So I suppose I always knew that you could melt down crayons and resolidify them, but I never really thought about it or did it before. Well, now with a small child I am faced with crayon bits all over the place. So when I saw the instructions for making chunky crayons in the Martha Stewart Good Thing for Kids my husband had brought home for work I decided to make some new crayons immediately. And, a word on this magazine. I think it might be a quarterly and it had many great ideas for crafts and projects in them. I really appreciated the fact that so many of them respected a child’s creativity and the process of making art. Weren’t the best art projects always the ones where someone dumped a bunch of supplies on a table and said “knock yourself out”? If I was still a children’s librarian I would totally be looking in here and my other new fave magazine-Family Fun–for ideas. One thing in the Martha Stewart mag that caught my eye was “cancelled stamp art”. First of all, who knew you could buy a bag of cancelled stamps??
On, to the crayons.
I gathered up broken crayons, picked off all the wrappers (much more tedious than I thought it would be!), then sorted the crayons into two bowls: blues, greens, purples, pinks and reds, yellows, oranges, browns.
I chopped up the crayons into pea sized pieces, then put them into mini heart shaped muffin tins. My instructions said to bake in the oven at 150 degrees for 15 minutes, but the lowest my oven goes is 170 degrees and I ended up turning it up to 220 anyway to get it melting. So cook it in the oven until all the wax melts and then take it out. Let it harden and pop them out of the tins and voila! Big crayon blocks with beautiful swirls and blobs of colors. Keeping the pieces pea sized meant that you could actually get a solid color to color with, which was nice, although it was fun to draw and experiment with turning the crayons as you wrote. They looked like beautiful little jewels or soaps and I think I will make a habit of doing this. Wouldn’t these little heart shaped multi-colored crayons make nice little birthday party goody bag favors?
Now that I’ve lived with these crayons for a day, let me add this note: they are well suited for toddlers and not anyone older who cares about coloring in the lines because they are so chunky that it’s very hard to draw or color with any precision. Also, I included some junky crayons in my mix (i.e. not Crayola) and it’s a little frustrating to have bits that just don’t color very well. So I say, stick with your reliable Crayolas!