. Since m kids are grown (and my grandchildren are not yet on the way) I have kept the supplies available for my friends kids. I still just adore doing projects with kids. To see their faces when they have accomplished a project

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, mwilliams66! Thanks for stopping by. Did you know you can also sandwich crayon shavings between waxed paper and iron them to come up with creative art? :-)

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      What a fun idea! As a mother of 3 we had an abundance of crayons. Most ready to be tossed, or so I thought. Now I know better. Thanks for the great hub.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Cara! I did mention the favor idea, but how sweet to stick each to some paper or cardstock for students! Awesome!!!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, Doc! Terrific, this is a great grandparent/grandchildren project! It'd love to know how it turns out. :-)

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      We have been saving our broken crayons for this project! We have heart molds that we are going to use. You can even take the "new" crayon and attach it to some construction paper or cardstock with a little note and give it as a gift for kids in your child's class or as a party favor. Great hub!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, reagu! Trash to treasure is something I really enjoy. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 4 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Another great idea, clevercat! We'll be doing this with the granddaughters! Voted up.

    • reagu profile image

      reagu 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      These are creative ways to reuse something that usually go in the trash.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hiya, Rob! Great comment, thanks so much! I love bringing out the kid in adults. :-)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Daughter of Maat! Yes, try to find it! What a great lesson. Thanks do much for the comment and the follow. :-)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, sarovai! Thanks, it's great fun to teach little ones about recycling. :-)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hiya, Ish! :-) Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, and the votes. Its such a simple project, but so satisfying. Thanks again!

    • rob_allen profile image

      rob_allen 4 years ago from MNL, PH

      When I was a kid I used to melt my broken crayons and turn it in something else. I even add a piece of it on colorless wax to create multicolored candles. Thanks for sharing this. It's useful. It is fun. Ideal for kids and kids-at-heart. BTW, it brings back the kid in me. :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      My daughter has the crayola crayon maker. We haven't really used it though. Maybe I'll sift through all the junk in her room and try to find it, that would be an awesome project for her and I. It would make a great homeschool lesson too! :D

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 4 years ago

      Very good idea. Tips are good to teach the children's about recycling . Thank u for sharing this hub.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An extremely helpful hub! I too got some crayons which has been left unused for years since my childhood. I will follow your smart advice anytime soon. This idea is economical and cool. The suggestions of fancy names for crayon colors are cute. Viewed your good video. The first photo looked very attactive and the homemade crayons looked picture-perfect(first photo and video) thanks to your efforts! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up and Socially Shared.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, KDB! Yes, teaching solids into liquids and back again would be great!!! Thanks for stopping by and I hope she and the students have a blast. :^)

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      I would have never thought of this if I never read this. This is sounds so awesome! Huh, my sister teaches science and she will definitely find ways to use this for a fun learning experience :) I'm definitely bookmarking this page for future reference!

      Thank you for this amazing idea!

      -KD

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, CC! Thanks so much for the encouragement and compliments! I have lots of soap molds that I might try with this, too. If I do, I'll update the pics. :^)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      What a fun, fun hub! This is great!! I never thought about melting crayons into molds. I love all your tips, great video and beautiful pictures. Even the crayons from your first one have an awesome look. If at first you don't succeed, melt, melt again!! Hehe, I LOVE it! :)

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Brainy Bunny! What fun to do with youngsters! I'd love to know what colors they choose to put together, if you do.

      Ha! Yes, the bloopers came out rather oddly-shaped... good thing I'm not looks-ist! :^)

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 4 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      I love this idea! As a mom of two, I have tons of broken crayons around that never get finished up. This is a great way to upcycle what is essentially garbage. I loved your bloopers, by the way; a couple of them came out looking like Star Trek symbols. Ha!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I sure can!!! Teehee! It will be great because they're bound to have lots of broken crayons at year end. Thanks for commenting, Sunshine! :^)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Awesome idea!!! I'm going to share this with my daughters who are pre-k and kindergarten teachers! I intend to make these with my granddaughter and her friends. Can you sense my excitement?:) Thanks Rachel!

    Click to Rate This Article