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What To Do With Broken Crayons? - Melt Them!

Updated on October 21, 2007

If you have kids, the chances are good that you have crayons in your house. And if you have crayons in your house, you probably have some broken ones. I went through our wipes container of crayons recently and came up with a pretty big pile of broken crayons and larger, yet worn down ones.

For my kids, once the tips have worn down on the crayons, they think they are unusable. Why would they ever consider peeling a crayon? Well, I decided to make coloring a little more fun for the kids and find a use for all the crayons that no one would touch.

While watching the kids do their school work I proceeded to peel those nubs and break the crayons up into little pieces. I then divided up the crayons among metal muffin tins. I tried to mix up the colors pretty well, and I included all the colors I had in each tin. While I was doing this I let the oven preheat to 350. When I had enough crayons peeled and broken I turned the oven off and placed the muffin tin in the center.

You will want to check the crayons frequently, just turning the oven light on should work. Once the crayons start to look a little soupy remove them from the oven and place them immediately in the freezer. Freeze for 30-45 minutes and remove. The new crayons should pop out easily. Drop them into your hand though, I made the mistake of popping them onto our hard counter and a couple of them cracked. Once back to room temperature they are ready to color with.

My kids have had a lot of fun coloring pictures and cut outs of leaves with these crazy crayons. You never know what color will end up on your paper, because they are all mixed together. You could make this with only a couple of colors instead of all the colors. You could make a crayon for each season even. Oranges, yellows, reds and browns for fall, blues, whites, purples for winter, etc. You could even let the kids design their own.

So now we have no reason to throw out unwanted crayons. Melting these crayons together was easy and fun and didn't cost anything. If you have broken crayons in your house, you should try it or better yet have the kids make them themselves.


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    • profile image

      Meee 4 years ago

      Crayola has a crayon maker that has crayon-shaped trays to put the pieces in and melt to make new crayons. I feel like crayons are easier to draw with than those big circles anyway. How DID you guys color with those? Anyway I was an early 90's kid so I'm not sure if the crayon melter is still around, but I think it would be... I definitely still have mine.

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      Caitlin 5 years ago

      when i did it, it worked perfectly it was so fun to watch.awesome cool.

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      Amy 5 years ago

      So I was going through my kids crayons today and I found your page. thank you!! it worked perfectly for me. i used a 325 degree oven and it only took about 5 minutes. put them directely in the freezer for 1/2 - 3/4 of an hour and they popped right out of hte pan. if they didn't...i just popped them back in for another 5 minutes or so dn then they popped out!! this worked really well. my kids are excited to use them. we personally sorted by color and used mini-muffin tin but loved the idea and your explanation was spot on!!

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Hi Jennifer, Great idea, melting down crayons is a great way to recycle and reuse. Thanks

    • profile image

      tamiya clark 5 years ago

      well yu guys i liked this it helped me

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      Morgan Nelson 6 years ago

      A couple clarifications:

      - to remove the paper, put the crayons in icy water- they will shrink up and most of the paper will slide right off. The rest you will have to use a knife on.

      -Never heat crayons over 180 degrees Fahrenheit, as each color as a different flash point where the non-toxic crayon suddenly becomes toxic and nasty smelling as the chemical composition changes.

      -Never put your crayons in the freezer, especially not mixed color, as each color cools as a different rate and will greatly increase the chances on cracking. Let them cool to room temperature, then put them in the fridge if they need to shrink a bit more before popping them out.

      If you do everything correctly, you will have shiny, strong crayons!

      Want to see what's possible at The Crayon Doctor? Visit my etsy shop for more ideas that you can try at home:

      Best of luck!

    • profile image

      Carly 6 years ago

      What a fun project, I'm testing it right now!

    • profile image

      Stephanie 6 years ago

      What a fun idea!

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      bpa free baby bottles 6 years ago

      great ideas for any parent!great idea!!

    • profile image

      baby bottles 6 years ago

      great ideas for any parent!

    • profile image

      :) 6 years ago

      Awesome and I'm considering doing this right now

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      Anna 6 years ago

      omg that sounds like tons of fun how did you think of that and from the comments i saw looks like other people like it to now it going to be no more lazy more creative and if you have more i will so do it awesome!!!!!!!!

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      helen 6 years ago

      that sound like tons of fun thanks

    • Vishaaa profile image

      Vishaaa 6 years ago from Somewhere on this earth..

      I loved this idea. Very creative.........

    • LittleFairy profile image

      LittleFairy 6 years ago

      fantastic and very creative. Kids will really love this :)

    • profile image

      Alison 6 years ago

      I kinda just want to go around and break crayons right now so I can do it lol.

    • profile image

      Shana 6 years ago


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      India 6 years ago

      Love this easy craft but I have a few very helpful hints. Save your fingernails by using an old or cheap vegetable peeler to peel crayons. Trust me, your fingers will thank you and you are still a good Mom! Also, do the peeling into a trashcan or over one. I made the mistake of doing the peeling on my ceramic kitchen counter and the clean up was not pretty. Lastly, DO NOT attempt to make shaped crayons in flimsy cupcake shaped holders! I did this and when I took them out of the oven they spilled on my ceramic tile and immediately stuck to it!

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      Heather 6 years ago

      We've been talking about doing this project for over a year. Carpe diem in 2011--we finally did it. Where would we be without the internet? My tip is that I used an X-Acto knife and ran a slit down the side of each crayon's wrapper. Most of them peeled off easily and my 5- and 7-year-olds were able to help more with that part. They're cooling as I write and we can't wait to color with them after lunch!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 6 years ago from UK

      What a great idea! Thanks for the tip.

    • profile image

      Jill 6 years ago

      Thank you for the great idea! I just finished my 1st batch. I am almost eleven and I still enjoyed this project a lot!

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      lily 6 years ago

      i need to know how to melt crayons dam!!! i can't do it

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      amber_wolf 7 years ago

      My mom used to make those all the time. It was so fun when she let me pick which colors to use. (I still get bored sometimes and have fun making an abstract picture by melting part of the crayon with a small lamp I have that gets really hot. Then I let the crayon drip all over the page. The crayon leaves awesome random dots of color on the page, but I still wouldn't recommend this for smaller children.)

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      me 7 years ago

      wow! ths is very cool i wish my mom would let me try it even though im too old XD

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      deanna 7 years ago

      The easiest way to peel the paper is to stick them in warm water. The label will peel itself right off! Except the generic brands and the green colored crayola color. Crayola peeled right off ! I made 40 of them to give for halloween. The first batch took about 45min. They crayons were gray. The second batch took about 5min, these crayons were wet. I think the water helped them to melt faster! It was fun! Thanks for the hub!

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      tina 7 years ago

      is that a candle

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      Horizon 7 years ago

      we used to melt the crayons and make flowers out of them. Once the crayons are melted (separate the colors to make it more fun) put your finger in the hot melted crayons and immediately put it in a bowl of ice cold water. When you make enough of them, put them together, you might have to heat them up a little so they can stick together. you got flowers.---Have fun

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      Alejandra (sorry for the incomplete comment) 7 years ago

      Wow Were doing melted crayons for an expiriment at our science fair we have a pretty good chance of winning i thinkk and when i saw this i was very surprised i showed it to my teacher and she was joyfully surprised ! :D this also brings back childhood memories of when i was in preschool, my teachers used to call us up to a table where they had those mini stoves . the put a paper over it and told me to start drawing , the crayon started melting instantly i was shocked as a child who didn't even know how to say her abc's

    • profile image

      Jackeline 7 years ago

      I Think Melting Crayons Is Pretty Fun And More If You're Putting Them In A Cupcake Thinggy. I Done That Before For My Science Fair Project At School And I Liked Doing It A Lot! [[:

    • profile image

      alejandra 7 years ago

      Wow Were doing melted crayons for an expiriment at our science fair we have a pretty good chance of winning i thinkk and when i saw this i was very surprised i showed

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      Christen` 7 years ago

      Use a silicon baking form instead of the muffin tins. You won't have to put them in the freezer just put it on a baking sheet, let it cool and remove them. Much easier and no broken crayons... plus you can find all different shapes to make them in. I have a flower and a star one.

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      Kristen 7 years ago

      I tried this and it worked pretty good, except when I took the crayons out of the muffin tin fresh out of the freezer, some of them immediately split in half. Any tips on how to stop them from breaking apart? Thanks for the idea!

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      yomama 7 years ago

      yay krayons!!

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      Emma G. 7 years ago

      I put the oven on 250 and let them sit in there for a good 5 minutes.They turned out great!THANKS FOR SHARING!

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      pricess 8 years ago

      I was just about to do that. I wanted to find out the tempature

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      emma 8 years ago

      that's realy pretty and a great thing to do with kids they will enjoy doing this thanks for sharing

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      Crystal 8 years ago

      my kiddo's and i are cleaning out the crayon box and making this project tonight! Thanks!

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      Jenny Grogan 8 years ago

      This is such A wonderful idea my kids love it it bring joy to me and them perfect 4 rainy or snowy days

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      Katie 8 years ago

      We are trying it now! Great project for this snowy day! (my kids are peeling and putting them in the muffin tin.)

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      Lillian 8 years ago

      What a great daughter thought to place them into playdoe molds. Now all she wants to do is color with a crayon shaped as a banana.

      Thank you

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      shiley 9 years ago

      you should try it i did it for my 7th grade science project and it was awesome i am 13 and i even liked it.

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      Sharon 9 years ago

      Another great kid- friendly activity your readers would enjoy is to grow a TickleMe Plant from seeds and then watching the plant MOVE when Tickled! As a first grade teacher I no longer plant Lima beans, as the growing of this interactive plant, proved to be much more exciting and educational for my student's.

      I found my supplies for a classroom kit at but they also sell individual greenhouses and even party favors, with everything you need to grow your own TickleMe Plant from seeds. I assure you your kids will be more excited about gardening, and its just fun to watch the expressions of the faces of children (and even adults) when they see the plant close its leaves and droop when tickled

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      Sharon 9 years ago

      My mother used to put a piece of tin foil over a warming tray and let us draw or paint as the crayons melted on the foil. Better for slightly older kids so they won't get burned by the tray.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 9 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Very cool idea. I'm sure my granddaughter will love it!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      What a great idea! I have tons of broken crayons, they seem to multiply themselves... This sounds like a fun idea to do I am sure my children will be deligthed.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      We used to melt broken crayons into candles. Great hub and thanks for sharing.

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      hahah 9 years ago

      cool mann

    • Sophie Esperana profile image

      Sophie Esperana 9 years ago from Los Angeles

      OMG, why haven't I thought about this when I was little? This is so clever. And the surprise factor for the kids when they see what color would turn up, it's priceless! Thank you for an excellent hub. I'll tell my sister about this so she'll try melting crayons for my nephews! I bet they'll love it :)

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      kaysmom 9 years ago

      I've tried this sort of thing before but the colors always ran together. I was out looking for ideas today and found a cool site that with pictures and instructions for layered crayons. I can't wait to try it, though you would like it too.

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      jooles01 9 years ago

      Oooh, all the crayons I've thrown out in the past! I'm sure the kids have great fun with these crayons and it would be a great way of limiting the pallette but ensuring the colour scheme is effective.

      I love the idea of the leaves too, I would imagine they look really good.

      A friend of mine uses the old crayons to add colour to candles that she makes. Maybe that's something you could do with them when they're a little older.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      This brought back a childhood memory for me. When I was a kid, my mom and I would 'grate' the broken crayons. We would then place a pretty leaf on a sheet of waxpaper, sprinkle our 'rainbow' of shaved crayons all over it, place the 2nd sheet on top, then take a warm iron and iron the waxpaper sheets together. The crayons made a colorful background for the leaf placed between the sheets of waxpaper. I then hung my 'works of art' in my room or on the fridge.

      An added benefit is saving money! Thanks for sharing.