Ben and I made crayons today. He’s desperately been needing mommy time (this social media/blogging/internet-foundation-building thing takes serious time!).
We have billions of little bits of crayons in a tub that we’ve been adding to for years, all from restaurant and various activity packs.
Ben wanted rainbow stars for the first batch, so we used a latex mold that I snagged from Goodwill for $.99. We started by selecting the colors of the rainbow– ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), peeled them, and then I chopped them up. We talked all about rainbows and primary and secondary colors while we worked.
After we chopped the crayons, we put the layers into the mold. We decided to start with violet on the bottom and then work our way up to red, which created a few really nicely layered crayons. We also made some crayons with different tints of the same colors, which we just poured into the molds randomly to create a marbled effect.
After the molds were filled, we placed the mold on a baking sheet and baked at 200° F for about 15 minutes. When the crayons were fully melted, I pulled them out (very carefully, as we had some overflow!) and let them sit to cool for about 45 minutes.
We lost some of the arms off of the stars, since that particular mold gets rigid once it cools off, but the more flexible vehicle mold that we filled next worked perfectly.
So, there you go! You don’t need a fancy boxed ‘crayon maker’. You just need some dedicated molds (even a muffin pan would work) and some stubs and bits of used crayons. I don’t recommend using the molds for food afterwards, as there’s always some dye left over, no matter how long you soak them in hot water.
Lessons in color, up-cycling, creativity, and just plain fun times. Do make sure that your little one doesn’t attempt to grab the crayons when you pull them out of the oven, though– the melted texture is very conducive to inquisitive fingers!