Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New crayons!

With two strong-handed boys in the house, crayons often break while we are coloring... but the broken crayons can still be useful. Here's how we've turned potential trash to treasure by recycling the old crayons into new crayons. Projects like this are excellent for kids to sort out the crayons-- and these also make a great gift for children 15 months and up. The molded crayons are usually sturdier than large crayons, last a good long while and are excellent for making leaf rubbings.
Here's how you do it:
  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees
  2. Separate broken crayons and sort by similar color
  3. Place crayons in a ziploc bag and, using wooden mallet or meat tenderizer, smash pieces into 1/2 inch or so sized pieces. A regular hammer will also work, but tends to smoosh crayons more.
  4. Put crayon pieces into foil cupcake holders so as not to ruin your pans. Silicone works well also and the molds you can find are many... but I would only recommend using them just for this project and not for food.
  5. Bake crayons for about 11 minutes.
  6. When the crayons look melted but the colors are still intact, take pans out of the oven. Do not stir them to keep the colors.
  7. Let the pan cool for at least two hours.
  8. Remove foil liners from pans and let cool for at least 6 hours to overnight. If using molds, just leave overnight. Unmold the new crayons and start creating!!
If you have oven-proof molds such as this Lego Brick Mold, you can make even cooler shapes!