How to Melt Crayons

June 29th, 2011 by Meghan

 

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The up side of my being *slightly* hord-ish is that great stuff is on hand when need and inspiration come crashing together. That means many partially used/broken things collect in bags, baskets and boxes, at home and in the Studio awaiting their chance to be transformed into treasure. Broken crayon pieces are one such item. In the Studio we routinely recycle them into new crayon disks which work great at our toddler drawing table.

Once we’ve amassed enough pieces to make a rainbow of crayon disks we peel all the papers off and sort them by color into a muffin or cupcake tin that’s been sprayed with a little veggie oil, filling each well about half to two thirds full. The oil helps them to pop out later. We picked up a tin expressly for this use after my first attempt with metallic crayons stained my cupcake tin.

The the tin goes into the oven on low heat- around 250 degrees. When the crayons have melted (about 15 mins.) I take the tin out (using a mit!) and gently stir each section with a toothpick. That first time when I used mostly metallic crayons I didn’t stir and the wax ended up separated from the pigment.

When the pan cools, I turn it over to pop the disks out. They’re ready to use or gift. In the Studio, we cut the muffin size disks in half so they’re easy for small hands to hold and offer a variety of mark-making edges.

I’ve found many ideas across the internet for variations on shapes and method. Family Fun suggests making Crayon Heart Valentines, others use a variety of candy or soap-making molds to create different shapes.

Please note that since this process involves the oven and hot wax, I usually complete it by myself. If you want children to join in, you could have them peel off the papers and sort them in the tins. My favorite ways to sort are by temperature (warm colors/cool colors) and color families (reds, blues, oranges, etc.). In my next experiment I’m going to try melting the black and white pieces together.

Happy drawing!

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16 Responses to “How to Melt Crayons”

  1. Cool Site Thanks For Showing Us.

  2. [...] be most useful to craft-hungry children’s librarians like myself) is the piece on How to Melt Crayons.  Pretty [...]

  3. Leslie says:

    I’m partial to these crayons shaped like veggies and fruits on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/74207753/farmers-market-soy-crayons-handmade-all?ref=v1_other_1
    Shows you how much fun different molds could be!

  4. Lori says:

    Can’t wait to do this with my heart shaped mini muffin tins! And maybe even our underused madeline baking tin….should be fun!!!

  5. katie says:

    Very cool! Can you use cupcake wrappers to line the tin with, or will that not work?

    • Meghan says:

      Hi Katie,
      I haven’t tried it, but moms and others on the internet have without complaint of liners sticking to the crayons. Let me know if you try it. Better yet, send photos! Good luck.

      • Angie P says:

        I just used a metal muffin tin with paper liners. The crayons came off of the liners without difficulty, but unfortunately, some of the crayon wax leeched through the liners and onto my pan. Next time I will opt for metallic liners. They’re very pretty, though! :-)

  6. Alicia Lavis says:

    After the crayon melt, I put the liquid in animal-shaped jelly box, so I get animal shaped crayon

  7. Wow, seems fun. But I can use wrappers because I don’t want the tin get contaminated with the crayon, and being use again to bake cookies.

  8. [...] and replace it.  We typically have an array of extra large crayons for visitors to work with that Meghan made at home.  Recently I added Clementine Art’s Natural Crayon Rocks to the table for kids to try.  [...]

  9. [...] this year. Gather all those broken bits and knock their socks off with amazing multi-colored CrazyMelts Crayons! Using a muffin tin and your oven, ADULTS can either combine colors for psychedelic results while [...]

  10. [...] Courtesy of Making Art with Children Tweet Cancel [...]

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