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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Homemade Crayons

If you're like me, there's about a hundred million broken crayons in all types of containers here and there around your art room or your house.  You can't bear to throw them out, because you think one day you'll get around to making something with them.  Well, today's the day!  Here is everything you ever wanted to know about making crayons, but were afraid to ask;

1. Put the broken crayons in a tub or sink.

2. Fill with warm water.

3. After a short period of time, maybe about 15 minutes, the crayon wrappers will come right off.
4. Save the wrappers and dry them for use in collage, or make paper pulp with them. 

5.  You could actually skip this step, but I like to sort my broken crayons in an egg carton before I put them in the baking tray.  This is just to get a supply started that I can keep adding to as the crayons are melting in the oven.  That way, I am ready with more broken crayons already sorted for the next round. Plus, I just like to sort.  :)  The thing I love the most about these crayons are that they are diversity in a square!  Color families live harmoniously together in one square block.  Regular crayons, metallic, construction, glitter, different tints and shades, melting and molding together to make one beautiful crayon.  They are actually a feast for the eyes; to behold a box of them makes my students gasp.  They all say they look good enough to eat, and they do, but I don't recommend it.  :)


6.  To make these cool square crayons, use a silicone brownie bite pan, found in any craft store's cake decorating section.  And yes, you can use any silicone tray with fun shapes for a different type.  The square ones are perfect for the art classroom, because they have several applications; rubbing for textures, filling in large spaces, rubbing out shapes of things and then going over with paint or watercolor markers, and using the corners for making thinner lines.  Spray the pan with baking spray (if you skip this step, it's okay, you'll still be able to get them out of the pan).
7.  Bake at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes.  I like to put mine on an old baking sheet so that it makes it easier taking the molten squares out of the oven. Let cool and harden.


8.  Pop out of pan and behold your little masterpieces!



9.  Hold so that the wide flat edge of the crayon sits flat on the paper and rub.  Give as gifts and they're great for student incentives.  If you have any other tips or tricks with making crayons, please let me know!  I would love to hear your ideas.  And the next time you feel like having a meltdown, grab some broken crayons and make it a productive one!  :)

* I would like to thank my fellow art teachers in Humble I.S.D. for sharing this *recipe* with me.  

5 comments:

  1. I've made "rainbow" crayons in muffin tins before but I think your approach would work better! I wish I had thought to soak the crayons, it would be a lot faster than peeling all of them.

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  2. I have a bucketful of crayons waiting to be melted down, but I was avoiding them because of the trouble taking the wrappers off. So thank you for the soaking tip; why didn't that idea occur to me before? THANK YOU!!

    Has anyone tried melting the construction paper crayons? I"m curious how they would melt.

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  3. Phyl, the construction paper ones melt the same as the rest of them. I love mixing all the different kinds of crayons together- they melt beautifully together. I used to take a razor blade and splice it down the side of the crayon to get the wrapper off. That was so much more time consuming! My facilitator told me about the soaking tip and that has unleashed the crayon beast in me!!! :)

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  4. Thank you for this tip! I may try it also with oil pastels.

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  5. Thanks for the recipe-especially the steps with peeling and saving the wrappers. Have you made paper pulp with them-do you have a recipe for this too? Thanks :)

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