A crayon has quite a long life, doesn’t it? After all, a kid can color many, many pictures with the same crayon and never get to the end of it. However, once they’re no longer sharp, and the paper wrapping has been peeled almost completely away, kids seem to lose interest in them. You’ll usually find those small crayons in the bottom of the toy box, a shoe box or a similar hiding place. Dig all those crayons out and you can easily make them into new crayons that are even nicer than the original ones. That’s because the ones you create can be made into various shapes and can feature jewels or other goodies embedded in them!
Melting things in the past, like candle wax, was a chore. One pot for wax; another for boiling water. Things are much easier now since the microwave was invented. A microwave oven makes it really easy to recycle old crayons and turn them into new ones that kids will love. Use a microwave safe bowl for each color you want to make. You don’t have to have a lot of same-color crayons to make the new ones. For example, if you have a few different shades of green, and a couple of shades of blue, place them all in the same bowl to mix them into a blue-green or green-blue shade.
Use cookie cutters or other molds to create the shapes you want for the new crayons. Cookie cutters shaped like hearts, stars and similar shapes are perfect. If you don’t have any cookie cutters you can use foil to make them. Tear off a piece of foil, fold it into a long, multi-layer strip, then twist and turn the strip to form a cookie cutter-type shape. Use a piece of tape to secure the ends to each other. The foil can be used to make circles, ovals, squares and other shapes.
To get started, lay the cookie cutters or other molds on waxed paper. It’s a good idea to spray the insides of the molds with non-stick cooking spray so that the new crayons will easily pop out of the molds. To keep the melted crayons from running out underneath the cookie cutters a piece of tape is helpful. Place the tape so that half of it goes around the bottom perimeter of the mold and the other half of the tape is attached to the waxed paper. If you want, you can embed certain items in the new crayons by adding the object to the mold. Although this step is optional you can easily make crayons that feature a fake jewel or even a marble. If the object is small enough, and won’t melt, it’s great for adding to the crayons. Choose the objects you want to use and place one in the middle of each cookie cutter.
Place the desired crayons – used or new without wrapping – in a bowl. Microwave just long enough to melt the crayons. Stir occasionally to mix colors and to assist the melting process. Remove the melted crayons from the microwave and pour them into the desired molds. Allow the crayons to cool completely before removing them from the molds. There could be a little bit of the melted crayons covering the jewel, marble or other item. If so, simply scratch or rub the wax off of it. After removing them you can wrap them in foil, cellophane or even plastic wrap.
You don’t necessarily have to make each crayon one color. To make crayons that draw more than one color at the same time start by pouring a little of one color in each mold. Wait until that color has completely set up then pour a second color over the top of the first one. Make the crayons two colors or even more. Allow each shade to completely cool before adding the next.
A different way to create the crayons is to first shred them with a cheese shredder. Place the shredded crayons in small foil tins or similar containers. Set in a very warm oven until the crayons melt. Although these crayons are just circles they can be circles that have mixed colors, such as blue and white or orange and yellow. It can be the preferred method for those who don’t want to deal with pouring and handling melted wax.
There are other things you can do to create even more new crayons. For example, make tiered crayons by first starting with a large mold. Fill it with the melted crayons, allow them to set up, then set a smaller mold on top. Pour the next color (or same color) into the small mold and allow it to set. You can make a circular crayon with a star shape on top, a star shape with a small circle on top, or other designs.
The new crayons you make can be large or small. The can be thick or fairly thin. With the color choices, various sizes and shapes, and other choices you can literally make hundreds of different crayons. They’re perfect for your own kids, sure, but they also make great gifts. It’s a fun way to recycle old crayons or just have a good time making unique ones any child would love!